Use Flickr for Off-Site Image Archiving

March 14, 2006 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Another thing I learned while researching Adobe Bridge is that you can drag and drop images from Bridge right to the free Uploadr tool for Flickr. (Not only that, but any keywords that you added to images in Bridge get converted to Flickr tags!)


Flickr, for the unitiated, is a free online photo sharing service used by a lot of bloggers but definitely not limited to that group. After opening up a free account (if you already have a Yahoo! account, you're halfway there — Yahoo! now owns Flickr) you upload your images to the Flickr web site, usually via their on-line form that allows you to upload up to five images at once. Or, you can download a free Uploadr utility for Mac OS X or Windows XP and drag/drop piles of images from the Finder or Explorer (or Bridge!) for immediate uploading to your online account.

Flickr Uploading Tools

Once your images are uploaded you can give friends and family the URLs to see your images. You can specify if your images are private or public. You can also comment on your own and other's images, tag images with keywords and then do searches based on those tags across the whole flickr userbase, join groups of other flickr users to post all your images to a single "photostream,' organize your images into thematic sets, order prints and pick them up a nearby Target, even create calendars, photobooks, and posters from your images for a very reasonable fee via an affiliated service, Qoop:

Flickr print services

Move to Pro for Archiving
With the free Flickr account you're limited to uploading 20MB of images a month. (Actually it's a bandwidth limit, not a storage limit, but basically it means the same.) After a month the "counter" gets reset to zero and you can upload another 20MB, which is more than enough for most bloggers, family photo hounds and eBay power sellers.

But get this: Upgrade your Flickr account to "Pro" for only $25 a year, and the limit gets raised to *one hundred times* that amount: 2,000MB, aka 2GB. Per month. To get an idea of how many photos fit in 2GB, I selected my main "photos" folder on my hard drive which contains all the images (hundreds at least) from my digital camera for the past three years. On my Mac, Get Info told me the folder's contents totaled 1.1 GB.

Obviously I haven't been taking enough pictures! Or at high enough quality I guess. And most of them are .jpgs … but even if I had a folder full of 300 ppi, RGB TIFFs, with the Pro account I could upload over 150 5x7s a month. Flickr supports JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, and PNG image formats.

So if you need off-site backup for your images (in addition to your DVDs or an external hard drive), Flickr can be a cost-effective solution. The bonus is that you'd have access to your images from anywhere with an Internet connection.

It's a sweet workflow: Upgrade to a Pro account and use Bridge to sort/find the images you want to back up (or publicize, or show to clients), put Bridge in Compressed view so it floats above the Flickr uploader program like a palette, drag the images over and click the Upload button. Magic!

Flickr Upgrade Account to Pro

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