On flickr

4 Nov

As a continuation of my previous post, here is a brief guide to Flickr, a Yahoo-owned photo community.

So you’ve decided you don’t like spending money. The stock photos are lovely, but usage rights are both pricey and convoluted. You still need that cat picture, though. Woman’s Health magazine will not stand for anything less than a 2:1 image to text ratio.

So you check out Flickr. Maybe you’re a time-traveller from five years ago, and you still use a Yahoo account. In this case, signing up for Flickr will be easy peasy. Fortunately, though, Flickr also offers the option to let Yahoo pick through your Gmail account and speed up the sign-up process.

But to get your cat picture, a Flickr account isn’t really necessary. To get started on that, search for “cat” and get into the Advanced Search section, just like you did at iStock.

You don’t like tabby cats, so you insert “tabby” into “None of these words”. You can use photos and illustrations, so you check those off under “Search by content type”. You don’t want videos, so you select “Only photos” under “Search by media type”. Most importantly, you want free photos, so you check off “ “, “” and “Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon”.

Now you’re on your way.

(something else to consider — you can see in your search bar that it now says “cat -tabby”. Next time, if all you need to do is exclude a word or two from your search, just write “-[word]” in your search bar)

Flickr works similarly to iStock in that you can get a preview of the images before you click them, but in this case you need to click the little “i” that appears in the corner of the image — “i” is for info.

A preview will pop up along with pertinent information. Flickr offers a little bit more in that area — the previews include the author, the rights, the tags, the date taken, and the number of views, notes, comments and “faves”.

Now you’ve clicked on a photo you like, and you want the biggest version of it. In the toolbar over the photo, unfold the “Actions” dropdown menu and choose “View all sizes”.

You’ve discovered that the biggest version of this photo is only 640×480 pixels. You’re crushed. But don’t give up hope. Flickr unfortunately doesn’t offer any way for you to only see large images, but with time you will find what you need. And hey, it’s free.


One Response to “On flickr”


  1. Natalie - November 4, 2010

    […] but definitely not least, in my exploration of stock image sites (I’ve covered flickr and iStock) is […]

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