To Flickr or not to Flickr


by Bellamy /

2 min read
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Social networking and sharing websites: Which ones do you use? Now that we have Face book, Twitter and all that runs in between there has never been a better way to share you work and your visions. For the photographers among us we have Flickr, Smugmug, 500PX and many many more in between. But in reality, which ones of these are actually a good platform to share your work? Especially for anyone who is more interested in real photography rather the HDR or ‘super Bokeh’ bullshit.

Since the beginning I have been with Flickr, and at first I was happy with it, in a sense. I mean, I hated the silly comments and the way that you would have to manipulate the groups in order to get an image to be popular, it seemed far more about networking than actual photography. But I have met some truly great photographers on the site, some of them in person, and I have learn’t a lot about how to sell oneself.

Something to break the rant

But I have begun to notice that there seems to be a code on Flickr, which is not about how good you are but rather what you have in your pictures. I feel that over the last few months my style has developed quite significantly and that I am now taking some of the best pictures that I have ever taken. But you wouldn’t think it from Flickr….basically everyone has become far more interested in the camera porn. I mean, I love taking pictures of cameras, but I don’t want it to define me. So I am now being more and more selective about what I actually put on the site. Which actually disappoints me.

I love this, but nobody on Flickr would

I will still keep on putting stuff up there, but I am not sure for how long. Hopefully as this site develops I shall be able to share more of my work on it with you all. But I shall also be using Tumblr more, as I have found this site to be far more simple and effective, and without all of the silly popularity contests.

My toilet, yesterday

So, enjoy these photos, tell me what you think of them, don’t steal them, and if you have any suggestions for an online sharing site that isn’t total bollocks then I would be really interested to hear them.

18 comments on “To Flickr or not to Flickr”

    Charlie June 27, 2011 at 6:57 am / Reply

    You should know by now that Joe Public has little taste in photography.

      Bellamy June 27, 2011 at 7:13 am /

      Good point there Charlie. Thanks for the input.

      Jason July 29, 2014 at 5:01 pm /

      Charlie is very much correct. It was for that same reason I pulled away from being a professional photographer back in the early 90’s due to the arrogance of amateurs and the fact companies would rather take crap stock and air brush. But … I started shooting again in the last 7 years and in the last few years it has gained momentum and have really felt the passion again. I still have and use my good old trusted Nikkormat EL with Ilford FP4 and more recently moved into the Digital age with a Samsung NX300. But the dilemma has to be – Flickr or WHO? I feel that it would be best to create my own portfolio on my website and then push that site, to get people who are genuinely interested to that site. That arrogance I felt all those years ago, I feel in Flickr. I have come across some real talent but it is outweighed by those who think they are talented and speak volumes on hardware and have big lenses (and small dicks no doubt). what we shoot and love will not always be someones cup of tea, but to be criticized by someone who has no idea or an ounce of creativity is an insult.

      Anyway, I will continue to shoot what and how I want, and will learn from those that I have respect for ;)

    Ari July 2, 2011 at 11:17 pm / Reply

    Yeah I understand this. I’ve sort of given up on flickr (stopped uploading a couple of months ago). I just find that it has the wrong sort of mindset to it, sort of “you pat my back and I’ll pat yours”. Recently I’ve felt that it isn’t really a constructive.. ahh… medium to ones own work. Following Patrick on TB is probably the most inspirational thing for me at the moment and it’s a hell of a lot more refreshing.

    dude July 4, 2011 at 6:42 am / Reply

    2 solutions :
    1. upload an image of a naked cat with boobs holding a leica mp with a noct in japan and have some popular flickreeno “fav” it..!!!
    2. i try and not put photos in groups now and only respond to comments sometimes….sort of works.

    BUT you are right its all bollocks!!!

    (=゜ω゜) July 10, 2011 at 3:00 am / Reply

    I think as an artist (not to sound too pretentious here) – you need to make art that YOU enjoy. If other people have the same sensibilities as you do, they will also enjoy your work.

    Views and comments don’t make your work better. They shouldn’t make it more enjoyable either. While I’m happy when others are happy with what they see in my own work, that’s not the reason I make it.

    If I really just wanted to make as many people happy with the pictures I take as possible, if that was the point to me for making them – I’d probably go find some naked girls to take photos of. But if that’s not what I find fulfilling – then why bother? And if what I make instead of that is less interesting to most people – who cares? It is interesting to me.

    Products are made to be popular. Art is not.

      Aizuddin Danian May 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm /

      Can i +1 to infinity this?

      The proverbial nail has never been hit so hard on the head.

    witold July 17, 2011 at 10:15 pm / Reply

    Oh, the camera porn. Yes, posted two photographs of two of my Leicas and they aren now among the most popular photographs I have ever posted on flickr.
    But I guess that’s okay. I still upload on an almost daily basis.
    I had stopped for a while, but now I post to flickr often, as it allows me to sort my pictures in a central location, and in an environment where I force myself to make some sense. sometimes.
    And then there is the nice layering of permissions. My family sees certain pictures that help them understand the context in a different way than the friends, who have access to most of the images and can then somehow see where I am and what I am doing. The general audience usually gets to see photographs at least hours if not many days after I had a chance to speak about them with friends. Or only after it makes sense somehow.
    And the traffic is nice, and the comments are okay, but it is interesting to see who seems to like some of the photographs and what context they see them in. When someone likes a photograph, I look at their pictures, then I look at other things they liked.
    I have met several very nice people through Flickr. And we have different goals and different ambitions, but somehow Flickr makes it easier to share and connect the photographic part of our life.

    You should probably not be surprised that people are excited about your camera porn pictures. Your name is japancamerahunter after all.
    I wonder if it would help if you somehow created some rule for yourself who gets to see what. Perhaps it would also be interesting to put images into some larger logical project sets and then publish to those sets on a very predictably regular basis. Perhaps it could be possible to maintain more than one audience that way.
    Your photography looks very interesting (in a good kind of way) but most of your stream seems to be about cameras. Perhaps there is the option to have two flickr streams… but then you would need to pay a good bit, just to have the ability to separate photography and cameras.

    oh, and I found your stream because of your M6. Because of the Tokyo Camera Style shot of it. So your camera led me to your photography.
    But I think that could happen in real life as well. I have discovered the work of more than one person because we started speaking about our cameras.

    I think Flickr is quite good. It could be better, of course. But that would require some work from Yahoo, I guess.
    Let’s see if a better platform emerges.
    Until then, I will be posting to Flickr.
    For family, for friends, friends and family… and for the general public.
    But mainly, somehow for myself.

    cb August 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm / Reply

    These days I simply only load up those to Flickr that I
    have no further application for. Hence, I’ve
    boiled down my Flickr contribution to a few
    old Polaroids.

    asrulsaniphotography September 11, 2011 at 11:30 am / Reply

    Without a doubt Flickr has become a popularity contest lately and posting photos there are rarely satisfying but this peer-comments system are mainly the core for all social networking sites as well .Tumblr or Facebook shares that same thing and to get noticed the very same strategies works. Unfortunately for most people around the world these media may be the only way for them to share their work to the public. You’re so lucky to be based in Japan, a country so conducive to photographers. There are so many galleries and ways to share your photography to the public via traditional means like exhibitions. Not every country is as wonderful to photographers as Japan. For the rest of us we have to be content with Flickr or Tumblr for now.

    Scheff September 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm / Reply

    Oh, don’t give in to flickr! I like the bottom two photos…

    Chris October 2, 2011 at 5:12 pm / Reply

    I kind of agree to an extent.

    I’m not as prolific with shooting as I’d like to and should be so I don’t have a big name on flickr, and I too have sort of evolved into shooting things that I find more meaningful but others don’t quite so much. That’s fine.

    Every so often on flickr I get a burst of “favourites” and/or someone adding me as a contact, which more often than not seems to gives me someone new to also make a contact and follow. I appreciate that. There’s a handful of groups I’ll drop the odd photo into and it sometimes brings new people to my small party. I appreciate that and checking out the (good) groups can also be inspiring in a small way.

    So long as I get to find some different people shooting things that make me go “!” and I get the odd favourite (more important than comments I find) and add photos to my list of favourites to oogle at when motivation runs low I’ll keep using it. I have a tumblr but i don’t seem to be able to find the same sort of random goodness I do with flickr so don’t use it as often, and Twitter moves too fast for me sometimes. Maybe I’ll see what 500px is all about.

    lainer January 1, 2012 at 4:52 am / Reply

    I agree. Flickr is great to check out groups about gear, and talk to people in the groups, but I think there must be better out there. Plus, I have a lot of pictures of my dog on there due to the project I’m doing on him, and people have STOLEN the pictures to sell non-existent puppies in to unsuspecting Poles in Poland. Reporting this to the FBI Internet Scam website does NOTHING.

    Your photography is beautiful, and many of the people on Flickr have no taste for what is art anyway.

    Alex Coghe May 28, 2012 at 10:50 pm / Reply

    Totally agree with you, man. flickr can be a useful tool, but no more than this.

    jake May 29, 2012 at 12:56 am / Reply

    I agree with you but i find it doesn’t stop me using flickr.

    Pretty much my entire top 50 most viewed photos are either photos of Banksy street work or photos of cameras or camera bags.

    As a bit of a stat junkie I do post the bag shots just to see how much attention they get. Ironically seeing where this post is, it’s the shot that i posted on jch that got some of the most hits in a day i’ve had.

    That said i continue to post the type of shots i like taking on flickr, and they get a few views but i don’t really care.

    I also find that checking out the “favourites” of the people who make like my preferred shots also leads to lots of interesting work which can inspire or give you new ideas, styles etc.

    Darren December 28, 2012 at 11:17 am / Reply

    I still love Flickr. I don’t get as many views, comments or favourites as I used to… because I don’t whore around as much as I used to. But my photography has improved largely through browsing flickr and seeing what people can do. There are a lot of dumping groups, but some of the better curated ones are wonderful. “Contract Killers” has some incredible portrait work. I also like the groups with active discussions, like “I Shoot Film”…. really helpful for the technical stuff about gear.

    Michel August 18, 2013 at 1:41 am / Reply

    Hi Bellamy,
    Having only quickly scanned through your article, I do have an idea about your dilemma. I also have (again) a Flickr account. And a account. And a Tumblr account…etc etc. I dumped my paid Flickr account a long time ago, and only recently I started using it again because in some countries, some platforms are just not available (mainly in Asia). I don’t tag pictures that much, I don’t join groups, I don’t put much effort in trying to get my pictures to gain attention. They are there for who looks, my friends, my family, and that’s it.
    However, last year I stumbled upon Jux. Which seemed to have died earlier this year, but thanks to new contributions, it’ll be going strong for a while. Yes it’s a photo-sharing site, but with a difference. Everything is meant to be full-screen, and what I like most about this site, is that you can choose your pictures to appear in a ‘story-type way’, with quotes, with articles, or whatever. To me, this is a different approach, one I haven’t seen before. And, it’s FREE. Gotta love that.
    Anyway, if you didn’t know about it before, have a look.
    It’s, and my personal one is Cheers!

    Northernfacephoto April 20, 2014 at 1:40 am / Reply

    I know what you mean about Flickr. There are some inspirational people on there but there’s a lot of backslapping and liking to be liked. I tried to get some stuff put in a group called street decisive mements and they wouldn’t have it. I’m guessing it wasn’t decisive enough for the geezer who decides. I then sent them a photo of a car a seconds after it had turned upside down it’s roof ( I just happened to be there ). They didn’t accept it as it was probably too harsh. I mean how decisive can you get.?????

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