If you are reading this blog, then chances are that you are familiar with the social networking group Facebook, and the one that caters to photography called Flickr. Other then seeing what Aunt Mary is up to, or whether your best friend is having a a good hair day, or who is cheering what baseball team both Facebook and Flickr feature millions of photographs taken from amateurs, professionals, and every one in between. Photos from candid moments; family reunions; travel; sports; nature; or even pets. You name it and you can find photos on every subject possible.
Not only is there photos and albums a plenty, but there are hundreds and hundreds of photography groups you can join. Whether they are amateur or professional groups, camera brand specific, subject specific, even colour specific!!, there is a group of people out there who share the same skill level or interests as you. When I first started taking photos with my point and shoot camera, it was about the same time I joined Facebook. As my interest in photography grew, I decided to investigate and join some amateur photography groups.
What I did not expect was how much I would come to learn in these networking and sharing groups. The wealth of information, feedback, encouragement, criticism and fun you can receive from these groups is fantastic! Many of these groups feature contests or weekly themes in which you are encouraged to submit photos you have taken. You are then encouraged to comment on each others photos and offer feedback, tips, information, things to consider, etc. It was through these groups that I learned the rule of thirds, about depth of field, and feedback on composition, paying attention to details….and so many other things that have helped me to get to where I am today. Many groups offer guest commentators, or judges who are slightly more experienced then the members and once again their aim is to offer knowledge, feedback, and perhaps new ideas. At this point, the group I joined when I first started out now has me come back from time to time to offer my own feedback. It is something I am honored to do as it was not too long ago that I myself knew nothing about photography other then it really made me incredibly happy.
So if you are truly wanting to learn anything about photography, or even just to learn how to take a good photo then the next time you log on to see what your best friend is up to, check out the many groups that are available and find one that is right and feels comfortable for your level of expertise. I guarantee your list of friends will grow in a quick time!