Photography is an interesting and broad area of graphical art. With so many photography areas as: weddings, engagements, portraits, landscape, wildlife, documentary and abstract, it takes lots of time to learn and master. Most of the beginner photographers start with learning about the photography equipment: camera, lenses, filters, flashes and strobes. The amount of information one has to digest and understand is mind blowing.
And there are no shortage of information sources: books, DVDs, online classes, magazines, Youtube, blogs and forums. Once one start to follow the path of the “white rabbits” it takes him/her from source to source in a never ending conquest of knowledge.
However with all the written materials and produced videos, there are always follow up questions or doubts to be clarified before a concept is well understood. There is a photo to get feedback or provide feedback and validate ones vision or ideas. That’s where photography forums come to help. These are online communities where fellow photographer in all stripes come together to talk, bread and live photography on a daily basis. One can find a photography forum for almost every type of photography.
A word of advice: There are different photographers with different level of experience and different “agendas” participating into these online communities. From experts who are willing and happy to help, to thinking-they-know-all pseudo “experts” who derive their happiness from putting everyone else down and criticizing the majority of users and images on display, as well as very new to photography users who can have genuine but annoying basics questions. it’s a good idea to keep this in mind and don’t take anything personally or you might lose your sleep over aggressive comments and offensive remarks.
So if you are still looking to join one or more of these photography online communities, here are few for you to consider:
1. Digital Photography Review (dpreview.com)
Probably the most visited and used forum on Internet today. It has good user interface, plenty of categories: gear, techniques, weddings, portraits, wildlife. You name it. The members are very involved and provide very useful comments and information. it is truly international forum which means you will get responses while you are sleeping and more diversity, means richer information. As of April 2014, it has 35,945,300 posts and 3,643,231 threads. You can also find what camera, lenses and flashes the photographer used to take a certain image
2. Canon Digital Photography Forums (photography-on-the.net)
This forum was started by Pekka Saarinen and it is all about discussing Canon only photography gear and photography techniques. It also features showcasing images and critiquing. Required registration to visit all categories as the marketplace where users can trade, buy or sell user or new gear or access the nude photography category which are hidden from unregistered users. As of April 2014, it has 16,322,862 posts and 395,622 members.
3. The Photo Forum (thephotoforum.com)
This forum has wide variety of digital photography topics. The categories include contests, image critique, weddings, portraits, camera and lenses, analog/film photography, and much more. Moderated forum which means all comments will be reviewed and approved before being published. As of April 2014, it has 2,899,356 posts and 153,932 members.
4. Digital Grin (dgrin.com)
This forum is about photography gear, image critique and photography techniques. Many users posts their images and the feedback by other members is genuine and educational. It is moderated as well. Activity is slow but that means you can get more attention from the members and your posts doesn’t have to compete with many others for attention. As of April 2014, it has: 1,911,245 posts and 74,901 members.
5. The Professional Photography Forum (theprofessionalphotographyforum.com)
Started in 2009, this forums is a good mix of showcasing photography work, professional / business works, and photography categories as: wedding, portraits, landscapes, still, commercial, etc.). As of April 2014, it has: 69,991 posts and 1,201 users. It might be bit small and slow, but worth considering.
6. SLR Lounge (slrlounge.com)
This forum has topics about photography techniques and tutorials. It features weekly and monthly contests for its members with prices and incentives to be creative. The design is HTML 5 bases and has a cool look. As of April 2014, it has: 6,745 posts and 1,701 members. Moderated by Christopher Lin.
7. Photography Corner (photographycorner.com)
Another photography forum which also includes marketplace for registered users. Topics include: general photography topics, camera, lenses, and a premiere member’s lounge. As of April 2014, it has: 771,231 posts and 28,533 members. Owned and moderated by Tim L. Walker.
8. Digital Wedding Forum (digitalweddingforum.com)
This forum is exclusively about wedding photography, wedding techniques and wedding photographer resources. Users share their wedding images and video for other users to critique and discuss. It has membership fee, which means it is not free to register. You have to decide if it’s worth it to you but judging by the total number of posts and members it seems like a good online community. As of April 2014, it has: 2,430,377 posts and 38,431 members.
9. Fred Miranda (fredmiranda.com)
This forum has wide variety of categories like: seminars, tours, gatherings, photography techniques and image showcasing. It has marketplace for registered users to buy or sell used gear well organized by manufacturer, gear class and features. As of April 2014, it has: 1,301,411 posts and 191,411 members.
10. Photographycorner (photographycorner.com)
The forums is all about generic and gear related discussions. Members are active and provide useful information. Overall is a good place to share your work and get feedback. As of April 2014, it has: 65,599 posts and 3,121 members.
I am sure there are many more photography forums and information sources, but the above 10 is what I have found to be most useful and relevant to me. Think differently? Agree or disagree? Drop me a line or more in a comment section…
By Trifon Anguelov Photography
Portrait and Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA, 94040