The photo sharing site Flickr, sometimes written with a lower-case "f," which seems to be used by a disproportionate number of the more talented of the many photographers in the world, has changed its look and organization. As you might expect, its users have...er, some opinions about that.
Go ahead, see if you can read that whole comment thread. According to one estimate, more than 20,000 comments so far.
The way I see it, the problem with things like this is that artistic people take into account the interface when they're deciding how to organize and present their work. If you change it, it's not so much that the change is bad, it's that it doesn't appear like the person whose pictures you're looking at expected it to appear. (Shades of what I was talking about the other day regarding shuffled-up software user interfaces.) It's one advantage of paper publication...the "published" work is at least set into a semi-enduring form that can't be recast willy-nilly by others later. Clearly, however, books are no longer the primary way photographers share their work and look at the work of others.
(Thanks to Bob Blakley)
Original contents copyright 2013 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Ben Syverson: "My issue with the Flickr redesign is that the photos have no room to breathe...it looks like a contact sheet, whereas the old design was closer to a gallery wall. The eye needs that 'white space' (not necessarily white) for visual relief, which is why we started putting room between words and paragraphs hundreds of years ago.
"I get why you would use this design for mobile devices, where you need to maximize screen utilization, but it's just overkill on the desktop. I have a feeling the idea came from an engineer rather than a designer, which would fit the historical pattern of horror vacui as an 'outsider art' impulse.
"One great quote from the Horror vacui Wikipedia article: 'There is an inverse relationship between horror vacui and value perception.' That pretty much sums it up. It's hard to appreciate an individual image when it's crammed into a mosaic of 20 other photos."