Photographer hits #1 on Reddit with Mt Fuji picture, and quickly regrets it
British photographer Kris Boorman summited Mount Fuji in 2012 and took a photograph from the top, showing the shadow cast by the giant mountain at sunrise. The image has since been used as a background for the Bing search engine and last year won a competition held by Gettty Images. A couple of days ago he posted the photo at low resolution on Reddit, and within a few hours it had garnered more than 6000 upvotes. Although this might sound like good news, Boorman quickly came to regret posting the picture.
In a follow-up post on Reddit (since edited and republished by PetaPixel) Boorman explains the lessons he learned from his experience of being #1 on Reddit Pics.
- People will do a lot with a small image
- Even if you post at low resolution, people will find the full-res image anyway
- Some people won’t believe it’s your own photo
- The recognition you gain from the photo's popularity will not be very fruitful
The first two lessons will be cringe-inducingly familiar to any photographer who has ever had an image stolen, misappropriated or otherwise ripped-off on the Internet. But the third and forth points are less obvious - although no less depressing.
The Internet is a strange place, where anonymous trolls can accuse a content creator of stealing their own work, and lots of people liking one of your pictures can actually be kind of a headache. As Boorman points out, 6000+ votes on his Mt Fuji picture on Reddit caused barely any uptick in visits to his other work, but did result in a flood of spam emails sent via the 'contact me' page on his website.
Sometimes, it seems, too much exposure can be a bad thing...
Mount Fuji sunrise image courtesy of Kris Boorman and reposted with permission. (Naturally).
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