Viewing DNCB photos on Flickr

by Jack MacDonald


The following is also available for download  Viewing DNCB photos on Flickr.pdf (3 pages)

See also web page Photo Sharing for DNCB by Glen Bodie


Viewing Photos from a DNCB Outing – Step by Step

  1. Go to flickr.com/groups/dncb in your browser.
  2. Click the Magnifier on the far right of the “Photo Pool” line.  Notice the search box at the top of the screen.
  3. Enter the Outing # into the Search Box (e.g. 2016-42).  Press Enter to display thumbnails.
  4. Click a photo to view it in a larger format.
  5. Use the left and right keyboard arrow keys to move through approximately 50 photos.  You must return to the thumbnails and start again to view the next 50 photos.

Options for viewing photos on Flickr

  1. Change the layout using the three clickable icons at the top right of the group pool.
  2. Change the sort order with the dropdown list at the top right of the group pool.
  3. View the photographer’s photostream and albums by clicking their name.  Similarly, scroll down and click the album name to view the entire source album of that photographer.
  4. Download the photo to your computer by clicking the down-facing arrow in the bottom right of the black photo area.

You will see some online advertisements if you are not signed into Flickr.  Depending on your web browser, the ads may obscure the photos’ titles.  Sign into your own Flickr account to eliminate the advertisements.



Viewing DNCB photos on Flickr

The Picasa web site has been discontinued for new photos, so DNCB will use Flickr for new photos.  We hope to migrate all the old photos from Picasa to Flickr, including all the descriptive information, however, it is currently unclear whether this is practical.  At time of writing, you must use the Picasa archive to view old photos.  The web address for all, new DNCB photos is flickr.com/groups/DNCB, with the latest photos that were uploaded shown first. This document describes some techniques to filter these photos plus some differences between Picasa and Flickr.

Flickr uses a database structure to store and retrieve its files, which means that you must search for photos on Flickr.  By contrast, you browse through a list of albums on Picasa then view all the photos in each album.  Each method has advantages and disadvantages, but searching is better for finding photos of a specific subject or when a large number of photos are involved.  Browsing is easier for small sets.

Searching is based on subject, date, “tags”, or other metadata attached to each photo.  Some of these metadata are supplied automatically when the photo was taken, and others are created by the photographer when uploading to Flickr.  One of the most important metadata is the group(s) to which each photo belongs; all the DNCB photos belong to the DNCB group.  This will be clarified shortly.

Searching basics

Type a word into the Search Box (with a Magnifier icon) at the top right corner of the screen, and press Enter to display all the photos with that word from every Flickr user.  This is a very important point, and you must take an extra step to restrict your search to a single group such as DNCB.  However, the easiest way to learn the basics is by first searching through every Flickr photo.  For example, type “mallard”, and you are rewarded with a view of all photos containing the word “mallard” in their title, description, or tags.  Of course, there may be no mallard if the photographer mislabelled their photo.  Similarly, the photo will not appear after the search if it was labelled “mallerd”.  Garbage in, garbage out.

To start a new search, replace the words in the Search Box with the new words.  Type “yellowlegs” or “crane” or any other species to see the results.  Note that entire words must match for a successful search, thus “yellow” and “yellowlegs” return completely different photos.

Search for “mallard” again, then add “swimming” as a second word.  Bingo – all the swimming mallards.  Add a third word “male”.  Add a fourth word “Reifel” – you get the idea.  Every time you add another word, the list of photos is reduced to those containing all the words because Flickr combines words using AND by default.  Try “mallard swimming perching flying”.  An odd collection is shown because these words occur by chance in the descriptions of several photos without accurately describing any of them, illustrating that the search engine works on a very literal basis.  You can combine words using other “Boolean operators” for more sophisticated searches, but that’s a topic covered by the Flickr Help system.

Notice the control labelled “Relevant” at the right-hand side of the screen.  It controls the Sort Order for the photos, and only appears after you have conducted a search (pressing Enter on the empty Search Box will cause the sort control to appear when every photo is shown).  If you have not conducted a search, the photos are sorted by Date Uploaded.  Two of the Sort Order choices are obvious: Date Uploaded and Date Taken, both with most recent photos shown first.  “Relevant” and “Interesting” are less obvious what they mean, but you might want to experiment.


Advanced features

Click the Advanced button in the button bar for additional search tools.  One of the most useful (if buggy!) features is the calendar; you can restrict the search to photos within a selected date range of when they were taken or uploaded.  Both date specifications are off by one day, e.g., entering Aug 23 in the From and To fields will show all photos taken on Aug 24.  The same problem appears for longer date intervals.  Most recent photos are always shown first.

When you mouse-over a photo, the Title (if present) and photographer are superimposed on the photo.  Click a photo to show it in a larger format with all its metadata.  You can scroll through the photos with the left- and right-arrows beside the photos, or download the photo to your computer.  “Fave” a photo to affect its “Interestingness”.

You can also restrict the search to photos which are predominantly blue, green, yellow, etc., or to photos which are square, portrait, landscape, or panorama format.  These capabilities are likely more useful for editors looking to fulfil a certain style of photo than to DNCB members.  You can change the overall display format: justified, thumbnail, or list.  Try them all to see which version you prefer.

Viewing DNCB photos

After learning to search through any photo, it’s time to restrict the search results to only the DNCB photos.  Enter DNCB into the Search Box, but look at the dropdown list that appears with the Search Box before pressing Enter.  Notice that “group” is one of the three choices – click on that item.  This causes Flickr to use the Group view to show all the photos in the DNCB group.  You can also show the DNCB group by going to flickr.com/groups/DNCB.

Displaying the Group view causes a second Magnifier icon to appear on the same line as the “Photo Pool” title.  Click the second Magnifier to add two special words with a blue background to the main Search Box.  Other than having these special words, the search works the same as explained earlier, except that only photos from the DNCB group are shown.  Try searching for DNCB photos taken between January and July 2016, then restrict it to teal at Reifel.

Photographers add the DNCB Outing ID into each photo’s tag when they are uploaded to Flickr, so Outing ID can be used as a search term. Enter something like “2016-33” into the Search Box when the special DNCB words are also visible, and every photo that every photographer put into the DNCB group for that outing will be displayed.  You can subsequently add more search terms such as the species to further refine the search.  How many photos were uploaded from Outing 2016-33?  Any eagles?

Some photos may not be from an official outing, so they lack the outing ID, but they may have a “location” in the tag or description if the photographer chose to add such information.  See the DNCB Blog for official lists of Outing IDs, species, and locations. Flickr members can see these lists in the Discussion area.  Photographers must take care to spell the words correctly because the Flickr search engine is intolerant of spelling variations.

Wrap-up

Searching on Flickr is different than browsing on Picasa, but once you master the basics, you will find it to be powerful and flexible.  Give it a try.

Also explore some of Flickr’s other capabilities: You can create you own account to display your own photography to family and friends, or for backup.  Once you have an account, you can “join” groups such as DNCB to follow particular subjects, “subscribe” to a group to be notified automatically of new uploads, and “follow” photographers to keep track of their work.  See the Blog for further information about using some of these capabilities with regard to DNCB.