Flickr is a photo sharing service that has around for over four years, and in that time it has grown at an astounding pace. Thousands of images are uploaded to Flickr every minute, and it was just last year that they had over two billion photos uploaded to their site. The good news is that with the increase in popularity also comes an increase in the number of free tools available.
Personally I’ve been a Flickr Pro subscriber for a little over a year now, and the amount of features you get for the $2 per month is well worth the money. I currently have over 6,000 images uploaded on my account that I share with friends and family, and I’m always looking for tools that make the job even easier. So what I’ve got for you today are my favorite free applications that help me upload photos to my Flickr account.
–iPhoto Plugin (Homepage)–
Flickr makes an application for Mac OS X that is easy to use, but the problem is that it doesn’t integrate into Apple’s flagship photo management application called iPhoto. This is a big deal because many Mac users will probably be using iPhoto, and using the standard Flickr uploader means that you’ll need to add tags, descriptions, and titles to all of your photos twice: once in iPhoto and again on Flickr. Yuck!
No problem. The Free Flickr eXporter iPhoto plugin works inside of iPhoto, and preserves all of your descriptions, tags/keywords, and titles while uploading your images. You can also adjust privacy settings, resize images before uploading them, and choose which set(s) you’d like the images placed in.
–Windows Live Photo Gallery (Homepage)–
Windows Live Photo Gallery is one of the best ways to not only manage your photos, but also to upload images to the Yahoo-owned Flickr. What’s interesting is that Microsoft ships Windows Live Photo Gallery with Flickr support, and that means there’s even less you have to do to get it running.
To upload images to Flickr all you have to do is go to Publish -> More Services -> Publish on Flickr to have the wizard walk you through the steps needed. After authorizing the application you’ll be able to choose which set your photos should be uploaded to, select a maximum image size, and also change the permissions. The application will automatically grab any tags and descriptions you’ve added to the photos and include those with what gets uploaded.
One of the things that is rather unique with Windows Live Photo Gallery’s implementation is that you can queue multiple uploads. After you get one set of photos uploading just switch back to Photo Gallery to start uploading more. The program prevents multiple uploads from going on simultaneously, and will add any other batches to a queue. Most Flickr uploading apps will just block you from trying to upload more than one batch at a time, which can be a pain if you just want to walk away from your computer while the uploading is going on.
–Picasa Plugin (Homepage)–
Google’s Picasa application is an excellent way to manage your photos, and all hope isn’t lost if you don’t want to use it with Google’s online photo services. There’s a handy plugin called Picasa2Flickr that adds a “Send To Flickr” button to the Picasa toolbar near the bottom of the window. When you click on the button it will add the selected photos to Flickr Uploadr 3.0 where you can then finish the upload process.
It’s a bummer that in order for this to work you need to have both Picasa and the Flickr Uploadr installed, but it is more convenient this way. The button keeps you from having to find your photos on your computer, and then drag them into the Flickr Uploadr.
–Send To Flickr (Homepage)–
I’m thinking this has to be one of the fastest and easiest ways to get your photos on Flickr. After you get it installed you’ll be able to select any photos from Windows Explorer, right-click on them, and in the “Send To” menu you’ll see a Flickr option (pictured to the right). The images will immediately start uploading themselves to your account, and you’ll see a preview window that includes the status of your upload.
There aren’t any of the advanced options that you might be used to, but if you’re not concerned with how your photos are organized this is probably one of the best Flickr solutions.
I’ve only begun to scratch the surface with the tools that you can use to upload photos to Flickr, but I only wanted to cover the ones that I’ve used. Let us know in the comments how you get your photos on Flickr!