35mm · Film photography · Photography

Chequerboard and Flickr Explore

I guess that this is a similar picture to the one I posted yesterday. This one is overexposed though. It’s overexposed because I mistakenly set the 35 RC to an f/2.8 aperture instead of the A (for auto) setting that would allow it to meter correctly in it’s standard shutter-priority mode. As a result this picture (and a couple of others) got far too much light. The other couple I’ve discarded in terms of posting them anywhere but I still quite liked this shot so I did what I could to recover it.

The photo also appeared in Flickr’s Explore section today, which I was a little surprised by. I get pictures selected for Explore on a reasonably regular basis (probably one a month or so) but they are rarely the photos that I think are my best. In fact, they’re often the ones I like the least. I have no idea how Explore selects it’s photos.

Whenever I get a photo in Explore I always get lots of comments from people congratulating me on the achievement. I’m grateful if people like my photos, but these people rarely seem to then venture into my feed to look at the other (arguably better) pictures. It’s almost as though anything not in Explore is somehow sub-par and not worth bothering with.

I don’t tend to look at Explore very often – usually it’s only when one of my pictures is featured and I’m feeling nosey as to how far down the selction it appears. There are a lot of very nice photos featured, but there are also a lot of obvious pictures too, as well as some bizarre choices from time to time. However, if I do find one I really like then I will go and look at the feed of the photographer as sometimes this introduces me to new bodies of work I really enjoy.

Chequerboard pattern

Olympus 35 RC & Ilford HP5+. Ilfotec DD-X 1+4 9mins @ 20°.

Taken on 7 May 2022

9 thoughts on “Chequerboard and Flickr Explore

  1. Flickr changed the way it does Explore, and since then I haven’t had a single photo included. I used to get 2-3 a year.

    Like you, it never led to more views or follows. It was just a vanity thing to be Explored.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m always bemused by the comments I get when one of my photos is chosen. Gushing praise and congratulations that really doesn’t reflect the picture for the most part. It feels completely fake – like I’ve momentarily gained some sort of celebrity status and am now being liked purely on that basis.

      I don’t mind getting into Explore, but I rarely feel like I’ve earned the pivilege (or praise).

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I used to get the 2-3 Explore picks a year, then it dried up around mid-2020. This was when my stream became 95% film shots, so I thought that there may be an implicit bias against film photography. But since then, I’ve gotten a few more Explore pics on film shots. So who knows?


      1. I don’t think there’s a bias against film photography. Plenty of my film shots have been included. I’ve noticed in the SmugMug era that Explore increasingly has themes like women photographers or Black photographers.


      2. There’s definitely a thematic element to Explore. On the days where one of my photos is selected, I’ll notice many other images that are thematically similar.


  2. Ah, Explore. I’ve got mixed feelings. It is a slight ego boost when it happens, but it doesn’t translate into views of other photos. And the algorithm is so random as to what gets picked. For example, this is my most popular flickr photo thanks to Explore, and it astounds me:
    Fire under: Mistakes that maybe aren't? So after I got off the train in Seattle at 3:40 PM, I hustled over to the ferry terminal and got in line with the crush of other cycle commuters. The sea breeze was lovely.  But I saw a ferry in the dock in the dist

    Whereas this one is much better, but holding at my #5 position:
    Tents swallowed up into the trees.

    Anyways, I try not to think too much about it. But for some people, Explore is a way big deal, and it seems like they are always trying to get a photo to be picked somehow. The “likes” is a game. Any time a photo of mine gets picked, I’ll get comments from people with handles like “Joe Blow, Thanks for the 1,000,000,000,0000,000,000,000 likes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and they’ll leave their typical “Congrats on Explore” and some stupid image.

    I’ve gotten two negative responses via Explore. The first was when a pretty ho-hum image of mine got picked, and I got a comment along the lines of “Well, the bar for getting into Explore must be much lower these days.” Before I blocked this photographer, I checked their stream. It was all macro images of insects with blurred out black backgrounds. It was pretty obvious that this person spent tens of thousands of dollars on photo equipment and needed the validation of Explore to satiate their ego.

    The other time was when one of my journal comics got in. A Concern Troll let me know that while they thought the comic was “interesting” and wished they could see what happened next (they would if they were smart enough to check out my stream), they didn’t think flickr was an “appropriate” place for comics or drawings. When I countered that there is no rules prohibiting drawings and art from flickr, and in fact, flickr is a sponsor of the annual Inktober Challenge. Their rebuttal was I was being “sensitive” and it still isn’t an appropriate place, and I should grow up. Yep, blocked them too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never had any negative comments that I’ve noticed, but many of the “congrats” messages have a somewhat sycophantic feel to them. I doubt any of these people would have congratulated me on the same images had they not been in Explore and they had come across them by chance.

      I always try to respond to comments I receive on Flickr, but rarely do so with the Explore messages unless the author has offered some sort of meaningful comment or critique.

      That pizza does look nice though, so congrats on Explore! 😁


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