Category Archives: web

Skates on

Jeepers, I really need to get my skates on. Or maybe that is the wrong colloquialism to describe my particular area of deficiency. I need to get my lab coat on. For critical analysis. Or perhaps even my 1980s style glasses for up-to-the minute insider knowledge? I am so out of the loop – when it comes to contemporary photography and its practitioners. And with college and its handy force-feeding of other photographers’ work gone from my life, I am now on my own when it comes to recognizing trends, concepts, names.

The latter are a problem for me in particular. I used to pride myself on my memory when it came to names. Now it seems I have trouble remembering names. Early on-set Alzheimers? I am just back from a brainstorming seis for a future project. My three companions were throwing names around, and all I could add to the discussion was “ah, do you remember, you know, the guy with the war photography…” or “you know, whatshername, she was in that exhibition on women from all around the world…” Pretty much along the lines of Monty Python’s “you know, the fella from TV, with the glasses”… (can’t remember the name of that sketch, there, another instance of braindeath!)

Right, time to get my priorities right. Dial back the fangrrling a notch, Sonja (My area of expertise has recently shifted from critical analysis of visuals to uncritical appreciation of visuals aka ogling. No excuse!), cancel all the fangrrl blog subscriptions and get some photo blogs into the stream. Here’s what I have on my FB timeline:

1. PetaPixel – a funky mixture of updates on emerging photographers, classics, interesting projects, hardware news, the occasional crafty submission and must-see classics.
2. FStoppers – showcasing contemporary artists and projects, hardware news.
3. Philip Bloom – for all video needs, very entertaining but largely personal posts with lots of seriously nerdy videography talk, an authority on 5d2 videoing
4. PDN – no-nonsense hardware news, project showcase
5. American SuburbX – must see lens-based work and artists, many classics, mainly previous work (not current)
To name but a few. Any recommendations out there? Please yank me out of the dusty broom cupboard of photography gone by. I cannot forever continue to cite Dorothea Lange as my role model!




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Thoughts about flickr

Do you use any online photo communities? I do. I am a Pro member of flickr. Disclosure: I used to work for the big corporation that acquired flickr in 2005. And that is why I initially became a “Pro” member – it was a company perk. And before you sneer: I credit that – and the company’s policy of supporting their employees’ non-work related skills – with my eventual path towards professional photography. It was on flickr that I realised “I can do that!” And my enthusiastic participation in comment-and-critique groups honed my photographic skills to some degree.
These days I merely use flickr as a cloud service, really. I upload my best photos to flickr not for showing off but for safe-keeping outside of my own PC-network. Most of these are private and cannot be seen by anyone but me. I find that flickr is also handy as an online space from where you can link your images into blogs and boards.
Incidentally, today is my flickrversary: This day six years ago I joined up. And below  you see the sad state of my photography with which I started off. Not anything that stands out (in a good way). But at least I can say that I have come a long way…
Posted April 18th, 2006
I am obviously not alone in my appreciation of flickr. According to latest statistics there are currently more than six billion photos stored on flickr. Six billion. A six with nine zeros. *gasp* In March 2012 alone more than 88 million photos were uploaded.
Let’s take a look at flickr’s users. According to statsr.net, the average flickr user has 253 contacts and 1628 photos. Their photosite gets viewed 359 times a day and they upload four pictures a day. Does that ring true? Here are my very own stats: I have 60 contacts (oooh, saddo), but 4062 photos. My flickr stream was viewed 40 times a day and I upload 1.85 images per day. Firmly below average, eh? Well, I am glad that I am not following the trend in one respect: I am firmly sure of my gender identity – something that 94 percent of flickr users are not, otherwise they might have set their gender in their profile…
Love or loathe it, online-photo-communities have found their place on the web. And even with Facebook trying to make inroads into the photo community after upgrading their photo display and lately acquiring Instagram, flickr, picasa et al. are still going on. If you are starting out in photography it is a great place to learn, to test your photo-analytical skills and to build a network of photographers. Who knows – it might bring you to a place you never thought you would go…

Cloudbusting

Lately I have become fascinated with night photography – and I had planned to catch some flight trails in the night sky on Saturday. What I hadn’t thought about was the fact that we are nearing midsummer and days are really long. Which means that there is only a short time when the sky is really dark while there are still flights going in and out of Dublin airport. So I scrapped my plans and looked at the clouds instead. 
 
Right, what you see there is the word cloud for 2picsaweek. The things I most frequently mention in this blog. Not a big surprise that photography and colour feature prominently. Or images and ISO. But Graham? Well, looks like I will have to credit him with some of the input here…

I created the word cloud in Wordle. It is really easy and cool – you simply copy and paste text into Wordle or you link to a blog, and it makes the word cloud for you. And even though it is not photography-related, I think it is worthy of mentioning here. After all – graphic design and photography share more than just the Greek root graph. We are talking about creating attractive visual experiences here, something to engage the viewer and to stimulate the mind. The word cloud literally spells it out. It certainly is helping me see, whether I am on the right track with my blog – am I talking about photography stuff enough or is this just exhibitionism??? It seems it is not – but never mind Graham…

Matters of Technical Interest

Hey. Notice anything different? If not, you are either reading this through the rss feed or you are blind ;-). Yep, it was time for a little redesign on 2picsaweek. The blackness of my soul site was beginning to get to me, it just doesn’t fit this time of year. Something a little more bright was needed. And while I haven’t changed the general design of the blog, I have at least freshened up the background of 2picsaweek and intend to soften up a bit here. Yep, from now on it’s all love hearts and bunny rabbits on 2picsaweek!
“Soft” focus
Ok, no, just a joke. The redesign was actually part of another project. As part of my BA I had to design and build my own photographer’s website in Dreamweaver. Now, when it comes to use and application of any kind of tech programme, yours truly is not exactly at the forefront of prowess and progress. But, hey, minimalism rules! And therefore my brandnew website is simple and no-nonsense: A few bits of info, contact details and some picture galleries. There you have it. Ever the communicator, blogging is much more “my thing”, and so a link to 2picsaweek features on my website. To tie it all in, I wanted to match the design of the blog with the look of the website. Hence out went the black background, in came white and courier font. 
White, by the way, is the “colour” of choice when it comes to photographer’s websites. Let the images speak for themselves by placing them on a monochrome background. Or maybe we were brainwashed into using the same design principles? Go and check out my own and my fellow sufferers’ students’ websites.
Think this is an improvement? Lemme know!