View Full Version : Most congenial forum?

Neal Shields
26-Feb-2005, 09:02
So far APUG is looking pretty good but from my experience this forum is about as hospitable as any forum on anything on the net. I am beginning to wonder why.

My wife’s show dog forum comes to verbal blows regularly and even her fancy goldfish forum isn’t immune from harsh words and tangents.

So…why do you guys (and gals) think you are so nice?

I am, male, 55 years old, type A personality, but tend to try to follow the rules when posting. Do we tend to stick to data instead of opinions? Are there just fewer of us? What gives?

Could it be something about the contemplative nature of large format that allows us to get along?

Bruce Watson
26-Feb-2005, 09:17
I think you might have hit on it. The "contemplative nature" of large format photography. That is, we think about what we are doing. We've trained ourselves out of knee jerk reactions (which was hard in my case having been trained to use a motor drive covering football and basketball for the local paper ;-)

Same way most of us, I think, make postings on this forum. We tend to think about what the poster wants to know, decide whether or not we have anything meaningful to contribute, and act accordingly.

Whatever it is, it's working and I'm thankful Tuan and company are providing access, and I'm thankful for everyone's contributions.

26-Feb-2005, 09:20
When everybody is armed with a six pound tripod you learn to behave?

Gem Singer
26-Feb-2005, 09:24
Hi Neal,

The people that participate on this forum have an un-written agreement to perpetuate the forum for as long as possible. We realize that disagreements are perfectly normal and, for the most part, intellectually stimulating. However, we also realize that petty arguments and name calling will destroy a forum very quickly. We understand that just because we were able to argue the other person down, doesn't necessarily mean that we won the argument.

This is a place to come to learn and to pass information along to others freely, without putting the other person down for asking for that information, no matter how mundane the question.

Large format photography is slowly fading out of the picture (pardon the pun). We are all in the same boat, and we need to help each other to survive and perpetuate this wonderful way of expressing our artistic capabilities.

26-Feb-2005, 09:42
I suspect that part of it has to do with our being a group of (relatively) older folks.

bob carnie
26-Feb-2005, 10:10
I found this site and APUG at about the same time, I am constantly amazed at the breadth and knowlege on both forums. These two sites are a great resource for information and as such I think everyone tries not to p.. in their own backyard. I do not agree with a lot of posts on both sites but love to hear all the arguments from both sides, this is where I learn alot of new info.
Also when someone puts a link in their post I follow the link and voila. a new source of supplyer of information.
I like both these sites tremendously, as my prints are fixing or washing I log on and see what is up , gets very addictive

David A. Goldfarb
26-Feb-2005, 10:35
I would say thathttp://www.basstrombone.nl/forum/ is more congenial even than the LF forum or APUG, but there's not much information about photography on the bass trombone forum, and this forum is rather weak on bass trombone info.

John Flavell
26-Feb-2005, 10:48
It's the medication.

Dave Moeller
26-Feb-2005, 11:01
Perhaps years worth of exposure to fixer has changed our brain chemistry to the point that we're incapable of sustaining an argument?

More likely, I think, is that anyone with the patience to shoot LF for more than a week is likely to be, by nature, a patient person.

26-Feb-2005, 11:03
Lest Ye Forget.... This Forum was actually created in controversy and dissatisfaction with the path taken after the old Greenberg(?) photonet changed hands. It still attracts a few old time dickheads like me and Dan Smith.

Gem Singer
26-Feb-2005, 11:15

You've got half of it right. His name was Greenspun, not Greenberg. But, you did get the "dickhead" part right.

Ellen Stoune Duralia
26-Feb-2005, 11:25
Ha HA ha Eugene! You are so funny!

As others have pointed out, it could be that we're older (although at 34 I'm still a babe in the woods), we have large tripods that could do some serious damage if we were so provoked, the LF process forces you to think before you act and that carries thru in other activities and since there are not that many LFers "out there" we have have to stick together to help each other out.

As a relative newbie to this group, I must express my appreciation! The support and welcome one feels is just great :) That and have you ever noticed that some photographers/gearheads can have such an elitist attitude about what they do and what they do it with - who needs that?!

Anyway, I'm so glad you folks are so damn nice!

Frank Petronio
26-Feb-2005, 11:42
It's not on photo.net with all the stupid rules and photo ratings BS. People tend to self-moderate themselves, and recogonize the contributions that QT and the other volunteers have made.

I keep getting banned on the Leica forum; every forum has a culture - this one is a healthy one!

Kevin M Bourque
26-Feb-2005, 12:39
Not everything on photo.net is evil. I rather enjoy the "Classic Cameras" forum.

paul owen
26-Feb-2005, 12:40
Another reason - due to the high failure rate i.e. double exposures, forgetting to remove a darkslide etc, etc, you NEED a sense of humour to "practice" LF!! I find that this aspect helps me to take things less seriously!

Scott Rosenberg
26-Feb-2005, 12:52
like ellen, i too am a 'babe in the woods' and so i like to think that is it not age alone that sets the relative peaceful tone of this forum. speaking for myself, i stopped contributing to the photo.net forums several years ago because of the accepted attitudes of many of the contributors. i would suggest that others like myself that are not interested in that sort of environment have settled in comfortably over here. those that enjoy that type of environment woud have no reason to leave.

here's to each-and-every-one of you! it is the users that make the forum, and this is one of the best.

many thanks,

26-Feb-2005, 14:53

I must agree that the ambience, if you will, of this forum is, without question, superior to any photo related forum that I have either perused or participated in. I found certain other forums, such as --.net and --review to be rifle with insults, brand loyal zealots, and generally annoying people. I cannot recall receiving a rude reply to any question I have asked on this forum.
Amazing. Simply amazing. It's like going to a jazz concert: very unlikely that any trouble will ensue. Jazz people are like that.

Thanks to participants for being so generous with information and geniality.

26-Feb-2005, 14:55
By the by...hust what is "APUG"?

David A. Goldfarb
26-Feb-2005, 15:00
Analog Photography Users' Group. You can check it out at http://apug.org

Armin Seeholzer
26-Feb-2005, 15:16
Yes as LFer we need time to think bevor we push the button otherwise it can get very expensive.
And when I'm out shooting I get many times silly questions like why you are working with this very old camera, so I get always trained not to overreact!
And LF is something meditativ if I not working for a job.
Good light to all of you!

Emmanuel BIGLER
26-Feb-2005, 15:21
brand loyal zealots
Well for sure you'll find here brand-loyal zealots (I'll not disclose here my favourite view camera brand ;-) but as far as optics is concerned in Large Format photography we enjoy to be able to mount almost any lens on any camera; new or old ; we can mix in our collection of new lenses 4 major brands, 2 Europeans, 2 Japanese, plus 2 outsiders, one British, one Japanese and get the best of all. Plus all vintage LF lenses & shutters. We can even put to work together former communist lenses and their capitalist enemies of the years 1950-1990. Or we can ignore lenses and use pinholes or zone plates. As far as image detectors are concerned the marvelous device named 'International Back' allows that we can use any brand of film holder, either cut film, rolfilm or even self-coated glass plates, Metric size or Imperial .. and silicon-digital backs on almost any camera !!! May be those technical differences explain that brand-related controversies take a different style here, simply because most of us would simply like to use the three dozens of different field, view, panoramic cameras actually available on the market ;-);-)

Jay DeFehr
26-Feb-2005, 15:48
I think that a part of it might have to do with the discipline and commitment required for LF photography. I have enormous respect for anyone willing to commit to this medium the resources, financial, intellectual, and otherwise, that are necessary to enjoy any meaningful success. Whatever my differences with forum contributors, they're still LF photogrtaphers, which places them much higher than the general population, in my respect hierarchy.


Pete Watkins
26-Feb-2005, 16:30
Emmanuel, I'm worried, how can I recognise a communist lens? Is my camera bag at risk of being infilterated.?
To be serious I have never encountered a group of people who are so generous with information. the opportunity to take the p*** is often there but is rearly taken up, sorry Emmanuel.
I really believe that it is an age thing, I think that most of us are knocking on a bit and when our generatiion were growing up manners mattered. I think that we're safe 'cos what I've seen of the younger generation they are all too idle to even lift a 5x4 let alone a ULF outfit, 'cmon lads, proove me wrong.
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge so freely, it's really appreciated.

Graeme Hird
26-Feb-2005, 16:38
I agree with Scott in that the people here have gravitated here after being dissatisfied with the behaviour on other forums. Birds of a feather and all that guff .....

I also think it has something to do with the equipment we use, as others have already noted. I find a similar congeniality on ƒ32.net (another LF forum) though it has a much smaller community (more like "family" than the "country town" we have here).

ƒ32.net, APUG and here are the forums I most often inhabit.

Thank you all for contributing.

John Sarsgard
26-Feb-2005, 19:31
Not sure I know why, but LF photogs seems to be willing to share their secrets. I've encountered others that want to capitalize on what they have learned and not share. I think it is the aesthetic approach we individually develop that sets us apart, not unique technical knowledge. We seem to know that, and share the info that it makes no sense to reinvent. We do have our family arguments. But this place has been evolving for a long time, from here to photo.net and back again, and for one, I must applaud over and over for the community spirited leadership and hard work of Tuan. If this is a place, he is the Mayor, and I will vote for his re-election a million times over. And for lots of other offices if he chooses to run. This place is what it is in many ways as a result of who he is and what he has done here. I really thank him for it.

Andre Noble
26-Feb-2005, 22:07
We're not tied up in the rampant consumerism as badly.

Robert Skeoch
27-Feb-2005, 06:59
I think it's because we're trying to help each other.

George Stewart
27-Feb-2005, 09:24
It's because LF is so cool and there are so few of us. I also think we're all anal retentive and obsessive-compulsive. How could we not get along well? When I've been out in the sticks LFing and come across a fellow LFer, its like finding a new friend or a long lost brother or sister.

Jeremy Moore
27-Feb-2005, 10:35
While some here are so old as they need to worry about blowing a gasket :) There are a number of younger LF users, though we just don't post as often because we are still learning the trade. Personally, I turned 22 yesterday.

Stan. Laurenson-Batten
27-Feb-2005, 11:22
Although generally I prefer my own company when photographing remote areas, I really enjoy meeting of like photographers - particularly LF. Such photographers always get their own back by enthusing others!

My thanks to all...

Jeffrey Scott
27-Feb-2005, 14:10
I find this forum, www.forum.rickresource.com (http://www.forum.rickresource.com), to be one of the friendliest and honest forums I have been involved with. It is also extremely informative with a lot of knowledgeable folks on it, including the CEO of Rickenbacker and various past employees sharing vast amounts of informaion.

Frank Petronio
27-Feb-2005, 15:09
We're all congenial unless you're a certain Deardorff repairman; run a wooden camera company in Massachusetts, pontificate and publish a small magazine about large format cameras, or try to protect your supplier's trademarks from being used on eBay. Oh, and a self-promiting photographer getting international publicity for claiming your aerial camera is the highest resolution camera in the universe... ;-)

Ellen Stoune Duralia
27-Feb-2005, 18:12
Happy Birthday, Jeremy!!

David R Munson
27-Feb-2005, 22:13
To some extent, I think the personalities of the people here balance one another out. We're all different kind of people - all kinds of ages, personalities, dispositions, professions, faiths, etc - but we all hold a common interest that we come here to discuss and help one another out with. It's something we all see value in. I like to come here to learn and to contribute as well as I can.

The singlespeed/fixed gear forum on www.bikeforums.net (http://www.bikeforums.net) is another forum with a good set of people, if a bit rowdy at times. APUG is better than some forums, certainly, but I didn't exactly find it to be the right forum for me (I'll leave it at that). Photo.net never felt right to me. A discussion forum I used to mod now just makes me cringe it has degenerated so much. In any case, this certainly remains the friendliest forum I know. I've been following it since I first got into photography and I don't know any other resource that has provided me with more and better information than this.

Long live the forum!

Ole Tjugen
27-Feb-2005, 23:41
Maybe because we know that there is no big difference if the equipment is brand new or more than 100 years old? We can still learn from each other!

Kirk Gittings
28-Feb-2005, 00:31
When I read the title of this thread I laughed because of what Frank mentioned, but then I realized that I don't follow any other forums so I have nothing to compare it to.

At the ripe age of 55, I realize that I have wasted allot of time and energy trying to win battles that served only the needs of my fragile ego. I am much more interested now in teaching what I know, gaining solid information and getting my work done. I figure at the rate my body is deteriorating, I might have twenty productive years left. That isn't much time. Based on the last 30 years that is about two more big projects with books and shows. Life is short. This forum has been of great help and it works best when we are real but civil.

J.L. Kennedy
1-Mar-2005, 08:31
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned what seems to me the perfectly obvious reason that this forum is so congenial: since we all carry around this heavy equipment, we're all too tired to fight!

J.L. Kennedy
1-Mar-2005, 08:50
By the way, it has nothing to do with age. My kids don't fight either when they're tired.

Rob Hale
5-Mar-2005, 19:00
Hi guys and dolls

I am going to severely reprimand the lot of you !!

I believe that if think about a question I was asked by a remarkably intelligent young lady you will start to see why you need to be reprimanded. This lady and her husband build rally cars as an adjunct to their main garage business.

Q./ with some anger “WHY CAN’T PEOPLE SEE THE CONSEQUERNCE OF THEIR ACTIONS” I will leave the object that was in view anonymous except to say it was not well designed.

I believe people “can’t / don’t “ see because they have not learned to “look”

Clue what do you do when setting up a shot. “ look”

What do you do when developing film “look”?

What do you when printing “look”?

After you have looked at favourite great photographer’s prints – do you not get the feeling you have “seen” and in seeing discovered.

A more subtle point which most of you can reasonably be forgiven for not noticing is the use of the English language. I am happy to suggest that this site attracts an uncommonly high level of intelligence as English used is clearly, competently and often eruditely composed without rancour even to the simplest of questions, which, to me, demonstrates a genuine desire to impart information to teach and encourage without the need for self engrandisment. I suggest too that the sad sites where rancour is common ego is also common.

This “look” “see” thing is curious one but I suspect that the more you look into it, on a daily basis, the more you will see that a lot of people around you appear to neither see nor look. Racecar engineers look and can see what is happening to their cars – they have to or they don’t win and who needs a racecar that is not winning. Sadly I believe a lot of professions get away with some appallingly low level of quality but I am sure that is another story for another place.

So my humble opinion is that this site, it’s organisers, contributors and readers are relatively unique. You Look therefore you can see. You have the intelligence to understand what you see. You have the self-confidence not to need “ego” to achieve, so you feely impart knowledge.

Keep on Looking

Keep on seeing

Keep on writing

Best Regards Rob Hale

Scott Fleming
5-Mar-2005, 19:39

I'm probably missing something. Why are we being repremanded?

You seem to like 'us' and feel that we are unique but start your post with a tongue-in-cheek repremand. I think you forgot a sentence or so in there somewhere.

Ellen Stoune Duralia
5-Mar-2005, 21:46
Or maybe he just put a wee bit too much gin in his tonic ;-)

Rob Hale
8-Mar-2005, 17:58



I would like to a Generosity.

I went and looked at Replies to: Photography and (Clinical) Depression and saw generosity – truckloads of open, warm hearted generosity.

Best Regards Rob Hale