Authentication

 

Photonic provides access to protected photos that you have decided to share amongst friends and family. The base of this is Authentication. As documented in the main Authentication page, Photonic supports two modes of Authentication for Flickr:

  1. Front-End / Client-Side Authentication, where a visitor to your website will be asked to login with Flickr credentials and see only what he / she is authorized to see
  2. Back-End / Server-Side Authentication, where a visitor to your website will see what you are authorized to see (you login behind the scenes)

Front-End / Client-Side Authentication (🔗)

To enable Flickr Authentication, go to Settings → Photonic → Flickr → Flickr Settings → Private Photos, and enable private photos. You can then configure the text to be shown in the box and the button.

Note:

  1. To enable authentication you must define a Flickr API Key and a Secret. You can obtain an API Key and a Secret from Flickr directly.
  2. Authentication requires that folks visiting your site have cookies enabled in their browser, or it will not work.

The first time a user tries to access protected content on Flickr, he is presented with an authentication box similar to this:

Flickr Authentication

Flickr Authentication

When the user clicks on “Login”, he is taken to a page on Flickr where he is asked to authorize the application. After authentication the user is redirected back to your site and can see whatever they are authorized to see. The authentication is a one-time process, and until a user revokes the permissions from his Flickr console or deletes his browser cookies, he can access the protected photos. Unauthenticated users will only see public photos.

Flickr offers 5 levels of protection:

  • 1 – Public photos
  • 2 – Private photos visible to friends
  • 3 – Private photos visible to family
  • 4 – Private photos visible to friends and family
  • 5 – Completely private photos

You can set the desired privacy level using the privacy_filter parameter, which can be given a value from 1 to 5, as above. The following short-code will show me my photos with a privacy level of 4:

 [gallery type='flickr' user_id='35553131@N07' view='photos' privacy_filter='4']

Unfortunately Flickr’s method of returning private photos is not progressive, in the sense that a privacy filter of 4 doesn’t get you photos of levels 1, 2 and 3; it only gets you level 4 photos.

Back-End / Server-Side Authentication (🔗)

Setup of back-end authentication is extensively documented in the main Authentication page.

While front-end authentication is good, it has a major drawback. It requires visitors of your website to have Flickr logins, and that is a tall ask. Here is where back-end authentication comes in. Once I have authenticated myself behind the scenes, I can display what I choose rather than relying on an end-user to login. I have followed the instructions in the documentation and set up back-end authentication for myself.

The following is a result of the shortcode invocation. I have run 6 different calls, one with no privacy filter, then with 5 different privacy filters. Note that even if you authenticate, you will not be able to see the protected photos if you are not in my Flickr friends’ circle. The album San Diego has 5 photos, but only 1 is public.

To start with, I will use the following shortcode:

[gallery type='flickr' user_id='35553131@N07' photoset_id='72157677596163215']

Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • With back-end authentication (currently turned on): all 5 photos from the album
  • With front-end authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, along with a login box
  • With no authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, without a login box

Now, I will tweak the shortcode to only show public photos (level 1):

[gallery type='flickr' user_id='35553131@N07' photoset_id='72157677596163215' privacy_filter='1' headers='']

Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • With back-end authentication (currently turned on): the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”
  • With front-end authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, along with a login box. Once you login, you will still the same photo but without the login box.
  • With no authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, without a login box

Now for photos shared amongst friends (level 2):

[gallery type='flickr' user_id='35553131@N07' photoset_id='72157677596163215' privacy_filter='2' headers='']

Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • With back-end authentication (currently turned on): the photo titled “Petting”
  • With front-end authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, along with a login box. Once you login, you will see the “Petting” photo if you are in my Friends group in Flickr. If you are not in my Friends group you will continue seeing “Should I approach or should I not?”, but without the login box
  • With no authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, without a login box

These are my photos shared amongst family members (level 3):

[gallery type='flickr' user_id='35553131@N07' photoset_id='72157677596163215' privacy_filter='3' headers='']

Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • With back-end authentication (currently turned on): the photo titled “Getting close”
  • With front-end authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, along with a login box. Once you login, you will see the “Getting close” photo if you are in my Family group in Flickr. If you are not in my Family group you will continue seeing “Should I approach or should I not?”, but without the login box
  • With no authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, without a login box

These are my photos shared amongst friends and family (level 4):

[gallery type='flickr' user_id='35553131@N07' photoset_id='72157677596163215' privacy_filter='4' headers='']

Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • With back-end authentication (currently turned on): the photo titled “Snooze”
  • With front-end authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, along with a login box. Once you login, you will see the “Snooze” photo if you are in my Friends and Family on Flickr. If you are not in my Friends and Family you will continue seeing “Should I approach or should I not?”, but without the login box
  • With no authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, without a login box

These are my completely private photos (level 5):

[gallery type='flickr' user_id='35553131@N07' photoset_id='72157677596163215' privacy_filter='5' headers='']

Here’s what you can expect to see:

  • With back-end authentication (currently turned on): the photo titled “Lazy Loungers”
  • With front-end authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, along with a login box. Once you login, you will see the “Lazy Loungers” photo if you are logged in as me on Flickr. If you are not you will continue seeing “Should I approach or should I not?”, but without the login box
  • With no authentication: the photo titled “Should I approach or should I not?”, without a login box