Digital Photos

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Barry's Flickr Badge

Flickr is a photo sharing website and an online community platform. It has become one of the most popular websites for anyone who uses digital photos and the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. A major reason for its popularity has been the tagging features that allow you to search for photos from various users who have used similar tags.

With a free Flickr account you can upload 100MB of photos each month. This sounds as though they are providing you with that amount of server space, but it is actually a bandwidth limit. Each month you can upload that amount regardless of whether you used all of the bandwidth in a previous month or whether you have deleted any pictures.

I started with a free account, but upgraded to a Pro account after a few months. This is one of the very few web services that I have ever paid for. I could have survived with the free account, but for less than $25 per year I now get the following:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Unlimited uploads
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Unlimited sets (for organizing similar pictures)
  • Permanent archiving of high resolution images
  • Ad-free browsing and sharing

You can order prints (in the U.S.) and get them in the mail or at your local Target, and you can control whether others are able to print your photos or not. You can also control whether your photos are available for viewing by the public or just your invited guests.

You can now choose to license the photos you upload to Flickr under a Creative Commons license. One of the best parts of Flickr is the open API. This allows any interested (and skilled) user to develop tools that can be used with Flickr.

One thing that has great potential for academic use is the embedded notes feature. I have seen it used very effectively for describing parts of a painting in an Art History class, and have no doubts that it can be used in many creative ways. Click on the photo below to open it in Flickr to see the notes fields.

family photo with notes

Other goodies:

Using Flickr is a great way to manage your photos. You can access them from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. You can link to them easily to have them appear in blog posts (like this one) or wikis or any other kind of web page (including inside your LMS). In short, it is a great resource and I’m completely sold on it.

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Picnik.com provides a free, powerful, and very user-friendly online photo editor.

Picnik photo editor
For example, the borders on the photo above were added at Picnik. You can perform many different functions there, without even creating one of their free accounts. It integrates nicely with your Flickr account or other online photo services, or you can simply upload and re-save photos from your computer.

More info about picnik.com here.

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FotoFlexer.com is a very new, very interesting online photo editor that integrates with your photos on Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, and other places. FotoFlexer features advanced retouch, coloring and distortion tools. You can remove blemishes, change skin and hair color, morph photos, change backgrounds, and much, much more. As with Picnik, FotoFlexer works in your web browser – no download and installation required.

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