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This is the photography blog for photographer and writer David Moore. He's based in Santa Fe, New Mexico but speaks with a funny accent.

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    December 20th, 2007

    How to use Flickr

    It’s been out a while, but I thought I’d bring this Online Photographer article to your attention, if you’ve not seen it.

    Written by New York Times photographer Howard French, it outlines how he uses Flickr as a professional, and counters some of the criticism he gets from fellow pros, who argue it’s a site full of rubbish.

    One key point French makes is that he’s built up a collection of good Contacts, and that they’re his way in to finding quality material. That’s certainly what I spend most of my time on Flickr doing – checking out my contacts’ new photos, and looking through Groups to which I belong.

    Related to that, I should point people to the excellent Picture Post blog, run by Brian Naughton, which takes a different approach. He searches for particular keywords, and chooses the best examples of each. It’s a great way to be check out great work you’d not normally see.

    Flickr as a medium

    An excellent comment to Howard French’s post raises another point:

    Flickr is a world of miniatures. The photos are displayed in fairly low resolution on computer monitors in the 1024×768 pixel range (plus or minus). That means that the actual size of the photos is quite small—smaller than a 6×4 print for example.

    “Photographers that excel at producing miniatures excel on flickr. Strong colour saturation, strong geometric patterns and eye-catching moments are the elements of success in this medium. Images that are designed for reproduction on large canvasses may not catch the eye of the flickr viewer.

    The images that you see on people’s homepages or in your contacts list are much smaller than the equivalent of 6×4 – more like 75px square. I’ve noticed that the more detailed pictures I’ve put up on my Flickr feed – ones requiring some careful study – tend to get much lower viewing figures because they don’t ‘read’ very well when reduced in size.

    Resource and inspiration

    My thoughts on Flickr are that it’s a great place for people to explore their interest in photography in a supportive environment. The ability to get instant feedback from the community is fantastic, as is the scope for exposing yourself to a wide range of inspiring work.


     

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