I’m having doubts. I feel tense. It doesn’t seem right, yet the response has been overwhelmingly positive, or so I think. Was it the right thing to do or have I, as usual, fucked it all up?
I’m writing about my recent series of uploads to Flickr of pictures taken with my no-longer-in-my-possession Canon A95 digital point-n-shoot. You know…things like this:
As I’ve previously mentioned, my intent was simply to fill the gap that had been created by my not shooting new pictures with either my Canon 40D or the recently acquired Canon Rebel XTi. Thanks to a variety of causes, my time spent with the 40D has been zero and time with the Rebel sporadic and infrequent at best over the past three to four weeks. So up went some personally reviewed and selected images from my old and trusty Canon A95. But does this sort of behaviour fit into the mind-set that was the impetus for the creation of my Flickr account and what do the pictures mean in a greater context?
The intent of my Flickr account was at least two-fold: (1) a place to share publicly my photos, and (2) a place to share my journey as an amateur dSLR photographer. As such it seemed reasonable that my Flickr account would be filled with images taken by me using the Canon 40D (and more recently the Rebel as well) and that said images would weave a tapestry of my sojourn through learning more about this hobby. Notice I didn’t state that my photographs would get better, just that I would “learn” and with knowledge hopefully would come better pictures. Hopefully. (Ahem)
It was never my intent for my Flickr account to contain and display the sort of every-day imagery previously captured with my Canon A95. Those images were, after all, just records of a moment in time. The 40D/Rebel combination are supposed to be more about growth, thoughtfulness…..dare I say it….art? Or, at the very least, a more serious attempt at the hobby of photography if art is too-strong a term to use here (and I know at least one person who would say such!). But does this original intent dictate that I cannot upload images from other cameras of pictures taken with far less lofty intent? And who is to say some of them aren’t perfectly lovely pictures in their own right?
A review of my various contacts on Flickr provides no insight into this quandary in which I find myself. They really are all over the place in terms of what they post. Some only upload a single image a day or every other day. I imagine this is a best of the best approach and likely works really well if you have such great photos in the first place, which clearly isn’t my situation (perish the thought!). Others post a small collection of images every few days, while others will upload thirty, forty, fifty or more in a single sitting. Many post only images that are directly attributable to their professional standing as a photographer, while most are like me; posting images created from the hobby of photography. Very few offer the more candid every-day type shots. So where does this leave me?
And adding to this dilemma is an issue even darker and more disturbing: I think the recently uploaded, every-day ‘record’ images are garnering more comments than anything I have put up in the past. What does it say about my current photographic endeavors when my just-point-n-shoot images warrant more commentary and praise than my I’m-working-hard-on-this-photograph imagery? How daft (and depressing) is that?
I confess….it is awfully difficult to feel positive about one’s more serious endeavors when it would appear that every-day candidness is more effective and creates stronger responses.