10 years on flickr

This September marks ten years since I began using flickr. That time has been marked by several changes in approach and hardware, and by an ever increasing respect and appreciaton of photography.

It was quite a buzz in those early days to be deemed ‘interesing‘ by flickr, and get something onto ‘Explore‘. Social media wasn’t the juggernaut that it is today, and flickr afforded perhaps the best way to share photos online. I’ve discussed this before, and still haven’t found a site to replace flickr’s mix of interesting practitioners. This is now my primary way of using flickr – to browse my contacts’ images; groups are rarely rewarding. Those that have been most active and engaging seem to have disappated; for example, this discussion thread in the Australian Street Photography group (requires signing in), where group regulars give their reasons for logging in less frequently, and where they’re now spending their time online (tumblr is popular, 500px not so much).

It’s been a straightforward evolution in terms of camera usage. I began with compact Canons, e.g. Powershot G5, to a Canon 5D Mark I (the best full frame camera I could afford), playing around with a variety of film and compact cameras, and now using a Canon 6D with a handful of lenses (detailed on the About page).

Ride out the back of Luna Park

One of my first photos on flickr, which was even ‘Explored’ (on Sep 18, 2004 #161)

As well as viewing ever more gallry shows and reading more and more photobooks, I also began studying at COFA a few years ago. I’m not attending this semester, preferring instead to spend some time progressing a couple of projects. I have read some fantastic books in the past few months though…

Trent Parke’s Minutes to Midnight is masterful, and certainly one of the best photobooks I’ve ever read. It’s a favourite because the themes really resonate with me, the sequencing is magical, and it’s beautifully understated – there’s little text, which works because it’s so considered.

Similarly, Robert Frank’s The Americans is another beautifully sequenced book which I only read properly for the first time recently.

I enjoyed reading Doug Spowart’s thesis ‘Self-publishing in the digital age: the hybrid photobook‘, as a great introduction into thinking more deeply about photobooks. Until this year, I’ve been thinking primarily of exhibitions and the print as the primary end point for my photography. So it’s good to work through ideas of sequence, narrative and singles.

Another fine read was John Berger’s and Jean Mohr’s Another Way of Telling. I should write down something more considered about this one – it’s a great book about photography, where Berger outlines the ‘shock of discontinuity’.

“The half-language of appearances continually arouses an expectation of further meaning.” (p.129)

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Posted on September 6, 2014

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