Feb 3, 1955
Please follow me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/imagesbyblair or on my website at www.imagesbyblair.com.
I began my life as an amatuer photographer in 1974, with film. I enjoyed photgraphing wildlife and nature, but worked mostly with portraiture at that time. I began developing in my own darkroom and learned the artistic creation that was possible there, particularly with black & white.
I moved away from my hobby in the 90's as the digital revolution began and although easier to take and store photos, the quality was not there. I've recently had a resurgence in my interest in digital photography because technology is again returning the quality that I so much enjoy.
Anyone who knows me well may have noticed that I'm hardly here any more. FAR is a website with so much potential, but really misses a focus that supports great quality. I think, as Echo brought out last week, there is a point where I have to ask myself why am I still here? When I originally signed up last July, I did so and paid for 2 years. I realize now, that was a mistake. Just because I paid for that long certainly doesn't mean I'm obligated to participate for that long. For those of you who don't like long winded letters, and you'd like to keep in touch, please email me at email@example.com, check out my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/imagesbyblair or visit my website at imagesbyblair.com.
I don't intend to leave completely right away. There are some contests that I've reserved spots in, and some funny money left to spend for promotions, so I'll make a few more posts over the next month or so, and I may check back from time to time to see if any policies here have changed. I really appreciate all my close friends here, several follow me on Facebook or email regularly. I really enjoy that. If anyone posts something that is really special to them here, please shoot me an email, and I'll check it out.
Tom, if you're reading this, I hope you'll strongly consider some of the following. Echo already addressed a lot of this last week, and I've messaged you or made similar posts, as have others. I've had a successful small business for 29 years now. Much of that success has been because I've kept loyal customers. I realize that in an ever changing world, we must adapt of course, and making a profit is the only way to survive. FAR's potential as the Facebook of photography, I believe is there. It's a wonderful place to jump into communicating with other artists, as well as a learning format for beginner and intermediate artists. One thing that I, along with others, quickly realized, is that the artist rating system reflects on quantity of photos and an artists willingness to self promote them. I'm pretty amazed that the ranked mixed media ratings are much as I would rate them, after seeing how inaccurate the traditional photographer ratings are so far as quality. Only two or three of the top ten deserve to be there, in my opinion. Even looking at the number of stars (5 or 5+) they have behind their names reflect that most people who offer critique feel the same. If a n artist ranking system is to mean anything, then quality must be of prime concern, not quantity.
For individual photo ratings, Echo is right, there should be a 10 star or point rating system. Using FAR guidelines for rating a photo, most of the photos posted do deserve a 4 or 5 star rating. Few photos here deserve a 3 star or less rating, by FAR guidelines, but widening the guidance for rating between 5 and say 10, would really open up the difference between a good, really good, great and breathtaking photo. FAR's limit of 6 per week, 6 star ratings is probably a good idea, but limiting 2, 6 star ratings per month per artist, really isn't enough. Some of the same artists continue to deliver great photos, yet only get a rating equal to those that aren't nearly as good. I almost always have 6's left over at the end of the week, while some of the photos from those great artists post outstanding photos.
Most folks have probably dozed off before getting this far, so I'll end it here. I hope everyone keeps up the interests in art and really strives toward learning and improving the quality of their work. I'll check back in a day or two to see if anyone else feel likewise. I've had some great times here.
February 8 at 10:19AM
Palominolady : So true Blair! I just said I think I will post a bad shot with lots of coin and probably get an all time best. I'm not up to the caliber of you and some others on here, but I'm striving for that one day. FAR is a great place to learn, but without the coin the photos get passed by and we never have the chance to learn and get better. I also have a problem with mixed media allowed in the traditional photo contests and that most contests include the name of the photographer. Mixed media should be kept out of traditional. I feel traditional is straight out the camera with minor tweaks. And you didn't mention anything about the time it takes to make coin. I just sat reviewing for 3 hours and made a whole whopping $12.81, that is not even minimun wage. And I had to go to the front page and start from the top down. I hate that I have to do that to make coin for my promotions, there are a lot of good 2 cent photos out there to be seen. I could of accomplished so much more with that time. I enjoy the concept of the site, but hate the mechanics of it. I've been on since May and have seen a lot of good photographers give up on here for the same reasons we all complain about. I'll miss you Blair, but at least I can see your great images on FB, in fact I am following other FAR members as well. I'm not on here that much either, however I do check in daily and vote on the contests.
February 8 at 12:48PM
blairwacha : Brenda, it's been really great getting to know you over the past months both here and on Facebook. It's visiting with people like you that have kept me here this long.
February 8 at 3:37PM
Sange : No goodbye from me! Nope! I will always stay in touch with you Buddy. We have each others emails ... will be following you by summer time. I wish Don/Echo would start a site!! Blair... you are a true gentleman. Plan on meeting you and the wife one day! So... no goodbye! Lol
February 8 at 5:34PM
Skyangel02 : Blair, I agree with all you say here but I wish people like you would not leave. I know I don't review your work often at all but it is just because you don't need any comments for improvement. Your work is generally excellent all the time and I feel useless when it comes to reviewing excellent work. All I ever do is say excellent work is excellent. I don't deserve a dollar play money to tell you that. Two cents worth of opinion is only worth two cents after all. ;-)
If people like you and Echo and others who do high quality work leave, it will only bring the standard down a lot more. Stay and help us twist Toms arms up his back till he changes the rules. To get what we want we need to be persistent and not give up.
We need good photographers around this place to challenge us amateurs to improve. How can we learn and who will challenge us if all the best leave?
February 8 at 6:14PM
Badger : Some say that there is a man on Honeymoon Island that challenges people.
February 8 at 7:56PM
Badger : Others say that he is challenged though.
February 8 at 7:57PM
Intrepid : Quality people keep leaving this site. I doubt that FAR cares enough to make any substantial changes. FAR probably takes the position that people come and go, and when you leave and anyone else on this thread for that matter, we will all be replaced by new subscribers. The format is in place for FAR to maximize its profits, so there is no financial incentive to make any substantial changes that might interrupt its profits.
February 8 at 9:48PM
FanArtReview : I appreciate the feedback. The site does have a 10 star system. That's why we implemented a the 1/2 star rating scale a few years back. So instead of a 4 (which would be an 8) you can give it a 4.5 (which is a 9). As for the rankings they are based on the feedback that reviewers rate the work. This year the site did implement changes in the rankings to give six stars more weight. It has already had a major impact as several many members have noticed. But it all comes down to reviewers using the rating scale as intended.
February 8 at 11:30PM
Flight_of_Raven : I agree with Tom... it's not the rating system, it's how people use it. I've always interpreted a 4 star rating as a B, or, as it is in schools, an 80% out of 100. The number of stars in the ranking system is irrelevant, it all comes down to people not reviewing a work properly. Nobody gives out 2.5 stars, even to incredibly mediocre work. Think they'd give out 5 stars on a scale to 10? I don't, I think we'd just start seeing a ton 10 star ratings. The members make the site. It's also not the reviewing guidelines that are to blame. The site defines 3 stars as "average," or, in my interpretation, a "C". How many works posted here are actually above average? Not a whole lot. How many get 3-star ratings? None. Again, it's the reviewers.
February 9 at 12:19AM
blairwacha : I appreciate everyone's post's on this thread.
Sange, you're right we will keep in contact and I do intend to some day meet you.
Angel, I understand what you're saying, and I've appreciated all the feedback you've given me, along with everyone else here.
Intrepid, it is profits that make this sort of site able to function, but to a great degree, I tend to agree with you. This is a good site for someone to come to and have their work reviewed. The contests, for the most part are fun, although I think named contests should be done away with. Because of the huge roll over of artists (granted, a few have been here a long time), it's apparent that something different is need to keep people here, and as long as there is income from new members, there may never be enough reason to make those changes.
Tom, thanks for your comments. I suppose you're right, with the 1/2s. Since there are few, if any photos I've seen here that should be rated less than a 3, by your guidelines, and there should be more steps in the upper levels, call your current 3, a 1, and your current 6, a 10, and then revise your guidelines so that there are some better defined steps between 5 and 10. In your guidelines you ask us to consider a number of things,
Creativity of presentation.
Center of Interest
Story Telling Ability.
Some may not apply to every piece of art, but many do. Those that could maybe each given a point value and then averaged for each review. That way 80% of the reviews given here would not be the same "5".
As to rankings, I'm glad you've made changes, but it is still obvious that the people who post the most photos rank the highest, whether they do the highest quality of work or not. Some deserve their ranking. Most do not, if quality is judged. At the end of the year, the person that posts 50 high quality photos should be ranked higher that the person that has posted 600 average photos. Currently, it's obvious that's not the case. I fully realize that you need income to keep the site active, and it's tough to balance the needs of your customers to covering your expenses. The ability to be able to communicate with others here is exceptional. AS I said before, FAR has the potential to be the Facebook of photography, but some changes are needed to keep people here. AS humans, I think we all want to feel some recognition for our self improvement. Once you learn the system here, we learn that recognition is given mostly for posting a lot of shots (art), and the desire to improve is lost. In a nutshell, I think that's why many new members are so excited to join, but so many lose the desire to stay. Just my opinion...
February 9 at 12:52AM
blairwacha : Kevin, didn't mean to ignore you. You posted while I was writing.
In FAR's review guidelines, a 3 is below average. Maybe I've just seen a lot of bad photos in my life, but most of the photos posted on FAR aren't below average. Most are average and do deserve a 4 or 5, by FAR guidelines. You are right though that Tom or anyone else can't control how reviewers review.
February 9 at 1:02AM
adrianart : I agree with everyone really Blair But look at it this way I was looking at your accomplishments and they all speak for themselves, you have won competitions with photos and images that are not badly taken, badly exposed of even badly composed but because they were gregarded the best in that competition by other members regardless of any star system of having income to post you images at the number one spot, you have even won the "Photogrpaher of the Month" award thats a heck of an achievement some thing that I have not achieved yet and would love to on day, all that I am saying is you dont need people to comment and say that your photography is good ( although that is a great feeling when they do ) all you need is to believe in your own ability and be happy with your own work.
I think we all would like you to reconsider Blair.
February 12 at 4:52PM
Skyangel02 : Tom, the site might have a 10 star system in theory but the numbers only go to five in reality. I think it would be better to drop the half star ratings and change the numbers so they actually say 1 to 10 instead of saying 1 to 5 with half intervals. It is psychologically much easier for a person to accept a rating of six than a rating of three for example. Six out of ten implies a pass. Three out of five implies a failure.
It would not be hard to change the numbers in the HTML codes for the site.
I am sure people would be far happier with a score of 8 than they are with a score of 4 even though the percentages are the same. I think people would also be happier rating things at five or six out of ten than they are rating things at two and half or three out of five.
Six out of ten doesn't sound half as bad as 3 out of five and is not as offensive psychologically.
I think most reviewers would be happier to rate lower if five was the average score. They would still give fives to average work without any trouble at all because they are accustomed to doing it.
February 13 at 2:05AM
Stacey Nagy : I see where you are coming from, and totally agree. I have already started sending notes to my close friends here informing them that I am also leaving soon. One thing that you did not mention are the rude people here. I hate the people who give crappy reviews in extremely rude and hurtful ways, and then when you check out where they are coming from artistically, you find that there stuff is so sucky that most people won't even bother reviewing it. Don't get me wrong, I am not referring to personal experience, I am referring to reviews that I have read by others to others. I totally dislike arrogant know it alls. All these things combined have made me make my decision.
February 14 at 2:16PM
blairwacha : Hey, thank you all once again for your support and friendship! Adrian, I really appreciate your comments. Like so many of my friends here, you're an awesome artist. I hope to some day be able to accomplish what you have in your life. I do feel comfortable and confident with my work. I'm glad that you recognize that as a giant step to success and appreciate the support you've been. That goes for everyone. As I said, I'll check back from time to time to see if anything changes.
February 19 at 11:42PM
I just had a great conversation over the review I got from Annie (avmurray). She's a wonderful soul. A while back, there was a lot of discussion about giving and receiving feedback and how ugly it sometimes turns. The conversation that Annie and I had was honest and respectful, and I think we'd both say we may have learned a little. Reviews and feedback are an awesome tool, when used properly. There's value in it for everyone. Thanks again, Annie!
January 2 at 8:31PM
avmurray : Thank you very much for such kind words. It was indeed a good exchange of opinions.
January 3 at 1:44PM
Sange : Annie.... RULES! She is a fountain of wisdom and a humble soul! Love my Cara!
January 22 at 12:23PM
Thanks to all of you who voted for or considered my my "Long's Peak" winter scene in the untouched snow contest. As a rule, I think using software to enhance and replace the dynamic range our eyes see, but our cameras don't is a wonderful thing, particularly in a landscape scene. "Long's Peak" was certainly less bold than most of the landscape shots I've posted, as one friend pointed out. I guess as a photographer or artist, much of what we display is in response to our own unique personalities. This winter shot was taken on a morning that was fresh, clean and serene. I felt that the peaceful, easy feeling that it conveyed was best captured by the pastel color tones that I posted. I hope everyone enjoyed it.
December 27 at 8:02AM
Art images by lois : Your wildlife photos, RMNP and Colorado are beautiful. Have you contacted National Geographic with your photos yet? They are worthy of the world seeing them. They are the kind of photos I love to save in the magazine. You are one of the best landsape artist on this site, There are a couple of others, but you all see the same attraction and appeal.
December 27 at 8:34AM
blairwacha : I'm not quite ready for prime time, but thanks Lois! I sent you a message.
December 27 at 11:14AM
filly421 : Congratulations! Lovely picture.
Now when I see your entry, I'm going to think...there goes my chances.
December 27 at 2:36PM
Hey, I may have set a new record on FAR. I won a contest and received only 11 votes. That has to be the least ever, doesn't it? LOL! Does that make me infamous or unfamous or something? Merry Christmas everyone!
December 24 at 12:14AM
cebinc2004 : Lol, Congrats on your win, we will go for "or something", lol. Great job!
December 24 at 3:39AM
filly421 : Congratulations Blair. I think the 11 votes just means you had some strong competition. In a way that makes it even more of an honor that you won.
December 24 at 10:16AM
seshadri_sreenivasan : Hey Buddy,
I have set up an unbeatable record!. Some months back In an 'art' contest I got 7 votes and was declared a winner. There were only 2 entries.I was awarded 4 member cents (including $2 of mine!) Howzat! Merry Christmas!
December 25 at 4:37AM
blairwacha : Seshadri, there were a bunch in this contest and I won $125 in funny money. I'd say you win the unfamous prize though. If you ever get to central US, I'll buy you a coffee, haha!
December 26 at 7:37PM
Art images by lois : congratulations on the contest. It was beautiful and was a sure winner. great job. Lois (Art images by Lois)
December 27 at 8:31AM
Ok, I'll admit, I promoted the "Reflecting Chaos" shot enough to be worthwhile for my friends who constantly review for 1 point and 2 cents. I can't thank enough the kindness of one of my friends who promoted it to the top 12. I haven't had one there in months. THANKS AGAIN DEAR FRIEND!
November 18 at 10:32AM
Happy Snappy : Whoever it was picked the wrong day to promote work :(
November 18 at 5:01PM
blairwacha : There's never a wrong day for a kind act, no matter what the results, Helen! It beats boredom! What is the square root of 137 again?
November 18 at 7:08PM
Several of you have asked about some of the editing techniques I used on my planes, trains and autos entry. I've used the same technique on several posts here where I've wanted to achieve basically the same feel of aging a photo. I've had good results when the photo is taken on heavily overcast days, but not so good in direct sun or even early morning or late evening light. It seems to work well both with RAW format converted to a .tif file or just starting with a .jpg file. Start out in your photo editor by doing white balancing and exposure adjustments, to taste. After that I go to Topaz Adjust. Stacey Nagy turned me on to Topaz products, but the only program in their suite I use a lot is Adjust. There is a lot of redundancy in many products in their line. Topaz entire suite is available in a free trial at http://www.topazlabs.com/trials/index.php, if you don't already have it. It works well as a stand alone, from FX lab or in Photoshop as an add on.
Open your photo in Topaz Adjust. Under "global adjustments", go to "adaptive exposure". Set this to somewhere around .5 to .7. You'll likely have a high contrast, kinda ugly photo at this point. Play with the "regions" slider. the farther right you go, the more global contrast is reduced and the more HDR like, the photo will appear. I usually end up somewhere between 15 & 25. Next, I go back to the "adaptive exposure" slider and move it back to get the local contrast I'm looking for (for me, usually around .2) This usually will add some noise to the photo, so you'll need to go the noise suppression tool, farther down from "adaptive exposure". If you want to sharpen details, now's the time to do this too. Since noise reduction reduces detail and sharpening increases noise, I go back and forth between them for the best balance. Be sure to work in the 1:1 mode for sharpness and noise reduction or when you save the photo and open it in another program, you may not get the result you wanted. I also desaturated the train photo. That can be done under "color" on farther down the tool bar, but I prefer to do it in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. Save the file as a .tif file if you have more editing or save as a .jpg if you like the finished product.
One last thing I do is in Photoshop Elements, just because it's easy and I'm most familiar with Elements. I go to "enhance" then "adjust smart fix", just to see if PSE's automatic settings make it a more desirable photo. If I've put anyone to sleep because it seems so easy and you already know it anyway, sorry. Otherwise I hope this was helpful.
November 13 at 8:02PM
Happy Snappy : God, you're so sexy when you're boring! ;)
November 13 at 8:52PM
Stacey Nagy : Boy, Happy....you ARE Happy..LOL
And Blair. Thank you for the great tutorial! That was so nice of you to do this!
November 13 at 9:03PM
donkeyoatey : Just a wonderful thing you are doing here!
November 13 at 9:18PM
blairwacha : Helen, that's why I'm always boring! You shoulda seen me back in high school carrying a briefcase down the hall.
Stacey and Don, likely kinda boring to you, but my pleasure.
November 13 at 10:50PM
blairwacha : Stacey and Don, maybe if you had a few to drink like Helen, you'd think this post was pretty sexy too!!
November 13 at 10:53PM
Stacey Nagy : LOL...LOL....LOL...LOL......
November 13 at 11:37PM
Happy Snappy : I'm OK now so it's really interesting haha! Don't give your trade secrets away, you don't want everyone as good as you!
November 14 at 2:56AM
Happy Snappy : That was a joke by the way before anyone jumps on me. I actually learnt a lot about photoshop by watching youtube tutorials. Never tried Topaz but after seeing some of the results on here I may have to give it a whirl.
November 14 at 3:28AM
blairwacha : Gee, I wish you hadn't posted your last comment. I wanted to jump all over you for it. I'm feeling a bit argumentative this morning. Too bad I have to go to work.
November 14 at 7:57AM
Happy Snappy : Haha! I just finished work. Argue away! :)
November 14 at 2:02PM
Skyangel02 : Blair this is extremely helpful stuff and I fear it eventually gets lost on the profile thoughts forum so please post it under a new heading on the photography forum so people can find it easier when looking for it.
Maybe we should ask Tom for a tutorial forum where this kind of information can be easily found?
November 14 at 8:22PM
blairwacha : Angel, I don't know how to post on the photography forum. Let me know and I'll do it. It would be cool to have a tutorial forum too, huh?
November 14 at 8:27PM
Skyangel02 : Look at the top of your screen and click on the profile button which is found next to the info button. You get a drop down window with a list which says "Forum" at the bottom. Click that and you will see a list of forums. Click on photography or art or whatever section you think is best to place your information and start a new thread with something like lesson about.... or tutorial about.... in the heading so people will know it is not just a discussion thread but actually something valuable they can learn. The new thread button is found on the top right hand corner of the screen under your name and sign out button.
November 15 at 1:27AM
Happy Snappy : I only found the forum yesterday and I have been here since July!
November 15 at 3:30AM
filly421 : Gee, all this is going on. I should start visting peoples pages more often.
November 15 at 10:05PM
blairwacha : Welcome, Phyllis!
Angel, I copied it to the photography forum, thanks for the info.
November 15 at 11:45PM
blairwacha : And Phyllis, you didn't even notice I was sexy when I'm boring until Helen mentioned it, did you?
November 15 at 11:46PM
filly421 : LOL, have to say that boring is not sexy to me. Except you're not boring!
November 16 at 11:20AM
blairwacha : Phyllis, you and Happy Snappy should start an argument on the profile thoughts. Everyone else has.
November 16 at 11:59PM
Thanks to all of you who not only voted for my "planes, trains & autos photo, but to anyone who even considered it and all those who took the time to review it. A special thanks to my friend, Stacey who also took the time to go through some of my photos and help me pick one to use. I wasn't all that excited about any of the older photos I had to use, but it turns out to be quite an honor to have won. There were some really terrific photos in this contest.
November 12 at 8:07AM
blairwacha : Phyllis, it seems, I'm frequently racing with you to the top spot in some of these contests. I was hoping for a nail biter to the end, but with me winning of course, haha! Trying to get even.
November 12 at 8:30AM
Stacey Nagy : I told you that one would win...LOL
November 12 at 10:09AM
donkeyoatey : It was a GREAT shot, no matter the age!
November 12 at 2:59PM
avmurray : It was just a great shot. Congratulations !
November 12 at 5:13PM
Sange : Congrats Blair! Yippeeee .. if I would have entered my shot would have been better and I would have one.. you know that right? Do not be offended that I am better than you... CELEBRATE ME... ME ME! Yipeee. SEE thus is fun... I feel better now! Blair .... the agony of the feet is getting to me..... Congrats buddy! :)
November 12 at 8:23PM
blairwacha : Wow, Sange, I din't even know you photographed planes trains and automobiles. Since I really had my heart set on winning the contest, I'd like to thank you for not entering your far superior photo. We can now still be friends.
November 12 at 11:44PM
Sange : As long as I get to steal the spot light and you sing my praises... make your win about me... we can be best friends!
November 13 at 12:57AM
donkeyoatey : Hey I entered, and I cannot help it that you mere mortals couldn't see that MY entry was FAR superior..I think we should celebraste ME! (you KNOW I am kidding right..just tying tp adjust my attitude...LOL!)
November 13 at 4:00PM
Sange : I celebrate you D~O..You are fun and spread the joy not the self love. Ok,, that is it..group hug!Psst.. I TAUGHT BLAIR HOW TO NOT SHOOT FEET! He would be LOST without my help! LOST! lol
November 13 at 4:56PM
blairwacha : I'll concede the win to either of you, since since the contest results were so close, but I'm not giving up the funny money!!!
November 13 at 8:28PM
blairwacha : Sange, I took a photo of two deer the other day without their feet. Thanks for the great tip!
November 15 at 11:48PM
What is all the bitterness coming out of so many people lately on this website. Are some people so insecure in their own work, that their way of dealing with it is to bitterly criticize others? I don't get it. If you don't like someone, don't review their work, or be objective if you do. Some of what I'm seeing shows the out right stupidity of some people. This is crazy!
November 11 at 12:15PM
Happy Snappy : Some of what I see on here stems from jealousy and bitterness. Other times it's just sheer arrogance. Seen some awful comments lately, not just in reviews but on this thoughts page when others ruin it for those new to site with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. Why quash that? Crazy indeed!
November 11 at 12:26PM
Sange : Blair.. popularity always breeds contempt. Even with those who won recognized reviewer think this is a job.
I have often found when I get reviews that are hateful and belittling, I just go to that persons portfolio and oh my.. there review speaks as loud as their photos.
The green eyed monster takes over. Mr. Jones one a contest fair and square and there was one that went in and made it about them..I thought my shot would have done better.. really? That is a new way to say Congrats I guess, make it about you! In a review I received.. This is almost as good as my bird shots?
Ok... thanks... look in their portfolios ... have a snicker and move on... I know your talent... you own your talent... the green eyed monsters... want to be noticed.. when it is not by their LOVELY work.. they use their keyboard that speaks volumes of what they really are about. So... shake it off... and ignore the nay Sayers.
November 11 at 12:37PM
Stacey Nagy : Some new girl was thrilled about getting a recognized status on a photo. Some guy wrote that status means nothing, it is just about how many people look at it. Hmmm, come to think of it, it was the same person Sange mentioned above...what a coincidence.
November 11 at 1:32PM
Sange : Yes it was Stace... some people need to be careful.. pride comes before the fall. Careful not to boast... there will always be a PIN around to burst your bubble. No one cares for hot air.... unless we are being lifted UP in a hot air balloon or words. People need to choose your words.
You will not earn a photography career here... money... so chill.... play nice in the sand box of life and let everyone build their castles without the hulk coming around to Stomp on them. Stealing someone else's joy or win... not nice.. humble yourself... say Congrats... not your shot should have done better!
November 11 at 1:49PM
MGTF Blue : I did congratulate him, I am not allowed to say that I thought that my picture would do better?
November 11 at 1:59PM
MGTF Blue : Am I also not allowed to say that it is my belief that the "recognise" status has become meaningless due to the standard of SOME of the images that attain it?
November 11 at 2:02PM
Sange : Free country say what you want... how about standing in the shadow and allowing one ti shine. Put your pin away. It was important to her she was recognized. You jumped in and burst her bubble... relax. Why be the voice of doom to a newbie? Taking contests and rankings here is not serious because you and I both know the way the system here works... money equals best photographer ... shave fun.... relax... life has enough craptacular people...allow someone their Yippeeee moment without making it about you...
November 11 at 2:39PM
dream alone : And this is the main reason I stopped posting my work on here. I comment here and there because I'm paid up for a few months. The site became so mean spirited. And no, I'm not a "scared little lamb" as some would like to describe people. My photography saved my life and my soul and in this hectic, busy, life all I want to do is take some time on the weekends to take some pictures and hone my skills. What I encountered here, aside from the few super nice people was a popularity, mean girls/mean boys club. People stopped supporting each other for the most part and the environment became hostile. Some people thrive on that. I feel it's akin to Cinderella. You have to try a few slippers on until you find one that fits. This site doesn't fit all the people who attend the ball.
November 11 at 6:11PM
webster : "LIKE" ^
November 11 at 6:20PM
MGTF Blue : I don't see anything "mean spirited" about being honest in your views of other peoples pictures. If you don't think that they are as good as they could be and you tell the person where you think the picture can be improved, what is wrong in that?
I also feel that far too many reviewers give out 5* reviews to work that is substandard, often for fear of a 'backlash' from the person who feels that their work is above critisism.
In my opinion the term "recognised" should not be given out so easily and only reserved for the absolute top images.
November 11 at 6:36PM
Skyangel02 : It amazes me that some people interpret honesty as bitterness and think telling the truth and being honest with other people bursts their bubbles.
Is it better in your opinion to let people live in their illusions floating on cloud nine just because a false sense of reality makes them happy and allows them to float around in the clouds rather than coming down to earth?
I do not think MGTF or people like him are bitter or insecure in their own work. I see them as simply honest, direct, realistic and down to earth.
November 11 at 6:48PM
Stacey Nagy : Well, MF Blue, things are the way they are here. You could always go elsewhere where things are to your liking. And there is a difference between being honest in a nice and polite way and being mean spirited and intentionally trying to hurt people's feelings. Some people get off by being mean to others, but those people should not expect to gain respect or friends.
November 11 at 6:50PM
Stacey Nagy : Oops, typo....I meant MGTF Blue, not MF...my iPad does typos sometimes, and my eyesight is not that great reading tiny little letters..LOL
November 11 at 7:00PM
blairwacha : Good, we're talking about this. Being critical of a specific photo based on it's technical expertise is ok. There's probably a lot to be learned in that, if it's done correctly. I've seen so much in the past few weeks that goes way beyond that and becomes a condescending statement that has little or no valid value. I've seen the nature of some people who boost their own insecurity by de-valuing the work and hopes of others.
I often find shots I don't care for and if I can't review objectively, I skip over it. Our opinions may vary greatly but being disrespectful of others generally breeds disrespect on our own front.
November 11 at 7:01PM
blairwacha : skyangel, there's a huge difference between reality and bitterness. I'd agree with anyone that says there are too many 5's given, but criticism can be given without disrespect or pure stupidity. It's the disrespect and stupidity that's obvious here that I'm critical of.
November 11 at 7:06PM
dream alone : MGTF, I wasn't referring to you at all. I was referring to Blair's comment about all of the bitterness on the site. I happened to see your post on the newbie's profile page and commented on it. My comments here were in no way meant towards you. And Sky, I am allowed to be honest. And I was being honest. I would think you would applaud that since you seem to discuss honesty ad nauseum. Aren't you yadda yadda yadda'd out??? I am!!
November 11 at 7:07PM
dream alone : Sky, I would think you'd be happy that I was honest. hhhmmm... me thinks there is a double standard brewing here.
November 11 at 7:09PM
dream alone : Sky, you are entitled to your opinions. Why don't you allow the same courtesy to others (especially ones who don't hold your opinions)? Just sayin...
November 11 at 7:23PM
Happy Snappy : This wasn't particularly aimed at one person but like everything else they have chose to make it about them. Me me me! The life doesn't just revolve around one member on here!
November 11 at 7:28PM
Skyangel02 : Blair, bitterness is obviously a reality to those who are bitter as well as to those who recognize it in others but not in themselves. However, just because we perceive or interpret someones words as being a result of their bitterness or jealously does not mean our interpretation of their words or attitude is correct. We might be looking through our own bitterness or jealously and not admitting it to ourselves.
Any of us could easily be misunderstanding or misinterpreting what others say. I know this for a fact because I have been misinterpreted enough times myself and also misunderstood and misinterpreted others. I find it is not always easy to express myself in a way which is perceived as acceptable by all people all the time. Different people have obviously different personalities and express themselves differently. Some are far more subtle and others far more direct. Both are needed for good balance in our lives and it would do us all good if we really listened to what others are saying instead of getting so easily offended by how they say it or don't say it.
I do not think or want to believe that any person intends to hurt other peoples feelings deliberately but people obviously still get hurt and offended. The reason in my opinion is because people are not objective enough about the critique they receive. It is a lot easier to try to be objective when handing it out but not as easy to be objective when receiving it because when we are on the receiving end it is about us and our work not about someone else and their work like it is when we are dishing it out.
In theory criticism can be given without disrespect or pure stupidity but respect and stupidity are as subjective as anything else and are a matter of perception. Directness can be seen as respectful by the one dishing it out but can easily be perceived as disrespectful by the one on the receiving end.
Is it respectful or disrespectful to tell people that we get all time best awards around here by promoting our work as high as we possibly can on the front page? Is it considered wise or stupid to promote ones work as high as possible to try to win a trophy at the end of the year simply by paying for advertising?
Do we get a realistic view of how our art or photos are rated by the public when we need to pay the public member dollars and stroke their egos before they will even comment? Is it wise or stupid to live in a false sense of reality where illusions of fame are created by kissing the right people in the right places?
Is it respectful or kind to a person to let them live in an illusion which creates an inner delusion of fame and popularity?
Unpopular people know they are not popular since those who don't like them make sure they know about it in no uncertain terms by rejecting them in every way possible including asking them not to review their work if they can no longer mute anyone due to having reached the muting limit already.
Unpopular people are not nice enough for the nice people and don't say nice enough things to them but you ought to see how mean those nice people get in private. They are just as mean and cruel as the ones they hate but they just hide their meanness more under a nice facade and talk about the unpopular people behind their backs or right in front of them in underhanded ways. In essence they are no different to the people they reject. They just pretend to be better than others as they look down on those who they perceive as thinking they are better than others. Ironic isn't it?
November 11 at 9:02PM
Dream alone, I have no problems at all with your honesty. I agree with you about the double standards and irony in life but it is everywhere all around us.
There is always a positive as well as a negative way to look at anything at all. The trick is to understand and appreciate both points of view in order to remain balanced.
November 11 at 9:34PM
dream alone : ... in the merry old land of oz
November 11 at 10:14PM
blairwacha : Skyangel, while I don't disagree with some of what you've said, I think it's naive to overlook mean spiritedness, where it is obvious. Seeing bitterness does not require being bitter. I respectfully strongly disagree with you there.
I, personally welcome criticism that is detailed and factual. We all miss things and make errors. If those mishaps are brought out in a civil manner, they're generally accepted. Then there are matters of personal taste. Even disagreements there, which are likely more common, can be suggested in a respectful way and should end in people walking away possibly still disagreeing, but respecting one another's opinion.
I too would like to think that no one does something to intentionally hurt another. That's most often true, but thinking it's always so, is again naive. When we argue on an emotional basis, it's hard for anyone to declare they are correct.
Beginners, and I'll say those new to this site don't need to be treated with discouraging words. Corrective suggestions can be made without attacking their egos, intentionally or unintentionally.
What you said in your last paragraph is ironic because it is often true, but not always. In high school, a long, long time ago, I was the really unpopular kid. I walked around school with a brief case and had a pencil protector in my pocket. I never had bitter feelings toward anyone. I just stayed in my own little world. Today, I've broken out of that world, but will continue to be outspoken against those who try to trap someone there, and will defend those might, like me back then, be looking for a little encouragement. I'm not saying to treat them like rock stars, just be respectful and sensible in their criticism.
So far as FAR's system of promotion, I think it's in need of improvement. I like that "member cents" can be earned and used for promoting work. I don't like that the same promotion can just as easily be bought. I've had a small business for almost 30 years and realize that money has to be made in order to keep a business going. When a system becomes so lop sided that buying your way to the top is easy, that means the person with the most money wins.
Thanks so much for continuing the conversation, skyangel!
November 11 at 10:38PM
filly421 : Congratulations on winning the Planes, Trains and Automobiles contest!
November 12 at 12:31AM
MGTF Blue : Stacey Nagy - I find it quite increadable that you think that I would post anything to deliberately hurt or upset any member of this site. If anyone has been upset or offended by anything I have said then I can only apologise and say that it surprises me that what I have said is taken in this way.
If anyone had said the things that I have said about me then I certainly would not be upset or hurt. Even if someone directly told me that they thought that one of my pictures was "crap" it would offend me, why should it. I would know that they were only expressing an opinion that I don't agree with.
I find it strange that a person who is easily offended by critisism would post their work on a site like this!
November 12 at 5:06AM
MGTF Blue : (sorry that should read "it wouldn't offend me" if someone thought that my picture was "crap")
November 12 at 5:28AM
Skyangel02 : Blair, I agree it's naive to overlook mean spiritedness where it is obvious and sometimes it does appear obvious but I have made enough mistakes in my life to have learned that giving people the benefit of the doubt is always best. If a person is truly being mean spirited then that person is merely immature in my opinion and reacting out of some kind of hurt themselves. Finding out what has hurt that person can create more understanding and acceptance of them than merely judging them as being mean people.
I agree that seeing bitterness does not require being bitter. However a person must understand what bitterness is all about to even be able to recognize it and if they have never been bitter themselves they have no clue what causes it in others and therefore have no right to judge them. If people have been bitter themselves they would understand what causes it and be far more forgiving toward those suffering from it.
It seems to me that most claim to welcome criticism that is detailed and factual but even when they do get it, it upsets some people simply because they do not like the way it was conveyed.
I agree that it is possible to have differences of opinion but still respect the opposite view points.
In my opinion opposite views are a lot easier to accept if we understand it even if we don't agree with it. It is like accepting other people can eat something that you are allergic to and it does not bother you as long as they don't try to force you to eat it too.
I think that any people who do intentionally hurt others are like immature children who are merely hitting out because they themselves have been hurt or they are reacting out of an automatic self defense mechanism.
When people argue on an emotional basis, sometimes both are correct especially when both are trying to be honest and open about their own emotions and tell it as it is to try to make others understand how they feel. The problem comes when people cannot control their own emotions and end up in a yelling match where both are trying to explain how they feel and get frustrated because the other person is not listening at all. All of us need to learn to look past the messenger or method of conveying the message and try to understand what they are actually trying to get across.
If you were the unpopular nerd in high school and do not want to see others trapped by unpopularity then don't side with the people who complain about the unpopular ones.
I was a loner in school too and still am. I never cared much for popularity or being in the limelight. I learned to not look for encouragement from other people but rather to stand on my own two feet. I learned to take as much harsh criticism as I dish out and I never dish out anything I cannot take back. I treat people how I expect to be treated and that is not with superficial ego stroking words. I think being treated with tough love makes people tough and able to endure harsh treatment. Treating people with kid gloves makes them weak and unable to handle anything tough. People are not made of glass and will not break if they are told the truth. Even if it offends them at first, they will get over it.
I agree that FAR's system of promotion is in great need of improvement.
I think the "member cents" can be a good thing if used for the right reasons.
The system of member dollars on this site is indeed very lopsided and buying your way to the top really is easy if you have enough money. The person with the most money and most friends to keep commenting on their work does win because they are richest both in money and in friends.
It ends up being a popularity contest with the most popular artist or photographer winning regardless of whether their work is the best work or not.
In less than a year I have reached number ten on the digital artist chart just because of self promotions not because I am popular although I did have one person promote my work once which was a great surprise coming from a total stranger.
I have enough member dollars to buy my way to number one place if I wanted to this year but I will not because there are better digital artists than me below me on the ratings chart.
In my opinion self promotion ought to be outlawed in the same way self voting is not allowed in contests. I would like to see the member dollars used to promote the artists and photographers which we think are better than ourselves and deserve to be above us on the ratings chart. I wonder then if some of the reviewers who are chasing trophies and only reviewing for member dollars and no other reason would bother reviewing as much as they do to earn money to promote their own works.
It is no challenge winning anything when we do it by promoting the most work. Becoming highest ranked because of self promotion is no great achievement in my opinion. It is merely proof of who has the most money and wants the illusion of fame enough to even pay real money for it.
If we all promoted the people we thought were better than us then we would have those at the top who deserved to be there because we members put them there and want them above us so we can challenge ourselves to become as good as they are. When people put themselves at the top because they can afford to do it then this site is a total farce and a waste of time being here.
The only reason I am here is because the people who make this site worthwhile are those who do not bother with the ratings but give very good advice and help others in private. Those people are even below me on some of the ratings lists but far above me in the quality of their work in general. It is people like them who deserve to be on top of the ratings charts. How do we get them there? I never have enough sixes to give them for their work.
I suggested to Tom that we have member nominations for best artists and best photographers in the same way we have member nominations for best reviewers. In that way the best will get the recognition they deserve and those people ought to get the trophies not the ones who promote themselves the most. It is the quiet achievers who prefer to stay in the background who deserve the rewards in my opinion. If enough people agree with that and suggest the same to Tom he might actually take some notice instead of ignoring the suggestion. If all are happy with the status quo and never make suggestions for changes then nothing will ever change.
November 12 at 7:42AM
blairwacha : Angel, I'm on my way to work. I'll read through your notes tonight and visit with you some more. Blair
November 12 at 8:09AM
Stacey Nagy : Blue...do you feel that it was appropriate to make Mr. Jones winning knockers
November 12 at 10:26AM
Stacey Nagy : Oops, I will start again...as I was saying, Blue do you feel it was appropriate to make Mr.Jones winning knockers thread about you and why your shot didn't win? Or to tell the new girl that her recognized status, that she was excited about, was meaningless? I suggest that these opinions of yours would have been better in a separate thread by you.
November 12 at 10:31AM
MGTF Blue : Okak Stacey I will try to remember that where I post opinions matters more than I realised.
November 12 at 3:31PM
Skyangel02 : Stacey I disagree with you about commenting on separate threads if we have something to say directly to a person. If any of us have something to say to anyone else, I would think the appropriate place to make the comment is on the same thread where the discussion is taking place or in private to them not somewhere else. It takes courage to face a person directly when you want to tell them something they might not receive very well. To post it somewhere else in the hopes they might see it is underhanded and lacking openness in my opinion. Things like that are done by people who do not have the courage to tell others what they really think to their face. That's my opinion for what it's worth.
If someone like MGTF Blue had told me in the beginning that the recognised status was meaningless I would not have had to waste all my own member dollars figuring it out for myself. The truth might be a shock to realize at first but it saves people from the illusion of greatness and believing many people love their work when the reality is most only review it for the member dollars and no other reason.
November 12 at 4:17PM
MGTF Blue : Thank you for your words of support for me Skyangel02, you do seem to be on the same 'wavelength' as me with what you post on this forum.
November 12 at 5:26PM
Skyangel02 : MGTF, I always support the principle of openness and honesty no matter how many people get offended by it. I think easily offended people need to toughen up and learn to handle the truth regardless of whether they think it could be said a more gentle manner of wrapped more in cotton wool to soften the blow. in my opinion too many people wrap it up so tight and whitewash it so much and water it down that it is hardly recognizable anymore. They seem to treat each other in the same way they might treat children who need constant reassurance that their work is great or they might burst into tears because someone told them their work was average and not excellent.
November 12 at 6:30PM
hekartstudio : Blair: Congrats to you and I think the most lengthy threaded comments on the Forum to date. As you stated if a member doesn't want to review a work then don't. Better to move on to the next one. Being a newbie over two years ago at FAR I did a few reviews that didn't take well with the postee. I don't know everything about Art or Photography, but I go with what I see and is appealing to me. I review what I want to and leave the others. You should get an award for this post and mucho member dollars for such an honest post. Have a good evening and be happy alot of member's hackles were disrupted-HEK
November 12 at 7:28PM
Happy Snappy : I agree HEK. Not only is Blair a great photographer but he is quite humble with it. I don't think it's about the ratings or the rankings, they mean zilch. That can be seen without being derogatory to anyone's work and naming names. A review is just an opinion. We can only offer advice as we see it. To mark someone down in a totally dismissive way does not help anyone. I have learnt a lot on here but through help and advice rather than through harsh criticism and low scoring for having something entered mistakenly in a wrong category for instance. Also congratulating someone for a win or a first achievement without vitriolic comments just shows good sportsmanship and helps that person want to achieve more rather than just give up at the first hurdle. I haven't been here that long but this sort of argument will probably go on forever. We have to just take what we want from the site and leave the big egos to their own devices.
November 12 at 7:48PM
Stacey Nagy : Here, here, Happy!!!!!
November 12 at 8:11PM
Sange : Blair is THE BEST! KINDEST.. MOST FUN! VERY TALENTED! So Blair... can we take away the SOAP BOX of looooong windedness?! Omg... some peeps need attention.... quick everyone.... GROUP HUG! Blair... we need feet here! HELEN...YOU ARE THE BEES KNEES! :)
November 12 at 8:16PM
Stacey Nagy : Sange, me too...I am in the group hug!!!!
November 12 at 8:27PM
blairwacha : I'm feeling kinda warm and fuzzy. I hope that doesn't offend anyone, LOL!
Hey to everyone who's posted, thank you, whether I agree or disagree with you. I'm glad this thread got so much attention, at least by a handful of us.
Sorry, I missed a lot of today's conversation because of that pesky thing I have to do to make a living. My final thoughts... All of you have made valid points. I don't think any of us advocate patting someone's ego, just to make them feel good, but we can be sensitive about what we post and how we post it. Even babies recognize the harsh reality of bitterness.
I can hardly wait to start the next thread. Maybe something fun next time. We'll make it even longer than this one!
Thanks once again, Blair
November 12 at 8:56PM
Happy Snappy : Damn and I missed the group hug due to being in the land of nod! Lol
November 13 at 2:57AM
Over the past few days, I've had a conversation with Tom, here at FAR. I've had a problem in finding credibility in the method that artists are ranked. I asked him for some help in trying to understand the ranking system. I have no need to know any proprietary information, but would like to make sense as to how it works. To me, quality should be the only real consideration in a ranking system. After all I'm here, as most of us are to improve our skills and to some degree, be recognized for them. I've learned so much from many of you, both in reviewing your work and having you review mine.
I've not included the entire conversation, but I've also asked about the number of reviews and artist promotion being a factor in artist ranking. Tom has been kind enough to respond several times, basically saying that It's not based on the number of reviews but the ratings people give, the "Five +" reviews impact the ratings greatly, but it's not a simple count of the number of "Five +" reviews you receive, and the number of reviews does become a bigger factor when you have two people "tied" at the same spot.
I'd love to hear the opinion of others. I've shortened this a bit, but please bear with me, this is pretty long..
I believe I understand that when I or anyone else receives feed back from viewers for a photo, that those numbers are averaged and then the appropriate number of stars shows with that particular photo. For example if a person receives a 6,5,5,5 & 4, the average score is 5 and five stars would appropriately be displayed with that photo. I the scores were 6,5,5,5 & 5, the average would be 5.2 and 5+ stars would show beside that photo. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
Next, I'll use me for an example, because I'm the only one I have specific information on. Under my "status", I see I have a traditional photographer status of x.xxx and a mixed media photographer status of x.xxx. Being over 5, should show each category with 5+ stars earned, which it does. I assume again that that is determined by some type of averaging the scores of all my photos in each category. If I understand this all correctly to this point, I agree with you and can say this is logical and makes mathematical sense to me. I also assume that this same system is used for everyone in each category.
Here's where my confusion begins and I believe logic is lost...
"this paragraph is less specific than I discussed with Tom, but generally gives an appropriate example".
Looking under the "rankings" at the top of the page, then "traditional photographers", I can look through the top 10. Looking at them with no bias, I can click on any of them and see that 4 have a 5 star rating and 6 have a 5+ star rating, but in several cases the 5 star artist ranks higher than the 5+ star artist. This is the part that I'd like to be able to understand logically. Just for this reason, I see a lack of credibility in this system of ranking. Ranking a photographer, to me should tell me which artist has put out the highest quality of work as judged by the artists that have reviewed their work. Somehow, it doesn't appear that the current system works in that fashion.
Again, I really appreciate what you've done to set up and keep this site going. Please understand, being negatively critical is certainly not my intent. I just want to see the best that can be in everything.
Thanks again so much for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you.
November 1 at 10:20PM
Stacey Nagy : I agree with you Blair. It can be frustrating when you see someone buy their way up the ratings by flooding the site with mediocre family happy snappies. People that are rich enough that they can spend tons of money to have 3 or 4 images in artist promoted on first page will go up the rating because of sheer numbers of images and reviews. It is impossible to make enough FAR money to promote that number of images. It is too bad that quantity is more important than quality.
November 1 at 10:39PM
Sange : I agree with you both. I have only experienced the front page recently had ghost promoters. I for one am sick of the Facebook postings. How many family shots must we look at?!
November 1 at 11:15PM
blairwacha : Thanks ladies! I hoped I wasn't alone.
November 1 at 11:19PM
cynnocence : My friend, I have been here for almost a year and despite repeated questioning, I get no cogent responses. I was told by a few that Tom is the committee and I had a friend who finally left after being told that it is up to the algorithym. I'm not a mathematics genius, but I even know that someone must write and rewrite the algorithym. Yes, I believe that these concerns must be addressed. Cyn
November 1 at 11:41PM
blairwacha : Coming up with a fair rating system that emphasizes quality would not be difficult. FAR already gives us a score based on the average of our submissions. By going to the status button at the top of our profile page, that's easily available. Granted, someone who has submitted only 10 photos may not be sufficient for a fair cross section of their work. Maybe a multiplier is given to that average to come up with a final rating that could be numerically ordered. Say, you need 25 submissions to be rated after that, you're given a multiplier of 1.01 for over 100 submissions, 1.02 for over 500, or something to that effect. Any more than that shouldn't make any difference. A system based on the quantity of photos you submit and the amount you promote work for more reviews, doesn't make you a higher quality artist, in fact it may have just the opposite effect. The more photos or art we submit, we start to run out of the good stuff, even though we're actively working to come up with more, and promoting lower quality. After all, isn't improvement of quality what we're all after? Do we want to promote mediocrity?
November 2 at 12:08AM
Cephus : But how do we come up with a rating system that will still allow those with money to want to spend it? Making chagnes that will cost the site revenue have a very little chance of being implemented. How many thousand dollars does it take to buy the top spots? Changing the system to be based on quality would cost the site many dollars.
November 2 at 12:37AM
blairwacha : Cephus, if quality of art is judged on how much we're willing to pay for those ratings, I think it's time to leave. Personally, I'd be willing to pay more per month to use the site than to try to out bid someone for the privilege of higher ratings. The poor man (and possibly the best artist) loses, while the wealthy wins in that world.
November 2 at 12:46AM
Cephus : I would be willing to pay more but how many others would? At times I think that some are just snubbing their nose at us and saying see I can buy anything that I want. Tallent not required.
In the past year, a very high number of the more talented members have departed.
November 2 at 2:17AM
Happy Snappy : It's an open joke that the rankings don't mean anything. I care not myself as not on here for trophies but then I'm not just commenting for myself here. This is the one big niggle on an otherwise great site. I really commend Tom on what he has tried to achieve here and must be really hard to get the balance right between making a profitable concern and not letting wealth buy the awards. I wouldn't mind paying extra for a better ratings system. It would be a shame to see more good artists leave. I'm not sure what the answer is but if it's a higher membership fee for a fairer site then I'm up for that.
This is supposed to be a site to help people improve their work. At the moment some obviously don't need to improve as they do OK just submitting mediocre work that my son could take. Not only that I don't think they even read the advice as they certainly don't reply to it!
November 2 at 7:20AM
Happy Snappy : I also want to thank Blair for taking the time to research and post this and highlighting what most of us were already thinking.
November 2 at 7:22AM
Sange : Well said Helen! And cheers to Blair! If paying more meant getting the fabulous photographers we lost back and making those who treat the site as Facebook gone.. Got my checkbook out. We lost too many really talented people and more will be leaving if things do not change. Sigh...
November 2 at 8:21AM
blairwacha : Cephus, here's another spot of input. Do you think the main reason for promoting is to climb the steps of photographer rank. Personally, for me, I promote to create interest in reviews. You for one notice things that I sometimes have not, and I really appreciate that input. I do promote, to help get noticed in contests too. The arrogant part of me might want to promote more good shots to be noticed to some degree for rank, if it was a credible ranking system too. If the ranking system was changed to something similar to what I've described, would there really be that much loss in income? I'm not advocating doing away with artist promotion. I like the promotion system he has going here.
November 2 at 8:27AM
blairwacha : Sange, if things seemed more fair to you, would you start including more photos with bird's feet included?
November 2 at 8:31AM
Cephus : Many people are driven by competition, I am not. But I feel that having the top ranks occupiedd by artists that are not top rate does not reflect well on the site. Also, I believe that many good artists have left because they enjoy competition and wanted a fair playing field not dominated by those that are willing to spend big money or spend many, many hours a day reviewing. How many of the top twenty traditional photographers have a average score of over 5?
November 2 at 8:51AM
Intrepid : Let us be realistic here. First and foremost, FAR is a business. The owner has set up a business model in the hope and desire of making a profit. If members pay a lot of real money to promote his or her photographs, the owner of FAR makes money. The underlying structure of the business model is not going to change. Thus, we as members have a decision to make: Do we accept FAR as it is with occasional tweaks, or do we move on?
November 2 at 9:35AM
Sange : Hahaha! No BLAIR.. I will continue to shoot birds the day I Want.. if someone buys ne the new Nikon..lenses and all.. then yes... bird feet all the way. I do not tell Chickadee what bird part to incident or exclude when she paints... so why tell me what to shoot.More often than not the birds feet or legs are not visible. Birds are living their lives.. not waiting for me and saying... Sange is here... line up everyone.. people who always give a 4great for no feet... look in their portfolio's.. they have no bird shots! So.. spend 5 to 6 hours at the wetlands with me and lets see how many shots you get with feet... if we all shot the same it would be boring... if you want feet...pick up your camera and work for it like I do. Opinions are not a critique. My favorite color is blue.. if I see no blue in a shot do I give a 4 because the sky is not blue?? Do I tell you how to shoot landscapes? No.. there is a skip button here.. want feet.. skip on... I will not be bullied into it by less than 5 ratings..we established the rankings are not accurate when the top photographers here are not listed in the top 20..
November 2 at 11:12AM
blairwacha : Gee wiz, Sange, I've never given you less than a 5. I'm only 147# of bully, so I better take it easy on you. Does chickadee not put in bird toes. I may have to have a word with her, LOL! I just got a new 400mm lens. Maybe I'll email you some photos of bird toes. Haha
November 2 at 11:36AM
blairwacha : Cephus, I agree completely.
November 2 at 11:38AM
blairwacha : Intrepid, I've been a small business owner for nearly 30 years. I've seen hundreds of contractors in similar businesses come and go. What I've found is that most people ate willing to pay a little more for superior quality. When that is overlooked, business fails. I believe that the changes I see needed wouldn't even be a big income deficit. You are correct, we have the choice to stay or go. Some here have seen great artists go, for just the reason I argue.
November 2 at 11:46AM
Cephus : Why do I promote? I do not promote a lot but it is the only way to get more than a limited number of reviews from people that are not your fans. I am now selling my work and always interested to know hwat people think. Have found that for the most part what sells are not the images that I like. I have not had the time to do a lot of reviewing recently but when ever I do get a bit of site money, I will spend it and promote an image.
I like contests but it seems that I seldom have the appropriate image to post when one arrives.
I have been tempted to include a message stating "Please do not review me if you are unwilling to give less than 5 stars if you deem a work not worthy of them".
November 2 at 11:59AM
blairwacha : I'm with you again here, Cephus, my friend. I've found the same to be true.
November 2 at 12:51PM
Stacey Nagy : Something else I would like to mention about the deep pocket promoters. There is supposedly a rule limiting the number of images by a person that can be promoted to the first page. But, there are a few that consistently break that rule, and when reported, the images remain.
November 2 at 1:28PM
blairwacha : That's a valid fairness issue, Stacey. I think Tom generously allows three at a time per artist. On at least 4 occasions, I've seen 4 at a time with one artist. I'm not sure I even understand the desire to have to reply to 200 reviews in a period of a few days. They certainly become pretty generic.
November 2 at 2:19PM
Happy Snappy : That wouldn't be a problem if scores was more important than number of views. And some don't even reply to their reviews Blair.
November 2 at 3:20PM
blairwacha : That's true for sure, Helen. There are people that I won't review for because of their arrogance and disregard for others.
November 2 at 5:45PM
phil1950 : Here here Intrepid.
November 2 at 6:57PM
Skyangel02 : I would like to see a member nomination process put in place for art and photos in the same way we have a member nomination in place for reviewers.
The site could still have the race to win the trophies by promoting work but we would also have the best works which are nominated by members for their quality.
November 2 at 8:30PM
blairwacha : Ok, Phil, you agree with Intrepid. I think everyone here would say that being profitable is the only way a business survives. Are you saying that promoting mediocrity or quantity over quality, in order to be more profitable is the way a business should be run?
November 2 at 9:47PM
blairwacha : Skyangel, isn't something similar already being done in a sense. Tom nominates 20 photos, mixed media and art for monthly recognition and then puts them up for vote to the FAR community. I think either your way or the current way highlights an artist based on a particular piece of work. That artist may or may not be recognized in the same way the next month. For a ranking that is based on a broader artist's ability, I personally believe they should keep that ranked spot until someone else earns it. That is somewhat how photographer and artist ranks are set up now. I just disagree on the method that the rank is calculated.
November 2 at 9:54PM
MGTF Blue : Sange - I do not want you to change the way you take pictures because of the way I critisise them in my reviews but equally PLEASE do not expect me to change the way I review becuase of the way you take your pictures. EVERY time you clip the feet off of a bird I will pull you up for it, by all means take a portrait of the birds head and part of its body but if you clip part of the wing, head or feet I will critisise you for doing so.
November 3 at 5:03PM
Happy Snappy : I'm really sorry this went off the page without any reply from Tom.
November 4 at 5:07PM
blairwacha : Me too, Helen, me too! It's certainly an issue of fairness that evidently doesn't mean enough to want to change.
November 4 at 9:22PM
Skyangel02 : If we want to discuss anything about changes on this site where Tom might take any notice, doing it in profile thoughts is not the place to do it. Do it on the general forum board and if you want Toms input ask him for it by sending a private message. There are thousands of messages on this site and I doubt Tom has time to read them all.
Blair, regarding Tom nominating art etc for monthly recognition, I think that is very biased to have only one person always choosing the nominated entries because we only get what Tom likes best which may not necessarily be what members like best. That is why I think a member nomination process would work better and it would also basically relieve Tom of a huge job of wading through thousands of posts each month if all members were allowed to nominate the work they thought deserved a monthly award. Both ways do highlight an artists work but the current way is based on Toms tastes and not on public taste. Tom makes a list and we can vote. If we could make the list ourselves and vote as well then I am sure the list would be different. I notice in one of the last lists Tom picked a photograph to add to the list of traditional art which came up for vote. No one voted for the photo but the mistake was still made so Tom is obviously still prone to placing pieces up for vote which do not even fit the criteria. If members did that at least we could pull each other up for it and explain why a piece ought to be disqualified from the list. Once Tom has picked the list it is too late to do anything about it.
If rankings were based on ability I agree that the one who is ranked according to expertise ought to keep that ranking till someone either with equal expertise or greater expertise earns the place. I also disagree on the method that the current ranking is calculated but only we members can change that by the way we review work.
For example if everyone started giving average work three stars instead of five stars those lower rating would impact the rankings and the average artists and photographer would be lower on the rankings than those with four and five star ratings. The problem which us members complain about is created by the way we ourselves rate work. Too many hand out five star ratings for mediocre work so as not to offend the artist instead of giving them four or three for average work. When it comes to photography a photo can be technically excellent but still an average picture simply because good digital cameras can take technically correct photos these days but that makes none of us amateur photographers excellent photographers.
The difference between a good photo and an excellent photo is some kind of WOW factor which is difficult to explain but as an amateur photographer I know it is what makes me say WOW I wish I knew how to do work as good as that or it makes me think the picture ought to be in a magazine or turned into a post card or a large print and hung up for all to see.
November 12 at 6:16PM
Wow, now I have a secret admirer promoting my photos. I just have some of the most loyal friends here on FAR!!
October 25 at 11:10AM
Sange : Wow! You are so Lucky! See it is catching on! Pay it forward! You deserve it Blair! You are talented an Ooooh so much fun!
October 25 at 8:07PM
phil1950 : Great stuff.
October 26 at 6:59AM
Stacey Nagy : Wow, Blair, lucky you! Who could that be??? Of course, your work is so excellent, it could be anybody here!!!!
October 28 at 11:55PM
blairwacha : It's obviously someone very generous and kind!
October 30 at 11:55PM
FanArtReview wrote to blairwacha :
Crystal Mill is the new Traditional Photograph of the Month!
October 15 at 12:10AM
blairwacha : Iā??d like to thank the nominating panel for their nomination and all those who have supported me so admirably, not only with this photo, but all of my work. It really is from the help of thoughtful, friendly and concise criticism that helps me to learn. Itā??s pretty easy to get trapped into a shell that contains only the images I see as pleasant. Itā??s through your input I better appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all.
A very special thanks to a number of my friends here who have reviewed so many of my photos for the less than fitting reward of one point and two member cents. You know who you are. Itā??s the dedication of friends like you that keep me looking forward to coming back day after day.
Thank you all once again!
October 15 at 12:25AM
phil1950 : Congrats! well done
October 15 at 12:58AM
donkeyoatey : Big congrats..a lovely shot!
October 15 at 8:03AM
avmurray : Congratulations Blair. Well done and well deserved.
October 15 at 9:09AM
filly421 : Yipee Blair. Photo of the month! Big congratulations! Love the picture.
October 15 at 11:03AM
Severity Apparel : Great! You surely deserved it!!! Have yet to see something less than professional quality by you yet!
October 15 at 12:07PM
KathyEB : Congratulations. You deserve it.
October 15 at 3:28PM
onyanita : congrats on the awesome win!!! Good for you! xoxoxox
October 15 at 4:15PM
Stacey Nagy : OMG, I am so HAPPY for you! I told you that you had this...LOL
October 15 at 7:13PM
ducilla : Very well deserved...dennis
October 15 at 7:37PM
Sange : WOOOOOO HOOO! Blair is a BEAR! Congrats BUDDY! You are an amazing with your camera and your HDR landscapes. Love your work and your HUMOR! Well deserved! Bravo! Bellissimo!
October 16 at 2:07AM
gidavidson : Congrats, wondeful, no surprise to me as your shot is a gem.
October 16 at 1:37PM
Life is but a dream. : Ha, my husband was on my computer this morning and was studying your picture. He NEVER EVER does that. He took a long time looking and said "wow, this is really a great photograph!" ....and he is a tough critic. You shoot some great photographic art and congratulations this win was well deserved.
October 16 at 11:48PM
Debbie Mahorney : Congratulations. You deserved it. Debbie
October 17 at 11:45AM
blairwacha : Thank you all, once again!
October 19 at 11:57PM
Thanks to all for your submissions to the "from a distance" contest. There were once again some really great entries. Top honors goes to filly421 for her beautiful Tetons entry. What a great shot. Another of my favorites was Stacey Nagy's Country Barn. Another awesome shot!
September 12 at 12:10AM
Thank you all so much for the wonderful submissions to the agriculture contest. They were all beautiful. I think that a lot of beauty exists in things we often overlook, agriculture being one of them. Thank you all again!
September 5 at 12:31AM
Happy Snappy : Well done on your win! Awesome photo!
September 5 at 3:32AM
Stacey Nagy : Congrats, Blair. I knew you would win, it was the ONLY choice, I told you it would win when I first saw it..lol
September 5 at 9:31AM
blairwacha : Ladies you are my favorites! What we need is a named photo contest and I'll vote for yours, no matter how bad. That seems to be the way it works here all too often!
September 6 at 11:48PM
Happy Snappy : Well you can't vote for both of us and as mine are badderer than Stacys...
September 10 at 9:50PM
Sange : Ha! Woooo Hoooo! Doing the Blair happy dance! Congrats buddy... you are Awesome!
September 13 at 9:49PM
Thanks so much to some of the wonderful artists that use this site. The truly great ones not only produce great photos, paintings and other art, they stand out as being willing to help one another. Their reviews are specific, whether positive or negative. They are generous with their time and proud of their efforts. I didn't write this to be too specific as to who they are, but I don't need to, they already know!
August 19 at 4:11PM
OK, Helen I started a new thread, your turn...
August 16 at 8:00PM
Happy Snappy : It's 1.25 here. Time for bed said Zebedee lol. Hope to see you come up with a still life tomorrow. :)
August 16 at 8:26PM
blairwacha : That's a while in the future.
August 16 at 9:58PM
dshedra : blairwacha... Congratulations on your Fist place win for Trains. Very good photo....I loved it.
April 9 at 4:35PM