March 1, 2010
I’ve yet to see an answer to my main question about the deal: how will this affect the relationship between Flickr and Picnik? It’s been posed in several places, including the comments on Picnik’s post about the acquisition.
When I’m using my Flickr account and click to edit one of my photos, it’s Picnik that starts up. Apart from wishing that it would start up rather faster, I’m happy with Picnik.
January 3, 2010
Around the holidays, and a few other times I year, I want to have some photos on paper as well as on the web. On the web mainly means my Flickr photostream. I’ve used various services (Shutterfly, Snapfish, etc.) for printing, with no clear winner emerging.
More recently, I used the Order Prints button that I see above each of my photos at Flickr. I had no complaints about the quality, the price, or the few days wait before the prints arrived.
Then, just before the 2009 holiday season, Flickr partnered with Snapfish. It’s perhaps for that reason that square prints are no longer available. That’s bad news since, as you can see, I like to do the occasional crop to square. Another difference came from my need to get prints quickly.
The need for speed pushed me toward a Flickr/Snapfish/Walgreens print. Snapfish partners with retailers such as Walgreens on the output (prints) end, just as it partners with Flickr on the input (jpgs) end. So I could pick up prints at a reasonably close Walgreens.
The experience with Snapgreens wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I was supposed to get an email when my prints were ready to pick up, but I never did. So I called the store to check, then went to get the prints, and they were fine. They ended up costing a few bucks, rather as if I’d had them mailed rather than driven myself to a store to get them, but that didn’t seem too bad.
On the other hand, I’m sure that there are better paths to printing than Flickr/Snapfish/Walgreens. For example, I drove past a CVS or three (or more) on my way to the Walgreens, and I could have just put the jpgs on a USB, stopped in at CVS, and printed the photos. The prints might well have turned out just as well – I didn’t do the experiment.
Next time I need photos printed, I think that Ritz Camera will get my business. They have a location a few miles away, and it shares a parking lot with the Trader Joe’s nearest me. I’ve had good service from other Ritz locations in the past. I also admire Ritz as a specialist amidst more generalist big-box (Best Buy) and big-URL (Amazon) competitors.
And Ritz do square prints. To be more specific, 6×6 prints, for which I already have some inexpensive frames from IKEA.
More when I actually travel the Ritz Road…
September 12, 2009
Washington DC was a lot of fun over the last few days. Since I expect to be spending a lot of time in and around the capital (if not the Capitol) over the years to come, it hereby joins the elite ranks of things that have their own category on this blog.
I found DC to be a very photogenic city, even though we’re at the opposite end of the year from spring, the season in which it is reputed to be at its best. I particularly loved the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. I refer to, and loved, both the building itself and the contents.
I asked very respectfully on the way in whether photography was permitted within the museum: without flash, of course. I was told that it was permitted with flash (but with some additional and, to me, reasonable restrictions). So I snapped away happily, but without flash, which I consider to be intrusive inside museums (and in many other places).
In contrast, when I tried to take a photo of the Thurgood Marshall building, I was told that it was not allowed. I may construct a grumble later, but right now it’s time to head back to Boston.
September 7, 2009
This is the first of the photos taken with the new G1 phone to make it to my Flickr account. It’s good to be able to carry a phone and a camera (and other things) in one device, and to be able to upload directly from said device (I used Pixelpipe).
But it isn’t quite as good as it might be, for a couple of reasons. First, the screen on the G1 isn’t good enough for me to decide which photos are Flickr-worthy. It’s not a question of space on Flickr (which is unlimited with a Pro account), I just like to be somewhat selective about what’s in my photostream. Most photos I take are obviously unworthy, a few are obviously worthy, but in many cases it isn’t clear from the G1 screen.
Second, I was hoping that since the G1 has a GPS, it would automatically GPS-tag each photo. I wonder if there’s a way to make this happen?
October 23, 2008
If you have a new* Flickr Pro account, you can get a free 10-pack of Moo minicards. The image is a minicard-proportioned crop of one of my photos. Feel free to use it, or any of the other minicard crops in my MooMini4U photoset.
Even if you don’t have a Flickr account, MOO MiniCards are cool, and you are still welcome to use my crops.
More MooCoolness to be posted here soon…
*I’m not sure exactly what new means here. Follow the link and see whether you get free minicards. That’s what I did, and I did
September 29, 2008
September 18, 2008
This post was prompted by a recent conversations with friends who are considering this question, and by a recent post by Frederic at ReadWriteWeb. Frederic compares 10 services, while acknowledging that there are many more. He provides a good comparison between the 10, with a service/feature table and a couple of paragraphs on each of the 10.
I’ll complement Frederic’s post by focusing on user actions and priorities, rather than on services and features. I’ll start with the question: what do you want to do? I suggest that the following are among the most important actions for many of us.
- Get started quickly, and then be able easily to work with the service, rather than having to spend time and effort working the service out. I’ve put ease of use at the top of the list, but it ease of use should flow down to the other items; in other words, everything else on the list should be easy, not just possible.
- Share photos with others.
- Specify who should, or should not, be able to see particular photos. This is the other side of the sharing coin. Sharing is important, and should be easy. But not sharing everything with everyone may also be important, and should also be easy.
- Create stuff, such as prints and books, from the online photos.
Central to this list are the second and third points: the two sides of the sharing coin. If we take these as our twin starting points, we might quickly arrive at the conclusion that the service you should use is the one your friends and family use. If the service already knows about them, you can identify them as people with whom you want to share. Hence you can share photos of, say, your kids, with them, without having to make them visible to everyone on the web.
That suggests that, if you’re looking for an online photo service, you should use the one your community already uses. It may of course be more complicated than that. You probably have multiple communities; to take the example of one friend, I’m on Flickr, but the childcare we used to send our daughters to has a “room” on Snapfish.
I won’t even mention some of the other complications. Frederic covers some of them. Having contrasted his post with mine, I’ll finish on a note we can sing together. Flickr is the one to beat, and, for many of us, it has yet to be beaten.
September 15, 2008
Now, I am of a anxious nature, and eager to avoid a one-way trip to Guantánamo Bay, and Uncle Sam,who of course owns US post offices, is of a suspicious nature these days. So I asked the very pleasant person who served me if I might be allowed to photograph the boxes.
She told me that permission was required to take photos in Post Offices. I asked who I needed permission from, she told me that it was the manager, went to ask said manager, and returned a minute later to say that permission had been granted.
After snapping the PO boxes, I went to the nearby and recently-renovated Roslindale Community Center. As an aside about community/public access, shouldn’t a community center have a web site? There are a few details on various Boston.gov pages, but I was unable to find a site that told me about services, hours, etc.
I went in, asked if I could take some photos, was told that I could and asked why I wanted to. I took one of the front desk (and no, I’m not sure why the word of the day was venal). I also took one outside, although I didn’t feel I had to ask permission to do that. (I actually took more than that, but only posted those two to Flickr. And no, the map image isn’t here by mistake in place of either of them; it’s from Boston.gov).
On a roll, and having some books to return, it was on to the library. There, I was told that I was not allowed to take pictures inside the library without permission from HQ. I was given a phone number there. I didn’t call the number. Instead, I looked up the photography policy on the BPL web site: We are happy to have you take photographs of our buildings for your enjoyment but… (follow the link to see the restrictions; they seem rather reasonable to me). Anyway, I contented myself with taking a photo of the outside of the library.
It has since occurred to me that I should go to the USPS site to seek the Post Office’s official photography policy, but I find it hard to find simple information (such as the postage to airmail a birthday card to one’s mother in the UK) at that site. But that’s another post…
August 19, 2008
I was initially flattered, then saw that there are over a hundred lobsterish photos associated with the story, then saw that most of them are very good and was flattered again. The NowPublic people didn’t need to ask permission: on Flickr, as here, I use the Creative Commons Attribution license.
June 22, 2008
I tried to get good photos of two of my current favorite bad signs, which happen to be less than a hundred yards apart in Jamaica Plain. Here’s one. Due to the setup of the sign and the driveway, I could have got a good shot of the sign itself or of the reason it’s a bad sign. Since this photo is a compromise that makes clear neither the sign nor the reason for its badness, I’ll explain. The sign says “Please do not block driveway. 24 hr access.” A glance at the car, its tires, and the vegetation around and in front of it suggests that the car hasn’t moved in 24 months, let alone 24 hours.
My attempts to capture the other sign were even less successful. It’s a sign that proclaims that “Boston police seek aggressive drivers.” It’s on the District E-13 police station. I’m wondering how many people have gone in there saying something like, “I’m an aggressive driver and I’d like to apply for the job.”
I thought it unwise to get to take a photo of that sign from too close. That would have put me either in the middle of Washington Street, which would have meant trouble with traffic, or right next to the sign itself and hence the station, which might have meant trouble with the police. “Ridicule of District E-13, eh? We don’t take kindly to people shooting that film.”
So I remain free to take further bad photos.