How to be Open on Flickr

I’ve learned a lot more about Flickr in the last month or so. This is due to two things, me pushing Creative Commons and Creative Commons at BarCampMilwaukee2.

Flickr Open 1

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.

Flickr Open 2

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.

Flickr Open 3

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.)

Flickr Open 4

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.

Flickr Open 5

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.

Flickr Open 6

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.


Milwaukee Sequential Numbers

People do all sorts of wacky things on Flickr, like taking photos in a certain area of numbers in sequential order…

Local Flickr user Czeltic Girl started a group called Milwaukee Sequential Numbers, which attempts to do just that (within Milwaukee County.) Taking a cue from the NYC Sequential Numbers gang, we plan to replicate that here in our own fair city.

I was lucky enough to get the number 2 spot, because, you know, I’m the sort of weirdo who already had photos of numbers in my stream.

Hmmm, maybe I should start a set containing sequential numbers of my own… :)



I’m becoming more and more interested in photography. In part, I blame Flickr. (Though I also blame Cory at Z2, from whom I’ve been learning bits and pieces about the process.)

Pipe #103

There are so many aspects of “taking pictures” to consider, and for many people it’s just a matter of capturing a moment, and honestly, most of my photos are still the “moment capturing” variety, but lately I’ve been trying to be more conscious of the shots I take, and how (and if) I post-process them.

I’ve noticed that I seem to be writing a bit less, and taking pictures a bit more. You’d think the photos would take less time, but I don’t think that’s the case. I do think that consuming photos happens much faster, as I can keep up with my friends on Flickr, but I’m weeks (or months) behind on most of my blog subscriptions.

Fowler Lake Sunset #1191

I’m also starting to feel the limitations of a cheap digital camera. Even when I get what I think is a good shot, it seems to lack the tonal range it needs to really make the images burst.

Anyway, I’d like to get a better camera at some point, and really start to see what I can do with it. I shot film in the olden days, and really liked it, so it would be nice to have a camera with a bit more control over the input.

Oh yeah, you can see my photos on Flickr, if you care…


Cream City Photogs

While the future of Bucketworks is uncertain, tonight you can stop by and see the work of a bunch of area photographers who all use Flickr.

Jason's Cat

Friday, April 20th, 2007, it’s the Cream City Photogs Spring Gallery Night Exhibition!

You might also want to check out their site at It’s great to see a group like this form in Milwaukee. (We need more web-activity in the area!) Milwaukee is where I grew up, and I’m still pretty close (30 minutes west) so I tend to check out Milwaukee photos on Flickr quite a bit.

I’m even proud to say I had a (very) small part in making this thing happen. I suggested Bucketworks as the venue. (We had a great time there at BarCampMilwaukee!) I hope it all works out well. I wasn’t able to be as involved as I would like (too many projects going on at once!) Congrats to the Cream City Photogs for pulling this thing together.


BarCampMadison: How Social Can You Get?

I finally decided on a session for BarCampMadisonHow Social Can You Get?

I’m hoping to look at the typical “social networks” like Myspace and Facebook, but also look at how sites like Digg,,, Flickr, and others leverage social networking to enhance what they are already offering.