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Bernice Loui
13-Jan-2013, 10:43
*I apologize for causing such a ruckus over my previous post, “I’m pretty much done here.” That was an emotional response to my frustration over the petty bickering, fighting and… that seems to burst forth over what appears to be much of nothing.*



To help each other and share what we have to offer.

Those who venture into the world of LF image making does not do so causally, this venture most always involves a huge investment in time, resources and passion for creating images. Those who stay in the world of LF for any significant amount of time and produce images consistently are likely those where this means of image making has become part of who they are and possibly a significant part of their life.

The LF community as a whole tends to be a small community for these reasons and more which gives more reasons to find commonality among those who practice this craft rather than allow dis-agreements to divide.

If those who participate on LFF simply practice compassion, empathy and caring about others passion for this shared interest, the petty bickering and dis-agreement over opinions may not burst into ugly fights over much of nothing.

There are other benefits to inner peace beyond making LFF into a better place for all who come here. Inner peace will improve the expressiveness and content of the images one creates. Turning down the noise within oneself brings greater sensitivity to the subjects they photography which allows their subject’s voice to be heard. Sensitivity, compassion and passion for their subjects are core to what it means to be an artist.

Many photographers strive to improve their work by obtaining the latest technological widget or touted magical optic, yet few look within themselves to see how they can improve themselves as a means to improve their artistic work.

The images or work created is very much a reflection of the individual who created it, the image capturing device and process that results in the finished image is just a means or tool to express who the artist really might be.

Our actions say much about who we are and the kind of images we might create.


Bernice

mandoman7
13-Jan-2013, 10:51
What about letting your imagery do the talking? Isn't that the bottom line? Why the need to find verbal agreement when we have such an expressive medium to speak through?

Bernice Loui
13-Jan-2013, 10:58
The images created contains not only the subject, it also contains many elements of who created it.

Just as words in a dictionary or notes on the musical scale, how they are arranged, organized from a state of entropy are an extension of the individual. Finished works speak for themselves, but it also says much about who created it.

:)
Bernice



What about letting your imagery do the talking? Isn't that the bottom line? Why the need to find verbal agreement when we have such an expressive medium to speak through?

Michael Alpert
13-Jan-2013, 11:19
Berenice,

To answer your question, I found the forum to be very helpful when I first started posting here around 2000 (my earlier posts seem to have disappeared when the forum left Photonet); and, sometimes, I still read a post written with solid intelligence. Years ago, the forum time included members who, from long experience, were truly experts. A few of those people remain involved here. Still, these days, I am not so sure about the value of the forum for myself, though others seem to find it helpful. I still think the forum is basically worthwhile, but I find that snide remarks often tail me when I offer an opinion or offer information. Also, I find myself reading information that obviously has been learned by reading the same information on previous threads. Some members, who have posted thousands of times in just a few years, seem to only know what they have read and have limited experience with the equipment or situations that they comment on. For these reasons, I sometimes write posts that I do not actually send, or, rarely, I withdraw posts because I can foresee the silly reactions that will follow.

In conclusion, I don't exactly know anymore why I am here. Though, for me, it is a situation of diminishing returns, I still return once in a while. I leaned much from the forum when I was beginning to use large-format cameras, and I am grateful to former and present members for what I have learned. I hope I have also contributed helpful insights for other forum members. It's a community of strangers (like almost all of the Internet), so every time you post anything, you take your chances.

Kodachrome25
13-Jan-2013, 11:23
Those who venture into the world of LF image making does not do so causally, this venture most always involves a huge investment in time, resources and passion for creating images. Those who stay in the world of LF for any significant amount of time and produce images consistently are likely those where this means of image making has become part of who they are and possibly a significant part of their life.

I don't think this cause and effect is unique to just large format, this applies to any format or any creative identity. The more time you have in your day to put into a creative pursuit, the more the consistency shows and when paired with the talent you were born with or not born with, besides the feeling of time well spent, there is the result of your creative effort.

The problem I see with large format over any other format in terms of having a voice that reaches out to the next generation is that according to the young people I talk to who take a peek at a forum like this one is that unlike other formats, there seems to be this "Earn the respect of your elders" stuffiness about it all. So as much as the valuable information is a draw to come here, the aging population and problems that are unique to this site only in terms of attitude are a serious challenge to this site's future viability.

I have been an aqaintence of the owner for over 10 years, I wrote him about this topic last night. I hope he gives it some attention because it would be great to see some overall freshness in this place and less reasons to bicker. There is no reason the use of large format will not continue to spawn new creativity in tomorrow's photographers, it is that dynamic of a medium. But it is either going to take a new openness of dialogue on this site.....or a new site to do this. This place is currently burying it self alive in it's old ways and will continue to do so until some major changes happen.

Photo.net is going through this in kind of a sad way. A new user comes and posts a question, makes a statement, shares an article, etc. and is quickly hit by a barrage of the "Usual Suspects", it gets ugly and they never return.

Ed Bray
13-Jan-2013, 12:46
My reason for being here is that I am interested in 'The Large Format Experience' and those who practise it. I have learned a lot of different things from this forum, for example today I discovered there is such a thing as 'Bear Spray' not something I would find in this country or would have known existed outside of this forum

What I do try to do though is not get dragged into emotive subjects that have nothing to do with photography and whilst I can recognise that there are some members who seem to take some delight in feuding, I am happy to take good advice wherever it may come from whilst remaining aloof from taking sides.

photobymike
13-Jan-2013, 13:06
Opinions are like belly buttons and assholes... we all have em ....... but this forum is about Large Format photography ... at least thats what i gathered from the name.... It is so easy to get side tracked in the BS and minutia of life, religion, or politics. It really diminishes the conversation on photography when brought into the conversation.

Do you know why this is a problem???
Well because the typical photographer is very attuned to his or her world. They see things that most normal people do not. For instance i bet the Mathew Brady photographers were very much against war after what they experienced. Photographers tend to see the world in a different perspective than a person without a camera. It is akin to a computer programer (i was for 18 years) . I actually had to re-adjust to having human relationships after starring into CRT for years. I called it the "computer nerd" complex. Surely you have met a computer nerd? Not to good at conversations, always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Well we as photographers get into our own world .... and sometimes have problems with real relationships .... Thats why the personalities and passions tend to bubble over online.

My humble opinion :)

BrianShaw
13-Jan-2013, 13:08
I thouight you left. Welcome back!

mdm
13-Jan-2013, 13:51
To learn and also to share a wonderful hobby. In the end its all about sharing.

Tony Evans
13-Jan-2013, 13:54
David,
+1.

Brian Sims
13-Jan-2013, 14:08
To learn from everyone here.

And because I work in the world of politics, I enjoy the peace, serenity and civility here :)

Sal Santamaura
13-Jan-2013, 14:25
Why Are We Here ?

...To help each other and share what we have to offer...Precisely. I've visited this forum daily for more than thirteen years to learn about large format photography and, when experience has taught me something, enable members to make use of the information without needing to repeat what I went through in the process of learning it (unless they want to).


...The problem I see with large format over any other format in terms of having a voice that reaches out to the next generation is that according to the young people I talk to who take a peek at a forum like this one is that unlike other formats, there seems to be this "Earn the respect of your elders" stuffiness about it all. So as much as the valuable information is a draw to come here, the aging population and problems that are unique to this site only in terms of attitude are a serious challenge to this site's future viability...I disagree that the membership here exhibits that attitude at all. What is insisted upon is that posters respect each other and the rules. Those who don't do those things have been a variety of ages, not just young people. In my opinion, upholding these standards can teach something perhaps even more valuable than large format photography, namely civility.


...I have been an aqaintence of the owner for over 10 years, I wrote him about this topic last night. I hope he gives it some attention because it would be great to see some overall freshness in this place and less reasons to bicker. There is no reason the use of large format will not continue to spawn new creativity in tomorrow's photographers, it is that dynamic of a medium. But it is either going to take a new openness of dialogue on this site.....or a new site to do this. This place is currently burying it self alive in it's old ways and will continue to do so until some major changes happen....Tuan is one of the most generous, egalitarian people I've run across anywhere. It would not be surprising if the insistence on civil behavior here stems in large part from his character. This forum is not burying itself alive by mandating civility and rule compliance. It's simply ridding itself of those who impede learning and sharing when they step out of bounds. Changes, some minor and some major, are needed by the offenders, not this site.

Cesar Barreto
13-Jan-2013, 14:32
Althought I'm not so frequent on my posts, I've been around ever since I grabbed the taste for big cameras and can't thank enough for those who take the burden of keeping it alive.
Living in Brazil, where we are few and spread over a giant country, it's invaluable having the chance of learning and kind of belonging to a community where a lot of kind and knowledgeable people spend it's time answering any kind of questions, be it from advanced or beginners.
And, yes, I think we are quite peaceful here! At least if we compare to anything or any place where a bunch of people gather around, mainly men.

Bernice Loui
13-Jan-2013, 15:21
The owner (QTL ?) has already done much for the LF community by making this space on the web available for the LF community. It is up to each member of this community to contribute and shape it into what it is and can be in the future.

As with many of life's endeavors, they usually begin with learning the craft, about the tools and processed involved to achieve the end result. Once the foundation has been set with enough mastery, it becomes the passion, creativity and many other aspects of the individual that comes together in the final result.

There is a limit to what can be discussed regarding cameras, optics, film, processing, digitizing and such. What has far fewer limits are the nouns artist (photographers) can give voice to. There will always be those who wish to emulate great works of the past, which is great. Yet, there is such a bigger world beyond what has been done. The challenge for any artist is inspiration and where their creative curiosity may take them.

So, the more interesting topic of discussion can be moving beyond what has been traditional photography subjects and following one's curiosity.

As for youth taking up LF, this is not an easy craft to pick up due to the many obstacles involved. Still I do believe there are a number of younger image makers who have discovered film, then larger film and the creative power and control a view camera offers.


:)
Bernice





I don't think this cause and effect is unique to just large format, this applies to any format or any creative identity. The more time you have in your day to put into a creative pursuit, the more the consistency shows and when paired with the talent you were born with or not born with, besides the feeling of time well spent, there is the result of your creative effort.

The problem I see with large format over any other format in terms of having a voice that reaches out to the next generation is that according to the young people I talk to who take a peek at a forum like this one is that unlike other formats, there seems to be this "Earn the respect of your elders" stuffiness about it all. So as much as the valuable information is a draw to come here, the aging population and problems that are unique to this site only in terms of attitude are a serious challenge to this site's future viability.

I have been an aqaintence of the owner for over 10 years, I wrote him about this topic last night. I hope he gives it some attention because it would be great to see some overall freshness in this place and less reasons to bicker. There is no reason the use of large format will not continue to spawn new creativity in tomorrow's photographers, it is that dynamic of a medium. But it is either going to take a new openness of dialogue on this site.....or a new site to do this. This place is currently burying it self alive in it's old ways and will continue to do so until some major changes happen.

Photo.net is going through this in kind of a sad way. A new user comes and posts a question, makes a statement, shares an article, etc. and is quickly hit by a barrage of the "Usual Suspects", it gets ugly and they never return.

jnanian
13-Jan-2013, 16:01
i come here to read and see what people i know ( and don't know )
who use a large format camera have to say.

there are enough people from such a variety of backgrounds that pretty much
it really never gets boring ...

its always great to read crazy technical discussions because i usually have no idea
what is being talked about ...

Peter Lewin
13-Jan-2013, 20:18
My answer to the question can be seen (this is a photography forum, right?) in the "All Things Are Photographable" thread in the Images & Discussion sub-forum: I'm here because I get inspiration and support from other members, and hopefully my input provides the same for someone else.

Jody_S
13-Jan-2013, 21:11
I come to look at the pretty pictures.

Kodachrome25
16-Jan-2013, 13:01
Tuan is one of the most generous, egalitarian people I've run across anywhere. It would not be surprising if the insistence on civil behavior here stems in large part from his character. This forum is not burying itself alive by mandating civility and rule compliance. It's simply ridding itself of those who impede learning and sharing when they step out of bounds. Changes, some minor and some major, are needed by the offenders, not this site.

I agree and that is indeed the case. So I think my game plan will be to use the site as a tool and simply stay away when I feel like being one..;-)

RichardSperry
16-Jan-2013, 14:12
The owner (QTL ?) has already done much for the LF community by making this space on the web available for the LF community.

If he hadn't someone else would have.

If this board disappeared overnight. There would be a viable message board devoted to LF that could easily take its place.

I don't know the history of this board specifically, but a lot of boards started in the 90s on free message board servers like EZBoard. And then when they started charging, the board owners moved to free software boards(or low cost licensed) on their own servers. Initial investment for boards such as this one were free for the taking, in essence.

What is interesting about message board communities, the product(the content) is actually provided by the consumers, the customers. So ya, message board owners get a thumbs up; but I would reserve greater praise for greater things. I will praise the actual content providers more, and do; thanks.

Leigh
16-Jan-2013, 14:52
To teach those who know less than we, and to learn from those who know more.

- Leigh

Ed Bray
16-Jan-2013, 15:07
To teach those who know less than we, and to learn from those who know more.

- Leigh

Nicely put.

Sal Santamaura
16-Jan-2013, 18:58
If he hadn't someone else would have...Others have. None are/were anywhere near as good. None are/were long-lived, non-commercial and frequented by large format photographers who know what they're talking about.


...If this board disappeared overnight. There would be a viable message board devoted to LF that could easily take its place...Why wait? Why not start your own now and get a head start?


...I don't know the history of this board specifically...Clearly you don't. You can increase your knowledge at this page:


http://www.largeformatphotography.info/credits.html


...Initial investment for boards such as this one were free for the taking, in essence...There's nothing free about this forum except one pays no monetary charge to be a member. Tuan, Tom Westbrook and the moderators pay a price with their time. Brian Reid bears the expense of serving it, both bandwidth and hardware.

For someone who's been here less than one year, you have a lot to say about things, e.g. your recent posts directed at Kirk. I suggest doing more listening and research than "sharing" for a while. :D

sanking
16-Jan-2013, 20:06
If he hadn't . . . someone else would have.



There is a big difference between "should have", "would have" and "did". Ifs with would in the pluperfect subjunctive don't amount to much in this life.

I wish I could tell you I love you
I wish that he weren’t always on my mind
If wishes were fast trains to texas
I’d ride and I’d ride, how I’d ride

(Emmy Lou Harris, "I'l be your San Antone Rose."

Sandy

rdenney
16-Jan-2013, 21:09
I will try this rdenny's way. He said that the mods should handle you, let's see if he is up to his word.

No, and since you've made the conversation public: I said that it is not your job to police the forum. If you have a complaint, report it. But don't comment about it publicly, which magnifies the problem instead of diminishing it.

That applies to everyone.

The forum guidelines say:


Generally speaking, in responding to a posting, try to respond only to the content of the thread and not to the individual.

Here's what that means: Please stop looking for reasons to throw poo at each other. If you must throw poo, throw it on what was written when you disagree with it, not on the person writing it.

In the realm of personal attack, this seems to me too petty to bother with deleting anything. This is the sort of thing that adults should just laugh off.

I've had several people make very personal attacks in my direction, particularly since I have assumed moderator duties. Goes with the territory, I guess. What was my response? "Whatever." Which, by the way, I kept to myself. Not worth the ink to argue it, and I have nothing to prove in any case. I recommend that approach.

Rick "now, behave" Denney

cosmicexplosion
16-Jan-2013, 21:38
People tell me: behave your self

But i was Behaving like myself....

rdenney
16-Jan-2013, 23:15
I deleted my original response to Leigh's baiting post. I have reported his post. I'm letting you mods handle it like you said you would.

Reminds me of a scene in the movie Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius. In the scene, Jones (a lawyer who was always an amateur as a golfer) was approached by client who wanted to sue someone else because that other person had told him to "go to Hell." Lawyer Jones, who was wise, told him that he thought he should just forget it.

Client: "But he told me to go to Hell!"

Jones: "I checked the law on that, and you don't have to go."

If you want me or another mod to come interpose myself in every mutual whine that looks to me like it was baited in the first place, I will. (It may result in more than deletions, however.) But it would be much better if those involved would apologize, shake hands, and move on.

Yes, that's the way we handled such things on the elementary school playground, but that place is striking a resonant chord these days.

Rick "who would rather have the title 'moderator' than 'grownup'" Denney

ROL
17-Jan-2013, 10:55
To teach those who know less than we, and to learn from those who know more.

- Leigh

Well said. Both of those sentiments are often fraught with difficulty.




(Uh-oh, I just noticed the rdenney page 3 crusade. I guess nobody will read this. :D)

sanking
3-Apr-2013, 20:26
Perhaps it is best to not think about why we do things. Is it not sufficient to just do these things?

When I was very young my interests in life centered on literature and philosophy. Not persuaded by my personal theoistic education one of the central questions of my life was why? Back then, before I knew much of anything, I thought all that had been cleared up after I read René Descarte's Discourse on the Method, where he wrote "Cogito ergo sum" (French: Je pense, donc je suis; English: I think, therefore I am).

I have never found a better reason for explaining why any of us do the things we do, or for that matter, "why we are here."

Sandy

Brian C. Miller
3-Apr-2013, 20:43
I have never found a better reason for explaining why any of us do the things we do, or for that matter, "why we are here."

We're all here because we aren't all there.

(Do not underestimate the power of the ... crazy side! It's on nitrous and helium, after all...)

Brian "I got myself a square tuit because I could never get a round one" Miller

Sal Santamaura
3-Apr-2013, 21:07
...I think, therefore I am...I am, therefore I think. :D:D

rdenney
4-Apr-2013, 07:28
With a little more perspective, I'd like to go back to the original post (especially given my prior involvement which was consumed by addressing what is no longer a problem):

People who are undertaking a new pursuit are full of enthusiasm for learning the mechanics, technique, tools, and (hopefully) history of that pursuit. There is no zealot like the newly converted. This is what sells magazines like Pop Photo.

But once a person climbs the steep part of the learning curve, their interest in technique becomes more subtle, and their application of technique to expression more interesting. At that point, they become bored with the stuff that kept them up at night just a year earlier, and are much more interested in stuff they couldn't have understood a year earlier.

So, how does any information medium serve beginners and non-beginners? Pop Photo addresses this by ignoring non-beginners. After all, there seems a never-ending supply of unthusiastic beginners to whom they will be able to sell magazines. But to stay popular (and it is called Popular Photography), they have to focus on the tools and techniques that are all the rage at the time.

Large-format photography is not the fad of the moment, despite that some younger folks who are new to film are attracted by it. Most of the people who do and know large-format photography learned it when it was standard professional and artistic practice. For this forum to be useful to them, there has to be opportunities for two things to occur: They need a way to express their experience, which means explaining things. That is part of how they validate their involvement in the forum. The problem is that not all those with experience really know what they think they know, so their attempts at teaching get challenged by others, who also may or may not know what they think they know. Quickly, an attempt to express something to a beginner, as a need to be expressive, becomes an argument among old hands that will not be useful to the beginner. These arguments may seem petty, but they are actually the manner in which facts get separated from opinions, and consensus forms on what is dependable information. On a forum, we don't get to "approach the bench" to engage in a legal argument relevant to the case at hand but not to the jury's understanding of it. It's all right out there. So, beginners have to give the crusty old farts some room to have their arguments, hoping that in the end someone will summarize it for them. They need to understand that sooner than they think, they will be the crusty old farts.

When I search in other forums looking for information as a beginner, I get frustrated by all the back-and-forth that is not answering my question! But that is really rather selfish of me--the forum does not exist to answer my question. It exists for sharing, and part of what I have to be willing to share is my patience for conversations about topics unrelated to my immediate problem. If I persist in that pursuit, there will come a time when I'll read those exchanges with great interest. If I let that sort of thing scare me off, then maybe my commitment to the pursuit was rather weak. I find that when I get most frustrated is when I'm talking to regular practitioners about somethinig I only want to do once. If I'm trying to troubleshoot the control circuitry for my clothes dryer, and a couple of appliance repair guys start chit-chatting about the quality of the Chinese components on that board, I get annoyed. But for them, that's their community and they do not exist to make me happy. I'm compelled to remember that, since I know I'm just there to answer a specific few questions (for free) and then I'll leave them in the hopes my dryer never again needs repair. Should they tailor their forum for people like me? If they did, there would be no experts left in that forum to answer those questions, and I'd be getting bad answers from other people only a little further along than I am. That has happened a lot in online communities.

The answer is to allow people to just express themselves, as long as they remain civil, and let the chips fall where they may. I don't think we need to worry about the beginners, really. If the medium grabs them, the crustiness of our old farts is not going to scare them off. If the medium doesn't grab them, I'm not sure us optimizing what we say for their benefit will cause them to be grabbed.

I play in a community band. That band does not have auditions, and allows anyone who walks in with an instrument to play, even beginners. Nobody is excluded. But--and here's the point--we do not program music for beginners. We only program music at the advanced amateur/college and professional level. That music is too demanding for beginners much of the time. One of two things happens as a result: 1.) the beginner feels sorry for himself or herself, wraps themselves up in self-righteous self-pity, and leaves. Or, 2.) the beginner persists, plays what they can, commits to doing no harm, practices diligently, and by next year is no longer a beginner. Musical technique is a lot harder than photographic technique, at least to get beyond the beginner level.

As far as statements that we'd be better off if we were empathetic, etc., to new people, then, well sure. That could be applied to the whole of human endeavor. But we are not going to be super-human here. The best way to undermine the tendency of a few to be mean to beginners is to be kind to beginners. Civility is a requirement of this forum, to the extent that it can be codified and enforced (which is a pretty small extent), and it is also a requirement of being human.

And the best way for non-beginners to keep it interesting for themselves is to help explain things to beginners. But we should explain only what we personally know, not just what we heard from others (unless we are summarizing it as such).

This forum will always have discussions about the finer points of technique and photographic technology. That's what feeds a significant component of the community, and it's what keeps us from being a Pop Photo that is optimized for beginners and doesn't really care about non-beginners.

Rick "at the risk of reviving this thread" Denney

E. von Hoegh
4-Apr-2013, 10:40
I am, therefore I think. :D:D

I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.

John Kasaian
4-Apr-2013, 14:20
Once or twice I didn't think to close the shutter after focusing. Does that mean I wasn't?:rolleyes:

Tony Evans
4-Apr-2013, 15:10
We don't know. Some freak universe event I suppose.

Preston
4-Apr-2013, 15:29
Dark Matter?

After all, we do talk a lot about Darkrooms, Darkslides, and Darkcloths around here.

--P

Heroique
4-Apr-2013, 15:38
It’s raining. :(

ROL
24-Apr-2013, 15:24
I am here because i guess joining this community is a great entertainment with a lot of learning as we can see there are many fellows who always try to help us with their practical experiments. I have seen few senior members of this forum who suggest in a good manner also try to help everyone in every matter.

Well, taking what I may be incorrectly assuming (my specialty ;)) to be your slightly broken English sentiments literally, that pretty much sizes it up for me.