Fstoppers.com has become a favorite site of mine, describing itself as following;
“Fstoppers is an online community aimed at educating and inspiring photographers, videographers, and creative professionals. “
Where many sites offer interesting articles on news and how to’s Fstoppers rises above with the involvement of its “community”. As well as allowing artists to upload a portfolio of images, the community in general are encouraged to rate images within a sliding scale - the lowest (1) being what the community would feel was a snapshot (ie anyone could take, no thought put into the capture) to a high of 5, which would be world class (guidelines for rating is available on the site).
This, I feel provides me, the photographer with (anonymous) feedback on how an broader audience my view my work
In addition to this community groups are encouraged where the community can request/discuss the merits of posted images. As we are all aware of how I feel about the benefits of critique I find this a very useful tool. Whilst we may not always agree (this should be an expectation) I find it always insightful to hear the opinion of others, and there has been a number of instances where suggestions have resulted in noticeable improvement.
If all this were not enough the crowning glory for me is their ‘Critique the Community’ contests. Here a pair of judges (typically the founders Lee Morris and Patrick Hall) perform a video critique of submitted images, and rate them based of their own sliding scale. Whilst very entertaining in its own right I find these videos very informative and helping me assess my own images. One point of interest - the hosts often disagree. This tends to be entertaining and reinforces the fact that art is subjective and that we can’t expect everyone to like/dislike our work.
So make sure you get yourself to Fstoppers.com and check out what they have to offer.