I recently passed 1,000,000 views of my photos on Flickr. While the number doesn't really mean that much (it's surprisingly hard to know what a view is), it seemed like a good time to take a look at the ten photos which have gotten the most views on the site.
I've done various amounts of explicit sharing with most of the photos, mainly by adding them to groups. By far the most exposure I've gotten is with the Flickr Friday group, where a challenge is posted each week. Photos needs to be shot and uploaded between the time of that posting and the next challenge, and you can only post one. Half of my top ten photos were contributed to that group, with three of them making it to Flickr's Explore page, where you get a ton of exposure (my top three photos were the ones that made it there).
Venice Canals, 3,079 views
Venice, CA; 31-Dec-2013
This photo is the odd one out. With no promotion on my part, it got pretty popular, and I really have no idea why. Perhaps several people found it looking for the ones in Italy. I've never really thought it is a great shot, and doesn't really give you a great sense of what the Venice Canals really look like. Since it started getting so many views, I ended up submitting it to the Yahoo Project Weather group (photos used on the web site and their weather app if the conditions match what's in that area at the time), so that has generated some more views.
The photo that comes just after this one in popularity is of a performance at the PSCS Music Café. At the time it had about 25 fewer views than the Venice Canals photo, but not long afterward it became #10. That was also a shot I uploaded but didn't promote.
Jeld-Wen Stadium, 3,256
Portland, OR; 17-Feb-2014
I liked the symmetry of the this photo, and knew that it would be an unusual shot because I used an ultra-wide lens. It was accepted into Project Weather and has shown up on the web site and app every now and then.
Stanley 93 on poplar, 3,761
Seattle, WA; 18-Mar-2018
This was for a Flickr Friday challenge, Hand Tools. I knew my rabbet plane would be an interesting shot since you can see the shaving from the side, and set it to a thick cut so the shaving's curl would be very pronounced. I happened to take this one with my phone.
Vancouver Public Library, 4,102
Vancouver, BC, Canada; 26-Nov-2012
Another ultra-wide shot. I was still getting the hang of using an ultra-wide lens, which is why there's more pronounced distortion with the people. The whole thing looks a bit askew, too, probably because I didn't have the camera completely level. I did add it to #Flickr10 (your 10 favorite photos as of early 2014).
Seattle Great Wheel, 4,744
Seattle, WA; 1-Apr-2013
Once I saw how this photo turned out I really liked it, so I've added it to several Flickr groups, including Your Best Shot 2013 and #Flickr10. It never really got a lot of traction, but has had steady views over the years.
Ogimachi Joseki Observatory, 4,853
Ogimachi, Japan; 10-Nov-2016
This is another photo of the bunch which was somehow found and became popular. We were above a town with lots of grass-roof houses while the trees were starting to change colors. I purposefully left the tree in front visible to frame the rest of the photo, as well as to give a sense of depth.
Brooklyn, NY; 15-Apr-2018
Another photo I did for the Flickr Friday challenge, Round Shapes. We were with Celeste in Brooklyn Bridge Park when I started looking for a good angle for the benches. I took a bit of time to align the circles so they would be concentric, and I think it turned out well, even though I could have been a bit lower. The next bench down is slightly out of alignment, but it's close enough that you don't notice unless you're looking for it. I ended up submitting this photo for the Your Best Shot 2018 group.
PACCAR Hall, 7,900
Seattle, WA; 11-Mar-2016
This was my first submission to the Flickr Friday group, with a theme of Walls. It was a sunny day, so I knew there would be some great shadows. I also took one with strong diagonal lines from window awnings along the bricks, but decided to go with organic rather than geometric shapes. Imagine my surprise when this was also my first photo to get onto the Explore page.
Ventilation towers, 9,813
Seattle, WA; 12-Aug-2016
When I saw the Flickr Friday theme was Three Of A Kind, I knew I wanted to try something with these ventilation towers next to Red Square on the UW campus. I tried a few different angles, even one including the George Washington statue, but decided on this version because of its strong lines. The geometry is a bit off since I needed to point the camera up; I did straighten it a bit, but didn't want to do too much correction. This one got into the official group gallery as well as the Explore page.
Salmon Bone Bridge, 14,813
Seattle, WA; 3-May-2017
This quickly became my most-viewed photo. I hadn't been to the Dragonfly Garden in West Seattle, but knowing that I would be looking for bridges, I headed over there one afternoon.
The Flickr Friday theme was Bridge. The photo made it to the Explore page in less than a day and got onto the week's group gallery.
It's hard to describe how quickly this photo took off. Here are the daily views for about the first four months:
The Explore page got me most of the views in the first few days, then it started tapering off as the photo got pushed to older pages. I got a few views from the Flickr Friday page itself, but getting put into the Bridges Gallery page got me just as many views, although it took a few months to get there.