This time around, the chosen day is the 8th of August – 8.8.8 – hence the project group is called Flickr 888. The basic rules of the project are the same, grab your cameras and take as many pictures as you like on the day, and then submit one to the group.
Points to note are that rather than a book, they are partnering with MOO to produce a set of postcards. That does mean that there is a minimum resolution for pictures of 1795×1287 – so no iPhone pictures folks. 🙁
Whilst I suspect my chances of making the final cut this time around is unlikely – next Friday is a normal day at work for me – I’ll still be taking my camera along and seeing what I can photograph.
Although photo sites such as Flickr offer a multitude of features for people to work with their digital photographs, in a lot of cases the average user is only really looking for somewhere simple to post their pictures and share them with friends – hence why more general sites such as Facebook are proving popular places to post pictures. There are even ways to integrate the two – Facebook applications like zuPort: Flickr can pull all your Flickr shots into your Facebook profile without the hassle of double posting.
Having said that, there are one or two features in the way Facebook handles pictures – related to it’s social features – that at first glance are totally absent from Flickr – chief amongst them being the people tagging.
If you’ve not seen this, this particular feature allows you to highlight particular people in your pictures and if they are on Facebook too link to their profile. This allows you to do quite clever searches, finding all pictures on Facebook that have been taken by anybody.
So the question is, why, with it’s massively more powerful tagging and note making abilities why Flickr doesn’t appear to do it? The simple answer is that it does – it’s just that in amongst all the other features it’s not as obvious – nor immediately as straightforward.
I was already aware of the ability to tag Flickr pictures with what are termed as machine tags to link them to events held on Upcoming.org, as Flickr themselves used them for their 24 Hours of Flickr events, one of which we attended. By adding a particular machine tag, the system was able to link all the pictures of the event pretty easily back to the event page – Facebook does something similar. After a bit of digging around I found that there was a machine tag to link to another Flickr user, but it was only a tag, the other nice aspect of the Facebook solution is that it also highlights the person in the picture – easy to do with a note in Flickr but a multi-stage process compared to the simple click in Facebook.
Needless to say I’m not the first person to look at what Facebook has done and suggested it, a bit more digging and I came across this discussion which finishes off with a link to a Greasemonkey script that can be installed into any Firefox based browser that puts it all together giving almost the same functionality as is available in Facebook – select a Flickr user and it tags the picture with the right machine link, and then creates a note on the picture with the persons name linked in as well, then it’s just a question of moving the note over the relevant person, and you get a clickable link that takes you to their pictures. Maybe at some point Flickr will do something similar, but until then this little Greasemonkey script works fine – just need to go back through the couple of thousand pictures on my account and create the links…
So after a bit of discussion, we decided to head off into London to attend the 24 Hours of Flickr London event. Although it involved dashing home from work, and an hour on the train each way the prospect of seeing my picture hung on the wall, as the pictures had been at the Berlin and Paris events was just rather tempting.
I managed to make it home from work pretty promptly, and we headed straight down to Fleet station. Thanks to some early-bird commuters heading home we even managed to get a space just beyond the reserved parking in the car park. Unfortunately things didn’t go quite so well after that. There was one person in front of me in the queue, an old gentleman buying a ticket for tomorrow morning. The reason he was doing that was because they now will not sell the reduce priced tickets on the train. If you’re lucky they’ll sell you a full price ticket – if you’re unlucky they’ll give you a penalty fare. As a result, there is now a sizeable queue at the ticket office whenever a train arrives with people buying a ticket for tomorrow. Anyway, after grumbling about this for a bit, he was then told about the other new South-West Trains policy – super off-peak fares. In actual fact what they’ve done is hiked off-peak fares towards London by 20% and introduced a new super off-peak band that comes into force at lunchtime – anyway, that produced another grumble. With all that grumbling we got our tickets just as the next train to London pulled into the opposite platform, and typically the guard closed the doors and the train pulled out just as we made it to the stairs down off the bridge. We caught the next train, and made it to the event just before 8pm.
Flickr had taken over the foyer area inside the Manton Entrance of the gallery on Atterbury Street. The reason for the choice of venue being that for the first time Tate Britain was hosting an exhibition of photography – How We Are, with photographs stretching right from the dawn of photography – right up to a PC connected to Flickr itself as the final exhibit. Alongside a selection of Flickr freebies, they were also giving away copies of the book, plus a selection of nibbles and free drinks. All very nice. The only disappointment was that the only place that 24 Hours of Flickr pictures were being shown were on a plasma screen – they didn’t appear to have the big blown up versions of the book pages that they had shown at the other events. To be honest there was nowhere that they could have shown them, but it was still a bit disappointing.
So in lieu of a gratuitous shot of me by my picture, I’ve got a shot of my picture in the book. It’s in amongst a selection of wedding pictures not surprisingly.
The rest of the book has a massive range of pictures, covering a broad spectrum of subjects. Unless you can get to the last of the events in Montreal, the book is available from blurb.com – my picture is on page 64. 😀
After a browse round the How We Are exhibit, we headed back to Waterloo and the train for home. A bit of a lightning visit – but enjoyable – even if I didn’t get to see my picture actually hung in the Tate…
Andy Piper also highlights that the guys from Moo who produce the cool little Moo MiniCards from pictures in your Flickr stream were in attendance. Beth has recently ordered a set using some of her pictures, and absolutely loves them. She actually came home with a few more, as amongst the freebies last night were a selection advertising Flickr…
I had to wait a bit to blog this, just to make sure that Jo and Drew were happy for it to go forward, but I got an e-mail from Flickr yesterday saying that my picture had been selected to possibly go into the book and exhibition for 24 Hours of Flickr.
Since submissions are open until 21st May, it is still possible that the picture might not appear, but I’m really chuffed to have made it through to the final stages. Participants were only able to submit a single shot, and had to try and sum up the whole day, and I felt that this shot pretty well explained the way we spent 5th May 2007.
There is currently a discussion going on in the group itself amongst people who have received one of the selection e-mails. Certainly there seems to be a good mix, right across the spectrum of pictures you get on Flickr. For example there are some shots that are just fantastic pictures, like this shot of Chesil Beach by petervanallen. Alongside this (and I suspect my picture falls into this category) there are event shots, not necessarily great pictures, but important moments captured, so there are several graduation pictures, and other than mine several wedding shots too.
So maybe the picture will end up in a collage – not that I particularly mind, I’m just chuffed to have been picked!