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Author Topic: Mourning the loss of a great forum...  (Read 133122 times)
Sheldon N
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« on: March 17, 2006, 11:59:43 PM »
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Okay, I know this is off topic rambling, but I really wanted to get this off my chest and this seemed the best place to do it...

I've been a long time avid reader of the Rob Galbraith forums, and found them to be quite informative and entertaining. In particular, the Medium Format Digital forum was IMHO the absolute best forum on the internet, a congregating place for top pro photographers discussing real issues about their art, their gear, and their work.

The two photographers who were among the most prolific posters were Mark Tucker and James Russell. Both are phenomenal photographers, and were always helpful, as well as extremely entertaining. I consider them to be the life blood of that particular forum, since they set the lighthearted tone, and could always speak with authority. Anyhow, as the result of a thread that got off topic, they appear to have both been banned from the forums, along with several others.

This is not meant to critize Rob or Mike, who run a tight ship, but it sure is sad to see them go without a note or explanation. Any posts which appear to have touched on the topic have been censored.

I just wanted to say how bummed I am to have lost my favorite forum, and what was at times easily the best photography related reading on the net.

Moderators feel free to delete this if you like...
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Sfleming
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2006, 01:36:45 AM »
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I agree.  I'd go off on a rant here about the utter ridiculousness of such dictatorial hard-line tactics but even this sentence is enough to get me banned over there.  I'm an observant Christian and if anybody might have been offended by the joking that caused the banning and crackdown over there it's me.  However I was not.  If the godless want to make jokes about religion ... let them.  I figure it's worth putting up with some foolishness to get such good input as Tucker and Russel provide.  Galbraith has put his own pectoralis major in the wringer.
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Ray
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2006, 06:32:04 AM »
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I've just been looking at a 20 page thread in the MF section of Rob Galbraith's sforum entitled, "Ultimate Image Quality" inspired by Michael's new Linhof/P39/Rodenstock system.

The thread ends with 4 posts deleted by Rob Galbraith. I've no idea what for. But I have to say this thread did not seem to be getting anywhere. My first impression was, 'here's a thousand words with no picture'. In fact there are a couple of links to small jpeg compressed images, showing off the artistic skills of the photographer, but really nothing to do with the subject of the thread.

I have to say it was a rather tedious read which didn't enlighten me much at all on image quality, by which was meant, I assumed, technical image quality.

I'm sure there are many of us who would really like to know what sort of increased quality a system that costs as much as a luxury automobile can deliver.

This thread would have disappointed all such people, I feel.
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JJP
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2006, 07:29:40 AM »
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Hopefully, I'm not off topic.
The language really can get out of control quickly.  I've seen it,...as you've all... without a doubt.  It amazes me how something we all love to do  ie..photography...can bring out the worst of verbal assaults.  And so, how can you not respect somebody who runs a tight shift?....more power to Mr Galbraith.

However, after having read all 20 or so replies, I think I'll sit on the fence for this one. (edited March 20th, 06)  
jj
« Last Edit: March 20, 2006, 04:51:46 PM by JJP » Logged

JJ
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2006, 08:47:06 AM »
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I got banned from the Galbraith forums a few years ago for telling a guy (who admitted that he went to sporting events where there was already a contracted photographer for the event, shot photos and attempted to sell them behind the backs of the organizers, and was claiming he had an innate "right" to do so) that he was an unprofessional jerk and the kind of person who gives aspiring newcomers a bad name in the event photography business. Rob has the right to run his forums as he sees fit, but IMO the moderation in his forums throws out the baby with the bathwater in many cases.
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Ray
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2006, 05:34:21 PM »
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Quote
I got banned from the Galbraith forums a few years ago for telling a guy ......[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60561\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Would that have been around the time you started posting on LL, Jonathan? Welcome back to the forum   .
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Nigelfrommanchester
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2006, 05:49:45 PM »
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I confess that I was also missing the entertainment on the Galbraith forum. There was good information on digital medium format equipment but even more insight into high-end editorial/ fashion photography. It wasn't a dialogue I was qualified to join, but I did enjoy listening.

I certainly tend to take technology for granted, but of you step back a little the whole concept of a web forum is amazing. A bunch of 'like-minded' individuals take the time to share views and information even though most of them will ever meet in person.

Nigel
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Nigel Atkinson
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2006, 02:11:46 PM »
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I was one of the people who had a post deleted.  I wrote a thoughtful and intelligent response to the thread and my concern about James and Mark leaving the forum.  At the time, I did not know that there was a rule stating that you could not post comments about forum posts or the thread.  Rob and I have written since then and I believe all is well.

Rob runs his site tightly - as is his right.  I mentioned that the MF forum was arguably, the best forum for professional photographers due to its honesty, intelligence and vigor.

Mark and James are friends.  I've known Mark  since the nineties.  They gave of themselves to the community because they believed that what they learned about digital would be helpful to others - plus they learned.  The frank and open discussions were a break from pushing pixels and I will miss the conversations.

I try to be an observant Christian. I was not offended by the WWJS comments.  Yes, they got off thread a bit, but the thread came back around and back on track.

I believe that most of what is read in forum postings and how they are understood - has as much to do with the readers frame of mind, as the writers intentions.
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2006, 08:11:32 PM »
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I think Cam has summed it up perfectly.

I guess all we can say is that Mark & James (and others) will be missed on the Rob Galbraith forums.
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ddolde
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« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2006, 08:43:23 PM »
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Gailbraith and company have lost a few great contributors due to their severe lack of humor and Nazi like posture.  

They don't realize that their forum is sucessful BECAUSE of the interesting people who post there.   Otherwise it's just a blank page.

Who needs Gailbraith anyway?  They ban the people who write something useful and knowledgeable then keep the ones who know little or nothing.   I suggest boycotting his forums.

Or better yet send him an honest email about how you see this then quit.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2006, 09:34:18 PM by ddolde » Logged
James Russell
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2006, 11:08:15 PM »
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Something good was happening in the Medium Format section of the RG forums.

Real professionals that work on large, pressured projects were sharing.

Technique, style, wants, desires, headaches, humor, even fears were openly discussed.

In my career I have never seen anything like it and I can't begin to explain how rare that is.

To me the forums are a nice way to share, but with no disrespect, any forum is just an empty room until people come in and add value.

The true worth of a forum is the participants and opposite of some, I believe these forums really are a social club.  

It fascinating to me that a photographer in Austin,  Paris or Hong Kong goes through a day that almost exactly parallels mine and it was somewhat reassuring to know that my challenges were not unique.

Maybe a social club is not the right word.  Maybe these forums are a 12 step program.

After all most of us work in a very solitary industry where few people go public about anything.

Concerns of clients, competitors, rumors, or even fear that some camera company will get angry  and not give full support are on everyone's mind the moment they chose to hit the send, or delete button.

Once again, that level of honesty was rare and to some extent brave.

I and others can speculate on the reasons for the banned members, but without knowing what was in someone's mind and heart, any discussion of reason would be pure speculation and unfair.

Still, it was nice to start the morning around the water cooler, talk about something we have in common, have a laugh, maybe solve a problem and then get to work.

As far as that single thread that mentioned Jesus, I didn't originate that thought, but  I am positive that no one involved ever meant any disrespect to anyone's spiritual beliefs.

Actually I am still at a loss as to what the issue was because I didn't know that mentioning Jesus in any part of the western world was forbidden,  but then again that really isn't the point of me writing this.

The reason I am writing this is to thank all the people who I have met, shared with and learned from on the RG forums.

What is important is I made a lot of new friends, reacquainted myself with some old friends and enjoyed myself.

Still, the outcome of my leaving that forum really changes nothing.

Prior to the existence of any forum I freely shared in private and will continue to do what I have always done.

For the record I respect RG's right to run their business in any way they see fit.

Personally, I am uncomfortable with any form of censorship, especially partially edited censorship,  but still respect the right of a private enterprise to go their own direction.

Just as I have the right not to participate and go my own way.

I only look at the RG forum with good thoughts.   I made some lasting friends and in the last few days have received hundreds of e-mails from probably a dozen countries from people I previously shared with.

You can't look at that type of result with any negative thought.

Best,

James Russell
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Quentin
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2006, 04:38:13 AM »
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I agree with much of what has been said.   If you allow greater freedom on the forums, you can hardly complain if people use it.

However, instead of going over old ground, I would propose an amnesty, with all cancelled accounts restored.  Otherwise, they will become a sort of knitting circle for people with nothing useful (or controversial) to say.

Quentin
« Last Edit: March 20, 2006, 04:40:55 AM by Quentin » Logged

Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
Ed Jack
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« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2006, 06:48:56 AM »
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Quote
Okay, I know this is off topic rambling, but I really wanted to get this off my chest and this seemed the best place to do it...

I've been a long time avid reader of the Rob Galbraith forums, and found them to be quite informative and entertaining. In particular, the Medium Format Digital forum was IMHO the absolute best forum on the internet, a congregating place for top pro photographers discussing real issues about their art, their gear, and their work.

The two photographers who were among the most prolific posters were Mark Tucker and James Russell. Both are phenomenal photographers, and were always helpful, as well as extremely entertaining. I consider them to be the life blood of that particular forum, since they set the lighthearted tone, and could always speak with authority. Anyhow, as the result of a thread that got off topic, they appear to have both been banned from the forums, along with several others.

This is not meant to critize Rob or Mike, who run a tight ship, but it sure is sad to see them go without a note or explanation. Any posts which appear to have touched on the topic have been censored.

I just wanted to say how bummed I am to have lost my favorite forum, and what was at times easily the best photography related reading on the net.

Moderators feel free to delete this if you like...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60553\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well there is nothing to stop them posting here.... although I know they have made there own plans with regarsd
to a new forum site for the select - without control freaks sensoring them!

I can not disclose this new site as it wouldn't be fair on MR, this site deserves good posting too!

Ed
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Ed Jack
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« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2006, 06:55:29 AM »
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to a new forum site for the select - without control freaks sensoring them!


Ed
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60672\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
[/quote]


I just realised I worte sensoring rather than censoring - must have nbeen a freudian slip!  
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GabiHirit
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« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2006, 07:12:39 AM »
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James ,
         I can't tell you how happy I am to see you on-line again ! I hope Mark and others will show up too ! I feel like I found an  dear  old friend !

         I got banned from the RG forum too . Somebody started a thread about what happen with James and Mark and I dared to contribute with the "courageous" phrase "I don't understand either ..."  That's all I have posted about . Being banned just for that  is strange ! ...  I don't know what RG expected from me and others like me ... to pretend I did not  noticed  , or did not care  that the names of  2 of the most important contributors has been silently deleted and replaced by "Anonymous"?  Or to keep my mouth shut fearing of not being deleted ? (The ridiculous "anonymous" was now substituted  by the more decent  "former member" ).
         I was regularly reading the MF section on RG forum and learned a lot .  Thank you Rob Galbraith for that ! But I absolutely agree that any forum is just an empty page  without its contributors  . And yet the forum is about digital photography , the photographers are not digital , they are just people . People have feelings ,  make mistakes , exaggerate , make inappropriate jokes and so on ... photographers get always more or less emotional  when they talk about their tools . What's important is that they share  experience , learn from each other and don't feel isolated . Photography is a solitary profession . These forums can help .  I hope I will read  your posts here  from now on . This forum is a good place  . I am a regular reader of this site too .
         
       
Gabi Hirit
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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2006, 08:23:04 AM »
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Morning to all in regards to the RG site i have been banned for over 6 months now and it was for other reasons than political , relgious or any but pure censorship on there part. I bought a DMR in August and ran a huge test against the 1dsMKII and posted my results on RG that the DMR is really showing up the 1dsMKII in many ways. Remember there is no leica thread on the board at the time so anyway I was questioned about my testing from a member I replied and maybe a harsh word or two nothing serious mind you but within minutes I was banned and than my posts were not only censored but edited and left on there with my name and account closed. First and formost i don't belive in censorship and editing of my posts is a crime against my rights maybe not legally but ethical it is. The moderators have no right to do this in any fashion either delete the whole post or leave it alone. So i do not wish them well at all sorry for being not forgiving and loving and all that. the problem with financial advertised sites is running the risk of  upsetting the advertisers on that site. In this case canon a huge supporter of RG, in the case of the MF thread it was Phase One, i can still read the threads but not post. The owner and moderator have taken there own stand to protecting there advertisers and resorted to the old fashion way of running there site by fist instead of using there head. If that is the way they want to run there site than have fun , i will not be part of it when i show a valued test to the difference between 2 camera's that BTW is still going on over at FM that is over 700 pages and is the most in depth review of the DMR on the globe than the lose out on all the folks that have given to that thread. To Mark and James some very good friends of mine , i do feel sorry that they were treated in such a way but given the moderation let's just say i am not surprised on what happened.  Lastly i have no ill will towards anyone but will not partcipate in censorship at all and will never go back to RG to post.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2006, 08:31:48 AM by Guy Mancuso » Logged

dazzajl
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2006, 10:42:22 AM »
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Just to throw in another 2p's worth (or probably 2 cents to most folks here) from someone who isn't a user of the RG site.

When you use a web forum it's a little like sitting in someones house and having a chat. They will always have the right to ask you to leave, not talk about certain subjects or express certain opinions. This may look like censorship and it may stop people from having a fully open discussion but surely we all know this when we register to post.

When things like this happen and the fallout starts to spill onto other forums it nearly always follows the same pattern. The people involved turn up and say stuff like "Oh well" and "I never meant to cause any bad feelings". Then others turn up and a swell of bad feelings can start to take on a life of it's own. As someone who moderates a forum elsewhere, I know if I was running this site I would be keeping a very close eye on this thread. A forum flame war can easily start from a small spark and ultimately does no-one any good.

It is a shame though when people make friends as part of an online community which then gets fragmented, for whatever reason.
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Sheldon N
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2006, 10:56:28 AM »
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I think it's important to watch that this doesn't become a "I got banned, too" or "Isn't Rob a meanie" thread. It's sad that his site lost a wealth of knowledge and experience, but the real issue isn't about how he chooses to moderate his forum.

This needs to be about working towards having our actions create the type of environment that foster open, honest, and insightful communication. That way, it doesn't matter if the conversation is happening at Rob Galbraith, or FM, or here  - but hopefully not an exclusive forum that so many of us would miss out on!  

Mainly, this thread is about expressing appreciation to James, Mark, and all the others who have been living the above.

It's good to see you here James, stop by anytime!
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Quentin
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2006, 12:31:07 PM »
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Surely the point is this.  The good moderator will step in and prevent any conduct of which he or she does not approve before it becomes a major issue.  The occasional gentle warning will normally do the trick.  That way everyone knows where they stand.

In contrast, what seems to have happened on the Galbraith medium format forum is there was an informal relaxation of the rules, and then without any warning there was a sudden tightening, leading to members banned and a general sense of "what the heck is going on all of a sudden?".  Sorry, but that is just bad moderation, and the moderators must take a major share of the blame.  There ought to be an amnesty and better moderation in the future - although I fear the forums may well have been ruined for many.  

Quentin
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Ed Jack
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2006, 12:49:29 PM »
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Quote
As someone who moderates a forum elsewhere, I know if I was running this site I would be keeping a very close eye on this thread. A forum flame war can easily start from a small spark and ultimately does no-one any good.


[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=60692\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes I think we should all hold are tungues on this matter for the time being... otherwise Michael will have a right old shock when he gets back from the trip he's on at the moment!

He'll probably be faintly embarressed that he's poached all the best photographers from Rob's site without even trying  

Ed
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