Old 07-23-2011, 05:43 AM   #1
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Hi everyone,

I kind of feel like I'm being forced to point out the obvious here, but the intention of this forum is not to post threads specifically calling out one single photographer or photo. This has happened a couple times in recent months, and I'm not sure what the motivation is.

The other threads were removed at the time with nothing said, but as this continues to be a recurring issue, it's time I made a little post about it.

On a slightly more personal note, to everyone who contributed to the thread attacking a specific photo earlier today, I guarantee I could go through each of your accepted portfolios and pick out at least one photo that's "not quite right" (as I could with my own photos, I'm sure), and that doesn't even get into images you've had rejected. I'm quite sure, however, that you wouldn't take kindly to that, so I'm not sure why you'd do the same to your fellow photographers.

Lastly, as of tonight, according to the stats page, we've screened 961,597 photos, and that's since stats were programmed in September 2003, a year after the site started. We are human and, at times, things are probably going to slip through that shouldn't, just as we reject images that should've been accepted from time to time. That is just the reality. We strive every day for consistency, but being a human process, we're never going to be 100%, especially given the mass quantity of images we go through on a daily basis.
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Old 07-23-2011, 11:37 AM   #2
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If you're referring to thread about Chase's photo, I doubt anyone was "attacking" it. It is a great photo, but could be outstanding with some few simple editing "fixes" (spot removal, leveling and distortion correction). Plus, the fact that a screener missed the obvious unlevel nature of the photo is what motivated Joe to post about it in the first place. Perhaps it's the very minor unlevel rejections we are used to seeing that prompt us to say something when a photo that is very unlevel is accepted.

Despite his age, I believe Chase is someone who can handle others critiquing his images, and probably appreciates it. And I also believe he holds the standard of his work to a much higher degree than most people. This is the reason I felt compelled to comment on it, because it appeared he had overlooked a few things that he would normally have fixed.

And I agree with you about all of us having photos in our galleries that could use some extra work. I don't think anyone would deny that, and no one should be bothered by a little technical critique.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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Folks,

I think the majority of us want to improve the quality of our pictures and would welcome suggestions as to how to make them better. My humble suggestion is that when you see an issue with a photo that you think can be improved, why not send the photographer a PM or a private e-mail? I think that most contributors would be much more receptive to a private offer of help than to a forums thread publicly pointing out the flaws.

In the case of the thread yesterday, I would agree with Jim that the "temperature" was definitely lower than in some previous threads of that type. Chris K's point is well-taken, however. We don't show our fellow photographers much professional courtesy by pointing out flaws in their work publicly, when a more constructive alternative is available.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:59 PM   #4
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Kevin, I agree, future critiques of a photo should be made in a private message to the photographer. However, can we still call out screeners for being inconsistent?
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:19 PM   #5
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This was about Chase's photo? I must have missed something, did it escalate or something? That was one of the tamer call-outs I have seen, at least the last I saw.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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In principle I don't see the problem of having a public discussion concerning a photo shown in public. I think the shot loses its privacy, so to speak.

But, as it is a hobby, I can see some people not wanting that. That is the reason I have generally not criticized in my blog (my ex-blog? my dormant blog?) without permission, even though I think some interesting things could be said.

So I for one would like to see those so-called "call out" threads continue, I don't think there is any harm in them at all, I think the conversations are beneficial, but I can live with a rule against them.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:10 PM   #7
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In principle I don't see the problem of having a public discussion concerning a photo shown in public. I think the shot loses its privacy, so to speak.

But, as it is a hobby, I can see some people not wanting that. That is the reason I have generally not criticized in my blog (my ex-blog? my dormant blog?) without permission, even though I think some interesting things could be said.

So I for one would like to see those so-called "call out" threads continue, I don't think there is any harm in them at all, I think the conversations are beneficial, but I can live with a rule against them.
I agree with you, but we dont make the rules here. You can always call it out on Obscar... if you can deal with that crowd
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chris Kilroy View Post

I guarantee I could go through each of your accepted portfolios and pick out at least one photo that's "not quite right" (as I could with my own photos, I'm sure), and that doesn't even get into images you've had rejected. I'm quite sure, however, that you wouldn't take kindly to that, so I'm not sure why you'd do the same to your fellow photographers.
Go for it. My photos on this site are in the public domain. What good does it do anyone to always praise photos and never have critique? Are you somehow trying to protect Chase? Five of the last 13 SC's are his photos. Four of them are deserving of that award. The most recent one? Not so much. I'm not necessarily accusing the site of playing favorites but it certainly seems that way when you suddenly post a thread about this after letting so many before it go. Especially when so many threads on this forum that are directly requesting your response go unanswered.
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:48 PM   #9
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Go for it. My photos on this site are in the public domain. What good does it do anyone to always praise photos and never have critique?
That's a very good point. In a way, telling us not to "call out" a photo or photographer on this site is like being told that we can't shoot photographs from public property. (Though Troy is right as well -- their site, their rules.) It doesn't make a lot of sense to have a public photography forum but then to say we can't "call out" public photos from the public database that the public forums are a part of.

As for my photos, call them out. On some of them, I'd probably agree with what you had to say. I'm a big boy. I can take it. Besiddes, ion the field of TV news, if you gt offended any time someone says your photography could be better, you'd be offended a lot. I'll never forget my first week on the job with my first station. My boss and I sat down to look at my work and he just started shaking his head. Finally, he said, "That sh*t sucks."

I can laugh about it now knowing him better and real;izing that, yep, it sucked.

Of course, the thing about calling out photos on RP is that if you get down to it, we're not calling out the photos or the photographers as much as we are the..... screener(s) who let that particular shot in.

By the way, still getting the scroll bar issue.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:18 PM   #10
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I think there's a difference between "calling out" something that might be flawed in a shot and bashing the photographer who submitted it. After shooting slides for 20+ years, I'm still trying to learn how to shoot and process digital photos. So I view all comments (good and bad) as constructive advice. There is no such thing as perfection and even the best professoinal photographers can improve. So why wouldn't someone want tips and suggestions?

But when people make comments that are personal in nature, that's just bashing and there's no need for that.

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By the way, still getting the scroll bar issue.
Thanks Joe - Needed a good laugh!
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:24 PM   #11
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Well, I guess the word "untouchable" is in the dictionary for a reason.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:36 PM   #12
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But when people make comments that are personal in nature, that's just bashing and there's no need for that.
That's what OBSCAR is for
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Old 07-23-2011, 09:15 PM   #13
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Are you somehow trying to protect Chase?
Yep. I have absolutely nothing better to do than to troll the forums checking each thread to ensure Chase's feelings aren't hurt. I spend what little remaining time I have making sure the rest of the screeners know, and are adhering to, the official RP policy that Chase is to receive at least 1 out of every 3 SC awards.

Bravo, Brad. You've got it all figured out.

As far as calling out the screeners, I think that's to be expected, and it's certainly something I think we have all come to take for what it is. Obviously, be it privately or publicly, we hear it many times each day. I'll be the first person to admit that we aren't perfect; after all, as I've said a million times, we are indeed human. I'll also be the first to say, however, that I believe the process works as intended the vast majority of the time, and considering we've screened more than 1 million photos over the past 8 years, I think we get most of them right.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:04 PM   #14
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I'm not one to create conspiracy theories so please don't pull out one sentence and ignore the rest of what I wrote. Maybe that comment was a little out of line the way it was worded. I think enough people know me to understand my point was not what you made it out to be. Maybe most people (like me) are clueless as to what exactly happened in that thread since it was deleted. I'm only going off of what I read and replied with yesterday before it was removed. I can only assume it took a sharp turn south as there didn't seem to be anything questionable last time I checked.

I'm not saying you need to read every post but it would be nice if someone in an administrative position was active on the forums. It seems like the majority of threads started asking the administrators something go unanswered. I'm not sure if that is on purpose or not. It seems like RP has it the status quo and there are no signs that anything new will be coming anytime in the near future.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:13 PM   #15
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II'm not saying you need to read every post but it would be nice if someone in an administrative position was active on the forums. It seems like the majority of threads started asking the administrators something go unanswered. I'm not sure if that is on purpose or not. It seems like RP has it the status quo and there are no signs that anything new will be coming anytime in the near future.
That I can wholeheartedly agree with. I'll be the first to put my hand up and say that we haven't been active enough on the forums in recent years.

Keeping up with the site on a daily basis takes a lot of work, especially on mine and Chris Starnes' part, and at the end of the day, after screening 500+ photos, 250+ comments, appeals, corrections, answering e-mails, and other tasks, a lot of time there's just not much energy left to come into the forum and start reading threads and answering questions, especially considering that we both also work real jobs and have other professional commitments even outside that scope.

That said, we are aware of the perception issue with having a forum but rarely participating, and I am actively working to address it.
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Old 07-23-2011, 10:17 PM   #16
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That I can wholeheartedly agree with. I'll be the first to put my hand up and say that we haven't been active enough on the forums in recent years.

Keeping up with the site on a daily basis takes a lot of work, especially on mine and Chris Starnes' part, and at the end of the day, after screening 500+ photos, 250+ comments, appeals, corrections, answering e-mails, and other tasks, a lot of time there's just not much energy left to come into the forum and start reading threads and answering questions, especially considering that we both also work real jobs and have other professional commitments even outside that scope.

That said, we are aware of the perception issue with having a forum but rarely participating, and I am actively working to address it.
Maybe since the perception is that Chase actually runs things around here, you can put him in charge of the forums.
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Old 07-24-2011, 12:57 AM   #17
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Maybe since the perception is that Chase actually runs things around here, you can put him in charge of the forums.
Even with the smiley thats a cheap shot Troy.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:06 AM   #18
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Even with the smiley thats a cheap shot Troy.
Everyone here, especially Chase know's that was in jest.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:13 AM   #19
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So was mine. See your smiley and double.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:01 AM   #20
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Default Perfection--A Very Elusive Goal

I've been photographing trains for over 50 years now. I'm not sure I've ever taken an "acceptable" photo, but I stay at it nonetheless. For a guy who's been doing this longer than most of you have even lived, I find the practice of criticizing someone else's images to be rather distasteful. The loss of civility in many cases is even sadder.

Of course I'm a big boy, so anyone can take pot shots at anything I've ever posted to RP.net (or had published in one of the real-life magazines or books, which remain my preference vs. internet imagery). If you like the shot---fine. And, if you don't: I'll certainly give your concerns the attention they deserve.

By the way, nice shot Chase. I think I'll leave the picking the flies out of the buttermilk to other more learned individuals.
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Old 07-24-2011, 03:07 AM   #21
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Thanks, Ron. Couldn't agree more! See you in Cincinnati in a few weeks!
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:37 AM   #22
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Ron;

You take great shots. I wish I was able to get so many of the same oppurtunities. I just wish you'd put in the right reporting marks for the SOUthern Railway.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:29 AM   #23
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Ron;

I just wish you'd put in the right reporting marks for the SOUthern Railway.
It would help poor Joe sleep better at night!
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:27 PM   #24
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Joe....

Gosh, I'm sorry about that. I see that I've been using "SR" instead of "SOU."

Of course I know the difference, since I worked for the Southern a few years many moons ago. What if I used INT, GS&F, CNO&TP, CTC, GofG, NO&NE, AGS, LOP&G, C&NW, or some of the other subsidiary roads as well?

Ron Flanary (who counts "SOU" as his "other" favorite railroad after the L&N...)

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Old 07-24-2011, 02:24 PM   #25
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So the moral of the story is.. If you're gonna poop on an image, do it in person. It's much more satisfying..



Chase and I will be shooting Hawks Nest next weekend, and there will be plenty of photo dumping during those boring hours waiting for a train.

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