There is an extremely interesting discussion on the OCA site regarding the flood of images that hits the world on a daily basis. Kessels is a curator and art director. He downloaded and printed every photographed uploaded to Flickr during a 24 hour period. As can be seen on the link above, the photographs of all these photographs are quite mind boggling. Entire rooms are filled with mountains of photographs and viewers to the exhibition walk freely over all these private moments.
The blog posting states that there are three ways in which photographers deal with this flood of images.
- They embrace the flood (use it in their work)
- Appropriate images from the flood to use in their own work
- Use the images in story-telling
We are asked to consider how we would deal with the flood? Knowing that by taking photographs we are adding to the deluge, what motivates us to do this?
I think the “flood” has always been present. Before the digital age, photographs were contained in private albums, taken out on special occasions to reminisce over. We don’t really know how many prints were made, but I am sure that in relation to modern times it would have been a large amount, especially when the Polaroid camera was introduced to the market. We just didn’t have access to the photos. Nowadays online photographs litter the internet, displayed in various online photo sharing sites, Facebook, Flickr and other sites.
Just as there are billions of books out there in the world, of which I will only read a micro-fraction, so too will my viewing of online images be. There are books that I have no interest in reading and so too there are images that I have no interest in viewing. One has to be selective in one’s viewing.
What motivates me to add to the flood? My images are uploaded for my edification in order to improve my craft and also to share with family in distant countries. When I was doing research for TAOP’s assignment 5, I came across quite a lot of images of my chosen subject. I took note of the surroundings, and various lenses that were used to shoot the photos. So I knew what to expect when I arrived at the destination. As I worked through the assignment, I soon realised that even though I was shooting in the same location as the other photographers, my images had a very different essence to them. This, I think, constitutes a motivating factor to reproduce one’s work in some form.
Dent, Gareth, (2013). Dealing with the Flood [online] Open College of the Arts. Available from: http://weareoca.com/photography/people-are-hungry-for-stories/ [Accessed 21 April, 2015]