One of the most useful features of Flickr for me is the option to upload a photo and make it private, ie visible only to me, but then still be able to easily use the image in a WordPress blog post, no differently to any other I have on Flickr.
There are photos that are perhaps just of cameras or lenses, screenshots and so on, that I want to use to illustrate something in a blog post, but I don’t want as part of my more tightly curated main public photostream on Flickr.
So with my public photostream, which is a kind of online portfolio, I feel I’m pretty strict about what not to share.
The internet is increasingly swamped with images, and an ever shrinking proportion of those are of a level and standard that will inspire others.
I don’t claim all (or any!) of mine will, but hopefully they might, and by being disciplined about what I keep and share, and what I don’t, I’m not adding too much to the aforementioned avalanche of mediocrity shared online.
I find it hard to understand the thinking behind the kind of blogs and streams where people seem to upload every last image they make.
Especially when in one batch there are often half a dozen near identical minor variations of the same image.
Why not just pick the best of the bunch and let it stand up and breathe, rather than smothering and surrounding it with other such similar images, diluting its impact and resonance with the viewer?
Offline, I have an relative who’s pretty prolific with her camera (phone) at any family get together.
Afterwards, once home, I await the sound of my own phone freaking out at a thousand beeps a minute over the incoming photo loaded Whats App messages.
I dutifully swipe through them, wondering if she indeed ever looks at them before sending, and if she felt I really would like to have in my possession at least a dozen pictures that are so blurred the individuals present cannot be identified even by their next of kin.
I probably delete about 29 out of every 30 she sends, and keep the odd few that have actually come out well enough that I recognise those in the frame, do capture a memory, and aren’t duplicated by eight other near identical images.
This is just about forgivable with family shots, and sharing between us, but when some people do this with their “intentional” photography on their blog or another online photostream, it’s a sure way to send me (and no doubt hundreds of other potential readers) scurrying, never to return.
All this said, and even though I probably keep only a maximum of about 10% of the intentional images I make, I still find it a challenge to separate what I feel are my best photographs, from the also-rans.
To help, I try to live by a mantra I learned a few years ago for publishing anything online, be it a photograph, blog post, video or anything else.
If a new reader/viewer stumbled across this photograph as the very first they’d ever seen of yours, is it good and memorable enough to make them want to explore the others you’ve made?
If the answer is no, then it might be one you want to just keep to yourself, or delete entirely.
How about you? How do you decide which to keep and which to delete when you’re editing photos? And of those you do keep, how do you decide which of those to share publicly?
Please let us know in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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