There are reasons to be a Flickr Pro user and perhaps speaking to other photographers here so apologies to others less inclined or happy with directly social usage online.
So first of all Pro version is a backup and a useful one.
- unlimited automatic full quality uploads of all JPEGs on your computer
- Direct links to various sizes of photos for sharing/embedding
- Plays nice with the rest of the Internet/IFTTT etc.
Secondly, the work is treated with respect.
- no ‘optimisation’ (Google) or whatever crunching Instagram call their process
- The images are large, full screen, looks great
- Camera data is shared if you want - EXIF data is a great teaching tool, directed my students to look at how the great Pete Souza set up his camera for each shot documenting the Obama WH - https://www.flickr.com/photos/obamawhitehouse/32267847826/in/datetaken/
Thirdly the respect extends to ownership
- copyright and usage is yours to determine
- images and galleries can be private, share what you want when you want to who you want.
- The embrace of Creative Commons alongside all of that.
Then, the great images.
- yes there’s wonderful photographers there (more on that in a min)
- the Commons: collections of major photographic and cultural archives available for free eg the wonderful @nlireland http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/
Okay. No I don’t go there for the community and discussion groups, that time has passed. The world has moved on and the community is all on Instagram.
Instagram features the public in their droves as well as professionals in their various forms from Fine Art to photojournalism, wedding and sports etc. That is where the ‘heat’ is.
But it’s for what? It strikes me that Instagram is a toehold for professionals to connect with the public and each other. But that is all it does. It doesn’t do any of the previous. You scan it and jump in, all of us moving along and wave at each other and that’s it.
It’s not that useful or informative, it’s not supposed to be. That would slow you down. The point is the ride, seemingly together but everyone somehow feels alone.
French artist Louise Druhle http://internet-atlas.net/ posits that a topology for the Internet reveals that the ‘slope’ of the early Internet was lower, promoted spending time and meandering, but now has become steeper and hurtles us to ever fewer places.
There’s a compulsion at play here. Instagram hasn’t mastered photography or its needs, it has mastered this compulsive behaviour in its users. Professionals are as deep in this as anyone else.
So if you’re a photographer and you’re concerned with your practice, don’t compare Flickr with Instagram. They’re different beasts. If you would find what Flickr does useful or worth supporting, then take a pro subscription out and use it. There’s a discount code going 25in2019 well worth taking up…