TE is loosing members
Hello to all participating on this thread.
Undoubtebly this subject is being discussed since some years and we are unable to get on a concensus about it.
One of the reasons IMO is the fact that we all are different and have different opinions and approachs towards the theme or the site itself.
I myself had a quid pro quo with the moderators one year ago, more and less, and left the site during this time and now i'm back.
If at the time, I left in complete disagreement with them, now i'm able to see it differently and maybe i also wasn't as reasonable as i could be, although they could have act differently too and didn't. But, this is not the point of discussion here it's just to point out how a difference on point of views, towards the same thing, can interfere on our judgement and acting.
About the participation on the site, I always defended that we must act as we best feel towards it, not being subject to any kind of rules, specially on what is related to comment or not a photo. Why? because Andrew can find a photo horrible and I can find something on it that makes it special or the opposite is still valid too. So why should I have to comment it just because it has no comments?
Another point relates with the so famous "backslap" comments, or, "you make me a critique I'll return you another too".
I don't agree with the principle as simple as that, but if we see it like this: one member which I know or not write me down a critique/comment and by curiosity I went to his gallery, to check his work, and I find there one, two, three photos I find interesting and leave the critiques/comments.
Is this backslapping too? Am I trying to get me some points with this? Or did I simply find out some interesting photographic work and took my time to leave my feelings towards it?
I saw also here that the fact of making a point about the fabulous light, or composition is not a "correct way" of making a critique, because we are saying it just to get attention for ourselves.
There are 2 points here which I find important:
1- not all the members have the skills in terms of language to develop a critique in another sense than this one, and, maybe, they use the ones they can on the photos they find interesting.
2- photography as all the forms of art can be seen from different points of view, what I like in general terms can be something that others hate; as an example I will ALWAYS leave a remark if I find the light on a photo is special, even if it is obvious, but it's my way of seing it, and from MY point of view light is essencial on photography so why shouldn't I leave a remark?
After saying this, I do think also that as we are able to check the good points on a photo and write them down, we should and MUST be honnest with the same persons and point out what could be better, or even different, even if it's just a matter of personal taste. Honnesty should be present on the critiques we write down and the receiver should be ready to accept it as a form of making him/her improve. Are all the persons ready to accept it?
About the "orphan of critiques" photos, this is another question and for me the most difficult to get the concensus. Why? because there are so many different kinds of photos uncritiqued that it's very hard to point out a reason, i'll try only some of them:
- bad luck of the uploader with the hour he/she uploaded the photo and then the photo got lost in the middle of some hundreds posted that day
- the poster only uploads but doesn't make any kind of critiques to other members (golden principle even if not written on TOS, you want to get critiques, make yourself known by participating too)
- photos in B&W are not the most commented on TE excepting some very few and out of this world photos [maybe the thumbnails is not attractive enough and we are not curious to the point of opening it to have a good surprise]
- some photos don't have the quality we want to critique it and we simply close it and we don't take the time, or we aren't honnest enough, to say it to the photographer, in order to try that he improves the quality of it.
Only some points but there could be dozens more. Fact is that many of the members doesn't not feel comfortable with this and simply delete their accounts or leave them as abandoned fields....
Solutions IMO is something we don't have, although we can improve something and critique by quality and not by quantity.
Now please don't speak of closed groups that dominates TE, this IMO doesn't exist, what exists is a group of persons that already knows for some years and they interact in between them, with critiques, with meetings, with trips to each others countries, but this is a "closed group" like some MOB thing? it's maybe the most precious treasure that TE has and produced - friendship between its members, interaction and respect for the guy next to you and this is why that interaction happens, but surelly it is not a closed group, everyone is surelly more than welcome.
And this is what we are claiming for, the increase of participation and the increase of membership figures but we achieve it with that kind of interaction.
Leave you with this thought and sincerely hope you didn't fall asleep with such a long text.