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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 24 Jun 2013 (Monday) 03:31
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Do we share our work too much?

 
Paulstw
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Jun 24, 2013 03:31 |  #1

Nearly every photographer I know has a 500px, flickr, youpic, pixoto, alamy, website, zenfolio, smugmug, squarepace, FB account, twitter and *insert something else* account and pretty much share everything they take on each and everyone of these sites, putting themselves in a dock to be told yes that is a good pic, or they get nothing at all. No comments, no likes or shares and the whole process can leave one feeling a little hard done by.

I deleted my 500px account, in fear of drowning in a sea of utter bliss of images. I just cannot compete, not because I don't think i'm capable, but I don't have time. I will get rid of a few others, but for now I'll keep Alamy and Fine Art America.

I've been watching my friends though over the last few months, and I came to the conclusion that people share their work far too much to the point that people become totally immune to it.

My friend shared a great sunset picture with a boat in the dock, it was a cracker, and I just said "hmm another sunset pic"

Photo consumption fatigue has got me to the point where there's that much amazing stuff around that I'm finding it hard to really like anything, and I wonder if this is the problem with people in general. We see amazing work everyday on the net and its really difficult to single anyone out as real trend setters.

I tried deliberately to change my editing style to see If I could make Scotland look a little different to how most of the Scottish photogs are doing it, but while I thought it was one of my best images, nobody really was too bothered about it.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

Rowardennan Pier (external link) by Campsie Photography (external link), on Flickr

And then again with this shot.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR

Kelvinbridge, Glasgow (external link) by Campsie Photography (external link), on Flickr

My brother said to me the other day "does it bother you when you take a great pic, and no-one bothers to even comment on it on fb?" At first I said I didn't give two sh!ts but then It started bothering me over the weekend.

Does anyone else get bothered by this sort of thing? Am I just some mad weirdo that is looking in the wrong places for satisfaction?



  
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Kyle ­ Blunt
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Jun 24, 2013 04:22 |  #2

It is great to share your photos I think. It allows you to receive critique on your images so you can improve and it does also give you a great feeling and motivates you when you get some nice comments for a photo if it is basically as good as it will get.
That being said, people who share EVERY photo they take kind of annoy me, there is no point in sharing every image you take, just select a few nice ones I say.

I like the first image you have there also :)


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auto-clicker
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Jun 24, 2013 06:41 |  #3

I never really share my nice ones just the ok ones, my ego doesn't need caressing.




  
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mike_311
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Jun 24, 2013 08:16 |  #4

i share, only because when i take pictures i sometimes want people other than my clients to see them. plus it gives potential clients a feel fro other work you are capable of than you explicitly brand yourself for.

you never know when someone will stumble across and image and offer to buy a print or wish to use it or license it.


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mbellot
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Jun 24, 2013 09:19 |  #5

Paulstw wrote in post #16059331 (external link)
Nearly every photographer I know has a 500px, flickr, youpic, pixoto, alamy, website, zenfolio, smugmug, squarepace, FB account, twitter and *insert something else* account and pretty much share everything they take on each and everyone of these sites, putting themselves in a dock to be told yes that is a good pic, or they get nothing at all. No comments, no likes or shares and the whole process can leave one feeling a little hard done by.

I have a SmugMug account, none of the others. I do not "share" my pictures for the most part, I sell them. I know my pictures are good (or good enough) when someone buys them.

I do have a small percentage of shots that I share with friends and family, but they are not public.

Paulstw wrote in post #16059331 (external link)
Does anyone else get bothered by this sort of thing? Am I just some mad weirdo that is looking in the wrong places for satisfaction?

Looking for approval from others for an artistic craft is pointless since everyone's taste is different.

If your work satisfies you, then that's all that matters.




  
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Paulstw
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Jun 24, 2013 09:31 |  #6

mbellot wrote in post #16059923 (external link)
Looking for approval from others for an artistic craft is pointless since everyone's taste is different.

If your work satisfies you, then that's all that matters.

I think this is why I stopped really sharing pics on sites about two weeks ago. Contradicting my own ethos here by sharing pics in this thread, but, I came to the conclusion that I was doing what you said, seeking approval, and I think a lot of photogs starting out, do this as some way of acceptance.

Now I just upload my best work to Alamy & FAA, and forget about it.

I do like sharing my bird pictures though, its a weird sense of achievement because my flickr friends and I tend to keep them as trophies in some weird way. Like hunting, only with cameras lol




  
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iamascientist
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Jun 24, 2013 09:32 |  #7

You can't really complain if your in the mindset of competing with the crowd at 500px or any other endless scroll of pretty pictures. You have to realize you have basically entered the photographic equivalent of the 9-5 rat race.




  
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sandpiper
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Jun 24, 2013 09:50 as a reply to  @ mbellot's post |  #8

Well, I am old enough to remember a time before the internet ruled the world and when we all used film in cameras because digital was not an option.

I would shoot my photographs, get them printed, or spend hours slaving away in a darkroom printing them myself, maybe show them to a couple of friends, then they would mostly be consigned to a drawer never to be seen again.

I pretty much stopped doing photography after a few years, because I was struggling to see the point in spending so much money on films, processing and printing etc., just to go through the results, think "ooh, that came out well" for a few shots then have them disappear into the drawer never to be seen again. When digital came along, I bought a digital P&S camera for taking pics for ebay (this was in 2000). After a while, I took it on holiday and took some holiday snaps with it, Hmmm, not too bad, not as good as 35mm but OK. I started to use it a little more for actual photography (as opposed to ebay stuff) and started a pbase account. Suddenly, the results of my efforts were actually being seen by more than just myself, a couple of friends and family then hidden away.

I moved onto a bridge camera in 2002 and it was a big jump up. Not just in megapixies (from 1.3 to 6.2) but also in that it was laid out like an SLR, and had all the modes on it (Av, Tv, M, etc) so I could get creative. Again, my work was being seen by many people and in 2004 I took the plunge and bought a DSLR plus 3 good lenses (well, 2 good ones and a mediocre one that was soon replaced).

Since then, photography has once again become a big part of my life. I have met some great people through showing my work online, including a couple of other photographers who lived not far from me and have since become good friends. I have also received many good comments and (the ultimate accolade) requests to use my work, and yes I have been paid.

So, yes, I think showing work online is good, although these days I do much less of it. My PBase account hasn't been updated in a long time (and I don't use other sites other than photobucket, for posting shots in forums, and a portfolio on a couple of model sites). However, if it wasn't for the online option, plus the interaction with other photographers around the world, I would have less interest in the hobby than I do.




  
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Luckless
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Jun 24, 2013 10:02 |  #9

I really only post stuff online with the intend to directly share with other people who I already know want the photos. And of those photos I try to limit what actually gets posted to the best I can. (Which if it were completely up to me would be nothing as I'm never happy with how things turn out. However I mostly photograph roller derby girls currently, and they are not a group I wish to upset by refusing to share the photos. I have yet to have one tell me they completely hated seeing a given photo.)

If other people see the photos as well, then fine. But they're not the ones I really care all that much about.


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Jun 24, 2013 10:21 |  #10

You are probably barking up the wrong tree here as most of this forum is dedicated to users showing off their photographs. :)

Personally i think you have to give some to gain some. If you keep all your work to yourself you will gain very little, but start showing off and even giving away some will gain you so much more in the long run.

/ Magnus


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UKseagull
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Jun 24, 2013 10:28 |  #11

Paulstw wrote in post #16059331 (external link)
My friend shared a great sunset picture with a boat in the dock, it was a cracker, and I just said "hmm another sunset pic"

You've hurt me man .... I'm in tears right now .... ;)


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mikekelley
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Jun 24, 2013 10:54 |  #12

Yes. Sharing with and viewing the work of others is great if you're starting out and trying to learn techniques, but I firmly believe that at a certain point, spending too much time looking at others' work will cause problems with your own work. You'll find yourself emulating styles and 'seeing' differently to how you normally would.

Of course, people will have different opinions on this, but I find that I want my OWN style - and that I'd prefer that other people's styles stay out of my own work. Even if you consciously try to avoid this, I've found that it's nearly impossible. So I have, for the most part, stopped looking at other photographer's work in my genre.

As far as sharing goes, I guess it's a good ego boost from time to time. If I want comments or criticism, I'll go to a mentor or forum who's opinion I trust on the subject at hand, and I'll usually have specific questions like 'does this work in this context? I was trying to go for this, but...'

But, I do think that mindless sharing or putting up a post with "C+C please" is just mindless.


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Jun 24, 2013 10:56 |  #13

I see what the OP is saying, but at the same time, that is what I enjoy about photography. Isn't that what art is all about? Music, painting, photography, etc? You want to create something that generate an emotional response from people. If you don't share it, you certainly aren't going to get that response. I really like getting comments and "favorites" to know what works and what doesn't so I can continue to improve. I like sharing on better sites and comparing my shots even on my own to get better. I really feel like many people I know who don't do this aren't advancing while I certainly feel that I am.

I also agree with not sharing every picture. I'm not to the level of selection I probably should be, but I only share what I think turned out well and has some interest. I know many people who post EVERY picture that comes out of their camera to FB or something like that. I remember a few years ago I took a picture of a group for someone with their P&S. I said "Hang on, that didn't work out right. Let me force the flash on" and I took another shot. They posted BOTH!

For now, I am really enjoying sharing photos and hoping someday I can generate some kind of financial returns. If not, compliments from family and friends and even strangers is enough to keep me interested in photography.


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OhLook
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Jun 24, 2013 11:58 |  #14

Paulstw wrote in post #16059331 (external link)
Photo consumption fatigue has got me to the point where there's that much amazing stuff around that I'm finding it hard to really like anything, and I wonder if this is the problem with people in general.

There's certainly a lot of amazing stuff on this site alone. My problem with that is simply that there's too much to comment on. I like the photos, but I usually do it silently.

I tried deliberately to change my editing style to see If I could make Scotland look a little different to how most of the Scottish photogs are doing it, but while I thought it was one of my best images, nobody really was too bothered about it.

If you want feedback, I've got some. I really like your treatment of the land and vegetation (with camper and dog) at the right side. It recalls 19th-century English and American landscape painting, especially the Hudson River School. The water looks good, too; nice texture. But two areas diminish the appeal for me. (1) The large land mass entering from the left has an unattractive, clunky shape. Its silhouette is blah. I realize you didn't carve it, but you did choose it. (2) In the clouds, transitions between light and dark areas are too abrupt. There should be more shading, or whatever photographers call the equivalent of shading, to round out the contours and show three-dimensionality.

The second photo works better. I have no complaints about it.

Does anyone else get bothered by this sort of thing? Am I just some mad weirdo that is looking in the wrong places for satisfaction?

Perhaps your skill level is too advanced for some of these places, and the viewerships are too large. I'm at an earlier stage of experimenting and learning, though--I've asked some embarrassingly elementary questions in these forums--so what people say is more often helpful.

Getting a low ratio of responses is bound to be demotivating, mad weirdo or not.


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Paulstw
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Jun 24, 2013 12:25 |  #15

UKseagull wrote in post #16060122 (external link)
You've hurt me man .... I'm in tears right now .... ;)

No no Andy lol If I could get close to your sunset pics I'll be doing well. I think I see about 5 sunset pics everyday from various sources and they all just seem a bit :rolleyes: ok?

Then a new person with a shiny new DLSR comes a long and for about 3 weeks its all you get, sunset after sunset after sunset. Then they get some amazing free exposure online and its all about them and the head swells, and its share, share, share, share every two mins.

Just realised that the above comments look like shear jealousy, but I guess they just have a proper support network via family and friends.




  
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