365 Days of Instagram

Generator Photography is finally on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/generatorphotography

It’s where all the popular kids are.  And, if I’m honest, that is part of the reason I wasn’t on it.  I’m that kid who likes to go to parties, but also likes to stand in a corner alone and feed my superiority complex by smugly judging everyone else.  Yes, I’m that kid.

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By now Instagram is THE conduit for sharing your work, your life, your art.  Which is a shame, because as a photographer, I actually think that flickr is a better platform over Instagram.  Here are some things flickr has that Instagram doesn’t*:

  • Albums & collections: very easy to create and organize, makes finding things later on much nicer, just wish more people used collections though.
  • Tagging: Works very much like Lightroom and can even pull LR tags automatically. The ability to search my own tags and narrow down by tags, flickr even adds its own ones and you can search by predominant color in a photo. I can go to a list of all my tags when trying to find all photos from a particular camera, film, place etc. very useful.
  • EXIF: If photo has exif data it’s clearly displayed on the page and i can click through for extensive exif data as well. If a photo has GPS data in it there is a world map there and you can quickly drill down to where it was taken.
  • Privacy settings are varied enough and useful, public/private/friends/family, change who is allowed to comment or add tags.
  • Select what kind of copyright (or lack thereof) i want on photos, flickr has 9 different options to quickly select from.
  • Stats page for each photo with graphs and even where the viewers came from, there is also a summary stats page where i can see various things about all my photos. The Recent Activity page as well, lets me see if anyone has commented or favorited any photos so i can quickly respond.
  • Photos just look better on flickr.  There, I said it.

But while flickr is not in the death spiral it once was, sadly it is highly unlikely it will ever reach the level of popularity that Instagram has.

But, then again, Instagram isn’t just for photographers.  It’s for celebrities, and people who want to photograph their lunch, and their puppies, and their kids, the books they are reading, and sunsets. And a whole lot of other stuff.  It’s actually pretty cool, and I’m sorry my patronizing attitude stopped me from jumping in.

The question was how, exactly, should I jump into the pool?  I have many years of work behind me.  Do I post a large chunk of it all at once?  Only the best shots?  Or just make a clean break with the past and only post new work?  It was a puzzle.

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The answer I came up with was 365 Days of Instagram.  What I will be doing is posting one photo on Instagram every day for 2017.  This will be in addition to the regular work I will be posting throughout the year.

365 Days of Instagram will accomplish two things.  First, it will mean I have fresh content every day. On social media, it seems like you are only as relevant as your last tweet.  Or your last post.  Usually, because of my 9-5 weekday work schedule, I can often go long periods without posting any new pictures. By guaranteeing one post every day, I know that my Instagram page will not be quickly forgotten and end up covered by dusty, internet cobwebs.

Second, even though this turns every day into Throwback Thursday, it will give me a chance to really go through my back catalogue and post stuff even regular, faithful followers of Generator Photography haven’t seen for a while.  And, after one year, all will have a wonderful, complete picture of my work and my art.

I couldn’t be more excited about this upcoming year.

Soon, I will post my thoughts about 2016 (sort of sucked…but not?), and what’s coming up for 2017.

Stay tuned, friends, good stuff is coming.

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*This list is directly quoted from a Reddit thread in /r/photography, “Thought’s on Flickr’s Future?”  I would have given the author due credit, but they have since deleted their account.

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Flickr

So, now that I’ve got Generator Photography up and running, it is really gaining momentum.

As of now, I’ve got 3 places I post photographs for GP; Facebook, 500px and the main Generator Photography website.

The order I post to these is this: Facebook = everything. 500px = the really good ones.

I’m leaving my main site as a portfolio site. 7 Galleries, only 24 shots max in each Gallery. It should actually be less than that, but I’m ok with it for now.

The problem I’m having with that arrangement is this; photos look like crap on facebook. I swear the loss of sharpness and quality is criminal. But, hey, you get what you pay for.

And, as an aside, can I just say the photos on 500px look FABULOUS! Anyway…

I’m uploading all these pics to facebook, and I’m thinking, I really want people to see these, but in a non “looks like crap on facebook” way.  What are my options?  What other photo sharing site can I use?  Well, there’s Google+, but I just can’t get into Google+.  I hear all the stories about how wonderful it is, but to me it’s just really close to 500px, and I’ve already got a 500px account.  Which leaves Flickr.

I love Flickr.  I think all the “Flickr is dead” talk is totally wrong, I see a lot of really vibrant, thriving communities, I see a really solid photo sharing format, and I’m excited about the future of this site.   Problem is, I already have a Flickr account.  One I’ve had since 2009.  It is under my original nom de plume, ponyrojo.

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That was my icon.  The story goes like this: Many years ago I wanted to open up a coffee shop called The Pony Espresso. I totally stole that name, btw. However, it soon became obvious that I was never going to get off my duff and make that happen. Therefore, I began to think about different applications for that name, and the idea of “Pony” started to creep into different aspects of my artwork.

If I remember, in the deep, dark past when I was on AOL (Remember THIS SOUND, kids?) I was actually pony.blanco. But that’s just not as cool as pony.rojo.

When I started to really get serious about photography again, I had no plan, no blueprint for what I wanted to achieve. I just knew I had to do something, anything, to get my creative groove back.  And opening a Flickr account was a great place to start.  And my ponyrojo account has been a significant part of my development.

I would love for GP to have it’s own flickr page, so I can upload everything there, and have my photos look much better than they currently look on facebook. Then, maybe I could also direct people to flickr.com/people/generatorphotography as a bonus, instead of my current ponyrojo account, which would just be confusing.

However, what I don’t want to do is manually re-upload all of my photos to that new account. I would just rather automatically transfer photos from one account to another.

Is that possible?

From the Flickr FAQ page:

“We’re sorry, but it is not possible to change the personalized web address of an account once it has been set. Flickr has a firm policy on this in order to maintain data, metadata, and link integrity.

If you absolutely have to have a different personalized URL, you will need to create a brand new Flickr account and set the new URL there. You will then have to manually re-upload all of your photos to that new account. (Please note that there is no way to automatically transfer photos from one account to another.)”

If I’m honest, I really don’t think they are sorry. But I digress.

At this point, if I want GP to have a flickr account, what are my options? 1. Pay for a 2nd flickr account.

That’s a non starter. I’m already paying for this account and my 500px account. Granted, that’s not a lot per year, but as a struggling punk photographer, head of a single income family, that’s just too much.

Also, I’m not sure that the redundancy between the two accounts would be desirable. I’m trying to work smarter, not harder.

2. Downsize my ponyrojo account to a free account and pay for a GP account. That’s also a non-starter for two reasons. First, the free accounts only show the 200 most recent photos, and I’ve got, as of this writing, over 6,700 pictures in 137 sets spanning over 6+ years. I’m not saying that all of those are great photos and worthy of saving, but many are really interesting documents of specific places during specific times. And, every day I get views from the length and breadth of my photostream.

3. Cancel my ponyrojo account outright, and just pay for a GP flickr account. Again, that would involve nuking my current photostream and re-uploading a gawd-awful amount of photos, not to mention the re-tagging, re-mapping, re-writing descriptions and re-organizing into new sets. No. Thank. You.  Plus, I don’t want to lose all the great contacts I’ve met in the years I’ve been on flickr.

So, for now, I think the best thing to do is to just change my account name, leave all the photos up, and let everyone browse the holiday snaps I took on my vacation in Norway back in August, 2007, right along with what I’m doing right now, right this minute.

Let everyone see the progress I’ve made as a photographer, and as an artist.  Let people see all my work I did way back with those point and shoot cameras, back when I would go on a photowalk and bring back 500+ photographs.  Actually, maybe that’s good for people to see.  Who knows.

If anyone has any comments or other suggestions, please let me know.

Otherwise, Generator Photography, meet ponyrojoPonyrojo, meet Generator Photography.

And welcome everyone to my Flickr page.  Where, if the photos look like crap, it’s all down to me.  And not facebook.