Continuing the blog serialisation of my popular X-Pro Series lust/hate/love story:
Part 98: Facebook Vs Instagram Vs Flickr: Part One. If you caught my end of 2017 post (click here if you want to read it) you might recollect that I wanted to expand upon just writing about the X-Pro cameras.
Of course I’ve actually been doing that for a while… After all, those articles about street, street portraits and days out with my camera haven’t really been about the X-Pro range. I mean they have by proxy, because that’s what I’ve been shooting with! But equally they’ve been about what you can actually do with a camera rather than the camera itself!
This got me thinking about what else we like to do with our pictures. Of course when we have paid work, what we do depends on the client.
But a great many of us, whether full time pros and/or lovers of the craft like to share our pictures online.
In this digital age, we are truly spoilt for choice about where to insert our images, but I think it’s fair to say that the three main contenders for our work are Facebook, Flickr and Instagram.
Now that’s not an exhaustive list, I could have easily added 500px in there or perhaps even Ello.
But I don’t use 500px (I might have an account there, if so it’s been a very long time since I’d used it) and I’ve never used Ello (but again – I suspect that I have an account there), also I could’ve mentioned Photobucket… which I used to use to host images on this website, but then they decided overnight to no longer allow that, unless you paid them $300 pa, so I decided that frankly, I would photophucket them off and host my own images.
Anyway, I digress… So I thought that I’d write about the image hosting sites that I regularly use and what I like and don’t like about them.
So today I begin the first of a two part series looking at my preferred image hosting sites.
First up its Facebook. Facebook might be the biggest receptacle of digital images anywhere on the globe (just a hunch) but that’s not just what they’re all about. Facebook seems to have its fingers in so many pies that it’s crazy! News, market place, groups, jokes, public figures – if something exists in the physical world, then chances are it has a Facebook page in the digital realm.
Personally I’ve had a very on/off relationship with Facebook. I tired of it quite quickly, then I moved away from where I grew up and now I find it a
great barely adequate way to stay in touch with my family and friends.
For photographers though, Facebook has a reasonable amount of potential.
No matter whether you like photos of street, fine art, landscape, cats or (probably) even fine art cats in street landscapes they’ll be a group for it. If you’re a lot more into camera gear and GAS than you are photos, Facebook has that covered too.
Whether you’re a bona fide celebrity-in-your-own-right pro photographer or if you just bought your first ever camera and decided to stick the word ‘photography’ after your name (and anything in between of course), then you can use Facebook to show the world your thang (no, not that thang – although I suspect that there’s a group for that to)
This has obvious advantages, you can upload your pictures, share them with no one or everyone. Stick them in albums (so your friends can just ‘like’ the album and not actually look at the pictures) or stick them in a post.
You can place your pictures in groups of like minded individuals, and then have arguments with strangers about whether or not Henri Cartier-Bresson and/or Ansel Adams would approve of each others work or not.
Of course this ability to upload pictures comes at a slight ‘cost’ and that cost is a fairly aggressive compression algorithm that won’t do that 24 stops of DR, lovingly blended in Photoshop from 86 separate exposures you made half way up a mountain in Iceland any favours at all.
I like Facebook (not that I’ve actually been to Facebook’s own Facebook page to ‘like it’ you understand) and I’ve had many engaging conversations with many interesting and talented people there. I’ve enjoyed and been wowed by many great images, and away from photography (and away from public and ‘all friends’ viewing) I enjoy being able to share pictures of my kid with my family.
The problem with Facebook for images is that your posts quickly become lost, the daily amount of uploads makes your own work the proverbial grain of sand on the beach, and worst of all the image quality doesn’t really cut it.
I think that Facebook is first and foremost about the ‘human’ interactions and a great place to ‘socialise’ with other photographers, but as a serious tool to view and explore photographs it just doesn’t really cut it for me, but of course YMMV.
If you want to friend of follow me on Facebook, all (by and large) are welcome and I’m Adam Bonn (no ‘photography’ after my name 🙂 )
This brings us on to, Instagram.
I can’t really get my head around Instagram. Perhaps because I’m relatively new to it, perhaps because I’m in my forties and don’t know how to get social media to work for me
So many people seem to adore Instagram. PERSONALLY I sort of see it as a stripped down Facebook, it’s the pictures but without the groups and chat.
Instagram obviously works for some people, there are Instagram stars, Instagram influencers and whole corporations being represented by their Instagram accounts.
These days the press can’t even mention a celebrity without mentioned how many Instagram followers they have, seriously! It’s always Fred Blogs; actor, aged 27 with 2.6m Instagram Followers, said in a statement today
It just seems that Instagram is 100% geared up around the number of followers you have and everything else is of secondary importance.
I’ll continue my thoughts on Instagram and Flickr with the second part of my social media discourse next week!
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