Tag Archives: flickr

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 October 2014

Hmmm, no change today…

Here’s something I’ve photographed before[1]. I’ve gone for a more colourful version this time:

Rusty ring revisited

Rusty ring revisited

Camera: X-T1
Aperture: ƒ/5.3
Shutter speed: 1/1000s
Focal length: 62.4mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 25 October, 2014
Location: 55° 0.9623′ 0″ N 1° 24.6818′ 0″ W

[1] Several times, in fact. Here’s an even older version, grabbed from my Flickr account:

Rusty Ring: the original

Rusty Ring: the original

Camera: Canon EOS 30D
Aperture: ƒ/11
Shutter speed: 1/250s
Focal length: 44mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 28 July, 2006
Location: 55° 0.9623′ 0″ N 1° 24.6818′ 0″ W

Picture Portfolio Ponderings

Regular readers[1] may recall me wittering on previously about finding the best internet home for my photographs.

Back in 2009, I was plotting to create a new site based on Lightroom galleries, but what with one thing and another, not to mention the tuit supplies, that never really got anywhere.

Last year, I got as far as pointing a domain name at 500px, but again there was an issue with tuits.

Later on, I got a bit excited about SmugMug, but after playing with that a bit further, I came to the conclusion that realistically, I’m never going to make full use of its commercial features, which would cost $300 for a year when renewal time came around.

And of course, there’s still Flickr, which now looks prettier but doesn’t seem any more appealing for some reason. But I did manage to do a bulk import of photos from Flickr into 500px, and today I found the tuits to sort them out a bit – deleting ones that don’t really belong on a proper photo site, sorting some into sets, and picking a new portfolio theme.

And that led me to get on and make a decision. I’ve closed the SmugMug site (actually finding the tuits nicely before they’d be taking more money off me) and pointed the Les Bessant Photography domain at 500px instead. The old LCB domain which was pointing at 500px is now a holding page with links to my various bits and pieces.[2]

So, the Cunning Plan[3] is to concentrate on putting my best photographs on 500px (as well as here, of course), and mostly ignore Flickr. Probably. Thanks to various discount offers, my 500px account is paid up to 2015, and I might as well get my money’s worth.

If all that was too much to read, the quick summary is that my portfolio site is still Les Bessant Photography, but it’s now on 500px.

[1] And other mythical beings
[2] And if that’s not what you’re seeing, your DNS hasn’t updated yet
[3] For now. Until some new shiny thing distracts me, of course

Flickring Follow-up

I mentioned my surprise at the changes at Flickr the other day. Well, it seems there was some confusion and possibly misinformation circulating. The deal is that Pro accounts (the kind I’ve been paying $25 a year for since err, quite a while ago) are no longer being offered. Those of us with them were allowed to keep the remaining benefits. On the other hand, we could just revert to a standard free account (which has insane amounts of storage) and get a partial refund. I decided to do that, and duly received just over £5, which is probably about right.

I’m inclined to let my Flickr presence wither away, and concentrate on 500px, which seems to be getting more popular.

Getting back into 500px

It may seem a little odd, after mentioning the Flickr changes this morning, but that little matter of the price rise did make me mutter a bit. Then I saw a tweet from 500px:

This reminded me that I’d been meaning to add more to my 500px account, but had never found the tuits. It turns out that Pi.Pe is a magic service for doing automagic bulk transfers of images between a huge range of social networking services, including Flickr, 500px, Facebook, Instagram, SmugMug, and many more. It took a couple of minutes to set up a link to copy all my Flickr images to 500px, and they started appearing almost immediately. And soon after that, I started getting the notifications: comments, votes, favourites. As more pictures moved across during the course of the day, more and more notifications came in.

It’ll take me a while to look through them all, and see who’s been looking at my photographs – some of the comments are definitely genuinely interested ones, some are maybe more of the trying to get attention kind (no harm in that, I’ll have a look at the work of everyone who’s commented or voted), but either way it’s the most attention my photos have generated in quite a while.

I’ll need to do some thinning out on 500px – because Pi.Pe imported using sets, there’s some duplication, and there are some images which don’t belong there – screen shots, webcam pictures and some record shots that are of no interest to anyone – but that can wait.

Flickring Heck!

After years of drifting along and not really changing very much at all, Flickr has just woken up, muttered about damn kids like 500px on its metaphorical lawn, taken a cold shower and sorted itself out.

Up until now, you had a choice of a free account, with rather tight limits on use (no more than 200 images in your photostream, for instance) or a Pro account (around $25 a year) with no such limits. Free account holders who don’t know about AdBlock also see adverts. I’ve had a paid account for a long time now, though I don’t spend as much time there as I used to.

But this morning, I woke to a friendly email from Flickr which announced that they’ve made some changes. From now, free accounts are limited (hah!) to a measly one terabyte of storage, which is room for, err, lots of images. Lots and lots and lots, in fact. Photographs can now be displayed in full resolution, and the default view on the home page and in photostreams is to show much larger versions of images rather than those dinky little thumbnails.

Pro accounts still get unlimited storage, though I think for most people, the distinction between “unlimited” and “one terabyte” isn’t going to be significant. The only real benefit remaining for the Pro subscription is not seeing adverts on the site. Pro users also get detailed statistics showing how many people are looking at their images, but I can’t remember the last time I even glanced at that, so I could live without that.

Until now, it was looking like Flickr was going to quietly fade away into irrelevance, but this might change things. It’ll certainly stimulate sites like 500px to keep things interesting, anyway, and that’s definitely a Good Thing.

More on the Flickr Blog: A better, brighter Flickr, or just pop over to the Flickr homepage.

I do believe I’ll be uploading some photographs…

Update: Apparently Pro accounts will now cost $50 a year rather than $25. I’m not convinced that I’ll be paying that. I’m remarkably good at not noticing adverts…

Updated update: Apparently Pro accounts are no longer offered, and they’re really not interested in providing them, as I mention in a later post.

Fame, of a local kind

A while back, I was approached and asked if I’d be prepared to allow the use of one of my Flickr pictures for a local publication in exchange for a credit showing my name and website. Well, being that kind of attention-seeking tart, I happily agreed, then promptly forgot all about it.

Well, that publication has now seen the light of day, and has been delivered through the letterboxes of homes in Low Fell, Saltwell, Bensham and other parts of Gateshead. And on page 10 of the first edition of The Fell magazine, there’s an article on Saltwell Towers, which includes this very photograph:

Saltwell Towers

Saltwell Towers

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/400s
Focal length: 32mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 22 May, 2011

And thanks to Alf Stone for pointing that out to me!

Moo Revisited

A little while ago[1], I got some dinky little photo cards from Moo[4], who had just set up in business offering useful thing like linking to Flickr to get images for their printing services. I got some free cards, then ordered a further supply for actual money. Well, time has passed, I’ve taken a lot more pictures, and more to the point changed my website address, so the remaining cards have long since been unsuitable for distribution.

I was reminded of Moo when I was setting up my new Les Bessant Photography site on SmugMug [5], and decided that what with the new site and the fact that I’ve got loads more pictures, it might be time to have some new cards. So I fiddled about, created some cards and placed an order. A nicely packed box arrived several days earlier than promised, and the cards do look pretty much as I’d intended. Here’s a sample selection:

Pick a card, any card...

Pick a card, any card…

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/5
Shutter speed: 1/50s
Focal length: 55mm
ISO: 4000
Taken: 13 September, 2012

There are loads of print options, several varieties of card, and various methods of adding images. Or if you don’t need photographs, you can design more standard cards. Worth a look if you fancy any custom print services, they’re worth a look. Cards can be sent anywhere in the world, with a choice of delivery services ranging from not very quick but quite cheap to very quick but quite expensive.


[1] Oh. Nearly six years, apparently. Time flies like an arrow[2], or something
[2] And fruit flies like a banana[3]
[3] Sorry, had to be done
[4] Note: referral link – if you buy stuff via that, I get some free Moo credit
[5] Also a referral link – if you sign up to SmugMug through that, you get a discount and I get money off my next renewal

My new new photography site

No, that’s not a typo in the title. I’ve previously launched a new photo site, then let it drift because the whole thing was far too much effort, so this is the new new one. It’s so new that I even registered a new domain name for it, despite having loads already.

This is follows on from what I was talking about on Monday about giving SmugMug a try. I had a more detailed play yesterday, and came to the conclusion that I liked what I saw enough to give it a try for a year at the top end $150 “business” level. Why “business”? Because I’m actually going to attempt to sell some images, and SmugMug lets me do that. I can set my own prices for a huge range of print sizes and downloads, which could potentially make back some of the cost.[1] SmugMug and the labs they work with deal with all the actual ordering, printing and delivering, which makes it moderately simple.

Anyway, the new Les Bessant Photography site is now live. There’s only one gallery so far, which has the same content as my photobook, but I’ll start adding more over the next few weeks.

I’ve set it up with a UK-based lab for printing – at the moment it’s not possible to offer more than one lab per gallery, but if any US-based readers would like to buy prints, I can set up a second gallery which will work with a US lab, so you won’t be stung on postage costs.

There’s also the option of downloading images – I have lower cost “personal” licences (print yourself, put on personal web pages, etc) and more expensive “commercial” ones (if you’re using it to make money, basically).

The layout of the site is basic at present – I may do some more customisation later.

After signing up, I learned that SmugMug will be increasing their subscription prices next month by a substantial amount, so I got in at about the right time. I’m prepared to gamble $150 for one year, taking into account that if I like it, I’ll probably stop paying for Flickr and 500px, but I’m not sure I’d have been so inclined at the new level of $300 for new Business subscribers. If you’re at all interested, it’s worth taking that trial now and signing up before the middle of October if you’re going to do it at all.

If you do want to sign up, this link will get you a discount: Sign up for SmugMug, or enter my magic code at the checkout: xMRTCekOokYmI

Les Bessant Photography

[1] If I ever get so far as making a profit, you’ll probably hear me going  :tigger: a lot

SmugMug: Trying a different photo site

I’ve never quite found the ideal way of displaying my photographs online. I’ve used a variety of self-hosted thingies, starting with galleries generated by software such as ThumbsPlus[1], moved on to using Gallery[2], hosted things on Flickr[3], linked things to this site by various means, and used the native WordPress gallery function[4]. More recently, I’ve been putting a small selection of images on 500px[5]. Somewhere in the middle of that, I had a go at using Lightroom’s web gallery functions, but that ended up being too much effort to keep up – I’d forgotten how faffy playing with real directories and files can be on a website after using WordPress for so long.

So when I saw the excellent and generally helpful Scott Kelby post about moving his portfolio to SmugMug – I Switched My Portfolio Over to SmugMug, I thought I’d better investigate.

I’d heard of SmugMug, but I’d never got around to actually looking at the site. In essence, it’s a photographer’s portfolio site, with the options of selling your images, displaying them in a variety of ways and generally customising the appearance of your personal pages. Layouts that expand to fit the size of the viewer’s screen are standard, which is cool.

Unlike Flickr and 500px, there’s no free service available – prices start at $5 per month (or $40 per year) for a basic package, with a “power” package at $8/$60 and a “pro” at $20/$150. Looking at what’s on offer, I’d certainly want the “power” version, and quite possibly the pro, so it’s not a cheap option. Well, not as cheap as some other options, anyway.

I’ve taken the free 14 day trial (I’d prefer longer to give it a proper play, but that’s what’s on offer…) and assuming I get anywhere with it[6], I’ll report back on what I think.

If you’re interested, you can see my SmugMug page here.

Full details of the service from SmugMug

Update: I’ve actually signed up for the service, and I’m starting to show some pictures there.

[1] Quite a while ago, as that’s yer actual Windows software, which I don’t use at home any more…
[2] It’s good in its way, but I gave up on it when the link between WordPress and Gallery became problematic
[3] Quite useful, but there’s this nagging feeling that Yahoo might break it one day, and it’s not really good for a portfolio
[4] Nice and simple, but given the rambling nature of this site, it’s not so good for people who just want to see the pictures
[5] Great, but as the general standard there is so high, I’m reluctant to use it as a general portfolio site. I do like to put photographs I’m particularly happy with, but not more general work
[6] Regular readers will be familiar with my tuit issues

Looks like 500px wants to make Flickr cry

I’ve mentioned the excellent 500px once or twice before. With some recent updates, the site looks better than ever, and whether you’re a photographer looking for an excellent way to show of your images, or just someone who wants to see some really great photography, it’s well worth a regular visit. And if you have an iPad, the 500px app is an incredibly good use of your device, though you might want to take care, as time can disappear in an alarming way….

I was quite happy to pay for the premium “Awesome” account, and indeed to extend it for a further year when they ran a special offer, but at a full price of $50, it might seem a bit much for some people, especially when compared to Flickr’s $25 subscription.

So, they’ve done the sensible thing and introduced a new membership level. The Plus membership comes with most of the benefits of the Awesome level, but excludes the custom domain and similar features.  Upgrade to Plus, and you get unlimited uploads (up from a rather stingy 10 per month for a free account). This compares very well with Flickr’s offering, and nicely undercuts it at $19.95 for a year.

This will surely bring more photographers to 500px, which seems like a Good Thing to me.  Flickr is looking quite tatty by comparison, and I suspect I won’t be giving them any more money…