Does your quantity of forum posts correlate to quantity of photos on Photo.net?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by danny_wilson, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. I have had this suspicion for a while that those folks who are the most vocal on forums don't have many photographs to Photo.net. I decided to test this hypothesis the other day by doing an exhaustive survey of all Photo.net users who where currently online (Community->Who's online?). This random sampling of Photo.net users yielded some interesting results. My hypothesis was generally correct with a trend that most closely resembles a inverse power relationship. Not that surprising, but still interesting!
     
  2. Again in jpg
    00aSc1-471561584.jpg
     
  3. Why do you think people don't have photos online? Could be like me, I use film and print in a darkroom. Scanning is a pain, esp an 11x14 print on a legal size scanner, so yup only a few photos, and those are mostly from minilab scans during processing before I started doing C41 processing at home.
    Plus your "who is online" stats could be rather skewed, as quite likely you are counted as online if you never log off.
     
  4. Danny, does your survey take into account an individual's numbers of "Comments on Gallery Photos"?

    I think those who post more pictures tend to be more involved in the critique forum to the exclusion of other forums, with exceptions, of course.

    If you look at the drop-down listing of forums, most tend to be gear and technique oriented which might also explain your observation - they are more How-To oriented and have less to do with the quality of pictures.
     
  5. Another confusing factor may be that a photo posted to the No Words forum counts as a posting whereas it is actually a posted photo.
    Also there is a practical top end size to a portfolio after which it becomes too many to take in. I have 219 photos posted at the moment but will delete some old ones when I post to keep the total about the same. So the vertical axis tends to have an automatic limit except for a few people while there is a much larger spread for the horizontal axis.
    Does anybody care anyway?
     
  6. How are you determining the "number of photographs on photo.net"? I only have 35 photos uploaded in my photo.net portfolio, but I many hundreds more posted to threads. Also, the majority of photos that I have posted online are not on photo.net.
     
  7. I'd bet Danny's hypothesis would withstand scrutiny if more complete data were available. The discussion forums and gallery display/critique sections have always been very different, unique and equally vibrant and essential elements of photo.net.
    There's some crossover but in the long run the lack of photos uploaded to photo.net portfolios from the most active members in discussion forums is no more relevant than the lack of discussion forum input from the most prolific photographers and active participants in the critiques/ratings, at least in terms of evaluating quality of participation.
    Also, we have no convenient way to quantify the participation in photo sharing threads in the discussion forums. Some of the most talented and prolific photographers who participate on photo.net often upload photos to "No Words/Words" type threads, but have few or no photos uploaded to their portfolio spaces. They may prefer to retain greater control of their own photos by using their own websites, personally owned servers or cloud type hosting.
    IOW, anecdotally interesting but inconclusive.
     
  8. Let's not forget that we have the option to Show/Hide photo folders as well.
    Colin, why not move your older photos to a hidden folder instead of culling them?
     
  9. Michael: no, I didn't take into account things like comments on galleries or individual photos. I was thinking about doing this, but with my brute force method of manually copying data into an Excel sheet, it was just too tedious. I might write some code at one point to crawl this site and get a more complete picture.
    Colin and Mike: yes, very good points about in-line photos posted in forums. It is a shame that the are not represented on people's profiles. I am similar in that I have no photos on my profile, but I do have some in forums.
    Yes, I agree with you, Lex: the forums and the galleries are both important parts of Photo.net. In no way did I mean for this to be a criticism of people who prioritize galleries/forums; it was more just an interesting confirmation of a hypothesis.
     
  10. Michael, I usually cull the old photos I think I have outgrown so would prefer to just zap them. By outgrown I mean in a style I would probably no longer use.
     
  11. I upload sometimes to illustrate a point in discussion, here and on other forums. Also I put family photos on facebook, for a limited number of friends and rels. And I still have a link to a website with a small but dated selection.
    I have in the past uploaded to various sites for critique, but don't so much feel the need now. To some extent also I feel internet critique is not representative of real world values, and in any case is dealing with a web view rather than a print. There is also a bit of a feeling that I used to upload if I thought it was good enough to show, and would now upload if I thought it was not good enough to steal. That's an exaggeration, but I do feel, there are many cases of work being hijacked and it does put me off.
     
  12. I do not have a portfolio here. I have a thorough work portfolio on line for folks to refer to- which I figure with about 75 images is, on its own, serious overkill. I do not link to it in each post but it's there - but there's no blog, no articles, no rah rah manifesto, no links, nothing to buy...
    I sometimes upload an image in a forum thread as a quick example of something.
     
  13. I'm with Bob's theory. I shoot digital mainly for casual work, with my more important work being done in the darkroom, or with high MP MF cameras that I don't scale down for web use.
     
  14. I have had this suspicion for a while that those folks who are the most vocal on forums don't have many photographs to Photo.net.
    I am fairly vocal, have few pictures on photo.net (no interest in camera-club-style competitions or ratings) but have a link to an extensive portfolio at saatchionline.com. What would you have me do?
     
  15. It's like any kind of endeavor, you have those that like to talk, those that like to "do", and those that like to do both at the same time. Nothing wrong about any of those approaches.
     
  16. Danny, apart from the comments already made, such as W/NW or in-forum photos not being taken into account, the snapshot at 5PM is just that, and you may get different results at a different time or with an averaged time period result (you are only sampling on-line at one time). Your conclusion may be right, but it may be too specific a time slot to capture an average portrait of the membership.
    It would also be interesting to see an expanded scale of all the points grouped near the origins and with the outliers (wild points?) eliminated, as this might give a more distinct plot. I'm not sure how other frequent posters operate, but I usually get involved in discussions for a few weeks, feel satiated with that, and then spend more time off-line photographing and (as has also been said) then posting only a few of those photos. My portfolio is just over a hundred images of disperse themes and approaches, which I consider to be much more than enough, and it should really be trimmed with older images replaced by newer ones.
     
  17. I have zero photos uploaded to PN, although you can see much of my work posted in individual threads for illustration purposes. If you want to see all of my work, you have to go to my website. Your hypothesis might be valid, but I think you have to eliminate those who don't have ANY photos posted in PN galleries for whatever reasons. Similarly, you need to eliminate those who have never posted, for whatever reasons. I think you'll find you end up with a lot of scatter, and you might be hard pressed to find statistical significance.
     
  18. A photo from heading out for a hike. I won't upload to my gallery, but it could fit in the No Words forum.
    00aSfv-471635584.jpg
     
  19. stp

    stp

    Danny, even if your premise is true, so what? What could you say about your observation, other than the fact there may be a correlation? What do you take away from an apparent observation that an individual who makes many forum postings may have relatively few photographs in his/her portfolio?
    Also, how do you define and measure "being vocal?" Is it simply the number of forum postings, as you've apparently described, or is it the length and quality of a response? Is saying "great shot!" one hundred times more vocal than offering five multiple-paragraph comments on photos, with each comment referencing specific attributes of the photographs?
     
  20. Hi Danny - you had to know this post was going to get some interesting responses. I think that people use P.Net for a lot of different purposes. I post enough photos to show that I know which end of the camera to point away from me, but for the most part I don't use this site as any kind of portfolio. I heavily use Picasa and somewhat Flickr, have some photos at Shutterfly and at 500pics, but I don't consider my online posting for the general public to be that important. For me this site is like the photography club I've never been able to find, where the discussion of how to do things, where to go for interesting photography, and yes, what equipment people like is the most important part.
     
  21. What's this demonstrate? Not that people who write a lot don't also shoot a lot. A lot of people use this site for discussions and other sites for portfolios or sharing. I've got no photos on the gallery here and a few thousand in other gallery locations.
     
  22. I like prints. That's my interest.
     
  23. I stopped posting photos after an incident of "theft by right click".
     
  24. The real question here is what conclusion you draw from your chart. Are you suggesting that the people who spend lots of time pontificating about photography don't actually shoot, while those who really shoot don't have time to mouth off on forums? The data can't support that because not everyone who really shoots posts photos on PN, for a variety of reasons (their images are hosted elsewhere, for example, or they work on film and rarely go to the trouble of scanning and posting online).
     
  25. It is an interesting post, and there is no reason for assuming Danny is implying anything from it. I see two skewing factors that will make this prone to difficulties though. The first is that I am sure many users have multiple accounts and separate their involvement along those lines. The second is, as this is not a photo post you will only attract comments from the vocals :)
     
  26. I think my photos to comments ratio puts me in one of the outlying points on your response curve.
    Just saying.
     
  27. Danny,
    I might write some code at one point to crawl this site and get a more complete picture.​
    To prove that those of us who like to discuss various matters of photography are all armchair-specialists? Yes, the internet is full of them. But spend enough time on the forums here, and you will find a lot of frequent posters have excellent photographic knowledge, plus they talk about images rather than peeping pixels.
    So, as already asked: what is the point you want to make?
     
  28. If I was considered on-line when the survey sample was taken, I would be one of the points with a lot of posts and not vary many pictures. I'm a better than average amateur photographer who seldom has images that would compete with the better photographs I see here. I worked for over 30 years at Kodak on either production or development of new films and processes. I've been gone from Kodak for 6 years, but I still enjoy discussing photographic technology.
    There is an old line: "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." If I could consistently produce photos like the better ones I see here, I would be posting more. I can't do that, but I can discus the technology.
     
  29. Danny, it also proves you have too much free time on your hands.
    I haven't taken a "real" photo since 2002.
    Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach (an old adage somewhere). I don't have a graph but I notice how much free time the lurking users here have when someone throws a post like this on here and it "fills up" instantly with responses. Personally, I think their time would be better spent at some auction website getting into a bidding frenzy on something I'm selling.
    Now, I'm wondering if you can do the same type graph for me but showing the relation of Photo.net users and their use of eBay.
     
  30. <<<Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach (an old adage somewhere).>>>
    Those who teach very often do it out of generosity of spirit and because they have good communication skills, patience, and a love of sharing. Very often, the certainly CAN. It's a demeaning and trite old adage.
    When we're on here responding to Danny's "research," it's seems more than a little weird to question how Danny is spending his time. There's time for plenty in this world, even for a-wastin'. I'd question conclusions drawn, however.
     
  31. I have posted to most No Words since I discovered the forum, often include pictures in regular forum discussions to illustrate some point or other - because this is a "photo" site - and have a number of pictures in my P.net portfolio. I think it's "fair" to say that I have earned my "frequent poster" canisters [please, no jeers and I'm retired anyhow :) ].
    On the other hand, I critique only pictures I really like (or more rarely, really dislike) and the bottom-of-the-page postings are the only reason I have any pictures up for critique at all.
    I wonder where your graph would show me.?
    Your initial premise
    I have had this suspicion for a while that those folks who are the most vocal on forums don't have many photographs to Photo.net.​
    is fairly derogatory and insulting in its implications, by the way.
    BTW, quantity and quality are not to be confused.
     
  32. Are you suggesting that those who are good at talking and poor at taking pictures?
     
  33. Well I had 5 photos in my workspace but I dropped down to 3. I think 3 photos is a pretty good amount of pictures myself.
     
  34. "Are you suggesting that those who are good at talking and poor at taking pictures?" There is often a pretty direct correlation if you really do some investigating.
     
  35. The real question here is what conclusion you draw from your chart. Are you suggesting that the people who spend lots of time pontificating about photography don't actually shoot, while those who really shoot don't have time to mouth off on forums? The data can't support that because not everyone who really shoots posts photos on PN, for a variety of reasons (their images are hosted elsewhere, for example, or they work on film and rarely go to the trouble of scanning and posting online).​
    I agree with Craig's post here. I don't know why the original post was made but, given all the complaints about rates and critiques coming from those who do not have much imagery to 'compare', there is a good chance it is motivated by a desire to discredit such raters/critiques. Otherwise, it is a rather arbitrary survey to undertake.


    As to such ratings ect,. if I may. I reject claims that responses are less valid even if the photographer making them has images 'less worthy' then the one who receives the rate or critique. The rationale given, if any, is more valuable from my perspective. The content, even without the reasoning, can be quite valuable.
    I also note that the complaints never appear when the review is a high rate or complementary even though it should instill the same level of concern as does receiving a low rate. No one ever seems concerned about the qualifications of high raters and reviewers.
    In any event, as has been reported, a lack of images on this particular site doesn't mean much about a person or a group's qualifications since there are many reasons why images are or are not posted and what it means.
     
  36. Hi, everybody. Interesting comments. It seems like the most common theme in the comments was "why did you do this?" "what is your point?" and "you have too much free time." To address the issue of what my point/purpose was in this post: I do not think I really had a "point" to make. Considering that I have not photos in galleries on Photo.net, I myself have a high ratio of forum_comments:photos. I definitely was not trying to prove that the "big talkers" are not good photographers or that frequent forum-posters are just posing as photography experts.
    Like many of you, I own and operate a separate website where I keep my photography portfolio. I post a photo in-line of a forum thread every now and then to illustrate a point, but I do not have any photographs in the galleries. I like Photo.net mostly for the community of experts and colorful personalities. I like bouncing ideas off of people and reading through informative or amusing forum threads. I don't like posting my photos in galleries here because I typically don't get much useful feedback and my personal website provides a much more elegant showcase for my work.
    So, what was the "point" of this? I guess to have a conversation like this. To think about why and how people use Photo.net and what it means to them. Regarding hurt feelings, I definitely had no intention of that.
    In terms of me "having too much free time," I don't really think that is true. I love looking at data and finding trends, and that is a big part of why I am working on my PhD in mechanical engineering at Berkeley right now. I choose to spend some of what free time I have reading these forums and (yes) looking for trends in user behavior. It's fun, it's relaxing, and it is my choice.
     
  37. I notice how much free time the lurking users here have when someone throws a post like this on here and it "fills up" instantly with responses. Personally, I think their time would be better spent at some auction website getting into a bidding frenzy on something I'm selling.
    FYI: I work as a writer at home. My job requires me to go on-line and check my e-mails around 6 times a day. photo.net is my electronic water-cooler - I frequently log in, read the latest postings and write a reply if I have something to say. This process takes max. 3 minutes and provides me with a welcome break, Quite frankly, I don't think it indicates that I have time on my hands or that I am asking you or anyone else for advice on how to spend it.
     
  38. "I have had this suspicion for a while that those folks who are the most vocal on forums don't have many photographs to Photo.net."
    Interesting theory, Danny and a thought that's passed through my mind on more than one occasion. I've also noticed that the people who cause the most arguments on forums contribute practically nothing (if anything at all) in the way of images.
     
  39. Just came back to say that I'm not following the thread instead of taking photographs, I'm here instead of doing housework.
    Later I'll probably do some photography and some outdoors exercise instead of doing housework.
    Then I'll copy images to the PC and check forums instead of doing housework.
    Later on I'll have some food and beer, and then I'll be too sleepy to do housework, so I might check the forums again.
    00aSs3-471825584.jpg
     
  40. stp

    stp

    I've also noticed that the people who cause the most arguments on forums contribute practically nothing (if anything at all) in the way of images.​
    So what? Where is it written that posting images is a prerequisite to participating in discussions (or even arguments)? Personally, I look at the logic, examples, completeness, and other attributes of a discussion/argument itself to validate a point of view rather than my perceived quality of a set of photographs taken by someone else who may have an interest in entirely different photographic subjects than I.
    folks who are the most vocal on forums don't have many photographs to Photo.net.​
    This is Danny's original premise. Again, so what? What and how (and even whether) a person photographs seems to have no bearing on the insight and usefulness of the comments that person provides to various discussions and comments on photographs that have been submitted by others.
    I seem to be missing the meaning or significance of Danny's main thesis.
     
  41. I seem to be missing the meaning or significance of Danny's main thesis.​
    We're told there is none except to inspire discussion. To that end, I may commission a study on how many critiques are offered by night owls rather than those posting at dinner time. Perhaps, instead, how many characters are typed on a monthly average by those posting nudes compared to landscapes. Perhaps, to REALLY spark commentary, a per capita comparison of the contributions of digital users vs. film users vs. hybrid users.
     
  42. "I have had this suspicion for a while that those folks who are the most vocal on forums don't have many photographs to Photo.net."

    In my experience there's a core of posters with 10,000+ posts - they're sitting at their computers hitting F5 right now - who either have two boring photographs in their portfolio, or thousands of boring photographs uploaded over several years. This isn't specifically a Photo.net problem. It happens to every website with a forum. The most obsessive F5-F5-F5-pounce people tend to dominate the proceedings because they're relentless. There's literally nothing else in their lives. It's their major social outlet, they would be destroyed without it. It's what they *do*. They cling to it.

    In the long term they'll die of old age and be gone. Ordinarily this wouldn't solve the problem, because a new generation of the same people would just take their place, but given Photo.net's generally ageing demographics this will eventually solve itself. A lot depends on how long Photo.net can stay around; it's lasted quite some time, but I can't see it attracting a Facebook-style takeover, in which case rising costs will squash it eventually. The basic idea betrays its late-90s genesis. Remember Genesis in the late 90s? Phil Collins left and was replaced by a man called Ray Wilson. When even Phil Collins deserts you, you know you've got problems.

    It is distressing that a website ostensibly about photography should so swiftly have become a haven for wafflers. You'd think that over fifteen years of so Photo.net would have thrown up dozens of incredibly talented people who would now dominate the world's image-making industries - top cinematographers, editorial photographers, photojournalists, a generation who got their start on Photo.net - but instead this did not happen. It's become something else entirely.
    00aSu2-471853684.jpg
     
  43. So what? Where is it written that posting images is a prerequisite to participating in discussions (or even arguments)?
    No one has suggested that you need to post images to take part in a discussion. However, it does seem strange that one or two regular contributors (at least in the medium format section)seem to enjoy causing arguments, but have no apparent interest in photography.
     
  44. The desire to exchange ideas, however trivial they may appear to some, is only human. The quality of the exchanges certainly vary, but the advantage of internet is that you can do this readily, while still undertaking your other interests from the same computer. More time is often spent, and not necessarily profitably, to find interested persons or groups and to access and to engage in direct communication with them, unless it happens to be a part of our normal work or social connections, or we are lit by some fire to succeed professionally in this medium.
    Who really cares how many top (or well known) photographers have been bred by Photo.Net? I doubt if many consider that the main purpose of this site. As for the photo uploads, they draw as high or mediocre a quality of critique as any other well known photo site. Whether it is posting comments or suggestions, photos, or critiques, there is no best mix. You can come and go as you please. As a site devoted mainly to photography and its practice, one can enjoy either, or all, of these possibilities. Seeing a photograph without clear identification of its author (pseudonym, truncated name, etc.) is also fine and correct, although it is not likely to result in any notoriety or fame for its author. But fame is hardly the purpose of a site like this one, or even the efficient use of this type of site to achieve that. There are other vehicles for that.
     
  45. Ashley:
    Thank you for your eloquent analysis of this topic. I couldn't have said it better....
    Freedom of expression is a two sided sword. Anyone can give an opinion, but what is it based on? A true working knowledge, or just freedom of speech. I can appreciate a critique by someone like Stephen (among others), who have a proven working knowledge of photography, but find it difficult to take a frequent posting snapshooter seriously....
    The one thing I have learned from this site as well as others is: "Critics hate to be criticized".
     
  46. I know several frequent posters that have a lot of really good photos here, or elsewhere. And better: they have knowledge to share, and are willing to do so. They try to make something out of photo.net. Instead now, I find "non-vocal" people just claiming many of us (active and "vocal") are only so-so photographers with little to show (*), complaining about the level of photo.net on a whole. Seriously? Where is your contribution? Or should I assume you're a great photographer because you post so little in the forums or critiques? Again: seriously?
    Photo.net is a community. We are all together creating its content, its quality (or lack thereof), and creating its future. if you think it's not good enough, then get active and try to do something about it. Share your knowledge, give constructive critisism to those mediocre photographers. Educate. Build. Insulting those who do actively participate, however, is not really a constructive move, I'd say.
    __________
    I can appreciate a critique by someone like Stephen (among others), who have a proven working knowledge of photography, but find it difficult to take a frequent posting snapshooter seriously....​
    I am really happy with any thoughtful critique. Of course, the critique itself must have merit. But it's not about the photographics skills of the person who wrote the critique. It's about the photo itself. An unskilled photographer can bring much more interesting insights that the more experienced photographer might just overlook out of habit.
    _________
    (*) I really don't mind if people tell me I am a mediocre photographer. But don't tell me because I actively participate in (some) forums. Tell me in a decent critique on a photo you dislike.
     
  47. a haven for wafflers.​
    An interesting characterization.
     
  48. Wouter:
    Are you just trying to be argumentative. Stephen Penland (among others) are frequent posters.....I got it all wrong. I should embrace every comment on Photo.net as a community effort. Seriously!
    And if I were a great photographer, what difference would it make to you? Great is a relative term, however, I am an accomplished photographer, and I do contribute when I can, or if I have something to say that hasn't already been said, but who really likes all the banter, or taking things out of context. I stated, "I appreciate a critique by, and find it difficult to take certain people serious". So it's arrogance on my part on whom I choose to listen to? Really, is this an America, love it or leave it moment.
     
  49. A couple people mentioned interest in seeing the data without outliers. Here is the chart again with different axis scales and with a new curve fit to better approximate the data without outliers.
    00aSwf-471879584.jpg
     
  50. Have you eliminated all the people with zero postings or zero images? If not, then you still have a problem with your model, IMHO.
    Consider an analogy: Shooting guns vs. shooting cameras. I shoot cameras a lot. I don't shoot guns. It's not that there's any sort of time/interest tradeoff between the two. I wouldn't shoot guns even if I had no cameras to shoot. It's simply not what I do. If you want to model some tradeoff between activities, all of your subjects have to engage in both activities for your model to be valid.
     
  51. Hey I found me!
    00aSws-471881584.jpg
     
  52. Wouter, I apreciate your comments. I think it boils down to something like sincerity and rationality (intelligence) in posting, whether text or photos, and the desire for effective communication that will move things along and hopefully upward, as much as possessing a particular photographic competence or prior photographic "baggage". And the best antidote to upmanship or snobbism that I have seen in recent times is a tendency in more recent poster biographies to drop previous mention of previous accolades, prizes, PhD titles, extolling prior successes in the world, and the like, and the willingness (freedom) to engage with others in a simpler and more profound communication, based just on the facts or perceptions at hand.
     
  53. Phil, I am not trying to be argumentative at all. I am just strongly disagreeing with remarks like:
    I've also noticed that the people who cause the most arguments on forums contribute practically nothing (if anything at all) in the way of images.​
    This is just an opinion based on no solid evidence whatsoever. I was being sarcastic about being great (which means something different for most anyway) when you do not post a lot in forums - just a simple reversal of the above quote. My only point is that assuming a correlation between online behaviour here and the quality of photos is just an assumption, and no more. And to express that assumption to those who do post frequently (including somebody like Stephen, who shares knowledge willingly, and has great photos to show too) can be considered offensive.
    Otherwise, I only try to encourage people to make photo.net as good a place as it can be. I like several forums here, and enjoy participating in them. But I do know that it is all community work, and it's only as good as we ourselves are willing to make it.
    As for the critiques, we differ in opinion there. I'm just not willing to dismiss an insightful critique because the writer is even worse than me at taking photos. No biggie.
    Arthur, thanks :)
     
  54. "they're sitting at their computers hitting F5 right now"​
    You're thinking of 4chan and reddit. Photo.net isn't that busy.
     
  55. There was a spirited debate recently on several threads about what I called "the right to post", a "right" which was challenged by a few individuals if you didn't have photos on P.Net, and/or a website showing that you were a real photographer. Josh quite rightly shut us down in one of the threads where we got carried away with personal stuff (me included - mea culpa) but it raised some points similar to what I'm hearing here, about whether all contributors are viewed in the same way, by everyone. I think it is safe to say that here, as in most pursuits there are people who are more experienced, more gifted and more confident. And there are the rest of us who are still learning. It was actually a very tough thing to do a few years ago to post a couple of photos on this site, as I knew that they would be seen by many of you who have been at this longer, and quite frankly are better at it than I am. But partly because of this site my photography has grown as has my confidence, dramatically I think. I keep my posted photos in a separate directory, and at a recent count there are now several hundred with the no-words forum, Canon photo of the week, and some used in threads. I still haven't put anything into the critique forum, because I'm not sure how well I will react to criticism but its probably time for me to begin that process.
    My opinion is that this site needs to continue to welcome people who are just along for the ride, who may not actively post a lot of photos but like the discussions, ask questions and generally show involvement. We could certainly make a rule about how many photos need to be posted, and that sort of barrier to entry, but I think that we're better to support individuals in this pursuit and recognize that the vast majority of people with cameras are not ever going to have a gallery showing, or even sell a single photograph. They enjoy the hobby and are looking for places to get better. I don't think you get that from Flickr, or 500pics, or their ilk. You get lots of "great shots", or you get ignored. That's marginally helpful at best.
    The nice thing about the internet is that you can have a casual conversation with someone who shares a similar passion and learn from it. I've learned more from some people here then they will know - and I've appreciated them sharing. I think that's what the experienced people here contribute to someone like me, and my role is to see if I can improve my photography and contribute back to others who are at the same place I was a few short years ago. And that has only a bit to do with how many photos I've got on the P.Net servers.
     
  56. Like most things in life folks have different agenda's. Some folks want to share photos and other just want to discuss the shopping aspect of photography and it seems the largest discussions usually are political in nature and nothing to do with photography at all.
    Just stay within the guidelines of the forum and your good. If somebody does not like it then that's their problem.
     
  57. "I've appreciated them sharing."
     
    Anyone can talk a story and there are plenty on PN who are very capable. Howerver, they usually have not a single photo to show....but, they love to tell you how clever they are and spin a yarn better than any Old Sailor. With same name dropping, a few clever words... .they are creating Masterpieces of Photography for the easily led.
    Anyone can write anything on the internet.
    Look at their photos they really tell the story.
     
  58. On the internet, nobody knows you're not a dog.
     
  59. stp

    stp

    FWIW, an individual on photo.net who contributes frequently to discussions, whose opinions are based on years of experience in the photographic industry, whose comments I find to be articulate and well expressed even if I disagree with them, and who has perhaps been the PN member having the single greatest influence on my evolving view of photography (although that person doesn't know it), does not have a single photograph in a PN portfolio. I often wish I could see his work, but his words and ideas have been a very important part of my experience on this site. A number of others have also been extremely important to me, and they all have posted photographs. However, it's their words, not their pictures, that are most valuable to me.
     
  60. As with most things, context matters. Whether or not someone has a portfolio matters to me in some contexts and doesn't matter to me in others.
    Like Stephen, I know a couple of people on Photo.net who have been great teachers and who often stimulate me with their thoughts about photos and photography, with no photos posted. When I want to look at photos, I look. When I want to talk about photos, I listen and may or may not need to look at examples.
    There have been occasions when a photographer makes claims about his work directly and, if I can't see his photos, I take those claims with a grain of salt. But many discussions involve more generic thoughts about photographs, the history of photography, approaches to making photographs, etc., and then it's often the words and ideas that I pay attention to.
    On some technical issues, it might matter. If someone were claiming a certain method as the best way to approach black and white conversions, I'd want to assess their ideas by looking at examples. Only when I know what they consider to look good will I know how much weight to give their technical advice.
    As to critique, very few movie critics have made movies and very few literary critics are great authors. Different skill set. Some interesting critiques I've read have been from Newbies who may, at times, ask some very innocent but significant questions. And I've read some critiques by some who I don't consider very good photographers who have made some incredibly keen observations regarding others' work.
     
  61. "And I've read some critiques by some who I don't consider very good photographers who have made some incredibly keen observations regarding others' work."
    Along those lines, I don't think anyone of us are required to be culinary experts in order to critique a meal; if something tastes too salty, we'll say it's too salty and needs less salt.
     
  62. Look at their photos they really tell the story.​
    A very narrow story.
    I constantly see (well beyond just photo.net) people with awesome and inspiring photos who poorly articulate photography concepts to others and those with mediocre images who present highly cogent and useful explanations. This phenomenon occurs in so many other walks of life. The ability to produce desirable results does not always mean like ability to teach or communicate. Yet, average producers, can be of great assistance.

    The only reliable story arising from seeing images, is that the photographer is able to make those particular images. Determining their ability to articulate anything involves completely different observations.
     
  63. long those lines, I don't think anyone of us are required to be culinary experts in order to critique a meal; if something tastes too salty, we'll say it's too salty and needs less salt.​
    I like the analogy although the claims that seeing the images of a critique is necessary to judge the credibility of the critique don't require that the photographer even need be an expert. Merely that the images meet approval. That no one seems to ever demand to see the images of those providing more glowing critiques, tells us much as well.

    Namely that ego and perceived pecking orders are often more valued than the actual substance of the critique.
     
  64. "Namely that ego and perceived pecking orders are often more valued than the actual substance of the critique."
    That's true, John, but quite understandable when it's human nature to seek a balance of power - the recipient of a critique mustn't be made to feel belittled or they'll naturally want to assert themselves.
     
  65. I find people who post pictures here or provide a link to their photos elsewhere add or detract from their photographic recommendations. I like to be shown the goods. Why would I take their methods and suggestions at face value? "Show me the money!"
     
  66. <<<I like to be shown the goods. Why would I take their methods and suggestions at face value?>>>
    Because sometimes the value is in the idea or the explanation itself.
    If someone recommends a great online store, I wouldn't care what their portfolio looked like (at least in terms of their recommendation), I would check out the store and judge their advice on the prices and maybe on other user recommendations.
    If someone articulately explained the difference between Pictorialist and Post-Modern photos, I wouldn't care what their portfolio looked like (though it might make me curious to see their pictures), I'd get something out of their ideas. If I were skeptical about their claims, I wouldn't look at their photos. I'd check other sources about different periods of photography.
    If someone recommended a good and concise method of calibrating a monitor, I'd try it out and see if it worked. I wouldn't really care what their photos were of.
    Sometimes the only relevant "goods" are the ideas themselves.
     
  67. Fred: I was referring to mainly to photographic techniques. Such as: If someone tells me how they scan their film or how they sharpen their photos, I'd like to see examples of the results. Also, regarding aesthetics, my eye is different than others. Not better, but different. Their explanations of taking "good" pictures might not satisfy my aesthetics. A "picture" is worth a thousand words so to speak
    I agree with your examples when it isn't necessary. Another time where I don't need to see the poster's pictures is in the critique section when they comment on other pictures. You can see they know what they're talking about because someone else's picture is available.
    .
     
  68. For me, I put my pictures up on Flickr because that is what I have been using for years - I have over 6000 up on it, but hardly any here on photo.net. Just what I do.
     
  69. "I was referring to mainly to photographic techniques."​
    That's a valid point. And some folks do put in a lot of time and effort to provide photos to illustrate their techniques and advice. It still won't satisfy some curmudgeons.
     
  70. I appreciate the time that the OP has invested in his analysis, but I wonder about the validity of his basic assumptions.
    I host my photos elsewhere, and I'm happy with that site's service. I don't have a gallery on this website. I realize that I have the option to upload photos here, but it would require more time to manage yet another online portfolio.
    Occasionally, I'll upload an occasional image to a discussion in order to illustrate a point. I thank photo.net for permitting me to do this as a non-subscribing member.
    I use this site for information interchange. I've learned a great deal here over the years, and I'm grateful for the service and the entire experience. I try to "pay it forward" by answering people's questions on a regular basis and by doing so as honestly and accurately as I can.
    I don't feel the need to upload a portfolio of images to photo.net when I already maintain a homepage and a couple of blogs. I have no interest in asking for. Should that change, photo.net would be my first choice due to the high quality level of people who post here consistently.
    The status quo is working fine for me right now. There's no need to jump ship and upload everything to a new site that I would have to spent time learning.
     
  71. In my experience there's a core of posters with 10,000+ posts - they're sitting at their computers hitting F5 right now - who either have two boring photographs in their portfolio, or thousands of boring photographs uploaded over several years.​
    I've been a member here for some years, and I have no idea what the F5 key does.
    Maybe it creates a powerful F5 tornado. At this point, I'm afraid to even try it for fear that it will erase my hard drives.
    ;-)
    It's fascinating to learn that some folks can be angered by a function key.
    It's ironic to discover that thusly bothered people can be intimately familiar with the offending key's effect and purpose.
    And it's most revealing when someone attaches a flat, dull portrait to a post that rails against "boring" photography.
    ?
    If the quoted post were meant to be satire, then it did indeed turn out to be a most a brilliant ruse. Good show!
    However, if these sentiments were meant to be taken in earnest, I believe that they've missed their mark. Sorry, but perhaps you might want to give it another go.
     
  72. And reading a bit further through the discussion, I discovered that the OP hosts his photos elsewhere as I and many others do.
    I'll have to take the OP's word for it that he was not trying to draw some condescending conclusion with this thread. (e.g. "Those who can, do. Those who can't discuss it online.")
    How sad it is, then that a number of other folks have since jumped in and seized the opportunity to make bitterly judgmental remarks and sweeping generalizations. Those who would draw a sketchy correlation between posting and artistic ineptitude should, in my opinion, rethink that position carefully.
     

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