photography


My traditional ‘task’ at the end of the year – looking back over my photo-a-day project. I update a spreadsheet with numbers, but also enjoy remembering places I’ve visited, things I’ve seen, and looking at which photos other people have enjoyed on flickr.

2018 statistics

Views of all photos: 384,648 – over 1,000 views a day on average.

Views of photos chosen as photo of the day (PAD): 74,017, which makes a daily average of 203 views.

The most viewed photo is a curious one, as it is simply of 3 books, all of which relate to libraries.

Library Books has at time of writing had 3,195 views. In 2nd place was another library photo: Inside Hebburn library had 1,040 views.

It is always nice when people react to a photo – and it was lovely this year as almost every single photo in the album has at least one ‘like’ or comment.  There were lots with between 6-8 likes, then one (the Sage, Newcastle – plus its reflection in the Tyne) with 9 likes and 6 comments, but the top of the chart was one I called ‘Wisteria Smile‘ – with 10 likes and 3 comments.

The least viewed is the photo below [36 views at time of writing]. Not surprisingly as it is fairly recent, and was one of many loaded in a batch from our recent wonderful holiday. It is perhaps not as eyecatching as the hummingbirds, sloths or toucans, but does remind us of a beautiful day on one of the highest points in Costa Rica, and which I was delighted to discover later is part of one of their UNESCO world heritage sites!

Categories

Nature remains the most popular subject I capture with my camera. Besides many views of scenery and wild places, 143 were studies of flora and fauna, including:

  • 18 animals – out of which 7 were the foxes who were frequent visitors to our garden
  • 37 flowers – including 9 orchids (some wild, some exotic, but the most noteworthy this year was the burnt tip, a single flower possibly making its first appearance in Kent for 5 years)
  • 31 birds – again, from the garden familiars to the more exotic (including the resplendent quetzal)  and 3 owls. On the owl theme, I also chose 15 ‘owl related’ photos – which includes owls carved in stone, on book covers or beer labels, or one on the owl trail in Bath
  • 11 butterflies and moths

In total, 39 PAD photos were taken in our garden.

At least 55 photos feature places in London, while 18 are in Rochester. And this year 11 feature UNESCO world heritage sites (besides the one mentioned above, we visited Kew gardens, and Durham cathedral.)

In the spirit of pushing against your comfort zone, I always have good intentions of taking more photos of people, and did reasonably well this year – with around 14 featuring people, plus 5 of N (usually his hands – cooking, or mending something).

22 photos are transport related. This includes 9 trains, 5 boats and 6 of planes (boosted by a number relating to the centenary of the RAF – including the one below, which conjures up the wonderful memory of standing in the Mall watching a spectacular flypast of different kinds of planes).

I published only 6 sunrises/sunsets, but kept up the well-known social media
tradition of recording food: 16 of the photos in the project were food or drink related (including lots of cakes!).

A random category that I noticed a cluster of this year, is flags – 6 in total, maybe prompted by anniversaries and international gatherings. I published 3 photos relating to the suffrage centenary, and was impressed and moved by the many different ways of commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War – and published 6 PAD photos relating to that.

Libraries

Deserving of its own paragraph – as mentioned above, the 2 most viewed photos were library related. 39 PAD photos were of libraries – well, I did visit 101 this year, so it is understandable. Over the next week or so I’ll echo last years post, and round up my memories of all the libraries visited. Still lots to see, but memorable ones are when I made the effort to visit ones that have been on my list for ages, like the dramatic concrete modernist library at Swiss Cottage, or the library in Upminster where my mum used to work.

There were also 8 book related photos.

Overall numbers

As a final numbers roundup, aside from the photo-a-day images, on flickr overall I now have published 12,421 photos (some of which are restricted to family and friends only) with 1,866,658 views (according to flickr stats, which do go through wobbly patches so I’m not 100% sure how reliable they are!). And out of that total, I now have 90 photos which have each been viewed more than 1,000 times!

I’ve published 17 albums during 2018 – about average – although the grand holiday album this year broke the record for contents, with 237 photos. Well, Costa Rica is so beautiful and we saw so much, it was very hard to choose!

Personal favourite?

I still can’t believe we got this close to a wild sloth – and the cherry on the cake was that she’d brought her baby too.

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Sloth: mother and baby. Cahuita, Costa Rica

And this photo of a vulcan, as I was not expecting it, and it brings back memories of an interesting couple of days in Lincolnshire libraries.

Plus, just like last year, we were lucky enough to go to a wedding on a gloriously sunny day. This year saw us on the Isle of Man catching up with all my cousins. The day had lots of memorable moments, and this photo sums it up:

What next?

I can’t stop now – I’ve published a photo for 1 January – and opened my 10th Photo a day album. Happy New Year, and I wonder where 2019 will take me?

 

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In common with many people in the library world – and many beyond (although they clearly have their own hashtag!) the Libraries Taskforce took part in the #LibraryLife black and white challenge recently.

Not new to me – @juliac2 published ‘7 photos in 7 days, no people* no explanations’ back in July. Mine was a bit of a hybrid challenge, some days #LibraryLife, some days library related, and others just my life. And as a veteran of photo-a-day projects, my photos were taken on the day, but they absolutely don’t have to be!

So, once @LibTaskforce was challenged by @emilyjmacaulay how could we resist. And when I read the blog post from Helen McGinley about their experience, I realised it echoed exactly the response from Emily to our first tweet, so thought I too would share how we planned our 7 days. I also *explained* that the library I challenged might be a tiny hint as to where the photo was taken (recognising that this might mean services were challenged who had already done the challenge….. But hey – it’s just a bit of fun!)

I roughed out a plan and shared it with colleagues, inviting them to suggest photos which illustrated either current or past visits to libraries.

Day 1 of 7

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First photo WAS a reflection of our activity that week. In advance of a workshop in Barnsley, two of us stopped off in Rotherham, and besides a tour of the new Riverside library (opened in 2012 when the central library moved into the civic centre), we also went to Mowbray Gardens – a library which captured my attention after a passing reference in a presentation at work, and has led to some fascinating conversations about the wide range of activity which takes place there, a guest blog post on the Taskforce site (and another in the queue), plus a case study in one of the Taskforce brochures. So it was lovely to see for real.

Day 2 of 7

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Day 2 continued the theme of the team visit to Barnsley, as we held the workshop in the central library. A solid 1930s building, that was previously (I think) used as council offices, and before that was built for the Co-operative Society. Lots of activity on the day we were there – a rhymetime was in full swing downstairs as we set up in the former co-op boardroom, and I never did get a photo of the table tennis table in the children’s library, as every time I saw it, a game was in process!
There will soon be a brand new library in Barnsley – Library@Lightbox is due to open in Spring 2019.

Day 3 of 7

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Over to a colleague for this photo. Sheila visited Suffolk to see the launch of their NPO programme and used the opportunity to extend her trip to cover a weekend: to visit other friends and explore Suffolk’s libraries. She saw 7 in total, and the photo chosen was the impressive Northgate Room in Ipswich library.

Day 4 of 7

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Back to me for Sunday’s photo, and I chose one from my recent holiday in the Isle of Man. A blog post will follow on the libraries I saw there, but for now, I loved this piece of book art in one of the study bays in Onchan library. The whole library had some imaginative displays, including Mischief Making in the children’s space related to the Summer Reading Challenge, an interesting exhibition on the ancient carved celtic stones found in the area (promoting a book) and a beautiful tree and wildlife pictures in the entrance.

Day 5 of 7

midlesbrough-chairs

Charlotte suggested one of the photos from Middlesbrough central library – a classic galleried reference room with bespoke furniture. We visited this library a while ago, together with one of their community hubs – North Ormesby – which sticks in our mind as the building also contains a full size boxing ring!

Day 6 of 7

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Foluke attended the opening of the newly refurbished Hastings library, and was impressed with the attention to detail paid to making the best use of a historic building. She loved the artwork created by Quentin Blake, which shows the historic Stade area of town, with young readers suspended in mid-air enjoying their books.

Day 7 of 7

word2

And finally, one of the most beautiful modern libraries I’ve visited during my time with the Taskforce. Opened in 2016, The Word in South Shields has won awards for its architecture – and visitor numbers prove that local people love it too.

In a break from the model of the previous 6 days, I challenged 2 – both @TheWord_UK, and @DcmsLibraries. The latter to promote and share the new account set up by colleagues in the libraries policy team, who will be keeping central government’s mind on public libraries long after the task-and-finish team I’m in has closed. I look forward to seeing which libraries they choose!

And as a parting thought, I have lots of sympathy with the comment from @FlindersLib mentioned in Helen’s blog which started this piece: “Personally, much prefer a library with people. No point otherwise.” I do too – we need many more photos showing the vibrancy of activities that take place in many libraries. However, publishing and sharing photos of people can be fraught with permissions, and needing to demonstrate and store that you have obtained that permission, so very often, what we take, and have access to is photos either of unidentifiable backs of heads or hands, or photos which at least record the features and general look of a library.

* I’m amazed that no one picked my up on it, but one of my photos DID include a person – not as the main feature, he was a tiny figure on the beach, but nevertheless, I was mortified, as I only noticed when I went to publish a photo the following day!

My last post reviewed my year in relation to libraries, this one returned to another traditional annual activity – looking back at my year of photo projects.
Having just completed my 8th annual photo-a-day project (plus my third 52 in a year weekly photo challenge), I’ve had a quick trawl through the numbers.

And the totals are:

  • total views of photos chosen as photo of the day (as of 31/12/16): 63,596
  • average number of views per pic: 174
  • total favourites: 861
  • total comments: 213

Most popular/viewed?

My spreadsheet (yes, a many sheeted spreadsheet, I’m a bit obsessed with categories – but only after the act – I like looking back, and at patterns)  tells me last year’s project gained the most views so far (apart from one year where I had several photos in explore, which inflated the overall total).

My most viewed photo is a surprise – a snap inside Kibworth community library. A warm and welcoming place, but by no means the most photogenic library I’ve seen. 2510 views as I type – it is currently my 16th most viewed photo ever!

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Second place goes to another snap – “Guess the Book” – possibly influenced by a combination of the keywords ‘lego’ and ‘Game of Thrones’? 1578 views to date (and no. 32 on the all time list).

Besides pure views, interaction is interesting. The image with the most likes is one of our regular foxes – this time captured in one of his ‘mozilla’ poses. Autumnal colours has 14 likes.

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In a curious co-incidence, joint second are 2 photos of snowdrops – each with 13 likes (the 2nd one has 7 comments – and according to flickr…. (I have no idea how they calculate it,) its my 7th ‘most interesting’ – nb lavender harvest has fewer likes, comments and views, but is ‘ranked’ 6…. go figure!)

And the least viewed? Initially it was some lovely butterfly floortiles in the Grade I listed church in Ashbourne in Derbyshire, with just 32 views….. but, I realised when checking for this blog post, I’d forgotten to post them in any of the photo-a-day groups, so I remedied that, and of course this morning, it had gained a few more views! So – the ‘least viewed’ label now goes to the library in Kedleston Hall:  – another from the Derbyshire holiday, but that one was in all the right albums.

Back to the numbers

50 photos were taken in our garden. 95 were in London – not surprising I guess as I spend most daylight hours there! 43 were taken out and about in Rochester.

I did much better this year with my attempt to try and take more photos of people: 19 (compared to just 8 last year). This is still the area where I am most out of my comfort zone – but will keep practicing!

Nature wins overall, with 111 photos featuring birds (37 – including 7 of our photogenic great spotted woodpeckers), flowers (32 – including 9 orchids), animals (22 – out of which 8 starred one of our foxes) and butterflies (18) plus a couple of fungi. I also took lots of landscapes.

Other interests are well represented in the project too. I took 11 photos of unesco heritage sites, and 39 of libraries (plus 13 book or book related photos – including 3 authors). Owls feature too – besides just 1 real owl (included in the birds total above), there were also 17 other ‘owl-related’ photos – its amazing how many you still see represented in art, or generally on ‘stuff’!

I chose 15 transport related photo-a day images – including 4 trains and 4 planes, and published only 8 sunrises/sunsets. But kept up the well-known social media tradition of recording food: 23 of the photos in the project were food or drink related (lots of cakes!).

Overall numbers

As a final numbers roundup, aside from the photo-a-day images, on flickr overall I now have 10,813 photos published (some of which are restricted to family and friends only) with 1,531,182 views (according to flickr stats, which do go through wobbly patches so I’m not 100% sure how reliable they are). And out of that total, I now have 62 photos which have been viewed more than 1,000 times. They are often photos which surprise me – sometimes there might be an explanation, like flickr explore, a certain group, or social media publicity, but sometimes I have no idea.

Besides the 2 photo projects mentioned, I published a further 24 albums (more than average…. maybe it was all those library expeditions!). I tend to set up an album when there are a number of photos from a particular place or trip, but do also add photos throughout the year to a number of generic albums, such as garden birds, libraries or fungus forays.

And my personal favourite for the year? Lots of them make me smile when I look back, wonderful events, memories of fun times with family and friends, or “right place right time” photos, but I think I might choose this one of the pelicans in St James Park.

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I’ve taken their portraits many times – posing, resting or preening, but this is the first ‘action’ shot!

And remember I mentioned ‘people’ photos – well, weddings make it easy – and I do like this one of friends Ann and Dai’s wedding – a gorgeously hot mid-summer day, with lots of smiles, flowers and sparkles.

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So – now on to 2018. Happy New Year (and of course, a new year of photos).

I haven’t done this for a year or two, but as I’ve just completed my 7th annual photo-a-day project (plus my second 52 in a year weekly photo challenge) I’ve had a quick trawl through the numbers.

And the totals are:

total views of photos chosen as photo of the day (as of 31/12/16): 52,074
average number of views per pic: 142
total favourites: 834 (av 2.8 per pic)
total comments: 199 (av 1.65 per pic)

Despite flickr stats going wobbly a couple of times during the year, I rely on my own spreadsheet, and it tells me last year gained the most views so far (just, 2015 total was 50,633). No photos in explore, (which has inflated the overall total in previous years), but my most viewed photo – the robin below, was possibly due to my decision to select it and add to the flickr group: Your best shot 2016. 796 views as I type this, plus 17 faves and 2 comments.

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Other popular photos may also have an explanation: Wordplay (662 views as I type) was the first photo I added to the 52 in 2016 challenge group, and the Book Bench based on Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere story that I stumbled across in Manchester Central library was probably helped by the fact that @neilhimself retweeted my tweet and brought lots of extra viewers! (663 as I type)

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And the least viewed? Discounting the last couple of weeks, where photos haven’t been published for very long, the two photos which tie for that ‘honour’ with 31 apiece, are one taken in a gorgeous italian garden we discovered in East Kent, and one taken on our holiday: the temple at Xunantunich.

Both re-published below so they do not feel unloved!

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Godinton italian garden, Kent

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Xunantunich, Belize

Back to the numbers

33 photos were taken in our garden. 54 were of recognisable London sights – not surprising I guess as I spend most daylight hours there! 21 were taken out and about in the Medway towns.

Despite my vow each year to try and take more photos of people, I’ve failed again – just 8 contain people, although there were 7 featuring Neil (although only 1 which showed his face!)

Nature wins overall, with 98 photos featuring birds (34), flowers (32), animals (12) and butterflies (11) plus a variety of fungi and insects – and lots of countryside scenery.

Other interests are well represented in the project too. I captured 8 photos of unesco heritage sites, and 29 of libraries (plus 7 book or book related photos – as I made a point of recording some of the many literary anniversaries last year: Happy Birthday Charlotte Bronte, HG Wells, Beatrix Potter and Roald Dahl).

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I chose 13 transport related photo-a day images – including 4 trains and 4 planes, and published 11 sunrises/sunsets. And finally, to dispel they myth that all of social media is about food – but to recognise that sometimes after a long day I do take the odd photo of my supper…… 33 of the photos in the project were food or drink related.

Overall numbers

As a final numbers roundup, aside from the photo-a-day images, on flickr overall I now have 9,078 photos published (some of which are restricted to family and friends only) with 1,170,530 views (according to flickr stats, which as mentioned above, do go through wobbly patches so I’m not 100% sure how reliable they are). And out of that total, I now have 44 photos which have been viewed more than 1,000 times. They are often photo which surprise me – and as I mused above, sometimes there might be an explanation, like flickr explore, a certain group, or social media publicity, but sometimes I have no idea.

Besides the 2 photo projects mentioned, I published a further 15 albums (pretty much the same as every year – although that is completely by chance) – I tend to set up an album when there are a number of photos from a particular place or trip, but do also add photos throughout the year to a number of generic albums, such as garden birds, libraries or fungus forays.

And despite rumours of flickr’s demise, I still haven’t found anything better for a vast collection of gorgeous photos, and a global community of people, many of whom are ‘just like me’ – in many different ways, and isn’t that one of the best things about social media?!

I confess I have wondered just what niche Instagram fills in the social media ecosystem, so I was very interested to listen to John TassPa who came to talk to us yesterday.

His enthusiasm was infectious – he outlined the evolution of the photo sharing app and shared some fascinating examples of how public sector organisations are using it.  Instagram’s aim is to enable people to “capture and share moments” and it was fueled by the wish to be able to capture and share immediately – the possibility of which was made real by the near ubiquity of smartphones.

Some key facts and milestones: over 200 million people use the app worldwide. It started off as something for iPhone users, but an android app was launched in 2012. Facebook acquired it in 2012. The audience is primarily young (or at least young at heart as John added!)

Some of the channels key values are Community first, Simplicity matters, and inspire Creativity. It was clear how these aims are delivered from the examples talked about. When instagram first launched they made a huge effort to contact photographers and offer them the opportunity to showcase their work. Thus it didn’t start as an echoing empty place, but was already filled with the sort of content they hoped others could create and add. The app itself is apparently very simple to use (I’ll have to get back to you on that….. although I did notice a twitter exchange  from @billt that raised a question that didn’t sound so simple!) and the creativity element is enhanced by the availability of a range of filters which photographers can apply to their images to lift them out of the mass of ordinary snapshots.

On to the examples – unsurprisingly, the channel has been used by tourism bodies who want to expose great images of the regions they are responsible for – the Australian Tourism body pit out a call to people to use a specific hashtag. They then contact the photographers and curate their content in a gallery. Canada copied this, as did Israel and Iceland. The US department of the interior did similar – although their specific action was to encourage their own park rangers to contribute images. The US coastguard shares control of their main channel with different regional stations, so viewers can get a sense of activity all around the States. And a final US example – and one I’ll definitely take a look at – Boston Public Library – an account to explore!

Boston Public Library on instagram

Boston Public Library on instagram

Instagram is encouraging organisations to be creative in other ways. One technique is to identify photographers on the channel who already have a number of followers, and inviting them to take part in specific events to generate new content. Examples of this include a Canadian Regional tourism board who invited a group of instagrammers from around the world on a visit to their state and curated the content they produced. A current example closer to home is the team managing the NATO summit taking place in Wales. They invited a 17 year old instagrammer to become part of the official press pack and cover the summit. Besides getting a range of different photographs, they have also gained a lot of free positive publicity for this.

NATO wales on instagram

NATO wales on instagram

My own Department DFID also scored an instagram “first” with a campaign it ran around the recent Girl Summit in London. Instagrammers were invited to upload short videos in which they described what freedom meant to them (using the hashtag #freedomis) and the team created a short video of the best clips. Again, lots of good publicity and interest in the process – plus a wide variety of actual submissions.

Girl Summit instagram video

Girl Summit instagram video

The session was wrapped up with some examples of public figures who are using instagram to show their more human side. One comment about the best accounts – its what they see, not about seeing them. People including the italian tourism minister Dario Franceschini, and the Mayor of Los Angeles.

Bottom line – instagram is an overwhelmingly positive channel – favourite of the smartphone owner who just wants to flick through lots of colourful, eyecatching content. The words/captions attached are almost incidental, and its actually quite hard, if not impossible to search for content if you are not a member of the community. I can now understand though how it is helping brands to build on trends, and to raise awareness of a topic or theme.

In conclusion, while I’m not planning to completely change my photo taking and sharing habits overnight, the talk proved again to me the mantra that you need to participate in a channel to really understand how it works. I still have lots of questions, so I may well set up an account.

Another year’s photo-a-day project completed – with a bonus extra picture as 2012 was a leap year. A roller coaster year, with personal family sadness, but curiously I didn’t put down the camera, and find it strangely comforting to look back now and see what I chose to record on days when I can’t really remember doing anything atall. We also passed another of life’s milestones as after 20 years in a tiny Victorian terrace, we moved house. We’re still in Rochester, but came forward a century in time, as we bought a brand new house. That gave lots of opportunities to take photos to record aspects of the move, but also a new walk to the station and lots of different things to notice.

On with the statistics: Most popular and/or “interesting”

By a long way, it was the Govcamp T-shirt: 462 – also no. 4 in the all time views list, no. 150 in what flickr describes as “most interesting”.

GovCamp 2012 t-shirt

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…..

I agree its not that interesting a photo – more one for the record – but its position makes it even harder to try and understand the flickr interestingness algorithm. This photo has same number of comments as others which appear much higher – must be something to do with popularity over time too? (still behind last years top photo, which continues to be popular – ‘ripples’ has now reached 728 views)
Others high on the list were Pelican: 373 (also no. 8 all time views, no. 50 ‘interesting’), Owl mugs: 302 and Tube lights: 278
2012 diary photos had over 100 views (at 31 Dec 2012) – 31

To update other figures in the style of last years blog post (comparing with previous years in square brackets):

Number of diary images which appear in my top 20 all time most viewed: 4 [last year it was also 4, 2010: 2]

Number of diary images which appear in the top 20 all time ‘most interesting’: 4 [last year: 9, year before: 6]

Total views of photo diary images during 2012: 25,671 [21,111 in 2011, and 8,680 in 2010]
Average views of each image: 70 [58 and 24]
Total views of all published photos during 2012: 67,320 [2011: 49,791 and 22,577 in 2010]

Categories include:
Event/date specific: 46 [about the same, 54 and 41, although my definitions of this category are non scientific!]
Local photos (Kent) = 66 [up on last years 48, but still fewer than the 95 taken in 2010]
London: 105 – bolstered by 46 taken in St James Park [up on last years 86, which included 28 in the Park, in turn up on 76 taken in 2010]

Travel related: 24 – this year I didn’t include all nights away from home, as we spent a lot of time in Gloucestershire. [55 in 2011, 43 in 2010 (these totals include all day trips and weekends away from home)]

Owl related: 20 [14 in 2011, 11 in 2010]

More libraries: 10 [4 and 7]

Fewer sunrises: 8 [just down from 9 in 2011 and 13 in 2010]

The natural world continued to feature strongly:
flora: 74 [huge growth over 49 in 2011 and 43 in 2010]
while fauna also increased: 47 [up from 41 in 2011 and 17 in 2010]

And the St James Park pelicans continue to feature – one of which was mentioned above as capturing people’s attention.

Pelican in St James Park

What it is to be a star!

Less transport overall:
fewer trains: 4 [14 and 8], fewer boats: 4 [5 and 6], fewer cars: 3 [5 and 0],
planes: 2 [0 and 5] and other transport: 3 [8 and 2]

Food and drink, about the same: 28 [23 and 12]

Still not doing that well with people: 20 – although there were a couple of portraits [24 and 18]

I’ve replied to some people who asked if I was planning to continue in 2013 with yes, and added the explanation that it is a bit of an addiction. While this is true, its also an education – especially as this year I was given a digital SLR, so continuing the photo a day habit is good opportunity to practise. The flickr albums also provide a nice diary snapshot of the year, and mean I can compare the changing of the seasons, when flowers/leaves appear and disappear, and also recall with precision when I did certain things – helpful evidence in occasional resolving of arguments!

Here’s to 2013 – I look forward to seeing how the people I feel I have got to know via flickr see and record their year.

PS – As an example of the wonderful serendipity of social media, just before I was about to publish this, I followed the link tweeted by @russellphoto : http://jmcolberg.com/weblog/extended/archives/meditations_on_photographs_a_car_on_fire_at_the_mall_by_jmc/ – and besides the neat twist that he shares my initials, I also share many of his thoughts and can relate them to why I take photographs. I would add though, that I’m always surprised by just how many of the pictures that I would consider ephemeral do continue to be viewed – perhaps that the librarian in me though, who can’t just publish, I always try to geotag, describe, label and otherwise make sure stuff is findable!

Following my lengthy blog post at the end of my first years photo a day project, thought I’d look back on 2011 and (as I’m still fairly intrigued by stats) look at how this years project differed – or followed similar lines.

First difference, I joined 3 different flickr photo a day groups – first: Photo a day challenge 2011, was the smallest, but the one I enjoyed most, as just like 2010, it meant I could almost get to know most of the group members through their photos, and share their years. This time, 2 people I knew also took part and I enjoyed seeing how Ann’s and Sharon‘s years unfolded – both of them experiencing many more life milestones than I did! The other 2 groups were the massive Project 365, which I dipped into occasionally, and the One pic a day 4 ever (again, small, as the qualification is that you have to have completed at east one 365 project). This latter group included one member from the 2010 group, and another who took some very intriguing photos, and blogged about the techniques

Flickr continues to confirm my main theory about social media – it helps you find people like you, whether you have a quirky or niche interest, or share the same passions as many.

Back to my project – aims were the same as last year really, record what happened, no particular plan beyond making sure I always had a camera with me and taking the photo when I thought about it, rather than miss an opportunity. One thing I mentioned last year as being bad at, is photos of people, and while this year is slightly better – 24 in total [up from 18] contain people, many of these are crowds, or performers (especially in costume, thanks to Rochester’s many festivals), and I just have 2 famous faces, 2 of colleagues, and 4 containing me (although none of those really recognisable – either in reflection, shadow or detail!) Other interests remained constant – scenery, the natural world, owls, libraries and a scattering of steam trains feature. I have continued to experiment with macro, tried to do more abstracts (9), and looking at the set as a whole, it struck me how many featured circles (15).

On to update the fairly random statistics I reported last year (with the previous year figures in brackets where relevant)

Total images posted in the diary: 365 [hurrah again, mission accomplished]

Most viewed – by a long way my most viewed photo of all time, and one that was completely unplanned.

Reflections

Reflections

A combination of smooth ripples and the colourful clothes worn by people on the bridge meant this shot of the reflections on the lake in St James Park captured peoples attention: 674 views, 47 favourites and 36 comments.  This photo also made it to ‘explore’ – one of the 500 photos flickr features each day, which I’m sure gave it more exposure. [last years top photo was Explore your library with 133, which has continued to be popular – reaching 216 views during 2011)

Number of diary images which appear in my top 20 all time most viewed: 4 [last year it was 2]

Number of diary images wich appear in the top 20 all time ‘most interesting’: 9 [last year it was 6]

Total views of photo diary images during 2011: 21,111 [8,680 in 2010]
Average views of each image:  58 [24]
Total views of all published photos during 2011: 49,791 [22,577 in 2010]

Categories include:
event/date specific: 54 [about the same, 41, although my definitions of this category are non scientific!]
local photos Kent) 48 [many fewer than last years 95 – guess I felt I’d already captured local views?]
London: 86 [more than last years 76, but this years figures are probably bolstered by 28 photos taken in St James’ Park]

Travel related (including day trips and weekends away from home): 55 [43 in 2010]
This year, thanks to an amazing holiday in Sri Lanka, we visited a total of 11 unesco sites – 8 photos made it into the diary [up from 6 last year]

Owl related: 14 [11 last year]

No snow this year, and fewer sunrises: 4 [7] and sunsets: 5 [6]

The natural world continued to feature strongly:
flora: 49 [43]
while fauna saw huge growth: 41 [17]

Transport included:
more trains: 14 [8]
boats: 5 [6]
cars: 5 [none featured the previous year, although there were 5 planes – and none of those in 2011]
and other transport: 8 [2]

food and drink: 23 [12]

Two other notable photo/social media related anecdotes from my world last year, both are a credit to my colleagues (although one did tangentially feature in my diary too!). First Russell, and the amazing spider web photos. He tells the story eloquently in his own blog but it is a fantastic example of how the internet has made these stunning photos visible to a huge audience – over a million views that we can absolutely verify, and countless more via the many other galleries and channels in which they have appeared. It has received numerous accolades, not least being named recently as one of the Guardian’s “photos of 2011“. The second is the one I captured an example of  as my colleague is one of the founders of the Burgers and Nails blog.

Nail art

Nail art

A simple concept – take a photo of hands with carefully manicured and/or decorated nails clutching a burger (preferably gourmet) and submit. This blog saw a huge rise in popularity when it was featured by the Huffington Post.

And finally, yes, keeping a photo diary is addictive, and yes, I have already started on Project 2012  – potentially an interesting year, and of course the difference already from my previous 2 sets, is that this set will I hope end up with 366 photos. Thankyou to all who have commented on or added my photos as favourites, I hope you continue to enjoy them!

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