Online Photo Sharing In Plain English

I’m really bad at explaining some things. Not concrete things like how to make an omlette or why I use a 50mm lens on my Canon most of the time instead of my cool Sigma 70-300mm zoom. No, I’m bad at explaining concepts.

Classic example: TiVo

You don’t know how much you need one until you’ve actually used it for a while. And yes, you DO need one if you “don’t watch a lot of TV” because TiVo ensures that the TV that you do watch is relevant and interesting to you specifically…. but I digress.

This isn’t about TiVo. This is about Flickr. More specifically, this is about using web sites to store, backup, manage, and share your photos.

The folks at have just come out with a great little video explaining online photo sites and why you should use them. I recommend Flickr because it’s generally considered the best and the easiest to use, and because it’s the one that all of my friends and family use. (There are some very picky people in that bunch, so you know it’s a good thing!)

Click to play:

Two things I think I should stress:

1. If you don’t want to share your photos with The World you don’t have to. You can mark any photo on Flickr as public, friends only, family only, friends and family only, or completely private so that only YOU see them.

2. Even if you don’t have a digital camera you can scan important photos into the computer and upload them for safe keeping and/or sharing.

3. (I can’t count!) But seriously, it’s one of the best ways to keep an eye on friends and family if you travel or live far away from your loved ones for any amount of time — Yes, I’m talking to you. You know who you are! — or just don’t see them very often.

4. (I still can’t count!) It’s FREE for 200 photos, or you can get a “pro” account which gives you absolutely unlimited storage for $25 bucks per year. That’s less than a movie ticket and popcorn! (Believe me, I know!)

Please don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have them. I’ve been using Flickr since 2005 and I’m pretty well-versed in Flickrology. If I don’t know the answer, I can get it for you.

A few Flickr streams that you might be interested in:

My Flickr stream

The Man’s Flickr stream

Photos taken in and of Grand Rapids, Michigan

And for Heaven’s sake, let me know if you sign up! 😀


So we’re packed, and ready, and I’m just waiting for the latest episode of GREY’S ANATOMY to download from my TiVo. Then it’s off to lunch and the airport.

I’m not as excited now. I’m all business. Between the two of us we’ve done a pretty good job of paring down our initial packing list and fitting the leftovers into two carry-ons and one checked bag (which will be used mostly to cart souvenirs and such on the way back).

Our flight is going to take about 31 hours total with the layovers and such, assuming that there are no delays. It’s been years since I flew to London, but even that was a long flight at about 8 hours. I’m not terribly comfortable with flying in my old age either, so this should be an interesting trip. I hope I can get to sleep on the plane.

Wellington, our destination, is located on Cook Strait, a channel that runs between the North Island and the South Island – the two main islands that make up New Zealand. Because of the way the islands are shaped and placed, and in part because of the beautiful mountain ranges that run down both of them, a natural wind tunnel is created in the strait. Wellington International Airport is on the edge of the wind tunnel. Here’s a short video of a few planes battling the cross-winds as they land. Fun, fun, fun!

See you on the flip-side!

Cars On Ice!

This tunnel in Russia is the longest in-city tunnel of Europe. There is a river running over it and water leaks at some points. When the temperature reaches -38 degrees like it did this winter, the road freezes and the result is the attached video taken during a single day with the tunnel camera.

Dad, keep an eye out for the bus because, well… WOW!

I lifted this from Stuart MacDonald’s blog. (Thanks, Stuart!)