The photo-sharing platform Photocentra has been around a few years. A few weeks back, they reached out to me and asked if I could have a look, scout the platform and provide some feedback. They told me that they worked hard to improve the platform in order to reach a wider audience, so I said yes. Their hope is to make Photocentra into an interesting alternative for those who are frustrated with the likes of 500px and Flickr.
I have used the platform daily lately. The images I upload look very nice on the site. It is even possible to enlarge them so that they cover the entire screen. I find that the platform is very fast and responsive. The layout is also very pleasing to the eyes.
Photocentra offers many pages where your images can be discovered and viewed. Your image starts out in All Photos. After the image has received a few ‘Recommendations’ it is also displayed in the Recommended section. If your work receives a sum total of fifty or more ‘Recommendations’ the image is considered Popular.
You can recommend an image, favorite, or bookmark it. Recommendations from photographers with a high rating will weigh more compared to someone who has just joined the site. Everyone on the platform can view the images you favorite, but those you bookmark are for you only.
In order to avoid spamming you can only recommend a limited number of images. On other sites, you can like endlessly, but on Photocentra you have to choose only the best images if you want to use your recommendations wisely.
What I found very encouraging was that I didn’t need a host of followers to reach the popular page. If the image is appealing it will during a day travel all the way to the popular section.
The site offers a wide variety of filters and customization. You can, for example, filter the popular images by date or rating. Or you can toggle between the last day, last week, or last month. My personal favorite so far is that I can opt for a dark theme for the platform, something which benefits the images. I can also decide the background color for the enlarged view of the image when I upload.
Anyone can run their own blog on the site.
I was pleased to note that photos open instantly after clicking and that I could immediately zoom into the image with the scrolling wheel. I have never seen this functionality on other similar platforms.
Photocentra has a feed page where you can keep track of comments to your images and replies to comments you have written on other’s images. There is also an activity page where you can see the activity of those you follow, which images they like and so on.
Another cool feature is that you can quickly see the last 3 or 3 best works of the photographer directly from the comments feed (find the icon with the camera and the arrow under the photographer’s avatar). The images will appear instantly, and without reloading the page. This will allow you to quickly get an impression of the author.
You can display your portfolio in at least three various ways. In addition, you can organize your images into series, which is the same as galleries.
Here is my main page:
The images with all the parameters:
At last, the very beautiful portfolio view:
You can customize the portfolio page as you please, and you can even set it as a web page with your own personal domain. How much you can customize the portfolio page depends on which plan you purchase. (This is the business model for Photocentra)
Those who do very well on 500px, Flickr, or Instagram will find that engagement isn’t on par with those platforms yet. However, it is up to us photographers to do something about that.
Photocentra has not yet developed a cell phone app. The site does, however, work very well on a cell phone browser like for example Chrome or Firefox.
Before you sign up for the site it may be an idea to first read the Terms and FAQ. Here are also some interface hints which may come in handy.
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