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Post Images on Flickr

The WSDOT Flickr site gives us an easy way to share our images with the public and the media. Flickr lets you arrange photos and short videos into visual essays that illustrate our stories.

Do post:

  • Your very best photos, remember our Flickr images have been seen more than 16 million times and used by media around the world.
  • Photos of WSDOT people at work. Flickr works best when you share more authentic “real life” photos.
  • Photos taken from different perspectives to keep it interesting.
  • Only photos that WSDOT has a copyright or license to publish.
  • High quality JPEG images that are 1200 x 800 pixels or larger.
  • Real time images. The speed of getting photos online matters. The closer to your event you can get your photos up, the more people (and media) will use them and share them.

Don't post:

  • Multiple shots of the same thing.
  • Photos with the same description on each of them.  Each photo must be properly and uniquely described.
  • Blurry photos or images that are too dark or too light. 
  • Too many maps, graphs or charts. 
  • Photos smaller than 500 x 333 pixels, they're just too small to show up well.
  • Photos that WSDOT does not have a copyright or license to publish.
  • Photos of social events, unless they show WSDOT people helping our communities. (Please create a separate, free Flickr site to share those employee picnic photos.) 

WSDOT applies a Creative Commons license to the images we post on Flickr. This license allows anyone to copy and share our images with some restrictions.

Step 1: Upload Your Photos

WSDOT Communications staff can upload photos from any computer or server connected to the Internet. Uploading photos to Flickr takes a login and password. Please contact WSDOT Webhelp for access to the WSDOT Flickr site.

Once you have access, uploading photos to Flickr is quick and easy. 

  • If you need to crop your image or make it brighter, use editing tools like Photoshop before you publish.
  • From Flickr "home" page, just click the link that says "Upload photos and videos."
  • Then click the link that says "Choose photos and videos" and select the photos you want to upload.  
  • You can upload high quality JPEG images directly from your computer.

Step 2: Add a Description

When your photos have been uploaded to Flickr, you will be prompted to "Add a description?" Click that link, this is your chance to describe your photos and make them easy for people to find and identify.

  • At the top of the page you'll see a box where you can enter tags. Tags are words that describe our photos. They let people search for photos by keyword or subject. Words like highway, Pullman, ferry, avalanche or bridge will help people find our photos. If your tag has more than one word, like "Mount Rainier" or "US 2" put quotes around it. Please include your initials or the name of the photographer as tags so we know where to refer questions.  Please post the incident number as a tag for all images taken during any emergency activation.

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  • There's a drop-down menu list to "choose an album." We've typically created albums (previously called "sets") for specific activities, like "Paint Striping" or "I-90 Easton Overpass." You can add photos to an existing album create a new album. Albums will have short titles and longer descriptions. If your images illustrate a WSDOT project, be sure to include a hyperlink back to the project page in your album description. 

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  • Just below each uploaded photo is a title box. This one is really important! When you upload a new photo, the title will be the filename of the photo until you change it. On Flickr the title is also the "alt" tag that describes the image to viewers with visual impairments. Titles like "Img_6743" or "Unit A" are not helpful; make your titles brief but also meaningful!

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  • There's a larger box below the photo for a description. Here's your chance to write a real description of the activity in your photo. Use your Web writing skills and follow the AP style guide, we've seen media outlets turn our Flickr descriptions into articles. Beware of words like today or tomorrow in your description, Flickr photos may live forever.

Step 3: Save Your Work

When you're done describing your photos, remember to use the "save" button at the bottom of the page and drop a note to Web Help to let us know that you've added new photos.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once your photos are uploaded, you can still edit the title, add more tags and rearrange the images within an album. 

Date Information: When you upload a digital image to Flickr, you're also sharing some data about the image. You can't see it, but the camera collects the date and time an image was taken and Flickr publishes this this data. If you scan photos and post them to Flickr, this data will often be incorrect but you can manually correct the date taken info from the "actions" pull down menu above your image. 

Mapping Images: The map on the photo page shows people exactly where the photo was taken. Whenever you know the location of the image, please add it to the map.   

Flickr Groups: Join and contribute to Flickr groups. No matter what you are taking pictures of (from "Concrete Workers" to "Phillip Spaulding's Ferries"), you'll find people sharing photos of it in a Flickr group. Remember, what you post into a group must be relevant and on topic. Be sure to check out the group discussion and follow the rules.

Organizing Images: Once you have several Flickr albums for your program or activity, you can organize them into collections. A collection homepage gives you a stable, convenient URL to share. This allows you to publicize a consistent URL, even while you are adding new images and albums.  In Flickr, images go into albums and albums go into collections.