Doubling down on Flickr

I’ve made public declarations on Facebook and Instagram that I will not publish on those platforms frequently anymore. I’d like to say that Facebook’s drunken-pirate behavior with our data finally pushed me over the edge, but I can’t. On Facebook I finally had enough of the political tribalism. On Instagram, about every fourth post is an ad. I’m not anti-advertising but that’s too much.

I’m not deactivating my accounts. I’ll still check in from time to time, if for no other reason that I still promote this blog through a Facebook page (here if you’re curious) and share from that page to various Facebook groups. Like I’ve said before (here), Facebook remains the most effective way I’ve found to promote my blog. I still promote the Historic Michigan Road through Instagram (here).

But I want to look at photographs, especially film photographs. When I make time to really study a good photograph, not only does it deepen my enjoyment, but it can teach me something about photography that I can try on my next roll of film.

If I follow you on Flickr, you might have noticed that I’ve starred more of your photographs lately. I’m shifting to Flickr as the primary place I go to view photos and (outside of this blog’s comments) interact with photographers.

Flickr isn’t as fun as it was when I joined in 2006. But I want to believe that new owner SmugMug means what it says and will revitalize the community. I see no ads there, and I’m not aware they use my data beyond what is necessary to operate the service.

I’ve always been able to look at photographs there as easily on my desktop as I can my phone. And now that SmugMug has increased the maximum upload resolution, I can study photographs there in ways not available on any other platform I’ve used. Facebook and Instagram can’t touch Flickr here.

If you’re active on Flickr I’d like it very much if you’d leave your Flickr URL in the comments, unless you’re sure that I already follow you there. Here’s my Flickr stream if you’d like to follow me. Thank you!


53 responses to “Doubling down on Flickr”

  1. conspicari Avatar

    I’ve done the same with facebook (over a year ago) for the same reasons as yourself, WordPress and Instagram only now.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yep, we all have to choose what we have time to pay attention to online.

  2. Aashutosh jha Avatar

    Yes you are saying really correct. They show too many ads which is ridiculous

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The ads are too disruptive.

  3. TAZMPictures (@TAZMPictures) Avatar

    Agree – Facebook is for purely social sharing/communicating, and Flickr for the photos. Find me at tazmpictures.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      If only Facebook were still as good a place for social sharing as it was just a few years ago.

  4. Andy Umbo Avatar
    Andy Umbo

    Never been on Facebook, or any other social media site…life is too short. I went on LinkedIn because of work, and then pulled it when I went into semi retirement: I never had one valuable interaction on Linked In ever!

    Social media was always “suspect” for me. It’s touted as a way to keep up with pals, but I was already keeping up with pals as much as I wanted to. When those types of platforms came out, many of my friends, as well as I, thought it daft to tout your life in an open forum AND felt it creepy that friends might expect you to follow them! Seemed ultimately really “needy”.

    It’s always good to remember that the social media sites were created by “kids” with undeveloped sociology, zero history of education in life based on actually living in it long term! I would no sooner be involved in those, than I would let a college kid tell me what was wrong with my life and how to “live”. Ridiculous…

    Good to also remember that virtually ALL internet based social media sites are built solely on the idea of making money on advertising, and will change their policies at will to accomplish that; including selling their data, targeting ads, etc. They didn’t get started because someone wanted to help you have a wonderful life!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Oh, social media was fun at first. No need to knock that. Also no need to participate in it if it doesn’t appeal to you. Its appeal for me has done nothing but steeply decline over the last couple years.

  5. Dan James Avatar

    This is very reassuring to hear Jim. We’ve known each other on Flickr a long time anyway, so no need to share links.

    The one major deal breaker for me with Instagram is it’s optimised for mobile devices. I just don’t want to share and view pictures on what is, compared with a laptop or even an iPad, a tiny screen.

    (The ads I’d dislike too, as I do anywhere online, my tolerance is much lower than yours!)

    The way you can upload a full size image to Flickr and then it automatically makes different size versions for you has always been a strong point for me, and very convenient for posting decent sized (I use the 1024px one mostly) images in blog posts but not absolutely huge ones. Whilst keeping the original size one there as a back up and/or to view on a larger screen if you want to.

    Well done with publicly sticking with Flickr!

    (PS/ Are you as relieved as I am that they finally dropped that silly requirement to have a Yahoo username to log in?? It’s so much better just using a (non Yahoo) email address…)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve been on Flickr long enough to remember when they started requiring Yahoo login! I had it even more complicated: for a time, I had internet through AT&T, which had a partnership with Yahoo. My Yahoo login was tied to my AT&T account, and any time I needed to reset my password it was this huge ordeal through AT&T. I bloody hated it.

      I, too, love it that Flickr lets you so easily use images at so many sizes.

      1. tbm3fan Avatar

        My old email address was through the old Pacific Bell which never died after it was bought by SBC, now AT&T. AT&T linked in with Yahoo and I ended up with logins on both their sites. I still get email on the old address and when logging in one month ago couldn’t. What a PIA trying to correct with both sites telling me I was wrong.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          The ATT/Yahoo commingling was just awful all around.

        2. tbm3fan Avatar

          Since you mentioned Flicker I went to log in, havn’t for some time, and managed to do it fine via Yahoo and my standard screen name. Tried my old pacbell email address via Yahoo, did last week, and I am denied today. Again…

  6. Christopher May Avatar
    Christopher May

    This is a great idea. You hit the nail on the head on your assessments of the various social media platforms. Time to spend my online time at a place that I actually enjoy. See you on Flickr!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Sweet! My nefarious plan is working! :-)

      1. Dan James Avatar

        The Flickr revival is on! : )

  7. traveller858 Avatar

    Thank goodness you’re sticking with Flickr. I did worry as I started to read the post as to where it might be heading.
    Yes I agree with your assessments in general. However, I worry that all sites will start to adopt similar patterns that suit themselves and not necessarily us the users. Still for the moment I’ll keep watching and following you on all your sites especially Flickr.
    I am not a prolific “poster” but was pleased to reach the heady heights (for me anyway) of 100,000 viewings on my Flickr site this past week.

    All power to you to continue posting Jim.


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I get way more views on Flickr each day than I do here on my blog! Of course, I have in excess of 10,000 photos on Flickr today — nowhere near that many blog posts.

      1. traveller858 Avatar

        10,000 – perhaps I need to start concentrating more. I’ve only just moved into the 1,000’s. However I do enjoy the format and freedom it provides me.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I dump my photos onto Flickr with very little discrimination. If I took care, I might only have 1,000 too!

      2. Dan James Avatar

        Jim are you able to see how many visits to your blog come from one of your Flickr pages/photos? I’ve tried to link the two myself (Flickr and WordPress blog) without a great deal of success. Perhaps I need a different and more focused plan…

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I can see Flickr referrals in my WP dashboard but they’re not a major source of traffic. I used to link my Flickr photos that I used on my blog back to the blog but almost nobody clicked those links.

          1. Dan James Avatar

            Yes I have a standard wording on new photos on my Flickr that invites people to check out more on 35hunter.

            Is it “Referrers” you look at in your WP dashboard? If so Flickr doesn’t seem to feature at all in mine, but I get a few from Facebook, which I haven’t been on for nine years!!

  8. Mike Connealy Avatar

    Nice to see some positive reviews of Flickr. I’ve put my best photos there for a long while and feel that the site provides the best available platform for showing and sharing images. The one disappointment with the site is the decline in the use of the groups discussion feature which I always found useful.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Here’s hoping SmugMug means it when they say they want to revitalize the community aspect of Flickr.

  9. Christopher Smith Avatar
    Christopher Smith

    Don’t do social media but do do Flickr you know my account. I find it great for sharing photo’s not gone pro yet as still under 1000 images

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve been pro since almost the beginning. It’s the best bargain in photography!

  10. bodegabayf2 Avatar

    I upload to Instagram from my phone…the only way you can…but when I want to spend time looking at image from the people I follow, I use my MacBook…no ads on the desktop version of Instagram.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I look at IG on my desktop too, but about as much as on my phone. I have a bookmark on Safari on my phone for IG for when the ads bug me too much.

  11. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    Yup…I hardly use Instagram, can only upload from my phone and for some reason it just doesn’t appeal to me. And you are right about the political tribalism on Facebook. Ironic that the service that was touted as bringing the world together has probably done more than anything to drive people apart and distort reality…. I am new to Flickr and blogging, but am finding it quite satisfying….. I am smitchellbluff on Flickr

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I like Instagram minus the ads. The Likes on my photos are addicting, and I follow some interesting photographers. Flickr wishes it were that interesting. But Flickr isn’t making me their product, and there are enough good photographers there.

  12. arhphotographic Avatar

    Hi, after much deliberation and soul searching I have finally opened a Flickr account. Early days yet but I must say I like the way it just works. Great!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Good luck with it!

  13. Johnny Martyr Avatar

    All I’ve got to say is, see you on Flickr! ;)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar


  14. Martin Cutrone Avatar
    I do enjoy Flickr, and appreciate the opportunity to avoid ads. Facebooks relentless assault on our privacy is just too much. I’m rarely there any longer.
    Enjoy your photos and thoughts, Jim. thanks for the reference to Garry’s Camera Repair. Great service and good prices.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Sounds like Garry’s worked out for you! That’s great!

  15. Rick Avatar

    I love Flickr and have never understood the haters out there.

    Here’s my link:

    Trigger warning: I shoot both film and digi. :-)

    Thanks for the post here.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I shoot both, too. Thanks for your link!

  16. Andy Karlson Avatar

    Hi Jim– I hear you. I had been a heavy facebook user for years and then in early 2018, for reasons that I’d be hard pressed to elucidate, I almost completely stopped using it. It felt like a mental block or something. I’ve returned to it a little recently, but in large part for some of the film photography forums. I was an early adopter of Instagram, but when they moved to an algorithmic timeline from chronological I abandoned it almost completely. I bit the bullet and signed up for the pro level at Flickr last year, and I’ve been quite happy with it (apart from a few hiccups here and there). My link is and I mostly have film photos on there. Thanks for your site!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve loved Flickr since I joined it in 2006. I’m an unapologetic apologist for the site!

  17. SilverFox Avatar

    We are already connected Jim and thanks for your recent favourites :)

    Never been a big user of FB just occasional views to see what the family back home is up to *they are all big FB users) and I share a few things no and again.

    IG I have a love hate relationship with and do use it a fair bit but I never tried to play ‘the game’ and follow only those who appear real and have images I actually like. Like you the appeal is fading and I may stop using it at some point.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I still like IG, just not the ads. FB…yeh, interest is fading.

  18. […] I was really excited to see Jim’s post this week about his commitment to […]

  19. P Avatar

    Since I’m primarily only interested in film photography, Flickr is the only place I visit to search for examples of different film stocks, developers, developing techniques, and cameras/lenses. No other platform is even worth the time. Instagram, in particular, is awful. I don’t understand its popularity at all. Thanks for uploading the number of images to Flickr that you do. I thoroughly enjoy your photostream. Ironically, I don’t personally upload anything to Flickr, but if I start I’ll let you know.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I have a lot of fun on Instagram. It’s so easy to enjoy some nice photography there, albeit at postage-stamp size. I just wish for fewer ads!

      1. P Avatar

        I just can’t enjoy “postage-stamp size” photographs. It’s completely impossible to properly evaluate different film stocks or developing techniques at such sizes.

  20. Nathaniel Suchy Avatar
    Nathaniel Suchy

    I stopped using Facebook and Instagram a while back, largely because the few family members on the site were inactive along with the whole privacy thing. A counter argument of those apps is that social media platforms are not private services, perhaps you shouldn’t post anything you wouldn’t show the world.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I used to think that posting private stuff on the Internet was akin to standing on a street corner in Manhattan at rush hour and speaking those same things aloud. Anyone who heard you wouldn’t care. It might have been true once upon a time. But now everything you post on these services is scanned, recorded, and used to try to sell you things. bleh.

  21. Alex Avatar

    Interesting. I used to love Flickr. I adminned a critique group which got a lot of engagement, lovingly curated my feed. But the continual decline in engagement killed it for me. I still have an account, but i can’t remember the last time I posted a comment in any of the groups I follow. I have high hopes for Smugmug. Hopefully they can rejuvenate it. Until then, I’m loving WordPress.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Flickr was great once. It’s still good for a narrower set of things it does. We can make it great again if we all go back and participate in the social aspect of it!!

  22. Ian Avatar

    HI Jim, just catching up on emails and found this post from you. I am currently not that active on Flickr but have a few images there. I may start using it more but at the moment only have free membership. Anyway here’s the URL:


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks Ian! Followed.

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