Lightroom Export Plugin For Flickr (sort of)

UPDATE: You can now Download Here

As I'm still waiting for word from Adobe that I can post my Zenfolio and SmugMug plugins (“frustrated” does not even being to explain my feelings on this matter), I've put the time to good use, developing a plugin for Flickr.

To give a hint, here's what the export dialog looks like at the moment....

Screenshot of the export dialog for my export-to-Flickr Lightroom plugin

The SmugMug and Zenfolio plugins also got the ability to choose how the Title (Zenfolio) or Caption (SmugMug) is derived, as shown in the “Title / Description” section of this screenshot.

The Lightroom Export-Plugin SDK includes a sample export-to-Flickr plugin, and although I have not really looked at it since I tested a version of it a couple of months ago, I've heard that it's fairly bare-bones from a Flickr user's perspective. Mine, which I hope to release soon, is perhaps a step toward a more complete user experience.

(I should explain that the consulting I did for Adobe was to help test and debug the SDK and its “Lightroom SDK Guide” documentation. In order to help ensure that the documentation was correct and complete, I explicitly refrained from looking at the sample code. Thus, I had to read the docs and try to understand things that way, and as a result, I hope I was able to provide better feedback for them. I didn't use it as a Flickr user, either, because I'm not a Flickr user.)

Since the SDK's Flickr plugin was for demonstration, it contains some things I would prefer not to see in a real plugin, such as the various items it adds to the File and Library menus. My plugins don't add any of those. (I may add a “show these images at XXXX” entry to the Library menu, but there are some issues still to be worked out, such as where on earth I can find the time.)

Since I'm not a Flickr user, I'm not entirely sure whether I've grouped things reasonably, or what missing features would be most appreciated. I'd like to have a “replace” checkbox, but one needs a Pro account to replace images, so if someone at Flickr wants to comp me a pro account, I'd be able to write that 🙂 Oh, and Flickr, if you want to give me written permission to use your logo, I can add that branding to the dialog header, as I've done with the Zenfolio and SmugMug plugins.

All 16 comments so far, oldest first...

You are a good man Jeffrey Friedl. [taken from Charlie Brown] I think quite a few people will be pleased with what you have accomplished. While I don’t use any of the photo sites, I know many others do.

Now it is Adobe’s turn.


About the “now it’s Adobe’s turn,” to their credit, their first turn to which my turn was a response — building Lightroom — was pretty darn big, so perhaps they can be forgiven a bit of slack this time. 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Mel Lammers on November 20th, 2007 at 12:06pm JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Mr. Jeffrey,

Thank you for developing such a better Flickr plugin. I’m writing to ask if you can send me the plugin so I can have a test and make my experience better.

Thank you!


I’d like to make yours and everyone’s experience easier, which is why I wrote them, but I value my relationship with Adobe much more than I value the ability to release these a few days early, so if their lawyers ask me to wait, I honor that request. It’s not the worse request I’ve faced from a lawyer, that’s for sure. —Jeffrey

— comment by springtian on November 20th, 2007 at 12:28pm JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Those plugins look great!

Is there a way to add an option to change the markings (color/flag type) after a successful upload? That would help users keep track of the photo’s they’ve already uploaded.

Just an idea.

That’s an excellent idea, but unfortunately, the export API doesn’t give the plugin the ability to update the catalog, so there’s no way to change the color label. Yet. —Jeffrey

Great job and I look very much forward to the release!

— comment by Matrix on November 20th, 2007 at 2:11pm JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

great job as always. I wish I had the time to contribute to the whole LR Plugin landscape. I’m a flickr pro user. So if I can test some things for you — just ask me.

The next thing to wait is the real full SDK. What I need most is a perspective correction in the crop tool. And than a real flickr sync tool. But than flickr have to release its collection API first.


— comment by Alexander on November 20th, 2007 at 11:32pm JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

My comment was not meant to slam Adobe BTW. I agree that LR is a tremendous step forward. So much so that I feel a teeny tiny bit guilty that I don’t use CS3 very much now. 🙂

It is also worth noting, that I no longer use iView Media Pro 3. While LR is not as robust, it does just what I need. Plus, somehow the Adobe photography team seems to behave more like a small and responsive company [compared to say, Microsoft] in terms of listening to its customers. Not a tiny, overnite response company, but not giant sluggish one either. YMMV


— comment by Mel Lammers on November 21st, 2007 at 12:24am JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Excellent work Jeffrey!

Could you clarify what do you need Adobe approval for to release those plugins? SDK was released to development community and as far as I can see nothing prohibits you to publish your code. Or am I missing something?


I wrote these plugins on my own time, but because I did some consulting for Adobe in relation to the SDK, the lawyers felt better dotting some Ts and crossing some Is (or something like that), so asked me to hold off until they could. Out of respect for our relationship (and my reputation as being an easy-going, fun-to-work-with guy 😉 ), I waited. I just wish that they would have kept me in the loop more about the progress, since it was so frustrating just not knowing if/when it would get done. —Jeffrey

— comment by AlexeyD on November 21st, 2007 at 1:27am JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Your plugins will certainly be great. But what I *REALLY* want to know is what WAS the worst request you’ve ever gotten from a lawyer?

I was once deposed by a lawyer for a scumbag suing the company I worked for at the time. Being asked to attend was the aforementioned “worst request”, although I have to say that by the end of it he was more shaken by the experience than I was. The look I gave the lawyer when he simply asked my name shrank him to about 2 inches tall, and it only got worse for him from there. Thinking back on it now, though, it couldn’t have been that bad for him because I was flanked by two lawyers from my company, who just happened to both be female and attractive looking, so at least he had a pleasant view. —Jeffrey

— comment by Marcina on November 21st, 2007 at 3:11am JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Yes, indeed, as would I, your mother. But to preserve the family’s good name, perhaps you could just call me with said confession.

— comment by Grandma Friedl on November 21st, 2007 at 5:50am JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Well, that’s a relief, if that’s the whole story. It rings true because of the reference to “The Look”., which, I am told, you inherited from my side of the family.(I believe your siblings would concur) I wish I could be there to make chicken soup to soothe your cold, but from here can only suggest taking Zinc and getting rest.

— comment by Grandma Friedl on November 22nd, 2007 at 5:04am JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

If you would still like someone to get you a Flickr account for testing, I would be happy to front the cost. Just contact me if it is still of interest. You may also use my pro account if necessary.


— comment by Rene Hache on November 30th, 2007 at 11:17am JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

This is great–I actually haven’t been a Flickr user, but thanks to this plugin, am considering using it for all of my family photos!

— comment by Gary Young on December 1st, 2007 at 11:20am JST (16 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

thanks for your gift , the plugins is amazing

well there are ZOOMR & 23 photo , they are the future of photos sharing

it could be amazing have a plugin to upload photos


— comment by mantra on December 25th, 2007 at 2:57am JST (16 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

zoooor and 23hq will be great – cause i use them!! please!!

— comment by Salech on January 16th, 2008 at 7:43pm JST (16 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Great Plugin, esp when combined with the LR/mogrify. I am a Flickr Pro user and the replace image would be a great feature so the old links aren’t broken. I’d be more than happy to gift a Pro account if you were after one—weither you implemented that feature or not wouldn’t matter not.

I’m interested in how you keep track of the photos that have been uploaded to Flickr.

— comment by Sam Brown on February 23rd, 2008 at 4:49pm JST (16 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Thank’s a lot for your work. I’ve just discovered it surfing the web and will try it this evening at home. All the comments I’ve read about this plugin are positive so I hope it will become the definitive export tool to my flickr pro account. I always have problems with the flickr uploadr to upload files with sizes bigger than 1mb.


— comment by jandercito on March 6th, 2008 at 4:25pm JST (16 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Looks verrryyy nice. I’ve been using Flickr’s Uploadr to move my LightRoom photos into my Flickr account.

A request, if you’re taking them… One aspect of LightRoom I really like is the handling of hierarchical keywording. Over time, I’ve greatly expanded my hierarchy. The result is that photos I uploaded to Flickr in the past have far fewer tags than currently annotated in LR. I’d love to have a tool that would simply perform a *synchronization* of the metadata in LightRoom with that in Flickr; for the exported images, find their matches in Flickr (via name, I can’t think of any other primary keys that make sense, but maybe they are others), and update the tags with LR’s current keywords, maybe update the caption as well.

I see that the current interface has a “Refresh” feature; I tried that, but it duplicated the image. Using the “Delete … previously uploaded … ” feature would get part of the task done, but would delete the photo’s history (view count, commenting, favoriting, Explore, etc) from Flickr’s memory; I would like to preserve all that data. (also note that even if you keep the photo record within Flickr, I think if you update the image Flickr will reset some of its data, such as view count and interestingness).

Anyway, I’d love to see a metadata-only update that would allow me to backfill my expanded tag sets. Thanks for putting in the work on this! As it is, I will definitely use it for my primary uploading!

— comment by Charles on May 21st, 2008 at 8:55pm JST (16 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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