photoblogography - Just some stuff about photography

Iceland here I come

brace yourself…

in Photography , Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Icelanders can resign themselves to 10 days of even more miserable weather than usual, as I prepare to set off tomorrow. I don’t have a habit of bringing good weather with me, and I’ve never seen an aurora in Iceland.

I actually have no expectations at all for this trip. It will bring whatever it brings. I’m not even sure I feel much like 9-10 days of concentrated photography. As mentioned in a previous post, I dropped the idea of taking the Hasselblad supercamera with me. I’m not 100% sure this was a good idea, but whatever may be, I will still have some pretty competent camera gear with me. Actually it will be something of a reality check: if I don’t feel disappointed that I didn’t take the Hasselblad, it will be a strong sign that I should divest myself of it.

My last photographic trip to Iceland was in 2016, and at that time I was using the original Olympus OM-D E-M1 (alongside the Sigma Quattro dp0). I recently published a set of Sigma photos from that trip on Flickr. Here below are some shots from the Olympus. Nothing terribly exciting, but probably pretty much the best I can manage.

Let’s see if I can do any better this time. Let’s see if I can bring good weather for once.

 

 

 

Posted in Photography on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at 04:30 PM • PermalinkComments ()

Stumped

Like! Like! LIKE!!!

in Photography , Wednesday, January 05, 2022

I post photos quite regularly on Flickr, and have been doing so, with the odd gap or two, since 2006. There is an element of curation in this, but frankly the underlying reason is to have some community involvement, and of course to be showered with praise. 

For whatever reason my popularity on Flickr is pretty poor: 471 followers from 15 years of activity is not very impressive (although it’s by far the best “social media statistic” I can claim). This might be explained by my photos not being very good or very interesting. It could also have something to do with my poor engagement - I’m only following 163 other members - although I do try to find time at least once a week to explore other people’s photos and leave comments.

I usually get a few “likes” per photo, sometimes even the odd comment. But some photos disappear without trace, often ones I expected to draw some attention (while a few outliers that are, by my standards, wildly popular, really puzzle me).

So anyway. Last week I slipped out for a quick photo-ramble to a nearby wood. The area I went to is at the bottom of a quite shallow valley. On the way down I noticed a quite striking tree stump covered in iridescent moss, and decided to stop by on the way back up. There certainly seemed to be some photographic potential there.

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I also noticed the small tree in the background with pale, dead leaves, I thought I might be able to make something of that.  So I had a few attempts.

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Actually it wasn’t so easy to line things up in a satisfactory way, but anyway, I felt I had something. I only had a few minutes to spare, needing to get home for an appointment, so maybe I was too rushed.  Eventually, looking at the photos on my computer screen, it seemed to me that one I took facing in the other direction was more successful.

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So I posted that to Flickr. And up until now, it has got the sum total of 0 likes. 40 people have looked at it, and not one was even impressed enough to click the little star. Give me praise! I want praise!!!

Perhaps it needs processing more. Perhaps it really isn’t in the slightest bit interesting, or perhaps I wasn’t able to unlock the potential… ok, I can live with that, but then why is a boring photo I took of a ship so (relatively) crazy popular?  I don’t get it. De gustibus non disputandum est.

Posted in Photography on Wednesday, January 05, 2022 at 05:53 PM • PermalinkComments ()

1000, out.

Not a bad innings

in General Rants , Tuesday, May 12, 2020
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“detach” - my 1000th, and last photo on Flickr”

Yesterday I was playing around with an interpretation of a photo I took a few months back, which I quite like, and decided to post it on Flickr.  As I was doing so, I noticed it was my 1000th post. So, my statistics since joining in October 2006 are 1000 photos, 606’049 views, 725 “faves” (so it says, but that can’t be right, as 806 photos have at least 1 “fave”), and whatever else.  And I have 456 loyal followers - thanks everybody - which is not bad considering how little I give back.

My all time most popular shot is this, which I honestly think is pretty dull at best - yet it has 16’394 views, 523 “faves” and 29 comments.  Go figure, as our Merkin cousins would say.

Flickr is certainly my most successful venture into social media by far, which isn’t saying much. But I think it’s time to bring it to an end. I don’t get much benefit or enjoyment from it any more. Possibly I never did, although it was a useful safety valve during a period up to about 2010 when I was working under extreme stress in a startup environment.  When getting home to my 1 room apartment, catching up on Flickr was a good way to to switch off and relax.  But that was in its heyday, and possibly mine too. Now I just log in out of a sense of duty.

Photographically I know all too well which buttons to press in Flickr.  Any number of dramatic long exposure waterfalls are pretty much guaranteed to trigger the “Explore” algorithm. And such photos attract a fair amount of traffic (I wouldn’t call most of it “feedback”). So if trawling for likes was my thing, I guess I could do that fairly well. On the other hand photos I care a little more about, such as the one featured here, generally sink without a trace.  That’s ok too, I get it that my tastes are at best qualified as non-mainstream, and more accurately as dubious.  But finally if there is no engagement, there’s no point.

In any case, I’m finding less and less need to share. This might reflect the fact that globally there is less and less appetite to discover.  Everybody is a photographer, everybody wants to be famous, and pretty much a “like” given is done so only in the expectation of two given in return. The number of people selflessly advocating other’s photography is approaching zero.

Flickr won’t miss me (especially as I only recently paid for a 2 year subscription). But hitting 1000 seems like a good cue to bow out.

(Of course I reserve the right to completely change my mind at any time)

Posted in General Rants on Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 05:44 PM • PermalinkComments ()

Flickrd Off

plus ├ža 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.

Posted in General Rants on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 09:10 PM • PermalinkComments (3)

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.

Posted in Photography on Sunday, April 14, 2013 at 10:29 PM • PermalinkComments (1)

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