If you have been taking photos for a while you have most likely heard of flickr. Put simply flickr is an online photo sharing website where users can upload their photos and short videos to share with the rest of the world. Flickr is the largest and most active photo sharing site at this time and is the most accepted by armatures as well as pro photographers.
Uploading your sports photos is fairly strait forward. Once you have logged in you click the down arrow next to the “You” menu item at the top of the screen and then select upload photos and videos from the drop-down menu. Once you are there you click the Choose photo text which brings up a new window of what is on your local computer. Some of the photo organizers such as Windows Live Photo Gallery include a button that enables you to upload your selected photos within that application so you don’t have to login to your flickr account in your browser. Others such as Picasa have third party plug-ins you can install to give similar functionality. I would actually recommend using one of these options over the online offering flickr has built in.
Flickr offers many of the basic features of most other photo sharing sites such as organization, tags and ordering prints but it also goes beyond this allowing you to do a fair amount of editing of your photos online. You can do your normal crop, rotate, and resize that others might offer but you can also adjust the color, sharpen and fix red-eye. In addition to fixing your photos you can also use their create feature.
In the create tool box you are given a plethora of filters and options you can use to modify and play with your photos. You can add a number of shapes to your photo or add a variety of frames and text. It’s just like having a photo editing program running in your browser.
Unfortunately this editing service is provided by Picnik and not all of the features are free. If you want full access to all of the options you will have to pay a $24.95 a year fee. This also brings up the point that flickr itself has a basic plan which is absolutely free but they also provide a premium plan which costs $24.95 a year note that even though this is the same price as the picnic service it does not include the premium options available through picnic. If you do decide to upgrade your flickr account you get unlimited storage and you can also able to upload videos. If you just want to stick with the free account you are allowed to upload 100 MB worth of photos each month. Keep in mind this is calculated by uploaded data and not storage. For example say you uploaded 50 photos and that used 50 MB of your transfer limit. So if you then delete 25 of your photos off of flickr you do not get 25 MB of your monthly limit back because it is the transfer amount and not the storage amount. If you are just a casual user and don’t want to store your entire photo library on flickr you should be just fine with the free account they provide.
Flickr comes with a great way of organizing you photos but it can be a little confusing at first. You organize your photos into sets. These are what you would probably think of as folders on your computer. The only difference that I can tell is that you cannot create a new set inside of another set. You can add photos to your sets easily by just dragging and dropping the thumbnails at the bottom of the screen into the big box they provide above.
Another great feature flickr has to offer is called groups. This feature lets you send certain types of photos to the same group as other people. An example might be you and your family members setup a group for the 2008 family reunion. Now everyone with a flickr account can submit photos that they took at the family reunion to that same group. This makes it very easy for everyone to get their photos collected into one location.
Overall flickr is a cool way to share your sports photos with the rest of the photography world. There is a bit of a learning curve to get through at the beginning but once you do surpass it you will be a flickr pro in not time.
The Sports Photography Professionals