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Congratulations to our Flickr x FUJIFILM “Shine a Light” contest winners!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/laurazalenga/play episode download
13 August, by Carol Benovic-Bradley[ —]

Today we are in celebration mode at Flickr as our “Shine a Light” contest has come to an end! A big thank you to everyone who participated by submitting their fabulous photos and engaging in our group discussions. You helped us make this community celebration a success. 

With close to 8,000 entries from members worldwide, the results were impressive, and the decision to choose three winners was not an easy one. A jury composed of eleven members of Flickr staff helped narrow down the selections and selected the three photos that we felt best exemplified the contest theme and criteria. Curious about the runners up and the list of staff favorites? Check out these galleries and join us in celebrating all of the contributions.

And without further ado, here are the winners of the FUJIFILM X100V Silver and FUJIFILM X-T30 Kit cameras. Congratulations!

‘Covid19: Alone in the city’ by Laurence Bouchard

Covid19:  Alone in the city

How this moment was captured: “This was shot in Minatomirai, Japan. It’s a favorite place of mine to shoot because of the beautiful floor pattern. I was lucky on this particular day as a child was playing football with his father creating a beautiful scene before my eyes.”

About Laurence Bouchard: Laurence Bouchard is a Tokyo based street photographer from the U.K. He moved to Tokyo in 2009 and this sparked his interest in photography. He works as a private English instructor and also runs photography workshops via EYExplore.

‘When the newspaper doesn’t show the protest…’
by Rafshan Ekhowan

When the newspaper don't show the protest, Then protest is with the newspaper.

How this moment was captured: “The concept of this photo came across my mind after seeing some mismanagement for a long time. Everyone should protest against the wrong policies in a democracy. In some countries, people can’t protest against the system; even the newspapers are not protesting against those governments’ wrong policies. Through the photo, I am showing my outrage to the world news authority.”

About Rafshan Ekhowan: Rafshan Ekhowan is a student of Information and Communication Engineering at Daffodil International University of Bangladesh. He is passionate about photography and shoots things that catch his eye in and around Bangladesh.

‘Shine a light – from within’ by Laura Zalenga

shine a light - from within

How this moment was captured: “I created a mood-board around the topic of light, fell in love with the idea of having a light inside a person, and then tried to bring that vision to life, which was me sitting in the corner of my bedroom with a black fabric on the wall and floor, and having a lightbulb (LED) under my t-shirt. Testing different poses, hiding my remote control behind my body, and hoping, in the end, it would work out well. I also tried to have the person in the image be somewhat ‘undefined,’ as far as possible, with it being a self-portrait, so more people could identify with that human being and find a light within themselves. Part of the process was finding words that illustrated my feeling about the inner light, and I was excited to find Maya Angelou’s beautiful quote: “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.””

About Laura Zalenga: Laura Zalenga is a self-portrait photographer based in Rotterdam, Netherlands passionate about the healing power of self-portraits, mental health and equality.

Thank you again to everyone that participated in “Shine a Light.” If you haven’t already, be sure to browse this gallery and the group for some spectacular photos.

PreShoot (1 of 1)-2-2

Lou Noble on Diversity in Photography

5 August, by thephotographicjournal[ —]

Representation, it’s essential to creating a better world. One where everyone can see themselves portrayed in public images, in films, advertising, in the images they see every day. Diversity in our media helps to foster a fuller, more authentic reflection of the world we live in.

But what’s it do for the individual photographer? The enthusiast? We’re not all trying to get ad campaigns, not trying to change the world. We just want to take some fun pictures, right?

Thing is, if you look back at your images and it’s all the same kind of person, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Forget society, it’s ourselves we shortchange.

“But I’m happy!” You say. “I just want to photograph what I like, and leave it at that.” Sure…and you might as well just have the same meal everyday for the rest of your life, while you’re at it.

Portrait photography, as much as anything, is about getting to know another person. It’s a grand excuse for talking to a stranger, a friend, to bridging that gap between ourselves and someone else. And the more varied the people we know, the richer our lives become.

It’s not about checking a box, or making sure you’re plugging into a trend. It’s not about “being woke”, or performative anti-racism. It’s about opening your world to new experiences, to new perspectives. Broadening your horizons using the artistic medium you have chosen.


It’s obvious that we limit the potential of portrait photography when we prioritize certain looks, certain ethnicities, races. But it’s also critically important we recognize what we’re doing to ourselves, as artists, when we, perhaps unthinkingly, operate under certain limits.

What do you really know of people, if you only photograph white people? If you only photograph women? If you only photograph those you’re attracted to?

What do you really know of the world, if you only look at a very small slice of it?

I say You, but I’m talking to myself here, as well. Do I take pictures of people from a variety of backgrounds? I do! Do I take pictures of men with the same frequency as I do women? Do I see out people of varying body types? Do I cast my net as wide as possible? I do not. And that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot, during this, our Great Pandemic. The changes I’ve made in who I take pictures of, the growth I’ve made because of those changes. The changes I’ve yet to make. That I’ve struggled against. “But I’m happy!” I tell myself. I’m shooting the people I want to shoot and enjoy the photos that come as a result. 

But I’m doing myself a disservice.


When I first started taking photography seriously as a hobby, I was drawn to interesting faces, to intriguing personalities. I photographed men and women, from a wide swath of backgrounds. But as I got more into the hobby, I sought to become more like famous photographers, I reached out to beautiful women, attempted to take stunning photos of people looking fantastic.

Those women, more often than not, were white. And it was years until I recognized how I was limiting myself. Until I broadened my horizons.

Did it make my photos better? Of course. But more importantly, it made my life richer. 

In 2011, I went around the country, interviewing and photographing couples who were in long-term relationships. It was fascinating. Eye-opening. Enriching. It was also a blast. Applying my skills to a much wider selection of faces, people from all walks of life. It was an artistic feast. And I’ve been thinking about that trip a lot, these past few months. Not just because it was a time in which I could roam the country freely, but because of how satisfying it was, straying from my usual subjects. Challenging myself with a different set of faces, of experiences.

Jim & Jeremy
Sangeeta & Rox

I’ve always been of the opinion that you can tell everything about a photographer by who they photograph. Every portrait is a self-portrait. So what does it say about us if we limit ourselves to such a narrow band of subject? What does it say about who we find interesting, who we find Worthy? 

It could be as simple as asking to shoot someone you regularly interact with, but have never thought to photograph. It could be looking at your body of work, identifying certain gaps, then actively seeking to shoot those you’ve avoided.

The great gift of portrait photography is the opportunity to meet and engage with other people. To utilize photography as a method for connection. Right now especially, connection is essential. Better to feed ourselves a rich and varied diet of experience, than to continue noshing on the same meal, day after day.

Wear a Mask – A Flickr Gallery

4 August, by Leticia Roncero[ —]

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact many worldwide, wearing a mask is one of the most important steps we can take, along with physical distancing, to minimize the disease’s spread.

Face masks have become an essential part of our daily lives, and even a “fashion trend” for those in favor of any accessory that makes a mask more appealing to wear.

In a reflection of the “new normal,” we curated a Flickr gallery to compile some of the images that best represent our realities in 2020. Check it out and share your photos or others that you’ve come across in the comments.

27 of 52 Weeks
cruel summer

Your photos of summer 2020

play episode
29 July, by Carol Benovic-Bradley[ —]

This summer is different than any other that we’ve had in the past. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend life for many, social distancing and quarantine rules have put many of the usual summer activities on hold, and protests for social justice continue around the world. We’ve shared your photos of the impact of these life-changing events and today we’re sharing your photos of summer. We hope that these photos allow you to feel the warmth of the sun, the graininess of sand, and recollect the smell of campfire and inspire you to responsibly enjoy and capture what you can this summer. If you have taken or come across a photo that exemplifies summer, comment on this gallery and we’ll have a look.

Amber Mosley
A reet breet moonlit neet
189/366, July 7

Elvert Barnes: Three decades of documentary photography and counting

27 July, by Leticia Roncero[ —]

For the past three decades, Barnes has attended every major US movement with a camera in tow and a desire to capture history through his lens. In this Q&A interview, he talks us through his work and what motivates him to keep photographing the streets of Baltimore, Maryland.


Flickr: Tell us about where you’re from, where you live, and what you do.

Elvert Barnes: I am a self-taught freelance documentary photographer who, except for a few years in NYC, have lived most of my adult life in the Washington DC area and, since August 2016, in Baltimore, Maryland. I’m a 66-year-old gay Black male. For the most part, where I live, work, and play serves as the backdrop of my picture-taking.

How did you get interested in and started with photography? And more specifically, in outdoor event photography?

While my interest in photography dates back to my childhood years, it wasn’t until my partner gave me a Minolta as a Christmas gift in 1991 that I decided to integrate my picture-taking with my writings.

Seldom without a camera, I always carried a note pad and have created a collection of writings and photo essays entitled “BLACKOUT” that in the future will be developed into books and exhibitions that reflect on my personal story as an openly gay Black man.

My focus has almost always been in street photography. I like the fact that the photographer has little control over what appears in the image. Years later, when viewing an image, so many details will have been recorded of a particular moment in time that cannot ever be again. That same focus also drives my protest photography.

Living for many years in Washington DC and now Baltimore MD, there has never been a shortage of outdoor events to photograph. A few of my favorite ongoing DC projects are the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Cherry Blossom Festival, Rolling Thunder, National Police Week, Gay Pride, and Sundays at Meridian Hill Park. And now Baltimore MD.


What is the role of a photographer when documenting a protest?

In earlier years, I usually documented a protest on assignment for an event organizer or news organization, which affected what and how I photographed. From the September 11th terrorist attacks through 2008, much of my protest photography was associated with the anti-war movement and anti-capitalist demonstrations in Washington DC and NYC. Since then, my protests documentation has been strictly for my archives.

As a photojournalist, my focus may be on demonstrators, police, and counter-demonstrators. As a documentary photographer, while marching down a particular street or through a neighborhood, I also turn my attention to the storefronts, buildings, spectators, street art, etc.

What are some safety precautions to take when photographing a protest, rally, march, or an outdoor event in general?

I tend to travel light. Almost always with two cameras. One camera for close-ups and another for distance shooting. I never carry a camera bag, which is too cumbersome. I have no interest in being arrested, so I take all precautions against any actions that may result in such.

Of most importance, at all times, I must be aware that as a Black male, law enforcement will not only overreact to me but so will protesters and other photographers.


Now that everyone has a camera in their pocket, what advice do you have for those who want to document a massive event?

My motto is, “you do you, and I do me.” Just don’t interfere with what and how I photograph.

What are the essential shots you’re looking to capture when photographing an outdoor event?

Speakers, performers, organizers, people interacting with each other, protest signs, law enforcement. Various shots from different locations and perspectives that depict the size of the crowd. Candid shots.

In your view, how can photography contribute to social justice?

Photography can play a major role in contributing to social justice as protest images often inspire others to participate in effecting change. Images from the 60’s civil rights, 70’s anti-war, and 70’s gay rights movements not only inspired generations of future activists but actually resulted in cultural and legislative changes.

Can you choose two of your Flickr photos and describe why they’re important to you?

This first image was taken over Easter weekend during the April 1999 National Emergency March for Justice Against Police Brutality in Washington DC. If not the third, certainly the second year in a row, I documented an anti-police brutality protest over Easter weekend, depicting a father carrying a sign of his dead son. It still haunts me that so many Black families march against racism and memorialize their murdered sons not only over Easter weekend but also on other holidays. Every Easter since then, almost like a flashback, this picture comes to mind.


This second is of two friends, partners Mark and Ken, who have been together since 1979 and who I’ve known since 1982. Taken at the 1994 Washington DC Gay Pride Festival, I’ve always admired and respected the relationship that these two men have. This picture and similar ones that I’ve taken over the years are part of my ongoing Without Apologies project.


Is there anything else we should know about you or your work? Are you working on any projects?

As a documentary photographer, I have many ongoing projects. However, since moving to Baltimore in August 2016 and in connection with my Ride-by Shooting docu-project, which documents my travels from car, train, bus and airplane windows, my MARC Commuter Train series has been a focus. And, of course, COVID-19.

Be sure to visit Elvert’s Flickr photostream to see more of his work.

Have a look at your new Flickr activity feed

24 July, by Jordan Sendar[ —]
Feed blog post image

Flickr is all about photos: sharing yours, viewing others’, seeing all the amazing images uploaded to the site every day. We figure seeing all those wonderful photos should be easy, beautiful, and simple, so we made a few big changes to how your feed works.

First, we’re giving you more control over how you see content that matters to you on Flickr, starting with sorting. Now you can sort your Feed by All Activity (you know, the people you follow and groups you’re in) or, if you want to drill down on some specifics, filter by only Group Activity, people you follow, or our newest filter, friends and family.

The feed is also getting a little sizing upgrade. With our new compact view, you’ll be able to scroll and view photos more quickly. The medium view strikes that beautiful balance between more content and larger image sizes. And the large view displays each photo in a bigger format so you can avoid distractions and focus on each image individually. For both these feature updates, we’ll remember your preference so you don’t have to change it every time you visit your feed.

Our feed cleanup also lets us consider what other information you might want to see, so your feed is now split into two columns. The main column is all those photos and new filters from groups you’re in, people you follow, etc. The right column will serve up some dynamic content depending on how you use Flickr. If you’re new to the site, we’ll help you find interesting content, people to follow, and groups to join. For more active users, we’ll serve up your daily stats (for Flickr Pros), as well as Explore and Flickr Blog content featuring some of the most interesting photography and photographers in our global community.

We’re also giving you more granular control of who you follow and what group activity you see right from the Feed setting. From each Feed card, you can mute group activity that is too noisy, or unfollow people you no longer want to see. You can share whole photostreams if there are people you think your contacts would benefit from following as well. And you can easily message people you’re following without the need to go over to their profile.

Jordan Sendar
Flickr Engineering

Flickr Feature: Yan Larsen

21 July, by Christine Fradenburg[ —]

A few months ago, we had the pleasure of tagging along with Yan Larsen on one of her solo outings to capture the beauty of the northern California coast. Being a software engineer, Yan views landscape photography as a great way to recharge and connect with nature. This shines through in her photography that she shares on her Flickr.

We asked her to share her three favorite photos that she’s taken and what her inspirations and thoughts are behind each photo.

Davenport, Santa Cruz, CA

Yan:Along the northern California coast, Davenport beach is one of local landscape photographers’ favorite spots. It includes the famous Davenport Crack, which creates a beautiful landscape scene. The best time to capture it is during low tide and sunset, when the tide is starting to come in and the crack is getting more water, creating a perfect leading line.

Santa Cruz Sunset

Yan:In the spring, along the California coast, you will see only one type of ground cover: ice plants. It dominates many coastal landscapes all over California. Ice plants are considered an invasive, exotic species because they compete and displace native plants. However, the good thing about it is that for landscape photography, it creates the perfect foreground during sunsetting when flower bulbs light up.

Garrapata Sunset no crop version

Yan: Located on the very northern edge of Big Sur and the south of Carmel, Garrapata is a free California State Park, and one of my favorite places. There are many great spots for pictures during sunset, and I could stay here along time just watching the waves crash into the rocky cliffs and against the shore. As the sunset begins, the light show starts. I used a long exposure to see how the waves crashed into the jagged rock formations and rocky cove, while the hills and coastline turned from a golden yellow to red.

If you’d like to see more about Yan, watch her Flickr Feature video:

And, lastly, here is some advice from Yan for any new photographer:

Yan: Today, with the widespread popularity of digital cameras and cellphones, the beginning threshold for photography is not high as compared to traditional painting. As many online learning resources are available, the level of photographers imitating others has also greatly improved. But photography is easy to get started on and difficult to advance in because technical knowledge is easy to learn. However, an artistic vision is difficult to master. This is not something you can grasp by memorizing a few formulas for composition. 

I remember a movie in which the father said to his daughter, “A painting is not a simple combination of its parts. A cow is just a cow. The grass is just a land covered with grass and flowers. The sunlight through the branches is just a bunch of light. But you put them together, it’s incredible”.  

How do you put them together?  This requires a lot of good photography composition ideas. You can find inspiration in movies, books, magazines, and the internet, and find out the angle that belongs to you and others. Have your own ideas and then reflect this idea in the photos through your lens.

Photography is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy each step of growth, and get you on the path of making better pictures.  

I hope you enjoy your new journey!


Follow Yan Larsen on:

Don’t forget to take part in our Flickr x Fujifilm “Shine a Light” contest

17 July, by Leticia Roncero[ —]

Here’s a little reminder for you: the deadline for submitting photos to the Flickr x Fujifilm “Shine a Light” photo contest is July 23. Now is your chance to win one of three Fujifilm cameras:

  • 2 Fujifilm X100V Silver
  • 1 Fujifilm X-T30 Kit w/XF18–55mm charcoal silver lens

Join the “Shine a Light” Flickr group and upload one photo taken in 2020 around the theme “Shine a Light.” Whether it’s a positive, hopeful moment that you’ve captured this year, or a clear look into the changing world around us, “Shine a Light” is a call to share a glimpse into your world. What does your reality look like in 2020?

X-T30 2

We’ve received nearly 9000 photos so far, and more are coming in every day! All submissions will be reviewed for creativity and originality by Flickr staff. Winners will be notified via email and announced on the contest group page on or around August 6, 2020.

Please remember to read the group description and contest rules for more information. If you have any questions, please leave a comment on our FAQ thread, and the moderators and admins will answer ASAP.

We also encourage you to share galleries of your favorite entries from fellow contestants in this thread.

Here are just a few of our favorites so far:

“Shine a Light contest – mis favoritas.” – A gallery curated by miguel_osvaldo .

A Glow Worm shining a light

We’re looking forward to your submissions!

Capturing Comet NEOWISE

15 July, by Carol Benovic-Bradley[ —]

Across the world, people are capturing photos of the comet NEOWISE. We’ve organized a few of the photos and videos that we’ve seen on Flickr into a gallery, but the best days for viewing the comet are still to come! Optimal viewing of NEOWISE will take place for those in the Northern Hemisphere during the evenings of July 14th through July 23rd.

Comet Neowise on the Oregon coast

Let us know if you manage to capture a great photo of NEOWISE by commenting on this gallery. Visit the Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE group if you’d like to connect with more people looking out for the comet or to get advice and inspiration for your own photos of NEOWISE.


Experts from NASA will be answering questions about the Comet NEOWISE today, Wednesday, July 15th at 4pm ET during a live teleconference. You can also see their photos of the comet here.


Here are some additional suggestions to help you get a great photo of NEOWISE:

  • Sighting the comet: Try going to a place with minimal light pollution and clear skies. Use binoculars to get a clear look at the comet. An app like Sky Guide can help you identify where the comet is in the sky. These graphics from Sky & Telescope are also helpful. Generally speaking, try looking to the northwest.
  • Equipment recommendations: Our team suggests anything between a 28mm – 500mm lens. Try using a wider lens to find the comet and then adjust to suit what you’re shooting for. A tripod is a must. Use a remote shutter, cable release, or a self-timer to reduce camera shake as much as possible. Turn off vibration reduction on your lens and camera body.
  • Photo settings: Try manual mode and manual focus. Use f/2.8 aperture if possible or the fastest aperture that your lens allows. A shutter speed anywhere from 1-5 seconds will help you capture the comet as sharply as possible.

Good luck capturing the comet!

Black Lives Matter.

play episode
8 July, by Don MacAskill[ —]
Protesters at 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Photographs tell stories. When shared, those photographs can alter the course of history in ways almost unimaginable. Every major social and political movement for more than a century has spread through photography.

Elizabeth Eckford ignores the hostile screams and stares of fellow students on her first day of school. She was one of the nine negro students whose integration into Little Rock’s Central High School was ordered by a Federal Court following legal action by NAACP. Source: Getty Images.

We rely on photographs to understand a complicated world. They give us access to the emotion, the anxiety, the rage. They give us an opportunity to see new perspectives, challenge our own, and find ways to move forward.

(Original Caption) Firemen bear in on a group of African Americans who sought shelter in a doorway as hoses and dogs were used in routing anti-segregation demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama, 3rd May 1963. Source: Getty Images.

Photographs have continually shown us that systemic racism against Black people in America is real. We will stand against that racism however we can. Protecting Black lives shouldn’t be divisive. It’s not an “issue.” For our Black community, it’s a matter of living and dying.

An officer accosts an unconscious woman as mounted police officers attack civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama who were attempting to begin a 50 mile march to Montgomery to protest race discrimination in voter registration. Mounted policeman in background are part of Sheriff Jim Clark’s Dallas County posse. Police used tear gas, clubs, whips and ropes to turn back the demonstrators as they crossed bridge over the Alabama River at the city limits. Source: Getty Images.

Photography can expose injustice. It can open doors that should have never been closed. It can save future lives. SmugMug will stand against racism. Against bigotry. Against hate. Photographs have the power to change the world. Change we desperately need. We’re ready for that change.

Terrence Floyd, George Floyd's brother visits the location where his brother was killed,  now a memorial, at Chicago Ave and E 38th St in Minneapolis, Minnesota

We don’t have all the answers. We’re still learning. But we are committed as a company to being better than we have been. Right now, we’re focusing on making sure Black photographers have access to our platforms to share their work as it relates to current protests and broader work surrounding fighting racial injustice.

Protesters at 38th Street and S. Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis on Tuesday after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota

We’re starting here knowing there will always be more to do and more to learn. We’re ready to listen. We don’t want our support to end today, so we’re also putting together an action plan for our brands to continue fighting for what we know is right.

What we’re doing, starting today:

  1. Effective today, we are providing SmugMug and Flickr Pro accounts to photographers who are creating and documenting recent activity around fighting racial injustice. We believe photography has the power to change the world, and we believe this moment, this movement, is historic. To further the change we see starting to take place right now, we want to make sure these photos and the stories behind them are widely available and accessible to audiences across the world and become part of the historical record. If a photographer you know would like to be considered for a free SmugMug account or free Flickr Pro account, please encourage them to apply.
  2. To that end, we will also soon launch a SmugMug site hosting content from any photographer, to promote and sell prints portraying the Black experience in America. All proceeds net of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) will be donated directly to organizations who are fighting racial injustice in America. If a photographer you know should be considered for placement in this print gallery, please encourage them to apply here.
  3. Using our existing Trust and Safety team within SmugMug, we will continue to pursue expunging white supremacy, racist, and hate groups from our platforms. SmugMug and Flickr will never be safe havens for hate groups, or individuals, to spread their message of intolerance. Our platforms will never serve their platforms.
  4. We are committing to make this part of our everyday conversation. We’ll be partnering with non-profit organizations to develop grants, and create broader exposure through professional marketing support, for people who are using photography to document the fight for racial justice, and of the Black experience in America.
  5. We will continue to pour resources into our internal diversity, equity, and inclusion committee which, in partnership with our DEI consultants, will continue to review, refine, and improve our company policies, hiring systems, and messaging practices to serve our goal of becoming an anti-racist company.

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