Thank You, Flickr! Hello Google Photos!

When Flickr was acquired by Smugmug, I was happy. Rather than comparing between the two services, they finally under one team, even Flickr and Smugmug are still two separated services. I believe that Smugmug will work hard and listen to Flickr community to bring Flickr back with better features.

But, I decided to leave Flickr for Google Photos. Thank you, Flickr!

Flickr and I

Before Instagram era, or mobile-first photo sharing becomes so popular, Flickr was on the top service if it’s referring to photos/photography. Especially when there was Yahoo behind it.

I created my personal Flickr account back in 2004 — it’s 15 years ago — and I started uploading and sharing photos. When I was having close discussion with Public Communication Center of Ministry of Health and they asked me what kind of platform to choose to share photos, I recommended Flickr. The best part is they’re still using it until now!

Thomas Arie presenting flickr #ytownhall
Me sharing about Flickr during Yahoo Community Townhall event in May 2011 in Jakarta. I even still have the presentation slides with me. Thank you, Della and Gage!

Dear Flickr,

Probably, it’s just me. But, I wish you offer better experiences in — in my opinion — some of the key features.

First, help me to organise my thousand of photos. For me, it’s not that easy to put multiple photos into multiple albums. I am not sure about how you handle exactly-the-same photos, or…. duplicate photos. As far as I remember, it will be treated as different photos.

I wish you can also help me to organise my uploaded photos… automagically. There are lots of faces in my photos. Help me to organise them by faces so that I can easily and quickly find photos of my wife, my sister, and also my friends.

I know that sometimes it’s not about you. But, I feel that it’s slow to send my photos to you. I know, it’s also because you can also secure my photos in their original sizes.

I will stop talking now. I don’t hate you at all. I need something that works for me better now.

Find and Remove Duplicate Photos on Flickr

I’m organising my Flickr photos and want to find the easy way to remove duplicate photos that are already in or outside albums. Flickr does not offer the simple tool to work on this task. After searching for a while, there is Flickr Dup Finder 2. It’s a simple tool to search for duplicates and remove them. It’s utilising Flickr’s API and it works really good. At least for now, I already found more than 1,600 duplicate photos.

iPhone 7 Plus Sample Photos

iPhone 7 Plus Sample Photos (from the Titans-Vikings Game) by Sports Illustrated. Since I had my first iPhone — it was iPhone 4, I upgraded to iPhone 5. The recent iPhone 7 Plus offers a great features for the camera.

The World's Largest Photo: Panorama of Mont Blanc

Meet the world’s largest photo taken by Filippo Blengini. For complete background story, you can read the blog post at 500px. To enjoy the full photo, go directly to in2white.com.

Snapjoy: Backup and organize your photos


As a person who loves to photography, I think Snapjoy is an answer to some problems. What is Snapjoy? It’s a service that will help you organize your photos. The word ‘organize’ here is about putting photos you’ve uploaded to multiple services in one place, and organize them. Anyway, I like its name: ‘snap’ and ‘joy’.
There are a lot of tools and services that deals with photos. There are many ways to take photos (digital cameras and mobile devies), and to share photos (you can name services that put photos as their primary contents). But, there are problems:

  • It takes time to have them organised in one place. I like having my photos uploaded to Flickr. I like sharing photos using Instagram. Some of you might also live to have your photos stored to Google Picasa. Some photos go to one service, and the others go to another services. They’re all might be distributed.
  • Not all services are integrated one another. If I upload a my photo to Instagram, I can directly upload it to Flickr for example. But, I don’t this for some reasons.
  • Backup, and backup. Photos are memories. I want to keep it safe. Having them stored in a hardrive is great, but if you have lots of photos, it takes more effort to have them organised and backed up. Yes, there is a service like Backupify that will help you backup your photos from Flickr to storage service. It’s an option.

Having valuable contents backed up and distributed in multiple locations is a good scenario. But, having all of them organised is another thing to think about.

Snapjoy answers some of these problems. By having an account at Snapjoy — it’s free –, you will be able to import (well, I think it can be defined as “backup” too) all you photos from multiple services. Currently, you can import  your Instagram, Flickr, and Google Picasa photos. The process is easy. Connect your Snapjoy to those services, and hit the import button.
I tried to import my Instagram photos and it took less than 5 minutes to have around 500 Instagram photos transfered to Snapjoy. And, a new “Instagram” album is created automatically. All your photos will be stored by Snapjoy (and it utilises Amazon Simple Storage Service). So, you have the copy of all photos somewhere else.
The good thing is that Snapjoy will also help you organize them. I personally like the way Snapjoy display the photo archive. There are few things that can be done to have it better like keeping the photo information (It seems that photo tags are not imported).
After you have your photos managed by Snapjoy, you can enjoy some other features offered. I like the its “Remember When…”. Basically, it’s just shuffling photos in the collection. It might be easy to recognise photos taken last week, or last month. But, if you want to challenge your memory, try to recognise photo taken three or four years ago.
All imported photos are stored privately by default. You can later share them with friends. Interesting to see its upcoming social features.
It’s a free service now, and I think it will not be free forever. There are some technical costs that have to paid. But, as long as it offers people who love to keep their valuable memories something that they really need, I think people will be. Well, I don’t mind paying for a good service/product. I know that Snapjoy will improve its service. I personally would like to have these features:

  • Options to export all photos to other backup service. If it’s a paid feature, I don’t mind. So, Snapjoy will be the “bridge” between service. It’s already a bridge, but making connection to another service is also cool.
  • Keep the photo information during the import.
  • Keep the original photo size. I’m not sure which photos imported when it has multiple sizes. Having the original photos imported should be great.

Anyway, this service is not only about importing. You can also upload your photos directly there. You can upload from the web, or using and desktop uploader called “Shoebox“. My Flickr photo import is still processing. Let’s see the results later.

BlackBerry Torch 9860 Sample Photos

I have been using this BlackBerry Torch 9860 (also known as Monza) for about 2 months. So far, I’m enjoying it even I don’t use all BlackBerry features. Well, I only use features like BlackBerry Messenger, email, internet browser, social networking applications, and of course… camera!
I will not write the whole technical specifications. You can go to GSM Arena, and read the details. About the camera, it’s equipped with 5 MP. I have to say that the photo quality is not bad at all. When I look at photos taken using BlackBerry, I usually didn’t expect much on the quality. On this Monza, I’m really impressed. It’s really good.
Here are some photos taken using BlackBerry Torch 9860. All photos are directly uploaded to Flickr without any extra editing processes.
Untitled
Untitled

Nokia N9 Sample Photos

I love photography.
After using some different cameras (DSLR and phone camera), I think  this year I spend more time using mobile phone, not the DSLR. Sometime, I almost forgot that I still have Canon 450D. After having Nokia N9 in my hands, I wanted to test its camera features, just like what I did with my previous Nokia N8.

Nokia N9 does not have the best camera specifications compared to other mobile phone products (with camera). But, for a mobile photography, the photo quality is pretty good. Let’s look at Nokia N9 camera specifications:

  • 8 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics
  • Wide-angle lens, true 16:9 imaging
  • Large lens aperture F2.2 for better and faster photos in low light conditions
  • Dual LED flash
  • Digital shutter, continuous autofocus, touch-to-focus and exposure lock
  • Focal length: 3.77mm / 28mm, F number/Aperture: F2.2
  • Still images file format: JPEG/EXIF/XMP
  • Digital zoom up to 4x for still images and video

Now, let’s see how some photos taken using Nokia N9. These photos are not edited at all. Nokia N9 has also a simple photo editor to crop, rotate, brightness, and contrast, etc. I only captured some photos, and send to Flickr directly from the phone using built-in upload to Flickr feature.

Flickr: Photo Sharing or Photo Storage Service?

If you read this blog, or meet me in person, you probably know me as Flickr fan. Yes, among services owned by Yahoo!, Flickr is one of my favorite. I have friends who love to use Flickr and also bring some people to Flickr. So far, they’re enjoying it. Well, at least I heard some positive feedbacks from them. Some friends also bought/renewed their Flickr Pro account and they asked me to buy them Flickr gifts.
But, it’s 2011 now. Many photography-related services flourish. To refresh your memories, let’s take a look at 500px, Instagram, or picplz for example. And, I’m sure more to come to the game.
Butterfly
I asked myself recently: How do I use Flickr? Is it as photo sharing, or simply as a photo storage service? You can find out a bit about how I use Flickr by watching a short presentation during Yahoo! Community Town Hall few months ago. With many other options to share photos these days (again, mind the word “share”) here, I feel that Flickr is more photo storage for me. I do actively share and upload photos to Flickr. But, it’s not only about having photos uploaded there. It’s also about social web interaction.

The magic feature: Share to Flickr

Look at some applications/services that put photos as its primary contents. Many of them has “Share to Flickr” feature. Photos are shared to Flickr directly. Easily. But, where the discussion takes place? Is it on Flickr? May be not.

The way people enjoy photos

06052011315A simple question: how do you enjoy Flickr photos? There are some ways: visiting the website from the desktop, from Flickr mobile version, or using mobile applications. Even I have Flickr for iPhone, I rarely enjoying the photostream. I feel that it’s not something I’m enjoying. Try to fire up your Flickr for iPhone apps, and experience yourself. If you have your photos delivered to many services e.g. Instagram, Twitpic, and Flickr, I am sure Flickr is not the first site you (or your friends) will visit. Except you make your photos exclusively uploaded to Flickr and share the links to social networks.
It does not seem that simple though. For example: If I share a photo from Flickr to Twitter, Twitter will display the image right away. Some Twitter applications are smart enough to display the shared links as photo thumbnails and photos with bigger dimension. Will they visit Flickr — and exploring my photostream? Probably. But, I think most of them won’t.
I might sound selfish here by expecting other people to explore my photos. But, you know what I’m talking about here, right?

Shoot, share, and interact

People take photos using many devices, from simple to advanced tools. Using mobile phone or expensive DSLR cameras with fancy lenses. And, to upload the photos, there are some ways too: send directly from mobile devices, by email, or using another social network services and put Flickr as the last destination. Some people still love doing the traditional way: transfer the photo from memory card to laptop/computer, and upload them manually. I still do this sometime.
Again, what happen when the photos are stored to Flickr? Is it easy to interact with the photos? Of course, it’s easy. But, is it super easy? People might to go to Flickr for some reasons: they want to browse their photos or their friends’, or because some photos are made exclusively available at Flickr. Look at White House for example, or NASA. Or, because special event photos are displayed there at Flickr. People will go there. I will go there. But, for personal collection, or just simply “because I don’t want to loose these” photos, Flickr might be a great place to store them. When I need it, I will go there.
This is challenging. It might be a big challenge for Flickr and many other services out there. Innovations and strategies are designed to answer this kind of need. Some services come with an idea and unique approaches. So does Flickr, I think.
I might be wrong here, but from a personal perspective — as a Flickr user — I feel like using Flickr as photo storage service now. Something Flickr does not expect.

Sample Photos: Here are picplz filters in action

Instagram got its popularity these days. It’s exclussively available only for Phone, iPad, and iPod touch users. Just to remind you, Instagram got its 150,000,000 photos uploaded to the service last August. Also, Klout made Instagram as one of the Klout score factors.
There are some similar services offer what Instagram offers, for example Streamzoo, Shnap and picplz. They might not exactly the same, but they share some similar features. I use Instagram as my primary mobile photography activity. I’m still using Flickr anyway and even Instagram — picplz has this feature too — offers direct upload to Flickr, I decided not to use it.
As I said earlier, I use Instagram. I’ve tried picplz too. You probably love the way how you edit your photos using filters provided by Instagram, or picplz. picplz offers some filters and I think they’re great. I want to show you some picplz filters in action here. And, these are some basic information about technical condition:

  • Taken using iPhone 4 (using iOS 5)
  • I use picplz (Version 1.7.1) for iPhone

In this following photos (with filters), I use a photo taken using iPhone 4 camera without any image editing. Here’s the original photo.

Before sending a photo to picplz, you can manipulate it with some filters like “Russian Toy Camera”, “The 70s”, “Little Plastic Lens”, “High Contrast Monochrome”, and more. When I tested, there are 17 different filters. Most of them are just another filter variations, by having “border” and “no border” filters. Of course, you can send your photos edited by external photo editing applications on your phone and send it to picplz.
I only did some basic actions:

  •  Import photo from Camera Roll to picplz
  • Apply a filter
  • Send it directly to picplz (and to Flickr so that I can embed it to this article)
  • Photos sent in “Highest quality” setting

Now, take your time to see picplz photo filters. This article has some pages so that you don’t need to upload all photos in one page. Just use the navigation at the bottom of the article.

Flickr for iPhone: Timestamp problem?

I am not sure when this kind of problem appeared for the first time. Not exactly a big problem, but something that does not work well. I’m now using Flickr for iPhone Version 1.4.2 on iPhone 4 (Software Version: 4.3.5), and so far the primary feature — I consider photo upload feature as primary feature here — works well. At least, it helps me a lot to upload photos taken using my iPhone directly to Flickr.
I know, there are some other methods that I use like transferring photos using Image Capture or iPhoto to my laptop and upload them using Flickr Uploadr. I almost never use Email-to-Flickr feature.
Okey, back to the problem.
When I go to “Activity” tab, I see that there are some activities on uploaded photos (new comments, favorited, and added to gallery by other users). But, there is a single activity that should not be there. The latest activity should be on the top — and I think this is what Flickr (for iPhone) exactly want to have. You can see “655 days ago” there. It is a valid activity, and I’ve checked from the web browser.
So, I tweeted about this small issue. I’m not sure how many other Flickr users out there who have the same issue. Karen Yeo (Hi Karen!) came with an idea to re-authorize the application. I did it, but I think I need to be more patient to have it fixed. Is it an issue on the application? Not sure.
I’ll wait.
Update: Oct 13, 2011 04:56 PM (GMT+7)

I’m still curious. I’m now with iOS 5 now. So, I just tried a different approach to see how whether it solved the problem or not.
I logged in using my other account and liked my own photo to see whether the “old activity” disappeared or not — considering that they’re displayed by date/time. It didn’t.

I don't send Instagram photos to Flickr automatically. Why?

I like taking photos using my iPhone 4 and send them to Instagram. At the same time, I also like Flickr. iPhone 4, Nokia N8, and Flickr should be a great combination. Both Instagram and Flickr have their good and bad. And, I think both services can not be compared. Each service has its own medium and audiences, including the way how contents delivered to its users.
Posting to Instagram is super easy. If you use it, you know what I mean. It also has filters. There are some good photography applications to edit or manipulate photos available for download at App Store. Everything looks perfect. But, I decide not to post my photos sent to Instagram to Flickr stream automatically. Yes, it’s a very easy process and I don’t do it. Why? Here are my personal three main reasons:

1. It’s not big enough

When a photo posted to Instagram, it will be posted in multiple sizes. They are Thumbnail (150×150), Medium (306×306), and Large (612×612). Even I can post the large photo, it’s not big enough for me. I want to have my photos on Flickr as my personal photography archive too. By uploading manually to Flickr — from desktop or directly using application like Flickr for iPhone I can bigger photo, even the original photo size — taken using my iPhone.

Instagram and how Instagram works with its users

Yes, I’m joining Instagram under @thomasarie username. Having a desired username for Instagram username is easy and should be painless. But, that didn’t happen to me at first. I wanted to have @thomasarie as my username, but I was a little bit unlucky. I contacted Instagram support team after doing some attempts to get my username — yes, I want to have same username for some services :)
Here’s a little bit story.
I created an Instagram account before I bought an iPhone just to secure my username. Then, after I bought myself an iPhone 4, I tried to login to my Instagram account. Nothing special, except I have to deal with my password. Yes, I forgot my password! Okey, you can laugh now. :D
So, I used the forgot password feature. I waited for few minutes and no reset password instruction being delivered. Maybe something was broken. I tried it again next day, and I still didn’t have any instructions to reset my password. I jumped to the Instagram Support Center to find out a solution. There are some details about account troubleshooting including account password, username and email address.

To reset your password:

  • Follow the link above and enter the email address you used to sign up for Instagram
  • Click on the link in the email
  • Reset your password and login with your username and new password

Please email [email protected] if you are not receiving the password reset email in your inbox or cannot remember what username or email address you used to sign up for an account (as many details about the account as you can provide are appreciated!).


At that time, it didn’t work. So, I pushed my luck by sending a support ticket. During the period, I played with Instagram under another username. Lucky Instagram has feature to change username. So, when I’m able to have my desired username, I can move to it. I sent my last support ticket on August 11,2011. And, Instagram team replied my ticket on August 16, 2011! You know what the best part was? They gave me my username with a new password! Whooa! I logged in to my account, and changed the password right away into something I-will-not-forget-again!
After that, I did few things to move my active Instagram account under this username. Great! Thank you Instagram!
I know the fact that Instagram team is busy and keep its service up and running without any issues. I’m not blaming them for my issue. It was completely my mistake. But, having my problem solved less than a week is still really great for huge and busy service like this. Do I have a happy Instagram experience? I do.

Hello iPhone 4!

Two weeks ago, I bought myself a black iPhone 4.  So did Lala. She bought the white one. I decided to buy it after I searched for reviews, looking up what I can do with it, and also how people work with this gadget. I was lucky because there was a great deal I didn’t want to miss.
For those who keep convincing me to get an iPhone 4, you may stop now. And, I personally would like to thank Firman Maulana (@kakilangit) for his kind help. He helped me a lot. Matur nuwun!

I like it so far. Really. Since I like photography, I love working with photography applications. Probably, iPhone and photography means Instagram. So yes, I joined Instagram — I’m @thomasarie. Also, I’m enjoying iPhone apps.

Instagram now received more than 150,000,000 photos!

Instagram announced another milestone yesterday on their blog:

Today, we’re excited to announce that more than 150 million photos have been shared on Instagram and Instagrammers now share photos with one another at a rate of 15 photos per second.

And, it only took less than a year to hit that impressive statistics! And, I never had a chance to have Instagram-experience. Should I get an iPhone? Errr…
Anyway, this is the 150,000,000th photo posted to Instagram:

What about other similar service like Yahoo! Flickr or Smugmug? Even they’re not identical services and probably reach different users, it’s still interesting to read the statistics.
Flickr — owned by Yahoo! — just got its 5,000,000,000 last year. Yahoo! bought Flickr in March 2005. That’s right, it was six years ago. I don’t know exactly how many photos sent to Flickr per day, but it seems that Flickr got less photos — considering the photo sharing services and their simplicity these days. Well, correct me if I’m wrong on this matter.
Another photo sharing service is Smugmug. It’s not that big, but it seems that Smugmug has many happy users. If we look at the service profile, there are more than 1,400,000,000 photos uploaded. Smugmug was launched in November 2002.
And, last but not least, there is also 500px. Not sure about the exact photo statistics, but last week update posted on 500px blogs can give you some hints. According to the website statistics: “500px.com passed 4 million visits in the last 30 days, 35 million pageviews and 1.9 million unique visitors”.
 

Yahoo! Flickr's new landing page

When did the last time you visit Yahoo! Flickr homepage? If you visit flickr.com, it has a new look and I think it displays more information. The new landing page will be visible only for non-logged in users.

Compared to the previous one, here are few things I noticed:

  • You will see bigger rotating photos and not only one. Notice the sliding effect there. Some members give their opinion about how photos are displayed. Read the feedbacks at Yahoo! Flickr blog.
  • Since this is made especially for new users, the new landing page gives more details on the top features. By this, I think users will not need to go to the Tour page to get some reasons to create an account.
  • Less photo statistics. Previously, the page gave some numbers like how many photos uploaded in the last one minute, how many photos tagged with a certain tag, and also how many geo-tagged photos uploaded in a certain period — within a month? I’m not sure. All these numbers are gone now. I’m not sure whether the information displayed previously was real-time statistics or not.

The current design does not seem trying to sell its Flickr Pro features. But of course, the Flickr Pro feature is something that probably-purchased by existing users. So, get more users first, and when they found the service great and useful, they might want to upgrade their accounts.
And, there are 8 links to the account creation page. I counted and found 8 links. Or, more? Let me add one here: Create a Flickr account now. :D
Congrats Yahoo! Flickr for the new design. I rarely visit the frontpage, anyway.