April 12th, 2007

We are all photographers now

First post in a while for a number of reasons. Anyway, this stroked my ego.

The three images I uploaded to the “All photographers now” exhibit were showcased in the Musée de l’Elysée galleries in Lausanne, Switzerland recently.

How do I know (given that I’m in the UK)? Well, I received an email informing me that my images were exhibited. But that’s just the half of it: attached to the email were some installation views of my images in situ, showing them projected on the gallery wall – like the one pictured (and here’s the original photo on Flickr).

My photo in the “We are all photographers now!” exhibitionI wasn’t 100 percent sure what might have happened to my images once I’d uploaded them via this form.

My mate Nigel (who knows about these things), reckons the photos would go into a database that gallery downloads, gets stuck into some sort of slideshow and then just projected, as you would a presentation.

What made this different to, say, the Flickr Peep Show in Amsterdam a couple of years ago was that they have linked it all together – by taking a photo of my photo being shown… and email that back to me – although probably not that sophisticated, really. Maybe a webcam capture linked with my name and email address.

For a not-for-profit, maybe this is something a commercial partner might want to sponsor for a few grand (my emails from the Musée de l’Elysée suggested they had done a partnership with Hewlett-Packard).

My Flickr buddy Ed Fladung recently suggested that Yahoo! develop a micro-payment system for Flickrites who wish to sell their photos. Even better, a way of funnelling the payments to their favourite cause – although you (the not-for-profit) may want to vet the photos ‘donated’ in your name. Anyway, you get the picture!

This isn’t altogether new. I know of the Big White Box, which was set up by Brunel University student, David Bailey (must be another one), as part of his research into “how the collaborative power of the internet can be used to raise money for charity”. Profits are donated to a handful of UK charities, although I couldn’t get word from David on how much, etc.

And let’s not forget the brilliant DoggySnaps.com. I interviewed Tim Malbon about how the Dogs Trust will benefit from selling the rights to the cream of the crop posted there. As an aside, I actually met Tim for the first time at the Goodness 2.0 event the other evening (see Ian Delaney’s write up on the NMK site).

Greenpeace are at the top of the innovation tree with some pretty awesome participative campaigning. Take the GreenMyApple and Defending our Oceans campaigns, which give people a voice and a platform.

A Reflection of Hope - photo by Lisa - published with permissionI followed the Greenpeace ship “Esperanza” as she voyaged the Southern Seas, via this stunning photostream on Flickr.

The whole DIY phenomenon has certainly been spurred on by Flickr, other photo-sharing communities, and the explosion of Creative Commons.

If you’re not doing this already, ask your supporters (and their networks) to submit some photos for the front cover of your annual report. You can even draw upon the freedom of the commons, and invite photo remixes.

Have you seen the ‘naked’ covers to some Penguin Classics in the bookstores? The publisher invited readers . There’s an online gallery, and some of the best ones can be viewed on Flickr, too. Great innovation.

There are so many other examples. For example, my mate Ed Mitchell will have one of his Vietnam photos on the next WWF calendar. One of my own photos of corn drying out on the roof of a church in rural Mexico (rather mundane you might think) recently accompanied a news article on citizen journalism website, NowPublic. And I could talk all day about the impact of the After Wilma group on Flickr.

The remarkable and omnipresent Beth Kanter has pulled together Ten Cool Examples of Nonprofits Using Flickr. These include a few of my own favourites and is a must-read.

I particularly like how the ONE Campaign explains to those without a Flickr account just what they need to do to add their face to the Faces of ONE Group.

In February, Flickr released a bundle of improvements for Group administrators, including the very cool ‘Invite a Photo’ feature:

You’re surfing through the Flickrverse and you find a photo that would be perfect for your group. This new feature will allow an administrator to invite that particular photo to their group without membership requirement. You’ll see a new link under the comment box that says ‘Invite this photo to…’

Invite a Photo

I hadn’t spotted this until this week.

Amazing to think that just two or three years ago, sourcing photos for a website was a real headache.

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Technorati flickr, micropayments, musee de lelysee, net2, nptech, one campaign, photography

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2 Responses to “We are all photographers now”

  1. Beth Says:

    Very informative post! YOur photos are amazing. I remember the first time I stumbled upon your gorgeous pics — my husband is also a fan your photography.

  2. Brian Fitzgerald Says:

    Great stuff, Steve! I like asking supporters to submit pictures for the annual report cover — we just might do that! Here at Greenpeace we’ve recently had a design competition for our fleet flag, and that ship you were following in the Southern Ocean was named in an online competition by our web audience a few years back: we had tens of thousands of submissions to that one. It also carried a couple of folks to Iceland on an anti-whaling campaign, one from Nigeria and one from the US, as a reward for top recruitment to a pledge to visit Iceland if the country stopped whaling: 116 million in potential tourist income vs a whaling industry that made 4 million in its heyday.

    We’re chuffed to be described as being on top of the innovation tree, though we’re also taking inspiration from the likes of EFF, Treehugger, Worldchanging and a slew of smaller groups that are doing some truly edgy stuff.

    If you’re going to the ecampaigning forum, maybe catch up with you there. I’ll be speaking at the public event on the 9th, and I’m seeking input into what people would like to hear about our experiences in online campaigning, how that’s transforming us as an organisation, how we’re all transforming activism in a globalized world, or perhaps what interesting creatures squid can be…