If you believe the axiom, and I do, the best writers are avid readers—that they absorb something about sentence structure and storytelling through a kind of mental osmosis. By compiling Flickr a Day last year, I learned something similar applies to photography. My sense of composition is changed, such that I can barely look at my own work now.
My Flickr photos don’t tend to get high views, with the highest typically topping out at a few hundred. Among the top 10, all are shots of the Fujifilm X100T, a magnificent street-shooter that I regret selling after buying the Fuji X-T1 in July 2015. This unremarkable front-view, taken using iPhone 6, is my top-viewed pic—28,000-plus.
But among what I had previously considered my best work, well, views are low. Granted, I don’t have many Flickr followers, in part because I don’t follow many photographers. That has much to do with presentation; even the few flood my landing page.
Flickr and I maintain a tenuous relationship. The user interface is a mishmash of concepts cobbled together—like a shanty shack onto which the owner built additions in every direction. Some extensions are quite beautiful. Others less so. But the core structure nevertheless is a cardboard shack. I only keep Flickr because of my length of time as an account holder—10 years in October 2015—and in support of the many photographers who release work under Creative Commons license (as I do) rather than All Rights Reserved.
As 2016 advances, I look to either restarting my SmigMug from scratch and/or posting to my vacant 500px. Instagram is in my sights now that square isn’t the only aspect ratio allowed. My Flickr‘s future is uncertain. Much depends on time, for which I have to little with a new project, Frack That!, started and hopes it will generate income. I miss doing Flickr a Day, but no one pays for it, and curating the photos is time-consuming.
Back to photography and learning from the greats, I can’t so easily explain what is gained. My sense of composition is different, hopefully improved, and it needs to develop through the simple practice, of, well, practice. Shoot more.