Getting Lightroom and Flickr to play nice with each other has been a bit tricky for me, but I think I’ve managed to find all of the tools I need.
Setting up the Flickr Publish Service
For starters, I had to set up the Flickr publishing service in Lightroom. I keep hearing that there’s a plugin that’s even better at Flickr, but I managed to get the native Lightroom plugin to work pretty well, so I’m not going to mess with it yet. You can find a lot of videos about how to set up the Flickr publishing service by searching YouTube. I just figured it out from the menu. It’s not too hard if you’ve set up other programs to work with Flickr before.
Before you Sync your Flickr account with Lightroom, be careful about how you want to handle your metadata. If you’ve gone to the trouble to write up a bunch of comments and titles for your photos, make sure you set up the Flickr publish service for Flickr so that it doesn’t overwrite them with the photo metadata in Lightroom. (Unless that’s what you want.)
I came across this plugin while looking for more information on setting up Flickr and Lightroom, and there’s a ton of people who love it. I headed to Photographer’s Toolbox, donated some money, and got the plugin.
MAKE SURE you download LR/Mogrify 2. If you get a bunch of errors in Lightroom, then you may have downloaded version 1 accidentally.
I had to install ImageMagick first. There’s a link on the LR/Mogrify page to ImageMagick, and ImageMagick is free.
LR/Mogrify 2 uses ImageMagick’s mogrify function to add some post-processing magic to your photos when you publish them.
I use it for 2 things:
I want to put a thin black border on the edge of all of my photos, so they look better in my blog. LR/Mogrify does borders really well. You can add as many as you want, and they’re non-destructive. They don’t cover any of the image. Instead, they add to the “canvas” size and wrap the border around the edge. I set my borders to 0.3% of the image size, equal on all sides, but you can do all kinds of fancy stuff with it.
I want to put a watermark on my photos that looks a little better than the built-in Adobe watermark. I found a post here that shows a really easy way to set up a drop-shadow watermark that will work on both light and dark photos.
To set up the watermark, you need to set up two instances of Mogrify Text Annotations. Mogrify doesn’t work exactly like the post shows anymore. You need to add a second line in the entry for text annotations. In the first entry, enter your watermark, pick a light color, and set the opacity to something you like. In the second entry, enter the same watermark, pick a dark color, and set the opacity. With the second entry, set the offset to 2px for each. This will create the drop shadow.
To test my LR/Mogrify setup and other Flickr Publish Service settings, I picked four photos that were verticals, horizontals, light, and dark, and set up the Publish Service for the Hard Drive exactly like I did for Flickr, to see how it would turn out.
It took some tweaking, but I got a look I like.
I still hadn’t published anything to Flickr at this point. Now I had to sync up my library with my Flickr sets.
Syncing Your Flickr Photo Collections With Lightroom Using ReSync
The next thing that needs to be done, if you’ve already got a lot of photos on Flickr, is to get your collections on Flickr in sync with your library in Lightroom. Doing it manually would be an insane amount of work if you’ve published a lot of photos.
That’s where Flickr ReSync comes in.
Download the latest version. 0.9.4 works just fine with LR 4.2, unless there’s a newer version up there. Follow the installation instructions. It installs like any plugin. Unzip and copy to Lightroom’s plugins folder.
Once I had it installed, I wasn’t sure how to get it to work. I couldn’t find a big shiny “Press me!” button. After going through the readme file in the zip file of version 0.6, I figured it out. Here’s how to use the plugin:
First, from Lightroom, after you’ve activated the plugin, restart Lightroom. (Just in case.)
Now, import all of the photos from your hard drive that are also in your Flickr account into your library. It might take a while, so go get some coffee.
While Lightroom is grinding through that, I’ll tell you how ReSync works– it matches the date and time you shot the photo with the date and time of your photos on Flickr. As long as you haven’t trashed your metadata, you should be fine.
Now that you have a library full of photos, you need to sync them up with your Flickr account. ReSync will create a bunch of Lightroom smart collections that will correspond to your various photosets in Flickr, and link them up with the photos you already have posted in Flickr.
To start syncing, go to the Library menu in Lightoom, drop down to Plug-In Extras, then select Automatic ReSync from the Flickr Resync submenu.
Go get some more coffee. This is going to take a while.
You may wind up with a stack of photos that the program can’t figure out. It’s pretty good about presenting you with a set of choices. Pick the photo you want to sync up with the photo on Flickr.
Now you should have a bunch of smart collections in your Flickr Publish Service area.
Fixing The Flickr Publish Set Order Bug in Lightroom 4.2
There’s one other thing that tripped me up: the sort order in the Lightroom library may not be the same as the sort order in your Flickr sets. I noticed that my sets were getting tossed in all directions, and Lightroom was the culprit. My photo sets were getting put in reverse order, from last to first. Annoying.
Here’s how I fixed it.
Go to library mode.
Now look at the bottom of main window in grid view. You should see a little drop down that says Sort: I picked Capture Time, because that’s how I want my sets to be sorted.
Then I set the order to a->z.
This alone won’t fix it. After that, go down to the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen, click on the thumbnail image of one of the photos, and drag it over to the side. Release it. Now drag it back to where it was.
The Sort: field should now say User Order.
Add a dummy tag or fiddle with all of the photos in develop mode, or just put them all on the map. Do something that makes Lightroom want to republish everything.
Republish the whole set. It should come out in the order you want now. This is a bug that Adobe has yet to fix for whatever reason.
Another good way around this is to use Jeffrey Friedl’s Flickr Publish plugin. Now that I have Lightroom obeying me, though, I don’t want to change anything. Part of me is afraid that changing my publishing plugin will cause me to lose all of my sets, and I cannot have that happening.
At first, finding all of this information required a lot of work, but once I got everything set up, I was kicking myself for not doing this sooner. It’s slightly complex, but the tools that are out there make it really easy to do.
I’ll put all of the important links here:
ImageMagick (Needed if you’re installing on Windows)
Post on drop shadow watermarks in LR/Mogrify
Another post on how to do watermarks in LR/Mogrify, but nothing on drop shadows.
Jeffrey Friedl’s Flickr Plugin