Friday, May 24, 2019

Panda-monium

The site maintenance shutdown for flick has been well advertised and even has a little good panda contest for the likes of me (free users or peraps a gift for a friend). This is probably the finals steps of the migration of services off the Yahoo’s servers, but seems to have taken a day longer than anticipated. The new owners and the flicker team seem to have put a have put a lot in place to make sure this is a seamless transition, including a Known Issues page They warn a few features might take a little longer to bring back on-line. However its return to be up online again has not gone so well for me. I can not upload my photos either with the newer photo uploader.

Or the Old Manual Photo uploader






This hiatus is punching a whole in my 365 project (post a photo on flickr each day this year) but I’m not panicking, I’m patient and I’m sure they will figure it out in time, I also realise PRO member will get higher support, Here is a link to the current status of the scheduled maintence, take the opportunity to go take a few more photos, perhaps enter their good panda contest.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

More Experiments in Camera Motion

Sharky James of the PetaPixel podcast has teamed up with FujiFilm to create a series of weekly photo assigmnents. Last week’s theme was “Share your streaks of creativity”, in other words, movement and blur/slow shutter. A classic theme to look at moving the camera during the exposure. Something I have tried before and enjoyed. I decided to be a bit more investigative this time and try out a range of movements.

 Note that I never really need an excuse to experiment with potential photographic techniques.

JiggleSwipe to the right
Pan Right Pan Down
Rotate ClockwiseZoom Out
All of these show some merit, but I think I like the jiggle the best (its just part of a grape vine)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Flickr & Pixsy

Flickr partners with Pixsy to fight image theft

Flickr has teamed up with Pixsy to help protect images on Flickr. Pixsy is a service that will scan your photos. then using reverse image search and some Ai as well will periodically review and report on any other locations around the web your image is being used. Some are legit but other can require take down notices and possibly seeking damages or payment for licencing images (these are more legally complex and really focussed on US based copyright registration).BTW pixsy does get paid unless you do.

I think something like this is well overdue and will add some teeth to Flickr’s licencing (its the only social media outlet I know that still display the licencing details with the detail photo display). There are still  creative commons options as well as full copyright. Importantly Pixsy can send legally binding takedown notices.

If you are new to flickr you might find it wise to turn off the download options to discourage “inadvertent steeling” of your photos . Alternatively you may also wish to change your privacy for Friends &/or Family.

This Pixsy service is only being offered to FlickrPro subscribers, and really does value add if you want to use flickr as a place to share your work to a wider audience but are worried about image theft. I’m going to stay with my free account because I already signed up to a free versions of pixsy monitoring connected to my flickr account quite a while ago and you can still independently do this but there are limits.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

On becoming A Lens Based Artist

#92/365 On Becoming a Lens Based Artist


Being a nice way to say I like to use photography creatively, and I'm not afraid of post processing

Monday, April 01, 2019

Projects & Bodies of Work

I’m well over gear reviews, mirrorless versus DSLRs and megapixel counts etc that has preoccupied so many photography bloggers and photography oriented You Tube Vloggers of late. It was refreshing to watch Julieanne Kost, remember that lady that talked you through some of the deeper areas of Lightroom  around a decade ago, on this week in photo (itself too often gear obsessed). She is still an Adobe Lightroom Evangelist by the way.

Julieanne would like to call herself “A Lens based Artist” rather than a photographer to avoid arguments with the purists. I really identify with this description, I feel it applies to me as well. She also covers her love of projects and the important reasons why she must outline the outcome as a body of work. Its a creative look at many aspect of photography and really worth a view.

Also see her Color of Place project, and perhaps follow @jkost on instagram

Colors of Kyoto

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

The Empire (of Dust)

It didn't take me long to break my own #TURNOFFSOCIALMEDIA campaign. I had the fortune to get tickets to Rone's Lastest Exhibition/Installation at Burnham Beeches. Its amazing, so I just had to upload a photo of the flooded Library via WiFi from my Olympus camera to my phone and then onto Instagram. All so easy and I've fallen off the wagon already

Friday, March 15, 2019

#TURNOFFSOCIALMEDIA :: Work in progress

Seems there was a lot of angst generated yesterday, because the social media drip was taken away. The really sad part was that the emergency services in Australia (triple zero) has to take to conventional media  to stop ringing to report Facebook and Instagram. So sad….

Well there is a good alternative #TURNOFFSOCIALMEDIA and go and do something in the real world, the more creative the better or actually talk to someone, especially a friend. It will be really good for your health.

Yesterday I when for a walk for with my sketchbook, watercolours & pens (the actually fit in my camera bag) Sat in the sun (and strong breeze) and sketched.

Time disappeared into a flow of seeing and sketching. The only rude reminder of reality was fighting against the wind. Such is life and it is good.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

More Than A Few Cracks

I’m actually not certain that they are related but the three Internet social media services I spend a bit of time on have all shown periods of very flaky response if not just plain not allowing anything to be updates. These are flickr (a couple of days ago) Gmail & blogger (yesterday) and Instagram (today). Seems a bit of a coincidence to me.

I’ll cut flickr some slack as I know they are transferring from Yahoo hardware to SmugMug facilities, not a simple task, I’d rather not see the Bad Panda Screen. An explanation would have been nicer. Assuming they know the cause.

I see Gizmodo Australia Is reporting that gmail was down (again) yesterday. They do reference a quote from a google source that “The Problem with Gmail should be resolved” then a bit of an apology in the ame message (which amounts to nothing so I haven’t included in the quote here). No explanation of what is going on, which unfortunately is what I have come to expect from google.

Now Instagram is a bit more complex because the android and Windows 10 apps just serve up cached info (ie old data) as if it is current. Its only when I try to upload of go somewhere I haven’t recent been (eg look at a persons profile/photofeed that I see a problem &/or the” Can’t update feed” message. However the browser/web interface seems to be working albeit slowly? Looking at reported problems there seems to be a bit of meltdown going on


I’m not going to panic I’m happy to “look away” from the screens, turn off the computer, put the phone down and pick up a pencil and go sketching. Given that all these services are “free” should we complain? Yes we should, perhaps by posting a blog post like this or a tweet or whatever, perhaps its even time to consider leaving these services!


Thanks to IconTexto for the very appropriate Social Media icons and DownDector.com.au for the Instagram outage graph.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

My $10 Photobook arrives

My discount Snapfish photobook arrive in the mail yesterday. I have prepared and ordered photobooks via Snapfish before so I was confident it would be good and in fact it was great. Mainly because it forced me to documented in a physical way something that had up to then only existed in the virtual world.

This little book is mainly based on images that became popular (lots of views and favorites) via flickr’s Explore feature. There are a lot of purist and armchair warrior's that criticise this interestingness based logarithmic selection feature, that‘s ok they are entitled to, providing they explain their reasons (which few do). However I feel a little pride in having photos selected (sometimes I don’t understand the appeal of a specific image) so having them in a physical format is even more satisfying.



The real important observation for me, there is no longer any reason why you can’t take some of your photographs, particular those ones your are proud of and crate a personal photobook. Giving them a more permanent place to exist, because on the glutted stream of social media “photographs” they will soon be forgotten and lost. If your worried about cost. Prepare then now (particularly select the collection of photos to use and the rough layout) and then just wait for a decent discount offer.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Vagaries of Planning a PhotoWalk in Nature

I have been running free PhotoWalks in Jells Park (and occasionally other locations) for a couple of years, and one of the biggest issues has definitely been the weather. I seem abnormally talented at picking either rainy/stormy or super hot/glary days, of course trying to pick the daily weather months ahead is my excuse. I’m not sure I will ever be able to improve on this particularly given Melbourne’s notoriety for changeable weather. Still learning to exploit the conditions or at least not be limited by them is a great photographic skill itself.

Jell’s Park has an amazing array of birdlife, and my next PhotoWalk is in part timed to get some good bird photography opportunities. Last year around this time there were hundreds of Ibis arriving at night, a family of regularly Spoonbill cruising the lake at dusk, Herons, large flocks of Wood Ducks grazing on the lawns, So I planned a late weekday walk (to avoid crowds)  in the golden hour light before dusk. Should all be pretty reliable, given favourable weather right? Well not quiet  looking around now the Ibis have pretty much abandoned the lake (and left their favourite island a wasteland), so have the Spoonbills and only a few grazing Ducks are still around.

However all is not lost. Yesterday I went on a late afternoon scouting trip looking for the best locations and likely bird species to capture.  Rather than Ibis and Heron I saw Egrets and Pelicans. Rather than numerous ducks on the ground their were sulphur Crested Cockatoos and Galahs (not shown) and a lots of small birds flitting in and out of the light (also not shown) and plenty of cormorants, moorhens, coots and ducks.




So the next Photowalk should be really worthwhile if you want to try your hand out at photographing birds or just enjoying the afternoon light.


If you’d like to join us please Register via Eventbrite.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Revisiting & Extending my Photographic Punctuation Marks

Its been a while since I wrote about the idea of including pictorial punctuation marks in my camera’s photostream. It much handier (pun intended) than taking notes or trusting memory. As I’m taking more and more group image sets this is a very easy way to find and group like images just in the thumbnail view (eg PhotoMechanic as I load the photos where I can colour code them accordingly or in OnOne Photo RAW where I like to group Stitched Panoramas, HDR and Focus Stacked sets in their own sub–directories). This avoids a lot of wasted time churning thorough a mountain of similar images, and keeps things a little better organised.

Think of these first the hand signals as visual brackets


Panoramic Sequence, and direction of shooting. I still don’t use this all the time, because a panoramic series is usually pretty self explanatory. When I have used this I will add this marker photo before the panoramic sequence is shot. I further identify the stitched panorama series with a Green Colour Class



 HDR Bracketed Sequence, I use this to indicate I am taking 3 or 5 a photo sequence. This is another punctuation marker that I normally use to precede a sequence. I usually don’t bother put this in front of every HDR set in a continuous series (such as combined HDR and Stitch Panorama because it is relatively easy to find the groupings). I then use the Yellow Colour Class to easily identify the HDR sequences.



Focus Staking. or other multi-bracket techniques. This is a new marker because it can be very difficult to discern the beginning and/or end of focus bracketed sequences when more that two or three shots are involved. I have therefore adopted the approach of adding this at the end of each sequence. I use the Blue Colour Class to identify this type of bracketing.


I like to think of the next hand sigalns as simple punctuation marks  ; (=battery) . (=end)  ? (=cut)  ! (=good)

Battery Change, still my way of recording when I changes my battery, looking back through your photos and finding the previous battery change photo, then just subtracting the new photo number from the previous gives you the battery life in terms of number of shot per battery charge. On the Pentax DSLRs this can be weeks to months worth of shooting but on the mirrorless Olympus this is generally days to a week. Doing this let me work out I get around 750 photos from a single battery charge from my new Olympus OMD EM10iii, which is about double the claimed 330 shots.



Full Stop, End is a marker to end one series or starts another. I used this often for a variety of breaks or just simple visual markers to aid looking through a large collection.





Cut, not something I use much, but I have used this simple bit of sign language to remind myself that the previous photos should be deleted. I never just flag photos to be deleted I immediately delete them as soon as they are loaded onto my computer, I also delete this marker.





Good, another new punctuation mark just to remind me that close to this marker is a photo I liked at the time, maybe good light, composition or just that perfect moment.

Whilst I normally take both Jpeg & RAW, I usually delete the larger RAW version of any punctuation photos, as I never intend to post process them.

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Now they tell me!

Flickr had indicated last November that they would not be deleting any photos previously licence under Creative Commons. Since most of my photos were That would mean I could leave the old flickr account active and nothing few images would be deleted. However the implied overriding conditions for free accounts was that I would not be able to upload any new images. Perhaps to get around this I just needed o create a new flickr account and start a fresh, but that seemed like trying to game the system to me.

My use of flickr was never to acts as an on-line photo storage instead I just wanted to use it to share photos and participate in the various photo-concentric communities so It was an easy decision for me to cull my flickr photostream.

Howvever recent posts in the flickr blog suggests maybe I interpreted things wrongly I will perhaps be able to upload new creative commons files into a free account over and above the 1000 photo limit. Such is life.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Interestingly I’d forgotten about Scout

Last weekend snapfish had a good discount on making photobooks. I’ve been using the small 20 by 20cm size as suitable to pull together small collections that are personally meaningful (eg a series of a previous 365 project). The culling of my flickr photo was still fresh in my mind so I figured it was time to prepare a book about my more popular photos on flickr (not necessarily my favourites) Most of them had been in Explore, flickr’s very useful way to display the top 500 photos on any day using an algorithm they call “Interestingness”. From my perspective the difficulty was know what has or has not been included (other than lots of views and likes). Anyway I went to prepare the booklet and realized I had culled a lot of the photos, probably about 15) that had made it into Explore (oh well such is life) they weren’t so interesting to me. I was able to prepare most of the book in record time directly downloading photos to snapfish from flickr albums with pnly a few uploads from my archive. I called the book “Confessions of a flickr freeloader” (since I have always had a free account and the book is being printed right now.

After all that was finished I realised I should have used Scout from BigHugeLABS, which will pull out your photos that have been included in scout and produce a poster (like the one below) with accompanying links to those images. Its really neat, or might have been.

1. #5/365 The Big Decision looms, 2. More Recycling, 3. INKtober Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, 4. Towards the old Exhibition Building, 5. Before sunset, 6. Inspired by Max Dupain's Iconic Sunbaker photo, 7. Day 1 :: Finishing Up, 8. Photographer crush on Fisherman's Bridge at Canal Rocks, 9. Flinder's Bay rock pool, 10. #338 Last light, 11. #330 Am I Spending Too Much Time On Instagram, 12. Autostitch panorama sunset II, 13. #106_IGP4642-Australia Rock II, 14. _IGP2361_2_3_norfolk_gaol_gate, 15. waiting for the comet, 16. Always look on the bright side..., 17. 27-mar_04, 18. P5233079

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Further Experiments with Deep Dreaming towards #HANDDRAWNPHOTOs

Yesterday I did a series of panoramas with two different cameras on the leap track in the southern part of Jells Park. This was primarily to test out the panorama stitching in the new version On1 Photo RAW 2019.2 (trial version). I was quite happy with the results, which managed to capture the quintessential nature of the Australian bush. This inspired me try some further experiments in using Ai methods to refine my #HANDDRAWNPHOTO idea. Basically I’m investigating different styles of photography and post processing that might allow the hand of the artist, his mark making/style to shine through and become part of the photograph.

So the first step for me was to create a simple semi-abstract sketch of just the shapes and textures I could see between the trees in my panoramas. This was made with sharpie pens, in simple blue, purple and black hues. (i wasn’t going to try and use the colours from my sketch just the tones). This is very loose and not too accurate but that was what I wanted.

I used this sketch as my default style in the Deep Style module of Googles Deep Dream, This involves a bit of time to process because the software has to create a neural network which will understand the key style elements, lines and shapes and how I draw them. The original photo is uploaded image at the generate screen. I have been constantly tweaking the settings under the style tiles. The important setting in these examples is preserving colours (from the original photo). Its trial and error from there and can take time, so enjoy it, have a coffee.

This pair shows the original photo above and the resulting deep dream below.

I think this is starting to look what I am after.

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Self- appointed Camera Obscura

I was surprised when I looked at the reflection of the late afternoon sun to see a classic camera obscura style upside down image of not only the sun but also the silhouettes of the trees outside my front door. there wasn’t the classic “dark room” (although the stair well is naturally darker at that time of day) or the pinhole to let in only the stronger outdoor light.

The angle of the sun was such that it did hit the glass panels of the front door at a low angle and the light then traveled onto a beveled edge of a large mirror on an adjacent wall in the entry, then onto the wall of stair well. An amazing phenomena, a nicely inverted image, that my photo don’t really do justice to. It was all over in a few moments as the reflected sunlight moved up (opposite direction to the setting sun) and across the mirror and off the beveled edge.



BAD Google Photos … yet again

I was just getting ready to resume blogging. Everything about my camera obscura post was nicely formatted and ready in Open Live Writer (a much better place to set up your blog post than google/bogger’s pedestrian offering. As I put my toe in the water and clicked on the <Publish> button I got hit with an undecipherable error.

I had seen this before too many times. It will be that I am not able to upload the images to google photos as part of the publish task. The real underlying cause will thus be something google has done to their google photos system, perhaps its API, perhaps an album size limit or some new upload authorization step. Unfortunately It will be left to the voluntary developers on the Open Live Writer source project to find and fix the issue while google tries to divert any responsibility. Am I being too cynical? Heck no!


This fix seems to trigger a repeated opening of open live writer for me, so I’ll let the investigation and fixes continue. All the previous work arounds don’t work this time but I found my own, by firstly uploading the image to the web and inserting a web shared image rather than having it uploaded. Bit frustrating and fiddly but it works

Saturday, January 12, 2019

My Social Media slow down …. almost a break

Now my oldest photo on flickr
taken in 2005
I was able to reduce my flickr photostream by close to three quarters quickly but the last few hundred photo took me longer to select and delete. Not so much about Views or Comment or Favs, most had plenty of those, it was more about what I wanted  to represent me (which is actually a bit of a chaotic mess at the best of times). Looking through my entire collection highlighted how I had changed (and hopefully developed as a photographer), not that my early photo were bad some are in fact really good (& taken with a 4megapixel camera). I could see changes and improvement with each new camera, interwoven with different bits of software I started to use and some experimentation with new methods. In particular one thing stood out some of my favourite photos, they were all the ones that were hard to get. Fleeting moments of light, extreme long exposures, experiments in colour, taking subjects and techniques that are often considered too hard or methods I had worked out for myself.

My plans is to now take my time to reduce the photostream by a further 200, while still uploading daily (ie to add one I need to also delete one). This is slow project and may take a long time. A photostream of 800 is my goal.

An unexpected flow-on has been losing interest in other social media (eg Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and even this blog), Suddenly they look more like shouting into the wind. Which I always suspected they were. I’m sure i will continue to keep using them (particularly Instagram and blogger) but it is also fine to have a break and wander in the light more, take better photos and enjoy life!

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Flickr Lock-out Day has arrived

imageI fell short a few hundred photo when I did my first pass on the great flickr clean up. So I figured I had a good opportunity to find out what would happen on the 8th. Well nothing happened yesterday because in Australia we are a day ahead of the USA. However today when I logged into fickr I got a very obvious notification in RED. the Lock-out has begun.
No need to panic. I’ve had a break from deleting photo so I’ll have to return to the task a fresh, before I can upload.
A significant side benefit of this project is I have reacquainted myself with a lot of my earlier work (which was actually better than I expected) and I have been able to review what was popular. One thing I did notice was the effect of better post processing, firstly when lightroom reached version 3 and the tonal adjustment made editing RAW photos amazing. Then Nik software (still great) and On1 Photo and recently auroraHDR. Flickr has three different measures, View (just how many people stopped and looked), Favs (photo others liked a bit like the heart in instagram) & Comments (self explanatory). I’m more likely to keep those with more favs and comments but less than 200-ish views seems to be the “sweet spot” on those photos that have gone unnoticed and can be deleted.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Preserving Albums, Collections & Organization as you move digital photos

In the process of downloading my files from flickr I’m reminded of the unexpected issue most folk find when trying to transfer a lot of files between different photo managers. Things like EXIF and key words can be embedded in the files (in the case of Jpeg and Tiff, also DNG but not other RAW formats) and sidecar files (eg .xml can also carry this data with photos as they are transferred between packages. Unfortunately the organization features such as Albums (or Collections in Lightroom) are not transfered and/or not compatible between packages.

image

There is a simple solutions I have written about before. It is using special key words to identify the albums. I use names beginning with the tilde key ~ and write that into the keywords (or tags in flickr jargon). In most software you need to enable writing back of the keywords into the embedded data and/or writing the sidecar file beside each file. When you load into the new software it will read in these keywords and you can selective filter on a given ~keyword then do whatever is required to create the new album or collection.

Very simple really.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Selectively Deleting Photos on Flickr? :: The obvious next question

What a task deleting 3,500 photos one at a time is a big task. Even if I allow one minute for each delete (which includes moving through my photo stream, wait for the edit icon and then selecting delete takes time and is very repetitive) it will take over 58 hours. Blimey! I wont be doing that in one hit. At say 2 hours, which could be do-able, that’s almost a month (29days). Ouch!

Surely their is a quicker way, and in fact their are two decent alternatives. The first I wrote about back in 2016, when several social media service where spruiking massive photo storage for free, “one place for all your photos, free on-line backup. It worried me then enough warn my readers don’t use these services as your only backup and also to investigate how to recover and download those photos stored on-line. Both flickr and google do offer ways to get your photos but you have to do a bit of investigation to work out how (see my post with link above)

Using Camera Roll, to select, download & delete

imageThe Camera Roll is a fairly recent development by YAHOO/Flickr standards, and it allows you to see a chronological “list” (can be date taken or date uploaded) of thumbnails of your photos. On the left hand side is the hierarchy of years and s you click on a given year you cam work through the months and days (from youngest to oldest. Its a really fast way to find photos if you know roughly the dates.

The magic happens when you select one or more of the photos. You get the same little icon tool set you get on the full single photo display from your photostream, but at the bottom of your screen Only now it works on all the photos you have selected. The Thumbnails of the selected are displayed in a film strip style view just above the icon and you can use your mouse of the arrow keys to scroll through the film strip thumbnails, which also show a tick in front of the image. click on the tick will deselect the image from the selected set.

You can change privacy, edit, share or add the selected photos to an album, but the two tools useful now are on the right hand side (at the bottom of the screen). First if you want (or more particularly if you need to) download a copy of the photos before deleting it click on the download item. This starts a background process where by the selected items are all written to a Zip file. The link to that location from which that zip file can be downloaded is then emailed to you, So You need to wit a few moments to get the email (generally It arrives within a minute or so but time required probably depends on how many photos and how busy the flickr server is. To be safe I download this zip file and check it before O go onto delete the selcted photos, which are still selected in my film strip at the bottom of the camera roll view.

This process may seem overly complex but it is probably based on sound privacy advice This process will stop others scraping your photos using this facility, because the email link is only sent to you. I have found about 3 minutes is the average time for this round about trip. So the next question is how many photos to add to each selected group. So far I have found 30-60 photos works well and I try to keep them in logical groups, months or trip, or family events. At an average of 50 per group, downloading and deleting 3,500photo become roughly 70 sessions or say the  minutes each (ie approx 210 minutes) or roughly 3 hours 30minutes, which is now not so daunting (eg 1 hour a day for three days.

If you just want to delete files and not download them first you can power through the deleting process using select all on the dates ad deleting month long or longer batches. Be careful deleting files is permanent.

Using Organize, to tag and delete

imageAnother alternative that is considerable more flexible but might require a little more work is to your the Organize tools. Firstly you need to select the files you want to delete. You can do this is small manageable batches, use the addimage tags option from the menu at the top of the screen. I use a the very specific tag [DEL] to avoid confusion with anything else mentioning delete. This key word is then added to all the photos selected. Next you use the advances search option at the bottom of this display (just above the film strip). Select tag only and enter the [DEL] code in the search box. You will see the photos again in the film strip and thus have a second chance to deselect items you might have included by accident. Next using select all under the search dialogue, which outlines all the photos selected so you can easily drag them up on to the batch organize work place. Finally under the edit menu option at the top of the screen the last item on the drop down menu is delete.

This approach may take longer but it does let you interact with the photos and see them in larger format, compared with just thumbnails in the camera roll view. Also you get a second chance to review what you are about to delete.


So now all I need to do is Do It.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

The great flickr lock-out looms

Staying with a free account is not such a hard decisionI’ve been away from the “real” internet for the past week (and it feels good), no junk email or time wasting distractions (yes that’s you YouTube). I wasn’t totally off-line because I had my mobile phone, which of cause has several apps that access the internet (eg Instgram and Flickr, both of which I did use).

Somehow this meant that I missed the rescheduling of the date flickr would start locking out uploads to free account users with more than 1000 photos. I currently have 4,384 so I will have to delete 3,500 photo in the next couple of days and I don’t think that’s going to happen. I have more important things to do right now.

Wouldn’t it be easier to just spend the AUD$84 each year to avoid this hassle?

Well No. I’ve always had a free account and that allowed me to interact with other photographers and special interest groups. I have never really wanted to use flickr as a photo backup or archiving facility. True flickr has several good organizational features and I did use it for a while as a way to share photos into my blog. Yet to me it is the community aspects of flickr that make it worthwhile. Sadly spending money on the PRO account really doesn’t enhance that community at all.

Also important I’m retired and thus have a very fixed and probably diminishing cashflow so I need to avoid  unnecessary commitments  to ongoing costs. Finally I’d rather have fun taking photos and I’m happy to reduce my on-line photos to less than 1000, you never know it might increase the quality of the collection. I’m really not complaining I’ll wear it I just don’t want to fret over extra expenditure.