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Rose Bowl - IR 5

Somewhere, out there on the interwebs, is my audience. I haven’t met many of the members but they’re out there, and they come and look at my photographs. Chances are that if you’re reading this, then you’re one of them. Discovering that I had an audience was a delightful surprise and probably one of the most important developments in my personal photography – before I started publishing my photographs on the internet pretty much the only person who’d see any of them was me.
Once I had photos on flickr, without really trying, I found people would view my photos. Once I had enough photos visible, I began to see how different images were received and to see how my ideas didn’t always get the reception I’d imagined. This had a number of effects on how I think. Firstly, I discovered that I didn’t react well to criticism – I would spend time and effort tweaking and cropping, and then defend every decision quite resentfully when someone suggested a different crop, or some other change. I also quickly realised that just putting up almost every shot I took wasn’t worth it – the impact of a single image isn’t as great if there’s a very similar one right next to it.
So at first I started to focus more on the stronger photos from a days shooting, and only upload those, then I took it further and started simply taking fewer photos in the first place, thinking carefully about the final result before even clicking the shutter.
In my, admittedly subjective, view this has led to an improvement in my photographs, and since I continue to acquire new contacts it seems that my invisible audience is still growing. So while I continue, primarily, to make photographs for my own pleasure, I get a warm glow from knowing that there are plenty of friendly folks out there who share my taste, and hopefully gain a little pleasure themselves. Which in turn drives me to get better and better at this craft.