The following are the 5 favorite online photography communities used by Pixsy users. We posted a little bit in each and made a list of their most unique features.
Reddit is an online message board where you can join or set up a community to discuss any topic you like. Its biggest appeal is that the users decide which stories and discussions are most worth reading.The topics of its many communities (or ‘Sub-Reddits’) can get bizarrely niche, but /r/photography is pretty straightforward. It has over 280,000 subscribers, yet remains a tight-knit place for people to “discuss the tools, technique and culture” of photography.
To give you an idea of the subjects discussed, the all-time top posts on /r/photography include:
- A lengthy discussion on the Ted Koppel/ABC image theft case.
- This frank confession of the uncomfortable truths about photography.
- The most comprehensive collection of photography ‘cheat-sheets’ you’ll ever find.
- Probably the best birthday present ever received by a photographer.
For professional photographers, some posts on /r/photography will have more value than others. Many discussions are for those still getting to grips with their camera. The sheer amount of links shared can also be bothersome..Reddit as a whole has a strong reputation for content that’s 100% honest and unfiltered. However, as the site grows we may start seeing more marketing influence. These include automatic affiliate codes in links, embedded discussions and even changes to its already strained self-moderation ethos. Right now this is still one of the internet's premier photography communities. Familiarise yourself with the posting rules, and start sharing your expertise.
The Adobe-owned Behance is an online portfolio platform designed to give your work as much exposure and feedback as it deserves.It's not actually a photography-specific website (you can post portfolios for anything from fashion to UI design). In the photography section you can search based on the color scheme of the photos, the cameras used and even which school the photographer studied at.
In the dedicated Photography gallery you can browse through all the featured projects in general photography, retouching, and photojournalism. You can also narrow photographs down to the very city they were taken in. You can also let full-sized, high-quality images speak for themselves, or present your collection as one long blog post.The major flaw behind Behance is it isn't devoted to lengthy, in-depth discussion on photography. The comments tend to take on an echo-chamber approach, with plenty of spam and self-promotion in tow. Unless you happen to be near one of the platform's yearly portfolio review events, it's hard to get truly useful feedback on your work.
Pixsy highly recommends Lightstalking as a must-read blog and educational resource for photographers. Among photography communities, they also get a special mention.You can find front page discussions on how to remove horizontal banding in your photos, unique methods of displaying floral photography, and guides on how to properly share your work from Flickr. That's just in the general section.
What sets this photography forum apart is its camera etiquette. All photos are posted with the model, lens, f-number, shutter speed and ISO used in capturing. Its weekly photography challenges each come with their own set of tutorials. There are also regular community highlights that showcase the photos and working history of the forum’s more prolific photographers.The Lightstalking Forums only have four main sections to post in (General Discussion, Constructive Criticism, Photo Challenges, and Landscape Photography). Some of these are considerably more active than others. Also, the design constraints on the forum mean you can't upload particularly large, high-quality versions of your photos for others to critique.
Describing itself as the ‘world’s most inspirational photo community’, Fotoblur distinguishes itself from Instagram or Flickr with a focus on quality driven photography.The ‘Favourite Photos Today’, ‘Rising Stars’ and ‘Discover’ tabs put the most widely praised photos right in front of you. The Comment Stream and Weekly Stats options let you see which photos are currently getting the most praise from the community.
There are standard features to up-vote or comment on any given photo. There are also additional options for listing lens, f-number and shutter speed, and to assign each photo its own dedicated category. Fotoblur’s huge list of Groups also gives you a chance to find photographers who match your style or field.Each of these groups has a dedicated forum, although we wish this kind of community interaction was more prominent throughout the rest of the site. We gain found the comments not very constructive, and the views were a bit on the low side. The overly minimal layout is also disappointing, and you don't get a significant amount of control over how your portfolio page is displayed.
Fred Miranda Forums
Sixteen years since it was founded, the Fred Miranda forums still has an active user base of 300,000. All 25 of its sub-forums are constantly updated with new posts. You can also find discussion boards dedicated solely to digital photography, light & studio techniques, Canon/Nikon/Sony gear, post-processing & printing and for selling on equipment.Fred Miranda’s photo assignments not only receive extremely high-quality submissions, but every winner gets the prestige of having their work featured on the front page. The monthly assignments are based around a theme, and all are decided by user vote. If you’re confident in your ability with a camera, there’s nothing more thrilling than seeing your work posted side-by-side with expert product reviews and the most important industry news.
Fred Miranda’s main drawback is its devotion to nostalgia. It was one of the original photography communities, but that doesn’t explain why it still has the same flat, uninteresting layout most forums had in the early 2000s. That said, it remains the gold standard when it comes to online photography communities, and has inspired many other websites with its approach.
Which photography communities are you part of?
These 5 are just a snippet of the many places photographers can go to showcase their work and share their experience. If you’ve been part of a group on social media, or image platform that everyone with a camera should sign-up to, let us know via the Pixsy Facebook page or through our Twitter @PixsyHQ. Tell us what your community can offer, and what keeps you posting your work there!
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