Flickr agrees to be acquired by SmugMug

Indeed. And they’re ever so anxious for everyone to hear about it.

They emailed eight times to tell me:

Don’t worry, they say:

SmugMug has a long history of empowering people who love photography and who want to improve their craft, making them a perfect fit for Flickr and our creative community. With SmugMug, we’ll continue to focus on you, the Flickr members who inspire us all with your work.

I like being focussed on.

Nothing will change immediately with regard to your Flickr account. You will still access Flickr with your current login credentials and you will have the same Flickr experience as you do now. We will continue to work to make your Flickr experience even better.

It all sounds great, but there is one fly in the metaphorical ointment – it’s this line:

We think you are going to love Flickr under SmugMug ownership, but you can choose to not have your Flickr account and data transferred to SmugMug until May 25, 2018. If you want to keep your Flickr account and data from being transferred, you must go to your Flickr account to download the photos and videos you want to keep, then delete your account from your Account Settings by May 25, 2018.

So it’s your prerogative, as it should be. But there’s no mention of what happens if you have just paid $50 for a year’s worth of Flickr Pro before this unsolicited change was made. And good luck with being able to download up to one terabyte of photos and videos in 1 month if you live (or happen to be visiting) somewhere with expensive internet (like South Africa) or slow internet (like… er… South Africa) or dodgy internet (like… well, look, you get the picture).

If you do not delete your account by May 25, 2018, your Flickr account and data will transfer to SmugMug and will be governed by SmugMug’s Terms and Privacy Policy.

I haven’t read SmugMug’s Terms and Privacy Policy, but then I’ve been a Flickr user for over 10 years and I don’t think I’ve ever read theirs either. I make the assumption that someone in the know out there is also a member and would have alerted me if I was about to sign over my first born.

No-one likes change, but the internet dislikes it more than most: remember how poor the response was to the big Flickr update back in 2013? I haven’t seen any feedback on this announcement yet, but I’ll be watching with interest.

Flickr has never been the most revolutionary of of websites, but what it does (sharing photos), it’s been doing just fine. From that point of view, I really hope that SmugMug don’t change it too much.

Two panos

I’m not a huge fan of panorama photos.
Well, I like the idea, but all too often, the actual product never really matches up to what I was hoping for (or even expecting).

Unless you’re going to plan ahead and take your own individual photos and stitch them in lightroom, it’s not going to be a great result.
That said, if you’re willing to acknowledge that you are using a mobile phone and not a DSLR, then your pano app can be fun for sharing a scene on whatsapp (or… er… a blog).

I popped the Mavic up above the early morning mist at home this morning and got this. It’s 21 images stitched together by the DJI software, but then you only get a 0.6MB image.
Still, what a shot (though I say it myself)…

One of those occasions where you really wonder if anyone would notice if you sent it up another 80m.

I didn’t. Obviously.

And then this, from Camps Bay this lunchtime. We had a spare half hour and so we grabbed a quick ice cream and a walk on the beach.

Full size here (10928 x 3520 nogal).

We’d forgotten how amazing Camps Bay can be out of season.
It was nice to be reminded.

 

UPDATE: I went back the next day and took a real panorama. You… well, you can see the difference. 🙂

My Instagram

I get quite a few requests for details of my Instagram account, despite it being linked to just over there on the right.

Anyway, here it is, along with a few other of my accounts you might want to follow:

My Instagram
My Flickr
My Twitter
My Facebook
My Youtube

And a couple of my Spotify playlists:

inspired by 6
just another indie/britpop playlist

I look forward to record (no pun intended) numbers of listeners.

 

Please feel free to add me on your social network(s) of choice.
Unless you’ve had enough of me already; in which case, why are you still reading this?

Nigel in Iceland

Another Nigel Danson-related link, this time to one of his photos and one of his videos from his recent trip to Iceland.

I really like the drama of his Icelandic Storm image:

Bigger on black here, and well worth the click.

The story of how the image was captured is also worth a look. Patience and planning were key here, and it’s really paid off.

This is also available as a limited edition print on his website.

Lovely stuff, and excellent blog fodder on a busy, busy day in the lab.

Drone homework

I’ve been planning ahead for our trip to Europe later in the year. Part of that planning is working out where I can safely and legally fly my Mavic.

It’s reasonable to say that there are differences in the approach to drone rules and regulations between differing countries.

Take, for example, the Isle of Man:

Basically, with a few provisos here and there, together with a dollop of common sense and a healthy respect for other people, you can fly your drone up to 120m high anywhere outside that red circle.

You need to employ those same provisos, that common sense and respect in France too. But it’s a bit more complex than the IOM.
Here’s a map of the bit of France we’re going to:

Right.

Easy stuff first: no flying in the red bits; but yes flying (up to 150m, nogal) in the uncoloured bits. No problem.
From there though, it gets complicated. Pink areas allow flight to 30m altitude. You can fly up to 50m up in the orange (or is it peach?) areas. Even better, in the peach (or is it orange?) areas, you’re permitted to fly at 60m up from your takeoff spot. I’m not sure why they have this 10m difference. Presumably, something important happens (or is likely to happen) in this narrow strip of airspace in orange areas that doesn’t happen in the peach areas. Oh, and then in the yellow areas, you can fly up to a height of 100m.

I’m happy to comply with all of this, of course. It’s just that it’s massively complicated given that we go through a constantly changing kaleidoscope of colour as we wend our way downstream, so I’m going to have to keep a digital, zoomable copy of this map to hand.

The other thing is that for a lot of these restricted areas, it’s not very clear why there are restrictions. That doesn’t matter, of course – if it says not to fly, you don’t fly. It would just be nice to know what that bizarre mirror image of a question mark is bottom right. And why there’s that huge, weirdly shaped peach (orange?) swathe right across the middle of the map.

Obviously, I’m going to follow all the rules and regulations. There’s more than enough opportunity to get some decent shots and video in between all the bureaucracy.

But it’s going to be much more simple to chuck Florence the Mavic up once we get over to the Isle of Man.