Monday, November 7th 2011

Re-uploading 10,000 photos to Flickr

When I first started using Lightroom with my Canon EOS 30D I had very conservative default image settings for developing my raw files. I used the camera profile ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), which is supposed to be colorimetrically correct, and for some reason i had contrast set to 0 and black levels at 1 (as opposed to Adobe’s defaults of 25 and 5 respectively). I increased the saturation slightly to 8 instead of 0.

I liked the idea of the photos being realistic, but to be honest, it just meant they looked dull and uninspiring. 🙂

With my 50D and my 7D I started using slightly more aggressive defaults. I ditched the correct ACR and went with the newer Adobe Standard, which has less of a yellowy-greenish tinge and boosts red and orange colours slightly. Less realistic, better looking.

I increased contrast and black levels to Adobe’s defaults of 25 and 5, and increased saturation from 8 to 10.

Here’s an example of the difference. Hover for the after:

What I’ve done now is to go back and apply these new settings to all my old photos that didn’t have any special edits, which meant the vast majority. I created a preset with the new settings for contrast, black level, saturation and camera profile and went about applying it to hoards of photos at a time. Just under 10,000 in all.

Since Flickr is, to me, in large part a backup of my developed jpegs, I wanted to re-upload the photos so I know I have them safe in their most current state.

Thanks to Jeffrey Freidl’s amazing Flickr plugin for Lightroom I have previously been able to link all my photos in Lightroom to their counterparts on Flickr. This meant that, after applying the new settings to all the old raw files, all I had to do was to republish them using the plugin. This replaces each photo on Flickr with a new one, while keeping comments and view counts for each individual photo intact.

The republishing is currently in progress, at 33% after running for close to 48 hours.

I got a bit curious as to what kind of upload speeds I was getting to Flickr, so I installed a network monitor (FreeMeter). I found this rather interesting pattern:

Graph showing upload speeds to Flickr.

Each red chunk is one photo. It looks like there are two different speed modes. Some photos upload at less than 1 mbps, while others top out at around 5 mbps.

Could it be that different images are uploaded to different Flickr servers in different geographical locations? That’s the only reasonable explanation I can think of.

In the graph above, from last night, Lightroom pushed 11 photos to Flickr in 10 minutes. This morning I found that almost all of the photos seemed to be uploading at the higher speed, so now it is churning through roughly 20 photos per 10 minutes:

Graph showing upload speeds to Flickr.

If it keeps going at this rate for the remaining 5,935 images I should be done in another 48 hours or so. 🙂

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