Thursday, January 18, 2007


The Nyhavn (New Harbor) in Copenhagen, October 1991.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about photoblogs vs Flickr and why I prefer using Flickr. Although it would be fun to have a photoblog (if I had the time) since it is much more formal, I'm really enjoying Flickr.

I know some of the arguments against it such as the format and the fact that browsing images are done by thumbnails which really don't do the images justice. But it is really the exposure, the network, and the lack of pressure on Flickr that I enjoy.

First, it's the fact that anyone, anywhere on Flickr may stumble upon my shots. Users can come in from various avenues such as groups, tags, favorites, or contacts. I have seen photos from a gazillion different users. Whereas on photoblogs exposure can come through word of mouth or photoblog listings. You are likely to find higher quality shots and more talented people as a group, but you have to search.

Second, I really like the network capabilities. I have a photo like the one above in Copenhagen. I can add a Copenhagen tag and add it to groups about Denmark and Scandanavia. That gives avenues for people to see your shots. And with their whole interestingness thing, you can browse the best shots under a specific tag. If I have a great shot of Nyhavn, more and more people will be able to see it.

And lastly, it's the lack of pressure. There are a lot of mediocre shots on Flickr and at time on photoblogs. So what's the big deal if I post a dud. It'll slip into oblivion while the other rise to the top. During the process of posting photos I have also discovered a bit more about my abilities. Similar to architecture, I'm not an avant-garde artist/designer. I tend to be better than the average bear, but not the cream of the crop. I feel photoblogs should be that cream of the crop. My stuff tends to be too concrete or technical or mainstream to be cutting edge artistic. Funny how that kinda reflects who I am.

Also I find it interesting how my photos reach farther afield than my blog. Although the blog is partly about general ideas, there is also a good amount of local content. The combination seems to cater more toward local blogs. Whereas the photos appeal to people from all over. There are three likely reasons why I've been in contact with people all over via Flickr. First, I've been actively participating in groups about Chicago like Guess Where in Chicago. So my Chicago contacts have been on a steady increase. Secondly, it may also partly be due to the fact that most of the photos I post are primarily from locations outside of Montreal such as Chicago or Europe. And thirdly, even if the pictures are local, they don't require background to be understood or enjoyed like say local politics. It's not a huge revelation, but I still thought the difference was interesting.

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