Replied to Random Access Poetry: The Day Before Writing by dogtrax (dogtrax.edublogs.org)
This month, in connection with April’s random designation as Poetry Month, I want to use images and photography and art as inspiration, and after a call out to some friends on Twitter for some help, as I wondered how I might access a random Creative Commons image from Flickr when I need one, I have settled on a couple of paths forward.

Hi Kevin,

I love the random so love this idea.You mentions a couple of my toys/tools along side some others.

The Random Flickr blendr was originally thought of as a sort of contemplation toy, so I avoided making it easy to grab images. I guess I could make that easier now there seems to be a purpose.  I think FlickrCC Stampr used to have a url parameter to kick off a search I’ll look at adding that back in at times.

Side note, I remember Ben Rimes Poetry for People blog. Now gone but discussed here: Come Write Poetry With Me This April! – The Tech Savvy Educator

Update, 1-April-19 : I’ve made a couple of changes that might be useful:

http://johnjohnston.info/fcc/?s=poem adding ?s=searchword will preload the flickr search

On Random Flickr Blendr I’ve added a pause button and move the links for better screenshotting. I changed the links to flickr shortlinks so they can be read from an image (Not very accessible!)

Big Flickr Announcement: All CC-licensed images will be protected – Creative Commons

I’m happy to share Flickr’s announcement today that all CC-licensed and public domain images on the platform will be protected and exempted from upload limits. This includes images uploaded in the past, as well as those yet to be shared. In effect, this means that CC-licensed images and public domain works will always be free on Flickr for any users to upload and share.

Via @clhendricksbc

This is really great news. From a selfish point of view it means my Flickr Stampr will still make it easy for my class to attribute images in their school work.

From a wider perspective the Creative Commons post above expands on both the benefits and costs of Flickr taking this step. As explained the cost for this huge archive of photos will have to be covered by the pro accounts and Flickr’s income. Personally I am delighted to pay for this. I am not a pro photographer but I get a lot of goodness from Flickr. The least of these is probably the storage of my photos. Access to a goldmine of Creative Commons images and an API that is not to complicated for an amateur to play with are the major benefits for me.

This model of providing a free service is hopefully a much better than the free services that lead to shut down that we see so often.

Featured image a screenshot of Random Flickr Blendr using:
Puy Mary, Cantal, France | Pom’ | Flickr (CC_BY license) and
Vergului | youtu.be/rTnXnib2iEA George Enescu – Romanian Poe… | Flickr (attribution license)

I liked the Pummelvision service so when it went I sort of
made my own. Which lead to this:
Flickr 2014 and DIY pummelvision and 2016 Flickring by.

I went a little early this year:

I’ve updated the script (gist) to handle a couple of new problems.

  1. Some of my iphone photos were upside down in the video as ffmpeg doesn’t see the Rotation EXIF. I installed jhead via homebrew deal with this.
  2. I installed sox to duplicate the background track as I took more photos and slowed them down a bit this year.

I have great fun with this every time I try it, I quite like the results but the tinkering with the script is the fun bit. I sure it could be made a lot more elegant but it works for me.

Why we’re changing Flickr free accounts | Flickr Blog

Beginning January 8, 2019, Free accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos and videos. If you need unlimited storage, you’ll need to upgrade to Flickr Pro.

I got my mail from Flickr today explaining the changes. I’ve a pro account so it will not affect my photos at all.

I’ll be more interested in how it affects search. I often use Flickr photos to illustrate blog post, presentations and in my classroom.

I also encourage my pupils to use cc licensed images. It is hard for 8-11 year olds to attribute but the flick API allows me to help them with FlickrCC Stampr.

I wonder if the search will be less useful. There was some chat about keeping CC Images. I do hope so.

Update thanks to ronguest and jemostrom in the comments:

Photos that were Creative Commons licensed before our announcement are also safe. We won’t be deleting anything that was uploaded with a CC license before November 1, 2018. Even if you had more than 1,000 photos or videos with a CC license. However, if you do have more than 1,000 photos or videos uploaded, you’ll be unable to upload additional photos after January 8, 2019, unless you upgrade to a Pro account.

from: The Commons: The Past Is 100% Part of Our Future | Flickr Blog

That sound better:-)

Featured image for this post: flickr Scrabble by Dirk Dittmar used under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 license. Stamped with the tool mentioned above.

A couple of years ago I made a video of all my flickr videos in the style of the now dead pummelvision service.

I dug out the script tidied it up a little, and made the above video with my 2016 photos.

I uploaded the script in the unlikely event that someone else would want to do something like this. It is not a thing of beauty, I am well out of my depth and just type and test. The script need ffmpeg on your computer (I’d guess mac only as it used sips to resize images) and a Flickr API key.

The script also leave you with up to 500 images in a folder. Before I deleted them I made a montage and averaged them using imageMagick

montage -mode concatenate -tile 25x *.jpg out.jpg which is the featured image on this post.

and

convert *.jpg -average aver.jpeg

aver

I guess all that the average proves is that most of my photos are landscapes, given the hit of a sky…

The weeks are flying by. I was hoping to backtrack on a few things this week but Week Six. Copyright, OERs and Creative Commons – 23 Things popped into my inbox and thing 11 is quite timely.

Here and there

I’ve blogged here about copyright quite a bit, but it is a constantly interesting subject.

I am in general a respecter of copyright. I use other people’s images her on the blog and always attribute and respect copyright.

Occasionally for more creative purposes I sidestep the rules to use of old movie or tv footage on my DS106 blog for more fun stuff (example: characters). I don’t think any corporate dollars have been harmed;-)

I’ve had a licence on this blog for a while, originally a BY, Share Alike-Non Commercial one. Currently a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

A couple of days ago I read [Trying] Going to Flickr Zero, CC0 where Alan has changed all of his Flickr licenses to CC0. I can see the point.

My flickr photos are CC-BY-SA in the same way as this blog. This got me thinking. I am, unlike Alan, no photographer. It is unlikely anyone is going to make loads of cash from any of my images (or my deathless prose here). Over the years I’ve had a couple (2) of folk contact me to use a picture of mine for “commercial” purposes, and been delighted to do so. CC0 would change little except make reuse easier.

But I do like the idea of attribution and getting attributed. The attention feels nice. It also might encourage others…

The Share Alike idea seems nice too, but I guess might occasionally make things more difficult to use. I may lose that soon.

Another recent post that looks at the issue with some subtly: On Attribution vs Privilege of CC0Reflecting Allowed | Reflecting Allowed.

But not everything I create can be CC0. Not yet. And in my local context these things can really really matter. It can make the difference between who gets a job or tenure or promotion and who doesn’t.

and in the comments:

Audrey Alan and Doug are examples of intersectionality here – no stable academic job but famous and with lots of social capital.

I’ve not really got any problems in this regard, being an amateur sharer rather than a pro.

In Primary School

This is hard. Over the past few years I’ve had to explain copyright to teachers. Now I am back in class working with 8-11 year olds. Since I was last in the classroom full time pupils spend a lot more time on line, they are very familiar with finding images via google searches but digging out the license is hard. Lots of tools now make it very easy to ignore copyright.

I fall back on providing my class with some  public domain sites to search and my FlickrCC Stampr.

Resources

Some things I’ve found useful:

Featured image: Life is Sharing | Part of a Cleveland mural, the full saying… | Flickr CC-BY Alan Levine. Stamped my module for Alan’s’flickr cc attribution bookmarklet maker.

Dean Groom on Poekemon Go:

Teachers should care about Pokémon Go! – after from the initial network effects (craze) as it is a good way for kids to develop socially. It isn’t designed for education and certainly presents the all too common accessibility issues of commercial games – but THIS game leads you to start thinking about why games, play and learning are important – and how they can be connected with helping children deal with saturated media cultures – Great!

from: Should teachers care about Pokémon Go? | Playable

There is a lot more to think about in that post.

As usual with games, my mind wander and my eyes glaze, I’ve never caught the game bug (although I am interested when I read something like the above).

My first though was it is a wee bit like golf, a good walk spoiled. I am now wondering if some of my own behaviour fits the pattern.

fr_593_size640

  1. I wander about outside, searching, looking at the map on my phone
  2. I capture images
  3. Share and store online, socially, flickr, instagram.

Featured image my own, IMG_5868 | John Johnston | Flickr CC-BY, sort of hunting idea. The kind of Pokemon I look for.

search and fetch

Over the years I’ve been very keen on Creative Commons and using CC material in blog posts by pupils.
Pupils (and adults too) find attribution difficult.

Back in around 2008-2009 I made A flickr CC search toy aimed at pupils, to help them attribute. Later I added a feature that stamped the image with the attribution, which hopefully was easier than embed code. Later again, in 2010 I made FlickrStampr the same sort of search but squarely aimed at users of iPod Touches. At the time I believed that iPod Touches would be big in schools (Lot of ipodtouch posts here).

Both of these webpages were knocked up fairly quickly and had various modifications over the years. A couple of years back I made the iPod size one a bit more responsive so that it displayed a little better on an iPad or computer. I’ve now taken this and worked on it a bit more with the intention of replacing both of the above pages.

Earlier this year Jo Badge pointed me towards Photos For Class which is a very similar beast, except that it is built by professionals. I wonder if I inspired them?

So over the last couple of weeks I’ve been updating a new version: FlickrCC Stampr combining and improving (I hope) the two pages.

This new one will search flickr for cc images and then give you a stamped version or embed code. If this new page works out I’ll redirect the old pages to is soon.

I got boost to my interest in this playing with Alan’s flickr attribution helper: Now Three Flavors of Flickr CC Attribution Helper. I found out how to and added the code that gets all available sizes from flickr and lets you embed or stamp any particular size.

fcc

 

If you have an interest in this sort of thing, please give  FlickrCC Stampr a try. I’d be interested in any feedback.

A few years back I used pummelvision to make a video of all of my flickr photos. Pummelvision was an online service where you pointed it to your flickr stream and it built a video for you and posted to vimeo. It could also take input from tumblr and facebook.

I though it might be interesting to make a similar video for my photos this year. However going to look for pummelvision drew a blank, the company had closed. I then though It might be interesting to try to create a similar video. From my memory and looking at my old video, pummelvision made a video with no transitions and very fast. As far as I remember it just used one tune. I downloaded my old video from vimeo and extracted the audio file using QuickTime pro. I took a guess that the frame rate was about 6 photos per second.

Grabbing the images

I guess there a few ways to grab all your photos from flickr, but this is how I did it. If I was doing it frequently I’d look into automating it, but this was a once off, or once a year if I do it again.

Flickr’s api would allow you to do this, but it seemed a bit excessive to try and write a pile of code. The Flickr API has a section to test all of the command so I headed to: Flickr Api Explorer – flickr.photos.search. There I put my own user ID in, set the min_date_taken and max_date_taken, increased the per_page to 500 and added the large photo url to the extras field.

This produced an xml file will all the information:

Flickr xml

I then extracted the 397 urls from the text. There will be many ways to do this, but I am experimenting with the Sublime Text application at the moment, it found & selected all of the https: occurrences and the with cmd-shift-right arrow expanded the selection to the quotes. One copy got all of the files!

Once I had a list of urls I edit those so that each line was:

curl "https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3897/14598292323_ae6462fa07_b.jpg" > image_183.jpg

With the numbers out the image sequential and padded to 3 characters, eg image_001.jpg, image 002.jpg etc. I also numbered then in reverse so the oldest photo would be first.

I saved this text as a file, dl.sh and moved into the terminal:

cd path/to/thefolder
chmod +x dl.sh
./dl.sh

This code set the dl.sh file to executable and then ran it, the terminal filled with text and the folder with images. Curl is the command-line tool for downloading files.

Sizing images

Downloading the large size gave a folder full of images but some where landscape and some portrait, ie 1024 × 768 or 768 x1024 I need the images to all be the same size. So i used the sips utility to first resize them, sips --resampleHeight 768 *.jpg, then to pad the portrait ones: sips --padToHeightWidth 786 1024 *.jpg

Which gives me pictures like this for the portrait ones:

Img 076 toad

Making the movie

I discounted using iMove, moviemaker or the like as I wanted something quick (not necessary quick this time…) and that could be automated. I am also not sure in iMovie can show as fast as 6 per second. (Update, a quick look shows iMove can set speed to fractions of a second per frame.)

I though of a couple of ways to make the move, using Quicktime pro or ffmpeg. Quicktime pro proved the easiest option, opened the app and File -> Open Image sequence…, choose 6 frames per second, then all I had to do was save the movie.

Unfortunately Quicktime pro has been replace by Quicktime and it is a bit of a bother to get your old QT pro working if you had paid for a license. So I though I’d figure out ffmpeg too.

With great power comes great complexity

FFmpeg is A complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. It is a command line application and has a lot of variables. I can usually find out the right command with a bit of google. This one took quite a lot of google and failures. Most of these failures came from me trying to set a framerate, which lead to skipped frames. Eventually I dropped the idea of using the framerate options and got a very (too) fast video with this:

ffmpeg -f image2 -i IMG_%03d.jpg -c:v libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p out.mp4

Note to self, in the -i, iput option IMG_%03d.jpg means all the images with 3 numerals, eg 001, 002… 375

I then slowed it down a little with this:

ffmpeg -i out.mp4 -filter:v "setpts=4.0*PTS" 2014-flickr-show.mp4

And added the audio:

ffmpeg -i 2014-flickr-show.mp4 -i pum.mp3 -map 0 -map 1 -codec copy -codec:a aac -strict experimental -b:a 192k -shortest 2014-flickr-show-audio.mp4

It took a fair bit of google to get the audio right too, the -codec:a option seems to sort things out.

Whys and Wherefores

As noted above, I could have done most of this with iMovie. But by using ffmpeg or QT pro, I’ve the opportunity to play, learn and possibly end up with an automated system. It would seem well within the realms of possibility to have a script that used the flickr api to download a bunch of images, perhaps for a year or with a tag and make a movie from them.

I’ve now figured out how to do most of this by piecing together the above fragments and finding out a bit about loops and renaming files, but I’ve no idea of how to create a bash script that will replace my hard coded tags, usernames ect with input, more to learn.

Once you have a lot of jpgs

You might as well do other things with them: Flickr 2014