Flickr is a fantastic photo archiving solution, especially for the traveller. But the real benefit of Flickr is the community that’s shaped the network over the years since it was launched. Now, a whole Flickr culture exists, with thriving sub-communities for any subject you might imagine. Participation is encouraged, and the best shots tend to ‘bubble up’ and are promoted accordingly throughout the site.
I’ve been able to share and develop my interest in photography using Flickr in a way I would never have been able to do otherwise. Looking critically at what people are drawn to, from my photostream as well as in the site-wide ‘Explore’ section, really helps me to develop ideas about how to create an attractive, engaging image. The $30 annual subscription for unlimited storage and use of all of Flickr’s services is a steal – provided you use it, of course.
Here are the ten most ‘interesting’ photos on my Flickr account to date, as chosen by the community. My photos get relatively few views, so more would be nice! Guess I need to keep at it…
The most popular shot by a country mile is this dusk image from deep in the Sahara. It seems to prove that, as with many things, simplicity is best. But getting into this situation in the first place required quite a bit of effort!
This would be an unusual situation for many people, and it takes a while to register what’s happening, which is perhaps what made it popular. I usedto allow me to show what was happening on deck as well as preserving the sunrise, and to give the image a slightly surreal feeling which reflects the circumstances.
The dark and moody desert contrasts with the pylons in the background. Civilization is not far away but my campsite is out of sight amongst the rocks and sand. Again I used HDR techniques to bring out the foreground detail.
The view over Yerevan with Mount Ararat in the background is probably the most over-photographed view in the country. I tried to do something different, shifting the focus away from the symbolic mountain but leaving it looming in the distance. Yerevan’s perpetual state of construction is highlighted by the foreground cranes.
I’m not sure why this photo has become popular, but maybe it’s to do with what is left unsaid, rather than what is actually contained within the frame.
This is another classic view over Yerevan, treated to a dose of moodiness rather than the usual utopian approach that patriotic photographers take towards their shots of the city.
This shot found its way into Flickr’s ‘Explore’ section, proof that composition and technique aren’t always important – sometimes a simple, spontaneous snap of an intriguing subject can win people over.
There’s nothing particularly special about the subject here, but the colours captured during those few fleeting minutes of magical light seem to have done the trick.
The foreground draws the eye to the curious rock formations to create a textbook image. It’s a shame that the remoteness of the location is not more obvious – it’s a rather predictable photo without it.
I got up early to capture the pre-dawn light by the Egyptian Nile. The result is a classic lights-over-water image with an interesting foreground element. The red light provides a focal point – overall a safe, rule-following image.
* * *
I’ve got a long way to go with photography and I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to study the art more seriously in the future. In the meantime, I’m going to have plenty of opportunities to keep snapping during my travels in Europe on my way back to the UK this autumn.