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Flickr 'liquid' design finally brings window-sized images

By dpreview staff on May 16, 2012 at 22:42 GMT

Flickr has revised its image viewing pages for the first time in several years - finally letting images expand on larger monitors. The long-awaited feature, which Flickr is calling 'liquid' design, uses the largest image it can to fit your browser window, without ever upscaling. This combines with the latest version of 'lightbox' which shows your images as large as it can on the whole screen. Sadly the best results only come for images uploaded since March 1st 2012, for which 1600 and 2048 pixel versions will have been generated.

The launch comes just as tech blog Gizmodo published a scathing criticism of Yahoo's ownership of the company. And, while the move doesn't address many of the article's concerns, it does at least make pictures look good on Flickr - for so long a glaring oversight for a dedicated photography site.

 Flickr's redesign uses larger versions of images for browsing...
 ...and still larger ones for full-screen viewing

Comments

Total comments: 48
zoomring
By zoomring (May 19, 2012)

DPreview: "The launch comes just as tech blog Gizmodo published a scathing criticism of Yahoo's ownership of the company. "

Gizmodoe: "It is a case study of what can go wrong when a nimble, innovative startup gets gobbled up by a behemoth that doesn't share its values."

Hey , DPreview, you were gobbled up by Amazon, .. you and Flickr are walking hand in hand to irrelevance, but don't worry Mysapce is waiting for you to keep you company.

1 upvote
fg888
By fg888 (May 17, 2012)

The great t rex also made some very late and minor evolution changes towards the end of his life.

7 upvotes
Erick L
By Erick L (May 17, 2012)

I still have to scroll every time on the main photo page since choosing another photo refreshes the whole page, header and all.

0 upvotes
FuzzTheKingOfTrees
By FuzzTheKingOfTrees (May 17, 2012)

Flickr should offer to upgrade your old photos for a one off fee. It wouldn't have to be much, just enough to cover the processor cycles required to convert your collection. I'm thinking less than $5, people who cared would pay.

4 upvotes
tinternaut
By tinternaut (May 17, 2012)

This is a much needed improvement for Flickr. I've just checked it out. They perhaps have a couple of glitches to iron out (was a bit odd at first on my 4:3 aspect ratio office monitor) but the end result is nice.

1 upvote
NotSteve
By NotSteve (May 17, 2012)

Too bad that article from Gizmodo was given as a point of reference. The level of writing on that site is appalling. With maybe one exception, their writers' major qualifications are ignorance, illiteracy, a short attention span and an inflated sense of self -- hence their obsession with social media. They are clueless about photography in particular (see any of their posts raving about some silly thing like a screw-on tele-extender or some such). The point of their article is to dump on Yahoo, using Flickr as an example.

Why doesn't DPReview do a round-up of the various photo sharing/storage sites? That would be a useful thing.

12 upvotes
fg888
By fg888 (May 17, 2012)

Good suggestion for dpr re the round up. I fully agree.

9 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (May 19, 2012)

I agree that the tone of the Gizmodo article was appalling. Still the information was valid. But i really don't want to be treated to more verbal insult like from that Gizmodo article.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
phototouille
By phototouille (May 17, 2012)

About time.. Zenfolio introduced this feature when they launched their service back in 2006 and they still have the best photo presentation out of all the sharing sites IMHO. It seems our vertical photos suffer because our monitors have more pixels horizontally than vertically, hence the disparity.

---
phototouille.zenfolio.com/

5 upvotes
fg888
By fg888 (May 21, 2012)

25 EUR p.a. -- for starters ... again, u pay for all this fun.

0 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (May 17, 2012)

Warts and all, one thing i like about Flickr: It quickly shows me my "most interesting" photo. Say i need a "coffee cup" for a some project, i just ask Flickr what's my most interesting "coffee cup". I can't judge my own photos well and like to see what Flickrers thought.

It is a little more complicated, sadly (but possible), to get your most viewed or most favorited photos.

I know you have different needs and may find my need obsolete to say the least.

2 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (May 17, 2012)

BTW they're going to need even higher resolution photo galleries soon, especially with iPad's 2k display and upcoming retina & 4k displays.

0 upvotes
vFunct
By vFunct (May 17, 2012)

They still need a cleaner viewer, instead of having all that crap all around a photo.

5 upvotes
TomFL
By TomFL (May 17, 2012)

When I was reviewing sites to post my photos on-line (mostly for friends and family and on-line backup) about a year and a half ago, I dismissed Flickr out of hand because of their low resolution photo display and storage.

Talk about bone headed. I cannot imagine how this feature was dropped for so long. It speaks of corporate incompetence.

I eventually went with SmugMug.

0 upvotes
fg888
By fg888 (May 17, 2012)

Thanks Tom. Apart from smug', who else did you find good?

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (May 18, 2012)

picasaweb is one of the fastest (google Bw!), with 1GB free for as many accounts one desires... Max display resolution seem limited at 2k, but better than most others till now. Mitch

0 upvotes
fg888
By fg888 (May 21, 2012)

but SmugMug = USD 40 p.a., proving the saying "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch".

0 upvotes
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (May 17, 2012)

Next up: use a REAL map interface for our geotagged images; Bing and Google make Yahoo's maps look like a joke.

7 upvotes
Jonathan Robson
By Jonathan Robson (May 16, 2012)

Now if only we could organize contacts into user defined groups instead of the predefined ones.

0 upvotes
chris maytag
By chris maytag (May 17, 2012)

...and fix the other nineteen bwazillion things that are wrong or just plain dumb. So many of us said, when Yahoo bought Flickr, that that would be the end of innovation there...and were sadly right.

Good article on the topic at http://gizmodo.com/5910223/how-yahoo-killed-flickr-and-lost-the-internet

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 17, 2012)

Thanks, Chris, for posting the link to this wonderful article on gizmodo.

1 upvote
Samuel Dilworth
By Samuel Dilworth (May 17, 2012)

Richard Butler linked to the Gizmodo article in his news item. Rude and sensationalist might describe it better than wonderful, but that's Gizmodo.

1 upvote
chris maytag
By chris maytag (May 17, 2012)

Samuel, I agree that Gizmodo is on the bottom rungs of internet content generation (I won't resort to calling them journalists), but in this case the content is correct and justified. Yahoo destroyed what was, back then, the best photo site there was, period.

0 upvotes
Guy Swarbrick
By Guy Swarbrick (May 18, 2012)

The Gizmodo article is absurd. Flickr isn't Facebook and it isn't Instagram - and thank God for that. Yes, there are problems - and Yahoo's lack of investment and innovation are an issue. But other than that, the article's a joke.

0 upvotes
dstarr3
By dstarr3 (May 16, 2012)

For horizontal and square photos, it's quite nice. Vertical photos, not so hot. But so be it. They're finally trying. This only bodes well.

1 upvote
offtraildog
By offtraildog (May 16, 2012)

tried to stay with flickr but too little, too late. changed to smugmug and am much happier.

4 upvotes
Slobodan Blagojevic
By Slobodan Blagojevic (May 16, 2012)

The real question is why would I want to post larger? To make it more attractive for thieves to still it and/or print it?

8 upvotes
hindesite
By hindesite (May 17, 2012)

ROFL. I hope you are not serious.

Perhaps for some people, there is a real interest in sharing, and less concern about being precious about ownership.

Who loses if somebody prints a photo? For many people, they just don't care, and are just happy for somebody else to see the photo.

2 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (May 17, 2012)

Have you considered that other users have different needs, or do you always think only about yourself?

0 upvotes
RPJG
By RPJG (May 17, 2012)

Seriously Slobodan (and Vlad, if you were replying to hinsesite)? As hindesite says, "most" people are probably only too happy if others view and print their photos.

If you're a professional who doesn't want your photos copied, is the best approach to post them on a site that displays only tiny images? Hardly. In that case, surely a better approach is to just watermark the images with copyright info, and post them as big as you can.

2 upvotes
Mike Deerkoski
By Mike Deerkoski (May 17, 2012)

Hi Slobodan,

We have a preference that allows you to opt-out of displaying your photos at 1600, 2048 or future sizes - it's here:
http://www.flickr.com/account/prefs/res?from=privacy

Best, Mike
Engineering @ Flickr

7 upvotes
Stig Nygaard
By Stig Nygaard (May 17, 2012)

Hi Mike Deerkoski, "Engineering @ Flickr" (Maybe you shouldn't have told, because...;-)).

Long comment - Part 1:

I think I have been waiting two years for sizes bigger than 1024px on Flickr (besides my superbig and heavy originals). And finally you introduced 1600px and 2048px wide sizes not long ago. I was really REALLY happy,... for a few minutes... Then I realized, that the new sizes are only made for photos uploaded since March 1st, and Flickr do not have any plans to create the new sizes for my older photos. What?!?...

For me, my "old" photos are just as important as the newest uploads, and the only reason I didn't really considered moving to another service in the last two years was that I thought you sooner (and expected much sooner than now) or later would make those big sizes available. And I never thought about a possibility you could implement such a thing for new uploads only, it has never been the policy of Flickr to forget about the old customers.

/Stig

3 upvotes
Stig Nygaard
By Stig Nygaard (May 17, 2012)

Hi Mike Deerkoski...

Long comment - Part 2:

Do you know if this weird decision is like "forever ever", or do you think (or know?) that it might be reconsidered soon? I know for sure that I WANT all my photos available in display sizes larger than 1024px wide. I'm told the "replace feature" doesn't solve the problem, but even if it does, this will break any external "embeddings" of my photos, so I don't consider this a real option. That means that my option is to start re-upload all my photos again, meaning I will loose all faves, all comments, all notes, and have to start over reorganizing in Sets and Collections, etc. Wait, if I loose all this, why not start from complete scratch and evaluate other options than Flickr? Not saying I will choose another service, I haven't evaluated the alternatives yet. But if I will have to re-upload anyway, I would be stupid not to evaluate alternatives to Flickr.

I hope somebody at Flickr still are evaluating this stupid decision?

/Stig

2 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (May 17, 2012)

That makes perfect sense, Stig. For me, Flickr is still the best photo sharing site out there, but it's in a downward spiral at the moment, while other sites are on the way up. If I really can't get this new feature applied to my existing portfolio without re-uploading it, what reason is there for me not to jump ship and upload my portfolio somewhere else?

2 upvotes
maiaibing
By maiaibing (May 17, 2012)

@Stig Nygaard I am also unhappy with the March 1 curfew. However, its a fact that flickr counts photos in the hundreds and hundreds og millions which surely was important for the decision. The problem is that a lot of people use flickr for free...

What I hope is that flickr remembers that it also has PAYING customers - whom they should not disappoint in this way. Clearly, it was more important for flickr to not upset its large non-unpaying crowd than doing the right thing towards its customers.

I'm not renewing my subscription if this does not change before next renewal is up.

1 upvote
Stig Nygaard
By Stig Nygaard (May 17, 2012)

@maiaibing, I have been a paying customer since 2005. Recently renewed my account; It was just 5 days before they announced the new sizes (and that they would *only* be available for new uploads)... :-/

Comment edited 38 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Mike Deerkoski
By Mike Deerkoski (May 17, 2012)

Hi Stig,

No all valid questions and concerns. When we added 5 new sizes for various parts of the site (the biggest being 1600 and 2k) we wanted to make sure we got the quality and compression right, and introduce it as soon as possible. Also, our community is rightly concerned about photo theft so we wanted to introduce gracefully and with a opt out as we did.

Absolutely, doing a backfill with originals before that date is something we will be looking into but keep in mind that this is for dozens and dozens of petabytes of data, and a big project and millions in gear to support right. So head-on: there has been no decision not to backfill, it's something that we will be looking into but please be patient. Rolling out these new sizes (and there will be more!) is orthogonal to how we take care preserve and present all of your 8 years of photos you've trusted with us. -Mike

2 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (May 17, 2012)

I agree, but posting anything to Flickr is giving it away. Like using Facebook and expecting you still have some privacy. I have a real estate developer who grabs my photos from Flickr and then denies it, so I post small images, watermark and live with it. No, it is not practical to take legal action. The lesson? Even if an image cannot be printed as a 40x60, there is still money to be made.

0 upvotes
Stig Nygaard
By Stig Nygaard (May 17, 2012)

Hi Mike Deerkoski,

Thanks so much for the answer. I will be patient for some time and keep my fingers crossed for you making the right decision to backfill :-)

0 upvotes
migus
By migus (May 18, 2012)

You've got many options in choosing your desired showcase res, from nearly null --postal stamp size, as unfortunately many pros use to defend their living-- to large, but heavily compressed and WM-ed. However, the rest of us (95-98%) should be free to display our snaps in full glory.

Today's cameras record 12-50Mpix; screens are still somewhat lagging between 2 and 4Mpix, with rare exceptions above 9Mpix. But mostly the s/w cripples it all, far below what the h/w delivers since a decade.

0 upvotes
Mike Deerkoski
By Mike Deerkoski (May 18, 2012)

All Flickr customers can store their orginals with us. Pro customers have access to those orginals (with an opt-out). Up to 50MB for pro and 30MB for Free users. We generate 12 downsized versions, including now 2k and 1600, of those photos for all customers (free and pro) and provide through the api (unless you opt-out) and through various parts of the site. Pro customers can opt-out of access to 1600, 2048 or 'best' (future larger sizes at Flickr)

0 upvotes
stingo
By stingo (May 22, 2012)

Mike Deerkoski,
Thanks for your responses. I am also concerned with the exactly the problem described by Stig. However, i do not exactly understand why it would be difficult for flickr to allow a user manually regenerate missing sizes. I can see doing it automatically for all photos is a lot of load but it is much much less load to allow a user to do it. Mostly pro users are interested to have these sizes and even not all of them. There should be no problem to allow user to generate missing sizes for their photos. I just paid today to flickr for 2 years pro account and waiting for this feature. Thanks.

0 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (May 16, 2012)

It does work for landscape orientation photos, but doesn't work too well for portrait orientation photos. Still, it's a nice upgrade. My photos are meant to be viewed super size, and I appreciate Flickr makes my photos look better now.

I just wish in the photostream view will be upgraded to "justified view."

0 upvotes
brliv
By brliv (May 16, 2012)

I noticed you had to scroll to view verticals. I believe they have fixed this today.

2 upvotes
citizenlouie
By citizenlouie (May 17, 2012)

Yes, they just did! That's so great. And they center-aligned the portrait photo also. It looks so much better. Thanks. :-)

2 upvotes
Mike Deerkoski
By Mike Deerkoski (May 17, 2012)

Thanks! The team is listening to feedback.

1 upvote
migus
By migus (May 18, 2012)

How big is big? Is better good enough?
While a good and overdue step forth, likely driven by the new iPad resolution, still most photogs and GAs work on 27-30" 4Mpix screens: That's 25% more x-res than 2k.
Next, Apple's preparing notebook screens with x=2880 and likely higher monitors, thus pushing a laggard industry after decades of "good enough" <100dpi screens. (i'm no Apple fan though)

Perhaps still called 'exotic', some of us were fortunate to use since nearly a decade IBM's 9Mpix T220/1, later OEMed to Viewsonic and Yiama
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_T220/T221_LCD_monitors

Mike: We appreciate your progress. Please consider a more scalable future, at least up 4k, if not 8k. In terms of storage and Bw it still takes less then Vimeos HD videos :-)
Those concerned about copyright theft have multiple options open, incl. not showcasing their work at all... This is no excuse to limit the future of all the rest.
Thanks, Mitch

0 upvotes
D1N0
By D1N0 (May 16, 2012)

And I thought something was wrong with my zoom level.

1 upvote
Total comments: 48