Lightroom: Flickr upload/management confusion

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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Having used the FLickr upload for the first time I encountered something that was very frustrating to a first time user. Yesterday I uploaded photos to Flickr from Lightroom. Tonight I removed those photos from the Flickr upload que (in LightRoom) only to find that they were removed from the Flickr website. Now that I understand how it works I can work with it. However, this is not what I expected from a user experience point of view. If Adobe designers want the upload experience to work like this I would have expected to SEE all of my existing Flickr photos (previously uploaded without the use of Lightroom) in the LIghtroom que. With that said, it is very confusing to think that this que mimics Flickr when it doesn't fully mimic Flickr. For what it is worth my expectation was that Lightroom would simply upload the photos - it's great that you can manage Flickr from Lightroom but that isn't very important to me. Actually, I can see myself adapting to a Lightroom Flickr management flow if it actually managed my entire Flickr account. Anyways, I hope this helps improve future updates. The current solution is frustrating especially for the first time user who doesn't really understand how it is supposed to work. Try to imagine someone who uploads photos to Flickr - friends add comments to these photos and then we remove these from the Lightroom Flickr que. Now my friends comments and the photos are gone! Very frustrating.
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brian wilson

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Posted 7 years ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Hi Brian, sorry to hear you had a frustrating time.

Lightroom can't download your existing photos from Flickr, but it does keep track of any photos you upload and allow you to do some limited management. When you delete a photo from a Publish Collection, it moves it into a 'Deleted Photos to Remove' group and stays there until you next publish that collection.

What could Adobe do to make that clearer for new users such as yourself? Would it help if there was a dialog box when you hit Delete in a Publish Collection, warning you that they'll be removed from Flickr?
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brian wilson

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Good question - thanks for asking ;).

To understand this I should explain how I use Flickr. I have a free Flickr account. I usually upload the photos I like using the Flickr website upload tool. This upload process works well since I can add tags, titles, etc. I have never felt that the tool provided a poor experience. When I upload photos to Flickr I rarely delete them from the Flickr website - unless I reach the limit that a free account provides. If this happens I end up removing the least favorite photos and keeping the best - just to free up space again. The other type of management I do is adding certain types of photos to Flickr groups so that I can view like photos at the same time. Again Flickr has a pleasant group creation tool online. I have never accidentally uploaded the same photo twice.

With that said, having installed the latest Lightroom on my machine - I was curious if this Flickr workflow would reduce steps needed to upload to Flickr. My first thought was that after I authorized my Flickr/Lightroom connection that I could RIGHT CLICK to upload photos i.e. see an UPLOAD TO FLICKR option in the right click menu. After this didn't work I tried to figure out how to upload photos. Eventually I tried dragging and dropping a photo on the Flickr publish services UI. At this point my perception is that this is a temporary upload queue to make it easier for batch uploads. Since I am familiar with the Flickr upload flow this made sense to me. Once I opened the Flickr upload queue to publish - I was confused that the photos stayed in this queue after the upload was completed. This wasn't a big deal at the time so I left it as is.

Now, the second day of uploads to Flickr. I understand the flow - so I add more photos by dragging and dropping. Open the queue to act on it and now I see the previous photos along with my latest photos. This is frustrating at first because I feel like I need to remove them in order to upload my new photos. I select yesterdays photos to remove from upload queue. Then I publish the new photos. Open the website to confirm and yesterdays photos are missing! So the confusion I ran into here is that I am looking at new and old photos and only a button that says publish - in other words I already published yesterdays photos - is it going to publish these again? Confusing. Adobe could either remove the photos from the queue after the upload is complete (this is what I expected), or they could somehow display photos in a different state in the queue to show which ones have already been uploaded vs. the ones that need to be uploaded, or you could display an error box when I remove them but this is still going to be confusing I think. I guess it feels awkward to keep previously uploaded files in the queue - maybe thats what I struggle with the most. I can't think of a reason I need to see previously uploaded files in the queue. If anything the photos in the library could be marked to let me know that I have already uploaded this photo - preventing me from trying to upload it again on accident. On the other hand I have my Flickr website open during this process and I am familiar with all the photos already published to my Flickr account - accidental duplicate uploads isn't and issue.

In addition, my point of view is that if Adobe focused on the upload experience everything would be fine. It's this upload/halfway management thing that adds too much complexity. Make it easy for me to upload my photos. If I need to manage my Flickr account I will open the Flickr website - or if you guys build a complete Flickr management experience I will use that.

Hope this helps.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Hey Brian. Just a quick note to say I'm not ignoring you. I need to grab some time to read all of this properly, but I've bookmarked it and I'll read properly later. Thanks for the detailed reply.
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brian wilson

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Followup...

I just realized something - my focus of attention was on the lower strip for the upload queue. In other words, I just realized I didn't look at the upper half of the screen where it labels previously uploaded photos. There is so much happening in the interface I ignored this region. The publish button is at the bottom of the screen too, and it's closer to the button I clicked on to open a publish flow. With that said I would be a little less confused ;) if I had noticed this the first few times. Oops.
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brian wilson

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Oh boy... now I understand what happened. I thought I was loosing my mind for a second. I primarily work in the Loupe view vs. grid view. This is why I didn't see the previously uploaded files marker etc. Loupe view just shows a single photo and in the upload flow this is of little importance so I ignored the upper screen. Complicated.
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Sebastien BARRE

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If somebody could explain me the black magic behind the *ordering* of the photos to upload in Flickr Publish Service, that would be great. I think it has improved since 3.3 but even in 3.4, I can have a perfectly good folder of photos sorted by "User Order" (i.e. my ordering), I'll select them all and drop them in the Flickr Publish queue, and the order will be totally different there...
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leon offengenden

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a question --- does lightroom 3 allow you to upload photos to flickr and then subsequently delete these photos in lightroom 3 WITHOUT having it delete the in Flickr as well? For those of us who use Flickr as a sort of backup solution, it doesn't make sense to always keep both desktop and flickr in-sync. I am using Aperture and it is one of the most annoying things about their flickr integration, and it effectively forces me to export all photos first before publishing to flickr