Critiquing the Interesting

Flickr’s Explore section allows users to, um, explore, the most popular photos on the service. The top 500 photos (as ranked by Flickr’s Interestingness algorithm) uploaded each day are included in Explore.

UP 844 and steam at DodsonI’ve had around two dozen photos in Explore (photo set here). Recently I noticed that this photo was ranked #1 overall for its day.

The interesting part is that among my photos, this one really doesn’t do too much for me. It’s a telesmash that IMO isn’t very well composed. As soon as I took this shot in the field I was mad at myself for cutting off the top part of the smoke. Apparently the Flickr community disagrees, and I’m not going to argue with the masses that think this was the best photo uploaded to Flickr last year on May 22, but it’s a reminder that one’s opinion of a shot is heavily subjective. The community says it’s great, but I see room for improvement.

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