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by Aditya

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Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Where can I post my photos and get reviews, comments, and critiques from the community, in order to learn to become a better photographer?

Here is a list of places to get feedback. Please use answer wikis to comment and rate each one.

As you get more advanced you might also want to try out photo contests, both online and local.

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Also worth reading is "How do I give someone a critique of their photograph?" photo.stackexchange.com/questions/7885/… –  Sean Dec 9 '11 at 1:58
    
I am a believer of "all critiques are valid", no matter if they are artistic people or not. –  Gapton Dec 9 '11 at 2:12

20 Answers 20

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Please use answers to rate and comment on each one.

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While the technical critique of fellow photographers can be useful, I would rely a lot more on the layman's opinion. Unless, of course, you are shooting test targets.

Most of what we contribute to a photograph is an opinion. Discussing the grammar and spelling can only get you so far; it's the opinion that counts in the end. As long as the technical aspects of your photography (the equivalent of spelling and grammar) are well-enough developed to allow you to express that opinion, then you don't need a bunch of fifth-grade grammar teachers going over your work with a red pen. That will tend to leave you with purely documentary work. You captured an undistorted picture of what was there. Yay! If forensic photography or shopping mall "portraiture" is your goal, then that's not such a bad thing. I guess.

The "correct" exposure, shutter speed/aperture/ISO combination used to get that exposure, lighting ratio and composition are all largely subjective. Getting them textbook-perfect is just a jumping-off point, much like learning how words are spelled and combined to form sentences and paragraphs is a jumping-off point for effective writing. Your subject is just a list of facts. You want to tell a story, and it is your story that is being judged. You may have to commit some informed grammar infractions to make the story more effective; you probably have to bend the truth a little, and sometimes even lie outright.

The problem with relying on photographers' opinions is that, while they can point out obvious technical flaws, they're no better at judging artistic merit than anyone else. In fact, they're often worse — not because they have no aesthetic sense, but because they're looking with a technical eye. That is a bit of an over-generalization. There are photographic communities (like the folks at 1x.com) and individual photographers who can see the big picture first, but in the online enthusiast world you're much more likely to find a community of competitive "experts" who will be looking at histograms, putting composition rule overlays on your image to see if you've exactly followed, say, the "rule of thirds", and looking at your pixels instead of at your picture. And that's great while you're learning spelling and grammar, but once you've gotten the basics down it's a little less than useful.

Laymen might not be able to tell you exactly what you need to change in your process to improve a picture, but they will be able to tell you what they like and don't like. And sometimes it may be the case that what is disturbing them is exactly what you were trying to accomplish. It's that reaction to the story you are trying to tell that matters.

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@mattdm -- then feel free to merge. I think the questions are subtly different. –  user2719 Dec 9 '11 at 0:58
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I can't merge. I'm not a moderator, just a busybody. :) –  mattdm Dec 9 '11 at 1:48
    
+1 for this great answer, thanks! –  akram Dec 9 '11 at 1:53
    
@mattdm: You're not? Next election you get my vote. Even if I don't always agree with you, you're doing a lot of work around here. I have neither the patience nor the connection speed (he said, whining as usual...). –  user2719 Dec 10 '11 at 6:49

There are not many great places to get such feedback. One site that I use is 1x.com, which is known for only accepting the absolute best work. They have fantastic art there, and its useful as a milestone...if you get something accepted, you've really improved your work! Even if your art gets rejected, you can still submit it for critique. The community at large is able to critique art, and you get some pretty good feedback. Note that unless you are a paying member, you only get one upload slot per week, so you can only get one critique per week. You are also required to critique at least three other works before you can submit your own for critique.

Its a really tough community, but they have rigid, high standards and talented artists. Its a great place to submit your best work, figure out where you can improve, and resubmit an improved version.

Additionally, DeviantArt.com allows you to submit work for critique if you are a paying member. If you have enough visibility, you can get some good critiques...however the community at DeviantArt is some 15 million people strong, and it is difficult to get any kind of visibility unless you managed to get recognized years ago and already have a strong following.

I also believe Flickr.com has a photo critique group, however it seems to be rather brutal, so if your looking for helpful constructive feedback, it may not be the best place to get useful critiques.

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Also, dA isn't focused solely on photography. A vast amount of it is creative art. –  Nick Bedford Aug 29 '10 at 6:26
    
There is creative art there, however Photography is certainly one of their largest categories, if not the largest category. –  jrista Aug 29 '10 at 16:16
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Yay for 1x!!! :) –  BBischof Apr 6 '11 at 2:23
    
This is a good example of a non-CW answer to the question. –  mattdm Jul 30 '11 at 7:42

Focussion

This site uses a "token" system to encourage helpful feedback. You need to give feedback to get these tokens, and you can spend them to upload your own new photos.

If you write really good feedback, other photographers may mark your feedback as helpful, and you earn even more tokens.

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Hi Adrian! Welcome to the site. No need to format your answer timidly — just post your answer as you have and that's how it gets listed. :) –  mattdm Aug 17 '11 at 11:41
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This site (Stack Exchange) works on a reputation system similar to the tokens you describe, so I think that might be of particular interest. Is Focussion your site, though? It's good form to say so. –  mattdm Aug 17 '11 at 11:42
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(And it's worth noting, for a new user, that this particular question is "community wiki", which means the answers don't give you reputation. But please stay around and participate and add to the questions which do!) –  mattdm Aug 17 '11 at 11:43

Here: http://www.reddit.com/r/photocritique

/r/photocritique has a lot of people from reddit.com/r/photography. The subreddit is active and anyone can participate, there's no requirements like on other critique sites. Most pictures, no matter the quality, seem to get a least a couple comments.

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Depending on the timing, I can get either really great critical feedback, or hardly anything useful. 2/5 –  Eruditass Apr 21 '11 at 3:27

http://photocamel.com

Billed as "friendly", it does seem to both provide critique without holding back. Depending on your genre, it has professionals who visit and will give critiques. At least I can vouch for Kids/Family and Portraits.

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A good place for beginners, but sometimes PhotoCamel lacks the critical feedback I'm looking for. 2/5 –  Eruditass Apr 21 '11 at 3:34

photoSIG

[The following was edited in by @Jerry:]
PhotoSIG attempts to "encourage" users to critique photos that have been submitted by limiting the number of pictures a user can submit for critique based (in part) on the number of critiques they've written. Many pictures are nearly ignored, and a high percentage of "critiques" that are written are strictly pro forma ("Nice picture. Great depth of field. Thanks for sharing.")

PhotoSIG has a reputation system vaguely similar to SO/SE sites. Unfortunately, reputation gain is even more rate limited than on SO/SE, so users' reputations depend almost exclusively upon longevity, not contribution. Despite this, the moderators seem to treat the reputation system as barely short of pronouncements from God, so disagreements are usually settled based exclusively on reputation, even when that leads to decisions that are obviously wrong.

Finally, PhotoSIG has also been essentially abandoned by its founder (who now works for an investment bank, if memory serves). He apparently custom-coded the infrastructure for the entire site, but no longer maintains it, and won't turn the code over to anybody else to maintain either. Some pretty serious problems have been known for years; they not only haven't been fixed yet, but nobody can really guess when (or even if) they will be.

If you want to look at some nice pictures and maybe get some inspiration, PhotoSIG can be quite nice -- the overall quality of pictures submitted is quite high. For critiques, however, I'd have to agree with @Eruditass: 0/5 (and if a lower rating was allowed, it would probably be deserved).

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It would be nice if you could clarify why you choose to post this link in your answer. Can you describe whats the overall benefits of using photoSIG? Until then this answer is not very helpful. A google search might have revealed the same result. –  Gregor Müllegger Sep 19 '10 at 12:29
    
You make a valid point but I don't think it deserves a downvote (unhelpful). The site is directly relevant to the original question and the link addresses the questions "What is PhotoSIG" and "What can I do here?" My own experience of the site is not necessarily of interest to @Igor, nor did he ask for it. –  Mike Fitzpatrick Sep 20 '10 at 3:50
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it would at least by helpful to summarize the site briefly, so that someone going through the site knows why to bother to click. Without that, it really is unhelpful. –  mattdm Apr 5 '11 at 19:33
    
photoSIG's idea is good, but I find their submission interface and requirements a bit annoying. In addition, it is packed with users and submissions: a lot of stuff gets little to no feedback and the only incentive to give feedback is to submit more photos for critique, which are often ignored. 0/5 –  Eruditass Apr 21 '11 at 3:32

This site is no longer online

KarmaCritic is a site where the more good feedback you give others for their photos the more prominence you get for your work. The feedback is peer rated, and the submissions are not. On many sites, the lesser work often gets the least replies, but often are those that need the feedback the most.

I think the concept is solid, unfortunately the user interface, presentation, and most importantly, community size, needs to improve.

I'm in no way related to the owner, but I think it's a great idea. I can't figure out how to view submissions older than a month other than my feedback history: here are some examples of the thought out feedback it can foster: 1 2

You can log in with any OpenID (google, facebook, twitter, etc.) or create your own account (a bit hidden).

For now I'd give them a 2/5, but with the highest potential of all the sites I've been to. You might not get a lot of feedback, but what you get will be of high quality, because people love upvotes.

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Sounds like a site in the stackoverflow tradition, designed to provide incentives for individual users that create an overall healthy community. Thanks for posting. –  fmark May 9 '11 at 13:50
    
looks like the site is offline for some time :( –  Remus Rigo Oct 22 '12 at 6:28

Facebook has been very valuable to me for attaining some feedback from all sorts of folks . . . but if you're looking for great feedback from like minded, photography enthusiasts, You can go wrong with Photography Corner:

http://www.photographycorner.com/

Enjoy and good luck!

-pmk

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Digital photography school (DPS) has a nice critique section on their forums. The community there is fairly nice, but they are still willing to be critical. This would be my first recommendation, especially as a beginner.

DPS has strict requirements when posting such as EXIF info, picture size, and specific questions. That said, it's one of the better places to get consistently helpful feedback.

4/5

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"Another option is at photo.net, but they have a bit of a reputation for being a little harsh in their critique. That might be fine, but it's something to keep in mind."

Personally, I have gotten very sparse feedback from here.

0/5

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I'm the developer for OnShutters which allows voting on both photos and critiques and therefore encourages thoughtful critiques. StackOverflow style. You are welcome to take a look and provide feedback. Thanks.

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Well, that's a familiar theme! Almost too familiar… –  koiyu Jul 30 '11 at 11:42
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@koiyu, thanks for checking it out. I should clarify that it's actually inspired by and closely modeled after StackOverflow as far as the voting system goes, and implemented in Rudy on Rails. It lacks the advanced features the StackExchange engine offers though. –  timeon Jul 30 '11 at 15:49
    
site offline :( –  Remus Rigo Oct 22 '12 at 6:30

dGrin (officially Digital Grin) is an online community that has a very large section for critiques and reviews, as well as sections for challenges and assignments run by the community. There's a lot of just sharing of images, but there's also a lot of critiquing of images... especially if you specifically ask for critiques.

DISCLAIMER: dGrin is hosted by my employer, we also pay for some of the pros that participate in the community, but the community largely runs itself, about the only place where the company really actively is involved is in the support forum, which we've been trying to move to a SE site, but can't seem to get the critical mass to get into beta.

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PentaxForums usually gives me a wide range of feedback and their critique forum interface is a bit easier to use than most others. The community is friendly, filled with people of all skill levels who are generally pretty helpful, and they don't care what camera you shoot with. I'd give them a 3/5.

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Flickr's critique groups actually on average gave some pretty good feedback in the discussion section, despite flickr's photocomments usually being pretty bland.

"Photography Critique" has a larger user base and typically gets more responses, but "Critique" is still quite good.

The downside is that they want it to be posted on flickr.

On the upside, they critique in the discussion, in case you're worried about people blasting your photos on the photo page. In addition, it's a bit useful to look at the streams of people commenting as you can gauge their level of skill. And of course, if you post a good shot, you can get more views as people will peruse your photostream.

3/5

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TrekLens seems like a very cool site, a bit like flickr with an emphasis on geolocating photos and critique. However, I haven't gotten the most useful feedback there.

0/5

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Photography-on-the.net gives consistently good feedback for me. 4/5

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Fredmiranda is packed with great shooters that offer some great critical feedback whether or not you ask for it (e.g. in the non critique forum) 4/5

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I managed to learn some things and have a great feed back using a carefully select google+ users circle of photographers. Although non photographers tend not to comment there.

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Nice read and interesting websites. Another website for feedback that is missing in this list is a new and small photo community focussed on feedback: http://www.focussion.com

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Welcome, Michiel! Is this your site? –  mattdm May 9 '11 at 16:52

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