Flickr search results

•April 29, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Since a few months ago I (and other flickr users) have noticed strange flickr search results.

For example try searching for “keukenhof”. This is the name of a beautiful park in the Netherlands famous for its fantastic flowers.
(In any case what I am about to describe happens with many different search terms.)

Now, at the time of writing these notes, flickr tells me that there are 131.173 photos related to this search term.
Well, despite this, basically all pictures in the first and second page of the search results are from the same one or two users.
I have nothing against the pictures of these flickr members, I am using them just as an example.

Flickr seems to randomly select some “lucky” members whose pictures have a title containing the term that I am looking for and… that’s all; even if the pictures have a very limited amount of views, tags, preferences, comments, etc., they are listed first.
These results are nearly “static”, i.e. if I repeat the search, the results are the same, this means that the searching algorithm has definitively assigned a high weight to these photos from the same users.
This does not seem to be a very intelligent search function in my opinion. A few months ago, search results quality and variety were much higher.

There is a thread in the flickr help forum on this topic, but nothing has changed since then.
See here: http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/72157625475791769/

Try searching for something else; the pattern in the search results is always the same: many consecutive pictures from the same users are displayed. The pattern is not always clearly visible… but it’s there…
I even noticed pictures with zero views in the first page of the results (when I clicked on the image, its view counter was updated to 1!); this happened when I looked for pictures of Barcelona.

I know that there is the other “interesting” section in the search results, but I can’t really figure out how flickr decides that dozens (among thousands if not millions) of photos from the same users are the most “relevant”, even if they have zero views…

Did anybody notice this strange behavior about the search results and wants to share his ideas? Are you happy with this search algorithm?
Feel free to comment and give feedback.

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Torre Agbar (Barcelona, Spain)

•September 19, 2010 • Leave a Comment


Torre Agbar (Barcelona, Spain), originally uploaded by Angelo Bosco.

The tower has a total of 50,693 square metres, of which 30,000 are in offices, 3,210 in technical facilities, 8,132 in services, including an auditorium, and 9,132 square metres for parking.
It opened in June 2005. Building cost was of 130 million euros.
The building is owned by the multinational group Agbar which has its corporate headquarters in the building and that takes up most of the floors, renting the remainder.
According to Jean Nouvel, the shape of the Torre Agbar was inspired by Montserrat, a mountain near Barcelona, and by the shape of a geyser rising into the air.
Its design combines a number of different architectural concepts, resulting in a striking structure built with reinforced concrete, covered with a facade of glass, and over 4,500 window openings cut out of the structural concrete. The building stands out in Barcelona; it is the third tallest building in Barcelona, only after the Arts Hotel and the Mapfre Tower, both 154 m (505.25 ft).
A defining feature of the building is its nocturnal illumination. It has 4,500 LED luminous devices that allow generation of luminous images in the façade. The system is capable of creating 16 million colors, thanks to a sophisticated system of hardware and software. It has the ability to quickly transition between colors which can create a shocking effect.
In addition, it has temperature sensors in the outside of the tower that regulate the opening and closing of the window blinds of the façade of the building, reducing the consumption of energy for air conditioning.
The construction, as explained by Nouvel himself was strongly influenced by one of the most representative symbols of Catalan culture. On one side was inspired by the work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí reference to the bell towers of the Sagrada Familia.
(extracts from wikipedia).

The tower is illuminated by LEDs at the following times of the day:
– Winter:
working days: 19:00 to 21:00
non-working days and eve: 20:00 to 23:00
– Summer:
working days: 21:00 to 23:00
non-working days and eve: 21:00 to 24:00

Official website: http://www.torreagbar.com

Torre Mare Nostrum / Gas Natural (Barcelona, Spain)

•September 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

This building is located in Barcelona (Spain) and it is called the Torre Mare Nostrum (headquarters of the Gas Natural Company). The architects are Enric Miralles (1955 – July 3, 2000) and Benedetta Tagliabue.
Enric Miralles is also the designer of the Scottish Parliament Building in Edinburgh.
Enric could not see the Torre Mare Nostrum and the Scottish Parliament finished, in fact they were completed in 2006 and 2004 respectively.
Benedetta Tagliabue lives and works in Venice and New York. She worked with Enric in the design of the Scottish Parliament. This information is mainly retrieved from wikipedia.
I will post some other pictures of this building in the future. This picture represents only a portion of the entire construction. I particularly love this image because I was lucky in taking the picture just while a man in a suit was passing in front of the building; he gives the sense of the business look related to the area and also gives the sense of dimensions of the main object in the scene.
What are your thoughts about architecture photography? Do you have some buildings that you have photographed and that you love particularly? I do not have much experience in architectural photography. One of the most beautiful places for photographing architecture is, I think, La Défense in Paris. If you have a list of architectural buildings that you would like to suggest, experiences that you would like to share, pictures that you would like to show to the other readers of this blog, feel free to post and comment.
All the best
– Angelo

Glowing Colours Reflections on Waves

•August 19, 2010 • 3 Comments

This is a sort of abstract picture. Actually, as you can imagine, I pointed my camera to the sea surface, near a reflecting boat. I wanted to make something different by adding a sense of (somewhat metallic) melting liquid effect, rather than merely replicating the reflections on the final image. To do this I used a longer exposure time, but not too long, so that you could perceive some motion blur, but not too much. Due to the bright solar light, I had to stop down to f/40 (!) to avoid blown-up highlights (I definitely need an ND filter…). Finally, I adjusted contrast and saturation. Hope you like it.
By the way, this magic colored liquid was shot in Brucoli (SR), Sicily.

La Défense (Paris)

•August 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

La Défense (Paris)

I really love La Défense area in Paris. I could spend an entire day (and more) there, looking for lines, curves, perspectives, point of views, colors and a lot more. I hope to visit it again sooner or later.

Sunset at Stromboli (Aeolian Islands – Isole Eolie – Sicily – Sicilia)

•July 15, 2010 • 1 Comment

Sunset at Stromboli (Aeolian Islands – Isole Eolie – Sicily – Sicilia)

It was sunset time, I wanted to visualize this in a different way. Something that reminded me and you of summer. There was some vegetation near my “shooting point”, I decided to use it creatively by looking through it. I like the final effect, especially the warm red.

Saline (Salt Pans) Marsala – Trapani (Sicily – Sicilia)

•June 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Saline di Marsala – Trapani – Sicilia
Salt Pans of Marsala – Trapani – Sicily

The salt pans of Marsala in Sicily are a fantastic place for photography. Especially at sunset time, you will experience some fantastic views with incredible colors. Definitely worth a visit!