Fire and Foam as Night Falls on Flickr.
Nine days ago I took down the scribblings of an infant Tumblr post:
“Who do I write/photograph for? Me. Alain de Botton says people get interesting when they rattle their cages - but why do I post, I don’t care for tags and promoting. My flickr views vs. someone who has put their photo in 150 groups. Receiving my book/hardcopy blog in the mail made me realise that this is an archival project for me, shared with the world and pushed upon my family and friends for validation.“
Well, this got awkward fast. Read on.
The subject photo of this post was placed in Flickr Explore: 31st March 2015. My photo was chosen out of the nearly two million photos that are uploaded to Flickr daily, to be placed in their pool of “Explored” photos.
I was giddy with glee. I returned to my car after a meeting, pulled down the notifications screen on my phone and stared puzzling into the screen, as if my countenance could solve the confusion. “You have 38 new notifications from Flickr”. I read new photo comments and realised I had been “Explored”. When I returned to the office I hugged colleagues and engaged in an ALL CAPS LOCK SHOUTY WITH EXCITEMENT iMessage conversation with my wife. I was very enthusiastic and eager.
I had forgotten, but, I had been harbouring, nay, festering a long standing desire to be chosen for the Flickr Explore. Which, as it stands, is a contravention of the posited “I do this for me” at the top of this post. Perhaps it would behoove me to accept that if I was taking photos and writing blogs solely for me, that I would either have a shelf of organised self published photo books (single printing). Or I would at least post my blogs privately, not promote them to other social networks. At least my chum, and lover of sesquipedalian synonyms, Dave, has the decency to post with no external validation of his acts sought: http://daveknowlesthinks.blogspot.co.nz
I do not, I post, repost, push upon people and savour every single snippet of solicited feedback. I have to admit this. I can’t wake up in the middle of the night and type into a notes app: “I do this for me”. That’s pure fiction. This is where it gets difficult, how does one euthanise this 12 day old falsely propounded phrase of: “Who do I write/photograph for? Me.” How does one walk tall and proudly into the each day with the sullying knowledge that one seeks massive ego inflation via the constant tick like actions of the id.
One starts by stopping. Stopping hiding behind one. I have a massive and fragile ego and I love it when people praise me.
Which leads me to this: Universal support from people. Everyone is so supportive. My wife: Universally supportive. My family: Utterly reassuring. My friends: Ubiquitously motivating. So, maybe, just maybe, there’s an ounce of truth left in “do this for me.” But it’s more like: “I more motivated by one human ‘like’ of a beloved, than I am 1,000 anonymous clicks from the ether.
Incidentally, in passing, as a side-topic, that photo - Waterline Restaurant at sunset - Rarotonga - March 2015, on my new (old) Leica iiif. A camera that has it’s genesis in Oskar Barnack’s genius of 1913 - mine was built around 1953, a phrase I like to quip: “A one hundred year old idea, into camera design eighty years old, my model is sixty years old and it takes freshest photos I can muster”.