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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Numbers game


"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics," wrote Mark Twain. I've always loved that quote. I do believe that you can manipulate statistics to prove or disprove anything. Mere numbers alone don't tell much unless you know the context in which they are used; they're facts, for sure, but facts alone don't tell a complete story.

Today's post is all about statistics. Facts. When a new year rolls around there is the temptation to "review" the previous year...media outlets do it all the time. Forgive the self-indulgence, but I was curious if I could document my creativity for the year by looking at the numbers. So, for what it's worth, here are the stats:

Total photographs taken in 2009: 11,021
Total photoshop projects started: 699

I find those numbers absolutely startling. I took more than 11-thousand photographs? 11,000+! Sweet jesus. How will I ever get around to using even half of those? And when you take into consideration that I took 7,826 photos in 2008 and started 569 photoshop projects (I checked that year too, while I was looking), it gets mind-boggling; let's not even get into all the pictures taken in 2007, 2006, etc. I could tie myself to the computer and never run out of creative possibilities even if I never took another photograph.

Um, like that's going to happen.

But let's get real here. What those stats don't reveal is that I often take two, three, even a dozen photographs of the same subject. I know full well that quantity absolutely does not equal quality. More than 11,000 photographs does not mean 11,000 great images. I learned a long time ago that it's good policy to take several shots to ensure the possibility of one good one. Still no guarantee -- and I have lots of photos to prove it -- but at least there's a fighting chance at a keeper. It's not always possible for me to take multiple shots -- when we're zooming down the interstate and I see something interesting, for example, I often have only one chance to grab the camera and click before we've driven past whatever caught my attention. Sometimes I'm lucky, sometimes not.
I also tend to start projects and not finish them, or finish them but never share them. The "dreams coming true" collage is a fine example of that. I created it for an Art Creations Friday challenge but changed my mind after it was done and never used it. This is the first time I've shown it, to anyone.

But enough about my output. Let's have a look at my photo galleries, found on Flickr. What do folks like to look at? Here's my photograph with the most views:

susie wendy lisa

Not what you might expect would garner the most attention? Me neither.

This is the one with the second-most views:

fingerprint chart

Moving right along. This photo has the most comments and has been marked as a "favorite" the most times:

purple bud

I'm not surprised; it's one of my personal favourites. And the photo with the second-most comments is also one I love:

sunshine on a rainy day

The one with the second-most favorites is understandable -- it's the hula-hoops photograph from the contest I ran last year.

a contest!

Flickr also has a category called "most interesting" and it's calculated by some obscure algorithm known only to them. It's never really made sense to me. According to Flickr, this is my most interesting photo:

kew beach gull

Sure, it's one I really like and am proud to have created, but I could certainly point to others that are also deserving. This one, for example, which is the second-most interesting according to Flickr:

inside the gatto cycle diner

One intriguing sidenote: both the photograph of the dahlia bud and the gull were taken on the same afternoon, the first time we took Tippi down to the beach for a walk. It does feel a little special that the first time we took our new pup out for a beach romp was the same day I generated some great images. This, one of my favourite creations of '09, was also a project originating from that day's photographic output:

it's a dog's life

So there you have it. LOTS of statistics. What do they mean? Not much, really....except perhaps that I need a bigger hard drive and more memory cards for my cameras!

12 comments:

Leslie Jane Moran said...

Okay, I happen to be in Ottawa at the moment and that picture with the Peace tower and the umbrella and the yellow jackets is an award winner I'm sure. I have a special affection for the hoola hoops :) and the seagull is an all-time goodie. Oh I could go on and on...let's face it, I love them all and I love the lessons I learn from observing your photos and your eye for the fabulous. I've learned an incredible amount from you this year...that's another statistic you can add to your list. Thanks and looking forward to many more in 2010

Jackie said...

Wow, so interesting and so much to look at! Have to say, I love the pic of the lamp and gull; also the one with the yellow umbrella.
Best wishes for 2010.

Femmy said...

Love your piece for ACF!! it's gorgeous!
and wow what a lot of photo's did you take, love the ones you show here!!
happy new year too!!!

Sandy said...

Wow this is really stunning.
Fantastic creation.

Irene said...

Amazing numbers, we certainly wouldn't be doing them the old fashion film way or would we?

Susan Williamson said...

The stats and the visuals just go to show that you're a creative dynamo Lennie!

Grace said...

What a game of numbers! Don't think I've take that many photos in the last 3 yrs. Oh the stuff I have to live up to....see you in DJ's class.

Carol said...

Oh my, such wonderful photographs, I'm so pleased I popped in to visit from DJ's class. I love your doggie photos - the terra who lives in my heart was called bindi and she looked very much like your terra. She left us 25 years ago and I still miss her, though there have been wonderful dogs since. Thank goodness for dogs!

Irene said...

Yes Lennie you can make the Raspberry Squares with marmalade. It works with just about anything. When I was pregnant I craved Nutella, I used that as well. (Haven't eaten it since).

Irene said...

thanks for stopping by again, your SIL recipe sound easy and good. Must try it.

Kelly said...

these are all gorgeous. i've been trying to figure out a good way to organize my pics better. i'm guessing i've taken nearly as many as you as well! any tips?

Charmingdesigns said...

Great photoshopping!! I hope I will learn to achieve some level close to what you are getting!!

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