Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Life: so long and thanks for all the fish

Flickr is one of the most inbreed photographical communities that you can bump into. Some of the people there publish pictures almost daily, and these images don't have any other purpose than hanging up there for the admiration of other fellow flickerites and in a year or two they'll be history. But being a community of communities (thousands of flickr groups) some people try to make something out of it and shoot consistent things. I guess it's just a matter of time till some of the people who have been for years shooting the same 'project' end up doing something outside flickr (in the real world) with it. And so much inbreeding and selfadulation also takes a good share of time, so in a way I'm not surprised that some of the mates I admire are leaving the service. There are better ways to present images than flickr, for sure.

So this post goes for those few that have kept not only street photography but arts photography in general alive for me in flickr, and now are leaving for a better life elsewhere on the net. I know that it isn't the end of it, and I'll keep on bumping into their pictures here and there. It's more of a transition period than an abrupt ending in my head. Now that I think about it... I don't really know why I write this, as I stay in touch with some of them more now than when they were active in flickr. Ah, now I know... I'll miss see all their rubbish and feel bad about being fed with only finished edits! That might be it....

Ben Roberts, who's pretty busy with enough projects already and seems to be more committed to portraiture than street photography nowadays. As far as I know he is in good health and will not stop shooting anytimes soon. If you seen around, feed gently with beer. Ben has deeply contributed to the development of my sense of humour.

Hin Chua, pretty busy as well, but easier to fill up with beer. Not to be given lager after midnight. Nice guy to have a chat about photographic literature.

Naveen Jamal, who I have kept less in touch but whose pictures are pretty much worth checking as well.

And Raoul Gatepin with whom I discuss too much rubbish at worrying hours (mostly due to time difference).

All those guys contributed in one way or another to how I shoot now, even if I really don't shoot like them. Every so often by dropping references, comments or tips, and other times, by feeding constantly interesting images into the vast seas of flickr.

Well, now the moment everybody has been waiting for: So long and thanks for all the fish!

Sidenote: I'm an invited guest at the F Blog thanks to Joanna Kinowska.


Andrew said...

And you Joni? How long will you be hanging around now that you've found fame and fortune over at DAH's site...?


guillermo said...

I also miss the photos of Ludmila Morais (SheStrikesBack)

It makes me wonder why some of them remove or make private all their previous photos...
(seems kind of selfishness to me)

Andrew said...

I don't see it as selfish - they don't owe you anything... these guys are all looking at putting up something of their own which they feel is a better way to present their work - they're not hiding. Flickr can be pretty damn unsatisfying after a while.

J. Karanka said...

@andrew: I don't have plans of leaving, although I do have plans to open a personal site so I can show what my work looks after editing. I mean, it's cool to share pictures every they or two, but at the end of the day whole collection of them look as an enormous barely linked pile of crap :o)

@guillermo: thanks for adding her, I've once discussed with her but I don't know where her images are going to show up next (sites anybody?)

Andrew said...

Those already mentioned here and a couple of others -- David Solomons, BryanF -- are going to launch some sort of site, but I don't know much more than that.

J. Karanka said...

@andrew: both do have websites, and I know that David has been working hard lately on his (have you seen it? he even has a blog!), and it wouldn't surprise me at all that Bryan slipped away of flickr very soon

J. Karanka said...

Well, I feel like adding Bryan Formhals to the list really, but I don't see him updating on his photoblog either:

J. Karanka said...

Well, there you go:

includes edited work and a blog!

stpiduko said...

Flickr is a photo sharing and photo storage website. This is something that we really should not forget.

For $25 you can store all of your documents (gas, electricity, insurance bills), take-away menus, Taxi phone numbers, contracts, photos of your mum, and of live nude girls, all in one place accessible no matter where you go.

For others it's a place to show off there art, photographic or otherwise.

I don't have a problem if people leave, it's just a website after all. There will always be someone else to take their place.

I do get a little concerned and a lot less interested if they leave because they think that what they do is too good for Flickr.

I admire the people you mention in this entry, but their absence doesn't impact the greater picture. There are great people with a real vision who aspire to nothing more than post to a photo sharing website

Andrew said...

Eamon... you have all that stuff in your Flickr account?! Yikes... ;-P

Anyway, I don't think any of these people have an "I'm too good for this place" attitude, rather they just want something unique and personal. I'm very interested to see what kind of a site concept they come up with as a group.

To me, Flickr seems a near impossible place to communicate a vision with real effectiveness, unless you are totally sold on, or are somehow subverting, the form of presentation -- stream of consciousness/photo diary, views/comments/faves etc.

There are a lot of useful tools, and it's ok for networking, but the group conversations get repetitive, the group pools often likewise. I get the feeling few people would look through a set and really consider the order and narrative. It frequently becomes all about cults of personality and the single image.

So finding a new bar, as Bryan put it, seems pretty tempting for those with ambition.

Bryan said...

Well, I can clarify some of this. 1) Yes, a group of 12 of us, including the people mentioned here are developing a web site that will host our galleries as well as blogs and other features. The plane is to make is to keep active and updated daily with new content, with the hope that people will stop by frequently and continue to participate in the 'big' photography conversation. With the talent involved, we feel that it'll a unique photography destination on the web.

2) Flickr is flawed model. There are numerous benefits but at the end of the day I don't trut Yahoo's intentions one bit. I believe they're intention is to eventually profit from the creativity of the photographers. There's no reason people can't group together like we have and start their own small networks. If this happens, it'll be really simple with RSS feeds and such to link all the networks together and completely subvert the greedy corporations.

I'll elaborate more on this in a future blog post....



J. Karanka said...

Bryan, thanks for stopping by. Maybe I edit the main text to add some of your insights in the work on progress. Btw, you sound more like a left wingy European than a guy from Minessota to me :o)

Bryan said...

haha. minneapolis is actually very liberal...always vote for the Democrats. But I'm more philosophical than political....

Algernon said...

There are millions of great photographers out there. Sometimes I wonder why I'm wasting my time with such an expensive hobbie :-D

stpiduko said...

@ Andrew

don't get me wrong, I'm not for a moment suggesting that the mentioned people believe they are the cream of the crop on Flickr and for this reason are are leaving.

I too contemplated leaving Flickr and imagine everyone reading this post has done the same. Yes, it appears inbreed, in the same way that the world is.

But no matter what photographic fetish you have, it will appear there. Interested in Street Photography, I'm sure they have a group for it. Imagine there is also a group for flowers, bears in Chinese zoos, petrol station, the colour red, people who use Holga, Leica, Conon, and those who are interested in lens caps.

Whether people like it or not, it's too big to ignore. And unless you give up photography altogether or no longer wish to see anybody else's work it is a place that people will regularly visit

Before I joined, I used to use photo.net (for the more discerning photographer) but quickly grew tired of the, if it's not in focus or photoshopped and taken with something expensive then it really isn't worth looking at attitude.

I've learned a lot from Flickr, both technically and for inspiration and can not imagine a point that anyone feels that it could not possibly add something to their knowledge base. Rumour has it that Magnum and Corbis members also have accounts so that they too can see what's out there.

Flickr is a tool, but good to also know that there are others out there and ones that are more specific with a higher bench mark

as soon as it's available I will be one of the first to subscribe to the new RSS feed