IG or not IG, that is the question.

Over the last year or so I have flirted with Instagram, or IG as we hispsters call it. I struggle with it to be honest. I could theoretically continue to post photos there and I may well do so out of habit. Adding much narrative is a chore though. I haven’t a clue what to do about hashtags and I make a lot of them up. So perhaps if I wish to write I should do a bit more here again. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance as they say. Instead of uploading a lot of shots to Flickr (which I use as a sort of back up) and spraying photos over IG I think I will just post one at a time.

Portrait at the market place
Cool Hand Luk

I took this in the market at Pok Fu Lam village. The man was sitting on the stair rail through the back. Originally I wanted to use the full frame but I decided he was sufficiently interesting to isolate him as subject in his own right. He was peering at me working out in his mind whether he was the subject of my lens or not. To be honest he wasn’t. He was just one element and I tried several compositions. In some he was partially blocked. Happily the exposure I chose was good and I had a nice clean image. I cropped down to this and converted to monochrome.

He is an interesting subject – well groomed, clean shaven, smartly dressed with open sandals (he probably lives very close by) and he holds a pack of cigarettes, typical of the older generation. He looks quite thin but still has strength in his arms. Of course he has a mask, pulled down momentarily. We will hopefully look back on this time and be grateful that we no longer have to wear one in the stifling heat.

The locals I spoke to fear that the old village will be redeveloped. It is something of an anachronism in Hong Kong. A mixture of newer solid building and old shacks. What appear to be single room dwellings and quite smart larger homes. Haphazard wiring, water supply and I suspect sewage pipes. Yet there are beautifully tended gardens growing fresh vegetables. It is a village of contrasts. I doubt if the residents want to be redeveloped in the name of progress. They seem quite content. I hope my subject today has a long and peaceful future.

I continue to wrestle with the black and white versus colour dilemma. At the moment I am shooting colour DNG files and choosing after the event. This was shot with a Leica M10R and a Noctilux 50mm f0.95.

20 thoughts on “IG or not IG, that is the question.

  1. I closed my 4 Instagram accounts yesterday! Moved back to Flickr in the hole lots of people will move back now Facebook are taking Insta in a whole new direction. In the early days Insta was good and you could see all your friends images and they could see yours. But Facebook took it over and wrecked it with adverts and algorithms. My main account fell from 7500 to 4500 and it never got past that ( not that I was in to numbers) quite a few people who had accounts my size that happens to. Lots of people then found ways round that by game playing the Algorithm. I however just kept posting images in to the void !! You are right if you post 1 image a day you get better engagement. However the Algorithms are against you. If you want to see where Instagram is going look at there own Instagram feed! I guarantee you once you have looked at that feed you will start work on building out your Flickr account.

    • I don’t like the flood of ads on IG but I do find some very good photographers. Some I follow for a while then unfollow. But I have made some good contacts I just find it hard work and because I mix wildlife and street I think it confuses people. I like Flickr but I can’t reorder things and that annoys me.

      • You can reorder on Flickr you can replace and change anything but not from the App. Yes there are some great contacts on Insta that’s very true and Insta has always been about a same post every day type platform. It’s best to have an account for street and an account for wildlife.

      • How do I reorder on Flickr, Matt? I know there are basic options under Photostream but I can’t see anything that allows me to customize the order?

      • If you go in under -You -then Organise – then Your Photostream- open the photo then hit the square with pen in corner the replace

  2. Another fan checking in to say it’s been too darn long since we heard from you.

    Thank you for givng us the gift of an excellent portrait. The subject would be pleased with it, I think.

    • Thank you Hilary. Busy life. Leia is almost three and in kindergarten. Sometimes I get to go on the school run. Grandchild 2 has arrived. But I still find time to take my snaps. I hope all is well.

  3. Excellent shot, Andrew, and nice to hear from you again. I was on IG for a couple of weeks and then a) was told they could use your photos without asking (which may or not be true) and b) realized it took up too much additional time. I’ve dropped off Facebook for 99.9% of the time and don’t do Twitter or any of those things. Blogging takes up enough time and life more than fills the rest. 🙂 Hope all’s well with you and yours.


    • All well Janet, healthwise but we will probably have to leave HK as it becomes less tolerant of any form of independent thought. All my photos are creative commons licensed so anybody can use them but not commercially. I don’t know IG’s policy but I doubt it they want my photos anyway! Best wishes, Andrew

  4. How nice to see a post from you again. Since I’m not on any of the social media platforms, I suppose I miss a good bit, including photos from you and others, but I’m happy sticking to my blogs.

    I think the black and white treatment suits this photo. The man seems approachable; I’d love to have a bit of conversation with him.

    • Sadly he wasn’t chatty but we had 3 good conversations with the locals. Despite the old buildings and poor state of repair it is quite clear the local people are well educated and care for their community. Social media are a mixed blessing. I am a reluctant user.

  5. As always, I’m so happy to see a post from you Andrew. Like you I’ve wrestled with the IG question and have decided not. I tried it faithfully for awhile but never got any results to speak of . As frustrating as WP can be, it has given me the best results and so I’ve been telling myself to get back to it. There are issues I must address, first in my own mind.

    While I adore color, this subject in black and white strikes me as spot on. It gives him a timeless, iconic feeling. I was struck by the mask, too, thinking it will hopefully be a thing we look back on. But my wish is the same as yours, that his time in his world will continue.

    • Thanks Melissa. I seem to have less and less free time now but I must make an effort. Timeless is right and it is important to protect what we have as more ‘improvements’ are threatened.

      • So true. When I was a child growing up in California we enjoyed visiting Sausalito to see the houseboats. The hippies living in the boats would paint their boats in bright colors with murals, and build enormous sculptures out of driftwood along the sand. Now I’ve just read that the area is being gentrified, and the boats are being seized and destroyed. An era gone, it seems. Now all that you’ll be able to see along there will be glittering multi-million dollar “homes” behind walls and gates.

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