Flickr is a site for photographers to upload and share their photos. It's been invaluable to me in learning about cameras, lenses, and photography in general. Every camera, lens, and photographic style out there has its own group where members discuss related issues and post photos to the pool. There are some really good photographers hanging out over there willing to give sound advice.
But you can also see some funny stuff. People (especially guys) love talking about gear. They love discussing what they have, why it's better than what other people have, and what they want to have. They also love talking about complex lighting setups. It seems the more lights you can put on sticks, the more you can impress people. And the more numbers you can throw in your description, the better. I love it when I see a plain bad photo, and the photographer has gone through the trouble of detailing his lighting set up below the picture (50mm f2, one YN-460II 1/2 power shoot-through umbrella camera left, one SB600 3/4 power .... bla bla bla....).
What I love most is when someone posts to a group and says something like this (and this happens just about every day): I'm thinking of starting a portrait photography business out of my home. Can someone tell me what kind of lighting setup I need? This is my budget: $XXXX. Hmmm. Don't you think it would be a good idea to learn about studio photography and lighting on your own or through a class before you start up that business? I find it hilarious.
What I've found since I started reading flickr a few months ago is that a lot of people out there consider themselves good enough to be professional photographers right about after they take their camera out of the box -- and they're not. Just 'cause you have a fancy new camera doesn't mean you know enough or are good enough to start a photography business. I read the most hilarious post yesterday. A woman made a "HELP!" post to a child photography group explaining this nutty situation. She's trying to fill a client's order of a 11X16 of her favourite shot -- only thing is, it's printing blurry all the time. Her file is only 72dpi and she's wondering why it's blurry! She's shooting JPEG, obviously not even on the highest quality settings (chances are she doesn't even know her camera's menus) and she's charging people. Naturally, there are no photos available to be seen in her photostream.
I don't know why I'm posting about this. I guess because I was just browsing flickr for a while as Grace was falling asleep and saw some funny stuff. The Seoul Photo Club group is great because it has a "post one pic, critique two pics" policy. I often get sound critiques which is what I'm looking for.