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  • Write logs to a "logs" subdirectory.
  • Recreate flickr "albums" by creating a post for each album, in draft status
  • Insert a gallery in the post content in the classic style. They aren't nicest looking gallery, but it's something.
  • Attach the photos to the appropriate posts. Media can only be attached to one post at a time, so last album wins here. So long as they are attached to something, I'm happy.
  • Tried turning these scripts loose on my test site and see what happens...
    • Of course, it doesn't work, errors galore for the uploads:
      • My plugin resettings must have overwrote .htaccess, so every request resulted in a 401 - Unauthorized. Fixed that.
      • Images without an "orientation" in the exif data were not working. Moved the temp file save function outside of the "if orientation" block.
      • Some images don't seem to have exif data at all. Added a check for that situation.
      • Zero byte files were causing some problems. I'm dealing with them now, but it really highlights the need for refactoring :) Also, why zero bytes, flickr? (I requested and received my data again from flickr, no zero byte files this time)
      • Having trouble with the exif data on a lot of images. I'm just avoiding the problem for now. Not going to worry about it unless it causes other issues (e.g. rotation problems). It seems to happen with some, but not all pictures from my Nikon D70. I wonder if I did something funky with the exif data in post processing on these.
    • Updating meta data went better:
      • Flickr might not always return a person when querying, I should have thought of that in the first place
      • A lot of my images have crap titles (like 03_DSC3038), but they were actually "named" on flickr. I'll leave them alone.
    • Creating albums/attaching photos
      • Anything not uploaded in the first step becomes an issue here, duh. Just skipping those silently now.
  • Pretty happy with the results. Out of about 2,000 photos, I had less than 10 500 status errors. There were some errors with zero byte files from flickr, but the latest download from them looks better.
  • Noticed that the ICC profiles were not getting populated. Fixed that.
  • Uploaded to production site
    • The first time I ran it, there was a fatal error after about 8 minutes: Connection reset. I just deleted everything and started again.
    • The second time, it completed. It took just under 2 hours to process and upload about 2,000 photos. There were 2 500 errors.
    • Updating meta data and adding comments took about 45 minutes. There was only one 500 error, with the data update, I fixed it manually.
    • Creating the album posts and attaching photos to posts took 30 minutes, there were 2 500 errors.
  • Deleted the test site and DB

Final thoughts...

In the end, I spent a few evenings, and a couple solid days on this little project. Was it worth it? Yes!

My justification: 2,001 photos were uploaded (with meta data), 31 albums were created and 150 comments ported over. At a conservative 3 minutes per manual upload, it would have taken about 12.5 working days for me to upload this stuff. Let alone assembling the albums, and the comments would have been lost. Plus, I learned a few things along the way (e.g. how to rotate images with Python). I'm also happy I kept these as separate scripts. That allowed me to fix the one or two errors I had between steps.

Would I have done anything differently? Sure, I would have written better code, but this did what I needed it to do. I got one fatal error, not sure what happened there, looked network or server related. Probably could have handled that more gracefully. The only other errors I got were 500 codes from the server. Those I should have handled and retried automatically.

Here are some things I would do to make these easier to use/maintain:

  • Refactor log writing into a utility function
  • Work on more types than .jpg
  • Refactor rotation code


  • Tags: It seems that any tags added by me, or another user are in the json file. The ones added by flickr's bots are not.
  • Some photos don't have names (titles). By default, they are getting the filename as the title on upload.
  • I'm striping the flicker ID from those filenames now when they get uploaded
  • Add the flickr ID to the upload.log
  • In some cases, the flickr ID was not where I expected it to be in the file name. It seems that the pattern is reversed (2248328315_058f0b8c35_o.jpg). I have a feeling these images never had a file name, so flickr assigned something, not sure why they would reverse the order in the filename though.
  • Put metadata upload in its own script so it can be run separately
  • "private" photos to private are being set to status = private
  • Add the name as the caption in addition to the title if there is a name
  • Write an error log when uploading/updating in
  • Timestamp the upload/error logs on
  • Add logging to
  • Update images with comments
    • Fetch the username from the flickr api since they didn't provide it in the json they gave me
    • Create a comment on WP. My settings require the user to enter a name and email address. I'll need to relax this at upload time, otherwise the comment creation will fail.
    • I think I'll be ready for a test run as soon as I can create "albums".


  • Checking the HTTP status after the upload to make sure it was successful (201)
  • The image rotation issue is bugging me. Should try to solve that before moving on, otherwise, the media library will be a huge mess.
  • Automatically rotating the images in Wordpress doesn't seem to be an option. I tried this plug-in, but it caused the API calls to fail. Rotating it within Wordpress also seems to remove a fair amount of the EXIF data. That's not a huge deal, but it's slow and manual.
  • Installed pillow in the virtual env.
  • This post helped me read the EXIF information from the image, I am most interested in "Orientation" at this point.
  • Things I learned about rotating images with pillow
    • Image.rotate(270) rotated the image, but kept the original dimensions, resulting in some clipping. This article explains this pretty clearly and talks about the "expand" option.
    • Image.transpose(Image.ROTATE_270) did what I expected it to do.
    • EXIF data does not get preserved in the new image. piexif seems to be the answer! There's an example here of rotating an image based on the EXIF orientation value (and removing that value). I'm tried the same, but changed the value to "1" and it seemed to work fine both locally and after upload to Wordpress.
    • Rotated images were smaller than the original. That was due to the quality setting when saved. I set it at 93 rather than the default 75.
  • is not uploading properly rotated images to wordpress! The code could use some refactoring though.
  • Some of the photos in my library are massive. I've been testing with one that is about 8MB. I added a variable for the save quality.


Before I go much further, I want to set up a test environment rather than subjecting my personal site to the abuse repeatedly uploading and deleting images...

  • Create a copy of my site
    • Database
    • Files
  • Create a test set of images and JSON files (instead of trying to upload 2000 pictures every time)
  • Modify script to take a directory name and attempt to upload everything in it.
  • Log file name, the uploaded URL, and (wordpress) image ID to upload.log file.
  • Problem: Many images are not rotated properly. I have a feeling this might require manual intervention. :(


  • Spent time trying to install python packages (I want requests). I tried just putting the requests directory here, but there are a lot of dependencies.
  • I stopped avoiding the inevitable and installed python 3
  • Also installed pipenv
  • Successfully sent an image to wordpress, thanks stackoverflow! Also updated the meta data on the image.
  • Here's how I'm thinking this will work:
    • Part 1, upload all the images.
      • Just point a script at a directory with a bunch of images, upload every one of them
      • Keep a log file with a line for each file containing the file name, the uploaded URL, and maybe the image ID
      • Maybe keep a separate error log
      • Maybe convert the "success log" to a JSON file
    • Part 2, update all the meta data for the uploaded files from the photo_...json files (meta data is sparse on a lot of photos). This could be driven off of the log file created above.
      • Title = name
      • Description = description + date_taken + tag list?
      • Comments? Can I get the comments in there somehow?
    • Part 3, create albums from the albums.json file.
      • Each album will be a new post with a gallery?
      • Category = flickr
      • Title = title
      • Description = description
      • There is a cover photo in the json file, maybe that can be the featured photo?
    • Things I'm going to lose
      • Tags?
      • Notes: Some photos have notes, I'm just going to ignore them
      • Sets & galleries. I never had any of these on flickr, so no loss for me.
      • Testimonials... meh.
      • Privacy settings. I know I have a bunch of photos that were friends & family or private. I'm thinking I'm OK opening it up now. However, I might want to make note of which ones were not public in the log files I'm producing so I can go back and look at them.


  • Started to get API call for image upload working in Python
  • Looks like the requests library might be the one to use for accessing the API


The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

  • Initialize a repository with the requisite README, LICENSE and worklog.
  • Did some analysis of how this might work:
    • There's a flickr-to-wp plugin. It hasn't been updated since 2011 though. This takes photos directly from Flickr, so not exactly what I want to do.
    • I think things should map out like this:
      • Photos get uploaded as media.
      • There is no native tag support for media, but there is a plugin, an alternative might be to create albums for each tag, or just put in tag as hash tags in the descriptions.
      • Albums are represented by posts with galleries
      • Comments, not sure what to do here. Could attempt to add as actual comments
        • The author names would require a call to Flickr since they don't seem to be included in the data
        • Does anyone care about these comments?
    • Managed to upload an image file to my WP instance with CURL
      curl --request POST \
      --url \
      --header "cache-control: no-cache" \
      --header "content-disposition: attachment; filename=test1.jpg" \
      --header "authorization: Basic [Base 64 encoded application password]" \
      --header "content-type: image/jpeg" --data-binary "@test.jpg" \
      • Not exactly sure how to add descriptions and such, that might need to get done with a subsequent post (someone on the internet said that)
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