Monday, March 27, 2017

Photographers Fb -vs- Google+

How I Learned to Love Photography

I used to snap a few pictures with my phone. I'd post them on Facebook and they were sometimes funny or often showed some interesting thing I'd found or was involved with. It was mainly a social activity and I never even thought about taking photography at all seriously.

I'd tried that a long (really long) time ago and even got some darkroom experience. I knew a semi-pro and joined a club and bought my first 35mm SLR back in 1975. It took me four months to get it home from the lay-away room at the camera store and I was thrilled. It only took about three months before it was stolen though and I never got a "good" camera again until a few (very few) years ago.

So - to make a long story short: All the "cool kids" I met on "The Plus Side" have drifted back to Face-boo...
(that would be the crazy shutter bugs of course)

I get it. The g+ platform has slowly evolved from a social one to a more interest based one.  Heck, I still post on both sites too.  What I don't get though is the ongoing migration of "serious-ish" photographers to limit their interaction to the book of faces. 

Fb is perfect for showing your friends and folks the snaps from your parties and vacations and such. FB is where the people are so sure, by all means, post that stuff where it does some good. But FB is a terrible place to showcase your "good" stuff. 

Here are a couple of screen shots that I hope will show what I mean. I shared this along with a hashtag #rustysunday on the plus side and then put the same exact image into my fb photos to see how they look in comparison.

Facebook feed
google stream

They don't look all that different as they go by in our feeds and streams and that's a good thing. Most of the time people don't do more than glance at our pictures as they go about their normal web surfing activities. By this of course I mean looking for cat memes and spelling or grammar mistakes...

But then the plot begins to thicken...

When they do see something they find interesting and they "click" on it, the different platforms start to show some different results.
A picture "opened up" on Facebook
A screen-grab from the Plus-Side of Life
Notice that they look different. Some people (lots of them really) might actually prefer the Fb version. The contrast and saturation are boosted; I think. This gives it a snappier look and a bit of "pop". If you don't see it just look at the reflection of the flash in the footpeg. (above the space between "themes" and "you"on the google (lower) version.

So, you might say, what's the big deal ? That nice Mr Zuckerblurb made my picture better for me. Yay !

Now the folks who are what you might call my "target demographics" for this blog post can feel free to move on if they want.  I made my point already for them and the next part is just for my "nonphotographer" type friends. If you are cool with your social media platform "enhancing" and also resizing and recompressing your pictures them I'm cool with that. Just because you have a nice cellphone camera or even a good "real" camera doesn't mean you have to go all crazy about it like some of us do.

But, just like on TV  --- Wait !!! There's More !!!

Sometimes I see (or make) a picture that just looks better when it's bigger. I'll want to get right up close and personal and see some details by gosh. And well, faceyboo just doesn't do that so well. Or at all.  And sometimes I look at a shot and wonder, just how in the heck they got that shot ? Because I'd love to be able to take one like that, or something. The googles gives you that chance. It's - oh heck, I'll just show you...
Zoomed about 80% of the way on g+

This is why I continue to show my better photos on g+.  I'm not a professional so I'm not concerned that someone would steal my work.  Of course there are plenty of things you could do from watermarking to posting in smaller sizes and highter compression etc. if that's an issue that concerns you. Also, if you want your platform to enhance your shots, the plus will do that for you too. (but only if you tell it too) 

There are good and bad sides to every coin of course.  But my point is that if you care about your photos and the work that went into taking and/or making them, then please, post them where I can see them properly. 
Thanks Theo.