It was cradling a public trash can at an outdoor museum. While I figured the picture would one day illustrate a “trap” of some sort, I never thought I’d be using it so soon. The blue and magenta in it certainly gives it a whole other character. Flickr–a photograph hub system made explicitly for photographers–released an “update” which removes numerous basis functions and sought to appear as an Instagram clone.
While I always used cameras, I started hardcore photography in February 2014. I guess I always had the eye for this stuff, and the only thing that I needed was knowledge such as:
1] The types of lenses and what they can do for me.
2] The science of shutter speed, ISO, focal distances and apertures.
3] Neutral and/or polarization filters.
Needless to say, Flickr helped me a LOT. With it I was able to, if EXIF data provided, study what where the parameters at which a photograph was taken. From there, I knew what lens to get to attain a certain type of perspective shot. Flickr at that point became my go-to choice as far as what image hosting service I wanted to use. It was better than Photobucket. Better than Imgur. Better than Instagram. Flickr, was for photographers.
I currently have 600+ pictures on Flickr by the time of this article’s production. Needless to say, Flickr has been my rock. The good news is that this functionality still exists. In fact, they made the metadata deal better (by the time of this article). The bad news is that the new “update” has ruthlessly torn away other important functions as far as how it is organized.
Flickr currently boasts 92 million users as of April 2014. Instagram is at 200 million. If Flickr thinks that it will boost it’s number of users–a base consisting of hardcore photographers, from hobbyists to professionals– by 217% by attempting to be an Instagram clone, they are woefully mistaken. Instagram is also owned by Facebook, which allows every uncouth maniac and their mother to post. One doesn’t have to own or be the sole author of the pictures they post there either. Instagram is frequently cluttered with useless memes, almost becoming a WorldStar style shock site, depending on who you follow 0n there. Does Flickr, a Yahoo entity, wants to be owned by Facebook too? In short, much like a night club that lets under-drinking-age people in, Instagram has a large following because it has minimal standards.
The pictures that were once viewed at full height and width are now represented as Instagram-like squares. So say goodbye to panoramas and artfully composed photographs filling variable height/width ratio frames to it’s fullest. The default square auto-crop reduces all photos to the same common denominator and significantly reduces the visual impact of some of the best photos. Sure you can still get to the full photos but having them hidden away greatly reduces the likelihood of them being seen as intended. Just like how no one likes cheap knock-offs, being that it looks like Instagram now we might as well go after the real thing.
No one likes the fact that it’s more difficult to add pictures to photo groups. The discussion groups cannot be accessed. No one likes the fact that the tagging system is no longer there. When you email in for help or file a complaint, Flickr tells to “use hashtags in the title”. No one wants to make their titles long and tacky, congested full of hashtags. Not even Instagram is that sloppy. The whole system of viewing those you follow has been revamped, and it is pretty clumsy. And no one is buying the paid app reviews either:
Those vague counterfeit 5-star comments in the app reviews that doesn’t state WHY Flickr 3.0 is better than the last is a slap in the face; it suggests Flickr would force-fed a mediocre update and not heed the words of it’s users than actually listen to it’s clientele and fix the problem.
They would rather pay agencies to offset the negative reviews than fire the idiot who implemented this update without user testing. Think about it that for a moment. While I heard that Flickr has made numerous changes in the past, this radical change takes the cake. There’s just too much lost; you do more on the website than the phone app. Why have a phone app when you are still penned to the desktop computer for editing? In fact, there’s even a petition made to give back the old functionality of the app. There isn’t a White House petition yet, but maybe I should start one. In the end, if this doesn’t get fixed, someone is going to pick up where Flickr dropped the ball. Every second I use Flickr on my smartphone and it’s not fixed, I contemplate packing up shop and finding another image hosting site. I highly doubt I’m the only one.