I used to post thumbnails of some of my favorite Flickr photos on Facebook for my friends, with a link to Flickr, where I thought the images would be displayed better. Now I upload the photo direct to my Facebook timeline with a link to ipernity for a better view. At least the timeline keeps words and pictures together, and increasingly I see ipernity as the best site for photos worth a second look. I certainly wouldn't link them with Flickr's awful new photo page, with its schizophrenic, garish black and white layout that keeps images and text in their own separate areas.

A month ago I would never have imagined that I would prefer Facebook's display of photographs to Flickr's, but that's what Flickr's redesign -- apparently driven by a desire to become more like Facebook -- has done to me. And it's not that I'm all that fond of Facebook.

Don't get me wrong -- it's not that I hate everything about the new Flickr. Flickr has been very good to me, I have a lot of fond associations and many good friends here on Flickr. And I actually like some things about the redesign. And while I find the photostream view distracting and cluttered, it's also undeniably functional. I have no plans to leave Flickr, but I will probably spend less and less on it. Life is too short to waste on ugly interfaces.

For me the deal-breaker is the monstrously ugly and dysfunctional photo page. My titles are important to me, and I hate seeing them wedged carelessly into a bottom corner. Often my photos are accompanied by additional text, and the whole point is that it be displayed near the photograph, which it no longer is. And it seems insane to tuck comments into their own image-free ghetto.

For me, words and pictures will always go together. It's a personal thing, probably the result of my interest in photography having been so influenced by the old LIFE magazine -- and also by the fact that most of my jobs have involved combining words and pictures. I respect and admire many photographers who rely on words much less, or not at all. But I'm hardly about to change my own practice because of Flickr's design whims.

We live in an increasingly nonverbal, design and image-oriented world, and I'm fine with that. It has its advantages and disadvantages. I get that this is one of the things Flickr was responding to. I just wish they hadn't thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

It's not too late for Flickr to combine the best of the old and the new. Their audience is far larger than that of ipernity, even with all the photographers who have fled Flickr for what they see as a more photographer-friendly environment. I hope Flickr will make the necessary changes, but worry that they won't. Or don't even care.

Until that changes you probably won't see me on Flickr as much. But you can catch me on ipernity.