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I’ve been hearing a lot about Flickr lately. I’ve even seen it mentioned in several of your digital photography tips. So, what is it?

You are absolutely correct. We do frequently mention Flickr in our photography tips and we do that, because Flickr is one of the most up and coming photo programs available on the Internet today. So, what is it exactly? Well, it is mostly known for its photo sharing capabilities. It is a photo sharing Web site that follows the guidelines of an online community format.

In other words, you can use Flickr to share your personal photos with your friends and family (or whoever you want). This Web site is also very popular with bloggers. If you run your own blog, you can easily post your photos there by using Flickr. It will work with just about any blog you can think of as well. Some examples are LiveJournal, Blogger, Moveable Type, Typepad, Manila and many, many more. With Flickr, you can share your photos with anyone around the world. You’re not limited to just the people closest to you anymore!

All you have to do is sign up on the Web site to get started. Don’t worry, signing up is absolutely free, which is a great deal considering all you can do with Flickr. Once you do that, you will be assigned your very own photo page. You then just upload your pictures and post them on your photo page. You can upload photos that are already on your computer, you can do it by e-mail and you can even use photos that you took with your camera capable cell phone. There are so many options. People can then view them and they can even leave you comments. With Flickr, you can arrange and size your photos just how you like them too. You can choose from a thumbnail size or a medium or large view. All your photos can also be rotated easily. For example, if one of your pictures happens to upload in a side view, you can go ahead and rotate it so it will be a front view. It’s so convenient!

Now, ever since I mentioned the comment thing, you might be wondering about the security of your photo page. Will just anybody be able to see your pictures without you even knowing it and will they be able to leave you comments? The answer is a big fat no. You can set up your own privacy levels for every picture you add to your page. You can filter out who will be able to view your pictures and who will be able to leave you comments. It would be a little weird to get a comment from a stranger across the globe, so it’s definitely good to make your page as private as you feel safe with.

The next big thing is that you and everyone else can search for photos just by going to the homepage. When you go to www.flickr.com, you will see a box that says “Find a photo of.” For example, I typed in “Christmas lights” and I got a result of over 50,000 photos to browse through. If you’re in the mood to just look through some photos, you can do so by searching for them. It’s so cool and it’s a great way to see some awesome pictures. Once you see a picture you like, you can see who it was submitted by and you even get the chance to look at more pictures taken by that person. The best thing is that everyone else who visits Flickr will get to do the same thing with your photos! If you’re an aspiring photographer, this is a great way to get your work out there for others to see. You never know what could come out of it!

Flickr also has some options for you when it comes to organizing your photos. You can place them into different groups or even put them into albums. Flickr has a utility on their site called Organizr and it allows you to make your very own photo albums with the pictures you upload. You can make as many as you want and then invite your friends and family to see them. It’s a great way to keep everyone in your life updated through your pictures. There’s even more that Flickr can do, but for right now, I’m out of time. You’re probably anxious to get started anyway, so I’ll let you get to it. Sign up here for your own Flickr account and get started today!

Note: Flickr is run through Yahoo!, so if you already have a Yahoo! username and password, just use those to sign up with. If not, create an account today. Have fun!

~ Erin