Getting More Out Of Flickr

Flickr was a Web 2.0 tool that initially did not grab me because I didn’t get the idea of sharing photos online. Now I can’t live without Flickr, and it offers so much, that it is definitely worth taking the time to learn how to use more effectively.

If you are new to Flickr I strongly recommend that you check out Josh Lowensohn’s Newbie’s Guide to Flickr and Alan Levine’s What we can do with Flickr (especially the links below the photo).

Copyright Free Images

Most of the photos I use on my websites are sourced from Flickr Creative Commons images using FlickrCC. Remember when using photos from Flickr:

  • To check their license and only use in a manner stated in their license
  • “All rights reserved” means you can not use the photo without permission from the author
  • There are a range of different Creative commons licenses; each impose different restrictions on how you use the images. I strongly recommend that you read Skellie’s A Complete Guide to Finding and Using Flickr Images for an excellent overview of creative commons licenses.
  • All images licensed under Creative commons means that you are required to credit the author with a link back to their profile. You do this by inserting below the photo the link e.g. Photo by Sue Waters.

Making Friends

The benefit of making Friends on Flickr (Flickr calls them contacts) is you learn about the cool stuff your friends are getting up to e.g. snowman, playing with Santa in Second Life, the “must have” computer mouse (Darren – I think you need some friends).


Best way of seeing the latest photos from your friends is to subscribe to the RSS feed from photos from your friends using your Feed Reader.


Remember the Conversation

We should also remember that Flickr is not just about photos, like blogs, the conversations are important. Take the time to write comment below photos that interest you because it is important to participate in other people’s spaces. But to be effective at this with Flickr I suggest you:

  1. Subscribe to recent activities on your photos using your Feed Reader– this lets you know when people write comments on your photos so you can respond back to comments quickly.
  2. Subscribe to updates on photos you’ve commented on using your Feed Reader – so you are advised when people make further comments so you can choose whether you want to respond back.


Organising Photos

If you use Flickr a lot it is definitely worth paying for a Pro Account because it only costs US$24.95 per year for lots of extra benefits e.g. unlimited Sets and Collections for organising photos.

The difference between a set and a collection is a set contains photos whereas collection contains sets e.g. I may have my photos arranged into sets called Snowman, Christmas trees, Christmas Decorations and then have all these sets organised in a Collection called Christmas.


Editing Photos

Flickr has lots of great options for editing your photos by:



Flickr has so many features that it is impossible to cover them all in a blog post. Please let us know your tips for getting more out of Flickr or if you use another photosharing website, what do you like about the site you use.

Quick And Easy Ways To Get More Out Of Images

Sarah Stewart (Sarah’s Musings) commented on my These Are My Favourite Tools! What Are Yours? post that as a result of my posts on presentation skills she has discovered FlickR and have started using the images on blog and in presentations but she is finding it time consuming finding images. What she would like is advice on quick and easy ways of finding images that you are allowed to use.

So here are some of my suggestions:

Search for images using FlickrCC

FlickrCC is the best online tool I have found for quickly searching creative common Flickr photos. It is considerably faster than using FlickrStorm, Creative Commons Image Search or the creative commons advanced search at Flickr. Unlike the other search options FlickrCC also provides facilities to edit the image using their online editing tool – click on this link to view their image editing options.


Thanks to Judy O’Connell (Hey Jude) for telling me about FlickrCC! Check out Judy’s post on Find Free Images Online – My List for options other than using Flickr creative commons photos. I personally prefer using Flickr creative commons photos because there are more photos at Flickr so I am more likely to find photos faster.

Remember that when you use Creative Commons images you are allowed to use these provided you follow the terms specified by their Creative Commons license. In simple terms you are allowed to use these images provided you credit the original source by linking back to that source – you need to refer to Flickr Creative Commons information for a more detailed explanation as there are a range of different licenses with different restrictions.

Creating your own images

There are several ways you can create your own images:

1. Start building up your own collection of photos
I now tend to carry my camera wherever I go and like to share my photos online at Flickr.

2. Use an editing tool to create your own images
I use SnagIT to take screen shots of web pages, software applications or add check information to photos (my screen shot of FlickrCC above was created using SnagIT)

3. Use an image creating tool to create images
I love using fd’s Flickr Toys to remix photos into lots of different images like Mosaics etc.

However today I decided to check out Alan Levine (CogDog) Web 2.0 Gem Starter List because I knew Alan was bound to have some cool tools for editing photos (he loves photos). As a result I came across Dumpr which is a lot better than fd’s Flickr Toys. Here is a same of the different photos I created using Dumpr (can use photos from your computer, Flickr, a Web 2.0 mashup or URL)


The other tool that Alan suggested that I liked was spell with Flickr.



Hopefully you find these tools save you time. Please let me know if you have any similar photo editing, image creation or photo searching tools that I should check out.

My Everyday Tools

In the last couple of days I have noticed people blogging on tools that I have been using for quite awhile – I assumed that everyone knew about them – wrong assumption. So I thought today I would post about tools that I use all the time:

1. SnagIt snagit2

Don’t care that it costs money – was worth every cent – they let you download and trial this software for a month – give it a go. Thanks Evil Sue for putting me onto this great screen capture software. This is how I create all the great “How-to-do” images for my web sites (check out “how to create instructional videos” must transfer this to Mobile Technology in TAFE wiki).

2. Microsoft LiveWriter live

All my blog posts are written using LiveWriter. Definitely much quicker and easy than using my blog dashboard. Thanks Frances for getting me to try it. If you have not tried LiveWriter – TRY IT

3. Flickr Creative Commons photos, Lynetter’s Interesting Snippets, Flickr Storm

I use these to locate photos that I can legally use. Lynetter’s Interesting Snippets contains great images with excellent quotes that I have been using for some of my different web sites. These snippets have inspired me to create some of my own. [Snippet by Lynetter].

If you do not have your own Flickr account (online photosharing website), I recommend you get one – here are some of the reasons why I have a Flickr account.


4. fd’s Flickr Toys

This site has so many excellent toys that you can use to create posters, badges , mosaics etc from Flickr photos. Thanks Robyn for putting me onto Flickr toys and Storm.

This is a magazine cover that I created using Flickr Toys. Yes – we can all agree that I am not that creative – so I shall not be leaving my day job yet – tip if you want the photo to work it needs to be 619 pixels wide by 800 pixels high.

5. Audacity, MovieMaker and SuperC

I use Audacity for creating audio podcasts, MovieMaker for my video podcast (would like to use a Mac for video – but that is a really long story) and SuperC for converting my videos from .wmv to .mp4 format (less problems when I upload to my podcast site). Here are my instructions on “how to create audio podcasts“, “how to create video podcasts” and “how to convert .wmv to .mp4“.

If you have time, please give me your opinion on which tool to use – screencasting software, Photostory or MovieMaker (definitely worth time to read this post and the comments because of the differing in opinion by my readers).

6. Managing my online World

I use Skype, Google Talk, Twitter, iGoogle, Google Reader and to manage my world online. My preferred method of communication is now through chat – have to admit Google Talk is now my favorite because you can search gmail and chat history to easy locate information you discussed.

I am really into my Personalised Google Home page because the homepage makes it easier to manage my online world. Also there are so many Gadgets (Widgets) you can add to your Google Homepage (just click on add more stuff).

If you liked this post on My Everyday Tools then I suggest you read my post on Tools of the Trade (about Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, delicious, blogs that I recommend every lecturer should use and why. I also suggests ways they can use these tools with students).

Read my detailed tips for managing your World online if you want to know more.

Flickr…ing – the light switches on

When I go to professional development (PD) it is really important to promote the “What’s in it for me” factor with me – if this does not happen it is really hard to get me to want to engage with what ever it is I am being shown. Flickr is a classic example of this – while many of my friends are into using Flickr as a photosharing service and it had been demonstrated in a PD session – it was never a service that engaged me.

Unlike the younger generation (lets just say that I have been 21 for years) I have no desire to share all my family and holidays online (that is why I have great photo albums). Nor do I want to store my photos on Flickr and then link to my other websites (e.g. Mobile Technology in TAFE wiki) – really what is the point – just my work for me – when the sites have sufficient storage room for my photos.

This has all changed – lately I have been taking a lot of photos from conferences and PD workshops and others have been asking me to send them copies. After coming back from the Pilbara I have been sitting pondering how I was going to get the photos to Karen Higgins at Pilbara TAFE when reading a post on Mosaic Maker by Robyn Jay from NSW Learnscope gave me the answer that was sitting on my computer all the time – Flickr .

So last night I finally got properly into using my Flickr account. I uploaded all my photos from the Pilbara into my account and then sorted them into sets. Now Karen can quickly work through the photos and select the ones she wants to use. Also I now plan to upload more from other events so others can choose the ones they want.

Finally for a bit of fun I checked out the great fd’s flickr toys that Robyn talked about in her post on Mosaic Maker. I decided to give the Motivator a go – which you can use to create a motivational poster from your Flickr photos – fantastic fun and yes I know I am definitely not very creative. Thanks yet again, Robyn, for all the mentoring you give me (and when often you do not realise it.