Why standing in the middle of an expressway to take photos is a good idea

Spring tulips are sprouting in Chicago

Out of the millions of photos that get posted to flickr every day, my sprouting tulip photo is currently the #112th most popular image on flickr for April 1, 2013. A big thanks to Chicagoist for featuring my photo in “Around Town: Sprouting” and thereby kick-starting the views to this photo on flickr.

Lesson: if you see something that catches your eye, stop and take a photo. Even if it’s with your cell phone. The tulips were starting to sprout on a Monday morning after a warm weekend in Chicago. Tiny buds are so cute how they start to poke out of the soil. These particular buds are in a median right in the middle of the busy Michigan Avenue shopping district. Taxis zoom by this six-lane artery (which I call an expressway). When the walk signal turns on, everyone hustles across the street to safely reach the other side.

The super-cool flower beds in the middle of this expressway are a beckoning call to pause. One of the most enjoyable things to do in life is to ignore the hustle quick-pace of life and simply enjoy things. Literally to smell the flowers–and to photograph them. And sometimes your of-the-moment photograph can end up being one of the most popular photos in the world for that day.

15 of spudart's photos in flickr explore

Flickr does a nice thing called “Explore” with this top 500 photos per day. They use a combination of factors like, favs, comments, and views on each photo. And so the top 500 photos don’t display the same photographers every day, they also factor in how many likes/comments/views each photographer typically gets for every photo posted. If there is a spike in activity above the normal range for a photographer, then the photo gets ranked in Explore.

The rankings constantly adjust themselves, even years afterwards. If everyone suddenly started to like one of my photos from 2007, then that photo would see an increase in ranking for that particular day.

Currently I have 15 photos in the top 500 (as seen in the image at the top of the post). There’s an additional 38 of my photos that have been in the top 500 at some point, but have dropped out of Explore.

38 spudart photos dropped from flickr explore

This is one of the reasons why Flickr is better than Instagram. Can Instagram claim to be able to display images of the past like this? They certainly have images posted years ago, but it’s very challenging to access them. Instagram is seeing photos of the moment. It’s not a service to see photos of the past.

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