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Quick guide to navigating the flickr website

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject: Quick guide to navigating the flickr website Reply with quote

Many of the photos that are referenced on this website are stored on the flickr website and linked to from this site. So, to view them, you must know how to navigate that site. If you are having difficulty in locating particular photos and downloading them, you are not alone. Therefore, this quick guide was written to help.

Note. The flickr user interface changes frequently. This guide has been updated to reflect revisions as of Oct. 2014, with a few additional comments added in Mar. 2015.

File organization –

First of all, one must be familiar with how photos are organized on the flickr website. All of the photos that have been uploaded by a particular user are stored sequentially in the user’s ‘photostream’, displayed in the order they were uploaded (i.e. last uploaded first). An owner can then organize the photos into smaller groups for easier access. The basic group of photos is a ‘set’. For example, a set may be all of the photos taken at an event, such as a birthday party or on a particular trip. Sets of photos can then be combined into a ‘collection’ relating to a particular subject, such as a given year's vacation. Collections may be layered, i.e. several collections may be combined into a higher level collection relating to a more general topic, e.g. "travel", and so on.

Sets are now called albums. So replace any reference to 'sets' with 'albums'.

Locating a photo -

How you locate a particular photo or group of photos depends on where you start on the website. If you enter the flickr website at its home page (, you would first have to locate the user under whom the photos are stored. For or halfshiredata, that currently is This would take you to the top level photostream for the user under which the photos are stored. But generally, you would not want to page through a user’s entire photostream. So, if you start at the top level, you first want to jump to the collection of photos in which you are interested. To do this, you would move your cursor to the elipses () on upper right of the window (just below Member Since) and select ‘Collections’ in the drop down menu. This will take you to either a list of lower level collections or a set of photos.

In general, you shouldn’t have to worry about the previous steps because all links to photos from the concordia-memories or Halfshire websites should take you directly to the collection containing the photo or photos of interest.

If you start at a collection of collections, click on the next level collection pertaining to the area you are looking for. Continue moving down the structure until you are at the set of photos you want. Note that the thumbnails for a given collection or set may be a mosaic of photos that it contains to aid you in locating the photos in case the title/description of the collection or set is not obvious.

When you get to the photo set, you will see thumbnails of all of the photos in that set. To view a particular photo, scroll down through the display of thumbnails and click on the photo of interest. If there are a large number of photos in the set, the thumbnails may be divided into multiple pages. Use the controls at the bottom of the window to move to other pages. Clicking on a thumbnail should then display the individual photo in a slide show view with arrows on the far left and right sides of the window to move back and forth between other photos in the set.

If additional information was stored with a photo, it will be displayed below the photo with space to post comments. Note that there are additional controls at the top and bottom corners of the main photo window. For a full screen display, click on the diagonal arrows at the upper right. Press the ESC key to get out of the full screen mode.

Changing the photo resolution -

To change the size of the photo, click on the down arrow at the bottom right corner and select ‘View all sizes’ from the pop-up menu. [While the down arrow is intended for downloading photos, it is the only current way I could locate to change resolution.] This will give you a choice of standard resolutions with 'Original' being the largest. With higher resolutions, you will have to use the browser's scroll bars at the bottom and right of the display to move through the photo. (Use the backarrow in your browser to get back to the choice of other resolutions.)

Downloading a photo –

Photos can be downloaded from the flickr website, but first you must select the particular resolution that you want. Do this using the commands described in the previous paragraph. Then, near the top of the window, you will see a line to click on to start the download.

Returning from the photo view to a collection -

When viewing photos on Flickr, one may wish to return to look at other photos in a particular collection not just the current album. One way to navigate back to a collection is to use the back arrow of the browser, but this may require a number of clicks. The alternative is to locate a button that allows you to back up in the structure used to organize the photos. (Like finding the way to change the resolution of a photo as described above, this can be confusing, somewhat difficult to locate, and subject to change at the whim of the Flickr designers.)

If you have chosen to view the photo in a different resolution, first return to the slide show mode by clicking on 'Photo' in the "Photo / All sizes' label at the top left of the window. When back in the slide show mode, there should be a link 'Back to photostream' at the bottom left of the photo view. This will take you back to the view of all photos. But what you may want is a particular collection. So, click on the ellipses (three dots) in the far right of the bar near the top of the window, just above all of the photos, and select 'Collections'. [Note. You may have to scroll up in the window to find it.] From there you may have to "drill down" to a particular collection of interest if the owner of this photostream has chosen to organize collections into a group of smaller collections. (The text under the label of the collection will indicate whether it contains collections or albums.)

To further confuse the issue, you may have selected the photo from an album or been directed to it via a link in a posting or e-mail. In this case, the link at the lower left of the slide show view may say 'Back to album'. Clicking on this link will only take you back to the lowest level album into which the photo was placed. In this case, there are no ellipses to click on. So you must click on 'View all albums' to find the ellipses on the top right.

[Note. If anyone has found a better way to maneuver among collections, let me know and I will update this guide.]

Comments –

Registered flickr users (free) can add comments to any of these photos. If you see an unidentified photo, like group photos of people, or have any added information about it, feel free to add a comment. Including some identification could be helpful to others.

Last edited by roger.pape on Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:18 am; edited 2 times in total
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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject: Frustration with flickr Reply with quote

I'm beginning to have regrets using flickr for posting photos. When I started using it, it seemed to be the best photo sharing website available. It had a lot of capabilities and a fairly intuitive user interface.

The recent changes ("improvements" in their mind) have made the site increasingly difficult to navigate and update. One of my main concerns is the way they have buried access to collections. I like to organize data in a hierarchical format and use layers of collections to separate various files by subject matter. Trying to create a structure of collections and adding photos to the sets in them is now more difficult for me. Other controls, such as changing thumbnail display sizes on a page, jumping from one page to another, etc. also seem to be hidden and more difficult to find. Perhaps, I'm stuck in my old ways of using the website, but the latest version of their software doesn't feel like an improvement to me.

I hope that it doesn't hinder people from viewing and downloading the pictures that I have posted.
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