I was checking out the new “lightbox” function in Flickr by browsing through my own photos. I like it, although it’s a little on the slow side sometimes, and it will save having to paste in a link to “View on Black” from bighugelabs.com since it’s standard on every page. However, this post isn’t really about that, it’s about how my photographs looked when displayed sequentially like that. Essentially it appeared a fairly random sort of display, as I jumped back and forth between shoots disrupting what continuity might exist.
Now there are several reasons for this. I tend to have two or three cameras with me at any one time – the digital SLR, and a film camera or two. Obviously the digital stuff is available as soon as I get back to the computer. If I’ve finished a roll of black and white I can develop it and then scan it the next day. Colour film I tend to save up and either post off, or take to the local shop in batches. So I might get it back in a couple of days, or it might be weeks later. So this makes it difficult to post everything from the same day’s shooting in contiguous fashion on Flickr. A related reason is that I’m likely to not finish a whole roll on a given occasion, especially shooting 35mm, so things get even more mixed up.
Then there’s my tendency to post my favourites out of a shoot before the others, leading to picking and choosing my highlights from several different rolls and uploading those first, then returning to the others later. Couple this with the occasional gear shot, or some other illustrative sort of photo for a blog post, and it adds to the randomness of the whole stream. Then couple with my own naturally inflated sense of the worth of any given photograph and throw in a terrible lack of selectivity and it’s pure chaos out there.
Now, I’m not making a big deal over this since it’s partly in the nature of Flickr to post this way. It is after all a photo sharing site, not a professional portfolio. But there’s a part of me concerned about how it appears to the viewer – are they going to be put off if they’re attracted by a monochrome infrared landscape but find it bracketed by two soft, self-indulgently bokeh filled plant shots? Should I try and provide a bit more consistency? Should I even worry?