Tag Archives: Flickr Explore

November

It might be 2015 by the time I get this end-of-year review finished. Work always seems to get in the way of the important things in life.

November was a fine month for mobile photography. What? It was a fine month for photography, full stop! I am not a fan of that term – mobile photography. Since when were cameras not mobile?

Anyway, back to November and back to a month that saw the first of these type of images. I posted a blog before on the technique of creating these. In fact, it is quite easy. The corridors in my workplace are a little treasure trove for photography for me. I have taken so many images there of the students passing along the long corridors. The light can be so good there. The two tone floor of grey and white and the grey of the walls allow for a minimalist look that I love. To get the inky brushstroke images of people walking along these corridors is easy. The trick is to get them in motion on the white-coloured portion of the floor; have the iPhone pointed down and then turn it up quickly as the shutter is released. This gives the blurred-out form to the figures. I then import it to Snapseed; turn up the brightness and contrast and convert it to black and white. This gives a black figure on a white background. Then import it to Instagram; use the willow filter and hit the brightness button and it all turns grey. And you’re done. It is simple and fun.

The photo I am choosing for November is the first of these. In the corridor, I noticed this tall and skinnyish guy standing outside one of the classrooms. I knew instantly that he would make for an interesting form in a blurred-out image. I snapped and apped and was going to go with the background as white until I hit the brightness button on Instagram and the creamy grey background appeared. I was smitten. In the weeks ahead I managed to get more shots like this. The second image below has proven to be my most popular photograph ever. It got to Flickr’s Explore, hit number one for a short while and gained thousands of views and hundreds of faves. While it is a nice image and one that I have received a lot of positive feedback on, it is not my favourite. The one of guy is a better image, I feel. There is more left to the imagination about it. The woman is elegant and graceful, but there are so many images that look like that.

As I said, November was a fine month for photography. Looking at the archive I can see many images I am proud of. And this is invigorates me to get back out and shoot more. And that is just what I will do this morning.

Have a great Sunday. Thanks for passing by.

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November

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Always leaving

Posted in A Flickr Year, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Photography for algorithms

Flickr Explore is a mystery. How do they choose the 500 photographs each day? What criteria is used in the selection? Is it the number of views a photograph gets? Is it the faves? Is it the tags? Is it the groups it is submitted to? Is there a photography guru in Flickr headquarters trawling through the millions of photographs posted to Flickr each day and whittling it down to 500?

No, apparently it is an algorithm they use. An algorithm is ‘a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.’ Now, I can see how selecting 500 photographs to represent a cross section of interesting photographs is a type of problem that needs solving, but photographs are taken by people, viewed and enjoyed by people, yet somehow a computer employing an algorithm can calculate and select for us interesting photographs. 

I find it bizzarre.

But I find it fun. I love when an image of mine hits Explore. Your views rocket. You gain new contacts (or followers as Flickr wants us to know them as now). It brings out a competitive nature in us all. We want to see how high our photograph can climb in the ranking in Explore. Ya, it is just good fun. Photography is the greatest hobby anyone can have and hobbies have to be enjoyed. Fun! And Flickr’s Explore is fun. Nothing more. It sure as hell is not a judge of how good a photograph is. A lot of dross make Explore, but you will find interesting photographs on there.

When I joined Flickr first back in 2007, I was intrigued by Explore. It was mysterious and exclusive. The photographs chosen all seemed so much better than mine. The photographers so much cooler too. Try as I did, I never could get a photograph in Explore. But then towards the end of 2009 my photos started to appear in Explore and man was I delighted! I posted each day and each day my shot hit Explore. Back then they had the extra bonus of choosing a select few for their Front Page and when your shot hit that, you were a Flickr King or Queen for a day. But then suddenly it all changed. A new algorithm came in, an algorithm that cast its calculating eyes far from my photographs. I was out, banned from Explore, crestfallen. I looked on in envy to those new photographers whose photos were pleasing this new algorithm. And again, try as I might, I just could not get back in. Ya, there were a few occasions when a shot would gatecrash in when the algorithm was busy recalculating, but the days of hitting the heights on Explore were gone. 

In 2011, when I got into mobile photography I opened up a new account for my iPhone images and in late 2012 a few shots began to make it to Explore. It seems to come and go in cycles now. I will get about 7 or 8 shots into Explore in succession and then months with nothing. The past few days have been exceptional in terms of Explore. The three shots below all made it to the main page of Explore. The first one actually made it to Explore number 1, but then fell to number 2. My views have gone through the roof. Absolutely ridiculous stuff, but fun. That is all it is, really. 

So, there you have it. Photography for algorithms. That is how low, how shallow I have become. Shame on my photographic self.

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Always Leaving

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House Proud

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All I have become is someone else’s passerby

 

Posted in photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , |