When I was fairly new to photography, I received immense personal satisfaction from the support and feedback I got from a site called TrekEarth.com. Its slogan is "Learning about the world through photography", and the premise is that you can go online and post images - tagging them to the village, town or city where they were taken - and as people provide you with constructive feedback on the image, they also get to learn about places they have never visited. It is an immensely positive community and one I believe every photographer should consider participating in.
I was active for a while, and then when I switched from landscape/outdoor work to portraits in 2009, I pulled away and have not been very useful on the site since. (I hope to begin changing that, so I can give back to other photographers what they gave to me when I started).
But I believe this site would be a useful tool for people who do not even intend to post their own photographs, because of the powerful geo-tagging feature it has. One need only go in and take a deep dive into a country - perhaps Syria, given its prominent role in world news - to gain a rich and contextual view of the country, and regional differences within it - that is simply absent in mass media.
Whereas images from Syria had varied between colorful street shots and images of the beautiful mosques and archaeological sites, the last few images - posted in August of last year - are of sites and items destroyed by ISIS in their campaigns there.
On the whole, the site appears to have slowed down a lot from its heyday, but I still encourage those interested in understanding contextual views of poverty to pick a random country in the developing world and to examine photos from it (for example, Burkina Faso or Malawi). It is a small but useful tool for beginning to erode the calculated image of poverty we are presented with in our daily lives.
Upcoming Speaking Dates
Wed, Feb 17 - Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland