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MattKing
05-04-2012, 11:35 PM
Maybe Sean would spring for a free "banner" ad promoting the current Assignment.

Ken Nadvornick
05-05-2012, 03:29 AM
My $0.02, anyway.

Hey Noons,

I think my problem was that I was still expecting the rough-and-tumble of the Shoot-In. Remember?? But the MSA is geared more toward a pleasant afternoon out that results in far more easily digestable results. And since the MSA had been around for longer than I, that mistake in judgement was entirely mine.

Ken

Bertus
05-05-2012, 05:49 AM
Perhaps this helps the group to expand a little:

There is sometimes confusion for newcomers. What is the MSA? is a FAQ.
On the bottom of the Gallery mainpage is written:
Click here for details and submission guidelines.
OK, You click on it and you can see the MSA thread with the subject on top and details at the start. Perfect.
But details about the MSA-idea and submission guidelines? Sometimes in the thread in the start, later hidden for newcomers. Sometimes not.
The same you see on the MSA image page: no explenation or information.
Solution: A small information button>textbox with the basic MSA-idea, details and submission guidelines in the bar or above the thread AND the MSA image page.
Is there any communication with the project owner about this items?

- Bert

nsouto
05-05-2012, 07:54 AM
The problem I had with the Shoot-in is that too many were in there for ego trips.
(for those who don't know, it's a Usenet-based digital photo contest but with a permanent "owner", hosted on pbase)

In the MSA folks just enjoy everyone's film-based photos, with no one "owning" the place. I like that. And I like the extremelly well executed b&w images here, only wish I could make them as good. But I'm learning. And that is the whole purpose of the thing!

Ken Nadvornick
05-05-2012, 03:26 PM
Regarding the MSA, increasing participation is tied to increasing visibility. It's not unlike selling something in the APUG Classifieds. The items that sell best are those that garner the most visibility.

As it seems to work now, somebody creates a theme. Then two months of time pass without any real public discussion. Few posts. No questions. No creative insights. No technical information. Nothing. Then after two months, somebody creates a new theme.

I think what's needed is for the participants to start talking about what they're doing, as they do it.

Are you posting a new photo? How about including an accompanying post about how that photo came to be? What motivated you? And why? What did you have to do to accomplish that photo? What obstacles did you have to overcome? What worked? What didn't? What might you do differently next time? What were your thought processes?

And given the nature of APUG, adding some technical details couldn't hurt either. Camera? Film? Equipment? Techniques?

And if you are reading someone else's descriptions, comment on them. Explain how you once faced similar motivations. Or obstacles. Or used similar equipment. Or chose different equipment. Or different techniques. How did you manage to pull it off? Or how did you fail?

What this approach would do is the same thing it does in the Classifieds. Repeatedly bump the current MSA thread to the top. That's where people look when they first log on to read. Interesting threads generate the most... interest.

And beyond that, you'll all learn a little bit more about each other. And maybe rethink some of your approaches to photography. And maybe even make some new online friends in the process.

As it stand right now, the MSA thread is at the top of the queue only a couple days out of every 60. That's why nobody knows much about it.

Ken

nsouto
05-06-2012, 03:36 AM
Very good points, Ken. Thanks for that, I agree entirely.

One thing I've started to do a few months ago is include a little bit more in the "exposure" field of each image entry than just our more usual "there was light involved". Which is funny, but doesn't help anyone wanting to learn.

I now include how I metered the image: spot, matrix, CW, where, did I use compensation, etc.

That is even better information, I reckon, than something like an exif dump of "1/250@5.6".

Which I can do to the scanned image with the F6, but is of no use to anyone wanting to learn of the decisions invlved in getting a given image.

That's the sort of thing I want to know, when I look at someone's image and I go "Wow! How do I get something like that?".

What was involved. Exposure and framing decisions, development choice, agitation, times, treatment of the negative if that be the case, how was it printed, etcetc.

In my case I don't have an enlarger setup at home, so I have to go with scanning and sending the results I like a lot out for enlarging/printing on Ciba or on a very good digital printer.

I'll add some comentary to my entry on the forum post as a start, maybe other folks might want to do that as well from now on?

I don't see any problem in sharing that type of information. After all this is a friendly assignment, not a life-enabling, income-producing activity!

Usual disclaimers apply: my $0.02, no animals were harmed while writing this, cat is purring away at my feet, etcetc.