For the uninitiated, Flickr.com is a website owned by Yahoo! that provides a variety of methods for uploading, modifying, and sharing your digital photos. Signing up for an account is free, and while not the only site of its kind, Flickr is quite popular and easy to use. This tip will show you the new capabilities in Lightroom 3 that integrate directly with Flickr, so you can upload files directly from the Library module.
To get started with Flickr in Lightroom 3, open the Publish Services panel (from the Library module—left panel group) and click the Flickr Set Up button. This opens the Lightroom Publishing Manager that displays a series of settings for Flickr that need to be configured (Figure 49a).
Figure 49a The Lightroom Publishing Manager provides all the settings you need to access your Flickr account and upload a selection of files from the Library module.
The following steps demonstrate how the Flickr process works in Lightroom. The only prerequisite is that you need to have signed up for an account on Flickr.com and have access to that account from the computer running Lightroom.
- Give the Flickr Publish Service a name by filling in the Publish Service Description field (Figure 49b). This name will subsequently appear in the Publisher Services Manager List (left side) and on the Flickr button in the Publish Services panel; this will be illustrated later in the process.
Figure 49b Start by giving the Flickr publishing service module a name.
- Log in to your Flickr Account by clicking the Log In button and then clicking the Authorize button when Lightroom displays the confirmation dialog box (Figure 49c).
Figure 49c Confirm Lightroom is authorized to log in to Flickr.
- This will open your web browser, connect it to Flickr, and display a secondary authorization screen—this time confirming with Flickr that Lightroom has permission to access your account. Choose the second option (on the right) to confirm account access (Figure 49d).
Figure 49d Authorize Flickr to interact with your copy of Lightroom.
- A final confirmation screen will appear. Click OK, I'll Authorize It. Flickr will confirm the connection between Lightroom and Flickr (Figure 49e).
Figure 49e You can never have too many Flickr confirmation screens.
- Switch back to Lightroom; you will revisit your Flickr page again later in the process. A new dialog box will be visible. Click the Done button. This will show a change of status in the Flickr Account settings, showing that you are now logged in to Flickr (Figure 49f).
Figure 49f Once back in Lightroom, clicking Done will enable you to move forward with the file settings and export process.
- The Flickr Title controls let you set a title or name for each image on the Flickr page itself. The options are to use the actual filename of the photo, use the title found in IPTC metadata, use no title, and determine whether the title is replaced if a file is updated from Lightroom (Figure 49g).
Figure 49g Image titles that are displayed on can be defined in Lightroom.
- Under File Naming, click the Rename To option to customize the names of the files you will be uploading. If you use date-and-subject style filenames for the originals on your hard drive (such as 05252009_NewYorkCity.dng), this option is helpful because it lets you create more web-friendly names for the web output. I find the Custom Name – Sequence option in the pop-up menu quite useful (Figure 49h).
Figure 49h Giving your files more web-friendly names can be important.
- Under File Settings, choose the JPEG format quality setting. Values between 60 and 80 usually produce the best compromise between small files and good quality (Figure 49i). If you have a strict size limit in mind, select the Limit File Size To check box and type in the amount (in Kilobytes).
Figure 49i Set the JPEG format quality of the size and appearance of your photos.
- Use the Image Sizing controls to define the dimensions of your photos. Typically, photographers will choose the Long Edge option and set a value such as 640 or 800 pixels (Figure 49j) because it is Flickr-friendly.
Figure 49j Resize your images so they fit within the confines of Flickr small layout.
- If you wish to make your images crisper when displayed online, open the Output Sharpening controls, select the Sharpen For check box, then choose the Screen option and an Amount value (Figure 49k).
Figure 49k Sharpening options are available if needed.
- If necessary, choose to include only basic image metadata and/or a watermark with your published Flickr images (Figure 49l).
Figure 49l Metadata for each image can be minimized and a watermark preset applied.
- Choose your Flickr sharing and safety options (Figure 49m).
Figure 49m Set your sharing and safety options before uploading so that only those you want to view your photos can do so once uploaded.
- Click Save. This will create your Flickr Photostream (a view where you can drag files from the Grid view or Filmstrip) in the Publish Services panel. Click your Photostream (Figure 49n). It will be empty by default.
Figure 49n Once your Flickr publish settings are saved, you can click your Photostream. (This is like Flickr's version of a collection.) By default it will be empty.
Finally, from the Grid view or Filmstrip, select and drag the files you want to share onto the Photostream icon. An orange highlight will appear (Figure 49o).
Figure 49o Drag the thumbnails of the photos you wish to share onto the Photostream.
You can then click the Photostream icon and all the files you added will appear in its own Grid view (Figure 49p).
Figure 49p Once you see all the images you want to upload in the Photostream view, click the Publish button. After a short wait, you should see all the shots on Flickr!
- When you're ready to upload the photos, click Publish and you're finished. After a few moments your shots should appear on Flickr.com under the Photostream section.