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Author Topic: Forum etiquette—keep calm and carry on  (Read 9159 times)
RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #60 on: February 23, 2013, 01:20:52 AM »
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There is a cause to this furor over critique, and it is very simple - me. I'm different, and different here is bad. I write critiques that are longer than a Tweet, and I don't give obeisance to characters because they demand it.  I'll document it here in brief.

Feb. 3 - I began posting to this section of the forum
Feb. 5 - I posted a few photos in a thread called "Love Real Street" started by RSL
Feb. 5 - this is RSL's first response to me on this forum, and his first response to my few posted photos. You could call it my welcome to the forum.
RSL on February 05, 2013, 08:09:46 AM - "Guy, Sorry, but what I see is one high-school type snapshot and two environmental portraits -- no street photography. You need to go to a library or bookstore, pick up a book of Cartier-Bresson's photographs, and study it."

This was my direct response. February 05, 2013, 10:36:18 AM
"Oh my. Thanks for the advice. However, it brings to mind two of the worst dangers in art - emulation and assumption of rules. And I thank you for presenting me the opportunity to say something about them. Emulation is deadly to anyone seeking their truth through art. To grab a forerunner's style, and assume it is a standard by which your own truth must conform, will kill the enterprise before it even begins. Whatever CBs truths were as he snapped his shutter are not my truths. His life is not my life. If art is life, how can I adopt his? This is not to deny in any way the appreciation of his life, no not at all. But it is to say that his is his, and mine is different. Necessarily then, my art wouldn't be his either. This confuses many people. This difference between appreciation and emulation. Never emulate! Always seek the truth within. And yes, CB had a certain way with his photographic truth, didn't he?

As to assumed rules of photography, be ever so careful of that tight box. A rule is a boundary generally claimed by someone who might have run out of ideas and seeks to assemble the world within the limits (rules) of their imagination. This is street photography, that is not! The more exclamatory the lecture, the more one should run. The first thing you learn in the study of art (study being the dictate of the poster) is that art advances in movements by means of rule breaking. A box becomes too stale for further exploration because of the existing rules, and then POW! someone breaks them, and all chaos breaks out.  Rules are tools for learning, but not intended to bound one's own expressions and truths, lest the whole world of photography suddenly look like there was but one photographer!

Photography is by far the most difficult art form of them all, precisely because it is the most open-ended of them all. (Painters can only dream of what can be done with a camera.) But what makes photography ever the more difficult is falling into the trap of emulating others who have had notoriety. How many tedious attempts have we all seen of the photographer trying to emulate Ansel Adams, instead of seeking their own truth?

The thread title was "Love Real Street." And the obvious implication is that, "real" is a state of one's own truth in their photographs out on the street, not a universal dogmatic truth passed on by some High Priest of Street Photography. If you want to join a religion that's fine with me, but I choose to search out my own universals through photography, and they are not found at the local library or bookstore under "Cartier-Bresson.""

And from that moment on, RSL and his courtiers began a crusade that is now 2 weeks old. The in -between stuff is boring snipes, insults, and hectoring, which eventually centered on the length of my comments made  primarily to other people's photographs. The one notable exception was 500 words I wrote about a photograph from Slobodan.

But back to the beginning. It was RSL's standard dismiss and control routine (I learned he has a long history of this behavior). It's the sort of strategy used by rude talk radio hosts. Except this isn't talk radio and the host can't cut off your mic. I responded in the way I would to any pompous and arrogant dismissal. I am not in the least bit intimidated by such nonsense as 'go read the books.'  

Everyone of this small group (the coterie) attempted different kinds of attacks (on his behalf) having nothing to do with photography, art, or the content of my critiques. There were claims I was a sock puppet for another unpopular member. There were claims I was an idiot. There were claims that I was ruining the club. There were claims I was running a con game on what the amolitor described as the "dim rubes" here. There were claims, like Slobodan's current character assault, that I am somehow in a conspiracy with Roger. There were countless out and out insults hurled left and right. One guy even attempted to lecture me on Noam Chomsky's linguistics. In spite of the many number of thank-yous both publicly and privately, I was told that no one wanted to hear what I had to say about their photos. And on it went. And on it goes to this day.

The threads which best summarize this constant hectoring are here:
1. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75225.0
2. http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75317.0

I understand how Internet fiefdoms work, how private clubs develop in public forums, and I understand all the Internet archetypes and their assigned roles. So, none of this is new or unexpected or shocking. The hierarchy of roles are being played out just as it normally happens. If people want to jump into big arguments with me, have at it. I'll have no trouble keeping up my end. But I owe no person here any deference for reason of their simple demand, or their age, or their length of time here, and certainly not by their photographs. My style of critique is my own, and so is my photography. My idea of worthy art is very likely not yours. Get over it, and be thankful that not everyone is out trying to duplicate what was done 75 years ago. A critique is a single point of opinion. If you want more points than mine, nothing is stopping you from making as many as you want, on any photograph you want. We all have a mouse and a keyboard, right?

I actually don't expect people on the Internet to be polite. That idea was toast from the moment the first listserve was launched. It's fruitless to make pleas for polite behavior, or really even adult behavior. I've yet to see it on an Internet forum. What is realistic to ask for is common sense individuality and tolerance. It really is ok for people to be different from each other, and express different ideas. It really is ok for people to have their own photographic ideas. It is not painful. It doesn't cause cancer, and you have all the tools you need to ignore it if it is offending you.

EDIT: Just after finishing this post, I look and see that Slobodan is now using cyberstalking to attempt to intimidate Roger, and I presume that I am next since he as concocted a conspiracy theory connecting us. REF: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75336.20

This feud has just taken a huge leap into illegal activity. Cyberstalking is against the law in all 50 US states, and I would assume many other countries too. Roger already offered that he did not want to give out his name, and in spite of that reasonable request, Slobodan proudly searched it out and issued the not very veiled threat that "anything was a few clicks away." I take that as a threat directly to me.

People have sensible reasons to protect their personal identity from online stalkers. Lives can be ruined, finances destroyed, and even personal safety becomes contested. It's an absurdity that a forum about photography can devolve to criminal activity because of temper tantrums. If I wasn't sure about staying private before, I certainly am now after seeing this. I have no clue now what the limits are on this forum. What's next? What's the limit to harassment?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 03:02:10 AM by RedwoodGuy » Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #61 on: February 23, 2013, 02:29:03 AM »
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I am trying to get the business of this forum away from personalities...

Please don't!

No, let me rephrase it:

HELL, NO!!!

Personalities on this forum are exactly what makes me coming back day after day and "wasting" a good part of my day on debates with them. There are sites with better photography (sorry!), there are sites with better forum software, etc., but there are no sites (for me) with a better opportunity to engage in a debate with REAL people, people with real names, people with life achievements, inside and outside photography, people with all the traits that make us human, including quirks and weaknesses.

I spent 40 years on photography, although it is not my profession. I love it, I enjoy doing it, reading about it, debating it. But the moment it becomes a dry debate about "principles of photography" only, without the personalities that go with it, without the humor and characters, without all walks of life, without all moods, all debate meandering, sidetracking, quirky stream of consciousness, political and cultural jabs.. is the moment I would leave this forum.
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kikashi
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« Reply #62 on: February 23, 2013, 03:31:34 AM »
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Damn right, Slobodan. It's my reason for coming here as well. I'm tired of conformity, of ever-present injunctions not to offend.

On the other hand, let RG blather on. It makes him happy and I can skip his ramblings easily enough. Many people have an imbalance between what they have to say and the time they take to say it: his is just rather more marked than most (although he seems to have acquired a remarkable paranoia lately, which might liven things up a bit). The rest of us can continue as if he weren't here.

Jeremy
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 03:33:40 AM by kikashi » Logged
stamper
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« Reply #63 on: February 23, 2013, 03:33:36 AM »
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Quote dmerger # Reply 44

Also, if you think someone’s comments are verbose and full of fluff, then don’t read them.  

unquote

The problem with that statement is that if you skip over someone's post and later in the thread you make a reply then you will inevitably be asked .....did you read all of the posts? Damned if you do and damned if you don't?  



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kikashi
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« Reply #64 on: February 23, 2013, 03:35:35 AM »
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The problem with that statement is that if you skip over someone's post and later in the thread you make a reply then you will inevitably be asked .....did you read all of the posts? Damned if you do and damned if you don't?  

Relax, stamper. There'll be no disgrace in confessing that you've skipped one of that chap's (or that you nodded off in the middle).

Jeremy
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stamper
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« Reply #65 on: February 23, 2013, 03:41:35 AM »
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It seems to me that Roger wants to be the choir master or even a moderator as to what makes good critique. He and RG still don't get it. There is a way of expressing yourself in a concise manner that can state what they mean and like without filling a page. I for one tend to skip over what starts as an overlong post and skip to the next one. It usually starts when I see the name of the person. I would rather not do this as there is usually something to pick out among the plethora of words.
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Rob C
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« Reply #66 on: February 23, 2013, 03:50:20 AM »
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I think hacks get paid by the word.

Even an artiste manqué has illusions...

Rob C
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #67 on: February 23, 2013, 04:14:03 AM »
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I, initially, thought we should try to categorise the poster or their images in some way to avoid mismatched critiques. But now, I think we should avoid categorisation entirely. All we need to do is to follow an etiquette that says that, if you get a critique which you do not like for any reason, you ask politely for clarification or you just give thanks and move on.

After all, why would you ever want to be rude to someone who has spent time and gone to some effort to give their thoughts on your work?
I agree with you.

I received lots of less than polite comments because I dared to critic a poor shot with the only goal to let the photographer think over the choices she or he made when taking that shot and deciding whether to post on LuLa or not.

Some people just can't discern their work from their own identity: your shot is wrong == you're wrong.
Most of the time those are the ones who think they're talented while they're just the ones with the bigger camera in their family.
The following response is almost hard-coded: "Then show me your shots!!" (…so that I can ruin your day no matter how good or bad are them).
I feel sincere pity for those people.

I learned to just put those nicks into the ignore list, so that I won't have the temptation in the future to waste time trying to help them.
So yes, keep calm and carry on Smiley
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RSL
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« Reply #68 on: February 23, 2013, 04:53:03 AM »
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I have no clue what you mean.

I guess I'm not surprised. Try reading it again.
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #69 on: February 23, 2013, 07:30:42 AM »
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I don't need your pity, Mac_Paolo. Veil your response howsomever you wish..I think you said, a "hard coded" response; unsubstantiated claims to greatness only tell me you are all know and no show. Until otherwise proven to me that your critique has something behind it other than personal opinion, I will continue my growth via those who continue to teach, ignore those who rant incessantly with just as little substance as yourself, and move on with my life.

As to the rest of this dialogue, I am learning as much about critique from the exchange as I would in any book. In other, less flattering ways, this is much better than cable TV. But, damn, like Slobodan stated so eloquently when suggested personalities be removed...oh "Hell No."

+1 for that comment.
Great compositional skills were employed in developing your sentence structure, omiting undue verbosity and using proper adjectives constructively, not philosophically.
You might try to use the bottom space more effectively with more emphasis, perhaps less at the top to further emhasise the original point of your comment.

Any more comment than this, I pretty much move on. Not because I don't want to hear what you have to say, far more because I like brevity and opinion photographically based, less personality, ego or emotionally driven. Cut to the chase.
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #70 on: February 23, 2013, 08:25:04 AM »
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There is a cause to this furor over critique, and it is very simple - me. I'm different, and different here is bad. ...
......
.......
..........
No.
That isn't true.

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Mjollnir
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« Reply #71 on: February 23, 2013, 09:16:21 AM »
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EDIT: Just after finishing this post, I look and see that Slobodan is now using cyberstalking to attempt to intimidate Roger, and I presume that I am next since he as concocted a conspiracy theory connecting us. REF: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75336.20

This feud has just taken a huge leap into illegal activity. Cyberstalking is against the law in all 50 US states, and I would assume many other countries too. Roger already offered that he did not want to give out his name, and in spite of that reasonable request, Slobodan proudly searched it out and issued the not very veiled threat that "anything was a few clicks away." I take that as a threat directly to me.

People have sensible reasons to protect their personal identity from online stalkers. Lives can be ruined, finances destroyed, and even personal safety becomes contested. It's an absurdity that a forum about photography can devolve to criminal activity because of temper tantrums. If I wasn't sure about staying private before, I certainly am now after seeing this. I have no clue now what the limits are on this forum. What's next? What's the limit to harassment?

Again with the delusional nonsense?  What Slobodan did is not cyberstalking.

There is no criminal activity here.  There have been no threats made.

Get over yourself.
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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #72 on: February 23, 2013, 09:22:20 AM »
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Again with the delusional nonsense?  What Slobodan did is not cyberstalking.

There is no criminal activity here.  There have been no threats made.

Get over yourself.
Are you speaking here for the forum management?
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Rob C
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« Reply #73 on: February 23, 2013, 09:24:55 AM »
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Michael, do you believe in passport control?

Some European countries have played around with abolishing it with disastrous results: all manner of madness crosses the borders!

;-)

Rob C
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #74 on: February 23, 2013, 09:38:24 AM »
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For the record, Roger's full name has been revealed in his own posts, by himself, for quite some time. One has only to check "Show the last posts for this person," a button provided by the forum software.
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Mjollnir
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« Reply #75 on: February 23, 2013, 09:43:03 AM »
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Are you speaking here for the forum management?

No, I'm speaking as someone who lives in reality.
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tom b
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« Reply #76 on: February 23, 2013, 09:53:10 AM »
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RG = troll

Cheers,
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #77 on: February 23, 2013, 10:01:12 AM »
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From Wikipedia:

Quote
In 1999, Pathe, Mullen and Purcell wrote that popular interest in stalking was promoting false claims.[24] In 2004, Sheridan and Blaauw said that they estimated that 11.5% of claims in a sample of 357 reported claims of stalking were false.[25]

According to Sheridan and Blaauw, 70% of false stalking reports were made by people suffering from delusions.[25][26] Another study estimated the proportion of false reports that were due to delusions as 64%.[27]
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Slobodan

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RedwoodGuy
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« Reply #78 on: February 23, 2013, 10:16:08 AM »
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From Wikipedia:

Wikipedia no less! Impressive research Bloggo. But, that still leaves 30% who actually do know what constitutes a threat, doesn't it?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #79 on: February 23, 2013, 10:21:53 AM »
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Wikipedia no less! Impressive research Bloggo. But, that still leaves 30% who actually do know what constitutes a threat, doesn't it?

Right, Woody... a "threat" coming from someone with a full public profile toward anonymous someone? Are you sure you got that right? It usually works the other way around, you know.

Oh, one more thing. If you would know how to read statistics right, you would realize you just admitted you would still belong to the 30% of those who falsely claim stalking, just for reasons other than delusion.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2013, 10:39:15 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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