Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Kicking Against the Pricks

A big realignment of my priorities on Flickr is nearly done. I couldn't find a group which catered for the sort of photos I love, people in public places - in the style of Tony Ray Jones: essentially British, unposed, informal, simultaneously real and surreal, gritty and tender. Most of the "street photography" groups are too American - the very term gives that away. So, I've set up a group today during my break at work - and already there are some excellent photos in it from people I'd never encountered before. Splendid.

And I've given up on the voting groups like DMU and Popolos. The deal is with those groups, you vote and comment on ten photos for every one you pool, and then people vote and comment on yours. Trying to find constructive things to say about photos I didn't give a fuck about was becoming harder and harder. And some of the comments on my pictures were infuriating. For example:

-- from P.S. Ave - (?)

Now, I think this picture is OK - not brilliant, but OK. It means more than that to me because I took it in my local Working Men's club, where I feel at home. Taking photos made me feel like an outsider, an interloper, and so there's a bit of emotional cost associated with it. And then some prick comments:

"While I agree that this is a casual moment captuerd ala Lartigue or Weegee, I feel this image needs 3 things to cut the mustard, a tighter crop a conversion to black and white and if given the opputrunity to re-shoot better lighting."

Just click on the link and have a shufty at his photos, and you might see why that comment got on my nerves.

90% of comments were pointless. 90% of the photos... Well, let's say I was struggling to be polite rather a lot.

NOT that I'm fancying myself as a brilliant photographer or anything, mind. But I do have ambitions to record the world around me, to make wee poems of photos. I'm not going to be able to do that by hanging around Flickr with social misfits and twats.

Blogs are good places to get things that've been bugging you out into the fresh air, aren't they?