Some parts of this are true, and some made me giggle. Umm, yeah, most of the participants are women who photograph kids. It's a 'children's portrait specialist' website. Clears that mystery right up! And I'm still trying to figure out what's wrong with posting images of one's own kids? Built in models on which to learn? Hell, I'm as guilty on that count as anyone there. Oh, the shame.
I monitor a couple of photograph forums and "photogforum" is kind of interesting. Amateur and amateur/semiprofessional/professionals constantly submit prints and it is just really a cheerleading session. In fact most of the participants seem to be women who photograph kids. More often than not they are their own kids. Instead of a critique to help them get better they fawn over mediocre shots and comment on how lovely the children are. (It's true the children are lovely, BUT...)
I've been on that forum just about since it was started 3+ years ago. Yes, it is a very 'positive' environment (euphemism for 'cheerleading'.) But, like apug, it has a critique section. The critical comments are generally reserved for that section. There are some very, very beginning photographers there, and it is QUITE important, when the image is NOT posted for critique, to keep them positive and enthusiastic while they learn. There's nothing wrong with that. Personally, I post there in order to share information and techniques, and to try to encourage those who are learning to develop a style of their own.
If you've been on that forum for any length of time, you'd know that, yes, the participants can learn volumes there -- many on the site have come an incredibly long way in a very short period of time.
My point, though, is not to defend the photogforum, but to agree that there are times when true and in-depth critiques are vital (in fact, I think most of the time they are). But there are also times when encouragement and a pat on the back are the best thing to encourage someone to keep on going.
Edward Weston photographed his family and friends--from the beginning of his career until the end.
I don't think that this is what blansky was talking about, he will have to speak to that. However, I do think what the general thought was, is This is a serious site - just looked at the work posted in the galleries. If a photo is placed in the critique gallery, then the person that placed it there should expect a critique (not have everyone tell them it perfect), if the same image was placed say in the experimental gallery then the response could (should) be different, same thing for the technical gallery.
We each and everyone, I think, want to show our best work and are hoping that others will like it. But, depending upon WHY you make photographs in the first place it really doesn't matter.
If it makes anyone feel any better, how about we change the comment about 'women and pictures of their children' to old men and pictures of there backyards, cars, tractors, etc'. (that was meant tongue in cheek since ya can't hear the tone of voice).
Photograph what You want, develope it the way You want, print it the way You want - if no one else likes it and You do - don't show it to anyone, don't get your feelings hurt...But remember if you ask for an opinion here, You will get one..if you ask for Help here, You will get that as well. Some will be very nice about it, some will blunt. If someone gets down right nasty about it, this group moderates itself - most folks here know the difference between honest critique and someone being mean.
One more thought regarding the photo with the child that had died...first it is most important that there is a memory of the child (we all love to look at photographs of our loved ones), but if the photograph is really good (and processed the way the good folks here All know how to process), then the image is going to last and last,
Consider this, with the new digi things, the image could have just been deleted because it was not very good - at least with print film, it will be here for a while. A working professional Should have a different perspective on quality than the average shooter....would we want to buy the work from someone that does so, so work? No, we don't have to crush them either, but how do you know what you need to do if no one tells you, how do you know a photo could be better, unless someone tells you - or better still shows you.
Just look at the members of APUG, the really good ones, take time to teach - one way or the other.
The camera used was a Canon A-1 with the exposure index dial set to "A". The meter "looks" at the AVERAGE brightness of the entire frame and will select a shutter speed to go with the aperture to produce an average film density consistent with an "average" scene. Lots of "averages". Not always the "best" exposure by any means ... especially with an included bright source of light, as a sun-facing window.
Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
This girl received the Canon A-1 as a gift. It had just been sent to Canon Repair for a complete Clean and General Overhaul. While waiting for it, the owner bought a d*****l whiz-bang and simply GAVE her this pristine! Canon.
She has done some AMAZING work with that camera.
I LOVE kicking a few "boulders" out of the way (in this case, "automatic" metering), and tagging along in the slipstream as a neophyte begins to realize her potential.
Possibly that is better term to use - "empowering" does seem a tad pretentious. I'll "fancy" myself as merely a "Boulder Kicker".
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Sorry for the confusion.
What I was saying, or meaning when I said about photographing ones own children on that website, was instead of commenting on the work they are constantly commenting on their children. Instead of comments like try this, try that etc , the comments are Oh...he's so precious, oh...your daughter is just darling. You have such a beautiful family .etc
Of course there is nothing wrong with this BUT in a site that is dedicated to getting better at photography, it turns into a site for mutual admiration and gushing comments on the subject instead of the work. As Cheryl says they do also do some critiquing, but if you you follow the threads you know what I'm talking about.
I'm amazed by the fact of saying "the pictures of their own children" could lead to comments like Edward Weston photographed his family. Of course, who doesn't. Or someone saying "is photographing one children not professional enough".Sometimes we get off on such strange tangents.
If you'll read what I had said, it was that this site "photogforum" was IN MY OPINION all about stroking and not about critique. THats it. And IN MY OPINION that does not lead to developng better photography.
I don't think I've ever seen on THIS site anyone ever display a picture and have people dote over the subject. They comment on the work. As it should be.
Also I would like to point out,as a "professional" I have never stated that we are better at photographing children than anyone else. On the contrary. As someone who photographs a lot of children, I have always stated that parents can do a better job of capturing their children than anyone. They can capture the essence of childhood better that any outsider. It stands to reason they are there. They aren't an interloper. On top of that the best photographs I've ever seen of children are made by women. That also seems natural to me.
Also, JDEF, good "professionals" aren't generally in malls.
As for ego stroking, who says it is a bad thing. As I argued with Ed I just don't believe it gets you "better". Everyone needs their egos stroked once in a while. It feels good. BUT.
I hope I made myself clearer this time, so you can beat your swords back into plowshares again.
Wow, I'm sure glad I didn't mention that I didn't really like apple pie. Whooops
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Wow such venom.
Most good photographers don't want to do the volume needed to pay mall rent. Therefore the mall photographers are usually high volume flog em in and flog em out types without the time or often the desire to do much more than the work that you described.
Let me know if there is anything else that you take issue with.
now now boys and girls. it's time for a time out in your corners.
Not to worry, guys -- virtually all of those shooters (or shoot factories) replaced their Mamiya press cameras with EOS D30s years ago, and are thankfully off the APUG radar. Feel free to move on.
Originally Posted by Michael McBlane
[size=2](Gratuitous kid picture)[/size]
I think in your case at least you are in a small market area and the better pros are probably residing in the bigger markets. I think it would be dangerous to try and make such broad generalities so I can see where some may take offence. At least for your last statement, the one I quoted all you needed to do was put in "in my area" after "strictly related" as you don't seem to be relating your experiences to markets other than your own.
Originally Posted by jdef
There are several pros on this site who take their work very seriously and I would suspect do better work than the pros you are referring to. I can see where being lumped into the same category as these practitioners of lesser ability would upset them a tad.
Since this is heading off in a different direction than the original poster intended this will be my last comment on your subject.
I am not qualified to comment on the state of traditional portrait studios since I quit being one in 1986. I agree, one of the reasons I sold it was, as I've said before, everyone's work in every city in the western world was looking the same. The budget people copied the work of the top people and the top people copied each other.
A lot of people now are doing a "lifestyle" type of "portrait" and it is quite popular but I'd bet nowhere near the dollar volume of the "traditionalists".
If, in your area, you see what you feel is crap, perhaps this is the perfect time for you to go into business and corner the market. And I'm not being snide about it.