Last year I wrote a blog post about online photography forums, specifically Naturephotographers.net (NPN), Naturescapes.net NSN) and Birdphotographers.net (BPN). It’s now time to discuss the results.
While each site has forums for multiple types of photography, they each specialize in certain genres. BPN is of course, all about birds. My first post was extremely educational. I received multiple critiques and comments and was excited moving forward. I never received that level of attention on following posts. Avian photography is a very competitive space, and unless you’re posting the best of the best, it’s very easy to get ignored on the forum. There are some incredible photographers who specialize in critiquing, and if you’re lucky, they will comment on your post. But often you will get very little feedback. I do enjoy critiquing on the site as bird photography is arguably the easiest genre to critique. There are very concrete guidelines with a clear subject, unlike landscape photography. I decided not to renew my membership this year, mostly due to the direction of my company. My resources have been focused on fine art nature photography, and as a result I haven’t been photographing wildlife. If you are serious about avian photography, I do recommend BPN, just be patient and stick with it, the more your photography improves, the more you will be accepted in the community.
NSN is a forum that doesn’t specialize in any particular genre, but does a solid job across the board. Their website is bar none the best of the three forums; polished, well designed and with an excellent retail store attached! The glaring issue is that the community isn’t very large. I thoroughly enjoyed my critiques on landscape images, all well thought out and informative. I think it’s a great forum to receive feedback. Again, I decided to not to renew my membership this year. The time I put into my company in precious, and I find it best served posting my images on NPN for critique.
NPN specializes in their landscape forum and that’s primarily what I photograph. The community is large and talented. There is a constant stream of images that you yourself can critique and learn from. Critiques for the most part of informative. Like most online forums, there are some photographers who have spent time establishing themselves on the forum and receive more feedback than most. That can be viewed as a good thing or a bad thing, but just know you have to put in your time to receive consistent feedback.
My images will be posted on Flickr and NPN for 2011. I had a great experience with BPN and NSN and do recommend them for their strengths. Let me know if you have any questions about the forums!