|Olympus E5 with 35-100 f2.0 lens|
Now if you've been reading this blog for a while you probably know I can be a bit thick. I'm thinking that most people know this already even subconsciously. It's the images that look good as a thumbnail. They are the ones that get the clicks, likes and comments.
If they are high contrast, colourful and easy to distinguish in content while small, then they are getting a like. Most people I suspect don't even click on the image to view them larger, they just click like and move on. Another thing? If there are a lot of 'likes' or clicks then there are more likely to be people that just join the crowd without looking. The image above would get clicks. Would get even more if she was photographed against an orange or purple wall I think adding a pop of colour.
So it doesn't mean that the images that get liked are bad. In fact a lot of the time they are excellent, but really, from that thumbnail do we know they deserve our adoration? I doubt it. And none of this is a problem, or wasn't until I noticed something about my own behaviour a few months ago. I started editing for the click. I'd search through a pool of images from a photo session and post the one I had trained myself to know would generate those addicting clicks. After all we all want to be adored don't we? But was I choosing my favourite image? The one that best suited my taste, my style and my passion? No I wasn't.
And there-in lies the problem. Photography has boiled down to a half second glance on a thumbnail to generate fleeting popularity. I'm sure photographers are now creating images on purpose and have even altered their styles to create the popular thumbnail look, even if they don't know it. To me at least, that is a shame. And so I console myself by flipping through large photo books, looking at prints and images full screen on my big monitor. Because when I really want to fall in love with photography, I dive in. I want to stare at it, figure out the lighting, feel the emotion. I almost want to taste it.
Can't do that with a thumbnail.