I was surfing idly when I discovered a site called Slideshare. Now, the idea of a site where you share presentations – yes, like Powerpoint – is, umm, to put it politely – quaint.
I mean, this is the era of online video and μTorrent and high-speed Internet and razzmatazz.
But hold on, maybe not so quaint because I picked up some fascinating information about topics I’d never heard of – Internet of Things, anyone? – and I also found a very interesting photography presentation by Sara Quinn, entitled “What Makes a Photo Worth Publishing?”
A study was undertaken to gain insight into this mysterious process. The team administering the study gave 200 photos to two different groups of people. Half the images had been taken by professional photojournalists, the others were user generated content on social media sites, newspapers, etc.
Those participating were asked to view the images and rate them on how effective they were and their likelihood of sharing them online. They didn’t know which images were amateur and which were pro.
Results? The professional images were chosen almost exclusively – only one image from the user-generated content was considered memorable, and it was, of course, a picture of a goofy dog. Which proves something, I’m not sure what.
The pro images:
1. told a story, and/or
2. depicted relationships between people / showed emotion in the situations / showed faces.
I’m ever so validated in my firmly held belief that – just because we have cameras that have virtually eliminated technical difficulties doesn’t mean that everyone is suddenly a photographer. Why? For another article, but briefly: intent.
But that’s not what I really want to share with you. Here’s the one I want you to see.
Underneath the image is a quote from the participant in the study being interviewed. Why did they rate this photo highly and why would they share it?
It’s not that it’s rare. It’s that someone has decided to see it.
I’d like you to meditate on that for a good, long time.
Check out the Slideshare presentation » here. Happy shooting.