The Importance of Photos


Over the last few days, i’ve been cleaning up my Flickr account. Up until yesterday, i had about 8 ‘sets’ and the guts of 800 photos. Today, i have 8 ‘collections’, dozens of ‘sets’ and over 1,240 photos…

One of my goals at the start of the year was to put more photos online. I’m beginning to realize the importance of putting photos online. The earliest (digital) photos i have are from about 2003. Some are so poor in quality it would be an insult to Flickr to upload them :mrgreen:

I’m finding that despite having taken thousands of photos in recent years, most of them are pretty rubbish. Much like writing and blogging, by publishing them online, i’m much more conscious of how they look and what the quality is like. You can argue that’s a bad thing because i’m thinking too much about how they look to others and not to me, but i think that’s a great thing…

It’s never good to adapt your style in anything to suit an audience or blend in with an audience… you lose your unique selling point in that case. However, knowing that you have guests coming to stay over, usually increases your awareness of flaws within a house or room. You’re suddenly much more conscious of little detail… you have an instinctive urge to fix things that are wrong that you would overwise let slide.

Guest bedroom
Creative Commons License photo credit: Vagabond Shutterbug

And that’s what i’m finding with publishing stuff online… i know it will be here permanently and it’s a reflection on me whether i like it or not. So i instinctively ‘up’ the quality of things… photos are no longer things i show to a few close friends / family and then store then in the virtual attic that is the ‘my pictures’ folder on my hard drive… all of a sudden every photo takes on a certain degree of importance. It can’t be bad, it can’t look amateurish… i need to go for a killer photo with every photo…

Whilst that creates it’s own set of problems (the problem of never being truly happy with anything you do, because you’re always looking for something better), it’s a much more productive system for me anyway.

Publishing photos online is also just good practice to get in to… 20 years from now they’ll still be online. They won’t have disappeared in to a black whole or gathered dust like traditional pictures seem to do. Provided they’re well organized and labelled, finding specific photos from specific events is also made easy…. not just for you, but for anyone.

Why do people take more photos on holidays? Probably because they take a camera around everywhere with them. They’re looking for sights, looking for pictures… all ready to go in to that ‘holidays’ album. Really, we should be like that all the time… not necessarily with a camera in hand (we’ve better things to do doing most of the time!) but constantly observing situations & sights because the best pictures are always the ones we don’t take.

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