Flickr’s top photos of 2017 are dazzling proof that the SLR isn’t dead

Venerable photo-sharing hub Flickr (still part of Yahoo, now part of Oath, which rolls up into Verizon) has rounded up its users’ top 25 photos of 2017. In this case, the “top” honorific starts with metrics about how often an image was viewed, shared, and favorited. But human beings at Flickr did the final pass based on their own aesthetic judgment.


The raw numbers about devices used by Flickr’s community reflect the impact of the smartphone revolution: 54% of all photographers use an iPhone, with traditional cameras manufactured by Canon and Nikon next in line at 23% and 18%, respectively. I’m struck, however, by the fact that all of the top 25 images were taken with a conventional camera rather than a phone. Usually a pro-level model such as Canon’s EOS 5D Mark III (an SLR) or Sony’s Alpha a7 II (a mirrorless camera).

Photographers like to say that the best camera is the one you’ve got with you—but even in 2017, it helps if it’s a really great camera with a huge image sensor and the right lens.

Anyhow, here are some highlights from the top 25–you can peruse all of them at Flickr’s site, along with other picks in categories such as portraits, black and white images, and sports.

Vestrahorne Islande [Photo: Ruff Etienne]
Stairway to Heaven [Photo: Koen Jacobs]

Bigger and Bigger [Photo: Chris Frank]
The Elephant Walks at Night [Photo: Wayne Pinkston]

*** [Photo: Elena Shumilova]
Slipping Away [Photo: Jerry Fryer]
Oh Oooooh! [Photo: Salah Baazizi]
Say Goodbye [Photo: Iwona Podlasinska]