OMG – it’s a new Flickr!

Ok, everyone – don’t panic, but Flickr changed again.  If you’re used to the old Flickr, this is probably a big annoyance for you, but give it a couple days and see if it doesn’t grow on you.

NewFlickr2Personally, I think this new design is a really nice improvement for people who are learning photography techniques — take a look at the lower-right of the screen above.  All this information (known as EXIF) was available to you before, but it required a bit of digging.  Now, it’s all pretty easy to see, with nice little icons, too.

If you’ve ever looked at a shot and wondered “how’d they get that shot?”, this EXIF information is a great place to start.  In this case, you can see all sorts of helpful information, including:

  • The camera & lens I used.
  • The aperture — here, I’m stopped down  to keep a little detail in the furnace.
  • The ISO — just enough to keep the shutter speed up.
  • The shutter speed  — 1/30 is about as slow as I’d try for a shot like this.
  • Flash fired — this is fill flash which just adds a bit of “pop” to the subject (and also helps stop action if there’s any movement at this slow speed).
  • My shooting mode was AE — this is mainly a preference thing, for what it’s worth.

Now, there’s bad news if you’re an EXIF-peeper, but none of this changes because of the new UI:

  • EXIF information can easily be stripped from images before they’re sent to Flickr, so not all images will show this sort of information.
  • EXIF doesn’t tell the whole story of a photo — you can’t really see lighting setups, or what sort of post-processing may have been used.  HDR photos, for instance, won’t really show anything in this basic EXIF information to indicate that.
  • Maybe most importantly, you won’t really see a narrative indicating why the artist chose these settings, so you’re going to have to learn to figure that out on your own.

Eventually, you’ll get to the point where you’ll be able to just look at a photo and take a pretty good guess at the camera settings, and then, of course, this panel won’t help you too much, but in the meantime, be sure to watch it — you just might learn something.