It used to be that I could only find inspirational photographic work by visiting a local museum, subscribing to a magazine or purchasing a monograph. These resources were very important toward developing my photographic eye, but magazines only arrived at my doorstep once a month, time didn't always allow for trips to a gallery and some monographs put a heavy strain on my wallet.
The Internet changed all that.
© Ibarionex R. Perello
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A Brave New World
Suddenly, with the advent of the Web, access to the world's best photography was literally at my fingertips. Not only could I view the work of my favorite professional photographers, but also more importantly, I had the chance to discover the work of photographers, who might not be famous but who were producing phenomenal work.
Photo sharing sites and Web sites have been promoted as ways for professional photographers to get work and for the casual snapshooter to share their images with family and friends. However, for enthusiasts like me, it provides a daily dose of inspiration that keeps me excited about my own passion for photography.
Though my years at the photographic magazines allowed me to view the work of some of the best photographers, it's often been the work of amateurs that have amazed me the most. It's one of the reasons that I love browsing through the Web sites and folios of many BetterPhoto members and students. I am often floored by the quality of the work that I see on a daily basis as a result.
Sharing and Discussing Photos
What I especially love is the fact that I can easily reach out and communicate with these photographers to not only compliment them about their work, but to build relationships. It often becomes more than just a mutual admiration society, but a way of maintaining my own focus on challenging myself and having fun with my camera.
I love getting comments on my images in my BetterPholio, but what really excites me is discovering an image that inspires me to see the world a little differently. I will often browse through the galleries of my favorite BP photographers to help open my eyes before a day of shooting. This helps me to think "out of the box" and take a different look at the world around me.
Four Great Choices
With four choices to share photos BetterPhoto makes it easy for any photographer whether amateur or professional to create a presence on the Web. With several design choices, it's simple to personalize the look of a site. I love seeing how people choose to make the most of their sites, as well as it helps to consider some great ways of making the most of my own presence on the Web.
The image (right) of a Buddhist monk working at a laptop is the kind of image I might not have "seen" years ago. But having the opportunity to learn how other photographers use light and color helped me refine my eye so that I not only recognized the moment, but also had the means to successfully capture it.
Have fun with your photography and learning from others!
About Author / Instructor / Photographer, Ibarionex R. Perello
Ibarionex R. Perello is a writer and photographer who has over 15 years worth of experience in the photographic industry. For six years, he was the associate editor for Outdoor Photographer, PC Photo, and Digital Photo Pro magazines. He was a technical engineer for Nikon Inc. for 8 years where he provided technical support and training on both film and digital technologies.
Ibarionex also hosts and produces “The Candid Frame”, an audio podcast where he interviews the best professional and emerging photographers in the world. The bi-weekly podcast is available by visiting www.thecandidframe.com.
His personal photographic projects include a 5-year documentary project that focused on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles. He is currently producing a series of portraits on established and emerging writers of Southern California.