Monday, May 4, 2009

What is a "Good Photograph" ?

Google knows. So does Getty Images. Actually it's their search engine optimized meta data tagged pictures who boastfully know that they are "good." After a quick search they they pop up like the over eager hands of school children who are a bit too proud to posses the correct answer to a teacher's query. Getty Images offers you 414,853 pictures when searching for a "good photograph." Which either means that they don't think highly of the 2,415,925 other pictures in their collection or that these other photographs were not key worded correctly for my purposes. Google offers a more carefully curated collection of 990 pictures. To be fair the answer is, of course, an impossible one to answer. It would be foolish to expect a nuanced or thoughtful response from a computer server. But, since search engines, the internet, commerce, culture and consumption are the dominate sand box of the day and the medium where so many of us ask questions, and get them answered, it was an experiment that piqued my curiosity. Here is a very tiny sample of the nearly 3 million photographs that I found in my search.

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