A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘flickr

[NON BLOG] Me and mustaches and social media

Yesterday morning, I had a bit of fun. While I was shaving, I decided to play with a mustache for a bit. I’ve almost always fluctuated directly between having a full beard and having no facial hair at all. On a couple of times, I’ve played with a goatee. But a mustache is something I’ve never done, at least partly because of the intense reactions it has gotten from others. I wondered: What would happen if I did that now? So, I took a selfie of myself with a mustache, went to shave it off, and then took a selfie of me without.

Me, with and without mustache

I posted the two photos, with and without, on Instagram. I’d also taken care to crosspost them to Facebook, with and without. The photos also made it to Flickr, too, with and without. (They made it to Twitter and Tumblr, too.)

The reactions I got were very interesting. The reactions, as I noted, were intense; I got not a few GIF responses. On Facebook, a notable majority of people seemed to be hostile to the mustache, even intensely so. On Instagram, as one friend pointed out, the reactions went the other way; my mustache photo got nearly twice as many likes as my non-mustache photo, and the comments were accordingly more enthusiastic.

What was going on? I might speculate that my Facebook friends tend to be people I know relatively well, even having real-life relationships with them, while many of my Instagram friends are more random additions. Was it a matter of people with relatively little attachment to me being interested to see what I might do? I wonder.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 2, 2019 at 10:45 pm

[PHOTO] Five links about photography: seeing, selfies, Village Voice, Flickr and archives

  • Van Waffle wrote late last year about the ways we see with and without cameras.
  • This article in The Atlantic noting how iPhone selfies do not actually accurately represent one’s face is disturbing in a few ways.
  • CityLab noted the importance of the shuttered Village Voice in promoting photojournalism in New York City.
  • Apparently hundreds of people have died around the world as a result of misadventures while taking selfies, VICE reported.
  • This Slate article is entirely right in noting, with Flickr’s conversion to a paid model and the mass deletion of photos of non-paying users, that counting on the online world to back up photos (or other data) is a mistake.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 6, 2019 at 10:30 pm

[PHOTO] Five photography links: Flickr, Kodak vs Fujifilm, landscapes, macro, future

  • Peter Bright at Ars Technica notes the potential negative import of the decision of Flickr to limit free accounts to one thousand photos. What will happen to those accounts like my own which exceed that limit? I’ll be making hard decisions this month.
  • This Petapixel essay takes a look at why front-running film firm Kodak failed to adapt to the digital era while runner-up Fujifilm survived.
  • This ScienceDaily article notes, via the choice of photos uploaded to online photo accounts, the importance of landscapes in the human imagination.
  • At Speed River Journal, Van Waffle talks about the benefits of macrophotography, of extreme close-ups, and of curiosity about the workings of the world.
  • This Sean O’Hagan article at The Guardian taking a look at the mutations of photography in the Instagram era, who artists are interrogating the technology and the social conventions of the genre, is fascinating.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 2, 2018 at 9:00 pm

[PHOTO] Five photo links: Flickr, Instagram, cities, Tom Saint CLair, Peter Hujar

  • Gizmodo has a perhaps unduly pessimistic take on the purchase of Flickr by SmugMug. I use Flickr regularly; I wish it luck.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about her use of Instagram, and about what she sees as the site’s good and bad sides.
  • CityLab considers the impact of Instagram, and social networking-driven photography, on the identities and representations of cities.
  • Drew Rowsome takes a look at the photography of Tom Saint Clair. (NSFW.)
  • Towleroad highlights a showing of the photography of Peter Hujar in New York City that I wish I could attend.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 21, 2018 at 10:30 pm

[PHOTO] Rosedale, for Flickr’s Your Best Shot 2017

Rosedale #toronto #rosedale #ttc #subway

After due consideration, I selected the above photo–“Rosedale”, shared by me on my blog in August in the post “Rosedale in evening”–as my submission to Flickr’s Your Best Shot 2017. I liked the shot’s composition and the colour, and so did Flickr. So: here it is.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 31, 2017 at 8:00 am

Posted in Photo, Toronto

Tagged with , , , , ,

[FORUM] What social networking sites are you active on?

Two weekends ago, I had to reset the passwords on my different social networks. My E-mail had somehow become compromised, and my Facebook was briefly used to post spam in a single discussion group, so everything had to be changed, immediately.

I had to go to Facebook; I had to go to Livejournal, that site that started everything; Google+ and my linked accounts at Blogger and YouTube had to go; Tumblr was followed by Instagram and then by Flickr; my Twitter and LinkedIn, more peripheral than not, had to be changed. Even the Dreamwidth that is basically a backup for Livejournal, and the other sites (Quora, Goodreads, Yelp) that are functionally closely linked to Facebook, had to be changed.

What about you? Where are you active?

Written by Randy McDonald

October 2, 2016 at 11:59 pm

[PHOTO] On the alleged Flickr crisis

I’m a heavy user of Flickr, my account hosting no fewer than 4,827 photos as of this moment. For just over a decade, it has been a site that has worked quite well for me. Then, yesterday, I saw this Wired article appear on my feed.

Just shy of a year ago, Flickr started offering 1,000 gigs of free storage to every user, along with an automatic uploader tool that would help you take every photo from your computer, your external drives, and SD cards, and dump them into one place. Flickr’s search engine was good, the new universal Camera Roll interface was great, and Flickr suddenly seemed to have a chance as a permanent archive of all of our photos. But then, this morning, Flickr announced that once again its best tools will only be available to paying users. It’s time to call it: Flickr is dead. Over. Kaput. In the search for a few more people willing to fork over $35 a year to fund more purple offices, Yahoo has killed its photo service.

Today’s announcements really only include one change of consequence: The desktop Auto-Uploadr tool is now reserved only for Pro users. That means there’s no easy way to upload big batches of photos all at once, into the same place, unless you’re a Pro member. The move feels a bit like ransomware, Yahoo forcing people who’ve already bought into the idea of Flickr as a permanent backup to start paying for the privilege. And it kills the notion that Flickr can be a useful, simple, automatic way to keep all your photos backed up in one place.

The Next Web’s Amanda Connolly was not the only person to see this as cause to switch to Google Photos.

Where to go next? Well, I had always championed Flickr above Google Photos because of its ease of use, Magic View and search functionalities but now the latter seems like the next best option.

My colleague, Owen Williams, has said he is “totally and irrationally in love with Google Photos,” so now is definitely the right time to check it out.

Google Photos offers everything you can get from Flickr and it’s free, so that’s a bonus. It also has some quirky features, like automatically making GIFs from your images, as well as slideshows set to music from groups of photos around specific events, like New Year’s Eve or weddings.

Its search function is up to scratch as well, allowing you to search for pretty much anything, like ‘dogs’ or ‘beach’ and providing you with accurate results. There’s one caveat though, Google Photos only offers facial recognition in the US yet, so you’ll need to use a VPN to enable that right now. It is something that I’d expect to see rolled out globally in the near future.

Wired‘s Molly McHugh went on to explain to people how to offload their photos from Flickr to whatever destination.

I’m not sure what to think about all this anger. Yes, it probably is a good idea to create an online backup of my Flickr account. I may do that tonight. From my perspective, Auto-Uploadr was a hindrance, a feature that I could not turn off on my smartphone but instead just automatically uploaded even my rawest and worst photos to Flickr. It, in fact, is the reason I never used the Flickr app. So long as I can continue to upload my photos with a touch of a screen, and download them at will with their meta data intact, I really don’t see a problem.

What am I missing?

Written by Randy McDonald

March 11, 2016 at 8:30 pm

[LINK] “Once Upon a Time, Yahoo Was the Most Important Internet Company”

Wired‘s Julia Greenberg maps the growth, and decline, of Yahoo. That this Internet company, particularly through Flickr, is one I regularly use just makes me nervous.

Silicon Valley is full of giants. But one seems to be slowly disappearing. Yahoo was once an Internet titan, a ruler of the web. Now its future appears to be in question.

Investors worry about what will happen to Yahoo once it spins off its stake in Chinese behemoth Alibaba—or if it can’t. Meanwhile, among consumers, Yahoo has an identity problem—what, exactly, does Yahoo do?

These questions have come to a head again over the past week or so as activist shareholders called for Yahoo to sell its Internet business. High profile chief executive Marissa Mayer’s future is being called into question. A wave of executives have left the company in recent months. And even something Yahoo does right—its popular fantasy sports site—is facing scrutiny from New York’s attorney general. It’s been a long slide for one of the web’s oldest businesses—so long that it can be easy to forget that Yahoo once ruled the Internet.

Yahoo was once a trailblazer: it was here before Facebook and Google. It was here before we texted, tweeted, or snapped. Its place in the history of the Internet is in some ways singular: It was for many the first way they experienced the web.

At WIRED, we’ve tracked the ups and downs of the web since its earliest days. In the process, we’ve traced the growth and decline of Yahoo itself—the rise and decline of an Internet original.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 26, 2016 at 11:58 am

[PHOTO] On the decision of Anton Corbijn to stop his commercial photography

The author of The Economist‘s Prospero blog notes that Anton Corbijn has apparently decided to abandon the practice of photography as an art form. Why? Technology.

Photography as a slow, analogue art-form is dead. Over 200,000 photos are uploaded to Facebook per minute—that’s six billion each month—and there are over 16 billion photos on Instagram. Thanks to digital products anyone can be a Photoshop hack, selfie whore or filter junkie. We see with our smartphones, not our eyes. What need do we have for old-fashioned specialists using toxic chemicals to make a physical print that can be neither insta-shared nor “liked”?

A case is point in Anton Corbijn, the Dutch artist who in a 40-year career has shot thousands of celebrities, everyone from the Rolling Stones to Björk, and whose iconic album-cover shots include U2’s “Joshua Tree” and Morrissey’s “Viva Hate”. A retrospective of his work at the C/O Berlin gallery feels like a fond farewell to his big-buck career: from now on photography will only be Mr Corbijn’s hobby.

The two-floor exhibition features 600 prints from 1972 to 2012, including his famed music photography from the 1990s. A travelling show from The Hague Museum of Photography, Mr Corbijn’s work represents a bygone era of analogue masterworks. Each of the prints on the wall was first seen by Mr Corbijn only as he dipped them into chemical baths in a dark room—as different as possible from the modern digital shoot, where hundreds of shots can be compared and even retouched on the spot with the band and creative director peering over the photographer’s shoulder.

Known for melancholic, black-and-white photos with a raw, anti-glamour aesthetic, Mr Corbijn’s work feels timeless. Some images intentionally include motion-blur, like his portrait (above) of Luciano Pavarotti, growling like a death metal star in Turin back in 1996. Even though Mr Corbijn has steady hands, something he credits to his non-coffee, non-smoking lifestyle, he believes sharpness is overrated. It remains the photographer’s technical preference to shoot slow shutter speeds, which allows movement in the frame.

This took me aback, not least since I liked his work. His collaborations with Depeche Mode, for instance, have been uniformly enjoyable, particularly his direction of the video for their “Enjoy the Silence”.

I really do not see his point in abstaining from his production of images for an audience. That there is so much photography online does not mean that his will be less wanted–my Instagram feed, I do not flatter myself, is not a direct competitor with his. Not many are: He has a particular name and reputation that can consistently draw him attention. Digital photography, darkroom photography–different people can develop different voices. Commercial sustainability, I grant, is an altogether different issue.

What do you all think of this?

Written by Randy McDonald

December 2, 2015 at 4:45 pm

[PHOTO] Polaroid’s New Camera Prints Your Pics and Posts Them on Instagram

Wired‘s Christina Bonnington reports on a camera that, I suppose, is cool but also seems rather redundant.

When I look at my bare beige apartment walls, I lament the passing of personal cameras and Polaroids. If I want real life copies of my precious smartphone photos now, I must use a service like Printstagram. Polaroid’s latest camera attempts to bridge that gap by blending the physical photo printing of yesteryear with today’s instant social media sharing.

The Socialmatic is a 14-megapixel camera that connects over Wi-Fi so you can post images to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. (It actually runs Android, so you can download other apps or browse the interwebs on its 4.5-inch touchscreen, too). It comes with a 2-megapixel selfie camera on the back, because humans are now incapable of turning cameras around to take photos of themselves. It’s also GPS- and Bluetooth-enabled.

After you’ve futzed with your photos on its screen, the Socialmatic lets you print two by three-inch adhesive-backed photos you can stick on your wall, bedroom mirror, or Trapper Keeper. You’ll still have to resort to some other printing service if you want anything larger, but hey, at least you’ve got something you can share with friends in meatspace.

A Socialmatic with enough paper for 10 prints will cost you $300 through Photojojo; bump that to 110 for $344. You can buy a 25-pack of photo paper for $25, or two packs for $45.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm