Dr. Michael Brown, CREATe investigator and Human Factors Research Fellow from Horizon Digital Economy Research at the University of Nottingham offer a perspective of his recent experiences interviewing semi-professional photographers.
Over the last few months I’ve been interviewing ‘Pro-Am’ photographers to explore their practices, especially around the use of information about photos themselves (meta-data). These photographers are people that have been paid for their work but don’t do photography as their ‘day job’. They reported capturing and using all manner of meta data: Time, date and place of capture, camera setting and social setting. How this information is captured is as variable as what is captured with various combinations of digital and non-digital solutions used for the management of meta-data. Pens and paper, smart phones, complex multi-level folder systems and even social media sites are used to record this information. While most seem to have quite a relaxed attitude towards controlling information, for others it seems the flow and control of meta data is almost as important as the act of photography itself.