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18-04-2010
180 post(s)
My friends, I apologize if I offended anyone in the earlier version of this text. I am not interested in blaming anyone for the obvious trouble this site finds itself in, least of all the generous founders, Simon, Arnaud, etc. But as someone who has tried DAMN HARD to promote some sort of dynamism going in our community, I think we need to face the fact that Holik is barely functioning, and not sustainable as is. Only a stark raving madman would deny that! The real question is "Why?" Let me be as specific as I can: 1. Why did our good friend Luko for example remain aloof from the very start, refusing to reprise his old role as mentor and guru extraordinaire? Why did he not lend us his unmatched erudition and flair to make us a better site? Why indeed did he end up finding even the Post-Holik Trekearth a more congenial place to participate in (as evidenced by many uploads, critiques and forum entries)? I am not blaming him at all - I just want to understand just how we managed to alienate him and fail to engage him (and I include myself in this). 2. Why did outstanding photogs like Maciej and Sohrab end up contributing nothing to this new site, I mean zero, no projects, critiques, forum entries... All they did was sign on and that was that. What an incalculable loss that was. 3. Why have our incomparably gifted ladies (Sasa to name just one) pretty much disappeared from the site? 4. What happened to Kev Ryan who is 100% suited to a site like this one and who always works in the project genre. His intelligence, his wit and profound compassion would have lifted this site higher, but he's out for the count as well. I want to know "Why" because I have taken the time to write to all these people over the years to try and convince them to participate more, and we all know the result. For what it's worth, here's my analysis of why we failed and keep on failing: We tried too much to be like "MAGNUM" in a desperate effort be as different as possible from "TREKEARTH", with all the resulting pretensions, airs, severity and exclusion. And the problem with that thinking is that Adam Silverman had a brilliant vision (let's be honest here), which was at once broad and inclusive. This was and is still reflected in the way that all replies to critiques/comments are visible on the page, like a palimpsest. It is a fact that for all it's quality failings, TE was a highly navigable and friendly site where one could really stretch out and grow. It was also a great university for street and documentary shooters. Sadly the same cannot be said for Holik. A while back I asked over and over for a feature that would allow FREE uploads, even if attached to a common theme. Yes, that was eventually provided but in such a buried, subterranean fashion that it took me ages to realize it was even there. There is almost no transparency to the thing, no "at-a-glance" view of comments on comments, all the stuff that makes a site come alive. And once a theme is declared b"done", it disappears down an even deeper layer. I realize that there may not be a solution to this awful problem of having 99% of our elite membership on strike, but can't we at least try to welcome these people back, to make them feel invited by providing the site with these cafe-like features that foster participation. Hell, maybe we should have kept that wild fella and his sad parrot after all, eh? At least things were a tad livelier then...:eek: edited by Furachan on 21/04/2010
21-04-2010
135 post(s)
Fancis, May I ask what the words "trekearth", "magnum" and and a bunch of members that never bothered to upload have anything to do with the state we're in? This place needs to look into the future. We need to look silck. We need uploads! And above all, we need to lighten up!! If we have a platform that looks brilliant, is easy to navigate and has a variety of photographic subjects we can be successful. I don't mean that we should give up on the "project" based system. This is our strength. Many photographers work this way. The problem is acceptance of subjects. Why no sports, fashion, studio portraiture, artistic nude stuff, still lives…or food for all I care. What we have now is a very narrow view of street orientated stuff. How about being able to write articles and having these displayed on the first page along with the latest images…. The web has changed, so should we if we want to strive. This place is stagnant and that's the worst possible response just an idea...... [img]http://steveviscot.zenfolio.com/img/v10/p83028252.jpg[/img] edited by stevev1 on 21/04/2010 edited by stevev1 on 21/04/2010
21-04-2010
180 post(s)
Steve: My partner in sustaining this site - I do not wish to quarrel with you man. If you honestly believe this site was born in a vacuum and if it helps you sleep better at night, so be it ;o) If further you are comfortable ignoring the fact that 98% of our membership (including some really cool and illustrious people) took one sniff at PH and ran the other way, all the best to you again, mate. Now as to your vision for the future, it may just be correct. I would certainly back you on this. My sense is that the founders have plain run out of ideas. I bet they feel frustrated having tried to accommodate our various demands and still come up empty. This may well account for their almost permanent absence. And I don't blame them. If you are willing to flesh out your ideas more and put the necessary energy into making them happen, I'm with yuo. Might have to run them by the principals first, though. Kind regards, -F-
21-04-2010
135 post(s)
Francis, I'm not loosing any sleep over this. We are where we are now because the decisions made in the past. In my opinion we can only go tabula rasa at this point. Opening up to new ideas and a MkII version is a start. When this is done perhaps the old garde will come knocking again...
24-04-2010
137 post(s)
I definately support Steve's idea with the above screen layout. Really good stuff, and gives the feeling of alot going on with the site. The fact is, we need more people...The people who don't want to upload, oh well. They'll contribute if they have something TO contribute. Other than that, I get tired of looking at photos; mostly, because they're all the same damn shot. We need MORE diversity with the type of photos. Not every project someone works on is a "street" project; actually most street photographers tend not to think in terms of projects. For that matter, when someone is really working on a project, it's not something they do in one weekend...or, in one month. Real projects can take years. So, the single upload option is needed without a doubt. Another issue is the tendency to chase people off this site at times...there can be elitist attitudes, and it's come through at times. I don't mind confidence, but in confidence you'll need to display some thick skin when someone calls you out. Not every person likes every photo, lets really start to get honest with each other. FRANCIS, stop deleting the photos...the feedback you get, or don't get, can be used to teach others what, how, where, when etc....If we are to continue to think of this site as a vehicle for projects, we must understand that the intention is to help our community work through the process of a project...otherwise we would just be Burn. There definately needs to be more input from the Mods here...If you've abandoned the site, let others take control. I have alot more to say, but dinner is ready....I'll be back.
24-04-2010
137 post(s)
Dinner was good... :headbite:
24-04-2010
137 post(s)
Just took a cruise around TE after quite some time...it sucks. I don't want this site to become a "travel photography" site in the TE vein. Time to progress...
24-04-2010
142 post(s)
[quote=prezntime]I definately support Steve's idea with the above screen layout. Really good stuff, and gives the feeling of alot going on with the site. ... The fact is, we need more people...The people who don't want to upload, oh well. They'll contribute if they have something TO contribute. Other than that, [b][u]I get tired of looking at photos; mostly, because they're all the same damn shot. We need MORE diversity with the type of photos. [/u][/b]... Not every person likes every photo, lets really start to get honest with each other. ... FRANCIS, stop deleting the photos...the feedback you get, or don't get, can be used to teach others what, how, where, when etc....If we are to continue to think of this site as a vehicle for projects, we must understand that the intention is to help our community work through the process of a project... [/quote] Agree with everything above.
26-04-2010
49 post(s)
Have to differ with Chris about 'travel photography'. I think much of what is posted on PH is travel photography. The problem with TE is that most of its active members now seem to be aspiring photographers for holiday brochures. It takes far more than before (say in 2006) to have anything a little different (e.g. B&W, let alone B&W street) recognised. Even our old friend George is struggling relatively since his pseudo-suspension from TE was lifted. I also see that since Internet Brands bought TE, some of the old guard (Norbert and Jack among them) have defected to Photofolia.net (best described as the TE format of the old days). Have to say that the holiday brochure theme is as consistent there as it is on the new TE, although the standard is a bit higher. I have no answer to how PH might be made more attractive. However, I think the single-image gallery in the context of a project-oriented site has led to schizophrenia. The criteria for the success of an image within a project may be quite different from those for a single, standalone image. Personally, I think the focus should be on single-images which members can choose to combine into projects if and whenever they so choose. I do not see the closed membership as a problem. To move to an open membership would not differentiate PH from any of the Trek sites.
29-04-2010
290 post(s)
Hi There Sorry for being a bit quiet, my new life in Bangkok is a bit complicate and take me a lot time. if i wont be a homeless in 2 years :) I do like the idea to change the design of Holik. but i agree that we should not look like a travel site or something like this. To much window in the main page can be also disturbing and messy. then we should go slowly. For me i dont care about TE. MAGNUM, or any other site, we never wanted to be like this, then Francis stop to compare Holik. and yes deleting :)))) OK you want more photographer on the site. every members can propose new members, then if you meet on the web some good photographer we are always open for new member. !! Steve thx for your idea, :) we are now starting to think about and how it could be possible. greting from Bangkok Simon
04-05-2010
123 post(s)
[quote=Luko][quote=prezntime]I definately support Steve's idea with the above screen layout. Really good stuff, and gives the feeling of alot going on with the site. ... The fact is, we need more people...The people who don't want to upload, oh well. They'll contribute if they have something TO contribute. Other than that, [b][u]I get tired of looking at photos; mostly, because they're all the same damn shot. We need MORE diversity with the type of photos. [/u][/b]... Not every person likes every photo, lets really start to get honest with each other. ... FRANCIS, stop deleting the photos...the feedback you get, or don't get, can be used to teach others what, how, where, when etc....If we are to continue to think of this site as a vehicle for projects, we must understand that the intention is to help our community work through the process of a project... [/quote] +1 Agree with everything above.[/quote]
07-05-2010
75 post(s)
[color=#0033CC]Alsom wrote: Luko wrote: prezntime wrote: I definately support Steve's idea with the above screen layout. Really good stuff, and gives the feeling of alot going on with the site. ... The fact is, we need more people...The people who don't want to upload, oh well. They'll contribute if they have something TO contribute. Other than that, I get tired of looking at photos; mostly, because they're all the same damn shot. We need MORE diversity with the type of photos. ... Not every person likes every photo, lets really start to get honest with each other. ... FRANCIS, stop deleting the photos...the feedback you get, or don't get, can be used to teach others what, how, where, when etc....If we are to continue to think of this site as a vehicle for projects, we must understand that the intention is to help our community work through the process of a project... +1 Agree with everything above.[/color] me too!!! and sorry to not to be there uploading pictures,...but too much other works...may be tomorrow :)
07-05-2010
44 post(s)
+ 1 agreeing with all the above and will have more time end of May...
12-05-2010
180 post(s)
Dear colleagues, I started this thread and perhaps I should be the one to shut the door on it. 1) I believe Steve Viscot deserves our heartfelt thanks for the only genuinely positive and practical contribution to this discussion. I am amazed at the speed with which he was able to cobble a proposal together. Thank you Steve - two more like you here and we could conquer the Web ;o) 2) The suggestion that what we need is MORE members leaves me cold, frankly - if the vast majority of the 100 or so first rate members currently on our books can't be bothered to contribute to this fine website, why the hell should new members of the same caliber be any different? That is not where the problem lies. What we need is more commitment, not more bodies (cool new members are always welcome of course). 3) As for myself, my frantic efforts to recruit for, animate and stimulate this site have been an abject failure. I no longer care to expend energy in that way. What I will do though is speak through my photographs, as just a regular PH member. Let others do the spade work from now on, and I sincerely wish them well. May they have more luck than I did. 4) After intense and revealing discussions with two of my PH friends in Paris, I have come away with one thing: PH badly needs MORE COLOR pics - the site is just too grey - it's become almost compulsory ;o) Yet even as I say that my latest project thus far is all in Black & White. What can a poor boy do...? edited by Furachan on 12/05/2010
13-05-2010
137 post(s)
That's it, color pics...that will solve the problem. The site is grey, because that is the sites color. It should be more colorful, as seen in Steves example above, but the reality is, color really has nothing to do with PH's overall inactivity. The problem, as I see it, is the lack of developement of PH's members. Again, are we just posting pictures so people will comment about how nice they are, or are we trying to gain knowledge and use this knowledge as a platform for further developement? We are not innovative, and it's boring. I cant be anymore plain than that statement. Hate me if you want, throw insults, kick and scream...but, that's the truth. That is not to say that we dont have members who push their boundries every now and then, but we need to do this as a community, and let other members know when they aren't up to snuff. I've had people be honest about my photos, and I try to be honest about other photographs...I consider many on this site friends, even though I've only met one or two, but I'm frightened that some are not able to take honesty. It shouldn't be like that, I'm honest with the friends I've grown up with, why wouldn't I be honest with friends that I meet along the way? Others that have come and gone are bored; maybe they haven't said that, but rest assured, they are. So, if it is decided that my language has become (or is) too abrasive, I will gladly bow out. That said, I do not retract any of my statements. I dont see a solution without a real coming-to-God moment for the members here. Nothing seems to be changing, communication is seriously lacking, and attitudes still seem to support pointing the fingers in the other direction.
13-05-2010
180 post(s)
Chris, I'm sure you have a point and God knows you keep hammering away at it, but it doesn't address my initial question - why did so many excellent photogs like Sohrab, Luko, Maciej, etc JOIN this thing but then remained aloof from the very start, BEFORE anyone could draw the conclusion that we're BORING, eh? Someone explain that to me. WIth all due respect, Chris, and not to detract from your central point which is valid, there are dynamics at work here which you may not be aware of. I repeat (for the last time): this site does not exist in a vacuum - it is, like most things, historically and psychologically determined. As for the need for more COLOR photos, that did not come from me but from Luko himself in a discussion with myself and Arnaud, okay? The point is not as dumb as you seem to think it is - point being that part of the blandness of this site is the tendency to hide behind the anonymity of monochrome "playing it safe". There is virtually no COLOR experimentation and innovation. If you only cared to think a little bit more deeply on it, you would see that this opinion of Luko's, which I agree with, touches on the very need for creativity that you keep on about.
14-05-2010
135 post(s)
Francis I also disagree with the color idea no matter who proposed it (even though I'm running a color series at the moment....) Why is b& w considered safe?? I think color is safer actually as color itself can be an important player within the photograph, can even be the main actor. The site needs people that UPLOAD images and accept genuine criticism.... most of all it needs leadership. This entire debate is quite futile in fact. Simply put; we don't need more blah blah.....we need boom boom!!!
14-05-2010
180 post(s)
Well the BOOM BOOM won't come from me, Steve-O, you can put that in the bank. I agree with you about leadership - I have personally urged Luko for the last two years to take on a leadership role, simply because he is eminently qualified to do so. As for Christopher here, when a man says "WE are boring" in a community forum, 9 out of 10 times it is code for "YOU are boring". SOrry, but there it is. I am sorely tempted to ask him:"While you're at it, exactly which one of my sundry projects did you find particularly dull? Was it my delicate exploration of the salaryman mileu? My intimate portrayal of a Shinto wedding? My sad appraisal of Battambang, Cambodia? My experiments with pinhole photography, my wanderings into the Tokyo night, or was it my homage to Daido Moriyama? Yeah, looks like all the same to me. No variety, zero creativity, too accessible, too intelligible, not redolent enough of the great Nan Goldin, D'Agata, Larry Clark, Sobol, et al. Enough said.
14-05-2010
137 post(s)
You know Francis, it's not always about you. Unfortunately you wont trap me into a personal debate about your qualities as a photographer. I will say that a number of your photos are favorites of mine and I've seen the start of some strong projects from you. A constructive critisism might be that you dont finish, or follow through with, most of what you start. Likewise, it is frustrating when someone devotes time and energy to comment intelligently one one of your photos, then you trash the shot. We were supposed to learn from the comments of others, yet I could interpret your lack of support in this matter as an insult...Yet, I dont. I understand, like myself, that you are self-conscious about your photography and begin to second guess your posts right after you put them up. If you dont care about the comments, why not post on Flickr...it's much less stressful. Secondly, I understand my reply to the color photography comment sounded snarky...it was, but it is hard to convey good natured sarcasm without being able to crack a smile at the person you're communicating with. My point that I continue to hammer forth follows. We lack diversity...I get bored looking at HCB or Moriyama at times, this is only natural. I've seen a comment from Sohrab where he said that he was bored looking at photographs; I understand this. Those people who joined, yet never contribute may see the same problem I do; the photostream is too narrow and focused on "street" photography. Given that most photographers looking into PH have a few years behind them, they might have branched off and begun to head down different paths and saw this site as a continuation of a time they already moved beyond. Who the **** knows? What I can comment on is the current cast of characters floating around PH, and I find the lack of real experimentation...of course, there are always exceptions, but not enough to override the deer-in-headlights feeling I get when looking at the gallery. Maybe it does need to be more exclusive... Maybe we need to only upload projects as photoblocks. I will say this, there were a number of people that agreed with a number of my points in my first upload on this thread....am I now the enemy?
14-05-2010
137 post(s)
In the last paragraph I meant to say, " and I find there is a real lack of experimentation..."