Sunday, November 05, 2006

2005-08-17 021One advantage of being idle is discovering things which one otherwise might have missed. I recently uploaded some pictures onto Flickr, but didn't have the time to go through adding comments and tags. A couple of days later, I still haven't. So what does this tell me other than just how lazy I am? It shows the patterns of viewing based on the images and their relative position alone.

While I already knew that the front page gets more views than any subsequent page when viewed as a photostream, and of the tendency for the top of the page images to garner more clicks than anything which needs scrolling, the patterns which have emerged beyond those are interesting. It seems that it doesn't really matter what the image is as long as the majority of it is dark. Those which no one has viewed all make the contents apparent from the thumbnail view (a tree's a tree; it's not going to be much more exciting if seen slightly bigger). But when I lowered exposure compensation, usually to stop the camera fogging and burning the highlights or to lose irritating foreground, textures become more abstracted; contorted skeins of colour conforming to some unseen scheme. Make an image dark and there's curiosity; it's the impact of people wondering what something obscure actually shows.

Anything which needs thinking about gets views, anything which is already comprehensible doesn't. But do the extra views mean an image is better? Or simply needs more work to understand? Because I could make every photograph a few highlights amid pools of black, but I'm not sure that would actually add much.

I know this is a bit of a niche post, but if you haven't twigged I like photography and the vagaries of Flickr intrigue me, then "Hi, you must be new". Hello to Ac-Ac BTW and thank you for the link. Sorry for not noticing it earlier (and the rest of you might notice the updated sidebar; there have been a lot of blogdeaths, so I need more thinking-blogs - any ideas?).

Of course, in adding images in such a way as to allow this analysis, I am being a very bad Flickrite. Not only I have I not added tags, which on Flickr pretty much announces "leave me alone" (even if they don't seem to do much to initial viewing figures, simply add random belated discoveries), but I have not added any descriptive comments (usually a marker for "I haven't finished these yet, come back when they're done") or given the images titles.

I tend to vary a bit on the latter point. Titles say one has thought about the image, yet there's only so many one can do before running short of puns, cultural references and anything which isn't Tree #4 or worse still Untitled #4. Plus keeping the filename in the title slot helps with organisation (especially when random people want to use the images). I prefer titles, but they really work better when the supply of images is more steady and often smaller. Dan's approach of incrementally leaking a image or two is great for boosting exposure and visitors, but the level of filtering he must do requires more decision making than I can easily do. I try to take out the worst of the junk, but even the iffy pictures end up with someone liking them or commenting on them.

As for the trickle approach of adding a little cluster, then another, then another, that assumes one has both the time and patience (and memory) to do that. It doesn't take into account uploading batches of 36 or 50-odd images or having several chunks rapidly scavenged from borrowed cameras and computers.

But as I've just heard a rocket go past the window (which as the place launching them is about a dozen houses away sort of suggests that their milk bottle fell over) drowning out the not quite apt Handel's Water Music (it was the fireworks one earlier), I'd better investigate, or at least go to oh and ah.

One just went off close overhead and I can actually smell the fireworks despite being in a house with every shut; is this good?



Some great photos there - you've definitely got The Eye...
I'd noticed that too about people not clicking on images that were blatantly a tree or something - with the exception that if it's a building they blatantly know, they will probably click on it.

And as for my selective posting, it's actualy directly linked to selective photography (and even a lack of that) of late. I'm finding it difficult to carry a notebook and GPS as well and taking photos. It just takes the whole concept of multitasking too far, and besides, I have too few limbs to do it all at once.
November 11, 2006 11:11 AM

Well timed (although according to Blogger you were 20 seconds too late for the whole set).

Notebook? My god, you're not one of those... oh hang on, they come with EXIF data now don't they? So the notebook is for mapping then? But surely you'd want photographs to remind you of where you were, and they'd be more use than "by the big tree".

Ok, so you probably have everything wired in together so the moment the shutter goes it logs the GPS position and uploads everything to sundry servers the instant the camera churns out the jpeg (I'm sure it is possible... just).

Anyway, you know what I think of you not taking photographs, especially as I think I agree with MQ's [slightly damning for me] comment that you take interesting photographs whereas I take photographs of interesting things.
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