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photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Flickrd Off

plus ça change, eh ?

in General Rants , Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ouch.  That’s what my eyes tell me when I see this - sorry, AL&S, nothing to do with your classic alpine scene, just how New Improved Flickr has delivered it to me.

WelcometoFlickr

I’ve always found Flickr to be, basically, the worst online photo sharing site except for all the others. Now, it has torpedoed itself on two fronts. The aesthetic changes are truly horrible, and the financial changes would make Abobe’s bean counters blush.

I’ve been fairly careful about how I prepare images for Flickr, with borders designed to set the photo off against the white background. This is now totally screwed, most of my photos look dreadful on the new layout. I’ve always complained about how badly Flickr presents panoramic formats - ironically, this has now improved significantly, taken alone, but the combination of all photos pushed together like sardines in a can, and the ridiculous formatting of portrait format seriously puts the balance well into the negative.

My biggest gripe against other sites such as 500px and WhyTake is that they decide to present my photos as standard square crops, in gallery views, which makes a total mockery of any pretence at being designed for photography. However, 500px does have a major plus point from my point of view, which is its emphasis on portfolios over single photos.  I generally edit my photos as part of some set or narrative, and this never really works on Flickr.

Another thing which the new layout loses is the nicely positioned title.  On Flickr, at least, the title has always been a equal partner to the image in my uploads. Now it just hides part of the image. As does the user avatar, overlaid on the photo.  I can’t believe that any even semi-serious photographer was involved in this redesign.

And it is as slow as s**t, if it loads at all.

Of course, there is always a negative reaction against unexpected change, so I’m not necessarily going to throw my toys out of the pram just yet.  But for now, I will no longer be uploading any new photos to Flickr, and I may well decide to delete my account, if it just makes my photography look even more crap than it actually is. And that’s quite an accomplishment.

For now, see you on 500px.

 

Jackpot

penguin power?

in Photography , Sunday, April 14, 2013

I posted this image on Flickr on April 12, 2013.

adrift

At the time of writing, it has accumulated 5,356 views, 249 favourites and 53 comments, which is so far above my average rating it’s ridiculous.  I’ve been on Flickr since October 2006 and my 680 posted images have between them collected 27,263 views.  So either this is an absolute world class masterpiece, and everything else I’ve ever posted is, well, not, or it is an indication of just how unreliable social media popularity is at evaluating how good your photography is.

Now, this photo has been “selected for Explore”, the meaning of which I’m ashamed to say I don’t quite fully understand.  I’m not quite sure what Explore is, but apparently 27 of my photos have been in it - so, a hit rate of 1 in 25, which may or may not be good. But anyway, it does seem to raise visibility and sometimes popularity. Having said that, so does posting a photo from my Sigma DP2 Merrill, whatever the subject.

Perhaps it’s penguins, but then again I’ve post other penguin shots.

Anyway, at least it means that the few generous souls who regularly comment on my photos, probably to cheer me up, can take a few days off.  On the downside, I feel morally obliged to respond to all the people who’ve be kind enough to comment, write or “fave”, and so far that’s taken over 2 hours. Still, I’ve discovered some pretty good photos on the way.  Check out my own favourites to see a few of them.

I guess it will all calm down again soon enough.  It’s nice to feel popular, but I don’t think I could keep up that level of interaction for long.  I’m far too much of a miserable old git for that.

 

Is this a good photo ?

Flickr seems to think it is

in Photography , Friday, December 14, 2012

Is this photo any good?

panopticon

Apparently it is. It seems to have been selected for the exalted status of “Explore” on Flickr, which is something I’ve never given much attention to. However, this raises it’s visibility, and therefore it gets many more visits, more comments, more favourites than ninety percent of the photos I post.

I posted it as part of by sort-of 1 photo a day Antarctic Archive project. To me it is at best a curiosity, and it completely falls apart at anything larger than the size I posted it at. It was taken centuries ago, with a Canon FT-QL camera, I think a 50mm f1.4 lens, and one of these screw-in fisheye lenses that were big when flares were in fashion the first time around. I guess the first, and probably last, reaction of anybody now is that it came straight out of Instagram. Or a Holga. But there’s no post-processing at all beyond cleaning up the scan. The file wouldn’t even take sharpening. It is totally soft, the composition isn’t even considered. Any serious landscape photographer would be embarassed to be asked to venture an opinion on it.

It has an atmosphere to it, and an eerie sort of feel. It seems to touch a nerve. It’s hardly a typical Antarctic landscape shot. At best, it’s a collection of mistakes which somehow summed up turn into something interesting.

But is it a good photo? I guess I’m not qualified to be the judge of that.