While recently participating in a Photowalk group outing to Rocky Mountain National Park, with the fellow local photogs, I learned about this great little plugin for Lightroom that allows you to export your photos directly to Flickr…all within Lightroom!  It’s a pretty cool little plugin, and as you know, when I learn something new – so do you!

This plugin comes courtesy of Jeffrey Friedl, and one of the greatest features of it is the cost – absolutely free!  Well, that’s not exactly true, you do need to spend one cent via Paypal, but for a penny, check out what you can do:

I started off downloading the ZIP file (and it works for Windows or Mac) and expanding the archive.  Then I moved the plugin to the root of my Applications folder on the Mac (you can choose where ever you want to store plugins, you just have to tell Lightroom – and for me this is an easy place).  The icon for it looks like this:

Flickr Uploader Plugin Icon
Flickr Uploader Plugin Icon

Nothing too spectacular yet, and there’s a little bit of installation and customization needed.  Your needs may vary based on how you want to use the plugin, Flickr, and Lightroom, but the cool thing is that Jeffrey has put together a plugin for most online locales including Smugmug, Zenfolio, Facebook, Photobucket, and many more.  So, if you use another resource, it’s worth checking out.  I’ll continue here for the Flickr plugin and you can decide for yourself if it’s worth adding this tool to your workflow.

Next up, I went ahead and configured the plugin from inside of Lightroom to use my Flickr account.  Here’s what I did. To start, click on Export, just as if you are exporting to disk or some other resource

Open Export Dialog
Open Export Dialog

One the export dialog box is open (and here’s the tricky part), look to the far right of the gray bar across the top that says “Export to Disk”.  You’ll see two little arrows which means there are menu options:

Files on Disk
Files on Disk

If you click on those arrows, you’ll get a new dialog box (bet you didn’t know that was there – did you? 🙂 ), and the Flickr option will show up.  Select the Flickr dialog one for our purposes here:

Flicker Exporter
Flicker Exporter

Once you select the Flickr Exporter, you will get a new dialog box that will start the authentication process that Lightroom will use to log into Flickr.  If you have multiple Flickr accounts, or specific authentication methods you prefer, these steps may change a little based on your needs.  But here, I am doing things the most straightforward way:

Flickr Authentication
Flickr Authentication

Next up, if you are logged into Flickr already, the plugin will open a page that will grant access to the plugin.  So, it helps if you are already logged into your Flickr account on the internet.  So, you’ll get a dialog box that looks something like this from the plugin to that effect:

Warning Notice from Plugin
Warning Notice from Plugin

On clicking the OK button, it will take you to the grant access page, and you’ll get another dialog box that grants the plugin access to post photos to your Flickr account (which, after all, is the goal, right?).  The one notable difference you will see in yours is that my face won’t be staring back at you like here.  That is the avatar for my Flickr account, so your screen should show your avatar – if it shows something different, then you are in the wrong account (but I guess that goes without saying)!

Granting Access from Flickr Side
Granting Access from Flickr Side

A second confirmation screen from Flickr will also let you know that this is a 3rd party application, and just acts as a security measure to make sure you are aware of what that means.  Click the button that says “OK, I’ll authorize it”, as shown below.  Again, while it goes without saying at this point, your dialog will look a little different different.  If it doesn’t and you see my avatar in your Flickr account, I am gonna be calling soon! 🙂

Authorization
Authorization

Finally, you will get a confirmation screen on Flickr, noting what you’ve done (they make it pretty clear what you’ve done, and how to delete it if needed on the Flickr side):

Flickr Confirmation
Flickr Confirmation

On return to the Lightroom interface, you’ll get a confirmation screen there as well – just click it to continue:

Lightroom Confirmation
Lightroom Confirmation

On granting access, you’ll get an authorization code, which for obvious reasons I am not going to post here, but make a note of that code and enter it back when you return to Lightroom.  On completing that you will be presented with the Flickr Uploader Dialog.  Here I am going to show you a few key ones that you have to scroll down to be aware of in making your uploading preferences.

Screen shot 2009-12-14 at 9.06.37 PM
Your Flickr Account login in Lightroom

This first shot (above) shows the top part of the dialog, and shows how you are authenticating on Flickr.  Now, use the scroll bar on the right side to move down through the options.  First stop, the Photo Set.  On authenticating, the plugin will pull your complete list of photo sets from Flickr.  If you don’t have any photo sets built, then none will be here.  Since I do have photo sets, it will default to the first one alphabetically.  You can change the sort order, and specify what photo set (if any) you want the uploaded image to be added to, as desired.  For this example, I did not add the photo to an existing set, or create a new one.

Photo Set Choice
Photo Set Choice

Pretty straightforward, but let’s keep scrolling through a few more key items you will want to think about utilizing or disabling depending on your work flow.  The next one I think warrants mentioning here is the groups.  One of the ways you can increase the visibility of your photos on Flickr is by participating in groups.  More people look at them, you’ll get more feedback, and sharing our photos with others is the goal anyway, so go ahead and add the appropriate groups here.  I selected the group “CanonBlogger” for obvious reasons! 🙂

Screen shot 2009-12-14 at 9.09.00 PM
Publishing to a Group

Only a few other options that I think are useful from this plugin, so we’re almost done.  Next up, is another social networking one that I tend to use fairly regularly – Twitter:

Twitter posting
Twitter posting

Last but not least are the meta tagging options you have available to you from the plugin interface.  The options are just to diverse to go into detail here, and I prefer to tag photos on Flickr differently than in Lightroom, so I leave these blank, but in the interests of full disclosure, here are some of the tagging and naming options in the plugin dialog:

Tagging Photos
Tagging Photos

If you think about it, for a penny, this is a pretty good deal (I went ahead and made a donation, which I would also encourage you to do as well – Jeffrey has clearly put a lot of time into developing these plugins, and he needs to eat, just like the rest of us).  So, there you have it – the process of finding, downloading, installing, configuring and using the Lightroom Flickr uploader.  As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, there are other uploaders available as well, and I am going to probably go get the one for Smugmug as I have an account there too.  It just makes the sharing of your photos that much easier.  (Who knows, the Facebook one may also make its way into my utility belt at some point once I get more comfortable with it…)

If you have questions or problems with the installation or the uploader itself, Jeffrey has a good FAQ page here that should answer most questions for you.  If not, I am sure he has an email address available somewhere for specific questions not addressed online.  For my work, I think this plugin totally rocks!  It’s going to become a staple in my work flow, and if you are into social media at all, I would highly recommend it for those purposes as well.

In talking about all of this, it bears mentioning that some of us are not fans of Flickr, Twitter, or Facebook, and while I can understand the hesitation of some, it’s really a matter of personal preference, and maximizing the time you spend on your computer.  if these outlets aren’t your cup of tea, that is totally fine.  But if you have the Flickr plugin – it is that much easier for you to participate in the Monthly Giveaways here at Canon Blogger/Learning Digital Photography!

With those thoughts, I’ll leave well enough alone as this post has gone on long enough for one day.  Happy shooting (and uploading) and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Flickr Plugin for Lightroom

  1. Sounds like a good idea – I prefer personally to import my images into an editor and resize before uploading to Flickr cos otherwise they are HUGE and take AGES *sigh*. But I didnt know about this and it might come in handy one day
    .-= BlueRose´s last blog ..Cat Photography =-.

  2. Paul Evans says:

    I love this plugin. I mean love it. Yes, it takes awhile to do it’s stuff, but I just configure it and leave the desk. I use the Facebook uploader, too.

  3. Thanks for pointing out a tip in LR I never knew was there. Keep up the awesome blog man, nice work.

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