One of Flickr God Patrick Smith’s masterful sets
His Photostream, web page, Portfolio, and this photo with over 570,000 hits on Flickr!!
FLICKR GROUP: Big Sur, California
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Truth be told, my photos on Flickr are at best only moderately popular. The higher hit photos tend to be of young woman – even a sexy head shot garners a significant number of hits. Oh, I’ve got images with tens of thousands of hits and pics with a hundred or more faves, but they are few and far between in my Flickr oeuvre.
A few days ago my secretary bought a dozen roses for me take home to my wife, I get no credit for the flowers with her; she knows its not me buying the roses. There is an upside for me, however, because I normally photograph the blooms. Here’s a collection of sets of rose photographs. Naturally I post what I deem my better efforts to Flickr, usually also creating a set of those images.
So earlier this week I repeated my standard operating procedure: photographed the roses, processed the images, posted to Flickr. I was moderately pleased with the shots. Nothing truly outstanding, I thought, but some nice ones.
Florals on Flickr are a dime a thousand. Search for flower and you get twenty one million plus photos to choose from (rose returns a mere five plus million). I would guess that virtually ever amateur photographer with any pretensions goes through a floral stage. Florals, even if in a pedestrian composition, are normally pretty and pleasing to the eye. With decent light, a steady hand and intact bloom you’ll take a photo your friends and family find pleasing.
If someone had asked me which of my rose images would prove the most popular I might have said this one. Or perhaps this one. Or maybe even this one. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The first managed twelve hits and a solitary fave; the second an embarrassing four hits and no faves. The third did manage 32 hits and three faves.
Submitting to photoshop madness, I took one medium close photo of an orangish rose, turned it blue and then blurred the outside portion of the bloom. It took me maybe all of fifteen minutes to complete my composition. I had done similar work in the past. Cheap and easy, really.
Lightning struck. Thunder rumbled. Within hours the blue rose had garnered hundreds of hits and scores of faves. As of today, less than four days since its posting date and time, its hit count is 2693 , and has been designated a favorite 134 times. This, for me, is astonishing. The blue rose is now my second most faved photo (out of 15,512!) – here’s the leader. The blue rose is number 21 in hits. The leader – with over 38,000 – is unsurprisingly a photo of coeds in bikinis (number two is of young water polo guys in speedos).
So in a mere four days an image I thought pretty but nothing to write home about has vaulted into my photostream’s stratosphere. Much of the reason is its inclusion on March 25 in Flickr’s Explore. In my entire time of Flickr, coming up on eight years, however, I have had a mere sixty or seventy photos in Explore. Rose made it to #92.
Alright, I’ve kept you in suspense long enough. Feast your eyes on the incredible Blue Rose…
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Back in the day (whatever that means) I was a relatively industrious photographer. I’d climb out of bed on Saturday or Sunday mornings – sometimes on both – before the sun rode over the Smokies and set out to some picturesque destination or other to click madly away with my trusty and beloved Nikon D50. From January of 2007 through the end of 2008 there were twelve months in each of which I posted more than 200 photos. The high water mark was June of 2007 when I posted 386 shots on Flickr (an average of 12.87 a day).
Now I’m a slacker. Since January 1, 2009, there have been only seven months I’ve surpassed 200 posts and only one with three hundred plus (April of 2011). There have been 21 months since the start of 2009 when my posts have numbered less than a hundred; the low point was December of ’09 when I uploaded a grand total of three photographs (and average of .097 per day).
To make up for my lack of vigor, I cheat by posting old photos, many from the set of my most popular images on Flickr. Isn’t recycling a good thing? Sometimes I just re-edit an old shot from months or years ago. I’ve got well north of 12,000 shots on Flickr. Who’s gonna notice a photo I post today was originally posted back in ’06? I tell myself if I re-process an old image – do a tighter crop, convert it to black and white, or use use photoshop to recompose it – it counts as a brand new shot, one I didn’t have to rise at dawn or leave the house to capture!
When I do shoot new stuff it’s often been on Friday afternoons after I escape my office. I rationalize shooting in the harsh afternoon sun by telling myself I’ll only shoot in shade or post process the harshness away. Yeah, whatever… These Friday forays usually only last a couple of hours. In the past I’d often be out hunting for that one great capture for five or six hours.
Here’s a set of photos I took yesterday afternoon. For reasons I’d rather not explore, I enjoy photographing in cemeteries. Sadly, I enjoy shooting there more than people enjoy looking at my photos. I don’t care. Yesterday I had fun driving slowly around a large Maryville cemetery shooting fake gravestone flowers, well manicured lawns, religious, guano stained statuary and old, majestic trees.
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