Flickr, the website I use for all of my photo storage (and for the social side, too, of course) ranks photos by what it calls interestingness. It’s a secret algorithm people are constantly trying to figure out. It takes into account the number of views, comments, and favorites. You can actually see your top 20 most interesting photos. I look at this every now and then because, usually, it makes me laugh. Those photos I took a long time to frame, to get just right? Not a one is on the list. Crappy camera phone shot? Yep, it’s on there. Just proves there really isn’t a rhyme or reason to it all, even if Flickr claims their is. [To find your own, sign in, click on the "You" tab, then (once the page loads), you'll find a link to "Popular" right above your photostream.]
So, in the style of that one old guy who has a late night show, my top 20 Flickr photos, sorted by interestingnes…
Number 20: “Yeah, that didn’t work”
To play along with a theme one day, I attempted to take a photo of myself holding a piece of paper with words that someone told me (a la Somebody Once Told Me. I picked my phrase (“You have very blue eyes!”), aimed the camera at my face, and hoped for the best. This photo series (which I combined into a single shot) was the result.
Why people probably like it: 1) I posted it to a group all about people being silly and 2) people can relate to trying hard to get that excellent photo and failing miserably.
Number 19: “Civic Duty”
Taken on Election Day 2008, I was very excited to vote and find out who won. The photo was taken in response, again, to a photo challenge regarding the “I voted” stickers. The photo was taken on my phone and very blurry but it really embodies how excited I was that day.
Why people probably like it: it was the presidental election of 2008, a lot of people probably felt the same invigoration. Why my photo, specifically? I have no idea. It’s really a horrible shot.
Number 18: “Column”
Finally, a shot I’m actually proud to have on this list. It was taken at the Getty Villa, one of my favorite places in the LA area.
Why people probably like it: I like to think it’s popular because it’s a good photo but it’s more likely because people were looking for photos of the Villa or a column, in general.
Number 17: “Tomatoes”
I snapped this photo one random Sunday at the Long Beach Farmer’s Market. The market was always crowded and, to get over my hatred of crowds, I’d often bring my camera and snap photos of the food and people there.
Why people probably like it: It’s a photo of tomatoes. It’s actually in focus, has correct coloring, and looks mighty tasty.
Number 16: “Upward”
Taken at the other Getty, the Getty Museum in Malibu. This stairway is between two of the buildings.
Why people probably like it: Pretty building, decent photo
Number 15: “Hot with a capital H”
Taken on a very hot summer day when we lived in California (and only had portable air conditioners).
Why people probably like it: I don’t even want to know as it’s mostly a photo of my legs and feet
Number 14: “Commute”
Taken on a random day last January, during my commute home from work via the Metro. Makes me miss having that time everyday to sit and knit (or crochet).
Why people probably like it: I have no idea whatsoever.
Number 13: “Freedom”
A photo of a credit card I cancelled because they wanted to charge me a fee to use it. Sure, there were benefits in the form of frequent flyer miles (which got us to Italy for free in 2008) but it wasn’t worth the fee.
Why people probably like it: The feeling of being free of credit (or even just a fee-charging credit card) is pretty universal.
Number 12: “Not a hat”
This was probably the very first time I stuck partially-complete knitting on my head and took a photo of it. I still remember setting up my tripod in the living room of our apartment in Long Beach and taking dozens of photos.
Why people probably like it: Again with the every loves a giant dork theory
Number 11: “The Block”
A random sidewalk at a random suburban mall in Orange County. I have no idea why I even decided to take this photo.
Why people probably like it: Is the Mall at Orange really that popular?
Number 10: “TV Knitting”
Me, sitting and knitting and watching TV on my laptop. This photo really makes me miss that orange shirt!
Why people probably like it: Knitting content?
Number 9: “Will Draw for Food”
Photo of a poster advertising a club at CSULB. I remember getting to school really early and finding this illustration on a poster right near what is known as “the gap” – a tiny space between a set of columns people always squeeze through because it’s “easier” than walking around the columns altogether.
Why people probably like it: Unique drawing? Search for the phrase “will draw for food”?
Number 8: “Arroz con Pollo”
A photo of a dish that neither looks good nor tasted amazingly good. Taken when we still lived in Long Beach.
Why people probably like it: Searching for photos of the finished dish.
Number 7: “Knitting on the Metro”
Another metro crafting photo, this one with a purse-eyed view.
Why people probably like it: My only guess is knitting content
Number 6: “Swingers”
We went to this retro restaurant in Santa Monica after a fiber festival. I remember the food was only decent, the waitresses were very retro-trendy, and that everyone else overpaid such that I, the person who only had a credit card, didn’t actually have to pay anything (and the waitresses got like a 30% tip).
Why people probably like it: My guess is they weren’t searching for a sign from a restaurant..
Number 5: “Strawberry Tattoo”
This woman, appropriately, sold strawberries at the Long Beach Farmer’s Market. I finally got up the nerve to take a photo of her amazing tattoos.
Why people probably like it: People often go looking for ideas of tattoos.
Number 4: “Knitter’s Contents”
My example of how a Trader Joe’s wine storage bag can be used, instead, to store half-knitted projects. This photo amuses me because I never finished a single one of the projects shown in it. I actually gave away the bright turquoise silk you see.
Why people probably like it: I posted this idea all over the place.
Number 3: “Red Scarf Progress”
One of my very first knitting projects, a scarf for Matt that I never finished. I don’t even know why, other than boredom.
Why people probably like it: I guess they like to laugh at a knitter’s first project. Also, it’s not a bad photo.
Number 2: “Humanese Cuisine”
Matt and I thought this sign was a spelling error but, as you can see in the comments, apparently the spelling was on purpose. Still a little weird if you ask me. I know the restaurant was in the same plaza of some amazing restaurant deep in Orange County but I can’t, for the life of me, remember what that other restaurant was.
Why people probably like it: I have no idea what you’d even search for to find it.
Number 1: “New Year, New Notebook”
A photo of my ritual of buying a new notebook on the first of each year.
Why people probably like it: Maybe I’m not the only one with this crazy ritual?
So, what of your photos is popular yet you have no idea why?