Friday, 9 July 2010

An amble through Flickr brings me to a highland cow and Thing 9

Oh goody, goody, goody! This is the Thing I've been wating for: Flickr. I luuuurrrrve photography and images and have had 'join Flickr' on my to do list for so long that it changed from 'join Picasa or Flickr' to just 'join Flickr' as this giant of the image world has slowly taken over over.

So far I have only used Flickr as a search engine for creative commons images for use on websites, so the full functionality of the site is relatively alien to me. I also haven't been very good at following the destructions, I mean  instructions, for each Thing on the Cam23 blog so this presents a good opportunity for me to follow the rules for once and look at something with fresh eyes...

...I got as far as 'Try one or more of the following searches' and I was away, lost in my own thoughts. Then I realised I had too many thoughts and would have to start writing this post before it became a novel.

So, here goes. I will take you through my Flickr amble step-by-step and think out loud as I do so...

Destruction 1: Go to and, without entering text into the search box,
click on ‘Search’
All ok so far, I get the main search screen with a blank search field. Doing well I think, so award myself with a cup of tea...

Destruction 2: Try one or more of the following searches...
Hmmm, I'll go for a place I want to visit and enter 'Lake District' and search under 'Everyone's uploads'. Not a good move. Takes ages. Tea goes cold.
Try again and narrow the search down to 'Ambleside'  . Much better: get 25,474 results in a couple of seconds.

Leave destructions and do my own thing...
Sort results by 'interesting'. That looks, well, interesting. How do they define interesting? Are images tagged that way? No idea, let's see... oh, there's a photo of a highland cow that catches my eye. What's that got to do with Ambleside?  (can't show you the photo here as 'all rights reserved' but I can link to it: Highland cow by Lune Rambler

Explore the little 'i' information button that's part of the thumbnail image. Oh, that's cool. Brings up a lightbox with extra info, including tags and I can see some of the tags, but not all of them as there is a '...'

... to find out more... click on the thumbnail of the picture to drill through to the bigger picture (no pun intended!). When I pass the mouse over the big image I can see that there is a hotspot over the cow's face and I am invited to 'give me a happy face'. OK. I will. Click on the mouseover and am taken to another user's Flickr site. I have no idea what that was about as I was expecting the cow to get a cartoon smiley face. That would have been quite fun. Maybe it is some kind of viral marketing? Answers on a postcard please...

Next I decide I want to explore the tags for this image a bit further. Mais, ou sont les tags?? I have to scroll down quite a way past all the sets and the 'plus-signed' folders on the right-hand side (really don't know what they are and look annoying to me) to find the tag list. 30+ tags. Excellent. A photographer after my own heart; see previous post on tagging. 

This is good, when I hover over the tags I can see who added them. Mostly the photographer, but also other users who seem to have put the photo into some kind of folder, or put it forward for an award? E.g. 'PlatinumHeartAward'.

Again, I don't know what that's about. I will have to do some more exploring and sign up to put my own pics on there.

Scrolling down a bit further, under the tags, there is some interesting equipment information. I can click through to stats about the camera, great for a photo-geek like me. I can also see the individual properties of the photo. Exposure, aperture etc. etc.  **rubs hands with glee**.

Having just bought a new digital SLR I used Flickr to see which camera  SirCam was using. I much admire his photos so was interested to see what equipment produced such good shots. I did in the end go for a Canon camera and was highly influenced by Flickr photos in this choice. Fickr is good for camera research. You can even see how popular a certain model is when you click on the camera in the 'additional information' section of an image (see above).

So, all that remains is for me to put my new camera into action and sign up for a Flickr account. Watch this space...

End of amble.

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