The Egret’s Story

Yesterday I posted my splashing egret image and did not really think much more about it. I also posted it to Flickr. Well as of now it has been viewed over 21,000 times, has generated 49 comments and been favourited 250 times. It reached number 3 on Explore. (Update 30th September – views have risen to 54,800)

You may remember my Lotus photo also had similar treatment but even today it is barely reaching 5,000 views.

The more I try to understand what makes a popular (not necessarily good) photograph the less I succeed. It is a complete mystery to me and that makes the whole idea of trying to turn images into money a route I shall never pursue. (Never say never?).

If anybody can tell me why the egret image is so popular I shall be much obliged!! Sadly Flickr does not pay per view. If only…….

Egret strike2 K25

Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 13.52.39

27 thoughts on “The Egret’s Story

  1. Well, it is a very pretty picture! As a non-picture person, I can’t understand why thousands of people would want to look at any picture, but they do, and yours is a lovely image-even I can see that!

  2. I adore the egret. It is funny. We all laugh when something falls on it’s face, even if it’s an egret! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! πŸ™‚ The lotus is beautiful, but not funny. Funny sells! πŸ™‚ My opinion, though. πŸ™‚ I love all your work! πŸ™‚

  3. I love them both – the contrast between the sense of action and the stopped motion in the egret shot is very attractive. I’m surprised the lotus didn’t garner even more views – it’s gorgeous.

  4. As Y sd I think the water has huge impact. The droplets really grab the attention. And the unusual position of the bird. Other than that, no idea. The lotus (which I like) looks very static in comparison.

  5. Lord have mercy 50,000 plus and going strong. I will duplicate what several commenters have already written. It is an unusual capture that shows not just the action of the egret going after its prey but also what the actions of the egret caused as it jabbed its head into the water. The huge splash of water is stopped in mid-air by the lens of your camera. Otherwise the water is calm. There are several things that make this an eye catching photograph. There is no background distraction and the editing is perfect. I’ll stop with my analysis but I could go with more ideas. The bottom line is, this photo to me, is Nat Geo quality,

    I am so happy for you and this one pic should raise your self-esteem and give you a great deal of satisfaction. One more thing. This one should be framed and put someone place in your home. Yes, I know that you have mostly glass walls. πŸ™‚

  6. It’s a damn good question Andrew, and one I can’t answer either. Having said that- as soon as you posted the egret I spotted it and commented, so it certainly has the wow factor, even if your modesty doesn’t see it.

    It is great though- I’ve never seen a picture rack up 50,000 views in two days!!! Amazing πŸ˜‰

  7. I’ve just found your blog via a rather circuitous route and very pleased to have done so. The comments above say it all, so nothing more to add other than ‘great stuff!’ Coincidentally my granddaughter and her mum were on a nature walk in Sai Kung yesterday, so I’ve now got a flavour of what they may have seen.

    All the best.

    • Hello Willo. I’ve lived in Sai Kung for quite a while and love photographing around here. If your family live locally it’s a good place to ramble but we face new building developments all the time. I don’t know how much longer SK will remain the garden of HK. I’m glad you enjoyed your visit. Please call again!

      • Yes my son has been in HK for 24 years and in spite of all the development it remains one of my favourite places. Nevertheless it is scary to see the growth rate and so I do hope Sai Kung can long remain the ‘garden of HK’.

  8. I wouldn’t even try to define what makes a picture popular, or a poem or a short story. In all three, I think there can be specific elements that SHOULD make them popular, but often it just doesn’t work out that way.
    I also think there’s some emotional or spiritual or creative element that can’t be planned or defined, but when it’s there, it strikes a chord with many. For me, your Egret struck that chord.
    Bravo! Well done, Andrew.

  9. It’s certainly not one your run-of-the-mill egret shots, I’ve never seen one similar. Could be prize stuff. And as for stats, I’ve had seven months of disappointment, just now they are slowly picking up, no explanations, no rhyme nor reason… πŸ™‚


  10. It is a mystery to most of us, Andrew. I have come across older images, or some newer ones as well, that I thought were destined for the Trash Bin and posted just for the heck of it and boom….a hit. And I almost tossed it….. I think that is what keeps us from the rarefied space occupied by the successes in this world. OTOH, some of it is unexplainable popularity of an individual. There is some truly dreadful work out there being regaled often enough. It is most important to satisfy Andrew. If the rest of us don’t get it….well. πŸ™‚
    As to the egret masterpiece, there is animation with interesting behavior, lovely contrast, superbly captured action, people love birds and it has been well processed. I think the lotus is lovely. It has wonderful color with some delightful pastels and good graphics. But it is also a bit in your face, so maybe that is not working for people. I have that same habit with some of my flower images and am trying to refine the approach.
    Sometimes action trumps art. Whoever figures out which and when let the other know. πŸ™‚

    • Steve, wise words indeed. I actually liked the lotus shot a great deal but clearly most of the rest of the world is indifferent to it! Some of the 25,000 viewers have actually looked at other images of mine, which is good. I guess I shall just have to plod on in the knowledge that sometimes my personal favourites will flop and others may resonate better with the audience.

  11. It’s one of life’s mysteries, Andrew, as to which picture is going to appeal. when I worked in PR and advertising years ago, it was always a surprise as to which photo the press would pick to go with – hardly ever the one we were most pleased with.
    The egret is a great picture – most people – you would think – may want to see the whole bird: obviously not. Just keep snapping – your pictures are wonderful πŸ™‚

    • Nothing about the press surprises me, Jenny. It is an interesting point that the head is completely submerged and normally good bird pics have some sort of eye contact. I think here the eye contact was reserved for the fish. I do have a photo of the egret with is catch. I may post it.

  12. I’m SO pleased and happy for you, Andrew. I seem to remember that at the start of this week you were feeling a bit low about stats and things. Well, your prayers have well and truly been answered! How fantastic, this is really wonderful news πŸ˜€

    In answer to your question on why this photo has caused such a sensation on social media? For starters it’s a stunning piece of photography, everything about it is superb. The reason for so many hits is that it’s become a meme. What a fabulous end to your week and again, many congratulations, you 100% deserve it. Lottie πŸ˜€

    • Oh Lottie, you are such a source of encouragement. I am still pondering your earlier advice. I think I was just lucky this time. The Flicker Foto Fairy just smiled on me.

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