Flickr Is Dead?

Flickr is not dead. It is very much alive. It’s just not the creature everyone wants it to be. Fortunately there are other places for personal snapshots of daily life. Flickr is where I will continue to go for everything else.

Stephen Coles, courtesy of Grant.

I’m in agreement. I use Flickr as an archive, as a way to discover great photos, and as a way to share photos with friends. I’m also using it for work: we’re switching to Flickr for our website photo galleries. It’s so much easier than using Joomla! tools, it’s not even funny.


Trying to talk somebody out of the stuff that they enjoy in life is like trying to talk them out of their faith or their sexuality. It’s a pointless exercise that can never be anything but acrimonious and will only highlight unnecessary amounts of difference about things that ultimately don’t really matter. Buy the steak you like, worship the god you love, neck with the people that you treasure and don’t worry about the numbers.

Merlin Mann // Taken from Episode #91 of Back To Work (1:07:00-1:07:24)

(via pantsformation)


Thomas Hawk Interview

An interview at PetaPixel with one of my photography heroes and inspirations, Thomas Hawk.

My favorite quote:

People have asked me over the years if I’d like to do photography full time and my answer has always been no. Part of working as a professional photographer means that you may end up having to shoot things that are not your passion.

I totally agree. Photography is a hobby. Getting paid is nice, but I’m always nervous it’ll take the fun out of one of my passions.


Instagramming Daily

Instagram feels like my one-off way of sharing photos. I see something I like, I post it everywhere (well, Twitter and Facebook), at least once a day.

But now I find that (a) I’m constantly taking Instagram photos and (b) I have a backlog of photos to use. What to do?

Simple: post two photos a day instead of one. Except that one will be reserved for Instagram users/friends only. It’s Instagram-exclusive.

We hypershare everything these days. We have the ability to post something once and have it appear everywhere. By doing this, no one social platform gets exclusive anything. Part of the attraction of certain social networks, however, is their unique strength: Flickr for photos, Twitter for random thoughts or links, Facebook for information no one cares about.

For Instagram, it’s in-the-moment photos. A photo log of your day. More and more I feel that some of those photos should stick to Instagram, and only Instagram. That’s what makes Instagram special. If someone isn’t on Instagram, they don’t get to reap the benefits.

Plus I get to clear out my catalog of Instagram photos, and my friends on Instagram get to see stuff no one else gets to see.


Laughing Meditation

Cheboygan - Buddha

When I tell people about my on-again, off-again meditation practice, I share a National Geographic story about the science of the mind. In the article, neuroscientists wire up Buddhist monks:

For the past several years Richard Davidson and his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been studying brain activity in Tibetan monks, both in meditative and non-meditative states…When Davidson ran the experiment on a senior Tibetan lama skilled in meditation, the lama’s baseline of activity proved to be much farther to the left of anyone previously tested. Judging from this one study, at least, he was quantifiably the happiest man in the world.

That last sentence had a big impact on me. Here was a kind of proof that meditation rewires the brain – in a good way. In a measurable way.

So I tried it. And when I did, I started giggling.

It was January 2006 when I first tried meditation. I downloaded a podcast, sat in an uncomfortable, half-hearted lotus position, closed my eyes, and listed to the instructor. Then, laughter. Uncontrollable, tear-inducing laughter.

After that first time, I didn’t laugh anymore. But boy, what at first impression.

Then it happened again when I tried a chakra meditation, concentrating on specific centers of the body. There again, right when I started to focus on the heart and throat chakra, I started giggling like a fool.

Today it happened a third time. This time, it was thanks to a simple message on a simple website playing a simple song (courtesy of Ben Brooks). The music started, my shoulders slumped in relaxation, and – what do you know? – I started laughing uncontrolably.

What’s going on here?

It turns out I’m not the only one. In fact, this behavior is expected and common.

For me, I think there’s a bit of self-hypnosis involved. It’s almost like there’s some magic affecting my susceptible brain, and what I feel is the release of tension. Not being used to that feeling, I start laughing. It turns out it doesn’t even take meditation to kick start my giggle reflex. It could be something as simple as soothing music.

This is all evidence in support of what I read years ago in that National Geographic article – that meditation, or a relaxed state, changes the chemistry of the brain. What I feel, as a result, is a release of tension. And that feels funny.

But good. It feels really, really good.