I did something stupid.  But only because flickr did something even more stupid.

Many, but probably not all of you, know that for a long time I’ve had a flickr account that I’ve kept pretty active.  I started putting pictures on flickr in 2005.  It became a great community for me.  A great reason to take pictures even.  I think that in many ways I owe a lot of my development as a photographer to that community, and the desire to share images with its members.  When I began building bikes, I already had an audience.  Because of flickr, I have never had to advertise, and I have never been without work.  When I got sick, I had a ready-made group of supporters willing to help in any way that they could.

Over the years flickr has changed a lot.  Many of those changes made necessary by the growing popularity of the site..  Its higher visibility.  It has gotten more puritanical.  Some of you may remember my run in with them over a public art piece that involved a man peeing.  It has also changed its look a number of times, and in my mind usually not for the better.  I’ve hung in there, though, because that’s where the people were.  That’s where the community had developed.

Yesterday they rolled out a set of changes that are simply beyond the pail to me.  The best thing about flickr, visually, has always been that it is a fairly clean environment for displaying photographs.. Not all jumbled up with the social media side of things, or plastered with ads.  Yesterday that all changed.  The site has become hideous.  There are some other changes that I hate too, involving membership and what you get for your money..  but the biggest thing is the fact that I just don’t like looking at photos on the site anymore.  It’s all junked up..  jumbled and crowded and noisy.  It has none of the class that it once had.  It’s not a place that I care to look at photos anymore, and it’s not a place that I particularly care to have other people look at mine!  Please please forgive me if that sounds precious.  I’m not alone in this.  The change has sparked general outrage, and there are petitions going around with thousands of signatures begging them to change it back.

In protest and disgust yesterday, I made all my photos private.  That is to say, I didn’t take them off of flickr, I simply made them invisible to anyone but me.  And I put up a single image lamenting.. mourning.. the death of flickr.   When I made this massive batch change to my stream of over 3000 photos it didn’t occur to me (and I wasn’t warned), that this would change those photos’ URLs and that any links to those photos (including the links on this blog) would go dead.  It also didn’t occur to me (and I wasn’t warned) that these photos would loose all the favorites that they had accumulated on flickr over the years, and be removed from my friends’ and contacts’ favorites collections.  When I realized that this had happened I conceded and made the photos public again so that the blog and my website would still have images, but decided that I would no longer post to flickr..  that I’d find some other way to share photography.

Sadly, making the images public again did NOT restore the URLs nor did it restore the favorites.  All of that has simply vanished into the ether.  (My fast boy cycles website works a little differently – not by individual URL, but by more dynamic links to sets on flickr – and those have been restored).  Because the URLs are different now, it’ll be a real chore to even figure out WHAT image went with what post.  Restoring images to this blog will be several days of work (individually figuring out what image went with what post.. 5 years worth..  locating the image and making a version of it in photoshop that is appropriate for upload directly to the wordpress blog so that further changes at flickr don’t mess it all up again).  I haven’t decided whether or not I have what it takes to do it.

I apologize gang.  My mistake. I know that this blog is not the same without images.

Hey flickr – before allowing people to change the permissions on thousands of photos, how about warning them about the consequences..   Oh..  and while you’re at it..  Make the site look nice again.  It looks like crap right now, and I’m not going to use it anymore.  I’m so sad.. we’ve had a bunch of good years.  But it’s not me..  it’s you.


I had a doc appointment yesterday.  Nothing to report.  He IS ordering a ct scan so we’ll have some notion of how the tumors have grown.   I will meet with the head of “supportive care” on Friday.

Fast Boy out.




Thank you all so much for your offers of help.   Hold that thought for a moment, though.  It seems as though a friend may have managed to write a little script to plug into my blog that will go find the correct URL and plug it in.  We’re testing it out now.  We might be back up and running with images before to long.  Thank you thank you…  and please stand by!



FIXED!!!!   Cosmo C. fixed it.  Unbelievable.  Thank you Cosmo.  The rest of you can thank Cosmo too since I was going to take you all up on those offers of time tediously cutting and pasting.  Not necessary.  Cosmo built a robot that took care of the whole thing in a flash and is now looking for other ways to be useful..   (currently cleaning up the kitchen after tonight’s sardine pasta..)  Cosmo.  Thank you.

39 Replies to “Yesterday.”

  1. Ah shit dude! That sucks. I’m not so impressed with the changes either myself. It looks like a big pile of tacked on cow paddy to me.

    Hardly an improvement.

  2. Bummer big brother!! That really sucks.

    Did ya hear? I may be up in new york mid to late june! 🙂 definitely coming to visit you! Love ya bro!

  3. Oh, no! Dammit
    I know the consequences because I have the same problem but with Google blog, blogspot. Sorry for all this stupid things that can affect to you. With time you’ll repair, in part, it. I understand so much. Don’t forget make a good backup of all, it’s so important. And don’t forget smile too, please! 😛

  4. I’m sorry that my fastboy favorites have been vaporized – but it gives me a good reason to go back through your stream and revisit them.

  5. I stopped using Flickr too, for similar reasons, and switched to Tumblr. They have some pretty nice features, but I guess Yahoo will screw that one up too. I’d say don’t worry about restoring all of your URLs… this digital age makes us think that pictures are permanent, but I think time will prove that they’ll be lost at faster rate than printed pictures ever were. I’ve been shooting film recently. : )

  6. Dude, for a man that should have been dead last week you can make as many bullshit mistakes you want. I too hate the new Flickr. I will no longer be active on that site and I wll use it just as an image hosting farm.

    i met you on Flikckr and fell in love with your work there. I have read every post here. You have made me laugh, made me cry. You have affected me and for tat I will always be grateful. For that I will always remember you.

  7. Many moons ago, I stumbled on some of your beautiful 6X9 film photos via flickr, and have followed your story ever since. It was the community focus that drew me to flickr in the first place, and it’s a damned shame that the malevolent dictators in charge of that once-lovely place have seen fit to shit on community in favor of the untapped masses of smartphone snappers – we’re all just eyeballs for ads.

  8. Goddamnit this new flickr shit! That sucks but at least your photos werent deleted which is what I thought you were going to say…..Now Im gonna have to refav everything haha : )

    I wish there was a petition we could sign so we could bring back the old flickr or someway to complain about it (maybe there is one I dont know of ?)

  9. Hey Ez—this’ll be small consolation I’m sure, but the broken images on this blog (and only this blog) can be fixed pretty easily. I’m working on something quick you can throw into the WordPress theme. I’ll let you know.

  10. I’m not going to lie, you scared the poop of me yesterday with your flickr post, but I’m glad it was only about the new shitty set up they have going on over there. I’ve been silently lamenting the decline of my flickr community, we all co-migrated to twitter and the picture taking, well, it’s not there any more. But I’m glad I found you over there. You enrich my life in more ways than you know.

  11. yes, and the words of Yahoo’s CEO don’t help the matter …

    “…there’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing really as professional photographers, when there’s everything is professional photographers. Certainly there is varying levels of skills, but we didn’t want to have a Flickr Pro anymore, we wanted everyone to have professional quality photos, space, and sharing.” – Marissa Mayer, Yahoo Event, May 2013

    … um, right. now i REALLY want to stay with flickr. not.

    i’ve opened an Ipernity account. very clean, E. you might like it. it’s like the old flickr.

    like you, i won’t kill my flickr account … heck, i’m paid up until Sept 2014 for Pro (dumbass that i am), so i’ll stay on and use it for storage, but i won’t be posting.

  12. I’m in the minority here, but I love the new flickr. I think images look better than ever, and it’s never been easier to browse large beautiful hi-res versions of my friends photos. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  13. I KNOW! Same laments here – pro account since 2004, and I have over 8000 images, most of them only exist on flickr, them mucking up the site is completely annoying and disheartening to say the least.

  14. shit. I haven’t read your site for months and just now have read the past month’s posts. I too, like many here, found you through flickr and have laughed and cried and been amazed and everything everyone has already said. Play pool, find peace and fuck flickr. <3

  15. Ezra, I’m late to the game, having just discovered you by way of the Made by Hand bike video which was wonderful by the way. I also love your cooking videos.

    I’ve been on flickr since 2004 and like many I’m not happy with what they’ve done. However, I also went through the Yahoo acquisition and the big reaction to that, and then stayed with them through the dead years up until now. Like you I have a lot of images embedded in my blog and other web sites so I can’t quit easily. But, now that I’ve calmed down a little I’m not going to quit.

    Your pro account will be grandfathered in and the price has actually gone down. Check out your account page, it’s been changing in the past 24 hours as they’ve listened to feedback.

    I agree that the site is a mess visually but we have to admit that at least some of this is a reaction to a big change in something we used for many years. I’m not defending the look or the way they’ve changed it but most of the old functionality is there if we dig for it. It’s not right yet but it’s a web site and it can be changed and I’m pretty sure it will be changed.

    For me, the biggest violation that there is no excuse for is that they did this overnight with no notice to us. Had they rolled this out incrementally and gotten feedback on each change the entire fiasco would have been avoided. For me, the process (the way they did it) was worse than the product (what they ended up with).

    Again, I don’t like the site as it is but I do like flickr and like you I have a community of friends on it from all over the world that I’ve known for close to ten years. That’s meaningful to me and I don’t want to give that up.

    Don’t feel bad at all about your impulsive reaction, you’re one of thousands who went nuts in the last two days. But, I hope you’ll stick with flickr because it remains a viable community and you have a devoted following there.

    And, you’re an excellent photographer and I’ve enjoyed browsing through your photo stream, even on a black background.

  16. I hate the new Flickr too. And by the way, I’ve randomly checked some of your previous posts from other years, as far back as 2009, and while it’s true that where before there was a photo now there’s an image that says “this image or video is currently unavailable” in many languages, if you click the image it takes you to the appropiate photo on Flickr. So they can be effectively tracked down and re-linked without having to make guesses as to which photo goes with what.

    I would dare say that many, many people would be happy to lend you a hand and do this for you. I, for one. But if you would rather have someone you know and trust do this, since you’d have to give them your password code, I’m sure you will have many candidates. Just shout it out, and little helpers will come running.

    My offer stands. 🙂

  17. Hell yes – what Alicia said.

    Is it really that easy to just click / find the old photo? If it’s not, I feel fairly certain I can match flickr photos to blog posts by matching up their dates + jogging my memory. I’ve been messing around with that for about the last 10 minutes and I remember quite a lot. Even the older posts. I’m sure of it.

    You’ve done such beautiful work here, Ezra. Let’s make it whole again.

    What do you need?

  18. Ezra, your words over the last 5 years (and that I only just discovered in the last week), will live on for me more than your photos. You have inspired me to appreciate, love, celebrate, and cherish each day I’m allowed on this plane of existence. Do you truly know how much of an impact you are to people who don’t know you and don’t even ride a bike? Your humanity and humility for sharing your struggles with fucking cancer make each of us who know you through this blog and elsewhere, hug our loved ones a little closer, stop and appreciate the absolute smallest treasures the day presents (like a good cup of java) and realize that in the blink of an eye the course of life can change. Thank you for sharing this with me and everyone else.

  19. I let my [ro account lapse for about 6 months, but I may cough up the dough just one more time, in order to be able to access my 8 year’s worth of photos and download them all to hard storage.
    Ezra, I first found you on Flickr through your photos of Putney and they inspired me to try for better photos of Otto. Breaking up with Flickr feels like moving out of a once-much loved neighborhood but what can we do? Boo.

  20. I downgraded my account yesterday and won’t be uploading any more to flickr, so I can understand your reasons. If I have to wade through all your photos to re-mark my favorites, I don’t especially mind. You’re one of my favorite photographers on the site anyway, so looking at them all will be a pleasure.

  21. the whole thing is baffling. i loved the old pro flickr. now? hunh? anyway. that’s played. how’re YOU doin’, fast ez? so much stuff. . .

  22. When I saw all the photo “placeholders” here yesterday I knew exactly what you’d done. I did something similar several years ago and found out the hard way what the hidden consequences of marking photos private were. I went out to the help forums to suggest that this was pretty stupid behavior and was surprised when I got jumped on by a bunch of people defending it … They seemed to feel it made sense that a private photo couldn’t be part of other people’s “favorites” collections and I said permanently deleting them made no sense and that people’s comments on private photos weren’t any different but Flickr didn’t delete them, just the favorites, … and blah blah blah …

    Anyway, I’m really sorry this happened to you. The photos are really important and you’ve invested a lot of yourself in weaving them together with this incredible public journal you’ve got here. I hope you’ll let some of the kind folks who offered to help above give you a hand getting things restored.

  23. It’s too bad … I am sorry. I was so sad to find out about new Flickr… now even angry to know your photographs were gone. I had a lots of them in my favorites collection. I miss them a lot.

  24. Do have a look at Ipernity. They basically cloned old Flickr, focusing on the good bits. I’m not using it yet (Flickr lock-in is strong), but it looks very promising. Very responsive team. (7 people strong, based in France.)

  25. Like so many have stated, we’ve come to care about you over the years. Losing touch with you now is nearly unthinkable.
    We are with you for the duration of this ride!

    The thought of switching from Flickr is rather daunting for those of us that have been in the community for all these years. Could they have made a worse mess of things? I think not.
    Am I nuts to think that maybe, just maybe Flickr will hear the feedback, and make a few changes for the better?

  26. I was scared to look. I looked. It is bad. I found you on flickr way back in the dancing days. Sigh. It seems like the end of an era. I think the word is garish. Yes it’s garish. I feel like writing them. There’s this guy Ezra. Ass cancer. ACL. Broken arm. Now flickr. Could you just admit you made a mistake and change it back please. Do you think it would work? Maybe it’s worth a try.

  27. I just checked out ipernity. It IS very similar to the old flickr. And it has a fancy import photos from flickr, button. They promise to import the title and description and as much info as they can. Still…it’s sad to lose the flickr community. 🙁

  28. like many others, flickr is how i found you. i am not liking the new format either, but looking on the bright side, scrolling through all your photos again to seek out some old faves and new faves isn’t half bad because the pictures are great!

  29. Ezra: Thanks for this post. Valuable in so many ways. I trust you will let us know when you find a new place to post.

  30. Hey Ezra, i am looking to your site and e-things for a long time.

    Your way of buiding bikes, was for me a certain data bank ; ).
    Furthermore by the fact of posting composition of your bike.

    Since your Flickr crash, i don’t have this anymore, i am very sad ..

    I would LOVE if you can fix it, i know it could be hard, but it was such a awesome data sanctuary ..

    Maybe you know Picassa, it work pretty well ? could be a solution ?



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