Flickr or Blipfoto?

For over 2 years now I’ve regularly used 2 photo sharing websites. The almighty Yahoo monster that is Flickr and the smaller Edinburgh based Blipfoto. To date I’m approaching 2000 uploads to Flickr and nearly 600 in Blipfoto. Both sites are heavily focused on the social networking theme but the main difference between the 2 is that you can only upload one single image a day to Blipfoto, and only on the day you take it making it more of a photo journal than Flickr.

So, why do I upload to both?

I get different things from both sites. Like I’ve already said, both sites could be termed as social networks. You have the ability to follow certain peoples uploads on both, add comments and favourites. Where the big difference lies though is that Flickr is very much a give to receive mentality. Comment regularly on others work on Flickr and in turn you’ll get a load of comments back yourself. This though, in my opinion, leads to sycophantic commenting by some who are just desperate to collect as many comments as possible on their work, genuine or not.

Blipfoto on the other hand is a very giving community. People comment because they like your photo, not because you drop by every day and leave a one word comment on theirs. Of course the give to receive thing does happen, you see some very average pics with stacks of comments but it’s not the norm, at least in my experience. It’s a more genuine, friendlier atmosphere on Blipfoto.

If your looking however to the more technical side of photography and a strive for the best images you can take then Flickr is the place for you. With so many uploads to Flickr of course it has it’s fair share of dross but cut through it and you will find a whole host of very talented individuals posting regularly and a lot of these are happy to share the settings, filters, techniques etc used to get the shots.

Blipfoto on the other hand suffers badly from the photograph anything brigade. It’s very nature of a photo a day leads people to photograph anything just to keep up their perfect tally of a photo every day. Looking at it’s front page of most recent uploads there’s less beautiful landscapes or creative images than there are quick snaps of peoples kids, cats, toilets or indeed anything that will let them post a pic with the minimum of effort. That’s not to say the photographic content is suffering as there are some incredible photos uploaded to Blip, you just have to look a bit harder to find them.

Another side effect, I’ve found, of this photo a day business is that it really does get you out taking pictures. Of course, some prefer to not leave the confines of their house and photograph the back grass growing in order to fulfil and upload but for me it gets me out and about nearly every night and as a consequence, I will happily credit Blipfoto as part of the overall package that makes we want to be a better photographer. I very rarely compromise by Blipfoto uploads these days, I won’t post and iPhone shot for the sake of it, I’d rather not upload so this actually does make me get up of my arse and get out with the camera. From my own journal on Blipfoto I can see that my own photos have massively improved since I first started to upload. Out practicing every night has to pay dividends in the end. Flickr doesn’t give you this drive and there’s no incentive to upload every day.

I won’t go into the features of both sites, suffice to say that if you subscribe to either you get access to a whole host of exclusive features that will just about satisfy anything you need from a photo site.

So, which do I prefer? Well, ask me this 2 years ago and the answer would have been Flickr without having to think about it. Now, after spending lots of time on both sites, watching them evolve, becoming immersed in their communities if I could have only one, it would be Blipfoto.

I strive to upload every day to Blipfoto and to upload as best an image as I can. Flickr now is largely an online depositary for my images. Comments on Blip tend to mean more to me that those on Flickr, I’ve been called an inspiration lately on Blipfoto; I’ve been told I photograph the same old crap on Flickr. See what I mean about the friendly thing? There’s no doubt that Flickr has opened more photographic opportunities for me and it’s where I go if I’m looking for ideas of locations, how to use particular filters etc but it’s just not got that feel good factor anymore.

If you’ve never tried Blipfoto, sign up a free account and give it a go, but please… try and resist photos of your kids, granny on the bog, your dinner, sunsets on your mobile phone but most of all… please don’t blip your cat!


6 responses

  1. I formed similar views of each site, and much prefer blip. I hardly use flickr any more, actually; if I have a photo other than my blip I want to aware. Generally put it on either my Posterous or tumblr.

    May 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

  2. DJ

    I’m not fully aware of what flickr is about besides the fact for me about it being just another photo sharing site from yahoo!

    I was in love with blipfoto right from the day1 that I got to see from a friend who has been blipping since 3yrs and it took so long for me to get started and it is making me stretch beyond my naïve photography skills, teaching me in parallel, day after day. It doesn’t contain me from the fact that I’ve a very basic point & shoot mobile camera.

    May 4, 2011 at 1:04 pm

  3. greetings by

    May 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm

  4. Jon

    Like you I prefer blip these days, although I wouldn’t be too scathing on the apparently ‘photograph anything/everything’ brigade. Part of the reason blip gets you out there with a camera is the one a day, every day thing. If that means the odd day when there’s nothing great, that is worth it for the incentive to get out there and be creative, even with the most ordinary of subjects. I started blip just over a year ago, and after a first intensive fortnight on a trip to Paris, only put up pictures as and when I took them for the first six months. It was only when I started trying to be strict and take a picture everyday, even if it meant light fittings in the house, the wheelie bin outside or the neighbour’s cat (as we don’t have one) that I began to appreciate its true creative value. So I say, let a thousand cats blip !

    May 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm

  5. I also am a blipper! Never did get into flikr, but am on it. On blip I have strived to improve my photos daily, and hope I never have to post a random thing. I have had regular commentators from day 1 and also strive to comment on all photos I feel to be 5* worthy, or that have emotional content, as, by trying to see what is good/bad about a shot, I can aim to improve my own.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:25 pm

  6. Sue

    I started on blipfoto 4 days ago. I know nothing about photography but already I want a new camera. I’m trying to avoid being boring…but I did take an excellent picture of my cat! :-). Blipfoto is encouraging & even after 4 days & me not really understanding what shutter speed even means, people are writing nice things. I’m hooked & I’m learning. 54Daisies if you’d like to see my cat :-).

    July 23, 2012 at 10:51 pm

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