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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

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A Decade of Flickr

Chris Campbell

While I was in Sackville for Sappyfest I was taking pictures with my iPhone and while taking a walk I remembered how the first photo that I posted to Flickr was taking in the same spot where I was standing. In looking at that photo again the date was just over 10 years ago. I joined Flickr in August of 2004. A decade is a long time and it's neat to look back at photos from the past and to think about how technology has changed.

The latest photo in that location from me is a panorama taken with my iPhone 5s. Panoramas are relatively effortless now as they are built-in. The stitching happens in the camera and you don't need specialized software to make them. I do like the way some of the panoramas made with a series of photos look. With the faster camera I should do some more of those as it is a neat retro way of creating images.

There is still something great about film and I have had a series of film cameras that I've used. There is the medium format Holga (with black & white and colour film) and the 35mm Zenit camera (also with colour and black & white photos). I need to take some more photos with them as many of the filters we apply to digital photos are trying to get back to the filmy looks from them. I've also taken some low-res photos with a Digital Harinezumi which is a tiny camera that creates images similar to the ones from toy plastic cameras.

While the first photos I took were film-based, the vast majority of photos on Flickr from me are digital. The first digital camera I had was a really lovely little Canon PowerShot A60 with a 2 megapixel resolution. Small and powerful, I carried it around with me a lot. Then upgraded to the even smaller and more powerful Canon SD600 with 6 megapixels of resolution and kept taking photos and posting them. Later that was upgraded to an SD1200 IS with a 10 megapixel resolution. The most recent digital camera is the Canon G11 which is another solid camera with a decent zoom lens and 10 megapixels of resolution.

But with me having an iPhone 4, it meant that more of my photos were being taken and posted with my iPhone since it was always with me. There was the Instagram phase with all sorts of square and low-res photos and then with the iPhone 5s it resulted in not doing much at all with the digital camera as the camera of the iPhone is quite amazing. So that's what I take photos with now and they go to the computer as a backup, but now they begin and end on the phone.

With the new iPhone app from Flickr it's even easier to upload photos as they go automatically, so there is an archive there. They're also backed up to iCloud, so they are in a few different places. Now if I want to have some processing or effects on the photos I'll use the VSCO Cam app and then upload those processed photos from the camera. If there is some more serious processing to do, that will happen on my MacBook Pro with Acorn and then I'll upload it.

The community that was part of Flickr was amazing and in the same way that you put lots of energy into different communities and interests, it's been the same there. My online energy seems to have moved more towards Twitter, but it's good to look back and remember what made something special. It's great to have a visual archive and I need to reach back into it every now and then to share more from there.

Over the past decade Flickr went from an independent company to being purchased by Yahoo. After the acquisition they were ignored a bit and many people left them and as things moved to my phone I was using it a lot less. But they've been steadily improving things on the site and the new app is quite great, so now I'm coming back and adding a lot more photos to the collection that I have there. Some things do seem to stick around as the world and technology changes.