Social Media, a fairly new adventure in my life as I approach the better side of forty, a question in itself of my decision to enter into the same world of mainly troubled teenagers. The same arena where teenage girls feel confident having runway size eyebrows whilst the boys believe a moped can outrun any car on the road whilst pulling a mean wheelie. What indeed have I got myself into I ask myself. Along with thousands of similar aged people with shared interests, it’s quite enjoyable really.
When it comes to Landscape photography, I was born into the digital era rather than film. My experience with film photography mainly consisted of out of focus pictures of family, up close shots of pet dogs ballooned noses and lots and lots of my own holidays spent in Ibiza and Tenerife to name a few. I remember on occasions the sheer excitement of dropping the film roll in for development and then the wait to see what delights and memories I had captured. On one occasion delight turned to dismay when I discovered that around 80% of my shots were of my mates private regions having earlier kidnapped my camera and subjected it to some gruelling torture. The exciting days of youth but I will try and avoid going down the road of nostalgia. Back to the digital age, where was I?
For many I fear that the majority of landscape photographs are viewed on a small phone or tablet screen rather than in print. I am guilty of printing less of my photography these days rather than when I first started. There is something very appealing about the physical bonding of having a print in your hand and on display. We too often these days look at an image at such a small scale that it’s questionable why large megapixel cameras are needed, a point Simon Baxter makes very well in his latest video. It’s life as we know it for many. These days it’s about sharing quickly and making the process as easy as possible. In less than a minute, a photograph can be shared with potentially thousands of people. I see the benefits if this however. Never before have landscape photographers had possibilities of showcasing their work to such a massive audience. We now have the chance to blow of the digital dust that has built up from just storing our work on hard drives and put it out there for all to see.
It is at this point that I refer you back to the title of this article. A like is a measure of how good an image is. Right? Possibly. There is no question that a good, eye opening shot will attract a lot of attention. A like should be considered an achievement in this Social Media frenzied world we are living in. It doesn’t necessary mean however that by having more likes than another photograph, it is better. Exposure is the all important ingredient. The more people that are aware of you, the more chance you are likely to receive that all important thumbs up. A well established vlogger/photographer will gain more likes than perhaps a lesser known one yet with a better photograph. We must all start somewhere though.
Social Media has its advantages with its quick, easy to share work capabilities. It also has its disadvantages. This especially is true when it comes to vlogging on YouTube. There is a lot of good content out there which doesn’t get the credit it deserves simply because they are not getting the exposure. This in return has a negative impact and too often than not I see content creators give in and are defeated. It took me around a year to get to 1000 subs. I didn’t give in because I enjoyed and still enjoy what I do. A sub, a follow and a like is a number. Yes, it is a measure but not of how necessarily good you are but more often the case of how known you are. I am more likely to click on like if I have some personal connection with that person, it’s the ethical thing to do more often than not. It’s not necessary the right thing to do if the like option is used as it was intended.
A like brings that all important recognition, that sense of achievement and reward. It brings that momentary feeling that someone has viewed my work, telling me that I’m good at what I do. With all the hate in this world, long may that option to bring some happiness continue no matter how short lived it maybe. Finally, this is one of my most liked shots on Instagram. Please like, share and follow/subscribe. Thank you