Sunday, January 3, 2010
Savage Land on Flickr = One Million Views
This is an historic day for me as my all-time Flickr stats broke one million views. I have been watching the number climb into the 900,000’s for about a month. Now there is no grand prize for breaking a million views, National Geographic won’t likely be contacting me anytime soon or anything like that but there is still a sense of personal accomplishment in the fact that a million people took some time out of their busy lives to check out something I created.
The irony here is that I have done music and sound design for many TV, independent film and video game projects, many of them experienced by millions of people. That is cool but I am only a tiny part in those projects , so small that in fact the majority of those people would never know I was part of one of those projects unless they read each and every production credit (I would likely be toward the end of the credit list). The Flickr stats are more personal because there was no advertising behind it, no reason for people to check out my page, the work had to stand on its own in a sea of millions of wonderful photos in the hundreds of Flickr groups I am part of.
How did it all start? Back in April of 2007 I joined Flickr, my very first photo placed online April 8th 2007 was a panorama of the city of Orlando…I had just learned to do long exposures with a very simple point and shoot Canon S2-IS. Up until late 2004 I had been a cinematographer not a still photographer (and I hadn’t shot a movie for about two to three years at that). I started taking pictures again after I adopted my little daughter because I loved taking photos of her life.
In late 2006 I started taking photography very seriously. I joined the Orlando Digital Photography Group in March of 2007 to learn the basics of still photography and found some great mentors by the names of Spencer Fisher and Charlie House. I learned about Flickr in the photo club and originally became a member just to post in the ODPG Flickr pool after our monthly events: http://www.flickr.com/groups/odpg/
In December of 2007 our photo club took a trip to the Albin Polasek Museum in Winter Park and during that trip I found myself looking at the world in a whole new way; I would see something as it was and could visualize my impression of it. I could foresee how something might look with the right emphasis on color, lighting, composition; in other words I could see a shot for what it could become. The visual post-production skills I learned in film-making would now be fully used in my still photography.
In May of 2007 I discovered an extraordinary photographer by the name of Ram Morrison http://www.flickr.com/photos/rammorrison/ who is from India. I was so blown away by his work I had to write him to ask how on Earth he was able to capture such amazing images. He introduced me to High Dynamic Range photography and helped me learn the skill of HDRI post process. HDRI radically changed how I went about capturing images and really fueled my creative fire. My first HDR image was of Casa Felize a historic home in Winter Park Florida. With that photo-stream post suddenly I started getting comments on my photography. I was so excited to get positive feedback from other photographers that it pushed me to take the skill further.
From that point on I started spending many hours a week viewing and being humbled by other photographers on Flickr. My mind was racing with new ideas and so many great photographers answered the massive list of questions I started asking online.
In September of 2007 a photo I posted of an Aston Martin got the attention of Makes & Models Magazine and I was offered the chance to become the official photographer for the Festivals of Speed. I always loved automobiles and it was a dream offer. I set down the point and shoot camera and learned to use a DSLR with the help of people on Flickr.
By February of 2008 I was offered a gallery showing of photography in Orlando. I had come a very long way in a year but I was still in awe of shots that I found on Flickr, I found myself constantly in pursuit of that next level of photography.
My most successful photos on Flickr (based on stats) was the project based around the video game “The Mirror’s Edge” that racked up an astonishing 407,000 views due to multiple gaming websites featuring the photos; more details on that project can be found here: http://www.savagelandpictures.net/2009/10/mirrors-edge-photos-rack-up-407000.html
before that oddly my most viewed photo was that of an RX7 that I shot at a automotive event that racked up some 13,740 views and I’m to this day still not exactly sure why?
Fast forward to now and my million views of what is now a photo-stream of 1,010 photographs. I feel my photography has come a very long way from where I started but I am still in awe of so many professional Flickr photographers that continue to inspire me with their creativity. I am finding that the creativity is endless, there is always something new to be found and learned. I still feel I am just getting started.
So what photos and photographers inspire me on Flickr? Allow me to show you: http://www.flickr.com/photos/savage_land_pictures/favorites/show/
I want to thank the 284 photographers that have helped me on my way. The list of names can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/people/savage_land_pictures/contacts/
I would also like to give serious thanks to the thousands of photographers who have commented on my work and keep me going strong!