Fun with Flickr stats

Spent some time playing with Flickr stats the other day. I’m not really looking to be known for my photographs, but I am a sucker for data. As expected, my stats don’t demonstrate that internet users worldwide have come to appreciate my uncanny eye for composition and form, but rather that one can leverage Flickr’s hard-won Google ranking and search relevance to own some obscure keywords.

In the NYT, a reflection on the newly-discovered photos of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg:

What would the photographic record show if it reached back, say 500 years, instead of 180?

One answer is that it would show us this same structure over and over again: a fiercely concentrated knot of people hanging on the words of someone at the center of the crowd. And around them? People standing in looser and looser concentrations, until finally — far enough from the epicenter — their attention turns away from history and focuses on the abiding interest of almost anything else. And this is somehow the inherent bias of the camera. It always directs us toward the center of attention, never away to the periphery, even though that is where our attention eventually wanders.

[via librarycrunch]

A long essay on Errol Morris’ long, three-part investigation of a Roger Fenton photograph: “Fenton’s mild rearranging of some cannonballs presumably went unremarked because no one at the time would have thought it worth remarking on. To subject him to the standards of our own time is otiose; it’s like complaining that Wagner’s Ring cycle is missing a backbeat.” But, then again, that’s rather beside the point: “I don’t care why he chose to pursue this particular topic at such fantastic and disorderly length. It’s a great thing to find in a newspaper.”