Browsing photos on t’interweb…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s colours are: pushy puce, simpering sage, bulbous Burgundy, amorous amber, bouncing brown and whelmed white.

When I was a little kid (Oh no Dave! Not more of your bloody childhood reminiscences!) I knew of things called cameras. It seemed, to me back then, that they worked on magic; they cleverly captured an event, a fraction of a second of time itself, and turned it into a picture that could last for ever; only proper wizards knew how they actually worked…
The first camera I owned was a cheap grey plastic one from the USSR, it was called a Cosmic 35. (Cosmic 35) It didn’t look much, it was designed, I expect, for the happy comrades working enthusiastically on one of those Five-Year Plans, but it did have the same knobs and functions that expensive ones had – this was good! A learning process!
It was pretty much trial and error at first, mostly error. There were three things you were supposed to twiddle on it: focus, shutter speed, and a mysterious and dangerous thing called ‘aperture’ which had associated with it strange wizard’s numbers, which bore the cryptic name ‘f-stops’; these were not just your normal 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. but, f4, f5.6, f8, f11, f16, and so on. This was scary stuff…
But, eventually I realised what it was all about, and once you twigged what these knobs did it was a piece of cake, or even a nice bowl of borscht. After that my pictures weren’t as blurred, and they weren’t too dark, or too light anymore. Photography was within my grasp!
As I now call myself an artist I consider my photos to be ‘art’ – yes, of course photography is art, what else could it be? I won’t go on here about not-very-interesting photographers and their big posh expensive ‘jewelry’ cameras – I have ranted about this in an earlier post. (Link)
What I am going to talk about is that photo sharing site Flickr. Flickr is good!
If you bother to take photos, it is nice if people see them, it’s even nicer if they say they like them – it sort of makes it all worthwhile…
Instead of snapping some oddity I have spotted here in Dulltown, and making a print of it and sticking it in an album to sit there in the dark for ever, I can put it on Flickr, or any other photo sharing site for other people to see; you might get people in Japan, the USA, Australia, Russia, Finland, Italy, Venezuela, (but possibly not North Korea) seeing it – you get a little thrill that you have touched someone ‘out there’ with your art – isn’t that wonderful, and worth doing?…
On Flickr:
People on Flickr seem to like to collect ‘followers’ – some people have thousands of ‘followers’, and they follow thousands of them too. Very nice, if that’s what you like to do, but how could you possibly manage to look at all the work that they are generating? If someone ‘follows’ me, I will respond and ‘follow’ them, that’s only fair isn’t it?
‘So Dave, what percentage of your follwer’s pictures, would you say, that you actually like?’
‘Well, I er… Of course, most of them don’t see themselves as ‘artists’ – they just take photos, and that’s good. About once a week I have a look what they have been up to and ‘like’ the ones that I like, for whatever reason.
The popular subjects seem to be: colourful sunsets; chaps’ girlfriends with plenty of makeup trying desperately to look like ‘models’ (some of these can be quite amusing); sweaty-faced people getting drunk in bars; people’s dinners (I’ve never really understood people who photograph food!); cars, shiny new ones, racing ones, rusty old ones abandoned in dank forests, ones with girlfriends sitting posing on the bonnet (hood US); more orange sunsets; energetic blurred sporting events; old Mediterranean chaps with heavily lined faces smoking pipes and scowling in monochrome; cute fluffy animals; people playing guitars in ill-lit rooms; and for some reason, pictures of surprisingly ordinary looking buildings in city squares, sometimes with pigeons.
It’s not all like that of course, there are some really interesting people, and there is some stimulating stuff out there: Here is just one chap to have a look at, he’s called Brancusi 7. I love his work, he is a true surrealist…
One, Two, Three.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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6 Responses to Browsing photos on t’interweb…

  1. Ahhh cameras – my first one was a film camera. A Praktica something or other. Then I moved onto Pentax – a brand I stuck with, only now its all digital faffery. Your Cosmic looks cute (reminds me of Del Boy’s brother Rodney’s sarcastic expression, ha!) Now regarding Flickr…..these days one can only look, not have a free account, apparently so I joined Instagram. But your fellow on Flickr has some really interesting photos, yes…his fascination with weird faces is creepy in a cool way 😀

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Oh, that’s odd Scribbler – I thought that Flickr was still free… I just tried to find out something about this online – The first sites I found were moaning about what Flickr charge for unloading large numbers of ‘bulk’ pics and videos. I think you only have to pay if you want to use ‘special tools’ or want to have a massive amount of storage space… I have about 1400 pictures on there and I’ve only used a tiny amount of my allotted space…

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