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Flickr image dumping!
I’ve been a member of Flickr for some years now and have in general enjoyed the experience. Being able to post images quickly and seeing the response is a challenge worth the effort. There is a learning curve, not just as a photographer but in judging where best to place one’s images for viewers sufficiently interested in the various types of photography to see them and, of course to judge and comment on them.
Flickr’s Groups are many and varied. Through them one gains contacts, even friends across the world so that a camaraderie develops. The important aspect for me has always been that people don’t just look at my pictures but, just as in a real physical gallery, they leave comments. I’m happy to engage in conversation and debate equally with someone who wishes to criticise my images, as with someone who praises them. Comment is vitally important to me especially with fellow photographers who, I assume make up the vast bulk of Flickr’s membership. Viewing without any comment is a waste of time. I endeavour to comment every time that I check out another’s images.
I am not alone in my observations of what other discerning photographers have called “image dumping” This occurs on many image sites. I am a member of a number of photographic magazine’s websites where this is common practice. I wonder why people upload in this way repeatedly for very soon I observed that nobody looks at the images, let alone dares to comment. I received a thank you from an image poster a year after I had viewed his image and commented. He hadn’t bothered to check in all that time! The only reason I continue to upload to some sites is that the magazine editorial staff check and can include images in their magazines, not that fees ever change hands.
On Flickr one gets to recognise certain groups as worthy ones where one can expect interested members to regularly view and comment, and also engage in discussion. This is great of course. Some groups are just depositories of said image dumping. Pictures are uploaded in huge numbers, are never looked at and are certainly never commented on. As for discussion - the administrator posts topics which are never replied to. Clearly flogging a dead horse. Clearly image websites such as Flickr are swamped with non and semi-non photographers whose only interests are in bizarre sex and pornography. Obviously Flickr admin staff must keep an eye on this stuff to ensure that it doesn’t cross the line. Also there are many who post non-photographic art. Perfectly justified. But the photographic majority surely must want their images to be seen when they post, even if its just family and friends stuff.
On the issue of comments, or lack thereof, some have suggested that making them can be dangerous as some uploaders can easily take offence. I’ve come across these plonkers myself when commenting. If one does’nt want comments Flickr offers the option when uploading, otherwise all bets are off. Anyway showing off one’s pictures is tantamount to expecting them to be viewed and thought about, and commented on. Otherwise I wonder just what is the point. If would be commenters are nervous about doing so I have found that asking questions in a positive way is perfectly legitimate and non offending.
I believe that the mass production of digital compact cameras and their distribution has a great deal to do with this image dumping, in all its forms. Too many images with nowhere else to go. Gosh, there certainly is a great of rubbish out there. But that’s another story.