virtual photography as communication tool on Flickr

I’ve been thinking some more about virtual photography as a communication tool amongst people who post them on Flickr. A prominent aspect of the photograph in our new visual social media era is “showing-not-telling,” which replaces the outdated “reading-and-learning” predecessor. It’s now about photos, not about text. People show us with their virtual world Flickr photographs glimpses into their virtual lives. The choice of image corresponds with the message a person wants to send. I think on virtual photography Flickr especially we see all kinds of communication involving emotion, which probably has to do with the lack of means that we have in-world when it comes to expressing our feelings. So people in love post images of themselves in love. The slighted rejected lover posts provocative images with the simple purpose of cruel revenge. The sweet friend posts selfies of themselves and a best friend. The virtual world Flickr photos we post may also simply depict topics of interest, again, this I believe is an unconscious effort by the photographer to share an aspect of the self. Like the explorer of the metaverse posts pictures of beautiful destinations. The art fanatic posts images of virtual art. The designer posts incredibly detailed images of household scenes. And so on. The photographs we Second Lifers post on Flickr become an important part of our virtual world identity. When we have been on Flickr for a while we soon recognize which photograph belongs to which photographer. Each photographer has a style, a theme, and a mood. It as if we know them. And somehow mysteriously, without ever having met, we manage to move each other with the images we post.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

8 thoughts on “virtual photography as communication tool on Flickr

  1. I like how the tone of this article is just an observation, you are explaining what you see and through reading this I think and reflect on the similarities of what I see and even put myself into one of the categories that you describe. I also like it because as I previously mentioned it’s an observation, not a judgement or a “guide” on what people should or shouldn’t do. Very you, a lover of art sharing with the rest of us your views. ❤

    1. Thank you very much dear Lucy for your kind comment, I always value your input. Yes, a lover of art, but I think more than anything else, like all of us, an observer and explorer of this newish phenomenon we call the virtual world. I find it fascinating that there is so much we still don’t know about it and I am curious about what we will find out ❤

  2. Images in Flickr are not unlike those we see in RL galleries, parks, communal spaces, homes…anywhere else one might find art. So, our experience with Flickr art is much the same. What I take from images others post is exactly that; what I take, not necessarily what the artist meant to convey. My images generally include a caption (a lyric) and link to the tune only because music is one of my primary inspirations. What the viewer takes from my image, caption, tune they own. I agree with your statement that sharing images ‘is an unconscious effort by the photographer to share an aspect of the self.’ It is not up to the artist to say what is real or less real about the image as it relates to the life of the artist, more important is what the viewer takes from the art. Thanks for provoking, Kate. ♥

    1. Thank you so much for your comment dear Venus, it is always great to hear from you. Music, yes. Music is a great inspiration for me as well. I simply add a link to the song, but I know you usually put part of the lyrics as well, which adds an additional dimension to your work. There is something about simultaneously viewing the image, listening to the song and reading the lyrics that leaves one with a different impression and feeling then simply looking at a photograph alone ❤

  3. Very succinct view on it, and I agree. I think it has something to do with amount of time Second Life has been around – we aren’t awed or obsessed with the technology, it’s what we can do with it. There’s a particular thought I like about the visual image: that we both read from and read into it. We take something of what the artist/photographer meant and combine it with our own experience. In itself that is a creative act too.

    1. I didn’t think of our processing of the image as a creative act in it itself. You are right! Thanks, Tizzy, for your thoughts. I always look forward to reading your insightful comments 🙂

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