Flickr is one of my favourite websites. I use it for storing photos, searching for interesting photos for my blog posts and to meet like minded people.
The best part is the simple and plain interface and the social aspect. The sheer number of users active on Flickr make the whole experience of photography very social and fun.
Flickr was one of the first websites to use web 2.0 elements in its design but it hasn’t really kept up with the rest of the web since then, especially the process of browsing photos in a set. Don’t you agree that it is plain annoying having to click a hundred times just to see all the pics in a set.
Don’t be sad though, my friend, Flickr Gallery Plus is a step in the right direction. This is a Firefox extension whose sole purpose in life is to make your Flickr photo browsing experience a better one.
To get started install the extension using the Tools –> Add-ons menu in Firefox.
I’m using the Debian version of Firefox, called Iceweasel and that is what I see in the image above. If you use Firefox, you should see an Add to Firefox button instead.
Once you have the extension loaded, you’ll see a small icon in the bottom right hand corner of the Firefox window. Flickr Gallery Plus sits in that corner quietly and only comes into the picture when you’re viewing a photo set on Flickr.
See the difference ?
As soon as you browse over to a photo set on Flickr, the Flickr Gallery Plus extension starts to pre-load all the pictures that are present in that set. It also rearranges the page to look like the picture above.
As you can see, the first thumbnail in the set has been selected and the preloaded bigger sized image is being shown on the left of the thumbnail view. Now, as you click on the next thumbnail, that image will be displayed in the same place. You can also use the right and left arrow keys to view your pictures. Nifty … don’t you think ?
Pressing on the Enter key or clicking on a picture will take you to the individual page of the picture using Flickr’s standard interface.
Another really cool feature of this extension is the slideshow mode. Just click on the “Start Slideshow” link right under the picture and you will be able to go through your complete set in a slideshow with nice fade-in/fade-out transition between images. The only problem is that it doesn’t do full screen slideshow … yet.
Don’t you think this is a much better and easier way to browse a Flickr set ? Let us know your thoughts on this extension in the comments.