The last few posts have reviewed a number of applications out there that offer both sharing your photos as well as backing up your photos to the cloud. I wanted to review one last application. I haven’t been on Flickr in years, so long that I had to create a new account. I used to use it quite a bit in the beginning but then Facebook really took off and that’s where all my friends and family were. Facebook is multi-faceted in that you can share not just photos but your thoughts and other news on the web. Flickr is just for photos. However, my criteria for this review is sharing photos. We know already that Flickr will shine in the sharing, commenting, tagging and even the privacy categories. But how will it do as a medium for photo storage and backing up. To recap, the categories are:
- Automatically backup my photos from my phone to either my computer or the cloud.
- Manual options to upload photos from your computer to the cloud (if you prefer to work that way).
- Instant access to the images and an ability to view them in case my phone or computer dies.
- What are the storage size options and corresponding fees.
- What are the online sharing and upload options with family members. How do they get access, can they add images etc.
- What are the privacy settings. Can albums be set up with passwords.
- Can everybody comment and like images (similar to Facebook).
- Can images be grouped into events, or albums. Can they be tagged.
- Can members download images for printing or send out to be printed, book creation options.
- Are there image editing options.
- Can you email an album or slide show to members who may not be so tech savvy.
Auto Back Up or Upload
- In 2015 Flickr introduced an auto loader app that would upload the images from all your devices, dropbox, icloud account and store them in one central library.
- Once the application is turned on, anything new will be uploaded.
- Duplicates are eliminated.
- In 2017 they determined that only Pro accounts could use the auto uploader. For a fee – $6/month or $50/year.
- Through the website or your phone you can select images and upload them to your site.
- You can sort, rename, add a description and determine privacy settings before they are published.
- Bulk downloads are possible. Flickr combines all the images into a zip file.
Viewing Area (Photos)
- Browse on computer website or Mobile app. Extensive organizing options.
- Lots of community activities, view other Flickr member photos, join photo groups etc.
Storage Options and Fees
- 1000GB free storage.
- I found the manual process quite straight forward except for a timeout error. But that could just be my rural internet.
- The auto uploader app is supposed to streamline the process especially if you have a lot of images to upload.
- Uploader comes with a fee of $6/month or $50/year
- You can share your photos with friends and family and or the public. There are many permutations.
- They can comment, add tags, and add photos to your albums if they have a Flickr account.
- All new images uploaded are marked private until you decide to share them.
- The privacy and sharing options for your photos and galleries are extensive.
- Account/Privacy and Permissions or change the privacy settings per image or album.
- You can leave your images open to the public for commenting or you can limit it to just people you invite.
- Images are auto tagged (for things like landscape, tree, flower) by Flickr. Sorted into what they call Magic View.
- Tags that you may have added before you uploaded are viewable.
- You can also add more after uploading. You do this in batches as well.
- Multiple sorting options. Can be done before they are published or after.
- Categorize by album or collection
- Advanced searching algorithms to find your images easier.
- Through the Flickr website you can order gallery wrap canvas or wall mounted prints of your online images. You can also create a photo book.
- More extensive than the other programs with some fun and silly options.
- You can share sets of your photos to people who don’t have a Flickr account. A link is sent to their email. They can view the album but can’t comment.
- You can invite guests by adding their email.
As a photographer, I like the viewing area of Flickr the best. Even though they have made upgrades to the application, it was like riding a bike. I could navigate and find my way around just fine. I liked the sharing options as well. I had forgotten about the community. Within seconds of posting, I had comments and likes on my public photos. I think if you are looking to share your photos with just friends and family with specific privacy settings, Flickr works the best. But Flickr does have limitations as to what type of file you can upload (doesn’t support tiff or RAW) and videos are limited to 3 mins. Flickr was also the first application that I had trouble uploading images with. The timed out issue got old real fast. I have read that the paid uploader isn’t that much faster.
So if you want to join a photo community and share some of your best images with family and friends and even the public Flickr is pretty cool. If you want to save all of your images and videos as a back up online, I would use another app like Google Photos (though it does compress your images as a preference). If you shoot a lot of RAW images and uncompressed Tiff files, make sure you have an updated hard drive or two saved in a safe place.
I think the primary thing I have learned from this process is that even though there are many options out there, these third party cloud solutions can’t do everything. They also change their options and fees regularly. Use them at your own risk and ALWAYS have an up to date back up on a another device.