Rules in NW forum

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by Supriyo, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. I composed this response for the 'Gearification of NW' thread, but it was closed down before I could post (LOL!). I thought a lot whether to post this, and at the end I felt it is important to let it out in public for everyone to decide for themselves. So here it is.

    I think, there are two vital questions here,
    1. Whether the two threads violated existing rule.
    2. Whether such threads have any place in the NW forum.

    Answer to 1 is simple. The rules are posted for everyone to see, and Walt made it clear at the end. 2 is where people seem to differ in opinion. First of all, there is a question of what I personally like or dislike, then there's the question, whether my likings should be imposed as a general rule. I think, all fair minded people can separate between the two. I dislike gear bragging, superiority of this brand over that brand, film vs digital. Most importantly, there are separate forums dedicated to such discussions and there's no dearth of examples there. I myself contribute to some film only thread regularly, because in my opinion, film has a special personality based on color tone, sharpness and grain structure that sometimes resonate with me, perhaps combined with information bias to some extent. The personality of film may qualify as style if that personality is cleverly exploited in the results, but in practice, film is often overrated and film proponents cite reasons that I don't always understand. In contrast, I find no distinction in the results obtained from say a Leica vs a Nikon, so those distinctions are not at all important to me, except for historical or cultural reasons. In summary, I tried to establish why film may qualify as a style that will be reflected in the outcome if properly executed, but also that in practice, film photos are sometimes presented not for their style, but for other reasons like nostalgia or simply the fear of change and un-adaptability. Such presentation makes little difference in the results and is of course different than the distinction between say, a waterfall vs an old car.

    Although I value the merits of film, I still think restricting a thread on street photos to 'film only' is perhaps too restrictive, just considering the utility of such a thread. The question is, whether there should be rules in place to prevent such threads. In human society, laws and rules serve both ideological and practical purposes. A rule that is enacted on ideological grounds to prevent exclusion (e.g. right of LGBT people to marry) also has it's practical reasons, because it can serve to uplift the lives of whole communities. In the internet world, some basic rules are always necessary to prevent disruption, for example, the rule of no words. Otherwise, it would interfere with our ability to enjoy the photos. Other than that, most rules are ideological because the OP doesn't have the ability to actually exclude anybody from posting in a thread (unlike situations in real life). It is possible, that if the existing rules are abolished, we might see a lot of threads in the NW forum that restrict posts to certain gears and I may find that irritating. But, here is the thing. A little bit of chaos is good for what we do. I would prefer to see the members themselves setting the tone of their contributions, than administrators arbitrating over where they can go. If someone starts a thread imposing restrictions that I find nonsensical, I can disobey by posting photos in that thread that violate that restriction, as a form of expression. For this to happen, both have to be allowed. There will be a conflict, a chaos, fought with photos than words (which is much more civil) and in the end, one group will prevail over the other, or both will prevail, waits to be seen. But if there are strict rules in place, we will never know what we actually want, by challenging those preferences against one another. I agree with Fred, that going along with what the members want is the proper way forward, since it leaves open the possibility of dissent on multiple fronts.

    I tried to compose my (half-baked) thoughts. Those who dislike long posts, please don't read. :)
    DavidTriplett and michaellinder like this.
  2. I'm not sure about the original intent of OP, but request to reveal the ger that was used could prevent that discourse.
  3. Hmmm... my mistake. I thought, apes are naturally attracted to smileys and that’s what they will read first. Good to know, for future posts.

    Here, by group I meant a set of people that holds a common opinion, by coincidence. I never meant that individuals in the group should influence each other’s opinion and lead to a consensus that undermines individuality. In fact, my idea was exactly the opposite of that, for people to take decisions (post photos as they wish) independent of others or any rules (which may happen less in a verbal discussion), and that would lead to a general pattern and set a future direction. Nobody is ‘setting up’ any group against one another, as much as passive conflicts are inevitable if people with opposing ideas gather in a common forum.

    I think, this could be an acceptable middle ground for people who are for and against threads restricting film/gear. When I post a photo, I mention the specs if film was used, and remain silent if it was digital.

    Thanks for bringing the analogy between army and photo/art forum. I agree, while strict rules may be necessary for army discipline, the same may not apply here, to what we do. I don’t mind guidelines that are posted at the beginning of many forums, to give an idea about the general direction of the forum.

    In this context, I wanted to mention that from time to time, we face some “issues” in the abstracts forum, where people post non-abstract photos that conform to the thread title, without noticing that they are in the abstracts forum. Their photos are never deleted (some are good by themselves), but they may be asked why they think their photos qualify as abstract. I think, it’s a great way for people to understand what is meant by abstract without enforcing any rule by the baton, because ultimately, in those threads, abstract photos outnumber the non-abstracts. Most non-abstract photos are posted accidentally, but sometimes a poster may genuinely post something meant as abstract, when others think differently. There may be a justification for considering that photo as abstract, but if it was deleted by a moderator based on his personal standard, we would never know.
    michaellinder likes this.
  4. Dual at high noon? LINK
  5. Actually no, I’d never waste a bullet on a corpse.

  6. Anything BW just has a nice atmosphere.
    michaellinder likes this.
  7. "Dual" at high noon would be two guys standing in the sun?

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