These are the ten most viewed photos from my Flickr page. For whatever reason, these shots have gleaned a hugely disproportionate amount of views compared to everything else I’ve thrown up since I started posting photos on Flickr. Counting down from one to ten, here’s what’s spread out on the sampler plate:
1) When I get a new camera and I’m anxious to run down the film so I can get it developed quickly, I often shoot a cheap selfie or two in the mirror. This is from the first roll I ever shot on a vintage Fuji PET 35 that was given to me by a friend of mine. Perhaps this shot is so popular because it also features a listicle of 25 things about me. Or perhaps people just keep clicking on it because they’re looking for photos of pets.
(Fuji PET 35, Fuji Superia 400 — 53,647 views.)
2) This shot was taken at the 2007 Kobe Biennale, which is notable for showcasing its installations in shipping containers. This piece, called Koto-no-ha (こと−の−は — an older Japanese word for “language”), is by Shiozawa Noriko (塩澤徳子) and is composed of more than 2,500 letters and characters from different languages. This photograph was used as the cover for the UNESCO Jakarta Annual Report 2008, with the kind permission of the artist, of course.
(Voigtlander Bessa-L, 15mm Heliar, Superia 400 — 27,889 views.)
3) A harbor in Himi city, looking toward the Tateyama mountain range at sunset.
(Ricoh GRD2, digital — 20,506 views.)
4) Another shot from the 2007 Kobe Biennale. Here’s what I wrote in my original post about this piece: “Here’s Angie standing in front of a chalkboard that was completely covered with a single, extensive, set of of mathematical operations. Across from the chalkboard were several wooden school desks equipped with paper and pencils so that you could sit down in front of the board and work up as much abstract calculation as your heart might desire. So far, so normal. But what you can’t do is sit at the desks without also sitting on an open ceramic toilet, the only seats in the place. This is a piece that makes you think about the relationship between abstraction and bodily functions, and our inability to escape from our animal nature, no matter how hard we might try. The piece, called Animal Expression, is by Yamashita Ryuuji (山下竜司) and this is what he has to say about it: ‘We, human beings, using various materials, escape from the genus named ‘animals’, against reality. Even if it was impossible.'”
(Voigtlander Bessa R2A, 35mm Ultron, Fuji Superia 400 — 13,770 views.)
5) Because everybody loves a possessed, cannibalistic pig. This particular fiberglass swine spends its time in Kyoto, shilling for an Italian restaurant.
(Voigtlander Bessa R2A, 35mm Ultron, Fuji Velvia 100 — 11,604 views.)
6) This is the famous moss garden with checker squares at Kyoto’s magnificent Tofuku-ji Zen temple. This moss garden is part of the larger Honbo garden, a modernist take on the Zen aesthetic that was designed by Shigemori Mirei (重森三玲) and laid out in 1939.
(LOMO LC-A+, Superia 400 — 10,286 views.)
7) This shot was taken in Pingxi, Taiwan, which is famous for its sky lanterns. These are large paper lanterns on which wishes are written before a small fire is lit inside and they’re launched into the sky, where they drift away toward the surrounding mountains. The sky lanterns can be lofted at any time, but the best time to visit is clearly during the Pingxi New Year sky lantern festival.
(Fujifilm GF670 Professional, Fuji Professional 400 — 10,097 views.)
8) Taken on a photography club expedition to the port area of Kobe. Clearly this shot derives its popularity from the fact that Ueno-san looks precisely like a spy in a Bond film, clicking away at a nostalgic parade of kitschy villains from behind the Iron Curtain who — while believing themselves to look entirely innocuous — just happen to be sporting more Soviet-era bling than you can shake a stick at.
(Voigtlander Bessa-T, 50mm Nokton, Superia 400 — 10,101 views.)
9) Yet another photo taken at the Kobe Biennale. Here’s what I wrote about it in 2007: “This piece by Florian Claar, called Symphonic Light Chamber, is meant to sculpturally imitate the structure of 18th-century symphonic compositions. I’m not sure that the piece ended up having that particular effect on me, but as a gloriously futuristic sculptural space I thought it was fantastic. In fact, it felt very 2001 to me — up to and including the final transition in which you step through the circular entrance at the rear of the container and into a black void full of tiny pinpricks of light: ‘The thing’s hollow—it goes on forever—and—oh my God—it’s full of stars!'”
(Voigtlander Bessa-L, 15mm Heliar, Fuji Superia 400 — 9,671 views.)
10) This is not, by far, my favorite of all of the photos that I’ve taken at the Kishiwada Danjiri festival in south Osaka — the night shots are almost universally more satisfying. I go to this festival almost every year, because it’s absolutely fantastic.
(Voigtlander Bessa R2A, 35mm Ultron, Fuji Superia 400 — 9,568 views.)
Filed under: Japan, photography | 2 Comments
Tags: Bessa-L, Bessa-T, Flickr, Fuji PET 35, Fujifilm GF670, LOMO LC-A+, most popular photographs, Ricoh GRD2, top-ten Flickr photographs, Voigtlander Bessa R2A