For a year and a half, I've been pretending to be a photographer on a site called Flickr. It has seriously been the most fun and most challenging time I have ever had in an online community. I viewed wow-ful photos, participated in photo challenges and scavenger hunts, and interacted with witty and talented folks. I learned so much! And had such a great time.
Today, I say goodbye to a dear friend. Flickr.
I began my Flickr experience by posting generic photos. Me. My dog. Me with my dog. Typical photos taken with a point-and-shoot. As I participated in Flickr groups, I learned there is more to photos than pointing and... well... shooting.
(L to R: Waving Goodbye, m to the 12th, Penny Pincher, Pigs)
Things changed for me when I participated in my first photo challenge. The theme was "Architecture in Black & White." (These were the two photos I ended up uploading for that challenge. Left: Steel Geometry; Right: Following Dad)
I learned that there is beauty all around and taking the time to behold everyday objects from different angles can yield entirely different impressions.
After that challenge, I began looking at subjects differently. It wasn't long before I realized my camera was woefully equipped to capture what my eyes saw. I've missed many incredible shots because of my toy's limitations. One day, I'll make a new camera a priority. Until then, I'll stick with my little silver box.
(L to R: Dotted Dew Drop, Cranial Claw, Missing)
"Condiments in Harmony" became my most popular photo with, at last count, 656 views, 19 comments, and 15 viewers marking it a favorite. I was surprised when this one took off; I shake my head at it. This is the photo where I realized I am not interested in pursuing photography seriously.
People said of this photo "a great, simple shot" and "simple but interesting" but this photo was anything but simple! I spent HOURS on this. The mustard kept squirting out weird. The bottles kept rolling apart. The background is 12x12 scrapbook paper placed behind a pane of glass. The problem with glass is that it REFLECTS, so my head was showing up in the photos. When I found an angle where I could hide, the glass would reflect the light fixtures in the room! I was sweating during the shoot and midway through, I was sick of photography, but I just HAD to finish what I started. I was working on this for a photo challenge themed "Harmony." After it was all said and done, I was so disgusted with this photo that I ended up submitting a different one ("Three's Harmony" on the right), which wasn't such a hit. (It only received 104 views, three comments, and was favorited twice.)
I could go on and on and on about things I learned by participating in the Flickr community, but I'll just share my favorite lesson. *Sometimes taking a photo without looking through the camera provides the neatest results.* Or at least, it was neat when I'd look at the result of blindly shooting and liked what I had. (Which is what happened with the photo "Gargoyle" below.)
(L to R: Gargoyle, One is the Loneliest Number, On Second Thought, Beach Chat)
My favorite benefit of Flickring was appreciating subjects anew. Once, on a jog through the neighborhood, I ran past a large snail making its way across a sidewalk. I ran home, got my camera, ran back to the snail's spot and just photographed that snail for a good half hour. I appreciated his unusual size, looked at the patterns on his shell, noticed that he was aware of me as he paused, sensed me, and changed direction. (The shot on the left I called "Dash." Get it? As in the dashed line behind him and as in race. HA!) (The shot on the right is titled "Gesundheit!")
I ended up displaying over 200 photos generating over 7,000 views; I took THOUSANDZZ of photos just for the sake of playing along on Flickr. 'Twas such fun.
Ah, Flickr. We were so good together...
[Posted song: "Pork & Beans" by Weezer]