Dec 182012
Instagram logo

Instagram logo

Today, 18th December 2012, Instagram announced that they would be changing their Terms of Service effective 16th January 2013. After that date, Instagram will be able to repackage any photo submitted to the service and sell it for advertising purposes without informing the photographer. This means that your photo could be used to advertise any product – even ones you are opposed to. Further, if there are any legal claims about the content of the images used for advertising purposes, the liability will lie with the photographer, not Instagram.

The only way to opt out of the new rules, is to delete your Instagram account (however, the new TOS will only apply to photos uploaded after the new TOS becomes active) – by logging in either using the mobile app, or the web page confirms your acceptance of the new rules.

This change in the TOS has angered a number of photographers online and they have been venting on Twitter and Facebook. The Anonymous hacker collective has urged Instagram users to boycott the service (see the hashtag #boycottInstagram).

Instagram is a fabulous tool which allows photos to be taken and instantly uploaded – If you want to, you can add a variety of filters and frames with a couple of clicks. This makes it a very immediate medium for sharing thoughts and breaking news as it happens.

Flickr Logo

Flickr Logo

There is, however, an alternative in the newly released Flickr Mobile App which is available for Android and iOS.

The Flickr App is very similar to Instagram in that it allows you to take a photo and add one of a number of filters to the image. I don’t see an option in the Flickr App to add frames, but I rarely use them anyway. The Flickr App does not restrict the image to being square, and the image is much higher resolution. The Flickr Terms of Service are much more agreeable to photographers too.

But, what if you already have photos on Instagram which you would like to migrate to Flickr?

The best method I have found, is to use the free service at which allows you to download photos from Flickr, Facebook or Instagram in bulk. Signing up is free, and you can choose to save your photos to a Dropbox account which is also free. If you would like a larger-than-normal Dropbox account, please sign up using my affiliate link:

Note: is currently undergoing an upgrade, but if you sign up now, they will let you know when the service is available – you have until January 16th 2013 before the new Instagram TOS becomes active.

Let me know your thoughts on the new TOS and the Flickr App!

UPDATE: [22:00GMT 18 Dec 2012] Instagram have issued a clarification of what they meant by the new TOS – U-turn or genuine mistake?

Dec 052009

Edinburgh Winter Festival

Originally uploaded by Lesault

Yesterday, @rich_dyson invited me to join him taking some long exposure photos of the Edinburgh Winter Festival in Princes Street Gardens. We met near the ‘Giant Wheel’ and set up the cameras in the middle of Princes Street looking towards the wheel, carousel and helter skelter. I knew I wanted a long exposure to blur the wheel and people, and to get some nice light streaks from taxis and buses passing in front of us. With my 18mm lens at the smallest aperature, the exposure was about 15″, so I put put on an ND8 to increase the length of exposure. I am happy with about 3 of the 20 or so photos I took, the best is probably this one. (20″ f/13 iso100 18mm)

After that we took a wander through the ‘Scottish Market’. I had taken a photo earlier of ‘Amelia‘ (1/60 f/1.4 iso800 50mm) who was doing Tarot readings in her Gypsy Caravan (are you still allowed to say ‘Gypsy’? I can never remember)… although I did see another woman giving readings there earlier – I wonder if there really is only one Amelia. I did a bit of photoshopping to add detail back into the sitter’s white hat and reduced the exposure of the background which was a bit bright before.

We set up on the Plaza between the Art Galleries at the bottom of the mound where I took the photo you see on this page (10″ F/9 iso100 92mm). It is actually a merge of 2 photos, the wheel, shed and clock tower are from one, the sky, trees and helter skelter are from another – I think it was worth editing to get the nice sky.

I had never tried a long exposure with my long lens, so I also took a close-up of the clocktower on the Balmoral Hotel (5″ f/9 iso100 149mm) from the same position.  Unfortunately, the nice moonlit clouds were beginning to disappear.