It’s going to be a great opportunity to meet new Flickr friends, chat with folks that work at Flickr, and spend a great day taking photos — with whatever camera you like. You might even learn a new trick or two.
Welcome to our second episode of The Weekly Flickr, a new series by Yahoo! Studios that will showcase the work of members straight from the Flickr community. This week we peek into the life of a young man who found a career in photography, and only months after he got started.
Kyle Thompson, 20, barely knew how to use a camera just over a year ago when he first started taking photos. But he has come a long way since embarking on his 365 project, in which he pledged to upload a new photo to Flickr every day for a year.
He has less than 50 days left to go with his 365 and has already begun working as a freelance photographer.
“I decided to do a 365 project because I saw so many people who had done them and improved so much,” says Kyle who lives just outside of Chicago, IL and describes his work at surrealist photography. “I thought that if I did this, I could not only learn how to use my camera but maybe even become good at it.”
For all intents and purposes, he’s achieved that goal. His social following has grown from nothing to more than 40,000 people across three different networks, and he’s even starting to make money selling his photography online.
“Before I started doing photography full-time, I was delivering pizzas,” Kyle says. “I make as much money as I was delivering pizzas now, maybe even more.”
He started taking photos just over a year ago after a friend and he discovered the photos of Franchesca Woodman, who was a photographer in the 1980s.
“I thought they were really cool and I had never seen photos that moved me so much,” he says. “Eventually I decided to buy my own camera and since I didn’t really have anyone to take photos of, I bought a tripod and started taking self portraits and I kind of developed myself from there.”
“I think the cloth-winged photo is probably one of my favorites because I did it early in my 365 and it was one of the photos that I really liked,” he says. “It still is one of my favorite photos. I think it looks like it is out of an old storybook. I used to be really into fairytales when I was a kid.”
Like the clothed-winged photo, many of Kyle’s photos are left unnamed.
“I like leaving photos untitled because it gives people the ability to give it their own concept,” he says. “I like my photos to be open to interpretation so people can see them how they want to.”
This is his most popular photo, showing him drenched in a river looking downwards as he is surrounded by red balloons.
“The concept was pretty simple. I just wanted to juxtapose the red balloons which are kind of childlike and have a suit which is more business like and have them together in a surreal element like water where you wouldn’t expect the two to be,” he says.
Many of his photos are taken outdoors in a forested area not far from his home.
“I kind of like taking photos in forests and ponds, just someplace that is relatable and that you can see anywhere,” says Kyle.
“The amount of post production I do, depends on the photo,” he explains. “About half of my stuff has very little editing and about half has a lot of editing.”
In addition to quitting his job as a pizza delivery boy, Kyle has dropped out of school.
“I really wanted to pursue photography and I didn’t know if going to school made as much sense as I was teaching myself by working for hours every day,” he says. “I was starting to make some money with it and it was something I really loved to do.”
November saw Kyle’s newfound photography sales at their highest.
“Selling prints goes up and down, but last month was my best month and I sold around 50 prints,” he says.
Kyle says Flickr has been instrumental in his growth as a photographer. In the future he sees himself making a living as a professional creating much of what he’s doing now, but on a much bigger scale.
“My advice for other photographers is to just keep shooting photos every day,” he says. “I think that’s why the 365 project works so well, because if you are taking photos every day you are going to keep on improving and learning new things.”
If you missed last week’s episode of The Weekly Flickr, where we interviewed a photographer documenting Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, make sure to catch it here.
The Weekly Flickr Needs Your Help!
Hey guys, The Weekly Flickr wants to feature your photos!
Tell us how you end up spending your New Year’s Day: did you go hiking, get engaged, or dance on through the morning? Snap a photo and share it with our group Yahoo! Studios: The Weekly Flickr Photos for a chance to be featured.
A plane flying precariously under heavy clouds, a tree straining against the wind, a statue engulfed in fog. All these shots point skyward to remind us that everything must bend and huddle against forces that are truly unrelenting.
You can now capture, share and discover even more with the new Flickr for iPhone, the most popular camera with our users. Below are a few helpful tips to get you started. You don’t have it yet? Well, head over here to get it now.
1. Tilt your phone to see millions of pixels.
Just go to any photo page and simply tilt your phone to the side. You’ll see the photo in full screen view. In the background we’ve loaded a high resolution version so when you zoom in you can see still all of the details and the photo stays crisp and sharp.
2. Learn more about every photo.
While pixels are important, and we show you millions for each image, the data behind the photo also helps tell a story. Tap on the little (i) – icon in the top right corner of a photo to learn more: where the photo was taken, how it was taken (shutter speed, ISO, what kind of camera, etc.), and what groups and sets the photo has been added to.
3. Apply a single filter to multiple photos at once.
Did you fall in love with a particular filter? We’ve made it easy for you to apply it to multiple photos at once. You simply select the photos from your camera roll that you’d like to edit then go to the filter screen and tap and hold the filter that you want for your photos. And just like that, all of your photos are Panda-ized.
4. Fix red eyes in a snap.
If the photo you took isn’t quite right, just launch the built-in photo editor by tapping the pencil icon in the filter screen. From here you can crop the photo, change the brightness, tune up the saturation, and also remove those red eyes.
5. Discover new photographers.
Flickr is home to an amazing photography community of more than 80 million people. While seeing photos from your friends and family is important, you might also be inspired when you see photos taken by other people. Flickr for iPhone helps you find these other people. To help us find the right photographers for you, tap on “Find Friends” and then “Contact Recommendations.” Once there, browse through the photos and choose the six that you like best. We’ll then present you with a list of recommended Flickr users you can follow by adding them to your contacts.
6. Mute something in your activity feed.
Activities and conversations related to photos is one of the things people love about Flickr. We’ve made it easy to engage with the Flickr community and we’ve made it equally easy to mute conversations that you’d like to leave. Simply swipe over the item in your activity feed and tap the mute button. Easy.
7. Highlight your favorites.
If you like a photo it’s easy to favorite it. In the contacts view, just double-tap an image to add it to your favorites. You can even favorite photos directly from any of the magazine-like justified views.
8. Quick-Upload from your camera roll.
Do you have a lot of photos on your camera that you want to send to Flickr? No problem. Double tap on the camera icon to access your phone’s camera roll. From there you can select as many photos as you want and quickly add them to Flickr.
9. Moderate your groups on-the-go.
The Flickr community loves groups. And we want to give moderators even more reasons to love Groups. Now group moderation can be done directly from the iPhone. Group moderation features are available for group moderators by tapping on small (i) icon on the upper right corner of a group page and then by tapping on the gears icon on the next screen.
10. Share your photos with the world.
Flickr is all about photo sharing and our goal is to make your photos look amazing regardless of where you share them. Your Flickr photos look great on Facebook, appear as they should on Twitter, and with Tumblr we give you even more sharing controls. You can add tags that are associated with the Flickr photo to your Tumblr post and you can also schedule your post by adding it to the queue or by saving it as a draft first.
All these wonderful photos were uploaded with our new app. Have you got a chance to try it out yourself? Once you do, hop on over to share your shots with other steadfast iPhoneographers in our Flickr for iPhone group. As an added bonus, we’ll be regularly featuring the best shots found in that group on our blog.
We know that some of your best photo moments happen on the fly, so we’ve made it easier to get the perfect shot when inspiration hits. Once you get the shot, there’s a built-in editor to quickly correct, crop, or enhance it with one of the new high res filters.
Share with the world.
When you’re in the mood to share, you can do so simultaneously via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or email. We’ve worked with our partners to ensure that your photos look gorgeous no matter where they are viewed, on or off Flickr.
Just like our Flickr site, you can upload unlimited photos from your camera roll, add your photos to groups and sets, add a venue from Foursquare and tag people. Best of all, the quality of the original photo is always preserved so you can continue to enjoy your photos for years to come.
At Flickr, photos are part of our DNA so we put your photos first, starting with the photo view. Want to see more pixels? Tilt your phone to the side and you’ll see the photo in full screen. As you pinch to zoom in, the photo will stay sharp and crisp. When you find something you like, you can comment on and favorite photos with a single tap.
We know that some of you love details, so we didn’t overlook them. You can always see where and how a photo was taken, which sets and groups it belongs to, and who is tagged.
In our new Contacts view, we’ve made it easy to discover photos from your friends or favorite photographers. It’s fast and easy to scroll through your contacts and feel like you were there for your friend’s recent road trip or see the world through the lenses of the photographers you follow.
With all the content in Flickr Groups, you can stay up-to-date with your community. View the photos, connect with people and upload your own images to the groups you love.
Finally, don’t forget to check out the new Explore tab to see the most interesting photos uploaded every day. You can see the photos that have been captured around you, whether you are in the heart of Paris or in your home town.
We’ve been hard at work making Flickr the best possible experience for photography lovers everywhere. Today we’re excited to share that we have a new, simplified navigation bar and a new Explore page.
Our new nav bar was designed to make browsing Flickr faster and easier so you can quickly get to the photos you love. While we removed many of the old blue links, we made sure that you’re still able to access most of your favorite features right from the nav bar. We think this makes for a simpler and cleaner experience. While some of you might not see the navigation bar already, don’t worry. It will roll out to everyone over the next few days.
In addition to the navigation bar, we also created a new Explore page. We know how much you love the justified view of photos that we’ve incorporated into the Contacts, Favorites and Group Pool pages so far. Now we’re bringing that same awesome experience to a new ‘Explore’ landing page. The new layout seamlessly lets you view some of the most stunning and beautiful images uploaded to Flickr. Check out the most interesting photos added in the last 24 hours or go back in time to see amazing photos from the past. Over 8 billion photos have been uploaded to Flickr to date. So start exploring and discovering new photos and photographers!
We’re always eager to hear what you think, so please give us your feedback in the Help forum. If you encounter any bugs, we’d love to hear about that too.
As the year’s end approaches, the holiday season is already upon us. It’s a time for family and friends, and for giving thanks to those people and things around us that perhaps go unnoticed or unappreciated in any other season. It’s also a time for reflection and remembrance.
This is the first episode of The Weekly Flickr, a new series by Yahoo! Studios that will each week showcase the work of one or many members within the Flickr community. Today, we go behind the lens with Stephen Nessen, radio reporter and photographer for WNYC New York Public Radio.
He tells us the story behind the photos he took while on assignment just days after Hurricane Sandy demolished Breezy Point in Rockaway, Queens. For most of us, these are ordinary things that we see in our day-to-day lives and sometimes pass by without giving too much credence. But to the people in Breezy, these items are now symbols for future hope.
The Breezy Point Blaze
The waterfront community of Breezy Point was one of the areas hit hardest by Sandy after a fire broke out and burned more than 100 homes to the ground.
“It was a massive fire. Hundreds of firefighters from all over the area came out to fight this blaze but the fact was the whole area was already flooded, so firefighters could not get close enough to extinguish the fire,” Nessen details in the accompanying interview. “What was even more tragic about it is that many firefighters actually have homes there. So these firefighters, many of whom fought on 9/11 extinguished the World Trade Center, they watched their houses go up in flames and stood by and there was nothing they could do about it.”
Nessen visited the beachfront Queens neighborhood as soon as it was safe enough for people to finally return home. That day turned out to be Wednesday, October 31 — two days after the storm hit.
“It looked like a war zone,” Nessen says. “There was sort of an eery silence and then you’d hear someone crying…. And the smell, a mix of sea salt and gas and just burning smoldering trash.”
But as he continued his journey through the stricken community what he found, and captured in his photos, were images of survival, resilience and a community bound for rebirth.
When the Ordinary Become Extraordinary
He found and photographed items that somehow survived the massive fire: three religious statues, handmade wooden signs, a grandmother’s corning ware dish and a holiday plate given as an anniversary gift.
“As I was walking around this blackened rubble I came across this set of three religious statues and it was quite remarkable because all around it were burned out buildings that were still smoldering with smoke. Yet these religious statues are almost perfectly intact,” Nessen explains. “For the people that live in the area seeing a religious statue survive through the fire definitely is an inspiration and definitely gives them a hope about rebuilding in the future.”
The handmade signs he photographed were made by a man who has lived in Breezy for more than three decades with his wife Annette.
“I met the man who built the signs, Walter Connolly. They are made of wood. Everything in this area burned to the ground but somehow these road signs didn’t burn.”
The couple’s home did not burn to the ground during the hurricane, but was left unlivable due to water damage.
Today, Walter and Annette tell Nessen they are “still looking for a decent apartment in Bay Ridge…. As far as progress on our home we have begun to gut out the house this week as we had to wait for insurance adjusters to give the okay.”
To date, most of the debris remains at all the destroy homes in the Breezy point community.
During his visit to Breezy, Nessen also met firefighter Kieran Burke, whose home was completely destroyed in the fire.
“He was a firefighter on 9/11,” says Nessen. “This is a guy who has seen tragedy, who has seen destruction.”
As Nessen watched Kieran sift through the rubble of what used to be his home, the firefighter finds a remnant that signals hope.
“A Christmas plate that his wife made on their second wedding anniversary,” Nessen says. “This little little plate, brought him so much joy and it was like great this survived, we are going to be okay.”
Burke is currently living in an apartment in Brooklyn, according to Nessen.
Breezy’s Coming Back: Hope for the Future
“This is loss, this is love, this is all the stuff stories are made of,” Nessen says. “I am absolutely convinced that Breezy point will be back. They are coming back, they are already out there, they are already cleaning up. This is a hard working community sort of blue collar workers who know how to get the job done.”
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