Here are my settings for Privacy & Permissions in Flickr. I’m pretty open. Others are not so much. There are various reasons people are not open on Flickr. For the professional photographer, or someone hoping to be a professional photographer, they sometimes think people will “steal” their photos. Welcome to the publishing world. People steal things all the time. I’ve chosen to deal with ths by trying to educate people about copyright issues. Anyway, I don’t have a solution for that, but what really bothers me is these great photographers who want to protect their work, and upload lo-res images. The photos are awesome, but I just can’t see them in their full glory. I hate that. Meanwhile my photos suck but you can view them large and do a dozen different things to them without even asking me.
Here we see my settings for who can download, print, and blog my photos. Everyone can. That’s it. Full access. As long as you respect the license for each photo, and the Flickr ToS, you are good.
Hiding? Why hide stuff? EXIF data is what your camera embeds in your photos: things like the date and time a photo was taken, but also technical details about your camera and it’s settings. I find this useful when I want to do research on a camera. Since I find it useful, I assume other do as well. (See an example.)
Wanna see my photos? Cool! Everyone can. I post them on my blog, and elsewhere. I like to share. Want to comment on something? You need to have a Flickr account, they don’t allow outsiders to comment (but they can on your own blog hosted elsewhere.) If you want to add notes and tags to my photos, you at least need to be someone I consider a contact on Flickr. You can open that one up to ‘Any Flickr User’ though I haven’t yet.
Ah, the license. You can choose from any of the Creative Common licenses, or the old ‘All Right Reserved’ if you don’t want to give out any rights without people chasing you down and asking you. Choosing a Creative Commons license does not mean you give up all your rights. It means you selectively allow certain uses without having to grant permission for each case. You still maintain copyright of your work. I usually choose the NonCommercial license for my stuff. I figure if someone wants to make money off of it, they should talk to me first. But if someone wants to use it for personal use, or to promote something that is not a money-making venture (BarCamp, Web414, etc.) I am cool with that. Since others use a CC license, it allows me to build things like this BarCampMilwaukee2 flyer.
Since I am also a geo-nerd, I like to see and show where my photos were taken. I put most of them on a map using Flickr’s mapping tool. That last one, about EXIF location data, that’s for cameras that support GPS. While some people might say “Egad! My camera knows where I took the photo?” I know a ton of people who have been saying “Why the hell can’t my camera automagically geotag my photos!?” But then, maybe it’s just the crowd I run with. :)
Ultimately, only you can decide how open you want to be. I’m hoping some people who never thought about it before read this post and put some thought into opening up a bit.