One of the things that photographers learn very early in their careers is that, on a worryingly regular basis, when you file your pictures from a job, if you included an image that you weren’t that keen on but sent it in on a whim, that’ll be the one that gets used. Not only that, but it’ll end up being splashed across some prominent page of a publication resulting in fellow photographers failing to stifle their giggles at your work. Along with photo-calls only beginning just as your parking meter runs out (yes that was my first London car below..) or your photographic target leaving the office that you’ve been camped outside for hours just as you decide to swap the 16-35mm lens for the 24-70mm, your least favourite shot making the paper is just one of the those things that press photographers have to learn to deal with.

In the virtual world, flickr used to provide a similar source of this kind of frustration with images that I put time, effort and sweat into capturing going unnoticed as others gain hit after hit. My particular photographic albatross went so far out of the realm of frustration that it became almost sad when it wasn’t my most-viewed image of the day.

The particular honour goes to “adult” film star Delta White. Shot at the Erotica exhibition in London in 2007, the sheer volume of one-handed surfers that stray upon this page is enough to reduce any photographer to tears. By the time I closed my flickr account, over 40,000 people had viewed it. Of those, only three have commented.  I’m sure Ms. White is a lovely lady but that’s a hell of a lot of disappointment caused…

9 Responses to “When White is just so wrong”

  1. Heeehee! Those stats are so funny. ‘Only three have commented.’ Well, I guess people find it a pain to type with one hand!
    (Good grief, Leon. You’ve made me laugh too loud for half two in the morning. That daily dejection though… *chortle*)

    Posted by Beth
  2. Well you’re CLEARLY not counting the puppy factor. ANY picture with a puppy in will get hits over any other known subject. Legal, religious and scientific fact, people.. :)

    Posted by tabascokid
  3. Well yeah, it just annoys me that it’s a really bad shot, but people see a puppy and then go all gooey and favourite it, rather than judging weather or not it’s a good photo. I guess you have the same problem (only yours _is_ a really great photo), people judge the Delta White image based on her rather then your skills, which is my main criticism of Flickr.

    Anyway, I guess that’s my rant for the day over! Keep up the great work, I really enjoy reading your posts. Especially the boxing one, great advice on the 24-70mm for close-range sport shots, and the images looked fantastic!

    Posted by Jon
  4. Judging a photo on the subject rather than the photographic skill involved is an issue that doesn’t just affect flickr, I’m afraid. How many times do we admire a portrait of a famous person that we like without considering that there isn’t that much effort or creativity put into the portrait? Something we’re all guilty of at times, I’m sure.

    Cheers for the comments on the boxing shots. I’m always happy to share info if I can! :)

    Posted by tabascokid
  5. I feel your pain, my liege. 29,414, though… :-)

    Posted by Pixgremlin
  6. I have the same frustrations with my flickr account, my shot of a not-yet pop-star who hasn’t released his first single has 12, 900 views, and only one comment, which is from my father, so it doesn’t count, and there is nothing beyond the surface of the image
    However, a shot of some young christians which I actually quite like has received only 8 views, and says a lot more

    Posted by Ben Davis
  7. hehe Yeah, it’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Love the Christian picture. Really well captured moment with the little girl’s expression.

    Just had another look at the stats on Delta; 38,000+! Good Lord..

    Posted by tabascokid
  8. I think it is less sad ( from a flickr viewpoint ) to have one photo that is over-viewed because of it’s content that have a stream of shots specifically designed to attract viewing because of it’s selected subject matter .
    You should be so lucky .
    One of my most viewed flickr photos is of a person at a 1940s event in a Nazi uniform that seems to be frequented and favorited by people that seemed to like to wear rubber trench coats :)
    Why that one photo I shall never know but I wish I’d never put it up and eventually took it down.
    Now my most viewed photo is of a children’s Aldin’s cave that happens to have Ultra violet 3D artwork in it when viewed with the correct 3d specs and works well even as a photo .
    Where people have found enough of those particular specs from to make the image work I shall never know. I took the image out of curiosity rather than as an example to see if it would still work on a screen .

    Posted by Ray Fothergill

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