If you’re into Instagram or are curious about alternatives, see this guest post I wrote for Inkifi, a print maker of Instagram images. I cover five decent alternatives in detail (for bonus points, add me as rsmithing if you’re already on ‘em: 1,2,3,4,5). And please take a moment to comment at the Inkifi post if you can — thanks!
Over the past few years of exploring art and developing my own creations through Instagram and smartphone apps like Hipstamatic and Dynamic Light, I’ve come to appreciate the merits of different websites for purposes of expression and curation. Here’s a look at my top 5.
On each of these sites I house some variation of images I make, and I also explore them daily for inspiration. Following is my take on what makes each special and how I get the most from them with their unique characteristics:
500px: The Premiere Gallery
I use 500px.com exclusively to house all my photomontage art. It has the fastest, cleanest, and overall best display, where the focus is on the art with the community and everything else coming after that. There’s a simple mechanism for favoriting, liking and commenting if that’s what you’re into, but primarily the site is about experiencing the art, and there’s generally more refined content than other image-sharing websites. http://500px.com/rsmithing
Pinterest: Mass Consumption Imagery
Pinterest is where I tap into a huge image-appreciating community, sharing my montages and other creations that happen along the way on a board called “My Creations.” Not everything there is totally fleshed out, but it’s decent enough to be on display, and interesting enough to repin and share across other boards. lt’s more transient and fleeting than other venues, but feedback in the form of repins and likes helps keep me interested. Plus, I follow a ton of cool boards there along the likes of what I produce, so it’s great visual candy for when the mood to browse strikes, or if I just want to curate some dreamy images or other photomontages. http://pinterest.com/rsmithing/my-creations
Instagram: Keeping Things Fun
It’s funny; Instagram is what got me started on this journey of creation and exploration, yet it’s not the ultimate destination for me that it once was. Don’t get me wrong; I find and enjoy many great creations there, but I don’t share my most refined stuff there. The site has so quickly become so saturated, complete with spam and terms of service issues, leading me to keep a certain kind of profile there, and that’s fine. I’ll occasionally post a fully completed photomontage, but I tend to keep it light and more experimental on Instagram. http://instagram.com/rsmithing
Flickr: The Mother Lode
For me, Flickr has truly evolved into a fantastic tool and a force to be reckoned with. My photostream there is a hodgepodge of montages, original source material, experiments, and a running log of stuff that may or may not fall into any of these categories or even see the light of day. I’ve had a Flickr account for many years, but have only recently delved into the full experience it offers – chiefly because it’s such an excellent tool to share Instagram images on Pinterest and other sites like Tumblr. Plus, you can’t beat its sets/galleries/collections organization, curated groups, favorites browsing and full-size resolution viewing options. http://flickr.com/rsmithing
Tumblr: A Curated Garden
And finally, there’s Tumblr, the place where I highlight everything I like, pin and favorite on all these sites, mainly through automation and RSS feeds via ifttt.com, but also through the occasional upload and reblogging of something cool I come across there. It’s taken me a while to get into Tumblr, but I’ve found a ton of great stuff there and have managed to be featured at some cool Tumblr-based blogs like Lensblr and Minus Manhattan, which is always a great feeling, reaching folks with an interest in the kind of art I like to make. http://rsmithing.tumblr.com
What do you think? Do you employ different websites along the same reasons but for different executions? Are you on any image sharing websites? Have you heard of these already, and what’s your experience been like on them? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- 10 Reasons to Use the Flickr App (momathonblog.typepad.com)
- The 10 Fastest Growing Apps This Year (mashable.com)
- Woman gets deleted from Instagram after posting controversial photo (huffingtonpost.com)
- Point, shoot, share: 10 alternatives to Instagram and Facebook (macworld.com)
- Flickr, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram Available on Home (newsroom.fb.com)
- Flickr Commons – My destination for cool free images! (organiclyricism.wordpress.com)
- My Social Media Strategy: Pinterest and Instagram (christainnewyork.com)
And let it set you free.
This is a play on the phrase, “find what you love and let it kill you,” attributed to Charles Bukowski (or not). I like that phrase, but I also like the idea of setting something free or being set free in the name of love. This is a montage I assembled on my iPhone using a shot of a couple of treetops at sunset (with the moon rising), a roadside view of some wildflowers, and a gash of peeling paint in a parking deck. I also consider it to be in the style of my favorite visual artist, Jerry Uelsmann, whose work is endlessly inspiring to me. Click to see the originals and full-size version in greater detail at my Flickr photostream.
What do you think? Are there any literary quotes that have stuck with you through time? Have you ever been inspired visually by something from literature? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- Visual Review 2: The Photographer (karswagg.wordpress.com)
- Learning From The Masters (rsmithing.com)
- so you want to be a writer? poem by Charles Bukowski (silverbirchpress.wordpress.com)
- Marian Bantjes, Ed Emberley, Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor (kingakowalczyk.com)
- Writing is something that you don’t know how to do – Charles Bukowski (fireflydance.net)
- All Things Will Kill You (stilllifewithnobody.wordpress.com)
For the longest time, I’d been baffled by Tumblr. I didn’t understand how it worked, or its popularity. Now, I’m getting it.
What’s in your Tumblr? And what is that, anyway? Obviously we get blogging and social media, but Tumblr — while interesting — has never held my interest for very long until lately. I only started posting to the site when I started using Instagram because it’s easy to post to Tumblr while uploading to Instagram — basically, checking a box. I reasoned having something at Tumblr just in case I wanted to pursue it one day made sense.
Then, I discovered Pinterest, and have come to love that site for all the art I discover there, much like Flickr, 500px, iPhoneArt.com and several others. I kept on noticing a ton of images there via Tumblr, so that piqued my interest even further. And now I’m using Tumblr as a collect-all for my activity on these and other sites. The best part is, it happens with no extra effort on my part.
I’m using these automated actions through If this Then That (more on this later) to add content to my Tumblr whenever I like a photo on Instagram, Flickr, 500px, or create one myself, as well as other things like Pandora, Last.fm or Pinterest activity — stuff I’m already doing anyway for my own entertainment.
— Richard Smith (@rsmithing) August 7, 2013
It’s nice to see all these things I like and ponder them in a different context in one place — where I’ve even customized my experience by modifying the html of a stock theme, and building in commenting functionality via Disqus. I’m also checking out who likes what I post, exploring to find content there that can re-blog right on my own Tumblr site. And so the cycle continues.
For me, Tumblr is another flavor of art discovery and expression through curation, which is what I enjoy so much about the aforementioned sites. I don’t think I can have too much of that in my life, and Tumblr makes a nice addition.
SNL’s “Drunk Uncle” on Tumblr, via special guest, Peter Drunklage (at about :45)
What do you think? Are you on Tumblr? How do you use the site? How did you to figure it out? Let us hear from you in the comments.
- How I taught my mom to love Tumblr (dailydot.com)
- Benefits of Tumblr for Your Blog (business2community.com)
- “Drunk Uncle” on SNL Mocks Tumblr (Mashable.com)
- Making a case for Flickr (and why unlike everyone else, I like it better than 500px) (dadspixels.com)
- Tumblr~ (starsssss.wordpress.com)
- Tumblr web traffic reportedly on a sharp decline (theverge.com)
Young boy takes an interest in an older gentleman’s drawing of a sculpture. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC. Detail here.
I snapped this earlier in the year on a visit to the museum. The man was rendering a highly detailed drawing of a sculpture when the boy stopped to check it out. It was great seeing the man directly engage the boy’s curiosity – two personalities growing for a moment toward each other, through art.
Shot with my iPhone 5 via Hipstamatic.
- Trip to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (josephckimart.wordpress.com)
- Sketchbooking (acrossthepondandbackagain.wordpress.com)
- 40,000 Artworks from 250 Museums, Now Viewable for Free at the Redesigned Google Art Project (openculture.com)
- Link Love: Art Online (keciaadamsauthor.wordpress.com)
An elegant, natural montage between man and nature, generations in the making. As one who appreciates montages, I find it remarkable to spot one in the wild. And highly enjoyable.
- Livable Exoplanets Could Be ‘Very Different From Earth,’ MIT Scientist Says (latinospost.com)
- Greenhouse effect (dooce.com)
- 1988 Expert Opinion : Manhattan To Submerge By 2008 (stevengoddard.wordpress.com)
Saw these guys last weekend. Got this photo. What a gig. One of my favorite bands ever.