Ditching the 'gram

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hoffy

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OK, first off, its time for a confession.

I like it when people look at my images. I get a tiny 5 second giddy thrill when someone likes them. Heck, some times I even look up the person to work out whether they are a bot, or a real person who I might also like their work. Its been the same since I went through the "post to forums" => "Post to Flickr" => "Post to Instagram".

When I started using Instagram, it was easy to get lost in the shear amount of fantastic imagery. For me, it was purely about photography. I search out and followed many great photographers of many genres, both digital and analogue. While I had my gripes with the app and the platform (Mobile only sucks, as does search functions), it generally gave me the inspiration that I needed. And as people organically and slowly followed me, I could share and converse with others that liked my photography. It was, for me at that time, a tailored photo enthusiasts experience of sorts (apart from family and close friends, who I also followed).

But not anymore. Yes, I know it had its roots as a Social Platform, but now it has gone full mental social. It is hard to actually sift the wheat from the chaff - every second post is a suggestion, or a promoted account..... or a fucking reel (sorry for the bad language).

The other thing is.... tits and arses (or ass if you must). Seriously, in just about every suggestion, it is some wannabe showing their tits or their arse (tastefully done of course, because we all know that nudity in the form of fine art is the devils work, which will get you banned /sarcasm). Yeah, I know, the algorithm has picked up that I am a middle aged male who probably doesn't mind the occasional T&A, but this is ridiculous.

Why don't I ditch the 'gram? Well, I have of sorts. I don't want to delete it in full, as my kids share to it and they do send me funny and sometimes thought provoking stuff. But I have now deleted it off the main screens from my phone. The only time I do look at it is when my kids message me through it.

So, where does that leave me as someone who wants to actually enjoy photography of others? I'll make it no secret that I still enjoy Flickr and I do find it a vastly superior platform (I have been a long term Pro subscriber). But Flickr users are on the outer. The majority of people who I see post on that platform are not local to me. I tend to find a lot of European photographers tend to use Flickr, as opposed to Australian and certainly hardly any local to me. And at times, that is hard to take. I like at least seeing what other local photographers do. It gives inspiration. It gives me ideas and gives me potential subjects and locations. Also, occasionally, I have locals I can reach out to.

OK, after that rant, where to for actual photography sharing platforms? Yeah, I know, I could enjoy Photrio a bit more, but it does have its limitations. I could search out more content on Flickr, but the community aspect is still struggling to pick itself back up. I could find that dumb app that everyone picked up 5 years ago (& I have seen some people go back), but will that become "the next best thing" until its not. I could also ignore socials all together, but I feel that the worse photo funk I've had in 10 years will end up getting to the point I give it away all together.

I'm curious to hear others thoughts.
 

Alex Benjamin

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Interesting. I follow about 375 accounts on Instagram, almost all photography related, and my timeline sticks pretty much to what I've chosen. Few unrelated suggestions—used to have tons of SUV commercials, but got rid of them—, no T&As.

I do enjoy it, as it is the only place I can see photographs from various African, Middle Eastern or Asian countries, as well as more remote places in Europe. There is some pretty amazing photo-documentary and photo-journalism going on in different places of the world. Took me a while to find the most interesting stuff, but happy about it now.
 

BrianShaw

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Yeah, I know, the algorithm has picked up that I am a middle aged male who probably doesn't mind the occasional T&A, but this is ridiculous.
It’s only going to get worse as you get older.
 

Eric Rose

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I quite enjoy IG. I have over 600 photographers I follow which provides me with a wide selection of genre's. I also searched out many local photographers who I converse with via DM.

I started a local photography group close to 20 years ago so that helps too.

I might get 1 or 2 TNA pics a day but it's easy enough to pass by if objectionable.

IG seems to be trying to rebalance to a more photo centric platform after a year of turmoil.

Check me out ericrose4x5 I treat it as a this is what caught my eye today kind of thing. Some serious photography some light stuff.

DM me if you decide to follow me.
 

VinceInMT

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I’ve been on Instagram for a while but I keep my list of who I follow VERY short. In order for me to follow you, you need to either draw with pencil, pastel, charcoal, or ink, or you bake bread from scratch, particularly sourdough bread. That’s it. The vast majority of my own posts are of my drawings. There are a few bread photos (like an exceptional batch of bagels I did) and one or two photograms and a sculpture.

It seems that pretty much anyone can take a photo but lots fewer can draw or bake bread.
 
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hoffy

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I enjoy Vero

That's the other platform!

I remember a few years ago where everyone quickly setup an account, before a few dodgy bits of information surfaced and everyone jumped off just as quick.

That being said, I have seen a few people a few months ago posting that they were going back.
 

Sirius Glass

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I stick to Photrio, but I do not put my photos out for praise or shits and giggles.
 

Steven Lee

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I do not put my photos out for praise or shits and giggles.

There are pros and cons. I am like you and err on the side of privacy and do not share much. Never had IG and do not like sharing here. That's on one hand.

On the other hand, it's hard to take technical advice seriously from people if I have not seen their work. When someone says "use this or do this, works great!" my mind is sending that advice straight to the trash because 80% of the world is filled with poorly made stuff, I have not seen what "great" means for them, so I assume that with 0.8 probability it's garbage. From that perspective I wish more people shared their work, so I could be less dismissive of their opinions.

@hoffy back to the original topic: In my opinion, photography as an art form is deprived of appreciative audience. Photographs are simply not valued as much as paintings or music. The Photrio crowd may think that Ansel Adams is an artist, but every non-photographer I know believes that his work is only worthy of a waiting room in a dental office. I have long accepted that no matter how good you are, the world does not care. I feel so lucky that it's not true in my career field. I would have been miserable if I was a photographer. In that sense, sharing is pointless. IG is a marketing tool, I have nothing to sell, so I never saw any reason to share anything there. I shoot for the audience of one, and I learned to enjoy the process and the results immensely. It's liberating.
 
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bernard_L

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Ipernity. Image sharing without the social media, the AI, the ads, etc.
 

ooze

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The noise level created by AI-recommended reels of T&A's, street brawls, cats, politicians, sponsored posts and all sorts of other idiocies quickly becomes unbearable and I often throw away the phone in disgust after a minute on IG.

I now think of IG as a very busy and noisy high street. Few will care about your photography, unless you already are an established name or aggressively and constantly market yourself (a grind in itself, but just like life). If you post a photo you personally value, most likely it will be like throwing your child into a raging river, its head visible for a second to a few onlookers, and then it will drown and disappear forever.

I do have an IG account but don’t post. I also don’t like the idea that I’d be the free content provider between ads.
 

IMoL

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I find IG much less objectionable with the volume turned all the way down, but it's still hard to find the worthwhile content in between the reels and ads.

I have also noticed a distinct dropoff in people viewing my posts in the last couple of months; of course the algorithm is constantly changing.

Lately I have been experimenting with uploading the same pictures to IG and Vero (Vero in higher res) and I am getting more engagement from my 22 Vero followers than I do from my 400+ IG followers. I suspect it's because all of my Vero followers actually see my posts, which is not the case in IG.
 

Don Heisz

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I remember a few years ago, every photo I posted to Instagram with film-related tag was "liked" by a (now) very well-known photographer/darkroom printer. It's obvious that person was liking every post with those tags - by anyone - to gain followers.
I was also followed by another (at the time) well-known photographer and then "unfollowed" the next day. That's another way people gain followers.
The important thing to remember about Instagram is that people like and comment and follow in the hopes of getting likes and comments and followers themselves.
I don't follow many people and almost entirely people I know, or I wouldn't see what they post. As soon as I see a "suggested" post or ad, I close the app - since I assume there's nothing new to see from anyone I follow.
 

snusmumriken

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I started using IG at my daughter's insistence a few years back. It is the worst possible format to display 35mm photos, and I find the look of my photos there quite dispiriting. Nowadays I can't be bothered to enter loads of hashtags, and any 'likes' I get are from family and close friends. However, I do enjoy following certain other photographers whose work I really admire, and through IG suggestions have 'discovered' several people whose books I have later bought. For that reason I find it hard to leave.

I also quite enjoy the skateboarding dogs - although the cursing parrots on YouTube are even more fun.
 

VinceInMT

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I suppose it depends on what your goals are. If marketing your work is high on the list then social media certainly provides an avenue for that with the ability to reach a worldwide audience. I have never been interested or even motivated to sell any of my art, photographic, drawing, or painting so the marketing ability isn’t why I go there. I follow a small list of others who draw and enjoy watching the progress of their art. That progress is recording over time is one of the more interesting aspects of the platform. I post what I do to let my followers (many of my fellow art students) see that I am still creating.
 

NB23

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I’m only on instagram for the only fans beaches.
 
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hoffy

hoffy

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I shoot for the audience of one, and I learned to enjoy the process and the results immensely. It's liberating.

In a way, that is more difficult than it sounds. I think I am bored. I am bored of the photos I take. I am bored of processing film (& yes, I am bored of anything digital as well).

I also agree with an earlier comment of yours - only photographers value photography.
I’m only on instagram for the only fans beaches.

LOL. It is such a common thing. I am going to admit that I have browsed through on the odd occasion (maybe that is what has gotten my account in a mess) - 90% of these young lovely ladies has an OF account.

While I will never begrudge them trying to make a dime off of their talents, surely the pool is now completely flooded that there would be a lot not making a single cent.
Ipernity. Image sharing without the social media, the AI, the ads, etc.

In a way, that is what Flickr has become. It very much feels like a community for photographers now (but I think you need to be a subscriber to make the most out of it).
but it's still hard to find the worthwhile content in between the reels and ads.

100% where I am at.
 

Sirius Glass

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In a way, that is more difficult than it sounds. I think I am bored. I am bored of the photos I take. I am bored of processing film (& yes, I am bored of anything digital as well).

I also agree with an earlier comment of yours - only photographers value photography.


LOL. It is such a common thing. I am going to admit that I have browsed through on the odd occasion (maybe that is what has gotten my account in a mess) - 90% of these young lovely ladies has an OF account.

While I will never begrudge them trying to make a dime off of their talents, surely the pool is now completely flooded that there would be a lot not making a single cent.


In a way, that is what Flickr has become. It very much feels like a community for photographers now (but I think you need to be a subscriber to make the most out of it).


100% where I am at.

When I am looking for a different approach I go to Large Format Photography Forum.
 

mshchem

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OK, first off, its time for a confession.

I like it when people look at my images. I get a tiny 5 second giddy thrill when someone likes them. Heck, some times I even look up the person to work out whether they are a bot, or a real person who I might also like their work. Its been the same since I went through the "post to forums" => "Post to Flickr" => "Post to Instagram".

When I started using Instagram, it was easy to get lost in the shear amount of fantastic imagery. For me, it was purely about photography. I search out and followed many great photographers of many genres, both digital and analogue. While I had my gripes with the app and the platform (Mobile only sucks, as does search functions), it generally gave me the inspiration that I needed. And as people organically and slowly followed me, I could share and converse with others that liked my photography. It was, for me at that time, a tailored photo enthusiasts experience of sorts (apart from family and close friends, who I also followed).

But not anymore. Yes, I know it had its roots as a Social Platform, but now it has gone full mental social. It is hard to actually sift the wheat from the chaff - every second post is a suggestion, or a promoted account..... or a fucking reel (sorry for the bad language).

The other thing is.... tits and arses (or ass if you must). Seriously, in just about every suggestion, it is some wannabe showing their tits or their arse (tastefully done of course, because we all know that nudity in the form of fine art is the devils work, which will get you banned /sarcasm). Yeah, I know, the algorithm has picked up that I am a middle aged male who probably doesn't mind the occasional T&A, but this is ridiculous.

Why don't I ditch the 'gram? Well, I have of sorts. I don't want to delete it in full, as my kids share to it and they do send me funny and sometimes thought provoking stuff. But I have now deleted it off the main screens from my phone. The only time I do look at it is when my kids message me through it.

So, where does that leave me as someone who wants to actually enjoy photography of others? I'll make it no secret that I still enjoy Flickr and I do find it a vastly superior platform (I have been a long term Pro subscriber). But Flickr users are on the outer. The majority of people who I see post on that platform are not local to me. I tend to find a lot of European photographers tend to use Flickr, as opposed to Australian and certainly hardly any local to me. And at times, that is hard to take. I like at least seeing what other local photographers do. It gives inspiration. It gives me ideas and gives me potential subjects and locations. Also, occasionally, I have locals I can reach out to.

OK, after that rant, where to for actual photography sharing platforms? Yeah, I know, I could enjoy Photrio a bit more, but it does have its limitations. I could search out more content on Flickr, but the community aspect is still struggling to pick itself back up. I could find that dumb app that everyone picked up 5 years ago (& I have seen some people go back), but will that become "the next best thing" until its not. I could also ignore socials all together, but I feel that the worse photo funk I've had in 10 years will end up getting to the point I give it away all together.

I'm curious to hear others thoughts.

I'm on Flickr Pro too. There's less discussion now, practically none, on the sites I visit there which is unfortunate. I use Flickr for all my pictures and link back to Photo sites when I want to post a picture. Just easier that way. I'm not on sites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. I don't think they let old people on.

Oh, I do use Youtube for video slide shows I'll post now and then.

As far as local, I'm in New Jersey. Is New Jersey as far from Australia as Australia is from New Jersey?
 

Eric Rose

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HaHa Facebook is ONLY for old farts. The kids ditched it years ago. Instagram is quickly becoming an old farts site as well which is just fine by me. Twitter is a cesspool of hate so I avoid it.
 
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