It's very easy to find snide or dismissive things to say about some of the biggest mass participation sites on the Internet. Say what you like about Tumblr, for example, for my money it still throws up people with a real skill for curating images but for original photography, Flickr is absolutely stuffed full of really talented people producing really high quality work. Among the latter is a 19 year old guy from Georgia, recently moved to Orange County California called Alex Stoddard. He doesn't update his Flickr with countless images every day and so each new image becomes a little bit of an event. He has gained himself a certain Internet celebrity over the last few years and it looks as though he is in the process of translating that right now into real world presence. His photographs are often self-portraits, often narrative heavy, often dark and psychologically loaded and quite often, just a little surreal: it's a heady and compelling mix. He has recently been featured in the Orange County Recorder and took the photo above especially for the article. The paper sent along a photographer to take behind-the-scenes shots of the process. The article tells us that his 30"x 30" prints are currently selling for $400 a piece and it strikes me they would be a great investment right now because I think this guy is about to become a big hit. You can read the article and see all the photographs on the OC Recorder's Website and his Flickr photostream is an absolute must.