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!
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?
Enough for this week, look for quality interactions, share what you like, enjoy what you are doing and take it from there.
PS: I have added an archives tab in the right hand column of the site to facilitate navigation amongst older blog posts.