Just added to my portfolio: Rachael Smith Photography.
I have plenty more more work to add both recent and from my archive. You can find all projects on the Work page.
Are you still using Flickr? I’m interested to hear from anyone still using it, and why. Or what you’re using instead, other than Instagram.
I have had a Flickr Pro account since 2005, then it went free for many years under Yahoo! And then now it’s owned by SmugMug it’s back like it used to be, with a limited free account and Pro option where you can keep more or less unlimited photos.
When that kicked in I decided to pay to keep my full account because I have photos on Flickr going back to 2005. But I was in two minds about it because at the time I hadn’t posted anything since 2016. Paying for Pro again kind of felt like a waste of money, but on the other hand I wasn’t ready to have that whole archive wiped from the web. For one thing this blog goes back to 2008 and many of the posts have photos embedded from Flickr.
Flickr used to be so great! It was my favourite thing on the web. I would spend hours on there, browsing and running groups and chatting about photography on the group chats etc. I have some shots with hundreds of faves, and discussions in the comments.
What’s kind of a shame is that now it’s technically as good as ever, I would say (yes, there are arguments for the previous UX but that’s not the point here), the mobile app is decent and everything is working well, yet it feels a bit dead in there.
I much prefer Flickr to Instagram because I like to look at BIG, high-res meticulously-processed professional-grade photos on a big display. Instagram would diminish an Andreas Gursky or Gregory Crewdesn shot, but my 27" iMac would do it justice. But of course everything is about mobile now, Flickr were years too late with a decent mobile app and Instagram became the photos place.
Instagram is cool but so much seems to have become about the process of infinite scrolling and liking, it’s kind of strange. Algo-hypnosis.
A year or so ago Rachael was told on several occasions by publishers that she needed more Instagram followers before they’d consider going ahead with a book. She now has lots more Instagram followers and some books are going ahead – not because of Instagram, but a decent presence there is apparently a prerequisite.
I stopped using an SLR camera when phone cameras got good, because the phone is much more convenient. But on my phone I shoot countless shots that just collect on there, until every two years or so it gets full and I back it up into a folder called something like "2019-08 iPhone photos" and never look at those shots again. Occasionally I post one to Instagram but mostly I’ve become bored with photography I think largely as a byproduct of the cameraphone revolution.
Anyway I’m not plugging anything in this post but I’ve started occasionally using the Canon 5D Mark II again. And it’s so much better. I am starting to enjoy it again. And I’ve posted a few recent holiday shots to Flickr – three weeks after they were taken, because I had to select and process the RAW files. But maybe that’s better.
Will I renew my Flickr account again when it’s due? Not sure. Is there an alternative place for photos in set and gallery format that’s still thriving? Will Flickr itself even survive?
I am, for now, on Flickr at flickr.com/photos/aderowbotham.
Cover photo: Matchstick Skiers, 2006
Back in 2007 I made a series of 60 second ‘still photos’ that I called Minutes. I recorded them on a little Canon Ixus so on today’s high-res displays they look terrible. YouTube existed in 2007 but I didn’t upload them there, partly because I wanted them presented more like photographs. Instead I put them on a dedicated website as Flash video (FLV) clips, but the site disappeared when I changed servers at some point. And Flash is dead of course. So they’ve gone*.
A number of people said they appreciated them at the time but I was arguably ahead of the curve: today YouTube has countless hours of ambience, ASMR or generally atmospheric videos many of which are just audio. I love all of the above. I often listen to light rain or similar, combined with some drone / ambient music while I’m working.
Also a big fan of Starship Engine Rumble, incidentally.
Anyway, preamble over. I have lots of audio gear and a camera, and I felt like making some similar stuff again. These are more about the sound than the video so one minute is not long enough. I’ve done a couple of tests (12 and 9 minutes respectively). An hour each would be a nice round number, so aiming for that eventually.
(* They’re in a backup zip file somewhere, I never delete anything)
I’m not a long distance runner, but for the last 18 months or so I have been getting into doing a few short runs a week - usually about 5km and more recently sometimes up to about 9km.
Basically I’m pretty happy running for up to about an hour, but I’ve not tried slowing it down and going much further.
Last Sunday would have been the day of the London Marathon had it not been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The Marathon usually raises a lot of money for charities through sponsorship so in light of it being cancelled they came up with #TwoPointSixChallenge the idea being for people to raise some money doing their own challenges based around the number 26.
Some people are running 2.6 miles, some are cycling or doing other sports or activities. Everyone's level of ability is different and difficulty is relative. Certainly I could not have run 2.6 miles 18 months ago, but given that I run often it would not have been difficult enough now. So I decided to run all 26 miles this week.
We have already raised £
336 £566 £722 (including Facebook donations) which is amazing, so thank you to everyone who has donated.
The main reason for this blog post is because I think giving it one last push could help it reach a few more people who might want to donate to Cancer Research.
Social media is proving to be a difficult way of reaching everyone. A friend I chatted to today said they weren’t aware I am doing it, despite me going on about it constantly online for the past two days! I am battling against the algorithms.
So if you would like to donate then that would be amazing. But even if you don’t (which really is fine) then it could help loads if you could like, share or reply to or otherwise react to my social media posts about it – as that will help to convince the algorithms that it’s interesting.
I went a bit overboard and ran 9 miles on Monday and 10 miles today so I have about 7 miles left to do. So I’m doing a marathon in three days.
Monday was all things idyllic and sunny but today was pretty hard going and in relentless driving rain. Also I foolishly took a right turn up the steepest hill in the area which goes on LITERALLY FOREVER. So now I’m feeling a bit broken. You can see my routes here and here on Strava.
I cannot fathom how people run a whole marathon in one session at any sort of speed!
I completed it this morning. Day 3 was not too bad! What have I learned? I could probably manage a half marathon.
Any shares likes, retweets and comments et cetera help more than you might realise.
It would be great to get to £400. Donations are now at £722. I will top it up by an extra £100 as well. The current (and of course very serious) virus problems aside cancer remains one of the highest causes of suffering and death, and science and research are how we will eventually solve it.
And if you do want to donate please click the big banner at the top or below. And if not please do consider sharing.
© 2022 Ade Rowbotham Ltd