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The best way to learn photography A Beginner's Guide To Digital Photography A Beginner's Guide To Digital Photography You may think that picking up a digital camera, turning it on, and taking the photo is all that you need to know about digital photography. Think again. Read More is to go out there and shoot. The second best way is to look at perfectly composed photos and get inspired. We do that by taking tips from the best photography blogs 10 Blogs That Will Make You Into An Amazing Photographer 10 Blogs That Will Make You Into An Amazing Photographer Now, you really don’t have to struggle in the darkroom to learn the ropes of how to take great photos. That is because the lessons of photography have gone online too. Ten blogs – that’s... Read More , and marveling at how the professionals do it on some of the eye-catching photography websites 7 Photography Websites Every Shutterbug Should Keep A Click Away 7 Photography Websites Every Shutterbug Should Keep A Click Away There is no better way to improve your photography than by keeping up with the latest on sites that are run by people who are just as passionate. These seven sites fit that description. Read More . After a hiatus, Flickr has come back into the frame. Of course, some keen photographers will say that it never went away. But even the most diehard Flickr users will admit that the new Flickr Yahoo! Overhauls Flickr, Now Offers 1 TB Of Free Storage For All Users [Updates] Yahoo! Overhauls Flickr, Now Offers 1 TB Of Free Storage For All Users [Updates] In one inspiring move, Yahoo! has upped the ante by offering a full 1 Terabyte of space to all Flickr users, and by updating the already-dated Flickr interface. To put things into perspective, 1 TB... Read More is in better focus than it ever was.

Flickr Groups is the town gathering for like-minded photographers. The ten Flickr Groups 10 Flickr Groups For Serious Shutterbugs 10 Flickr Groups For Serious Shutterbugs Read More my friend Bakari mentioned a few years back are still popular on every list, but I am sure there’s room for many more. The ten uniquely beautiful Flickr Groups I managed to pick up below come from Group suggestions, recommendations, and personal preference. But there’s one common denominator – they all are unique in the photos they showcase.

Light Junkies

Photos: 96,845

Light Junkies

Can it be argued that the art of photography is mostly about managing light? If that’s so, then the contributors to this group have it made. Light Junkies is a group about light graffiti, light painting, light writing and lights in motion. Light paintings are created with slow shutter speeds and for spectacular results, it combines well with night photography. Needless to say, you need a good light source to make it really artistic. The how-to of light painting is well documented in the discussion threads with tutorials, information, and discussions around specific themes shooting with silhouettes, traffic trails, and wondrous star trails.

Also if you are a good catcher, toss your camera in the air and see what comes up, look into Camera Toss.

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Utterly Surreal

Photos: 320,182

Utterly Surreal

Though light paintings can be surreal in themselves, this Flickr Group takes things much further. Creating surreal art forms takes a very imaginative mind that can see in abstracts in a zone between dream and reality. The photographers here do, and some really pull it off very uniquely. The one truly outstanding quality of a surreal photograph is that it will make you think. Quite a few of them left me scratching my head in wonderment. The one negative about this group is the lack of discussions. That’s a pity because there’s a lot to learn about the right photo manipulation techniques for the desired surreal effects.

The World Through My Eyes

Photos: 3,512,837

The World Through My Eyes

The World Through My Eyes is a very open group, and as its name implies – it’s about seeing the world through your own lens…and the lens of others. The group is very active with chit chat, daily contests around themes (like, Monochrome Mondays, Textured Tuesdays etc.), weekly photo contests, and monthly showcase. So, you can be sure that the best photos usually surface to the top. If you want to have different perspectives of the world around you, this is one group to join. Think of it as a varied “gene pool” of diverse photographers.

Abandoned

Photos: 724,912

Abandoned

The desolateness of abandoned places make for great photographers and not only because there isn’t a crowd milling all around your frame. Every abandoned place tells a story and if you can capture it in all its poignancy, then it makes for a timeless snap. The discussion threads though not very vibrant, are full of locations being name dropped. Personally, I do try to scout them out on Google Street View Nuts About Photography? 6 Tips To Use Google Maps With Your Camera Nuts About Photography? 6 Tips To Use Google Maps With Your Camera Google has probably done less for the mass effect of photography than Facebook (the acquisition of Instagram tipped the balance), but the contribution has been nothing short of the word “generous”. Google Maps has been... Read More in my spare time. Do contribute your own recommendations.

If you are a rural kind of person, head out to Rural Decay.

Spectacular Landscapes

Photos: 15,053

Spectacular Landscapes

The old favorite. The beautiful collection should cheer you up after the melancholy of the previous. This is a selective photo pool as the photos are by invitation only. The careful curation could also be the reason for lesser number of photos here. You might have a tough time getting your own through, but there’s nothing stopping you from admiring them in your browser. The beautiful photos are wallpaper stuff!

ROTHKOesque

Photos: 10,889

ROTHKOesque

After a wide angle view of things, we zoom in with photography’s version of Mark Rothko’s expressionism. One of his recent paintings was valued at $35 Million at a New York Art Gallery. Your photos might not fetch the same stratospheric amounts, but this is an interesting art form. As the About page of the group describes the art form and what the photos should also represent –

“…work concentrated on basic emotions, often filling the canvas with very few, but intense colors, using little immediately-apparent detail.”

Secret Life of Plants

Photos: 133,734

Secret Life of Plants

If you love nature, joining this Flickr Group should take just a perfunctory click. This group is not only about macros, but about anything that portrays a plant or a plant part in unique light. Pay attention to what the group is not looking for (e.g. they are not looking for just another pretty rose). Many photos here fail the test (I guess moderation is not strictly enforced), but the good ones should make you look at the greenery around you in new light.

Panoramas

Photos: 245,622

Panoramas

A “no rules” completely open rule. There’s just one unofficial rule – kindly upload your panoramic shots; stitched shots are also allowed.

Black and White

Photos: 5,700,988

Black and White

Black and white photography has its place in the age of color. In fact, if you look around, it probably has a large place. There’s something about subtracting all colors from a photograph and keeping it minimal. It makes me look at the familiar in a new way. The collection here proves it with every photograph. The group is also very active, and members start their own little games to keep the interaction going.

Best 100 Only

Photos: 100

Best 100 Only

I left the best for the last. The Best 100 Only is a nice wrap up if you want to see some of the selected best 100 photos on Flickr. It is the “Hunger Games” for Flickr participants. As the site says, the photos are selected by — “one-on-one challenges”. The photos repeatedly viewed and compared with different challengers, until they are replaced by better ones. The intention is to provide a fun, respectful mechanism for constructive criticism, with worldwide membership.

The “toughest” ones make their name on the Hall of Fame.

Which Groups Would You Recommend?

Flickr has more than a million photography groups. You can be sure that they cover any aspect of photography you can think of. Heck, I found one entirely devoted to chairs and another that focused on pavements. Seriously. In other words, your photography inspiration Don't Let Your Camera Collect Dust: 10 Inspiring Ideas For Photography Don't Let Your Camera Collect Dust: 10 Inspiring Ideas For Photography Finding inspiration for your photography can sometimes be a challenge. We've already taken a look at five places you can go online to find inspiration for your photography, but there are also a few offline... Read More could start from here and you shouldn’t let your camera collect dust. Which are the best Flickr groups you have come across? C’mon, send us your recommendations. This article will be the richer for it.

  1. Daniel Arrhakis
    April 23, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    There are many inspirational groups in Flickr ! The choice between thousands of groups is always reductive and a very personal vision, something that i fight all of these years. Many of them with new artists and creative photography . We must always be constructive isn't it dear friend ! : )
    My best regards,

    Daniel Arrhakis

  2. Randy
    January 3, 2015 at 5:52 am

    Thank you for sharing the group I created, The world through My eyes :) I love the way you described the group. Cheers!!

    • Saikat
      January 3, 2015 at 6:00 am

      Love the group. From what I can make out, it remains popular. The new Flickr layout also makes browsing these groups more appealing.

  3. Saikat
    December 24, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks Ahmed. Photos are timeless, and so are the advice which accompanies them :)

  4. Ahmed Shawan
    December 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    These are all quite a handy lists of Flickr Groups to get tons of stock photos. I think not all the groups are active for discussions very slow since after months interval but it great worths to download free unique stuffs.

    Very good post...

  5. Lynn Smith
    November 15, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Check out the global group Creative Street Photography. More than just "decisive moments" ... Stunning scenes of urban ambiguity too...

    • Saikat B
      November 15, 2013 at 11:24 am

      Agreed. This one is really popular.

  6. G P Witteveen
    October 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    flickr groups for "street_photography" has lots of "decisive moments" as Cartier-Bresson called it. Also see the "night panorama" and "extreme weather" and "seascapes."

  7. G P Witteveen
    October 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    flickr groups for "street_photography" has lots of "decisive moments" as Cartier-Bresson called it. Also see the "night panorama" and "extreme weather" and "seascapes."

  8. G P Witteveen
    October 18, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    flickr groups for "street_photography" has lots of "decisive moments" as Cartier-Bresson called it. Also see the "night panorama" and "extreme weather" and "seascapes."

  9. Christine
    October 18, 2013 at 4:55 am

    I'm totally addicted to the "What's in Your Bag (but not your camera bag)" group.

    • Saikat B
      October 18, 2013 at 5:06 am

      Yes, I came across it. Thought of including it, but then it could go into another roundup of the really offbeat groups :) There are some groups focussed on pavements, fire hydrants, tech gadgets etc. Really interesting stuff! Thanks for your suggestion again.

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