This is the first post that’s gonna have a more thingy, cause it’s kinda long. And that’s what she said.
In the spring, a young photographer’s fancy turns to thoughts of flickr’s Explore. I want to call it a train wreck, but it’s more. It’s a whirlpool of suck. Flickr has an algorithm called interestingness, which is web 2.0 for popularity contest. Not that popularity is a bad thing, except that in practice, it often is.
This is what my view for March 20th looks like today.
I don’t want to be a Negative Nancy, but these are three really shitty, over-processed pics. Holding court at the first two spots are creativity’s inbred, retarded second cousin thrice removed, our old pal HDR. The third pic is an image made to look like… I’m no really sure. An old photo? A Painting? As a photograph, magic 8 ball is telling me that it’s: A failure.
Out of the aprox. 2.7 MILLION pictures uploaded to flickr every day, these were the most interesting? Really? I’m sure it had nothing to do with the circle jerk that is the flickr HDR community. Anyway, look at what I saw when I went to explore. It’s weird, cause I thought, “wow, at least it’s a photograph”:
The problem with explore isn’t in the algorithm, computers don’t have taste any more than humans can do massive parallel computations in their brains, it’s the data. Flickr is a social networking site with a photographic element built in. People like to socialize with others, it’s completely normal. People like people who like people, who talk to people. That’s all fine and dandy, except that people who are serious about creating, are serious about creating – not socializing.
History has taught us that artists are assholes. Some of them have to be, their obsession with their own ego is what drives them to create. When you put your blood, sweat and soul into your images, pick two keepers out of two thousand only to have some d-bag grandma from Texas tell you that your crop is wrong, you stop wanting to be one of the gang. So the grannies, the webmoms and the dudes who want to bang them stop coming around, and you fall out of explore pile. It’s the price for doing more than the photographic equivalent of romance novels.
A wise man once told me banality is art’s greatest foe. He was right, but most people can’t deal with anything more.