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nov 4 2007

How to remove a photo from your Flickr-photostream

Screenshot of the screen in Flickr where you can upload both the date taken and the date uploaded

Besides being a great photo gallery site, Flickr offers also a lot of tools for photo management, storage, external use through the API …. Sometimes these two uses collide.

Case in point: the photostream. This is a blog-like representation of your photos, newest to oldest, and it is the default view on your photo collection for someone visiting your profile on Flickr. Now say you want to blog about a screenshot or post ten slightly different versions of a photo to discuss them on a photoforum. Then the photostream suddenly gets pretty uninteresting.

This had me puzzled for a while, wondering if a Flickr-Pro-account would be the right tool for me. Until I found out there IS a (non-obvious) way to get rid of a photo from your photostream. Sort of.

Go to “Organize“and then select your photo (or a batch of photos) from the bottom list. The obvious choice then would be to click “Edit Dates”. This however only acts on the “date taken” of the photo, leaving it on top of the photostream…
Instead choose “Edit Photos” and then “Title, Description and tags“. In the window that opens there is another “Dates” option, and this one gives you the possibility to change both the “date taken” and the “date uploaded”.

Choose a date in the past for “date uploaded” and voilà: the picture is out of the photostream, yet still available (e.g. for blogging it, posting it to a forum etc…). Unlike a “replace” of a photo, this operation doesn’t change the file location…

The “sort of” from the third paragraph is of course also true: the photo with the changed date is still in the photostream, just in a different place. Changing it a few seconds back allows you to change the order of the photostream, changing it to a date in the past moves it even further back. The possibility that a visitor looking at your photo collection gets puzzled by a photo you uploaded just for a photo correction, a blog post and so on, just has become much smaller.