Sharing the Magic of Landis Through Pictures – Quick Guide to Flickr

Landis Arboretum Summer Newsletter, 2013

A QUICK GUIDE TO FLICKR

Our beloved Arb is many things to many people, but to a poetic few, she is a thing of beauty, waiting to be frozen on film for posterity. Over the years, visitors have captured her many moods and secrets and lovingly stored away those memories in photo albums and more recently, on their hard drive. What if these pictures could be freely shared with the rest of community? What if these memories could be preserved for future generations? We could create a beautiful, visual record of the Arboretum that can be freely accessed online for years to come. To do this, we would need a website that allows individuals to pool their images, creating a photo-gallery that can be seen by anyone around the world.

This is where Flickr comes in. Flickr is, at heart, a photo-sharing service. Instead of sending digital photographs to friends and family by email, photo-sharing sites allow people to upload their images online and send a link across that allows others to view the album. A number of sites have the ability to share pictures; Shutterfly, Picasa and Facebook are some examples. What sets Flickr apart is the ability to share beautiful images with a global community of amateur photographers. While Flickr can be used to send the family snaps from Grandma’s 80th birthday, it offers much more to those who want to showcase their photographs as art.

Flickr has, arguably, one of the largest and most fascinating visual record of our world today. Try the Explore function as a start. This section of Flickr showcases some of the best images brought together in one place. The Commons, of example, is a collection of historic images from museums, universities and public libraries. The Getty Collection is a jaw-dropping album of stock photography and Flickr users can submit their work for consideration. Galleries are publicly curated images of fellow Flickr photographers, an endlessly entertaining section. My personal favorite is the World Map – search for any place on Earth and you will be greeted by clusters of pink dots. Clicking on each dot feels something like unwrapping up a tiny picture present.

Flickr’s outstanding feature is its community, one that shares tips and tricks, offers feedback and helps novices perfect their technique. Most amateur photographers try to categorize their work based on camera, style or subject and share them through the various Groups on the site. These range from the expected (Birds of the World) to the esoteric (Lonely Chairs). Our own Arb has an open Flickr Group and we invite photographers of all skill levels to contribute images online.

So, how do you get started with Flickr? Go to www.flickr.com and sign up using your Yahoo, Facebook or Google ID. The first screen you see is your home screen, similar to Facebook’s newsfeed. This is where you would see updates and recommendations from friends. The menu on the top of the page has five parts – You, Contacts, Groups, Explore and Upload. Start with the Upload function by choosing a photograph you would like to share with the world. Flickr automatically pulls up the ‘EXIF’ data, information such as the date you snapped the image and make and model of camera. Once the picture in on Flickr, you will be directed to an Edit page that allows you to add tags, assign the image to a ‘Set’ within your collection or to a larger, public ‘Group’ that you are a part of. The default license indicates that you have reserved all rights, however, you can choose to allow others to use your work through a Creative Commons license. The photograph is also, by default, visible to the public. You can modify this if you would like to share this with only friends and family. You are now ready to show your art to the world!

Please visit http://www.flickr.com/groups/landisarboretum/ to see some stunning images of Landis shared by current members of the Group.

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