flickr vs. deviantART

“… an honest-to-God artist who can paint — and works at it. One who doesn’t spend his time sopping up sauce or blowing weed, and talking about the painting he’s going to do. Joe paints. He’s a craftsman as well as an artist. Well, maybe I don’t know what an artist is but I know what a craftsman is and I respect craftsmen.”
“I Will Fear No Evil” by Robert A. Heinlein

My flickr pro account runs out in a few days and while deciding on whether to renew it or not I compared flickr to another site I started to use a few days ago: deviantART. Comparing these two I came to favor deviantART for the following reasons:

  • deviantART is more than just photos.
    Besides photography, there are also literature, drawing, sculpturing, etc. sections. This does not distract from photography, but makes a vibrant community of artists.
  • deviantART is decidedly artistic in nature.
    Sure, there are artistic photos on flickr, but also a lot of family snapshots and photos of questionable quality. You have some of these photos also in deviantART, but there are fewer of them. The quality is higher.
  • deviantART is more mature and less censored.
    I made flickr think that I am living in the USA, otherwise some photos are censored — or were, not sure whether the “we do not show Germans R-rated photos” is still an issue. But it was and I have never forgiven flickr for that censorship. deviantART does not have this problem — it has complete sections for — for example — fetish photography.
  • deviantART is sorted in categories.
    You begin to love them as you can easily look for new pictures or for the most popular pictures in the last x days/months/ever. flickr has interestingness which is interesting, but which only shows some photos and has no categories to speak of.
  • deviantART has a system that gives your photos at least some exposure.
    Given that some people look in the “newest” view your photos are likely to be seen by at least some users. Immediately after putting a photo online I had a few visitors and quite a lot of people bookmarked my photos (favorite) and I got (positive) comments. This almost never happened to me at flickr.

So, having thought about it I’m not going to renew my flickr account. Given that — apparently — some of my photo sets will vanish when my pro account expires, I have deleted all my photos from flickr. I have put some photos on deviantART (the good ones), including those from two recent workshops I participated in.

If you want to have a look at my gallery at deviantART you can visit my gallery page at deviantART here (you might have to create an account to see (all of) my photos). If you have made different experiences regarding the comparison of flickr and deviantART or feel that I have missed some issues, write a comment.