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Uploading Your Photographs to Flickr the Easy Way

Written by Richard Giles - © 2006, Thomson Course Technology PTR. Reprinted with Permission.
This article is an excerpt from the following book: How to Use Flickr: The Digital Photography Revolution.

There are occasions when using the Flickr upload form is the best way to send photos to your account, like when you're on holiday at an Internet café, or using someone else's computer—but it's a bit inflexible. Fortunately there are several other ways to do the job.

While you were using the form, you might have noticed a link called Uploading Tools, which also appears on your Home page. From there you'll find a list of tools that offer a variety of ways to get photos from your computer up to Flickr. The first one, Flickr Uploadr, is provided by the Flickr team and offers some great features.

Flickr Uploadr is available for Windows and OS X. Although they look very different (see the Windows version in Figure 3.3, and compare it with Figure 3.6), the functionality is very similar. The Windows version also offers a couple of extra tricks, like adding a "Send To Flickr" option to your right-click menu, and you can rotate your photos before you upload them. These options are not yet available in the OS X version.

When you launch Flickr Uploadr for the first time, you will be requested to authorize the application (see Figure 3.4). This is a clever security feature to make sure that no one else can read, write, or delete photos in your account. It does this by launching your Web browser for you to log in to Flickr (if you're not logged in already). Once that's done you can return to the Uploadr to finish setting it up. When you launch Uploadr in the future, it will automatically check your credentials, and at any time you can go back to the authorization settings to revoke the application privileges.

From here on it's simple to add a photograph to the Uploadr; you can drag and drop a photo from Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder, or select Upload > Add Photos for the Mac, or click the + icon for Windows.

In the interest of bandwidth, Uploadr will ask whether you want to resize the photograph when it is larger than 800 pixels wide (see Figure 3.5). When it comes to my own photographs, I prefer to keep them the original size on Flickr. That way if I need to edit a photo later, I've got the highest quality image possible. However, if you're using the free account, you might want to conserve some bandwidth, because large images will eat into that very quickly. The prompt explains which size works best for different purposes. However, if you're like me, you can select Don't Resize and Don't Ask Me Again.

Just like the Flickr upload form, you'll see the Tags and Privacy fields, with the addition of Title and Description in OS X and Create Set in Windows. I'll explain all this in future chapters; for now just fill in the basics.

The distinct advantage of using the Flickr Uploadr is the ability to upload more than just six photos at a time. I dumped over 300 images that I had laying around on my laptop into the application. However, when dealing with large batches of photographs, be prepared for long upload times, and many hours spent creating titles, descriptions, and tags. When the photographs share a commonality, you can use the Uploadr's batch features as a quick measure. However, you may want to add individual details, and that'll take some time.

Uploadr also informs you of your bandwidth usage for the month, and if it thinks you're going to exceed that limit with your latest batch, it will highlight the numbers of photos and overall size in red (see Figure 3.6). You'll find it easy to push this to the limit with a free account, but 2GB in the Pro Account will give you plenty of room to spare.

Once all the photographs are uploaded, you'll be prompted to visit your Flickr account to make any changes to the batch. At this point it's useful to spend a short time adding any extra tags or changing titles or descriptions. That way you don't have to remember to update anything later.

If you're an Apple Mac user, then you're in luck; Flickr has plenty of applications built for OS X, one of which is 1001, created by Adriaan Tijsseling (see the sidebar on the next spread). It doesn't just upload your photographs to Flickr, but integrates with it to provide a few other uses. You can download 1001 at

When you first launch 1001, it will request that you authorize it with Flickr, just like the other uploading tools. Clicking the blue link, as shown in Figure 3.7, will launch your Web browser and take you directly to the authentication page.

Once you've authenticated you'll see why 1001 is unique. Rather than focusing on its upload feature, you'll be thrust into its photostream viewer—the default settings displaying any recent uploads to Flickr by everyone in the community (see Figure 3.8). It's very voyeuristic, offering you an automatic way to view photos that people are uploading around the world, all in real time. For more information, see How to Use Flickr: The Digital Photography Revolution.

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