It’s all about giving and taking

Hi everybody,

Last week I told you a bit more about my sleepy vervet monkey shot. This week, I want to share some thoughts on sharing. In photography, sharing can take different forms and serve different purposes, yet what it all boils down to is that there should be a balance between giving and taking.

Let me use the Wild Eye gallery and monthly competition an example.  They are a great platform for sharing, exchanging, learning, inspiration, … And that also goes for the competition, since getting selected is great, yet the proverbial participation is better. Since even when your images don’t make it, that doesn’t mean they are bad images, it just means they connected less to the mood of the jury at that point in time. Yet thinking about your submissions, seeing what others submit and learning from the judges in the end all boils down to giving and taking. You take, by getting inspired (by looking at the competition, which is getting stiffer by the month b.t.w.), by exposing your work, yet you can also give, by providing feedback to the work of others, or by creating exposure for them. Honestly, how cool is it when a 13 year old gets in touch with you and asks you to go through her pictures to provide some feedback, isn’t that what it’s all about?! A small effort from your side that can give somebody else just that little push which is needed, isn’t that great? I can tell you it made my day!

Canon 350D, Canon 75-300 @ 300mm, 1/500, f/8, ISO 200

Some of the sites I’ve been checking out to share my work include 1x and 500px. Some time ago, I was still wondering whether I liked 1x or not. By now I can tell you I don’t, since in my opinion, you do not want to be at the mercy of a curator when you want to create exposure for your messages. If (s)he doesn’t like your style, you will end up spending a lot of time in uploading pictures without any result, besides getting frustrated, or worse, moving away from your own style in trying to please the curator. Don’t go there, go for 500px instead, the quality of the work and the interaction with other photographers is great. And for those who use Lightroom, sharing has just been made easier, since you can post from Lightroom directly. And while you’re at it, you can do the same for Facebook and a bunch of other social media.

Another way of sharing I have just been exploring is Pinterest, you can check it out here and I would love to hear what you think about it. What I like about it, is that it allows you to gather a nice collection of work you like from across the web. Where I am not sure about it, is whether it gives sufficient credit to the photographer (not everybody mentions the photographer as I do), … I still havn’t made up my mind on this one. Have you tried it? Has it worked for you?

To finalize, let me share 2 inspiring wildlife and nature photography sites I came across recently, by Andrew Aveley and Isak Pretorius.

Enough for this week, look for quality interactions, share what you like, enjoy what you are doing and take it from there.

Warm regards,

Guy

PS: I have added an archives tab in the right hand column of the site to facilitate navigation amongst older blog posts.

 

 

  • Zizome

    Hello Guy,
    Good web site and sure amazing shots here
    keep it up and good luck 🙂

    • Hi Zizome, thanks a lot for your nice feedback! More to come! Have a great day, Guy

  • Marcelle

    Guy, I really like what you have to say here. Its so absolutely friggin true man!

    • Hi Marcelle, that’s what I call walking the talk! Thanks for giving back, highly appreciated!

      • Marcelle

        Pleasure. Its nice to see more photographers networking with each other. And I also truly do believe that sharing your photography is more rewarding than being chosen for comps etc etc. Through our page we try to keep people interested and build a passion in them for nature. To me that’s the bigger picture and trumps any competition or “professional” sharing medium. Its not always about how technically wonderful a shot is…sometimes its just about whats IN the shot and how much people out there who don’t have access to these things enjoy seeing these things on our page. When we started our little “online diary” nearly two years back, we just wanted an outlet for our passion. Its become our way of life and everywhere we go we look at what to share with others. It works and people appreciate the effort. In those terms FB is fantastic. When it gets to mediums like say 500px (which I dont post on yet..I will one day when I feel I can compare to some of those photographers), ODP or WildEye among a good few others, I get confused as to why they are there. Is it just so people can brag to one another? Because they definitely on the whole dont try to help one another! These sites are promoted on the idea of comment and crit to help people improve and I dont see that happening I must be honest. So I stick to sites/mediums where I do get that kind of help. Its even different from category to category. For eg..on most sites Macro categories are so helpful. The photographers are always willing to lend a hand or pass on a helpful hint. But on that very same site…post something on the landscape category??? You will grow old and be covered in cobwebs before someone decides to pass a crit on your image. Strange way it all works. Its no wonder the “helpful” kind gravitate towards each other.

        Love your work, your blogs and your balls to sometimes speak the truth where its needed!! Good for you! One day, your sleepy little ape will hang on my wall. Its still to date in my top 10 fav of all year so far! (just had to say that again)

        • Dear Marcelle, thanks again for your feedback, I can’t agree more, we’re creating an eye on this world! And heyheyhey, in my opinion there’s quite a bunch of photographers on 500px whom could learn a thing or 2 from you 😉 For me 500px works quite well, it is actually the main source through which people land on my FB page and that makes it worth the investment for me. Always happy putting the fish on the table and glad to see you appreciate that! Once again also a big thanks for your nice words of encouragement, they do make a difference and they do mean a lot to me. As for the sleepy young Yoda, feel free to drop me a line, I’m sure we can work something out to make him end up on your wall (I’d be flattered) 😉

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