Explored

Something weird happened the other day. A picture I took while hiking around on Mt Hood on July 24th wound up in Flickr’s Explore page.

A hike on Mt Hood

The reason it seems weird to me is that I’ve always viewed Flickr Explore as a collection of really notable and remarkable photos. And, while my most recent photo on Mt Hood isn’t horrible, it’s not really amazing either. I’ve taken a few pictures that I think are more interesting, either technically or in terms of visual interest.

I don’t recall any of my other photos ever having been on Explore before, but then again, there’s no indication other than lots of visitors in a short period of time, so I don’t actually know. I only knew about this one because I was sent an invitation to display it in the In Explore group, which only shows photos that have been Explored.

By the way, since we’re talking about Flickr, one of the cultural aspects I’ve always disliked and tried to avoid about it is the social pressure for reciprocity and praise. I have no issues favoriting and commenting positively, but I only do it if I can be sincere about it. Likewise, I don’t ask for people to return the favor by clicking fave or commenting on my most recent image. I only want honest comments and genuine likes. No one grows as a photographer if people are blowing smoke at them and praising mediocre photos.

The way I use Flickr is to completely avoid completion-ism (I don’t have time) and to try to follow people who are ok with leaving an honest critique or comment. I think most of the people I follow are basically the same way. I try not to follow anyone who is just trying to build a huge following above all else.

Personally, I don’t have an ego attached to my images. I have way more misses than hits, and only a handful of photos that I think are just right. When I look at most of my photos, I can easily spot things that I did wrong either with the camera or Lightroom (or now Affinity Photo).

Still, having a photo featured in Explore for whatever reason was kind of fun. I’ll take it.

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