Flickr is a funny old place to be. For those that do not know it, Flickr is a photo-sharing domain with many group pages such as those dedicated to street photography, macro photography or with images using a particular lens such as a canon fixed 50mm. Of those some will specify that the fixed 50 must be used on a full frame sensor and others don’t seem to mind.
Anyway its a funny place to be. Some photographers go there to show off how good they are. I don’t mean show off as in saying look at how wonderful I am, I am a sh!t hot photog. I mean they only put their absolute best images on there and they show off their images like an online portfolio and free webpage.
Others seem to use the site to upload everything and anything. I refuse to say rubbish photos because that would be a tad harsh. Just because it looks like 30 shots of a car moving from left to right does not mean its rubbish and I would rather think of it as that person experimenting and learning. In any case, if they put too many images like that on their page they do not get followed and they do not get feed back. So the images range from poor through to average and onto those that are just stunning and to a professional standard.
When I started out with poor to very average photographs I joined a 52 week project. My hope was that I would learn from others by looking at their images and getting feedback from the others in the group. Naturally this would mean giving feed back on their images. I felt a little uncomfortable at first but some of the members were really pro active and I started to feel like I could comment on composition and maybe suggesting a crop or even changing something to black and white.
It was all very polite and naturally I only really commented on the images that I liked. What I did also do, was make a point of commenting on images belonging to people who made comments on my pictures.
The second 52 week project didn’t have the same ‘community feel’ about it, so, I dropped out and concentrated on my 100 candid strangers project. I only have fourteen more candid portraits, street shots and its done, Finito!! As I read in another photographers blog Ian Gibson said “even lazy photographers should have a project”. Well I have a few planned and it is my intention to try and get some more feed back.
I’m just not sure how to go about it. I tried the small Flickr groups thinking if they have few members people might be more receptive to feed back and more inclined give to feed back.
I have commented on photo blogs and blogs with bugger all to do with photography, all in the hope of getting some useful and constructive critiques of my efforts.
On Flickr, where the world and its wife shares images of everything from insects to galaxies I make a point of visiting everyones page that favours or comments on one of my images.
I always try to find something to comment on. However, a change in tact is called for. I decided to look at some other images that these people have clicked like or clicked as a favourite…. What I noticed on one was that on the same day they had clicked about 30 images after mine and who knows how many prior. I looked a bit further and it looks like a few others have done that too. Not many, just a couple. Its like the few that click follow but you know they are not; its a way of increasing traffic to their pages to see what they have to say or in the hope that we will comment on their images.
I will still visit these pages but I will be more selective in the ones I give my time to comment on.
In terms of quantity I don’t really care about getting exposure of my images on Flickr to hundreds of viewers; what I would like is quality exposure of my pictures that allows for constructive feed back, the sort that will help me grow my skills and develop an understanding of photography on the whole.
One year on and I don’t think I’ve done too badly but a change in tact may be required.
Maybe just an invite? Other newbies to photography looking for feedback, comment on this blog with a link to your Flickr, Tumblr account and I will visit. I might even comment on your images or click like because I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts.
As always, whoever you are, wherever you are, thanks for stopping by and reading.
Jim Jimmy James