Thursday, January 24, 2008

Photo Sociology


I like to accompany every article here with a photo. I cruse flickr.com when looking for unusual stuff. When I find an interesting image I will save it in this photo bank. Sometimes I go looking for a photo for a specific topic.

Flickr has a thing where you can see groups of the twenty most recently uploaded photos. Each time you refresh you get another twenty. Flickr generally has over 3,000 photos uploaded every minute.

Most photographs are a waste of good electrons. Most being unworthy of a second glance, but occasionally someone uploads absolute art which makes you want to view their portfolio.

There are other trends which future sociologists could find interesting about the cultures of the early 2000s. There are groups of photos where one can see certain patterns that reappear, and here are the few I’ve noticed:

There are a lot of people out there with a boot fetish. Many photos are candid shots of people wearing boots walking around in a city. Oddly there are other boot fetishists who are transvestites. These people photograph themselves wearing women’s clothing and focus especially on the boots. I wonder why boots are so special to them?

Next, there are a lot of photos of yarn. There are skeins of every color and texture. It is unbelievable how much yarn is there, really unbelievable.

Finally there is the strangest of all. These are photographs of teen age girls who photograph themselves at arms length. They usually enhance their cleavage and pucker their lips for the camera. Oddly those in their later teens stop using the arms length camera angle and switch to photographing themselves in a mirror, but the pucker and the cleavage always seems to be present.

Flickr gives a snap shot of human culture as it presently is. I suppose one can spot other trends there and maybe predict where we are going in the future. All I can see is race of people who are knitters with puckered faces, cleavage, either wearing boots or loving boots. It sounds pretty bleak to me.

16 Comments:

Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I wondered where you got the great photos - which I have myself stolen from you and saved for future use.

I never noticed the girls/cleavage/lips thing before, but now that you mention it. This scares me, Guy, scares me bad.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

And don't forget narcissism - the need to display oneself to the world.

(Am I guilty of this? I think my posted pictures are relatively incognito. And are only on my blog.)

6:32 AM  
Blogger Chantel said...

The last one is a MySpace Portrait -- ha, ha!! Invented and perfected by teenagers everywhere. I happen to love my flickr account but its more than self portraits -- although I will admit I totally identify with the shoe/boot lovers.

:)

8:15 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Lori, sound like a good topic for M.A.L to touch on.

Beth your present photo is better than that old floppy hat one you used to use. And as for you being narcissistic, the only thing I've ever seen you flaunt are what books you are reading.

Chantel, your flickr account is so much more. Your self portraits are very tasteful yet alluring. I only wish I had the energy to post something artistic on my Flickr site. Also, while I'm kissing your ass, your writing is so honest and open. Someday I'll have to tell you the story of how I first found your site. You are pretty damn good.

9:48 AM  
Blogger weese said...

yarn? there's alot of yarn pictures.
hmm.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Copyright?

1:47 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

I guess that's part of today's culture--using things that don't belong to you without giving credit to the person who made that possible for you?

1:49 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Guilty, Rich, but in the photo above should I give credit to the photo taker who did not give credit to the person who took the photo for the billboard, nor credit the copyrighted auto design and I bet the driver didn't sign a release either.

2:04 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Hee, hee, Just because Johnny jumped off a bridge...

2:25 PM  
Blogger Ellis Nadler said...

I don't mind you using my photo on your blog but I wish you'd asked me first.Thanks.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

Yeah Guy! Yeah!!!
Why didn't you ask me first.
Maybe I'll sue.
And I won't be happy until I have your microscope and that jumpdrive you loaned me.
I'M RICH! I'M RICH!!!

4:29 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Did you ask the bill board photographer if you could use their image before you published it on Flickr? Anyway, my thanks go to you as I'm sure yours go to them for making these moments possible.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

"All I can see is race of people who are knitters with puckered faces, cleavage, either wearing boots or loving boots."

Thanks for causing me to spit coffee all over my screen! That one got me.

And for all you lawyers complaining about the image used, there's a little bit of law called Fair Use. Ah, whatever.

3:39 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Thanks Ian. I'd hate to stop using stolen photos. I put them there so people can at least look at something cool if they don't want to read the crap I write. Sorry about your screen. Somehow I think you know exactly what I'm talking about. You've seen some of these people, haven't you?

5:09 PM  
Blogger matt_stansberry said...

I've been trying to get my cleavage to look alluring in my flickr shots, but it's not working.

1:53 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Good thing your girl friend has a pretty smile.

2:35 PM  

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