There are three key things I was looking for when thinking about flikr and its alternatives.
- Can I easily upload my pictures to an attractive personal page with various customisation tools
- Can other people leave constructive comments and other means of rating pictures
- Can I see great pictures from other people and not just other people’s snaps
The four that come closest to me are Flickr , 500px, smugmug and facebook.
The one that does all of it well and free or very cheaply is Flikr. Flikr is also very big and genuinely global.
500px has the best images because it specifically asks you only to upload your best and it has a very scientific rating process. The non photography enthusiast will therefore stay away.
Smug mug is expensive and very USA: it also has lots of family snap type photos and can act as commercial selling site for the pro am photographers.
Facebook is doing a very good job of improving its photo albums and has its famous ‘like’ system. More photographers are using it to integrate showing their work with the facebook social media approach.
2012 was a milestone year for venturing onto the online publishing world. You may have read in a previous post that one image of mine passed the 10,000 views milestone. Just a few days after that the whole photo-stream passed the 100,000 views mark.
So what. Well for an amateur photographer (with the ambition to sell some) getting any kind of views from the public is rewarding. Ten or fifteen years ago not many photographers could get their images viewed by the public in exhibitions or magazines.
I have been a pro member of flickr for four years. Getting feedback from strangers was very rewarding. Having built up some regular contacts it began to feel like I had an audience for pictures, which added to the motivation to get out into the landscape to take them.
A further rewarding aspect is seeing some outstanding photography from around the world and saving a bunch of favourites that continue to inspire.
Perhaps out of loyalty to an old friend I intend to keep using flikr and enjoying a tour around the world from time to time using flikr as my window.
I would be interested to know what your experience of these services are.