After years of procrastination I finally caved in this week and joined Instagram. So my thoughts and observations so far. Also and more importantly, there'll be some Street/Life Photography from my recent trip into Bath.
One reason for joining the fray was that LFI (Leica Fotografie International) had selected an image of mine as "Photo of the Week". They wanted to link to me through Instagram and that was the final push needed for me to succumb, so I opened an account. I haven't felt the need to take any selfies of myself in a thong and therefore the world can relax! Instagram is pretty much like all Social Media and photography platforms. It is at least possible to see the latest posts from those you follow which is a huge plus. Of late Facebook has been frustrating, the News Feed is absolutely hopeless, just an endless loop of the same posts, from the same people, that in many cases are three or four days old (there's a very temporary fix to that, but why bother). Anyway, that title above "Follow Unfollow Syndrome"; I've never really understood this mania for Likes and Followers. What difference does it make and how is it going to change anyones life, this is specifically from a photographic perspective? The simple answer is none whatsoever as far as I can tell and if you believe it will, or improve your photography then you maybe fooling yourself. I've already witnessed on Instagram this pathetic Follow, then Unfollow routine. They used to do it on 500px. It really is futile and I don't know where they think it's going to take them. I read that Beyonce posted a pregnancy shot of herself and received 10.9 million likes, do they really think they're going to compete with that! There are 60 million photos per day uploaded, so come to terms with that fact of your "standout" shot. As usual I see photographers with 30 followers producing the most fabulous photographs, then there are those with the "syndrome' who have 10,000 followers and with a profile containing totally crap images. Remember please that I'm only speaking of photographers here. Of course there must be some self promotion and we like to show off our work, but unless one of your 800 likes is from a 'Gatekeeper"..... we all know about gatekeepers, just don't know any unfortunately! Surely if you follow someone it's because you admire their photography or the person and hopefully it entails both. You don't have to like every single upload of theirs, naturally you're not going to appreciate every shot and that works both ways. I follow some that have never liked one of my photos and don't follow me, I simply respect their vision and photography. At the moment I feel it is another of those popularity contests, time will tell.
We'll leave it there, if anyone is remotely interested my Instagram account it can be found by clicking the icon at the bottom of this page or here. At the moment I'm uploading the back catalogue, for which I feel the deepest sympathy for anyone who knows me as they've seen it all before. I will commence uploading some new images soon... Once I find that thong of course!
I went into Bath this week for a couple of hours. It helps, I believe, to have an objective with Street Photography, none of this walking around aimlessly hoping that something catches your eye. Obviously you're going to see other stuff as you move from one favourite spot to another and you're going to capture that, but essentially you have something to focus on, literally and figuratively. I wanted some gestures, okay the header shot is just some tourist walking through the crowd with her camera, but essentially gestures were the order of the day. The guy above with his camera for example, actually now I think about it I took a lot of shots of other photographers;
As I say, you will still see other opportunities as you walk to other spots and may as well click them;
The guy with the trucks above for example, or these three; two of which, I get the feeling, don't like the look of me very much;
or this workman taking a siesta, apparently we've adopted this Spanish tradition in England, who knew? It's the shadows that are causing that building sign in the background to look a little odd incidentally and not my focussing skills!
Right then, back to the gestures before we finish. Here's a few that I liked, it has to be said that if you want this kind of shot then I'd say it's fairly essential that you stay in one place. Simply stand there, don't move and it'll usually happen. This is one of the benefits of knowing your local city well, you get to recognise the best locations and once you have then you're walking for miles and miles days are well and truly over. I'm not saying they're any good incidentally, but I more or less got what I was after.
It was a toss up between the one above, because I liked the waiters clasped hands in addition to the girl in the foreground and this last shot which I named "Smoke Columns".
All images can be opened by clicking on the thumbnails and are taken using a Leica M.
My sincere thanks go to anyone taking the time to read my blog.