Need a photo? Check out the CALS Flickr account

flickr_screenSince 2009, CALS has used the online photo sharing service Flickr. Our goal is to curate images for use by our CALS community and our many stakeholders. That’s you. To date, we have almost 7,000 images in the CALS Flickr account.

Let’s assume you need a picture for something: a presentation, web site, Facebook, LinkedIn, brochure, lobby screen, poster, banner… you name it. What you need may live in the CALS Flickr account waiting for you to find it. Start by going to the CALS Flickr site:

Once you’re there you’ll find a screen full of pictures starting with the most recent pictures we uploaded.There’s no need to log in or anything. There are two fundamental ways to find what you’re looking for: search and scroll.

Search works well and is likely the quickest way to locate specific items. Just above the photo at the very top-right corner of the page, there’s a small search icon shaped like a magnifying glass. Click the little magnifying glass icon and then type in a word or search_button_circledwords in the search bar related to what you’re looking for. (Note: If you go straight to the main search bar at the top of the page, you’ll end up searching ALL Flickr accounts, not just CALS.)

We should pause here for a moment. CALS jumped to Flickr back in 2009, a full seven years ago. What we do today and how we use the program has changed – and improved – a lot. Some of the earliest pictures we uploaded may lack the kind of tags and other identifying information that we now regularly add. We’re back tagging as we go, but it means a search may not turn up everything. That brings us to the old scroll method.

Feel free to scroll through page by page and look at our full selection of photos. But know that there are 70 pages of photos and more being added routinely. Perhaps a better bet is to click on and scroll through our “Albums.” There are a ton of albums, too, and many may only have one or two images. But, you can likely scroll through albums more efficiently than going page by page. And, we’ve recently changed the album system to reduce the number of single picture albums to make scrolling easier.

buttonsSo, let’s say your search has been successful and you’ve found a picture you want. Now what? Start by giving the picture you like a click. Look toward the lower right corner of the picture. There you’ll see a star, an up swoop arrow, and a down-pointing arrow. Use the down-pointing arrow to download the picture to your computer. You even get to pick the size (quality) of the picture you want.
But, depending on what you’re doing, you may not need to download at all. Click the up swoop arrow for “sharing” options. By default Flickr gives you a link to the picture and presents buttons for sharing to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Pinterest. Additionally, Flickr also provides HTML code for you to use to embed pictures directly into a web site or blog post. Click the “embed” option. At the bottom of the little window is a drop down menu you use to pick what size image you wish to embed in your web site. Copy the code and you’re set to go. You’ll also notice some advanced options for creating headers, footers and slide show. Feel free to experiment.share_options

Those are the basics of finding and using a picture in the CALS Flickr account. If you made it this far, you may also appreciate a little background. As mentioned at the top, we have close to 7,000 pictures here. The CALS Flickr also is approaching 2 million views. That means people are finding and using our service. CALS uses Flickr to support its news and public relations goals. For example, when a news release goes out, we can often include a link to a picture for the story, which helps improve the use of the release. Flickr also acts as a photo web host for many of our web site images. And when we get requests for images, we can send a link to a specific photo and/or encourage people to go to the CALS Flickr site to look for themselves.

Flickr began life as one of the original online social media venues. It’s a Yahoo! product and is one of the bright spots in the Yahoo! portfolio. Even with the arrival of Facebook and Instagram, Flickr continues to grow.A Flickr press release once said that users upload images to Flickr at rates as high as 5,000 a minute! That’s like uploading the entire CALS collection every minute of the day.

It’s used by many government agencies such as NASA and companies large and small. So, we hope you find what you need but it’s still okay to give us a shout!

For Flickr help or questions, please contact Sevie Kenyon at or (608) 263-4781.