WHAT WE PHOTOGRAPH AND WHY
I have a handful of strange friends who do not take photos. They have to be on vacation to stoop so low, and they may not take them then, either.
What’s more – they don’t even take selfies! And it’s hard to imagine them capturing their wife in a magical moment, or their own children. Although it’s possible that they just don’t share their family albums with the world, because they are rarely of artistic value.
I’m at the other extreme, using only good taste (often absent) and the ability to press the button.
I cannot pass by a deserving flower, face, or plate of food, nor the sky nor light nor shadow, nor God knows what else.
Sometimes, in those rare moments when life seems cheerful, I post the photos on facebook, and I know that my imitation of real photographic skill is so good that people believe I am a notable photographer myself. And I don’t even know what depth of field, white balance, or bracketing is, nor do I want to know. I don’t care; it doesn’t help to think about it.
In our vaguely enlightened time, having photographs printed is akin to sewing on a Singer.
What a pity that there weren’t smartphones when I was a child, so I could have captured how my grandfather – the most famous tailor in all of Samarkand – sewed my pants on that very sewing machine.
Not to mention our courtyard in the middle of July with its overgrown vineyard and gazebo, at first glance blue-ish, but then with blindingly white sheets, trembling from the rare breeze on the clothesline stretched between grandmother’s cherries and that same gazebo.
It turns out that 40 years later, this yard was my personal paradise. And even in Los Angeles, where, in addition to the corporate ugliness, you can find a billion Samarkands – unbearably beautiful pieces of both architecture and flora – I remember that yard.
But on the other hand, everything is idealized in memory, so maybe it’s for the best that there are no worthy photographs.
For me, a good photo is always like a dream and not a painting.
ENOUGH ABOUT OURSELVES!
What are the most common photographs for the rest of humanity? Researchers at Cornell University analyzed 35 million images from Flickr, taken by 300,000 photographers. The most popular places in the world were:
New York and London. And in general the US is the most photographed place on the planet.
Yes, I was also surprised. I thought Venice, and in general Italy.
Here are the top 25 most popular cities among photographers on Flickr:
New York, 2. London, 3. San Francisco, 4. Paris, 5. Los Angeles, 6. Chicago, 7. Washington, DC, 8. Seattle, 9. Rome, 10. Amsterdam, 11. Boston, 12. Barcelona, 13. San Diego, 14. Berlin, 15. Las Vegas, 16. Florence, 17. Toronto, 18. Milan, 19. Vancouver, 20. Madrid, 21. Venice, 22. Philadephia, 23. Austin, 24. Dublin, 25. Portland
Us Angelinos are in the top five!
Scientists then narrowed it down to the 7 most photographed objects:
Eiffel Tower, Paris, 2. Trafalgar Square, London, 3. Tate Modern, London, 4. Big Ben, London, 5. Notre Dame, Paris, 6. London Eye, London, 7. Empire State Building, New York
AND NOT FLICKR, BUT INSTAGRAM:
Here, the audience is younger.
Suvarnabhumi in Bangkok and Siam Paragon shopping center – a disney-like citadel of consumerism. Pictures of the first and second; indeed, it is strange.
After these two places are as follows:
- In-person pictures of Disneyland, 4. Times Square, 5. AT&T Park in San Francisco, 6. LAX airport, 7. Dodger Stadium, 8. Eiffel Tower, 9. Staples Center, 10. Santa Monica Pier.
Again, we are among the winners. In the top 10 most popular places on Instagram, 6 objects are not only in the US, but in California.
Don’t forget, that The Benjamin Eye Institute is the premier eye care center in Los Angeles
Text: Sebastian Varo
Photos: Sebastian Varo, Yulia Benjamin