Photo Popularity and Instagram

Last week I posted an image from a long walk that I did in the Peak District. I suspect the shot of the landscape may not have connected with many people. It’s taken me a long time to appreciate the area and I live here. With that in mind, here’s another shot from that walk which shows the great views you achieve when on top of the moors. I hope this one proves more popular.

Above Derwent Valley in the Peak District

Perhaps one reason that it took so long for me to appreciate the Peak District is that I used to spend more time in the dramatic Lake District. Indeed, the day after my Peak District walk, I was up in the Lake District for photography.

After spending much of the day lounging around Yew Tree Tarn there, I ended the day with a steep climb up Tom Heights. This gave great views looking over to the Langdales where the sun was setting, but I could also see Coniston Water in the distance. As the sun set behind the hills, a mist started to form in the valley above Coniston and a pink haze descended over the landscape.

Coniston Water from Tom Heights, The Lake District

I shot this with a Fuji XT3 and Fuji 18-135 lens at 50mm. The exposure was 1/3” at f/13 and ISO160. I didn’t use any filters and the processing is done with Capture One. I also used the image in one of my daily posts on Instagram. I think the image captures the end of the day well and has a pleasant, tranquil feel to it.

Whilst I don’t pay much attention to popularity votes, I was rather surprised to see it didn’t receive a lot of likes. In fact, it was one of my least popular images. I don’t know if the problems my not understanding how Instagram works or if my style of photography isn’t in vogue, but I’m continually surprised by the reactions see (or don’t see). Perhaps I should take up some of the offers I keep receiving there to make me a bitcoin billionaire.

Finally, I’ll mention that my latest video has just gone live on YouTube. It explains two options for doing a sky replacement in Photoshop. Here’s the link to watch it on YouTube.

I hope you like the images and have a great weekend.

18 thoughts on “Photo Popularity and Instagram

  1. I haven’t watched the sky replacement videos as yet but wondered if you’ve tried the ‘sky replacement’ feature that’s now built in to Photoshop. I’ve been really impressed by it. You can add in your own skies as well. As I do estate agent property pics it’s been an absolute boon, quick and easy and saves to many pictures having the ‘tell tale’ same sky in them!

  2. Ha ha! Oh the mysteries of Instagram and likes. I liked it anyway. I do my very best to ignore likes or compare numbers but I can’t always ignore my human side that can feel a bit miffed! I’m lucky if I get to 40 but I do get some pleasure from sharing single images that I like and that’s what counts ( he says trying to convince himself). Dare I say – nice colourful skies and sunsets always go well, others not so much. As for replacement skies in PS – I have only tried it once, where I could not for the life of me remove banding in an iphone image. I’ll check your video.

      1. It’s certainly madness. I occasionally wonder why I bother and lose interest occasionally. I’m certainly not prepared to invest in efforts to gain likes but I enjoy sharing and enjoy following a number of photographer’s work and often getting inspiration and ideas from them.

      2. I still think it’s worth doing and I like it as an outlet for sharing photos that might otherwise not be seen. And as you say, there are some very good photographers on there sharing ideas.

  3. You have quite the constitution to do both the hike in the Lake District and the next day in the Peak District. I live in the United States and I just looked up the drive distance and it says 2 hrs. 40 mins. Good going.

    1. Yes, they were both long days with a lot of walking. I think the Peak District was 7 hours but the Lake District was a 9 hour day with a long drive each way. At least I didn’t leave home until 7:00am. In the winter I like to be there for sunrise. Perhaps I’m not as old as I feel.

  4. I don’t use Instagram, but Facebook to “gather” likes. It strikes me how important the time you place your image is. As important is if you use a lot of bright colours and how familiar the image is. An image can be extremely good and score extremely low if it doesnot comply to there factors. I use it as an indication, nothing more. If an image scores very low it makes me think about these factors, but I don’t ever change my style.

    1. Unfortunately I never really understood Facebook. I started with Instagram almost as soon as it launched but didn’t share much. I was more interested in the filters at the time. I do like it for sharing photos but I don’t like how it’s become more of a business and so many scammers seem to use it. I’m not concerned by the likes or otherwise but I am interested in why some images are popular and others aren’t. Is it the photography or is it something in the sharing algorithm? I have the same on YouTube. When I drop my video frequency to fortnightly by I’m busy elsewhere, I’m “punished” with poor viewing stats. The content and quality doesn’t change but as soon as I go back to weekly the viewing figures shoot up.

    1. I just tried to find you on Instagram and there are hundreds of people with the same name. Looking at the thumbnails I’m scared to click on some of them.

      I like sharing my images on there but it seems to have turned into scam central recently.

      1. I use a radical approach lol: I only follow photographers whose work I want to see (not anyone to try to gain follow backs); avoid all messages from ‘Melissa’ and ‘Danielle’ etc and their private accounts; ignore all ‘you are so incredible please look at my account’ comments and switch off app notifications and counts so I’m not tempted to see who just liked my image. Above all – I only post the pictures I like and not ones I think will be more popular. Radical? 😉

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