Censorship and judgement on APUG and in the world...

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by StoneNYC, Jan 25, 2013.

What is THE LIMIT of appropriate subject matter for APUG

  1. Only Ansel Adams type scenery

    5 vote(s)
    7.2%
  2. Above+ some portraits and kittens are ok

    3 vote(s)
    4.3%
  3. Above+ a FEW scenes of the real world like semi harsh news - occupy wall street / hoarders home

    3 vote(s)
    4.3%
  4. Above+ Implied Nude girls holding flowers & sunlight, light war destroyed structures, no people

    1 vote(s)
    1.4%
  5. Above+ Full Nude but no lower genitals showing and only smiles, sad images of hungry orphans

    8 vote(s)
    11.6%
  6. Above+ Full Nude w/ genitals exposed, Vietnam starving naked children in street, birth w/ crowning

    12 vote(s)
    17.4%
  7. Above+ Full Nude w/ macro shots of vaginas & penises, dead warriors in piles on a battlefield

    37 vote(s)
    53.6%
  1. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I've been giving a lot of thought about a piece of work of mine that has come under criticism. The main thing that bothered me most wasn't that the image was criticized as being bad for aesthetic reasons like the composition or lighting etc, but for the title and the subject matter. The title and subject matter had to do with something that plagues the modeling world, anorexia/bulimia.

    I come to APUG because of it's strong foundation of talented individuals, the ability to discuss film and the knowledge base that helps improve my ability to develop photos in a non digital fashion. I don't really come here to be criticized about who I am as a person, nor my perspective on the world, especially since an online persona is only a vague interpretation of who I am and what I represent. What bothers me most about judgement is that, from an outside perspective you never really know the truth, you don't know me or my personality, you don't see my own pain or my perspective, you don't see anything but an image, and a title, something that does not sum up the embodiment of who I am, or what the entire scope of a piece of work is about, I guess some of that is part of what the error in film is, in that it takes but a moment and not a larger scope. But I didn't post it in the critique forum, I posted it in the members gallery, to display some of my work and styles. To me, the point of posting anything here, especially here, is to be guided and supported and encouraged, but not to be treated as less than human, and told you are basically scum. I expect that kind of thing if I were to have an opening somewhere in a gallery, there will always be criticism from the outside world, but this is inside, this is the world of photographers, what should be a sort of safe haven from all of that.

    I know another image that came under fire semi-recently I never saw it, but hearing the subject matter I was surprised. Maybe because this is specifically film and not specifically a model/fashion/portrait arena there are some that don't understand the scope of the genre my piece was in. It's not even the final piece I would use to hang, but rather an additional image I chose because it prevented the viewer from seeing any nudity which I felt was best to keep off of the internet.

    I guess I'm posting this out of frustration. I'm not a bad person, not even a little bit. And to be referred to so harshly and hurtfully, it really bothered me. There were in fact two pieces that were referenced in the attack, but in different ways, but from the same individual, who is supposedly a respected member of this group, but yet, I can't understand how she could be so hurtful toward me saying the things she said, without knowing anything about me, that she could be so respected. You don't spit on someone and then get praise, or you shouldn't.

    I have this philosophy about censorship, it's a main theme in a project I'm working on, and so unlike the other person whom's work came under scrutiny, I refuse to take mine down.

    I'm not writing this to stir up trouble even though I recognize that is most likely an outcome, but I'm posting to ask...

    Is this a place where we should only post pretty trees and scenery and close up portraits of faces using old school wet plates, but not a place to post any kind of modeling work? Is that the line? I thought great art is about invoking emotion and empathy with the subject, to see and also to participate in that moment, but to take that in with us, to share the joy or the pain, but not to redirect it elsewhere.

    Am I wrong? I'm truly afraid to post more of my work now, I have much to share, but now, I hesitate with every image, is this the environment we wish to foster here? one of fear?... this poll is written almost in jest, but I figure it's a good way to judge how I next choose to share my work.

    EDIT: Because not everyone is a subscriber I'm being asked about the image... for those non-subscribers...

    Screen Shot.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2013
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Hey Stone... welcome to the internet. I missed your contraversial photo(s) but getting attacked is not new and not unique to you. It happens all day long by nameless, faceless people who feel they can say whaever they want to another nameless, faceless person. Tis a pity... but that's the way it always has been on the internet. I'd like to think that people who are jerks on the internet are really nice people when face-to-face... but I wouldn't put money on it.
     
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  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Where can I find this image you are so worked up about to comment?
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    p.s. In my heart-of-hearts, though, I think most people are quite good about reading other peoples "online personas" and most people generally transmit an on-line persona that is fairly consistent with who they are in real life... real names or not.
     
  5. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    As I recall, the complaint was about what you wrote and have written, not the image. She had an opinion and expressed it. That's not censorship. Get over it.

    You know what they say about opinions and assholes.
     
  6. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    If it didn't violate a forum policy or federal/state law, then don't worry about it.
     
  7. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Without seeing what the problem was I can't comment, except to say that I have had a lot of positive feedback from the folks here. Of course my photography is very "safe" so that may be the reason. If you are pushing the envelope then you can expect to be pushed back, just the nature of people.
    I enjoy your posts but don't necessarily like every single one, so as Greg said, don't worry about it and keep putting them up.
     
  8. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    Stone,

    You are not wrong. But, when you say anything in any place, especially on Internet, you invite opinions. A photograph is an expression of the photographer but an impression belongs to the viewer. Two of them are often not in sync no matter how carefully you frame the image. I don't know which image of you are talking about or who you are referring to as respected female member. But it all boils down to this. If you don't want anyone with harsh and different opinion to comment, don't post your images. Not because you are wrong, but because you have no control over what that person or anyone else might say about your images or even you.

    Yes, it bothers me deeply when someone comments so harshly and especially when those comments basically amounts to personal attacks. The Internet has brought all of us an ability to say what we want, freely, and not assume any personal responsibilities.
     
  9. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    You gotta have thick skin if you put your photos up for public comment.
     
  10. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    There's a poll now.... didn't realize this posted before the poll posted... haha let me read and respond to the posts ... choose the limit of what is ok, I know I lumped stuff together, but do your best to choose what you think is the "worst" thing that can be here.
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    All very interesting, but can you please tell me what image you are talking about?
     
  12. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    The image is still in my gallery, but here for those not subscribed... Screen Shot.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2013
  13. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    You're recalling the secondary image and reference to it which was also taken out of context. Others said harsh things and I didn't respond condoning their comments, I was more being criticized for NOT saying anything in that instance, this comment is more about the OTHER image, which I've now posted above.
     
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  15. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I agree about the internet part, I guess I just thought that APUG had a more respectful crowd since we are mostly artists, but I guess perhaps I'm wrong about that too.
     
  16. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Though I opt not to take the survey, I am willing to allow anyone to post anything they deem appropriate to the forum as long as it adheres to forum rules. After all, I have the ability to decide if I want to view it or not, and even after viewing something I have the ability to not return to it if it offends me. I neither will comment nor complain, merely ignore if I don't like it.
     
  17. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    An interesting image. I don't underestand the problem.
     
  18. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Is this your way of saying you don't like the poll? LOL :smile:

    That's my attempt at humor, I'm smiling because I like your response.
     
  19. sehrgut

    sehrgut Member

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    I think "more respectful" is not necessarily disproven by one, or even a few, vocal jerks. Heck, this is DEFINITELY on the "more respectful" side of the spectrum from 4chan! *wry grin*

    More respectful than YouTube, Facebook, Imgur, and Flickr, too. Probably less-respectful than the secret by-invitation-only message board for archbishops, cardinals, and popes the Vatican will be setting up in a few years, though.
     
  20. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    For the record, although I am not the person in question (I'm not a 'she'), I did voice a single line of public support for her position. That support was rooted in some very personal life experiences of mine. I chose to voice the more complete details of those experiences offline. My concerns were listened to sincerely, and after a series of back-and-forth PMs that constituted a very open and pleasant conversation, a common understanding was reached. That is how it should be.

    I found Stone to a very approachable and easy to converse with individual. He has a very open mind. He's very willing to listen. There is no reason for the 'she' in question not to approach her misgivings regarding him in exactly the same way as I did, if she has not already done so.

    And if she hasn't, I would respectfully counsel her to try it.

    Ken
     
  21. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I guess the problem is two fold, since even this is out of context ... let me try and surmise... really simply

    Posted a theological discussion of the fact that one of my recent models asked me what film was because she didn't know and had never really experienced it and I only posted it as a theology of our changing times and perception of photography, she had really only experienced digital in any adult fashion, maybe as a kid there were film cameras but her parents probably loaded them, anyway I had asked what people thought, and got a lot of negative responses referring to the model as ignorant, I didn't agree but didn't really stop all the heckling much and only slightly defended her, and then this image was posted and the thought was put forth that I don't share any empathy with the models I shoot and that I don't care about them or their feelings. Which is not at all true, but that's really the basics of the whole thing.
     
  22. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I remember the image, and posted. My problem with it was that I didn't think it conveyed the message you seemed to want to convey, based on the title. The double exposure obscured her condition to the point that you couldn't tell she was anorexic. Thin, yes. Clinically anorexic, maybe. I said then, and will repeat it now, I admire the model's courage in confronting her condition in such a public way.

    I post in the Gallery fairly regularly. Some of my work is borderline "traditional" photography, and occasionally the work is questioned. But, when I do post, it is for the purpose of critique (even in the standard gallery). Often, negative criticism is more valuable than positive responses. It can make me see things I hadn't prior to posting. I don't post for a pat on the back. I post because there are many subscribers whose opinions I admire, and their comments are always meaningful.
     
  23. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    Thanks Ken, and I agree, I wish that I had been approached in private in the beginning, simply a "would you tell me more about why you posted this and more of the history, some of it bothers me but I want to know where you're coming from so I can understand better" or something like that, but it didn't really happen like that.

    I hope this post doesn't change your opinion of me Ken.
     
  24. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I can see your point, I guess I figured if I wanted true critique, I would post in the critique gallery... lol

    And part of why I chose THIS image was because it was hard to see, it obscured her breasts and condition so that if this image for some reason got taken out of here by someone and posted on for example tumblr, and then got tumbled along, out of context of the title, no one would really know she were sick or anything really and that would in some way protect her from any ridicule. That's why I didn't post other versions that were more clear.
     
  25. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Which is why, for me, it's unsuccessful. You obscured the very thing you were trying to make a statement about.
     
  26. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

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    I would agree with part of that, I think the way we type and the way we speak might be very similar, but actions both obvious and obscured are what can really only be seen by knowing a person in real life, because I could always be saying "I like tities, yum yum" and I say that all the time online and in real life, but then I always hold the door for a lady, always pay for dinner, are courteous to them, never take action that isn't wanted in any fashion, never look down a girls shirt or grab at them etc.

    I don't personally say that, but it's an example, just because I post something online or say it, doesn't really give you any clue of my true persona, only my outward appearance, but in person, you can tell a lot more about a person than just their words.