I’ve enjoyed the art of photography for a number of years, and it’s something I’ve dipped in and out of on various occasions. As technology has developed, it has also become more accessible. Gone are the days of restricting yourself to taking 24 snapshots before having to wind the spool back to the beginning, pocket the film roll, replace it, and start snapping again. It’s all memory cards these days, able to hold thousands of images inside a teeny tiny microchip. Less to carry, and easier to store forever.  Sadly, this results in quantity over quality, and means you’re more likely to end up with hundreds of photographs that you are never going to look at again, and all the decent ones are lost amongst the snap-happy ones.  My dad always used to tell me to only take a picture if you think it is of something interesting enough to look at again and again.  This was in the days when you’d hand in your film rolls in at Boots, wait three days, only to pay money for 5 decent holiday pics and 19 blurry and badly framed pictures of feet.  Those rules have now gone out of the window.

Further advancements in technology and lifestyle allow us to also share our favourite snaps with the whole world via the Internet. One popular way is of course on Facebook, where you can quite often glance down your news feed and find pictures of your old school mate’s new puppy, and the contents of their toddler’s first potty session. However, another way is the fantastic Flickr, owned by Yahoo. Flickr allows amateur and professional photographers alike to upload their photos for free, organised into galleries and albums, and which can be individually tagged with relevant keywords (For example, a picture of a dead cat could be tagged with the words “dead” and, erm, “cat”).

Flickr has many uses. Some people use it to show off their holiday pics, gap year backpacking trips, artist prints, eBay items, and so on. You can also set a licensing category for individual pictures too, using full copyright, or allowing various levels of Creative Commons licensing. This allows you to choose how you want your pictures to be used, and whether or not you require a fee for their use. Those wanting to get their pictures noticed, before charging, can choose a setting which allows the free use of some of your photographs, but which states that you must be credited as the owner of the work wherever it is published. This is great for people starting out, wanting to get noticed as a published photographer, but haven’t been doing it for very long.

Take a look at Flickr.com, and also feel free to check out my Flickr page at Flickr.com/jaymccreary

On the subject of technological advancements, you now no longer need a dedicated camera, unless you are a dedicated enthusiast.  My iPhone is my camera, and there are an abundance of apps out there to play around with your photos and make them look awesome.  One to check out is Instagram, which works as a social network, plugs into your current social networks (ie Facebook and Twitter) and allows you to add filters and effects for greater enhancement of your snaps.  It’s a brilliant tool and worth checking out.  More details can be found here: http://instagr.am/

Here’s one I made earlier…