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Brian C. Miller
1-Apr-2013, 15:38
I've noticed that I'm not the only one who wants a LF wiki.

Who else would be interested in writing wiki articles?

David R Munson
1-Apr-2013, 15:44
Count me in.

C_Remington
1-Apr-2013, 16:03
Please. It's so obvious. Sign me up. There's knowledge all over the place here. Then, when you can't find it, and you post a question, people yell at you.

Randy Moe
1-Apr-2013, 16:17
def needed, i am not fully up to speed, but we all can do a little, we just need a leader and a start, WIKI's are editable, correct? So there are no mistakes, they get caught and fixed.

The real trick is to make sure it is started on a permanent site, let's not do this a thousand times.

Some seem to not want Wikipedia. Not sure why.

Kirk Gittings
1-Apr-2013, 16:40
I proposed this to the moderators some time ago (I was completely clueless about what is involved) and found no takers. I still don't know what is really involved-and personally I have no time until next winter maybe. What is involved? What are the hurdles in terms of getting it done and maintaining it?

Randy Moe
1-Apr-2013, 16:51
It may be that this forum is happy the way it is. Most likely a WIKI would need to be an entirely separate entity. No one likes change.

We will just need to wait and see how this thread goes.


I proposed this to the moderators some time ago (I was completely clueless about what is involved) and found no takers. I still don't know what is really involved-and personally I have no time until next winter maybe. What is involved? What are the hurdles in terms of getting it done and maintaining it?

Kirk Gittings
1-Apr-2013, 17:01
Possibly. How does one go about determining what gets "printed" as there are different opinions on just about every "LF fact". Is there an editorial committee?

tenderobject
1-Apr-2013, 17:01
wiki.largeformatphotography.info would be great.

Randy Moe
1-Apr-2013, 17:09
Start here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki

ScenicTraverse
1-Apr-2013, 18:21
I think a wiki would be great (particularly as a new user), but I'd rather have pictures added to more of the articles on the home page. Trying to read and learn about things like the effect of moving a front standard is alot harder than seeing it in images.

David R Munson
1-Apr-2013, 18:24
Why not well-illustrated articles in the wiki?

Randy Moe
1-Apr-2013, 18:25
you will never understand, until you move those standards yourself, even if not shooting, I always have a LF camera mounted so I can look at the GG and move things around.

I am new also.


I think a wiki would be great (particularly as a new user), but I'd rather have pictures added to more of the articles on the home page. Trying to read and learn about things like the effect of moving a front standard is alot harder than seeing it in images.

Greg Davis
1-Apr-2013, 18:27
People learn in different ways.

Randy Moe
1-Apr-2013, 18:36
you are very correct, who was it, seven types of learning?
I read too much, I need to force myself to actually play...


People learn in different ways.

Brian C. Miller
1-Apr-2013, 21:41
I proposed this to the moderators some time ago (I was completely clueless about what is involved) and found no takers. I still don't know what is really involved-and personally I have no time until next winter maybe. What is involved? What are the hurdles in terms of getting it done and maintaining it?


Possibly. How does one go about determining what gets "printed" as there are different opinions on just about every "LF fact". Is there an editorial committee?

Wiki setup is fairly straight foward, and there's at least a couple of packages, one of which is free, that integrate with vBulletin. Integration would mean that members on the forum can automatically have editorial access to the Wiki.

Wikis are edited by all of the members. Administrators can lock a page to keep it from being vandalized, or changed minute by minute. Wikipedia has had lots of internal firestorms and hoaxes posted on it. Some of the hoaxes (including slander) have remained there for quite a while. Sometimes the firestorms are so egregarious that they make news in the IT tabloids.

Usually what happens with a wiki is that everyone edits it, changes things around, and it comes to a fairly usable state. Pictures can be added as you please, so there can be lots of illustration. The color scheme can be preset or customized. Various add-ons can be used with the wiki software.

MediaWiki (http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki) is free and integrates with vBulletin. This package has a very fast installation with vBulletin, and claims that most of the time it just takes "one click." Otherwise it takes a little prodding. VaultWiki (https://www.vaultwiki.org/products/) is commercial and costs up to $60 for pro installation and no branding, along with $30/year license renewal. What I was contemplating today was using a seperate, commercially hosted wiki service. For something reasonable it would cost me $5 per month for unlimited users and 2Gb total of storage space. It would place no load on the site's servers.

Creating a wiki page is as easy as making a post in the forum. There is both a text/HTML mode and WYSIWYG for editing a page. Each page has its main display, and a meta-page to discuss what has been and what needs to be done on that page. Some wikis are set up with version control, so changes can be rolled back, or accidentally erased data can be retrieved. Version control is also relatively easy to set up.

Yes, anybody, at any time, can start posting LF articles to Wikipedia. However, I don't know if "good enough for us" is "good enough for them."

As for opinions on "LF facts," the opposing opinions can actually exist as a subset under a main topic. Personally I would suggest that the main topic would be physical data/evidence, and then opinion pages can exist under it. I find that the differing views are quite educational, if not entertaining or downright hillarious.

Randy Moe
1-Apr-2013, 22:29
Brian, it sounds like you are knowledgeable. Good.

How do we make it as permanent a record as possible, yes, ever mutating, but available for a long time. Like Internet Archive or something.

I sure would hate to see it disappear in 10 years. I know there are no guarantees, but we need to fight the digital darkness that is pervasive on the web. meaning people shut sites down all the time!

One of my pet peeves is broken links and dead sites.

IanG
2-Apr-2013, 02:28
An integrated Wiki could take the place of the current articles section which could be incorporated in it, a benefit would be images which most articles here lack.

It would be a pity to see something like this separate from what's already a good website and resource.

Ian

rdenney
2-Apr-2013, 05:09
Integrating with VBulletin puts a drain on limited resources, of course. So, the reasons for doing it would have to be compelling not just to those who support the idea, but also the site's owner and administrators (not so much moderators). Tom is involved in a special project at the moment, and for the next several weeks, so his critical opinion is something we'd have to wait for, if VBulletin integration is relevant.

I'm not sure that it is. Brian, no question that you have the skills to set up a Wiki on an external server. But that independance demands commitment. Not everything about it can be crowd-sourced, and one or several people have to commit to the following:

1. Permanence. I wrote several articles for a non-photography Wiki a few years ago, and after all that effort, the guy who started it got tired of dealing with the issues of administration that he did not expect, and abandoned it. It was not just his own effort that was abandoned, but it was his own decision. He becamea "quitter" in the eyes of that community.

2. Productivity. Discussions about what goes into the articles (on the "discussions" tab in the Wikis I've seen), must be moderated carefully. It is not their purpose to provide ongoing support or to argue truth, but to simply decide what is to be included or not included in the article. That focus is frequently lacking.

3. Authoritativeness. Much that is written on the web has the patina of authority--it is written by guys like me who are good at making writing sound authoritative even when we are pulling it right out of ... the air. Others who have unquestioned expertise may not have those skills. What sounds correct is not necessariy what is correct. Of course, this is a problem on the forum, too, but the forum is self-policing in real time. It's also a problem with static articles, though it is mitigated there with careful editorial standards and review, which this forum can and does provide.

One of the reasons Wikipedia has increased their standards beyond what we might want, as you put it, is that they are trying to apply what they thought they would never need: Editing. It turns out that crowd-sourcing, while efficient, is not always accurate. But their approach is not effective at solving that problem.

There is another issue that bothers me about Wikis. They are great as a repository of information, but they are lousy at identifying what is important about that information. When an author writes nonfiction, he first determines what is not known that needs to be known. That requires a careful analysis of 1.) his targer reader, and 2.) his editorial objectives. Is it a reference work? A narrative? Research? A tutorial? And if it is a tutorial, how does one make it interesting and worth maintaining (since maintenance is crowd-sourced) by the experts who can provide authoritativeness, while still undergoing careful scrutiny to determine that learning takes place by the target reader? Many articles do not consider these issues, and their value as training material suffers as a result. This is probably the worst fault of the articles on our home page. Some are written for beginners, and lack much of the underlying theory that might help someone with more experience understand more. And some are written with the implicit understanding of basic knowledge that a beginner might not possess. To be more effective than what we have, the materials will need to be based on a really clear understanding of the target reader, what he or she can be assumed to know or not know, what gaps in knowledge need to be filled by the writing, and what approaches need to be taken in that writing to ensure that those gaps are filled. This is not as easy as it seems. It requires committed and careful editing.

It is axiomatic that news articles are truthful except when covering topics about which we are experts. That is true for wiki articles, too. Even with their editorial standards, I find that Wikipedia does not attain to the standard of accuracy that even common encyclopedias (e.g. World Book) did back when people owned such things, let alone those encyclopedias that were designed to go deeper like Brittanica. In the articles about which I am expert, the signal to noise ratio is very low. And much of the FUD that it in those articles sounds plausible enough, so that it requires just the expertise the reader is assumed to not have to be able to separate actual truth from what is merely truthy. In the early days of Wikipedia, it was variable, but the good stuff was very good because it was conceived and written by a person, not by a crowd. Most of it has diminshed down to nothing better than what a mediocre journalist would write in a newspaper, confusing references with expertise. And I say that as having been the author of several Wikipedia articles. I used to spend time trying to police the articles to keep out the FUD, but eventually that gets tiresome and I have better things to do. So, the article on traffic signals in Wikipedia is...okay...but it contains many errors, obvious and subtle, that professionals find tiresome to try to correct. It's about what I would expect from a journalist whose assignment for the week was to write an article about traffic signals, not by an expert who is also gifted at explaining things to beginners.

This website has the aim of providing an ongoing resource for practitioners of large-format photography. It has the secondary aim of providing a repository of collected knowledge. The forum format is far better at the first than the second, though if people would learn how to use Google with the "site:largeformatphotography.info" parameter they would find their searches here much more effective. But the knowledge is not organized for any tutorial purpose, and beginners don't know what they don't know and thus struggle to find the right search terms for many subjects. Some on the forum are patient, many are not, just as in real life. It could be argued that a willingness to rub up against that crustiness is part of the fee paid for getting free advice, and that would be a better argument if the free advice that comes with that crust was consistently worth more than what it cost. It could be argued with much more merit that it is not the purpose of this forum to spoon-feed baby food the lazy, but rather to serve meat to each other. When I'm researching forums about topics where I'm the beginner, I find myself asking, "Can't you just answer the freaking question?" When I read posts in forums where I'm an expert, I find myself asking, "If you don't know the right answer, just shut up!" Of course, it is human nature that we do not allow anyone to exist at our level. It was George Carlin who point this out: All those who drive slower than we do are "idiots", while those who drive faster are "maniacs!", but if anyone drives at our speed, we speed up or slow down to get them away from us.

Thus, the gap not served by this forum is for rank beginners who are coming into large-format photography as a first step into film photography. The problem is that a Wiki is really no better at trimming off that chewy crust than is a forum, or making sure that the soft stuff underneath is really nutritious, unless it is very actively edited. A bigger problem is that many here (and I'm not excusing myself) find it impossible to allow a simple thing to be stated simply, and feel the need to embellish, or to nit-pick the simple descriptions provided by those trying to state it simply. You end up with convoluted constructions where the main point is obscured by a range of qualifying statements or expansions that each have a champion and are not false enough to be removed, but that sometimies have little importance to the tutorial objective or accuracy of the article. Wiki contributors are concerned about trees, not the forest. A Wiki does not filter that out automatically. It takes a real editor to do these things--someone committed to the tutorial aim of the writing and someone who 1.) has earned and 2.) is willing to exercise absolute authority.

Without these principles, the project will be doomed to end up no better, and probably worse, than articles on this forum's home page.

There is an alternative:

If there is a topic that needs clear writing with a specific objective, a good writer who sees the need can create that article and run it past Tuan. That writer might even be able to discuss the idea first to get general approval before investing the time to write it. Then, the article can be posted on the home page and then discussed here, as was the case with the article on portrait lenses from last year. That article was edited with those comments in mind. There are those who believe the article is still inadequate or even inaccurate, but I submit that it is better than what could be achieved using a Wiki. If nobody is willing to do that, then who will write for the Wiki?

A Wiki can be a good model, but thinking it requires less work than the above because of "crowd sourcing" is a mistake.

Rick "who has written, edited, and reviewed textbooks, research papers, and training materials for many years" Denney

goamules
2-Apr-2013, 06:02
I think we could determine what most LF photographers need by first writing a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. There are several types of posts on forums.

Most common posts - Novice questions about equipment use, what to buy
Questions on values
Questions on how to get a certain look
Historical questions

If we wrote a wiki on just one or two of the above, we'd miss some people's learning needs. If we picked, say, just the history facts, we'd lose more. That's why I say develop a FAQ first, to do a needs assessment. We could make our article section into a FAQ.

It's easy to write a wiki, and like Rick says, it's easy for those with the most time (but most shaky knowledge) to start writing everything they can think of - even if it's wrong. I'm an Instructional Designer, and build training for everything from fighter pilot academics to manufacturing processes. Been doing it 20 years. I always need a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on my projects. The problem with the internet (and a wiki) is too many "experts" that are just repeating what "they've read before..." I'd rather have a good FAQ written by SMEs, than a sharp wiki with fuzzy concepts.

David R Munson
2-Apr-2013, 07:23
I wonder about the alternative of putting our heads together to see what sort of articles are most needed and then setting about getting people in the community to write them. If we were to really work to increase the range and depth of the articles available on the site here and work to inter-link them as appropriate, that could go a long way toward satisfying the need for a more information-rich resource without opening up the new can of worms that a wiki would be. This could be supplemented with a separate FAQ where common questions are provided with links to both articles and the numerous forum threads already in existence that address these questions. I don't think the article section should become the FAQ, but should be supplemented by a FAQ.

The main thing that I think needs addressed is that we have an immense wealth of information represented by the users here, but that wealth is not being tapped. All the great stuff that we (as a community) know should be recorded and made easily available. I was actually looking at the articles page last week and was struck that, while there is certainly some good stuff there, it's only a tiny fraction of what it could be. The forum itself is a great way to ask questions and discuss things, but that articles page should be overflowing with new articles all the time. And it can be - we just need to put some effort into it as a community.

Thom Bennett
2-Apr-2013, 07:43
I agree:

"If there is a topic that needs clear writing with a specific objective, a good writer who sees the need can create that article and run it past Tuan. That writer might even be able to discuss the idea first to get general approval before investing the time to write it. Then, the article can be posted on the home page and then discussed here, as was the case with the article on portrait lenses from last year. That article was edited with those comments in mind. There are those who believe the article is still inadequate or even inaccurate, but I submit that it is better than what could be achieved using a Wiki. If nobody is willing to do that, then who will write for the Wiki?"

goamules
2-Apr-2013, 07:51
I agree, that's probably the ideal; factual articles written by experts. The problem is experts are busy, have businesses based on their expertise, or don't want to work for free. Volunteerism and the "open source" culture are great for the end user, but people still have to make a living. Perhaps the older generation, retirees, are the best source for this information, and would want to pass it on.

The other issue is a lot of information IS already out there. People don't want to buy or read a book or do a web search. How many times do we answer a ridiculously basic question by regurgitating what's already here? Or giving links. People will ask "What camera do I need" for the next 100 years, because they want a personal Delphi oracle - dialog with an expert. They don't want to research and decide on their own. So all the articles would sit there, and newbies would ask those same questions that are answered in the articles. It would help some, not others.

David R Munson
2-Apr-2013, 07:55
Many are busy, yes, but people can find the time if it's important to them. I'm not concerned about people who wouldn't contribute without compensation. We can do without people with that kind of attitude.

Light Guru
2-Apr-2013, 08:53
A wiki would be AMAZING.

I would love to see articles about different camera, different types of chemistry and film, etc.

goamules
2-Apr-2013, 09:05
Many are busy, yes, but people can find the time if it's important to them. I'm not concerned about people who wouldn't contribute without compensation. We can do without people with that kind of attitude.

You cannot tell people what's important to them, all you can do is ask. For example, there is a very knowledgeable and famous collector of early American daguerreotype equipment. To me, he would be the best subject matter expert to write on that topic. He has given back in huge ways and extended the world's knowledge of this period. But all one could do is ask, you can't twist someones arm and make them write something for free, or post something already written and copyrighted. Another person, recently deceased, had the 1800s factory ledgers for a very famous lens maker. He would always answer questions about when a lens was made, looking it up in his ledger. I worked with him planning to publish the ledger. He had hundreds of hours of labour scanning each page, and a lifetime of becoming an expert. I would gladly pay for a book of his experience....I would never have asked him to "give it away" because it's his business and choice.

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 09:06
I am a newbie. I am retired. I buy books. I use the library. Chicago Public Library has a lot of photography books. I spend months researching photography and buying old equipment. It has become years. Then I try to use it, without mentors, and only the web and books for resource.

I am far from lazy, and I do enjoy the chase, but LF in particular is difficult to penetrate. Better information sources would be very nice, now and far into the future. When most of us are long dead. I think of our children's children, well yours, I have only one step-daughter, a Pro photographer!

I also shoot lots of images for free, at community events, copy work for Artists, and even headshots for actors. Fortunately, I live in a bohemian part of Chicago, where many are creating.

This is just the beginning of the information age, don't get in the way of progress.





I agree, that's probably the ideal; factual articles written by experts. The problem is experts are busy, have businesses based on their expertise, or don't want to work for free. Volunteerism and the "open source" culture are great for the end user, but people still have to make a living. Perhaps the older generation, retirees, are the best source for this information, and would want to pass it on.

The other issue is a lot of information IS already out there. People don't want to buy or read a book or do a web search. How many times do we answer a ridiculously basic question by regurgitating what's already here? Or giving links. People will ask "What camera do I need" for the next 100 years, because they want a personal Delphi oracle - dialog with an expert. They don't want to research and decide on their own. So all the articles would sit there, and newbies would ask those same questions that are answered in the articles. It would help some, not others.

goamules
2-Apr-2013, 09:16
I'm not getting in the way, I'm saying use "experts" for the content, because our age is full of free information - that is wrong. I moderate a couple of Forums, and it takes a lot of volunteer hours to respond to answers people give that are wrong. In Wetplate, people often begin answering chemical and process questions before they've even learned the process. And in Wetplate, wrong answers can get people hurt, or at least waste valuable time and money. That's what you get with the information age. Too much....

Brian C. Miller
2-Apr-2013, 09:22
Rick, I am not even going to put that into quote tags! Any reply would get lost.

The problem with articles on the front page is that they are just that: posted articles, and to change them or add to them they have to be submitted to somebody. Again and again and again. Here's an update. Here's an update. Here's an update.

I've been doing internal Wiki-type documentation as a part of my job since internal web servers became popular. Yes, a separate site can go down, or be discontinued. The question is, can the database be easily moved from one system to another? Databases are backed up and transferred all the time, no problem. The question is one of whether the external service allows it.

As for searching the forum, to put it mildly, that can be a real headache. Google's search functionality has declined. Once upon a time, Altavista was the only search game on the web, and it had Boolean search terms that were just exquisite. Then Google came along, and it had a subset, and Altavista went downhill. Now Google has hardly any of its original search term functionality. Google searches by web page content, which includes signature lines, user location, and other garbage. It does not search according to the information contained in the vBulletin database.

Wiki content is dependent on those who contribute to it, just like the content of the home page and the forums. DUH! Same with encyclopedias. If the articles are written by subject matter experts, or at least by people with real experience, then the articles can be informative. As you pointed out, the traffic signal section isn't good. And as you inadvertently pointed out, you're not going to write a better Wikipedia article.

A Wiki is not really a separate content engine, it's a series of web pages served up by a web server. I really doubt that it would place a greater load on the server, and may even reduce the load due to fewer searches being conducted. Yes, more system software is loaded on the server. But as for CPU load, that's the same load as for serving up any other web page.

As for longevity of a project, there is nothing that says that any of this is eternal. Is the forum's database backed up off site? Didn't the forum go down for a while because its server got knocked over at the host?

So: is a wiki good or bad? Depends. It depends on the people involved, etc. Yes, any information repository requires editing, just the same as it requires content.

But this I know: All I need to start a wiki is to just do it. A small wiki with a few people is free from many service hosters, and one with more space and more users costs a minimal amount of money per month.

David R Munson
2-Apr-2013, 09:33
I'm not getting in the way, I'm saying use "experts" for the content, because our age is full of free information - that is wrong. I moderate a couple of Forums, and it takes a lot of volunteer hours to respond to answers people give that are wrong. In Wetplate, people often begin answering chemical and process questions before they've even learned the process. And in Wetplate, wrong answers can get people hurt, or at least waste valuable time and money. That's what you get with the information age. Too much....

If we are to rely only on "experts," we will not wind up with the resources the community needs and deserves. Not all the experts are what they're cracked up to be, and many humble people out there who would never normally be recognized as experts are, in fact, just that. And I don't believe that paying for articles is the way to go, either. I'm not going to demand that anyone work for free, but I have found that many of the best people out there will freely contribute their knowledge and experience for the sake of the greater good if asked. So why not ask? That people bother coming here for years on end and happily contribute is evidence of people wanting to be helpful and wanting to discuss something that is important to them. Creating articles is no different. Compensation has no link with the quality of content, either. This is already a community-based resource and I believe everything we need can come from the community as it stands.

Kirk Gittings
2-Apr-2013, 09:33
What bugs me as a working professional is the new "work for exposure (free) mentality" when the client (perhaps a startup magazine or blogger) is actually making money or trying to at least. Just last week a magazine approached me to work in trade for advertising. First he went on to tell how great the magazine was doing, winning awards, expanding into adjoining states etc. and then wanted me to work for advertising in a consumer market that is absolutely worthless to me. He couldn't understand why I turned him down saying no one else had. The onslaught of semipros giving their work away for exposure has become a tsunami that has virtually destroyed many markets that were the lifeblood of working pros-me included. This has always been an issue going back to when I started in 78 but now it is ubiquitous as digital has turned so many people into instant pros.

However that is not the case here with this Wiki idea. Just like this site it is not for profit and I believe their are many experts here (many who are amateurs in the strictest sense) who could make this happen.

goamules
2-Apr-2013, 09:55
Totally agree Kirk. There are several magazines that follow the "give me your content for free - I'll give you fame (while I get the fortune)" model. Even in our LF journals. But some of the above posts are also right, a FAQ or Wiki can be done with good volunteers. You may not get a comprehensive step-by-step on every process like in Adams "The Negative" but you can get helpful information.

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 10:12
I made an Artistic decision many years ago. I worked all my life Dynamometer testing engines. Good job. Good pay. Fancy mechanic. As stated, now retired. At age 50 I put myself through Art school, gaining MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. A big deal for a college dropout.

To the point, I decided to never sell my work and to help others in their Art. I am an Art expert, but not a photography expert and I see my alma mater, SAIC failing to maintain photographic traditions in favor of digital expediency and a lot of talk. They are failing at technique preservation, which is more important than a few old prints.

This forum is it.

IanG
2-Apr-2013, 10:19
However that is not the case here with this Wiki idea. Just like this site it is not for profit and I believe their are many experts here (many who are amateurs in the strictest sense) who could make this happen.

That's the key to concept. There can always be disclaimers as to the accuracy of the content.

Ian

Kirk Gittings
2-Apr-2013, 10:22
I made an Artistic decision many years ago. I worked all my life Dynamometer testing engines. Good job. Good pay. Fancy mechanic. As stated, now retired. At age 50 I put myself through Art school, gaining MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. A big deal for a college dropout.

To the point, I decided to never sell my work and to help others in their Art. I am an Art expert, but not a photography expert and I see my alma mater, SAIC failing to maintain photographic traditions in favor of digital expediency and a lot of talk. They are failing at technique preservation, which is more important than a few old prints.

This forum is it.

Wow good for you! Quite an accomplishment. About SAIC-not quite. SAIC approached me about doing an 8x10 film class this summer. We couldn't work it into their schedule and mine but the interest is there. Most of the upper level students shoot film (but scan it). The photo dept has always been more interested in trying to be cutting edge rather than traditional. Its what they are known for and what they market.

Scott Walker
2-Apr-2013, 10:28
That's the key to concept. There can always be disclaimers as to the accuracy of the content.

Ian

"The trouble with information on the internet is the difficulty one has verifying it's accuracy and authenticity"
-Abraham Lincoln-

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 10:28
I heard the new dept chair said, get rid of the wet, let them scan.

Kirk Gittings
2-Apr-2013, 10:45
She has been a friend of mine since like the 80's. I doubt she would say that. She is totally about the students and what they want. Actually the head of technology-a provost and former assistant of mine-would make that decision and there are many concerns taken into account. Like what are the students really using and they weren't using the wet color printers so it was money going down the drain. So they recently got rid of the color darkroom but the b&w is intact for the forseeable future.

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 10:52
I don't know her, I have been in touch with one LFF member and photo instructor at SAIC. He does agree with you. I never cared about color. I do know Don at Central Camera and they are cutting way back on wet photo supplies as Columbia seems to be changing.

Obviously you know better than I. My concern is SAIC is famous for teaching the talk more than the technique.

Brian C. Miller
2-Apr-2013, 10:58
That's the key to concept. There can always be disclaimers as to the accuracy of the content.

Ian


"The trouble with information on the internet is the difficulty one has verifying it's accuracy and authenticity"
-Abraham Lincoln-

You guys do realize that accuracy has always been a problem, right? All someone has to do is start scratching pictures on a cave wall with a burnt stick, and hey, it has become authoritative! And then there was that innovation of tree bark, animal skin, papyrus, real paper, Gutenberg's press, radio, TV, and now the internet.

Kirk Gittings
2-Apr-2013, 10:59
My concern is SAIC is famous for teaching the talk more than the technique.

I've taught 25+ years at two of the top 5 academic photo schools, SAIC and UNM (and starting teaching this summer a film class at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design too). What you say is largely true, but how do you explain my regular presence there? If I had more time I could be teaching more there too.

dperez
2-Apr-2013, 11:13
Right,

I was thinking it would be cool to have videos or at least a single place where videos can be shared. I'll start a thread later tonight with links to LF related videos that I have collected over the years.

-DP


I think a wiki would be great (particularly as a new user), but I'd rather have pictures added to more of the articles on the home page. Trying to read and learn about things like the effect of moving a front standard is alot harder than seeing it in images.

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 11:18
As an adult Grad student I found SAIC's facilities more than a trifle short. I did my photo undergrad at Barat College with Michael Baruch. 24 hour huge empty darkroom and an excellent solo instructor. Then, into the fray at SAIC, where my home computers were better than than their video editing equipment. Mine worked, theirs did not. The promise was next year. In a 2 year program, next year is too late. The film lab was impossible to use, ano 2000, very busy and no way in for me. Open room Grad studio's with absolutely no privacy or security. Leave anything in one at great risk. I am not bad mouthing SAIC, but from the inside, as a paying adult, it is rough.

I found my education, with my very intelligent and verbal fellow Grads and a few inspirational instructors. SAIC is heavy on talk therapy and very light on technique in any field. I was there, on the receiving end. I never even saw the photo department, I did use the film Bureau services, next door.

I was working full time, attending a top school full time and living the life. They were the best years so far.

Kirk Gittings
2-Apr-2013, 11:27
What years was this? Not that I have huge experience all over the country at academic art schools, but SAICs facilities are the best I have seen (much better than UNM which is another top 5 school) and I know others with more experience than I have who say the same.

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 11:54
I did AA at College of Lake County. 1996. Barat College BA 1999. SAIC MFA 2001. I did not set out to study Art, I set out to get a college degree. An early instructor got me thinking, Art.

I found I learned the most, with the most enthusiastic instructors, with bigger facilities, at the lesser and cheaper schools. The Junior College, College of Lake County was very impressive. Barat college had fantastic Art facilities, including Dance, Drama, Painting and Photography. I had the only laptop in the school. SAIC had world class instructors with, trying to catch up, technology. I was guilty as anyone in my early embrace of digital video and photo. I tried everything.

As I wrote, I never saw the SAIC 2001 photo lab, it was a barricaded fortress, inaccessible to other students.

I had a deep desire to enter and graduate from SAIC, it's a long story. I found a way in, not easy for anyone. And there is the cost...

I think I may go back and visit, despite living in Chicago, I have not been back to SAIC.

Len Middleton
2-Apr-2013, 12:06
You guys do realize that accuracy has always been a problem, right? All someone has to do is start scratching pictures on a cave wall with a burnt stick, and hey, it has become authoritative! And then there was that innovation of tree bark, animal skin, papyrus, real paper, Gutenberg's press, radio, TV, and now the internet.

Brian,

But in the recent past prior to the widespread use of the Internet there was some expectation that published works would contain some expertise, and that the work would be proofread. There are of course a number exception to the expectation, but that would be the general expectation.

Now as Rick "who seems to have a valid point" Denney commented, if one can write well and put together some coherent thoughts, then they could easily be considered an expert whether that expertise is grounded in fact or not. The Internet has unleashed the ability for anyone to publish regardless of the veracity of their statements; the result is to use a mining analogy, one has to move a lot of overburden to retrieve a few nuggets, not does everyone know what a real nugget looks like when they see one, or not.

Not right, nor wrong, just is...

My thoughts,

Len

PS Even I can publish a newsletter 10 times a year, not photographically related though...

Brian C. Miller
2-Apr-2013, 12:17
Right, Len, I know. But I've read plenty of technical books which were supposedly proofread, and were factually inaccurate. But that doesn't stop an accurate article from being published, in one form or another.

I'm just trying to figure out what service level I should purchase for a wiki, or if I should put one up through my web host. There's definitely more than enough interest for five or more people to work on a LF wiki. If QT and mods want to add a wiki to this forum, I'd support it 100%.

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 12:30
I am sure some of us could kick in small amounts of cash to enable the hosting.

I would love to aid financially for a 5 year host agreement.

I have had a few friends have successful Kickstarter funding, but that is most likely not necessary here.


Right, Len, I know. But I've read plenty of technical books which were supposedly proofread, and were factually inaccurate. But that doesn't stop an accurate article from being published, in one form or another.

I'm just trying to figure out what service level I should purchase for a wiki, or if I should put one up through my web host. There's definitely more than enough interest for five or more people to work on a LF wiki. If QT and mods want to add a wiki to this forum, I'd support it 100%.

Len Middleton
2-Apr-2013, 12:34
But I've read plenty of technical books which were supposedly proofread, and were factually inaccurate. But that doesn't stop an accurate article from being published, in one form or another.


Absolutely, but the odds were generally better, although NEVER 100%...

Kirk Gittings
2-Apr-2013, 13:14
I did AA at College of Lake County. 1996. Barat College BA 1999. SAIC MFA 2001. I did not set out to study Art, I set out to get a college degree. An early instructor got me thinking, Art.

I found I learned the most, with the most enthusiastic instructors, with bigger facilities, at the lesser and cheaper schools. The Junior College, College of Lake County was very impressive. Barat college had fantastic Art facilities, including Dance, Drama, Painting and Photography. I had the only laptop in the school. SAIC had world class instructors with, trying to catch up, technology. I was guilty as anyone in my early embrace of digital video and photo. I tried everything.

As I wrote, I never saw the SAIC 2001 photo lab, it was a barricaded fortress, inaccessible to other students.

I had a deep desire to enter and graduate from SAIC, it's a long story. I found a way in, not easy for anyone. And there is the cost...

I think I may go back and visit, despite living in Chicago, I have not been back to SAIC.

FWIW I started at SAIC in 1999. The photo facilities were old when I started but the best I had seen till then. They have been completely remodeled fully-floor to ceiling-twice since that time.

I understand both the desire and the cost. I always wanted to go to SAIC, but couldn't begin to afford it. Instead went to a no name school but got a complete free ride and they left me alone to do what I already was doing.

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 13:32
Regarding the price of education, I did my SAIC Masters Thesis Presentation on student loans, I was a little before the curve. I was not popular with the administration.

Kirk Gittings
2-Apr-2013, 13:52
57k a year now........

IanG
2-Apr-2013, 14:29
57k a year now........

Is that real money . . . . . . or Monopoly ?

I guess UK course fees are more realistic, I'm glad I had free education first time around although I had to pay for the last 2 stints at University, about 6,000 ($10,000) for my MA.

My niece is about to complete her first degree and has a place at Oxford to study Medecine in the autumn I dread to think what her debts will be.

Ian

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 14:29
and they argue, everybody gets financial aid, but that is often withdrawn after the first year. I made too much money for 'aid'. My thing was not so much actual tuition cost as the onerous loans taken. One of my instructors had a PHD from England when they had free college. He was our age. He was lucky. Things need to change, and I don't know how. At 57K plus art materials and a couple Chicago beers you are looking at 150K for a 2 year Grad degree. I guess I got mine when it was cheap. NOT!

I think this thread was about a WIKI...

Kirk Gittings
2-Apr-2013, 14:33
I think this thread was about a WIKI...

I was just thinking that. Yes 57k real money-one of the most expensive schools in the country. Few pay the full amount but still.

Brian C. Miller
2-Apr-2013, 14:59
Good reason for a wiki: "I started reading a thread about Tri-X, Panatomic-X and Super-XX, then it turned into a discussion about pyro, and then it went to seances and mowing the yard with a goat."

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 15:00
Lol

IanG
2-Apr-2013, 15:05
I think a Wiki add on can have it's own moderators, so you could have relevant people over-seeing their relevant sections. Dan "The lens" Fromm could handle the deliquents - just joking, but he could query lens stuff.

Ian

rdenney
2-Apr-2013, 19:39
Good reason for a wiki: "I started reading a thread about Tri-X, Panatomic-X and Super-XX, then it turned into a discussion about pyro, and then it went to seances and mowing the yard with a goat."

Brian,

So, just do it. What's the worst that can happen? You've heard my warning, but if there are those devoted to the principles I suggested, it could work well. I just don't think a quality wiki is any less work than other forms, and I doubt LF technology changes fast enough to much out of the agility a Wiki provides. Quality always takes work and commitment.

Rick "maybe a separate experiment could be a proof of concept" Denney

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 19:45
survey says

Brian C. Miller
2-Apr-2013, 20:16
Brian,

So, just do it.

Uh-yup! I'm looking at various options right now, etc. There's different tiers based on how many participating editors are on the wiki, stuff like that. And I need to see how easy it is to transfer info from wiki to wiki, without using wget to spider the site.

Randy Moe
2-Apr-2013, 20:22
Take a moment, you are making great progress. Easy to move would be very good.

I heard there was once a great Leica info site, that died with the operator and is sorely missed.

Good work Brian, I bet this sees a lot of action!



Uh-yup! I'm looking at various options right now, etc. There's different tiers based on how many participating editors are on the wiki, stuff like that. And I need to see how easy it is to transfer info from wiki to wiki, without using wget to spider the site.

David R Munson
23-Apr-2013, 11:00
Any news/progress on this? I'm still super-stoked to contribute!

Brian C. Miller
23-Apr-2013, 11:32
I've been reviewing packages. I'm going to go with MediaWiki (http://www.mediawiki.org) for the wiki software. The contents can be downloaded, although the data is in a MediaWiki-specific XML format. It has a vBulletin plugin, too. Most of them (including MediaWiki) use a dorky markup language so people don't need to learn HTML.

I'll get a host service, and then get some stuff up, along with invitations for editors.

Randy Moe
23-Apr-2013, 11:38
Good news!



I've been reviewing packages. I'm going to go with MediaWiki (http://www.mediawiki.org) for the wiki software. The contents can be downloaded, although the data is in a MediaWiki-specific XML format. It has a vBulletin plugin, too. Most of them (including MediaWiki) use a dorky markup language so people don't need to learn HTML.

I'll get a host service, and then get some stuff up, along with invitations for editors.

SpeedGraphicMan
23-Apr-2013, 13:12
Would love to help out... With as much text as I write per week on photography, a tiny bit more won't hurt ;)

Would this be for Large Format only or would darkroom stuff be included?

Brian C. Miller
23-Apr-2013, 13:57
The wiki will be about everything view camera, large format, film, darkroom, digital, whatever. I'm not going to restrict it.

I think that the general structure would be that each section would have a "what works for me" part. For instance, if one editor's process is different from another, then there will be two sub-pages detailing their individual processes. So say there's a section on aligning enlargers, there could be two or more sections on what people do in their darkrooms for enlarger alignment.

The main thing is to get things down so that other people can learn. Paulr. commented here that when he wanted to get back into film after a hiatus, he was very dependent on his notes.

jp
23-Apr-2013, 14:45
I've setup and managed wikis made with mediawiki. I like it a lot and think it's a great choice. Let me know if you need any help. The data is stored in a database and can be dumped out a bunch of ways for backup/export as needed. If you can backup a mysql database, you've backed up the wiki.

Randy Moe
23-Apr-2013, 14:47
Back up is vital and essential, or don't bother.




I've setup and managed wikis made with mediawiki. I like it a lot and think it's a great choice. Let me know if you need any help. The data is stored in a database and can be dumped out a bunch of ways for backup/export as needed. If you can backup a mysql database, you've backed up the wiki.

Brian C. Miller
29-Apr-2013, 21:55
OK, the site name will be viewcamerawiki.org. I just got the domain name and I'm using a hoster I've used for years. Probably by Friday I'll have the software set up.

Randy Moe
29-Apr-2013, 22:15
Great!



OK, the site name will be viewcamerawiki.org. I just got the domain name and I'm using a hoster I've used for years. Probably by Friday I'll have the software set up.