Advice to a dead photographer

Im not a big fan of things like flickr (the photo sharing website) for reasonsthat will be made clear in this post, but I have recently discovered a project on it called ‘The Commons’. This project is a collection of photographs from the ‘ world’s public photography archives’ available for anyone to view online, taken from participating organizations such as the Imperial War Museum, The National Galleries of Scotland and the Library of Congress.

There are some great photographs on here, but what I find really interesting (and equally annoying) is the comments attached to each of the photographs by the flickr community. It reminds me of how the old Camera Clubs operated (pre-internet), members would have one of their photographs displayed for the rest of the club who would then give their opinions on the work; what made a good photograph had strict rules: horizons must be straight, things must be in focus etc etc.

The comments on ‘Flickr: The Commons’ vary from interesting to just incredible. For example here is a photograph of the Photographer Frank Hurley (mentioned in a previous post) taken between 1911 -1914.

Frank Hurley washing cinematograph film on the "Aurora" from the collection of the State Lbrary of New South Wales

Frank Hurley washing cinematograph film on the "Aurora" from the collection of the State Lbrary of New South Wales

One of the added comments reads : ‘Tilt a boat straight ,that’s will be a great shot.’ (sic)

Im afraid that this unnecessary advice will probably fall on deaf …. well actually dead ears.

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