I want to raise an observation about flickr. Now, I will sound like a hypocrite because I do use flickr. And I'm not out to criticise any other flickr users. There are lots of good things about flickr, period. However, I have weaned myself off once before and I am acutely aware of urges reminiscent of the last time!!
In essence, I don't like what happens to me. The more I learn about the art of photography, the more I appreciate the value of an image for more than its aesthetic qualities. Even for myself, more recently when I show friends and family my photographs, I don't get the instant gratification and I can see they're underwhelmed. Whereas my landscapes were always crowd pleasers, so to speak. I have to have the confidence that this is fine. However, Flickr, in my opinion, flies in the face of this. My problem is I start to believe the views of the mass anonymous (btw, I do not include the views of fellow students, bloggers, tutors, friends and family in this). So what is wrong with feedback of the mass anonymous? Nothing. Of course I like it when people like my images...and conversely I question why a certain image is lost in cyber oblivion.
But for myself, I noticed last time a subtle shift in my thinking and the views of the flickr community became my 'guage' as to whether the image was 'successful' or not. Going forward my images are unlikely to be crowd pleasers so should I really be seeking the opinions of the crowds?
In my view, you can lose sight of why you're taking pictures. You become too aware of what others think and there is a danger you shift from internally motivated images to populist photography. This bothers me - there is arguably an underlying mass standardisation of what is acceptable or good. Maybe I'm saying this because I want more views, comments or favourites and am just 'chippy'... maybe so.
However, I would contest this. Going back, I uploaded dozens of images and my photostream began to resemble a landscape portfolio. In time, I had a good idea which images collected views, comments, favourites, and were 'explored'. Consequently, I started to believe the stats and ended up making more and more aesthetically pleasing, colourful landscapes that did well on the stats front. But creatively, I had careered up a dead-end!
I'm happy using flickr for the SPN project but I've been here before and I don't intend to fall back in to old habits! 'Ha, she says that now...we'll see'. Where are those patches again...