We've discussed these issues at great length on the forum, and what we've decided for some time is that even if many of us are using digital and hybrid techniques, APUG.org should continue to be focused on traditional processes. Lots of APUG members, myself included, are doing some digital work, but we discuss it elsewhere. There are many forums where one can discuss scanning and digital printing, but not so many that are dedicated to being information rich resources about traditional processes, and safe spaces for discussion of traditional techniques. The idea is that if someone wants to learn how to retouch negatives with pencils, dyes, abrasives, and knives, they can find that here without having to wade through a lot of discussion about the cloning tool, and their interest will be encouraged rather than disparaged.

We tried having a "gray area" forum for hybrid discussion, but it was difficult to keep it on topic and to keep the digital discussion from overflowing into other forums. Some people come to APUG to get away from the extensive discussion of digital methods on virtually every other photographic forum on the internet, so Sean thought the best way to give hybrid workers more leeway without losing the focus of APUG.org was to create a separate forum, which is hybridphoto.com. The hybrid forum isn't as big as APUG, but it's quite a bit larger than a few independent spinoffs created by former APUG members, and it's growing steadily, and my understanding is that Sean and JD Callow, who is the main organizer of the hybrid forum, have plans to build it out further as the forum has been attracting more interest.

If there are hybrid topics that haven't been discussed on the hybrid forum, I would encourage people to bring them up there, and chances are, you'll find some very knowledgeable people who have good answers, even if they haven't said anything about those issues before. Hybridphoto.com tends to be more business and less chit chat than APUG, and I think a lot of the hybrid participants like that, because it means that the forum members are engaged and working actively, and there's a sense that it's all new for everyone, and everyone has something to learn and something to contribute. I have participated in many online discussion forums over the years, and it is very difficult to maintain that kind of atmosphere as a forum grows, so I highly recommend that people who are interested in combining traditional and digital processes take a look at hybridphoto.com and enjoy it while it's still small.