Archives For real life

I’m not sure why I chose to take this guy’s photo, but being caught taking the shot has actually made the shot interesting.

City HeatCity Heat

Why this is a keeper is that it was baking hot and I distinctly recall being parched and in need of hydration. This guy, in boiler suit and gloves, is a contrasty harsh vision of the heat that day.

It could be my eyes too but, full size and from about 5 feet, the perspective is strange too!

I hope the Summer isn’t quite finished with us just yet.

Wandering through Gerrard Street only to pause at this chap who was staring intently at one end of the street. Who knows why, but his brolly could not have been more useless under the searing sun.

Zero Chance Of Rain

Walking round the West End and Mayfair, it was wonderful to witness tourists and London locals all soaking up the summer sun.

Sunny London Friday Afternoon Part I

Kids and water! Whoever designed this monument to Bill Shakespeare knew there would be zillions of kids and their families in the summer.

Sunny London Friday Afternoon Part II

Ye old drinking culture shot is a bit misleading, what with Londoners drinking each and every lunch time rain, shine, winter or summer!

Sunny London Friday Afternoon Part III

Not my usual style, but I took a few of these scenes giddy from the atmosphere, dehydration, call it what ever.

Hope your weekend is relaxing and sunny!

From London’s Streets

July 14, 2014 — 3 Comments

All of these photos were taken last monday, July 7. Each photo walk reveals even more diversity in London than I think I’ve seen in the last. Amazing.

Step 4 For Phone Calls [Explored]

Dapper Gent

Looking Back

Tour de France Rest Stop

I’ve developed this habit, I’ve yet to decide whether it’s good or not, where I hold and point and shoot without stopping or literally stopping for a step-pause-click-continue. It has yielded a few shots I wouldn’t have got had I stopped, focused, framed and shot.

When did I get this impatient to see whether the scene would last 5 more seconds for me to take the picture properly?! Yes, these ‘new’ shots are blurrier, but the gamble for composition sometimes pays off.

The great value from this shooting on the run style is that the subject does not have time to react. I’m a well practised Ninja on the streets, but for those who feel more conspicuous this is a good trade off.

Here’s an example where I was keen to make progress to the Tour de France finish line on the Mall and I saw this guy from the back. Without pausing, I set focus to 4 metres, f/5. As I passed him I saw the magnifying glass and knew there was a good shot here. Still not pausing I held my camera portrait under my right arm, lens pointing backwards, and pressed the shutter.

Font Size Large

I knew I’d get something, but would the composition be slightly off or blurry… well a bit of both.

I’ve no idea why, but I can shoot a straight horizontal and vertical shot just holding the camera up. To within a degree. Not sure if it’s rangefinder ergonomics, but I’m an uncannily straight shooter with this Monochrom.

I challenge you all to try this and post links to these photos in the comments below.

 

The Walls Have Eyes [Explored]
The Walls Have Eyes, #34 on Flickr’s Explore as at June 26, 2014

The majority of photographers whose work I have stumbled across keep a glossy but impractical portfolio page; mine resides at michaeltoye.com. For those photos that are pretty good, but fail to make the portfolio grade, we make use of sites like Flickr and Google+.

Personally, I gravitated towards Flickr because of the community photographer spirit it engenders. In addition to following ‘friends’ whose photos and style you appreciate, you can build a catalogue of your favourite images from others. There are groups you can join to share your images with like minded shooters, for instance, I am subscribed to street photography and Leica groups.

I have been active on Flick for years now, but I do remember it didn’t take long to discover Flickr’s Explore page. Each photo that is uploaded to Flickr is assigned an ‘interestingness’ factor. How ‘interesting’ your photo is depends on numerous factors like visits to your photo and from where, how many and how frequently others comment and favourite your image, etc. Each day the 500 most ‘interesting’ photos are collated and presented as Flickr’s Explore page. I don’t think it’s just ‘interestingness’ that gets you selected for this coveted set as I do know adding your photo to numerous groups actually reduces your chances of making the cut!

Flickr guards the algorithmic secret of interestingness and Explore selection closely, but I can comment on my experiences.

I can be fairly optimistic of Explore selection if I…

  • Upload a photo relatively late in Flickr’s day. I uploaded ‘The Walls Have Eyes’ about 9:30pm GMT, giving Flickr enough time to see some nice statistics on my photo before the new Flickr day starts at Midnight GMT.
  • Don’t add to any groups
  • Get about 15+ favourites and a few comments over the course of the first hour after upload. ‘The Walls Have Eyes’ received 100 views, 20 favourites and 2 comments before the end of the Flickr day.

Obviously the third point is the biggest variable and the principal requisite is that you take a good photograph. If it’s also processed well, it will pop off your contacts’ page for new images from friends.

Time is a factor in your photo’s ‘interestingness’, so remaining on the Explore page requires some beefy stats to roll in. At 9am, ‘The Walls Have Eyes’ is at 5000+ views and 112 favourites and is still at #34. I expect it to drop before lunch, but this can be slowed by adding to numerous groups.

I also know Flickr Explore selection ignores you after a while. At the beginning of the year I managed to get 5 images in 5 consecutive days into Flickr’s Explore. Bear in mind there are only 500 spots between the millions of daily uploads, so it seems only reasonable to ‘ban’ people for a period of time.

Does anyone else have a similar or dissimilar proven pattern for Flickr’s Explore?

 

Tangents
Tangents