My least-hated favourite pictures on Flickr

Yann Gourvennec photography

Beauty, it is said, is in the eyes of the beholder. I started collecting a list of my favourite most liked pictures on Flickr and the result is not what I was expecting. When I compare it to my own favourite list of pictures on my Flickr profile page, I realise they are completely different.

A list of my most-liked photos on Flickr – Yann Gourvennec photography

There is a saying according to which, it’s every man to it tastes. When I discovered this ranking, I felt like providing a few explanations and, wherever applicable, showing my favourite ones next to yours.

Yann Gourvennec Photography
Val de Grace – Yann Gourvennec Photography –

One man’s nightmare is another man’s dream
One silent person in another man’s scheme

Rupert Hine – Jeannette Obstoj – Waving not drowning.

The above view of the Val de Grace in Paris isn’t bad but it’s my least favourite shot of this place. You know how it is, you post stuff online, ‘just in case…’, and you never give it a second thought even though you should. I much prefer the one below. Maybe it’s because I cycle past this building almost on a daily basis, I know what is behind this blurry shape.

Why are we Taking Pictures?

I like the tilt-shift even better. The focus, as in the above picture, is a bit erratic and possibly, this is what is making the image most interesting.

Above all, this is triggering questions about why we shoot these photos. Documenting an old listed building like Anne of Austria’s former Abbey is nice but maybe not that useful.

I suppose it’s been done a thousand times. It doesn’t mean one shouldn’t do it, but finding a new angle is certainly more thought-provoking.

Yann Gourvennec Photography
The Elderly Couple in Château-Thierry

Now, the one above I really like. It’s nice to see an elderly couple like this on a quiet stroll on a hot May afternoon. On that day, more than 10 years ago – time flies – I was carrying my camera for a concert. I saw them two on the river bank and I did what I could regardless of where the Sunshine was coming.

Not the Best Conditions for a Picture

Well, in fact, it was pretty much above our heads judging by the shadows. Probably the worst conditions for a picture.

I managed a decent shot though and the sepia filter I chose is quite nostalgic. I’m not unhappy with that picture even though I wouldn’t deal with it in that way now. And I would probably get rid of that brownish thing (a flower bed?) on the left-hand side.

Now, there is a story about the above picture. It was taken during one of the interminable 2020 lockdowns. In May 2020, we had a lot of thunderstorms around here. As I was stuck in my flat not really able to take pictures and idea came to my mind.

After the shower

I came down the stairs right after a shower in order to take pictures of the roses in the flower beds right outside our block of flats.

Equipped with my beloved Nikon 105 mm macro lens, I then set to take pictures. I’m not unhappy with them. But I would be lying if I said that they are my favourites. Possibly, my preferred rose picture was the one I took in May 2019 in the famous Rose Garden of Laÿ les roses in the south of Paris. Here it is for your benefit.

Yann Gourvennec Photography
There is only one drop on that rose, but it’s ideally placed and I’m much happier with that picture than the other one. Besides I love the green bokeh. Same 105 mm Nikon macro lens.

Nonetheless it’s funny that the lockdown, which was so little conducive to good photography, led to one of my favourite pictures on Flickr.

This time I agree with my readers. This is indeed one of my favourite pictures. Isles of Scilly – 2018

Concerning the above shot, taken off the shore of the main island of the Isles of Scilly Archipelago, I’m very much in sync with my readers.

This is indeed one of my favourite pictures. I didn’t give much thought to this one, though. I was standing in a boat trying to keep my balance doing what I could not to be thrown overboard by one of the savage waves surrounding this reef.

A Blurry-but-Nice Lens

The boat kept moving, I was shivering with the cold, and I was holding to my bulky D810 and my very weighty ‘blurry-but-nice’ 24–70 mm lens. It’s blurry because it doesn’t have a stabiliser. I bought it secondhand, and there is no vibration reduction feature on it. The good thing about it is that I don’t need it any more with my newer D850 and Z7, my new cameras, because Nikon equipped both of them with stabilisers.

Back in those days I didn’t have them. Only the 810 which isn’t stabilised. The raw file isn’t very good at all and I won’t even show it to you. This was intentional. Because we were out in the open and the brightness was so intense that taking a picture of this reef at that moment in that position would’ve meant having an all-white photo.

Underexposing in the Bright Light

Then I decided to underexpose grossly the raw file. It gave me an opportunity to highlight the foreground by pushing the levers while keeping the background intact with its beautiful clouds. I definitely love this photo and a couple of others that I took over there.

Definitely not the best conditions for photography but the result is, I find, very compelling. And it doesn’t really matter that the picture isn’t super sharp, that’s what I like about this lens, the ‘blurry-but-nice’ lens.

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Another shot for which I’m in sync with my readers.

Other Pictures – Yann Gourvennec Photography

I like that one too. The lighthouse is in fact rather far away from the house in the foreground. The menacing clouds and the bright sunshine make for good dramatic photography. Ouistreham in Normandy – December 2020
Another lockdown picture. I had to make do with what was around me. This plant is in the hall of our building.
A Banksy ‘Girl-with-Balloon’ lookalike in Arcueil
I’m not crazy about that one, it seems that Flickr users found it nice. The never-ending love affair of tourists with the Louvre I suppose.
I was rather astonished when I saw that picture of a rather derelict house in Versailles appear in the top 10.


An all-time favourite of my Flickr visitors. The old miniature railway station in Villennes-sur-Seine – In dire need of a good paint job.
Villennes-Sur-Seine again. Who would think this place is barely a 30 min drive away from the centre of Paris? Nothing but peace and quiet – Yann Gourvennec photography

I don’t know if that’s of any interest to you, but I’ve had good fun reviewing these pictures and reminiscing about the context in which I took them.

I must admit I’m not doing a very good job on Flickr. I merely use the tool as a repository for my photos.

I tend to shove them up there without even giving them a thought and then I forget all about them. This is probably the worst thing you could do on a social platform, but I don’t care that much.

Maybe if I spent a little more time on it, I could get much more visibility … with the right pictures, I mean.

I will need to think about it.

Yann Gourvennec
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