Ten years on APUG!!!
So, 10 years and 3,000+ posts. I’ve wasted a lot of time on APUG.
I joined APUG on February 16, 2004! (I'm posting today as I'm traveling tomorrow.) I do not remember how I found this website. I suppose that I found it while “surfing” the net. (Does anybody use that term anymore?) My own photography had been languishing for a while. I had a dedicated darkroom, and all the gear, and actually made pictures once in a while, but just nothing was really happening.
APUG was a different place back then. I came from “rec.photo.darkroom”. APUG was new, fresh, different. It was a different group of people then, but that is always the case. Look up any old thread from past years, and it will be a mostly different group of participants. The same will be true one year in either direction from that thread, too. Twenty thousand, forty thousand, sixty thousand members!!! But, at any given time, there are probably only a few hundred active posters.
I’ve seen the question asked several times: where have all the old apuggers gone. Not as many have gone as you might think. A lot of them read, but don’t post anymore. They got tired of the same old questions, opinions and arguments. This is not a flaw of APUG, it’s the normal life cycle of an internet forum. However, I owe a great deal of thanks to APUG and to Sean; and continue to subscribe and participate, even thought I’m often pretty tired of it. Because of APUG, I met:
Lee Carmichael. It was early 2005. After mostly “lurking” on the forum for a year, I posted a suggestion to have a local “meet-up”. There were 6 of us that showed up. Lee and I were the first to get there. He showed me some very impressive work that he had done, and very graciously looked at the few sad prints I had brought along. We were friends and colleagues until his death in 2012. I learned a good bit from him. Some of it was even about photography. Also along on that meet-up were Jeremy Moore, Kevin Mullet and Mike Castles. I don’t see Jeremy or Kevin much anymore, but we remain “Facebook” friends. Mike and I are still friends in person, and were out photographing (with some other folks) just a couple of weeks ago.
Then, in May of 2005, Lee produced a printing workshop with Les McLean as the clinician. There were 12 of us in attendance. I can’t remember all 12, but among them were apuggers Ann, BWgirl, Gay Larsen, scootermm, Bruce Osgood, et al. Jeremy and Mike were there, too.
Also met Valerie Yaklin-Brown, Clay Harmon, Kerik Kouklas and Bill Schwab through APUG. I became friends with Les McLean and spent Christmas with him in England in 2006! Went to Iceland with Bill Schwab and a small group just last year. From 2006 – 2009, I collaborated on a project with Lee, Jeremy, Mike and scooter (Matthew Magruder) called the Texas Church Project. We had exhibitions and were on TV! And we made a lot of work! (And I became a better photographer)
And the chatroom! It, too, is “not the same”; but years ago, I could go in almost any night and “chat” with Hans (Denmark), Luis (Spain), Nicole (Australia), or any number of other delightful people from all over the world.
Therefore, like many other old-timers – both chronologically and by tenure on APUG – I have a real love-hate relationship with the forum. We may be tired of the same old discussions, the opinions over facts, the fanatical defense of arbitrary ways of doing things, and the trolls; but we realize the value in the relationships that have been spawned and nurtured through this community. These are friendships that may not have happened without the forum.
Carry on. Turn off the computer once in a while and go actually make photographs. Many of us – and 99.999% of the world – don’t care which film/developer/camera you use. We also don’t care if you own and use a digital camera, because, you know, we do, too.
Only while here, don’t feed the trolls!
What an excellent post and enjoyable read.
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
Great post, David. Though many things have (sadly) changed over the years, and many things are (sadly) the same, APUG is still my first stop for photo information and camaraderie. I hope we are having this conversation in another ten years.
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Great read thanks for sharing that tidbit of apug history with us.
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Glad you joined 10 years ago (in a few months it will be my 10th anni on APUG!), glad to have met you many times in the chatroom, and hope to have the pleasure some day of meeting you in person!
Long live Ed "Big Daddy" Roth!!
"I don't care about Milwaukee or Chicago." - Yvon LeBlanc
Good Afternoon, David,
Lots of familiar names mentioned in your post; unfortunately, some of them are no longer with us. Time do fly!
I've been a member almost nine years, I wonder if you get time off for good behaviour
I just passed my 11 year anniversary here. Glad the newbees like Dave have stuck around.
A nice reflective read about your 10 year history here at APUG, David. Glad to see you and numerous others still participating as time allows one to.