Part 5 Research Task 3

Exploring Hashtags


Reflect on your individual practice interests to identify 3 key words or phrases that are themes for your work. Now, test how you can use these as #Hashtags online.
1. Find examples of photography tagged with your chosen terms on social media.
2. Post your own work using your chosen hashtags on Twitter, Instagram and/or other platforms.
3. Reflect on how hashtag usage may steer the positioning of your work
4. If you do not wish to post your work online, are there equivalent methods where an image – text association can be tested publicly? E.g. a notice board? A window? Explore these.

LPE p.190

[18Sep] It is good to see that the option, “[i]f you do not wish to post your work online” is given, but I have no inclination to do that. The internet is fun and I will run these tasks, but only as a passing novelty.

I noted on the About page recently that “my pursuits, when not directed by assignments, are photographing the non-obvious; looking for sets; plant use and abuse; depicting the passage of time. My main interest in the photographs of others is the history of self-portraiture.”

I will use Flickr and Instagram; I do not use Facebook; my Twitter account is used for other purposes; I avoid all the more recent fads. I recommend Jaron Lanier’s Ten arguments for deleting your social media accounts right now (2018) to all my readers. I will also look into creating an NFT, if I can manage it without engaging in Bitcoin or its derivatives.

1. Find examples

This was an interesting exercise.

I have not used Flickr much, other than easy way of sharing family wedding photographs.
Here, having searched on a keyword, I then looked in the Flickr Groups listed.
Self Portraits fig. A1 – no shortage of these
Forbidden Zones, my assignment title got me nowhere, so I tried hidden (fig. A2), which is mostly photographers behind cameras, and unseen (fig. A3) which is miscellaneous
Plant use and abuse drew another blank and I found my way to the Secret Life of Plants group (fig. A4) which is just pretty flowers.

Again, relevant Self Portraits were easy to find;
matches for my Forbidden Zones were again rare – searches on hidden and unseen resulted in mundane images with no clear relevance and forbidden was dull but a little more risqué (fig. B2).
Plant Abuse is an active hashtag on Instagram (fig. B3), so this was the first satisfying result.

2. Post some images

Pick three pics — for self portraiture, I’ll use one from C&N Asg.3; for plant abuse EyV Asg.5; for the non-obvious, Nelson’s Column (not in BAPhot) or one from C&N Asg.2, Forbidden Zones.

Figs D1 and D2 show the four images posted on Flickr and Instagram. I will check on their fates and report back on anything interesting.

Nelson in bondage,
NFT created 21Sep22


[21Sep] Now to try an NFT. I will abandon the effort if it looks likely to cost more than £10. My guide here is Ian Dean’s How to create an NFT for free (2022).

It might need some detail, so I’ll show this on a separate page.

3. Reflect on hashtags

Hashtags are a great invention – they provide a simple way of indexing and retrieving information from storage. They were “invented” by Chris Messina (although the symbol had long had a purpose within programming) – he introduced the idea on Twitter, it took off and became accepted generally on social media (Lips, 2018).

As regards my own work, I am not active on social media and have no wish to be. I explored SEO strategies in my role as the web technician for several organisations and it was interesting to learn how to game the search engines for attention in a process with ever-changing rules. But for my own practice, I am not interested in attracting attention in that way: my approach is based on infiltration and stealth.

[7Oct] Nevertheless, I have set up a Twitter timeline, though rather than documenting the minutiae of daily life it will be used for logging useful links with occasional image posts.

LPE Part 5, Research Task 3 References

Alexander, J, Conroy, A, Hughes, A, & Lundy, G (2019) Landscape, Place and Environment [LPE]. Barnsley: Open College of the Arts.

Dean, I. (2022) How to create an NFT for free [online]. Available from [Accessed 20 September 2022].

Lips, A. (2018) History of Hashtags: How a Symbol Changed the Way We Search & Share [online]. Available from [Accessed 20 September 2022].