Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
sarah11918 Regular Member • Posts: 246
Re: Flickr

Jeff DLB wrote:

I use Google Photos as a tertiary backup of selected photos, but I haven't found it very conducive to posting photos or albums for other people to look at (except for selected individuals added or emailed explicitly). Perhaps I'm missing a new feature?

This is exactly why last year I decided to bite the bullet and pay for Flickr Pro. Google Photos has been an admirable catch-all-kitchen-sink emergency "happily-good-enough" quality backup, and I learned years ago to meticulously file everything into albums for my sanity, but it is just not meant for *public* viewing of photos.

I used Picasa back right around the time Google bought it, and at the time it was a local computer photo gallery program for organizing/editing. Then, they made it PicasaWeb Albums, so everything was in albums and there was amazing sync between your local file system on your hard drive and what was uploaded into public albums, all accessible from a public personal Gallery page online.

(It was actually SUCH a nice system: the gallery viewing app displayed your local file folders, and you simply toggled which individual photos were to sync publicly to your online album. So you could have a "Paris 2006" folder locally with ALL your vacation photos, and edit and sync a select few to make a public album visible from your gallery page, all just using the Picasa computer program.)

It wasn't kept up over the years, and it eventually became Google Photos which was intended to be a PRIVATE collection of ALL your photos. Can't complain about that, but a lot of us ancient users came from the "public web" days of the service so new users were (rightfully) thrilled at a great product while us old users, who had been struggling to keep our old stuff afloat via various "?noredirect" URL appendages etc. were less than thrilled. To this day, my most visited blog page is the one where I give detailed instructions about how to post a Google Photo photo to a public web forum because it's not even really set up to do *that.*

I was like a boiled frog who had figured out how to adjust to each little change over the years, but I just got tired of trying to make Google Photos something it wasn't. And, Google Photos was never a true backup because I only stored "high quality" pics for the unlimited backup. It was (and still is) a full, personal collection, all in albums (because in Picasa days, EVERYTHING was an album. There was no concept of a photo stream at all), and provided I'm never locked out of my Google account, I'll never "lose" a photo entirely. That is its main benefit, especially for early days on very cheap compact cameras or minimal quality cell phones where having the original isn't much better than a compressed copy anyway. I do pay for some Google One storage because my main machine is a Chromebook and integration with Google Drive makes it practically indistinguishable from local storage, but I couldn't afford nearly enough storage for photos at full resolution, and I'm concerned about losing even the unlimited high quality backup in June. I'm just not going to be able to put my nature photography there anymore, and will probably save Google for just cell phone going forward. (Even though in normal times I have a lot of travel/sport competition photos and videos from my cell, too, so that will go quickly...)

Though I personally am not very active on Flickr, it is a true offsite backup copy of my nature photography (and, everything else if I wanted to. Costs the same.) I do find the interface a bit clunky, but again, I'm not a heavy user so I suspect it would get better with time. But, public albums are a breeze to set up, and to embed on my own website. Additionally, I *use* Flickr a lot when I'm checking out new travel spots (in the "before times" we did a LOT of regular travel abroad) and when looking at camera models/lenses thinking about purchases. Or, in the case of what would have been my first trip to South Africa last March to see penguins, I wanted to see others' photos to see common photos taken and decide which gear to take.

So, it has provided a lot of value that way, and I decided that the combination of an unlimited backup, an established platform to share my photos publicly and the rich treasure trove of photographic information was worth supporting the site. There are some 3rd party apps that integrate with the Flickr API (I actually use "FlickFolio" on my Android phone way more than the actual native Flickr app) so I also like that Flickr is established and mainstream enough that there are extra tools to support it. Last year was the first year I paid for Pro, and I did manage to get my 5 years worth of nature photography (since I started photographing birds) up there. This year is the year (I'm telling myself!) that I'll actually curate intentionally and make some albums. Flickr solves a lot of my problems, is a great, established resource, and I was glad to contribute to keeping it going.

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