Flickr’s Dirty Little Secret: You Suck at Taking Photos

[via Reddit] On her blog, ColorsPretty, Kara Barrett writes that flickr gives your photos a subtle “lift” when you upload them — namely running them through a “sharpen” filter and possibly altering the saturation.

Comparison of identical photos uploaded to Zoto (top) and flickr (bottom)

She writes:

This is a capture of the exact same photo. On the top is a thumbnail of my photo rendered on Zoto (3.0 beta) . It’s blurry and the detail is lost. On the bottom is the same photo thumbnail rendered on Flickr. Notice how sharp the detail and color appear. Unlike Flickr, Zoto is rendering an ‘accurate’ thumbnail of my photo.

The result? On Flickr I am fabulous, wonderful taker of photos. On Zoto, I am just a loser who can’t get a photo in focus.

Of course, if such processing is actually taking place, there’s the question of whether it’s desired or not. Perhaps there are some pro photographers out there who’d be horrified at the idea, and I figure that there are some people who just don’t like things being done to their pictures without permission. Perhaps flickr should take Kara’s suggestion and make the sharpening/saturation a default option that can be turn off if the user wishes.