JakTrax
Topic Author
Posts: 4645
Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 3:30 am

Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:34 am

Hi all,

Having spent a good few years trawling throught this photography forum (normally on an hourly basis!) I've noticed there seems to be much less traffic here of late. This is my favourite of the site's forums and to be honest it used to be a pretty good place to hang out - helping new folks with their troubles; assisting in camera/lens choices; the odd constructive debate (such as this I guess) and even the occasional tongue-in-cheek jokey, jokey thread. Constant and consistent action seems to have ground to a halt almost, and I've begun to wonder why.

I have several theories, which I think may have either individually contributed to the recent downfall, or come together to a head to cause it:

1) Newbies by-passing the site and having their images hosted elsewhere, due to strict quality regulations and the often-criticised beginner queue situation.

2) Unhelpful individuals who constantly criticise new folks about their posts 'not belonging here' or who offer ridiculously obvious and/or sarcastic answers. This would lead to newbies being afraid to post, believing we're all pro's here.

3) Last year's events surrounding copyrights, etc. and the many bugs encountered at the same time (some of which persist although I know things are difficult for the team at present).

4) Queue length. I know it's come down dramatically these past few weeks but the repercussions of when the queue was ridiculously long (two weeks plus) may take a while to clear.

So, can anyone shed more light on the matter or offer any other theories? Or does anyone disagree with me? Am I noticing something that perhaps isn't there?

Let's have a good discussion - feel free to share any thoughts whatsoever folks.

Karl
 
dlowwa
Posts: 7168
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:17 pm

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:55 am

Can't offer any suggestions as to why you see it as you do. I for one have become a lot more active in the past few months or so, after having lurked and not posted anything for almost three years after I joined, so my example kind of goes against what you seem to have observed.

I know I didn't have the confidence to give advice or add suggestions until I got the whole uploading to a.net thing down, and now that I have a few shots in the database and my acceptance ratio is pretty good, I feel like I can actually contribute something useful.

I'll admit that when I first tried submitting photos and of course had them mostly rejected, I was too shy/embarrassed to participate much, and I can certainly see that as being a cause.

As to your theories specifically:

1) When I was a newbie, I could have gone to the site(s) which are more lax in their standards, but I didn't, because I didn't want the easy way. I wanted to be a part of the best site, so I can't say for sure that this site is being by-passed because it's the best/strictest.
2) While I have seen the occasional unhelpful/snide post towards harmless questions/inquiries, it isn't half as bad as it can be. I frequent some (non-aviation) photography forums where people will absolutely rip into newbies (or anyone for that matter) who disagrees with them or would ask obvious questions.
3) I wasn't too active here when the problems happened last year, so I can't really speak to that, and while the bugs that have been happening are annoying, they aren't so bad that I would just give up on this site ...yet...  Wink
4) The queue length when it was bad back in last summer just slowed things down, and didn't dissuade me from checking out what was going on here...

So in short, I can't really offer you any reasons, but like you, I would be glad to see a more active (and tolerant of novices) forum. Let's hope!

Dana
 
Sketty222
Posts: 904
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:13 am

I am quite new to the Photography Forum and have also noticed that there doesnt seem to be as much activity as the other forums. I usually frequent CivAv and Non-Av but as I want to get into photgraphy I have started visiting this area to try and get advice and look at what other people view to be good/bad photos

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
1) Newbies by-passing the site and having their images hosted elsewhere, due to strict quality regulations and the often-criticised beginner queue situation.

I for one have always thought of a.net as the best site out there for photos and although I still havnt had an uploaded photo accepted yet, I will keep perservering and will be proud once I do get accepted.

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
2) Unhelpful individuals who constantly criticise new folks about their posts 'not belonging here' or who offer ridiculously obvious and/or sarcastic answers. This would lead to newbies being afraid to post, believing we're all pro's here.

I have had a few people who have been a bit "off" with me for not being as educated as them when it comes to photography. Most people have been helpful, especially yourself, when it came to me asking what type of equip to buy etc.

Quoting Dlowwa (Reply 1):
I'll admit that when I first tried submitting photos and of course had them mostly rejected, I was too shy/embarrassed to participate much, and I can certainly see that as being a cause.

This is the same for me. As mentioned earlier I have yet to have an acceptence and feel that I dont really have the knowledge or expertise of others, therefore I cant really participate very much.

Lee
There's flying and then there's flying
 
apgphoto
Posts: 31
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:14 am

Karl,

You should know as an old hand that the forum goes like this from time to time.

I'm sure some of the "old" guys, Vasco, K and alike will join me and say that it is nowhere near as much fund as it used to be, say 7 or 8 years ago. Blimey we are old hands  Big grin

Cheers

Paul
Brought back to A.net by popular demand :-)
 
spurusho
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:20 am

I am quite new here, having registered only a couple of weeks ago, but I plan to stick around and spam the forum with my shots of aircraft  airplane  that are totally inadequate to make it to the acceptance queue  devil   biggrin 

Seriously though, I have received very helpful tips and advice from members here, and over the last 2 weeks, although I have zero photos accepted yet, my post-processing skills have greatly improved (atleast I think so). So I like it here.

I hope the traffic improves because there seem to be a lot of highly talented and helpful folks here.
 
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cpd
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:11 pm

For me, it's the poor weather (too hot, too dark or too much rain). I just haven't taken any photos for ages.

It's also that I work long hours - so I get home and the last thing I want to do is look at a computer screen.  Wink

Remember, all forums dealing with specialised topics (like cars, planes, photography) seem to be slowing down. It's not just here. I do also believe the new design and the large amount of bugs have badly tarnished the reputation of this site.
 
Dazed767
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:02 pm

I think it was a smaller and closer knit group 8+ years ago. A lot of us had met each other at least once somewhere down the line. You could have friendly 'jabs' back and forth and nobody got offended, because everybody knew it was just a joke. Now you type on the keyboard too hard and you get banned. I still stay in contact with a lot of folks though.
 
Danny
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:22 pm

There is only few types of topics that fit this forum:

1. Advice on equipment
2. Moaning about rejections
3. Pre screen advice
4. Moaning about rejections
5. Advice on spotting at airport XXXX
6. Moaning about rejections

After some time you must get used to it and find it no longer exiting.
 
INNflight
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:13 pm

The latest prop arc thread imho was one of the few which kinda reminded me of a few years back. Lots of fun to read through yet totally constructive and helpful.

Otherwise, I guess people just moved on at some point or another. This site has changed a lot over the time.
Jet Visuals
 
JakTrax
Topic Author
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:15 pm



Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 2):
This is the same for me. As mentioned earlier I have yet to have an acceptence and feel that I dont really have the knowledge or expertise of others, therefore I cant really participate very much

I think this is a trend amongst the noobs to be honest - with this site being so strict these days those folks with no or only a couple of shots on here are scared of participating. Add to this the snide remarks some regulars have a habit of making (we know who they are) and it really is no wonder. I don't think this is the sole reason however.

Quoting Dazed767 (Reply 6):
Now you type on the keyboard too hard and you get banned

Possibly another reason. I've been browsing this site for just under six years now and have been a regular forum participant for close on three of those. I've been photographing aircraft for over 20 years but only decided to give uploading here a try in Feb 2007. I guess I'm perhaps kinda new in a way compared to the really 'old-hands' here but I would consider myself pretty experienced in the field. Luckily for me the very first photo I ever submitted was accepted (with a little help from a nice Icelandic bloke!), followed by my second and third (which I processed myself). After that I got cocky and uploaded quite a few, which were all rejected! Still, I think my experience helped me to quickly develop a successful workflow (which I still use today) and, although I don't have thousands here, my acceptance ratio is now very respectable.

I don't know if anyone remembers when I first started posting here (?) but I certainy didn't hold back and always had plenty to say, even if at times it was controversial!

Maybe another reason is that A.net has become so big it's now reached (almost) everyone it's currently going to reach - surely there are only a limited (albeit vast) number of people interested in aviation and such a site as this? Maybe things have levelled off for a few years, until the next lot of newbie enthusiasts come through.

And one final thing for all the experienced and well-known folk here - be nice to these newbies, 'cos it's them that are gonna be running the show when we're old; and it's them that will continue, through passing on of our experience, the legacy of fantastic pictures, photographic knowledge and a passion for 'planes!

Karl
 
INNflight
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:19 pm

Oh by the way, I also think the problem is I know fewer people around here today than I did e.g. three years ago.

There's a couple of  old  members still around who either just put too much into the site over the years, and therefore keep it all going (respect is due for that! Tim for example), and there's a few members who have faith that the community is what makes (or breaks) the site (also, respect...i.e. Wilco).

Then of course there's also the odd crew member who is simply stuck in a place like Kinshasa, and therefore spends his whole day on A.net Big grin ( Thierry....??? )

Otherwise, I don't really know most folks on here anymore, and most threads aren't even worth replying to me. Sorry I guess.

Florian
Jet Visuals
 
EZEIZA
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:32 pm

IMO a big reason is the existance of the post-screening and pre-screening mega threads. Before you could post a picture on a separate thread and quickly get an opinion, now you have to use the mega threads, where mos of the times the picture gets unnoticed.
Those short threads were also great to learn from, since you would see what was posted, and in two or three replies the proper in detail answer would be provided.

rgds
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
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ThierryD
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:34 pm



Quoting INNflight (Reply 10):
Then of course there's also the odd crew member who is simply stuck in a place like Kinshasa, and therefore spends his whole day on A.net  ( Thierry....??? )

Hey, that's not even true; I also visit some other sites and read books, eat, sleep...  Wink
Out of here in a couple of hours anyway.  Smile

Coming back to the thread topic, I can only speak for myself. The aviation photography forum is also my favorite one and actually the only one I visit daily. I've ups and downs; there are times (like at the moment) when I post a lot and others when I barely post at all. This can have different reasons: no time, no (for me) interesting topic or all necessary things in the threads at hand have already been said and I don't see the need of adding a post only for the sake of it.
Another reason is that there are very few regulars here. I miss the feeling of visiting old friends when coming to the forum, if you see what I mean. I don't say I don't like having newbies around, in the contrary I welcome that very much, but still I'd love to see the oldies contributing more regularly. I don't know how that can be achieved but maybe with more threads like the one Flo mentioned in his post.
So guys, scratch your head and come up with some good topics to discuss; I'm sure there are plenty!!

Cheers,

Thierry
"Go ahead...make my day"
 
boeingfreak
Posts: 381
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:07 pm

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:34 pm



Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 11):
IMO a big reason is the existance of the post-screening and pre-screening mega threads

I agree with you, that is one point.

Another point might be, that there is an excellent alternative website (which recently received a very neat looking new design and became the biggest aviation photo database on earth just a few days ago).

For me, there is a big difference if a site is run by business-men or by aviation enthusiasts, maybe other A.net uploaders/ forum members felt the same.

I also noticed a rise in bad behaviour, not only on the forums but as well from the crew towards the uploader/visitor/forum member.

Let me give you an example: In September 2008 I uploaded two pictures of two different Lufthansa Airbus A330 on a taxiway (on one the registration was perfectly visible, on the other it wasn't due to the angle), the one with the visible registration gets accepted, the other gets rejected for "double upload" with a rude comment ("if you do it again... ban etc. Don't try to fool us.."). So I decided to appeal, provide the EXIF files of both pictures (as a screenshot, uploaded to imageshack and included the URL in my appeal message), after a few days it gets rejected without any comment for the same reason.

That kind of arrogant and ignorant behaviour made me leave.
 
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dvincent
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:43 pm

Megathreads have helped clean up this forum significantly. An unintended consequence is that sometime those individual rejection/prescreen threads did kickstart some interesting discussions. Unfortunately a consequence of the construction of this forum is that we can't have subforums where, for example, you could post individual threads about prescreens and rejects but still keep them out of the main forum.

When we sit and think about it, what can we talk about in here? New photos (don't see this happen very often except for the amazing photo threads), camera gear (this happens now and then), spotting locations (use the search function), new a/c types, fleet changes (use the civav/.mil forum), political matters (help, I was accosted by the police)... There's also the postprocessing threads, software threads...

I know Karl is a decent guy and a good poster, and I would say that the forum is built by us, the users, and it's what we make of it. If it doesn't seem as active... let's start trying to make it more active. Like Karl, I looked at the photos on this site for about six, seven years but didn't pay for an account to post until sometime around 2007. Maybe we just need to redefine the scope of the forum a bit and we can kickstart some new discussions.
From the Mind of Minolta
 
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ThierryD
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:49 pm



Quoting Boeingfreak (Reply 13):
That kind of arrogant and ignorant behaviour made me leave.

Florian, I don't know the background of your story so I won't comment on it. All I can say is that all crewmembers do their "job" out of enthusiasm for the site and hence try to be helpful towards any contributor. That this goal is not always achieved is purely human.
A private mail to the involved person(s) very often solves the issue pretty quickly.

All this to say you and your pictures are more than welcome here!  Smile

Cheers,

Thierry
"Go ahead...make my day"
 
NIKV69
Posts: 10889
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:56 pm



Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
1) Newbies by-passing the site and having their images hosted elsewhere, due to strict quality regulations and the often-criticised beginner queue situation

This is nothing new and I think you will always get a certain % of newbies staying and the ones leaving. Actually the one thing I have noticed is the decrease in participation of the rude users here that used to post in the help threads in a brash sometimes nasty way that will also run noobs off. Which is a good thing.

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
2) Unhelpful individuals who constantly criticise new folks about their posts 'not belonging here' or who offer ridiculously obvious and/or sarcastic answers. This would lead to newbies being afraid to post, believing we're all pro's here.

As I just said I have seen a sharp decline in them which will only help bring more noobs here.

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
3) Last year's events surrounding copyrights, etc. and the many bugs encountered at the same time (some of which persist although I know things are difficult for the team at present).

Yep this is one of the big pieces in this puzzles. I have to admit I am growing a little impatient with all the bugs here, to the point I didn't renew my FC membership. I wish they would close the queue and screen the remaining pics and just fix everything and then get the forum and the rest worked out. We are apporaching two years since the DM takeover and I know Johan's code had to be a bitch but I don't see any reason to have this many at present. I wish someone would dive in and take the bull by the horns and fix them. I think you would see a huge boom here if you did so.

Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
4) Queue length. I know it's come down dramatically these past few weeks but the repercussions of when the queue was ridiculously long (two weeks plus) may take a while to clear.

This is also a part of it though I feel a small one. It is true that a short queue is great but uploaders both newbies and veterans have to understand the screeners are volunteers and have lives like we do. Some of the veterans who have the time can also apply to be a screener and help the issue as well.

Quoting Spurusho (Reply 4):
I am quite new here, having registered only a couple of weeks ago, but I plan to stick around and spam the forum with my shots of aircraft that are totally inadequate to make it to the acceptance queue

That is the spirit! Hey you listen to the advice you will start getting them in the DB.

Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 11):
IMO a big reason is the existance of the post-screening and pre-screening mega threads. Before you could post a picture on a separate thread and quickly get an opinion, now you have to use the mega threads, where mos of the times the picture gets unnoticed.
Those short threads were also great to learn from, since you would see what was posted, and in two or three replies the proper in detail answer would be provided

Bingo, I have to admit my participation in this area dropped off a lot once that was changed in fact if you look at the timing many did the same. To go to a thread with that many replies and that many pics being posted for help it is too confusing and the threads just get out of control. I know from a mod point of view and the sites it's great but for the people actually in the thread it's confusing as hell. In fact I rarely if ever give advice unless someone breaks the rule and posts their own which is quickly deleted. I would be willing to bet if you went back to the old way and just deleted posts that have run their course and the thread starter can request deletion to do so, you would have much more people participating. I just don't have the time to go to a thread with 200 + replies and search what pic, who is saying what and then post. It's a mess.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
Stil
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Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2006 2:49 am

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:57 pm

Hi everybody.

Quoting Danny (Reply 7):
There is only few types of topics that fit this forum

This is one of the things I've noticed lately. I use to see this forum often, but most of the times just to find out threads based on the same topics. I'm only talking by myself, not saying there's only boring threads, but not finding interesant threads. I have to admit here my imagination tends to zero when it comes to propose different threads, but I remember there used to be some non-standard and av-photograhy related interesting and funny threads.
Or maybe be just me as I don't like the same thread type as I'm growing older!

...And, of course, this is a thread I like!

Stil
....... Gueropppa! ......
 
timdegroot
Posts: 3258
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:05 pm

I think that years ago like Vasco said there were a lot of members who knew eachother personally. That resulted in a great atmosphere. People could take shit from eachother because they were friend. Many have since left and I think that there's not a lot of connection between many of the members now. Just one reason.

We are looking into making some changes to improve things here.

Tim
Alderman Exit
 
Lexy
Posts: 1261
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 10:05 am

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:34 pm



Quoting Cpd (Reply 5):
For me, it's the poor weather (too hot, too dark or too much rain). I just haven't taken any photos for ages.

That could be said for a bunch of us, me included. A majority of photogs on here are in the northern hemisphere and as we all know, it's still winter here. Spring is close, but the cold is still here and that means less photography. Or in some cases, more editing of old pictures. As the warm months get closer, it will most likely start getting busier here with people traveling and snapping pics.
Nashville, Tennessee KBNA
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:07 pm

Ok let me try this again.

First of all, I think the changes in the forum have been gradually occurring since before DM took over. However, the the way in which the ToU change and the homepage redesign was handled perhaps became the final blow for many and they packed their things and took off.

Perhaps though, the reasons the more experienced contributors have gone is related to the same problem seen in some of the other forums like Civ Av and Tech Ops. Remember the days when those forums were filled with interesting dicussions with industry professionals? Many of those key members have long gone. You had someone like a retired 747 Captain being told he is wrong by some punk 13 year-old flight sim brat.

What I also find interesting is, some members that once offered helpful and insightful information about photogaphy a few years back have for some reason changed their approach and contribute little other than condescending remarks to anyone lacking equal knowledge and experience of a subject. Surely that drives people away.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
lulu2009
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 7:42 pm

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:18 pm

While I'm an Airliner's.net newbie, I'm looking forward to learning how to make my aviation photos 'better' since, frankly, most of my friends are convinced I'm a bit nuts to enjoy standing at the side of the runway and watching planes land, move, taxi and take-off.

 Big grin

There are only so many photos I can share with them before they say 'enough'!  Smile

Mind you though, I don't have that much of a choice in terms of where and how I can shoot anyhow... sun is somewhat rare and hard to find up here, so when the light is 'just right' then the other question is where to go on the perimeter of YVR to get 'the shot'. Used to be the departures/arrivals site for the airport also showed what plane types were involved, but no longer.

So lets see what happens. Maybe one day one of my photos will even be accepted.  cheerful  Until then, I hope I'll be able to watch, share and learn. Tonight's goal, finding a good angle for the KLM evening arrival. Think I'll try the AVIS lot.
 
boeingfreak
Posts: 381
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 7:07 pm

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:09 pm

Hello Thierry,

Quoting ThierryD (Reply 15):
Florian, I don't know the background of your story so I won't comment on it. All I can say is that all crewmembers do their "job" out of enthusiasm for the site and hence try to be helpful towards any contributor. That this goal is not always achieved is purely human.
A private mail to the involved person(s) very often solves the issue pretty quickly.

I know, Thierry, you do a great job, I remember your rejection guide (I also contributed with a rejection of mine)  Wink
Very helpful, especially for beginners.

However even your helpful rejection guide has been criticised by some members of the crew, I remember someone saying something like "We don't need it, we will do our own one..." An attitude like that sounds pretty arrogant to me.

Quoting ThierryD (Reply 15):
All this to say you and your pictures are more than welcome here!

Thanks for your nice words, Thierry.

What also worries me at A.net is, that over 30% of the screeners are members of one and the same commercial photo-agency, I sometimes have the feeling that absolute neutrality isn't given under these circumstances.
 
spencer
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:30 pm

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:11 pm

I've noticed the rate of post deletions have gone up, which is pretty annoying. Then like some of you've already mentioned that fiendship factor seems to have declined also. There's also a higher number of other websites out there now where it seems easier to speak your mind and get images uploaded. Lots of reasons really but at the end of the day...who cares?!
Spencer.
EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
 
conoramoia
Posts: 481
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 7:04 pm

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:30 pm

I have had uploads on multiple other websites with the same photos i tried here....and i'm still waitnig for an upload!!
so if any screeners are felleing leanient.......(hint,hint)
but i have held back to commenting unless im absolutely sure because i feel less privilaged if you will!!!
sometimes i feel as if the screeners do it on purpose to avoiad my photos!
 
whisperjet
Crew
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:19 pm



Quoting Conoramoia (Reply 24):
but i have held back to commenting unless im absolutely sure because i feel less privilaged if you will!!!
sometimes i feel as if the screeners do it on purpose to avoiad my photos!

Although or because I'm a new member in the screening team I can only say that it is nonsense to claim that somebody is avoiding your pictures on purpose.

In fact and a little bit to my surprise the screening team is doing it's very best to be as subjective as possible. Nobody just rejects a picture and there are many left for another screener with a short remark for a 2nd opinion.

Stefan
Nobody is perfect - not even a perfect fool.
 
scottieprecord
Posts: 1208
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 5:38 am

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:10 pm



Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 11):
IMO a big reason is the existance of the post-screening and pre-screening mega threads.



Quoting Dvincent (Reply 14):
sometime those individual rejection/prescreen threads did kickstart some interesting discussions.

Agreed.

The free photography accounts changed the dynamics of the forum quite a bit. Way too many prescreen threads were started, which resulted in the mega-threads of today. Unfortunately, those don't seem to be too efficient.

Perhaps we should divide the photo forum into two sections - discussions and photo help. I think I'd start posting more again if I could look through individual photo threads.
 
ZakHH
Posts: 1570
Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 11:32 pm

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:10 pm

I can only speak for myself, but when I signed up here almost 4 years ago, I met a lot of friendly and like-minded people whom I loved to discuss with, in all of the forums. But many of them are not here anymore. They left the site either by their own decision, or were forced to leave.

As for the photography forum: when I got my first DSLR in 2007, I loved to read here. I followed almost all pre- and post-screening threads, and I guess I have learned quite a lot from them. Also, whenever I posted a question myself, I usually received plenty of helpful and friendly answers as well.

But I feel that the quality of these discussions has decreased significantly with the pre- and post-screening superthreads. I tried them a few times, but almost never received a really helpful reply. Also, it is almost impossible to follow a discussion on a single picture, as new ones are added to the threads all the time. As a result, I ignore them.

As for uploading - I daresay that a good portion of my shots reached a.net quality by now. But I am lacking motivation to upload here. Sure, you still do get a lot of hits, probably more than anywhere else on the net. But with all the technical flaws around the site (not only concerning the uploading process - the database and search function are also far from working smoothly), I don't know if it's still really worth it.

Finally, I wonder how much the site administration really cares about the photographers here (nb: I'm not speaking of the volunteer crew here). Maybe it's just me, but I do not see any active attempts being made to keep the photogs motivated.

Other photo sites (not necessarily aviation related) offer meetings, workshops, contests, value services like discounted prints etc. - you name it. This site offers nothing, except for the privilege to sometimes accept our pictures.

Instead, photographer privileges are constantly reduced here. I can only repeat myself - how a website can lock out their content providers from a site-related forum is simply beyond me. Okay, the motivation is pretty obvious - all the persistens bugs being reported in site-related are not good for the site's reputation. But call me old-fashioned - I think the better way to approach the situation would have been to fix the bugs, instead of locking us out from the site-related forum.

But okay - it's not my site, and I am aware that, if I don't like the product it offers, I am free to leave any time. So are others. And, to come back to the opener's question, this could, in my eyes, be one of the reasons why these forums do indeed not seem as active anymore as they once were.

As I said - just my 2 cents.
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clickhappy
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:09 am

ZakHH - an excellent post! You have made some great points. We would love to see your photos here, what can we do to motivate you? Believe me when I say that 1) Demand Media does care, and 2) They are listening. All of our fingers are crossed that the search and browse functions of the site are not just working, but working reliably. The number one priority for Demand Media is getting the site stable and consistent. Once this happens we will move forward.

Unfortunately I know many of you have heard this before, so all we can ask is that you show a little more patience and know that the crew, be it paid or non-paid, are in the trenches working hard to get the site not only back to where it was, but to new heights.
 
koryo
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:37 am

there also seems to be no apparent concern for stolen pictures, I started a thread on a few Simpson 737 photos that were stolen and posted on Flickr and I have had no replies
This forum is as good as you make it. Never post a message in anger. Take the high road and others will follow.
 
ryangooner
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:53 am



Quoting Spencer (Reply 23):
fiendship factor seems to have declined also

I spose you hit the nail on the head with your freudian slip!

Ryan
ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
 
EZEIZA
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:56 am



Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 28):
Unfortunately I know many of you have heard this before, so all we can ask is that you show a little more patience

honestly not a personal attack on yourself or any other crew member, and please don't take it that way but we have heard this so many times before that personally it has no effect anymore. Not that I don't believe it's true, but when promises are given many times and they are not delivered, I personally stop listening.
I just can't understand how after so many months and promises during these months, there are still so many problems. Other sites made their change in one day and everything worked fine. Again, I don't know the complexity of running a site like a.net, but I would expect that since this is run like a business, the businessmen involved would have fixed the problems by now, and yet every week there is something not working. Either the link to pictures doesn't work, or screener's have to add shots manually, or .. you name it! too many problems.
rgds
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:25 am

EZEIZA - I don't think any of the crew would take such criticism personally. What every member of the crew has in common with you is that we were all members of this community BEFORE we became crew members, and we all share in the pain when things do not work correctly. But all we can do is keep pushing and fighting to make it better. I feel like we have made some strides in the last couple of days that will put many of the site performance issues behind us.
 
JakTrax
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:46 am

You know folks, I'm glad I started this thread, 'cos it's brought quite a few regulars back out of the woodwork and reminds me of the sort of constructive discussions we used to have. I suppose the purpose of my thread is now apparent.

Just to personally address some newly-raised issues.....

Quoting Boeingfreak (Reply 13):
Let me give you an example: In September 2008 I uploaded two pictures of two different Lufthansa Airbus A330 on a taxiway (on one the registration was perfectly visible, on the other it wasn't due to the angle), the one with the visible registration gets accepted, the other gets rejected for "double upload" with a rude comment ("if you do it again... ban etc. Don't try to fool us.."). So I decided to appeal, provide the EXIF files of both pictures (as a screenshot, uploaded to imageshack and included the URL in my appeal message), after a few days it gets rejected without any comment for the same reason.

That kind of arrogant and ignorant behaviour made me leave

I think this is another valid reason. Soon after the DM takeover I noticed increased hostility on occasions by crew members towards uploaders/posters. Twice in as many weeks I was accused of 'doctoring' my images in Photoshop, and before any questions were asked I was publicly threatened with a ban. Similarly, some of my posts were, for some reason, viewed in a dim light and again I was publicly threatened in the forums. I remember one particularly rude screener who wrote a whole paragraph of pure sarcasm, which was a personal attack on me. Turns out he'd simply misunderstood what I'd actually said! On another occasion a very-high-up crew member grilled me in a forum (very unprofessionally I may add) and told me, "Your opinion doesn't matter because you know nothing about photography!".

Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 18):
Many have since left

For whatever reason one of DM's priorities is in my opinion to find out why people have left.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 20):
You had someone like a retired 747 Captain being told he is wrong by some punk 13 year-old flight sim brat

Ha ha, I remember many such threads; some only recently too! Mentioning no names but there was a rather irritating young individual here not so long ago preaching about things he himself didn't know too much about!

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 20):
What I also find interesting is, some members that once offered helpful and insightful information about photogaphy a few years back have for some reason changed their approach and contribute little other than condescending remarks to anyone lacking equal knowledge and experience of a subject. Surely that drives people away

I have noticed this too. I don't know where their impatience has come from. Perhaps newbies have become far too reliant on those with experience and have come to a point where they refuse to answer even the most basic of questions using their own initiative. I personally wouldn't have a go at anyone, no matter how dumb the question, but some of the requests you see sometimes really do beggar belief! "I've just bought a 1DS III, how do I turn it on?....."

Quoting Spencer (Reply 23):
I've noticed the rate of post deletions have gone up, which is pretty annoying

Yes, another key issue. If people feel like this is becoming a dictatorship, they will leave. I think many of us feel like criticism of the team and free speech have been almost banned. Some of the banter here was borderline at times but it never lead to serious offence. For anyone who is easily offended a public forum isn't perhaps the place for you. We live in a world ruled by political correctness - surely we don't need to now put up with it in our hobby too?!?!

Quoting Koryo (Reply 29):
there also seems to be no apparent concern for stolen pictures, I started a thread on a few Simpson 737 photos that were stolen and posted on Flickr and I have had no replies

You seem obssessed with stolen pictures. This really isn't a good reason as to why this forum is quiet. Go ahead but hijacking every thread to deliver your message about picture-pinching won't help your cause. Images put on the internet are always going to be subject to theft, be it on here, over at 'the competition', Flickr, the BBC, wherever. It's just a fact of life, and has nothing to do with the way this site is going. Life's too short to be concerned about the possibility of someone pinching an almost-useless 1024x683 picture. The reason no-one's concerned is because it'll happen regardless, and no-one can stop it, so we may as well not worry about it. If you are concerned, don't upload your images to the internet, full-stop.

Karl
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:08 am



Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 11):
IMO a big reason is the existance of the post-screening and pre-screening mega threads. Before you could post a picture on a separate thread and quickly get an opinion, now you have to use the mega threads, where mos of the times the picture gets unnoticed.
Those short threads were also great to learn from, since you would see what was posted, and in two or three replies the proper in detail answer would be provided.



Quoting Boeingfreak (Reply 13):
I agree with you, that is one point.



Quoting Dvincent (Reply 14):
individual rejection/prescreen threads did kickstart some interesting discussions.



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 16):
Bingo, I have to admit my participation in this area dropped off a lot once that was changed in fact if you look at the timing many did the same. To go to a thread with that many replies and that many pics being posted for help it is too confusing and the threads just get out of control. I know from a mod point of view and the sites it's great but for the people actually in the thread it's confusing as hell. In fact I rarely if ever give advice unless someone breaks the rule and posts their own which is quickly deleted. I would be willing to bet if you went back to the old way and just deleted posts that have run their course and the thread starter can request deletion to do so, you would have much more people participating. I just don't have the time to go to a thread with 200 + replies and search what pic, who is saying what and then post. It's a mess.



Quoting ZakHH (Reply 27):
I followed almost all pre- and post-screening threads, and I guess I have learned quite a lot from them. Also, whenever I posted a question myself, I usually received plenty of helpful and friendly answers as well.

But I feel that the quality of these discussions has decreased significantly with the pre- and post-screening superthreads. I tried them a few times, but almost never received a really helpful reply. Also, it is almost impossible to follow a discussion on a single picture, as new ones are added to the threads all the time. As a result, I ignore them.

From two earlier threads, it was already clear that the megathreads are not working. The crew agreed to this, but nothing has been done so far.

Of course, there's another side to this:

Quoting Dvincent (Reply 14):
Megathreads have helped clean up this forum significantly.



Quoting Scottieprecord (Reply 26):
The free photography accounts changed the dynamics of the forum quite a bit. Way too many prescreen threads were started, which resulted in the mega-threads of today. Unfortunately, those don't seem to be too efficient.

I've never quite understood this though. This forum has always been quite dead at times, and never that busy. Even with a dozen of individual pre/post-screening threads running, there was never more than half a page of active threads in this forum. So why such a radical cleanup was needed escapes me. People were complaining that there were 'only pre/post-screening threads', but I think they were simply complaining about the lack of other threads, which is something else.

Admittedly, shortly before the introduction of the megathreads there were a few people who were pointlessly bombarding the forum with the entire content of their memory cards. This was indeed a bit tiresome, but could be dealt with in a better way.

Quoting Clickhappy (Reply 28):
The number one priority for Demand Media is getting the site stable and consistent. Once this happens we will move forward.

Great, but this issue doesn't require any engineering effort. Just close the megathreads and re-allow individual pre-/post-screening threads. New rule: Only one thread for both pre- and post-screening per photographer, in which you can only post five or so images. When the discussion is complete, you ask for the thread to be deleted and then you can start a new one.

A separate subforum not neccessary in my opinion - I'm afraid it would make the main forum even deader.

Peter Smile
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
Samuel32
Posts: 105
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 4:39 am

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:42 am

Its probably never going to be the same as 3-4 years back.

What we can do make it a better place though:
- Restart Masterclass threads... their always good stuff.
- Post useful and fun aviation related stuff.
- Maybe not only post complaint in here?

Sam,
 
JakTrax
Topic Author
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 11:47 am



Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 34):
Just close the megathreads and re-allow individual pre-/post-screening threads

Having seen many responses citing this as one of the reasons this place is so quiet, I myself was thinking of highlighting it in my initial post but thought it may provoke some negative crew reaction. What it has actually done is to constructively bring the matter to everyone's attention and I for one agree that the pre- and post-screening mega-threads simply don't seem to be working. I don't bother with them these days and haven't for a while, because many images you see posted get no attention whatsoever. It's also a real ball-ache for potential pre-screeners to have to trawl these lengthy threads, trying to figure out which responses go with which images.

I think at the very least, going back to the old free-for-all (within reason) will once again breathe life into this forum. The more I think about it, the more I realise that people aren't on a personal or satisfactory level with each other via these so-called 'mega-threads'. Maybe it's time for change?

Karl
 
timdegroot
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:24 pm

We are very much open to removing the mega threads, after all this forum is here for you guys. We started them though because months ago the complaint was that this forum was nothing but rejections and prescreening threads. Some older members in particular found this to be very annoying. We cant go back and forth between this and that option, both clearly have advantages and disadvantages.

We are already discussing a possible change within the crew.

In the end though we all make this forum what it is. Noone is to blame here, but then again everyone needs to make a difference here. We all need to leave the hostility at the doorstep, take 5 minutes to review a post before submitting it etc.

I enjoy the real discussions going on here, even if they are critical of the site. As long as it is done in a friendly and respectful manner I feel we can discuss anything here.

Tim
Alderman Exit
 
JakTrax
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:35 pm

Glad to hear (by the sound of it) that the crew are getting cold feet about the mega-threads too. I was never bothered about the number of pre- and/or post-screen threads, although I'm aware many were. I was of the opinion that, if you didn't want to input, you shouldn't have read them. I don't think they made this forum a bad or over-crowded place, and now we've tried both options (individual and mega threads) it appears that, despite all the moaning last year, most of us would happily revert back to the old method; if not just to inject a bit of variety back into the photography forum!

Anyone against this re-introduction should bear in mind that, if you don't like all the pre- and post-screen threads, you can simply overlook them and continue browsing. Having said that there should be new guidelines introduced so that, if you are opening such a thread, it's clear by the title that you are fully aware of the content.

Hopefully this will help all those folks who wish to fully understand their rejections, etc. to get a better, quicker and more detailed response to their image queries.

Karl
 
EZEIZA
Posts: 4421
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:09 am

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:03 pm



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 38):
I was of the opinion that, if you didn't want to input, you shouldn't have read them.



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 38):
if you don't like all the pre- and post-screen threads, you can simply overlook them and continue browsing

Could not agree more, and the same goes for so many other threads where people just post stuffd like "useless thread"

Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 37):
We cant go back and forth between this and that option, both clearly have advantages and disadvantages.

maybe an official survey could be held to have a clearer idea about how many want the mega threads in place and how many don't? just a thought so finally it (whatever the result) can be implemented without further complaints in the future ... well, you'll still have the complaints, but the response will be much easier ... "you decided"

rgds
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
JakTrax
Topic Author
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:39 pm

I think the community is now in a position to decide once and for all - bear in mind we've now had experience with both options (individual and collective) so the regular posters will be more than capable of expressing their preference. I for one gave both options their chances and sat back to see what happened, and after experiencing both I can safely say I'd prefer the old method, without any subsequent moaning.

I think any initial thoughts we had when we first made the switch (positive and negative depending on how you felt) were down to the fact that we'd only, at that time, dealt with the one method, which had remained practically unchanged since the birth of the site. What we weren't used to brought about apprehension.

Karl
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 1:49 pm

By the way, I still think this forum is very useful. My trip to Malaga last month was greatly aided by tips from Karl here, and the gear I'm using wouldn't be the same without this forum, either.

But as a few people have said its scope is somewhat limited. I guess you just can't always expect this forum to make your day Smile

Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 37):
the complaint was that this forum was nothing but rejections and prescreening threads. Some older members in particular found this to be very annoying.

I think this way of saying it supports my earlier point - the complaint really was about the lack of interesting or fun other threads, and even about regret about old friends leaving the site for reasons beyond this forum's control. With hindsight, trying to contain that 'only remaining thing' in one megathread was not the solution - to the contrary, because as Dan said:

Quoting Dvincent (Reply 14):
sometime those individual rejection/prescreen threads did kickstart some interesting discussions.



Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 37):
We cant go back and forth between this and that option

I understand that concern.

If a.net is reviewing itself and seeking ways to strengthen its position in the 'spotter' community, why not introduce an Airport section with maps indicating (legal) photography positions? There are some other sites doing this, but most lack organization. I'm sure many photographers here would love to contribute information for the airpors they're familiar with. Such a feature could give a boost to this forum as well.

Peter Smile
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
 
beechcraft
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:04 pm



Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 41):
If a.net is reviewing itself and seeking ways to strengthen its position in the 'spotter' community,

Hi Peter and all,

Great idea! But, there are many (possibly)great Ideas on our Wishlist waiting to become reality, but i think what we need first is a bug free and stable site.

Once this is achieved we (The Community, Crew and DM) will have the capacity to develop and implement new features.

cheers,

Denis
That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!
 
JakTrax
Topic Author
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:24 pm

Hi Peter,

Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 41):
why not introduce an Airport section with maps indicating (legal) photography positions? There are some other sites doing this, but most lack organization

The problem I see with this is it could get very time-consuming, not just for the crew but for regular contributors too. Besides, there's already a commercially-available CD-ROM called Airports 2009 that details exactly what you mention in a very organised way.

Cheers,

Karl
 
RonS
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 5:01 pm

I have nothing to offer because most all my photos get rejected. But this is my only photo forum that I read on an every other day basis to learn more about photpgraphy and aircraft photography. So it's fun for me...
All opinions expressed by me are my own opinions & do not represent the opinions in any way of my employers.
 
spencer
Posts: 1518
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:30 pm

RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:32 pm

There is one other way of looking at this and that is this, if you want a good thread then start one! JakTrax, you seem to have kicked things off here nicely....! Keep it up.
Spence.
EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
 
Hernan
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:49 pm

I still visit every day but this no longer the forum that entertained me and tought me something about photography daily. It is not the place Johan ran but I hope it will turn around!
 
PUnmuth@VIE
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:58 am



Quoting JakTrax (Thread starter):
Constant and consistent action seems to have ground to a halt almost, and I've begun to wonder why.

From my point of view a few very simple reasons:

1.) To many people hanging around "marketing" themselfes.

2.) To many people talking stupid (or even worse) about others. Be it in public or "off record".

3.) To many people being not able to discuss constructive ("my way or the highway").

4.) To many people asking for help / advice / directions being not able to say "thank you" after getting some help / advice / directions.

All of the above mentioned made this forum more a playground / battlefield than a fun area.
-
 
Stealthz
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:31 am

I'll tell you what has changed...

There is a post in this thread and one in the Pre & Post screening thread from NIKV69 that I agree with almost in their entirety!

Tell me when that ever happened before!!  Big grin
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
 
spencer
Posts: 1518
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RE: Photography Forum Not As Active/fun Any More?

Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:47 pm

Bring back Jeff M I say! Always good for a giggle and told it like it was!
Spence.
EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM

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