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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Save Larger/Big Images from Flickr

Say you want to save a private picture at full resolution size from Flickr Photos, but the image has been blocked from saving/downloading. Here are some quick steps to bypass their restrictions to save the larger resolution image.

Saving the Protected Image
Normally, you can save pictures from Flickr (or any website) by right clicking the photograph and saying "Save Image As..." but in the case of protected Flickr images, all you will see on the desktop is a blank 1x1 pixel placeholder image called spaceball.gif

This happens when a Flickr member has set download permissions to disallow his/her photos from being downloaded. Flickr places a transparent image overlaid on the actual photo so the right-click method fails.

You may either use the good-old Print Screen or the method below works to defeat the Flickr image protection:

For Firefox
Goto the Menu: Tools -> Page Info. Select the "Media" tab.

Click on the image addresses listed in the top section. You will see the image appear in the Media Preview Window below. Click/scroll until you find the one you want.

If you don't care about getting the potentially larger image, just click the Save As button now.

Saving the Larger/Big Image
Restricted/Protected images on Flickr are also frequently only displayed in small resolutions.

Now comes the magic. Right-click on the address of the image you want and select "Copy." This will copy the address into your clipboard. Open a new tab/window in Firefox.

Paste the address but do not execute it yet. In the address text, at the end of the link, just before the .jpg, add _o which is an underscore and a lowercase o. Here's what the link will look like:
Press Enter to open it, and that will get you the original size of the picture. Now you can save it out to your computer. This won't work for some pictures. In that case, try _b instead. This will get you the large (a.k.a big) version of the picture. If neither of those work, then the medium size is the best you can do.

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