Today I wanted to cover a slightly different topic than usually. With the rise in the last ten years of the DSLRs there has been a boom in the world of photography. This, together with the birth of the social networks and smart phones that people carry with them 24/7 we are reaching unbelievable numbers like 5 billion pictures hosted by Flickr by 11.12.2012 or 10 million pictures shared on Thanksgiving Day 2012 on Instagram.
This takes me to the polemic released after Instagram's Terms of Service change last month. Basically it gave Facebook the right to use pictures uploaded by Instagram users in their own promotions. This gives the ownership rights over the users pictures as soon as they are uploaded to their service.
I am am an avid photographer myself, I have been taking pictures since the film days and even though for me photography is just a hobby, I like to take good care of my craft, I value my pictures too much to give them away to a company that has enough money to pay professionals for their work.
So where do I have my pictures uploaded. Well, I don't have that many pictures on the web, mostly I have them on Flickr but I stopped using it over a year ago. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the community over there but I was starting to be overwhelm with too much noise, quantity over quality.
For some reason, a good number of Flickr users, used their account for storing their images, and they will upload 400 images of their walk on the beach where there are only three different images repeated over an over. This, together with the number of unimaginative stills of cats and dogs.
I would suggest that after the latest changes on Instagram and Facebook on copyright ownership, you upload all you pictures of cats, dogs, the burger you had for lunch or the nice art on the coffee foam you got on that fancy cafeteria.
This leaves us with the question, so do I only upload my nicer pictures to my site that not that many people will get to see? Or do I have another options? Well there are many options, that is for sure, I have been checking some of them the last couple of years, some of the communities I like are Behance, Smugmug and 1x.com
My final choice went to 500px. Their website is beautiful, it is very flexible when it comes to organize your galleries and the community is in general polite and knowledgeable. Also if you go through the Terms of Service you can read:
Your photos will preserve whatever copyright they had before uploading to this site. We will protect the copyright and will not sell your photos without your permission.
I have made up my mind now and I will get more of my images there, I really think I can be a better photographer with the feedback and comments from other people.
I have gotten an Awesome account and even though my pictures are still far from Awesome, they look good to me in there. I have also mapped a domain I own, mondaypics.com to my profile.