Flickrlogo Today I realised that I’ve been a member of Flickr for four years. Joining in 2006 after receiving a digital camera as a leaving present from the New Statesman (thank you Dan, Spencer and co.), I’ve been active fairly regularly on the site ever since.

Like with all good platforms the site can operate in a way that suits you. Want to just share photos privately? Can do. Want to share with a select few known individuals? No problem. Want to use it as a store and back-up? Yup.

But for me it’s strength is being able to find, share and encounter other photographers and people interested in photography – amateur and professional. To learn from others. It’s the one network where I’ve never met or connected via any other media the majority of my ‘contacts’.

Flickr life isn’t all rosy. There are problems with the network, and people trying to game the system is a problem. For instance, I was really sad to find that one of my favourite photographic groups, Composition First, closed last week.

Composition First had 656 members with over 13,000 photographs in it’s pool. The group described itself, “for images where composition is well-thought out and deliberate. As a painter must consider the entire canvas, the photographer must consider the entire frame.” It asked everyone who posted a photograph to also comment or award on two other photographs in the group. The reason for closing?

Because award groups have become ubiquitous and awards and logos are polluting flickrspace.
Because quite frankly I am tired, and I would rather see it closed than dwindle into obscurity.
Because all good things must someday come to an end. Today seems as good a day as any.

Flickr, it’s members and groups have given back more than I’ve given and my photography has improved vastly as a result, so I thought I’d look back over the last four years and dig out some significant photographic moments, which as you’ll see aren’t always the most interesting photos or ones you’re most proud of.


First pic posted, July 2006 - testing the water, using a digitised film photograph from a holiday in 2004.
Most viewed pic
Most viewed photograph: the two storey library at Ephusus. A good reminder that views don't equal your best photos, often it's more about the items most searched for through Google.
Most interesting photo
This is the photograph that Flickr designates as my most Interesting. It's also one of the first photos I took with my now trusty Panasonic TZ3 in 2007 and one of my first photos that could be described as abstract. I was just testing things when I took it. Again, a good lesson: let go.
Most faved photo
Most faved photo. Taken in Knokke, Belgium with an old Canon film fixed lens compact. It was the first image I added to the Lines & Curves group - Lesson: the best camera is the one you have with you, it's about looking not expensive kit.
Most commented photo
Most commented photo: taken in Washington DC in a tunnel. Lesson - keep looking.
Mobile blues
Favourite photo using the Sony Ericsson W910i mobile phone. The blues and the images that this 2 megapixel camera phone produced were always beyond expectations. Plus, who would have thought this was taken in Oslo, Norway?
First iPhone pic posted
First iPhone pic posted: the iPhone camera had been criticised quite considerably. It's 'only' 3megapixels, fixed lens, no flash. However, this photo taken near dusk shows that it can perform rather well.
First hipstamatic photo
First photo using the hipstamatic iPhone application in 2010. An app I've really enjoyed using as it brings out a different side my photography.

And my favourite photograph? Recently, I think I was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time with the right light to take this photograph of Canary Wharf station.
Canary Wharf