Flickr is a great place for the new amateur, the accelerated semi-pro photographer, and working professional photographer. The flickr community is vast and amazing and I never get bored of looking at images from my contacts in the community.
I have had a flickr account since July 14, 2004. The first shot I posted was from my Samsung cameraphone of two wonderfully charming young girls named Branwen and Rhianon who are the children of my good friend Alan. I now have over 1200 images (which is not that many compared to other flickr users) and over 250 contacts. I belong to a few hundred groups and administer five, including a color management group and a group devoted to digital printing. Images are put into sets and collections of sets to make it easier to organize. I currently have 40 sets. I also have a Pro Account which gives me unlimited storage, uploads, bandwidth, and sets, as well as permanent archiving, and ad-free browsing and sharing. Amazingly, it only costs $24.95/year.
I often just love to explore and see if I can find an image of something abstract or seemingly rare. For instance, the other day I entered “Babirusa” and found dozens of images of the wonderful pig-like animal native to Sulawesi. I also looked for images of Latvia (a country I have always wanted to visit and came across some amazing landscapes by marika_te).
Because my wife and I own a 1965 classic 122s model Volvo, I recently looked to see if there were any images of that particular model on the site. Amazingly, I found over 100 images and several groups devoted to vintage Volvos.
One of the most popular groups is the Shooting to Learn Group, which is devoted to learning and exploring the photographic craft. The group is moderated by Dawn Perry and hosts assignments ranging from specific techniques to monthly photo contests. It’s an excellent resource for developing your photographic skills.
I also really enjoy looking at my favorite images from other flickr members. Images range from the very simple to the extraordinarily complex and are a constant source of inspiration. It’s amazing what we all photograph.
If you are worried about copyright, the default setting for all uploads is All Rights Reserved. If you wish you can attribute a Creative Commons license to protect and authorize the usage of your images.
I continue to be amazed by flickr, and I have only begun to scratch the surface. There is always something new and interesting being developed. The latest feature is called Places where you can browse images which have been Geotagged for a particular city. I searched for Riga, the capital of Latvia and found some amazing images from architecture to urban landscapes.
In my opinion, Flickr represents the future of the digital imaging community. It is a wonderful world for photographers, and if you haven’t yet visited, I would encourage you to do so.