• Terra Kaneko

    Wow, the benefits of dropping in late on a conversation… I’m shocked at the sheer volume of sycophantic responses to this post, and the number of people apologising for their photos and promising to do better in the future… because of course if Neil say vignetting is bad, then obviously it’s a irrefutable fact, and everyone should stop adding digital vignettes right this second. After all, Neil has a blog, and only people who know everything have those. Hurry, let’s go cull our photos and show Neil what good girls and boys we are!

    Jesus christ people, if you’re really that easy to push over… one random photographer on the internet says, “do this; don’t do that,” and you’re all tripping over each other to comply. Think about what that says in terms of the strength of your own photographic style. Grow some balls! I’m all for improvement and development of skill, but blindly following everything you read on a blog is just silly. Neil Creek is not the God of All Things Photographic. I know that’s hard to imagine.

    Most of the photos I mark as favourites, Creek would probably say aren’t done “right,” and that’s just fine by me. I don’t want a community full of slick wanky photos that “everyone” agrees are well constructed. Let’s have all the sheep turn to page six of the Good Photography Manual so we can all agree what’s correct and make look-how-intellectual-I-am comments that bog down the beauty with words… no thanks. I want a variety, from clean-and-shiny to dirty-and-sloppy, and I don’t want to say or read paragraph after paragraph of commentary. I want to exchange photographs, and perhaps short (short!) comments here and there. For me, someone popping in and saying “fantastic shot” is enough for me to know I reached them. I don’t need them to write an essay about their feelings and let’s have a group hug; too much description ruins the magic of a photographic exchange. That’s why they’re photos and not written works.

    July 14, 2008
  • @ Terra Kaneko .. only people with balls leave a reply email or link to their name as far as I’m concerned.

    July 14, 2008
  • Terra Kaneko

    @Chrissy I did leave my e-mail… I don’t have a web site, hence no link. I supposed took less effort to take the baseless cheap shot instead of constructing a real response. But I guess since you have a blog you can link to, that makes your comments so much more valid than mine. Well done for getting through that blogspot signup page on your own, now you’re hanging with the big boys, eh?

    July 14, 2008
  • @Terra – Neil is entitled to his opinion just as much as you are. Unlike you though, he has taken the time to develop a platform to voice his opinion. And he leaves these open to discussion. Some people agree, some don’t.

    People come here to exchange ideas, learn from each other and “converse” about photography related subjects.

    And as far as the link goes, you could very easily have linked to your Flickr account. I am assuming you have one since you mentioned getting comments and favoriting photos.

    Now, can we get past the discussion of balls (or lack of) and actually have some civility? :)

    July 14, 2008
  • Sorry Jerry .. Being civil now (all balls aside).. can’t imagine what overcame me. Guess when somebody has voiced an opinion on a subject that I don’t agree with .. I get a little frustrated not being able to reach them without going on a witch hunt for their email addy when I know it can quite easily linked to their name within the post.
    Terra .. I had already constructed a response earlier to your reply, but finding that you could not be reached without going on that witch hunt I mentioned I decided not to extend on my reply.

    After re-reading through the replies to this post, I feel nobody commenting was being sycophantic as you have suggested and probably much like myself were just agreeing with Neil’s opinion and extending on it with their own imput.

    The tone of your reply did not sit easy with with me and I totally agree with Jerry in that .. yes .. Neil has a good platform here to voice and share his knowledge, experience and opinions through his blog.

    He is entitled to get them ‘out there’ (as we all are in our blogs) for anyone who will listen and if others grasp his concepts, understand, agree and are comfortable with it .. then let it be I reckon. I feel that it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is being sycophantic, which according to the dictionary is a servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

    Personally I have learned a lot through Neil Creek’s articles on his blog and as us Aussies say “when your’e on a good thing, stick to it!” As for the comment about Neil saying “vignetting is bad” .. I don’t see where he said that. He merely pointed out that too much was bad …. a bit like too much chocolate can give you pimples! .. however used in moderation can be very effective.

    Personally .. I can’t wait for the day when I can take the perfect photo using my photography skills and knowledge with out having to pop it through a graphics program.

    Don’t get me wrong .. I do enjoy my graphic arts too, but don’t get as much satisfaction knowing I have had to tweek my pics to make them appealing to the eye, hence I speak for myself in that I know where he’s coming from there.

    As for your take on commenting .. fewer words are better, I beg to differ ….. ‘fantastic shot’ for example … it may be good for most .. but what about someone such as myself who is still learning the ropes and seeks guidance, constructive critisism and positive feedback? What does that give us? .. nothing .. how can one learn from two words?

    Ok I’ve had my say now .. I’m off to play with the big boys now. ☺

    July 15, 2008
  • Just a drive-by criticism – “prose” means “not poetry.”

    July 16, 2008
  • You’ve hit the nail on the head with the comments about HDR. The thing which disturbs me even more is the attention they seek to attract? It’s ridiculous.

    July 16, 2008
  • @libeco I love the map’s potential, but at the moment i think it’s a bit of a gimmick. It works pretty well for some things, like scouting a location, but I agree that it’s WAY too low detail (my city isn’t even covered by the map, just satellite imagery). I also think it’s a joke that only a dozen photos can be show on it at once. I want to see ALL photos in a region displayed. Flickr can figure out a way to reduce the load if that’s too much to handle.

    @Steve Those are good suggestions, but they’re not ideal solutions, only workarounds really. Group discussion notification is essential and it’s disastrous to community building that the feature doesn’t exist. Re the HDR, you tried to do your best to encourage effective HDR. I hardly think it’s your fault that things got out of control.

    @dawn Hate IS a strong word. I chose it specifically to inflame people and elicit comments. I hope I made it clear enough that everything is a personal opinion, and I don’t profess to be some kind of ultimate opinion that must be respected. Quite the opposite, I’ll probably always consider myself a learner. I think that for almost every argument I made against the 10 points, I could accept most of them if done well or for carefully considered reasons. But if I wrote a post like that (“10 things about Flickr that mildly annoy me when taken too far”), I don’t think it would have been as interesting, fun to read, or have elicited such discussion. In answer to your question: I think there are as many reasons for using Flickr as there are people using Flickr. You are absolutely right that people are free to move on. My post was simply to say what I personally don’t like. Many folks seem to agree with me, many others don’t. I’m glad that’s the way things are!

    @Chrissy Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic! :)

    @Chaval I use some Greasemonkey scripts for Flickr. I’ll look into the one you mentioned.

    @Just me Thanks for your contribution. Would you like to elaborate?

    @Andy Agreed, there has to be a reason to comment, or it’s just so much hot air.

    @George I like Flickr. It has its shortcomings, and like any large company some of those are at the expense of the users. However I don’t think such a hostile comment will result in the changes you would like to see. Certainly nothing will happen if you don’t take your concerns to Flickr yourself.

    @groovehouse As will I.

    @Iaanba Flickr is by its nature a social site. Every photo you post has a comment field – in essence an invitation to comment. I think the default position is that photos are open for comment. If you would like it to be otherwise, then perhaps a note in the description would be a good idea, or you can disable comments if there is such a feature (I’m not aware of one).

    @Chris If you’re using Flickr as an online storage medium, wouldn’t it make sens to hide those photos from the public? As I say above, every uploaded photo has a comment field available, so unless you tell someone otherwise, you’re inviting them to comment. I would never tell you how to use your comment, I only said that I don’t like it when there are many similar photos shared in an account. I’d rather see one good one. If you never intended for others to see them, then perhaps making them private would be better.

    @Nish Thank you for the correction. Verse is indeed what I meant.

    @Pierre I understand your point. I want to commend you for your excellent English skills, you obviously have no problem in that regard. I wouldn’t mind someone commenting on my photo in another language, although it would probably frustrate me that I couldn’t understand it. Perhaps non-native English speakers could leave a comment in their own language, followed by a simpler one using what English they do understand? Hopefully in the near future machine translation will render this a moot point.

    @Mattias I’m actually a former DA user. I find Flickr better suits my purposes as it is focused on photography. I always felt as a photographer on DA that we were viewed by the majority as not being “real” artists. Photography is somehow a shortcut. The real art is made by pen or brush. Needless to say, I disagree. Flickr welcomes photos, so I prefer it here.

    @Mick If you would like comments, please give us a link. I will ignore your straw man argument and blow a loud raspberry at you for posting lyrics in an obvious attempt to annoy me.

    @Terra I am tempted to reply to you with the same rude and hostile tone of your comment, but I’ll be better than that. In fact, your comment is so full of straw men and puts more words into my mouth than will fit. There’s nothing worth replying to, except for warning you to show some respect for the other readers here, or you won’t be welcome. I’d rather you keep you references to reproductive organs to yourself

    July 17, 2008
  • The post was great, but greater still is that the blogger will actually reply to the comments. This is something I see very rarely!
    As much as I agree with the post, I would like to take a minute to defend the flashy awards a bit. As tacky as they can be, they are still a small ‘receipt’ proving that someone has had a look at your work and nodded in appreciation. It caught their eye! Out of 2-5 mandatory photos in the group they have to paste the code on, yours was one that got their attention. To me, this actually means something. Even the least bit of appreciation and attention is welcome.
    Besides, posting to award groups (and perhaps making it to the ‘Best Of Group’ discussion thread, where you can find truly wonderful images) has helped me make new contacts, sell photos and even participate in an international exhibition (one of my images was ‘discovered’ by the director in an award group).
    So for me, even the tiny feedback value of a flashy award is of value; it is far better than the ‘Hmmm… No activity in the last 2 days’ screen. :)

    July 18, 2008
  • […] Creek did write a good post on 10 things he hates about Flickr (at its users). Go read it. Now. And please come back […]

    July 19, 2008
  • […] guilty of the two-word-comment myself, so this is good advice for me, personally.) One of the ten things I hate about Flickr is people who don’t know how to comment on photos. In a recent post to my blog, I lamented the […]

    July 23, 2008
  • Michael Sage

    While I agree to most of the comments, I would say I use Flickr to back up my family photos and share them with my friends and family, this means that some of the photos my 5 year old daughter takes end up on there so you do get 20 copies of a nearly identical picture. I am sorry you don’t like them, but my parents and my wifes parents do! I guess by its very nature it ain’t gonna please all the users all the time!
    Other than that I mostly agree ;)

    July 23, 2008
  • […] mert, hogy ilyen is van. Múltkori ajánlónk ihlette bejegyzés picit pesszimista módon mutatta be a fotómegosztó siteok felhasználóit. Most viszont az […]

    August 01, 2008
  • […] Flickr, and the people that use it, that really get on my nerves. I want to get these off my ch Maps – Driving Directions – Map … nearby businesses and restaurants, plus explore street […]

    August 01, 2008
  • Really great piece and discussion.

    Agree w/ most of what you’re saying. Random thoughts on some areas of difference…

    RE: “If I like your photo, I want to know more about it…Please do us a favour and tell us your thoughts about your photo. They’ll be more personal and more relevant.”

    I think that depends on the image maker’s aesthetic and/or what he or she is trying to do with a given image. If you’re trying to provoke a psychological reaction in the mind of the viewer on some images, IMHO saying too much can be like explaining how a magic trick works.

    I’m definitely guilty of leaving short comments. Why? I think the biggest reason and the most honest reason is that I don’t want to appear stupid. I think it comes down to that more than laziness for most people. Being a beginner, I don’t feel like I know enough to offer that much in the way of constructive criticism or whether or not I’d even be right. And on the flipside, if I do see something I really like, I always am afraid in the end I’ll come off sounding like Patrick Bateman in American Psycho when he launches into his incredibly absurd (but darkly funny) discourse on Genesis and Phil Collins.

    HDR – Never tried it myself, but agree that some stuff is horrible. But while the photo you choose is very nice, to me it simply looks like a very nice photo – possibly even amazing. (see, I told you I’m no expert). I guess I’m attracted to HDR images that have that “otherworldly”/”unseen world” quality to them. To each his own.

    Vignetting? I do it on some types of images simply because I think it pushes the image a little further toward the direction I think it wants to go (the images always tell me where they want to go…which may sound crazy, but I guess that’s part of whatever aesthetic I have…also probably why my photostream looks so haphazard). Yes, maybe folks should be a little more selective, but as overused fads go, I can think of worse.

    August 07, 2008
  • […] 10 things I hate about Flickr (and its users) Neil Creek Flickr has a lot of merits, but also a lot of vices. Neil gives a detailed analysis of how Flickr can become a better place. His comments can be used by Flickr programmers and Flickr users alike. Make sure you browse through the comments, there is a great discussion and opinions voiced there. […]

    August 08, 2008
  • thaumata

    haha.. i moderate a group of 7000 members on flickr and this post made me laugh so, so hard. i hate the poetry posts! they make my moderation queue take so much longer! my other pet peeve is group whoring… “Just submit it to EVERY group and let the moderators sort them out!”

    i had actually popped in to see if someone posted a greasemonkey solution or something like it to the last problem you posted about. it’s so hard to keep up on the responses in groups, especially if you don’t subscribe to it via RSS.

    i’m off to keep looking! thanks for the laugh!

    August 27, 2008
  • Hei
    I read all your artcle and I really do agree with must of what you said. Mostly with the 1 or two words comments. I created a webzine where I publish everyday some of the best pictures on flickr but most importantly I do every week an interview with a photographer. I think it’s really important and interesting to find out how each one works, think and appreciate photography. I think flickr is a good site to share and see other people works but maybe to get into deeper though on photography , blogs and websites, like yours, are more appropriate. flickr can be used as a tool to discover new photographers and new way of work. And if you ever want to get more information on other people work just have a look on and read some of the interviews. And if you can leave some comments..longer than 2 words;)
    best wishes

    September 02, 2008
  • WandaVictoria

    As a flicker user, I just want to share my opinion.

    First, I guess I use flicker for different purposes than to get a comment. I mostly use it to share photos with clients. I like the feature where a person can use a guest pass to view photos. I use dA and myspace to showcase my galleries. I don’t really go comment hunting, don’t like giving comments to get comments, just not into the oohs and ahhs really. Having said that, if I see something I really like I will say so. I hate critique that has no constructive basis. If a person doesn’t like it because they hate it, then tell me why, not pick it to peaces as to only what’s wrong with it.

    Anyways, my thoughts on vignette. I think it all depends on where a person is at in their photography, personal taste. I use it a little and I use it a lot. I create my photos to my mood, what a person wants and to try and keep my style different to the next person. I remember when I was learning to use vignette, EVERY photo got the treatment. I never used an action, I wanted to learn how to get the effect using my own hand and judgement. When I mastered it I moved forward to something different. I do CD covers and posters for artists and they dictate to me what they want….vignette is requested quite often.
    I know where you are coming from with hating certain styles etc…I feel that way about sunsets…they just start to look the same. So really I think we just have to live with the style of the day and try and keep one step ahead.

    October 23, 2008
  • Haha, I stopped using FlickR and other photo sharing sites years ago for many of these reasons.

    PS I am currently trying to fix my vignetting issues with my medium format film camera Fuji GX-617 with 90mm lens when double stacking the center filter and polariser! It’s driving me nuts…


    Mark Gray

    November 14, 2008
  • I am debating whether or not I want to renew my Flickr account. I miss my stats page the most but I feel that looking at such information becomes an unhealthy obsession. I keep wanting more views but I can’t really compete with all the crap that reaches Explore. Eh, who knows I may just give in when I start missing my older photos.

    Your post inspired me to make a blog about how ridiculous Flickr is getting… I couldn’t have said it any better. It’s not meant to be taken serious but I hope it gives some members a good laugh.

    November 15, 2008
  • I have to agree with most of your points. In particular the one on poetry on the photos. The only thing I’m hesitant about is, I can go on and on and write stories (once I start). I’m worried that people get bored with me.. haha!

    As for one or two words comments.. I’m guilty of it as well :( sometimes I’m not good with putting my thoughts into words, but I really do like the photo. It’s just a combination of everything, I guess.

    being a figure model (and having taken several classes for figure drawing), I also have some strong feelings on the artistic nudes. I noticed that there’s too many photos out there, which people claim to be artistic nudes. But seriously.. I don’t always agree all the time.

    November 19, 2008
  • I agree with parts of what you said… but a lot of what you said sounds appealing to other users (awards for example)… HDR it might be boring to you but other beginners find it some good achievement.

    anyway I believe flickr has to improve tracking features they have…
    still its the best photo community there

    November 25, 2008
  • David Bailey

    I was looking for this kind of article and , cool , I found it . But you forgot one important thing , and that is the ridiculous whimsical titles that people give their photos , photos should stand alone without bullshit titles , like those pathetic self motivational posters , and borders , my god stop with the borders , like they are trying to make it look like its in a real gallery , hanging on a wall.

    December 11, 2008
  • ¡Cool! ;-) I agree with you into the ten points. ;-)

    December 14, 2008
  • Like Steve, I find RSS makes keeping up with Flickr comments dead easy :)
    (Also makes it too easy to spend way too much time there!)


    December 17, 2008
  • Great post. Its my first time here. I agree with all of your points. I also hate the awards, i can´t believe that people still uses those horrible animated gif.

    December 30, 2008
  • Mike

    You forgot people who write “Nice DOF” instead of “depth of field,” esepcially on photos that have little or no depth of field! (Add the word “bokeh” to the list also….arrrrrgh, that one makes me very, very angry!)

    January 05, 2009
  • Great post Neil,
    Snap! I am one of those folks that used to upload all the photos in my camera. I am setting up a Gallery 2 installation on my site to display my photos and will take your good advice. I had never thought about culling. I read and admire manys blogs and photos and always take the time to give good pertinent comments but never realized the impact it could have. Being a novice it’s nice to have online mentors like yourself to teach me better ways to improve my techniques and abilities.
    Thank you,
    Ted Hussey

    January 07, 2009
  • I have been using Flickr since Sept ’08 and have just recently gotten caught up in the comments game. I have to admit that I am guilty of the “one or two word comments” problem – but am realizing that they do little, if anything, for the community.

    The “Gaudy large banners and “awards”” and “Comments that are only group invites” are very annoying, but other than asking people not to post them on each photo, I’m not sure how to avoid it.

    Thanks for your article and for your efforts to make Flickr a better community.

    January 19, 2009
  • I agree with your list. especially the poetry thing. and it’s something I’m TOTALLY guilty of. haha hopefully I’ll grow out of it.

    I really wish they’d come with with some sort of notification about replies, like other social networking sites do. I know I don’t have time to go back to all of my comments to see if there is any sort of reply.

    great list.

    January 23, 2009
  • I couldn’t agree so much with this!!!! As I see in this mountain of comments there are a lot of people who does too!That HDR!!!! uf!!! and the group awards!!! uf, uf, uf!!! I’d like too to be able to follow my comments in a easier way (I do lots of them too!!! and as you said it’s impossible!) I have to congrat you to have been able to put this things in words. They were thoughts I had since I’ve being through the (WONDERFULL) flickr community but I coul not have writen them better!! Now I’m going to read the 10 favourite things and I’m sure this will enjoy me!!!
    (sorry for my terrible english… I’m spanish speaker!!)

    February 07, 2009
  • I just found your blog via flickr! I agree especially on the awards & culling. Both of those drive me crazy and usually lead me to leave the person’s photostream (which is sad on the awards side of things, since it’s not their fault!)

    February 10, 2009
  • I would also like to have the feature “Reply notification on comments or discussion”. This would have been such an useful addition. Not sure why Flickr hasn’t taken this up.

    February 16, 2009
  • I totally agree with your comments…especially about the awards and comment banners. I’m not joining a group that is fave-1, comment-4, post-6…no thanks!

    And I was really struggling with their “Explore” feature last year. Apparently the only way to make it on Explore is to be an attractive young woman who takes somewhat revealing self-portraits. This apparently has changed for 2009 and it seems overall to feature some decent photos.

    All this said…Flickr seems to be the best tool out there for building community among photographers. I’ve posted other places and the feedback is rare and the interaction is virtually non-existent. The interesting thing will be to see if Flickr can figure out a way to bring even greater community into place…maybe learn a few things from FB.

    February 25, 2009
  • […] interesting is this article about irritating things on Flickr. It was a good […]

    March 06, 2009
  • Sue

    What a brilliant article. I never, ever, thought that people wanted long comments, let alone preferred them. Most of the time I am too speechless to say anything when I like a photo, but you are right, it only takes a few seconds to think on it and come up with something meaningful to say.

    That said, as I review my own recent uploads I am disgusted with how I seemed to have become obsessed with editing my photos. I used to shoot by the mantra that a good photo should come out of the camera that way, THAT takes skill, not editing.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    March 06, 2009
  • Gagan

    The worst about flickr is their complete autocratic rule and their audacity with which they trample upon you and delet accounts…just like that, D@#ned F@#$!

    March 09, 2009
  • Hi Neil. I came here from DPS. I share your thoughts on the need for culling of photos.

    March 15, 2009
  • D

    Most of this article makes you sound like a pretentious jerk.


    March 28, 2009
  • […] This was a very interesting article some annoying Flickr tendencies. I especially agree with the flashing “award” images. I’m sure I’m guilty of some of this stuff, tho […]

    May 28, 2009
  • Totally agree on the HDR comments, and what is with those awards and banners!!

    I too have avoided posting any artistic nudes as they are sure to draw crass comments that disrespect the photographer and model.


    July 08, 2009
  • I only found your blog today through DPS, and I totally agree with you, but not in regard to Flickr, but to DeviantArt. I don’t know if you use it, but the comments above could have been written about DeviantArt just as well. I think what bothers me most is the totally overdone HDR effect. Especially when it looks completely over-exposed and artificial. I myself am only now trying it out, but I think seeing so many badly done HDR’s, I am planning to be a bit more cautious before exposing the world to my attempts. :)

    The other thing you mentioned about the need to cull and not to post every photo ever taken, definitely annoys me too. I’ve seen some people who post absolutely everything, even if it’s not even in focus. That irritates me so much, because it takes up my time and is not worth it in the end.

    Thank you for speaking your mind. It’s good to know that other people feel this way too.

    July 15, 2009
  • […] 10 things I hate about Flickr and its users – Neil Creek […]

    July 20, 2009
  • Just like @Anne I found this post through DPS, and I must say You sure hit the spot.

    I always found the award fad a pain for the eyes. Seriously, who cares for another “I’m pasting this junk” award? please…

    Just as annoying is the “comment 10.000 post 1” fad in group rules. I think that encouraging people to comment is really good practice, but forcing to comment just so that you can post a photo just brings up the “empty comment spam effect”. And it gets worse when rules forces you to include the group badge, logo or yet another blinking image in comments.

    From time to time there are glimpses of honesty and sincerity that make things a bit easier to bare.
    Thank you for your post! ;)

    July 21, 2009
  • I agree also.. keep up the wonderful work!

    August 23, 2009
  • Laura Higgins


    I am an amateur photographer and just purchased a Canon 50D and I am upgrading from an OlympusSP570z. It was good camera, but I have outgrown it. I am also on FlickR and find it fun, but I do know what you mean about some of the awards. I would welcome comments about my photos and what their likes or dislikes are. Or how to improve my shot etc. I am also “self teaching,” myself with Adobe photo shop. Then of course I have a full time job…
    Thank you for sharing and by the way great photos, I see I hav alot too learn…Cuddo-s

    August 28, 2009
  • Neil, I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of Flickr, especially about gaudy awards and HDR: “Good HDR is usually invisible. Subtlety is your friend.”

    December 10, 2009
  • my personal issues with flickr was point no.2, very few meaningly comments.

    i am trying to address that on our photography platform, CREYA, at

    we’re trying to create a way to gather useful feedback from others, than just “awesome photo!”. please have a look. comments are welcome

    December 11, 2009

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