The January winter ocean was rough, the sun was behind the cliffs, and the air was full of sea spray. Breathtakingly difficult to photograph and develop, and yet…
Photos of Kauaʻi, January 2018 (in progress).
It was slightly too hot for a comfortable walk, everyone was a little tired, the kids were grumpy. They wanted to go down to the beach, we didn’t want to slog back up the hill covered in red dust. And when we got down to the promised cave, it had shut for the day and we all had to turn tail and go home.
You’d think this would be difficult to forgive, but this made it possible:
Photos of Kauaʻi, January 2018 (in progress).
As the planning for the sale of Yahoo!/Altaba to Verizon continues, I’m not the only person worried about the fate of Flickr, which has been owned by Yahoo since 2005:
Remember to post a picture of yourself kissing your photos goodbye to Flickr
— Pinboard (@Pinboard) January 10, 2017
I’ve got a tediously backed-up local copy of my photos and won’t have to kiss them goodbye, but as a happy Pro user of Flickr I’m really worried about its future and beginning an active search for replacements. I’m going to start evaluating possible replacements on the basis of these specific features, roughly in order of importance:
Embedding my foremost use of Flickr is as a photo host for my parenting blog and, increasingly, to show off my best photos. The ability to embed photographs in third-party websites is essential to me.
Locking at the photo level and guest access. It’s not easy to find non-recent photographs of my children on my Flickr account. That’s because I have a script that marks photos as private once they’re a certain age. Some other types of photos (for example, photos of other children) I often mark as private immediately.
Much of my web life runs this way: just because you can find my recent stuff doesn’t mean you get to casually browse everything I’ve done on the Internet since the beginning of time (circa 1999). I’ve taken full advantage of websites with individual locking every time I’ve used one, including WordPress sites, LiveJournal&Dreamwidth, Pinboard, and, yes, Flickr, and strongly prefer it.
At the same time, the chance of people who care about me obtaining a login to Flickr, or to social-photos-site-of-the-month in order to view pictures of a party we were at is basically nil, so the ability to share links to photos via Flickr’s guest pass system has made it useful to me for semi-private events and photos.
API access. I’m not locking all this stuff on all these sites down by hand! It’s all scripted and done via APIs.
Multiple albums for a single photo I look at my photos through several different types of, uh, “lenses”. There’s events, there’s individuals in the photos (mostly my children), and there’s my show-off albums for my favourite photos or ones most I’m likely to want to share with other people if only they’d ask to see more of my photos. I use albums for all three ways of looking at photos, and thus many of my photos are in both a “my kid at age 3” album and a “visit to the beach in November” album.
I also use tags and I might be able to modify my workflow to use tags to replace some of these features, although the result of a tag search would need to be viewable as a first class album, rarely true in my experience so far.
Creative Commons licencing. I like easily dropping my photos into a big pool of photos that might someday find good uses elsewhere and licence a lot of my non-portraits CC BY for (nearly) maximum re-usability. I fear that even sites that support CC licencing won’t end up being searched by anyone in practice, and if I note a CC licence myself in the description, it’s never going to happen.
Chromecast support. It’s been really enchanting having our TVs display great photos of our kids throughout their lives, travel we’ve done, and a lot of clouds, all via Chromecast’s support for using Flickr photos for background images, but I’m willing to give it up for my core set of features.
An app. Don’t get me wrong, I do like being able to peruse my photos on my phone, but I’d give it up if I had to. Because I do about half my photography with a DSLR, and edit essentially all my photographs, I don’t upload photos via apps in any case.
The social ecosystem. I started using Flickr regularly after a lot of people stopped, and I’m indifferent to the social features, eg favourites, comments, following other folks, putting my photos in group albums. I do use some of these, but I won’t be looking for them in a replacement.
Locking to different sets of people. I do use Flickr’s “friends” and “family” distinction a little, but in giving up social, I’m also happy to give up locking other than “locked” and “not locked”.
And now, I’m afraid, it’s well and truly time to go shopping for a new photo host. My favourite. Only not.
This article originally appeared on Geek Feminism.
From comments on Women in science: contrary to popular belief, some of us are actually alive!, Lindsey has started a Flickr group for “This is what a computer scientist looks like”. The group itself has this description:
This group collects photos of computer scientists, with a particular focus on women (may change later to include other underrepresented groups in CS).
If you are a woman in computer science, feel free to contribute a photo of yourself. If you’re contributing a photo of someone else, please make sure it’s a public photo that you have permission to share, preferably one taken at a public event such as a professional conference or workshop.
In the spirit of Photos of Mathematicians, we’re looking for modern, candid photos of currently active, not-necessarily-famous computer scientists. We’re not looking for historical photos.
So far, I am the only computer scientist. Fear me or displace me at the front of the queue!
This article originally appeared on Geek Feminism.
We’re starting to collect some examples of photography/recording harassment experiences (still open , and some of the kinds of problems people mention there and elsewhere are:
Now most of these things are legal in my region (see NSW Photographer’s Rights, which as you will guess from the title is not focussed on subject’s concerns, but which is informative) and in many others. I believe the only exception (in NSW) may be the last, because the use of someone’s image to promote a product requires a model release, that is, consent from the subject. Whether/when using someone’s photo on a website is considered promotion I don’t know but that’s a side point.
For that matter, I’m not even arguing that they should be illegal or actionable (in this piece anyway, perhaps some of them are arguable). I’m sympathetic to many of the uses of non-consensual photography, even (art, journalism, historical documentation). I’m arguing more narrowly that in the context of geek events, which are usually private and which can therefore impose additional restrictions on behaviour as a condition of entry, that restrictions on photography could prevent some harassment. (As a short and possibly sloppy definition for people who haven’t seen many harassment discussions, I would define harassment as “unwelcome interpersonal interactions, which either a reasonable person would know are unwelcome, or which were stated to be unwelcome but continued after that.”)
I’m arguing that this collection of behaviours around photographs makes geek events hostile to some participants, especially women. After all, even though it’s (I think) legal to sneak-photograph a woman’s face, write a little essay about how attractive you find her and try and get it on Flickr Explore even as she emails you to say that she’s upset and repeatedly request that you take it down, that doesn’t mean it’s ethical.
Now, obviously it would be nice not to have to spell ethical behaviour out to people, but the need for anti-harassment policies (and, for that matter, law) makes it clear that geek events do need to do so.
There’s quite a range of possible policies that could be adopted around photography:
There might be certain additional freedoms or restrictions regarding crowd photography/recording and/or photography/recording of organisers, scheduled speakers and people actively highlighted in similar formal events.
What do you think? Whether a photographer/videographer/recorder or subject of same, what do you think appropriate ethics are when photographing/recording at private geek events, and what do you think could/should be codified as policy?
Note to commenters: there are a couple of things that tend to come up a lot in these sorts of discussions, which are:
I’m not saying that you need to totally avoid discussion of these points in comments here, but you can safely assume that everyone knows these points and has to some degree taken them into account and go from there. (My own perspective on the last one is that it’s odd at best to pay an enormous amount of heed to the social comfort of photographers at the expense of their subjects. You could, of course, consider both together.) Also if talking about legal aspects, do specify which jurisdiction(s) you are talking about: this is an area where laws vary substantially.
It’s quite probably that sometime in the next few days I will hand my public photo hosting entirely over to Flickr or Picasa, quite belatedly compared to most people I know. I wanted to document some self-hosting problems:
I stopped enjoying doing this kind of thing for fun many years back. (You know what software thing I’m looking forward to? Learning R. You know what doesn’t resemble learning R? Writing web apps.)
PS: if you email me to suggest that I try self-hosting apps I haven’t tried, I very likely will not try it for lack of time. You would need to put serious work into the sales pitch, up to and including describing a great workflow for my particular needs and offering to migrate my database for me. I could be surprised, I guess.
For once, and with trepidation, I actually do ask for advice!
My parents have several digital cameras and a digital video camera. It would be nice to have access to family photos and movies past their next hard drive crash and/or computer replacement. But all consumer digital media seems unreliable enough for long or even medium term storage of family photos and similar.
I could organise some kind of backup routine for them, but the developing and nagging and testing and recoveries involved would annoy all three of us; contrary to the common parent-of-geek mythology my parents are no slavish devotees of my computing advice and like to keep a great deal of control themselves. And I get bored with that stuff. I want more set-and-forget:
ok, stick your photos here and they’ll be there ten years from now.
One possible solution would be something like
here, upload them to [some remote hard drive of mine]. Advantages: I have, unlike quite a few commercial entities, managed to hang onto a great deal of my digital files for ten years. Disadvantages: the software for this largely seems to suck in that it will be difficult to give them the motivation in terms of "and it will be shared with family really easily!": lots of creating galleries and so forth required to make things findable. I use F-Spot and Gallery and both of them leave sad dingy marks on my soul sometimes. I value the resulting organisation enough to do it, they probably do not, at least initially.
So should I just tell them to pay for a Flickr account? Or maybe Picasa? Or some similar website I probably haven’t heard of? I realise that stuff in the big wet cloud is vulnerable to both commercial failure of the provider and catastrophic failure on the part of their sysadmins, but at least it’s not vulnerable to my boredom or that of my parents (although Flickr at least is vulnerable to
forgetting to pay Flickr). What has good desktop tools with the fewest clicks between
plug camera in and
digital files are safely squirreled away and as a bonus available for viewing by selected people?
I realise none of this is fail-safe, and if they aren’t interested in preserving the data it ultimately won’t happen, I just want to lower the barriers as much as possible and give it the best chance.
If you have thoughts and don’t know how to get in contact, email per this.