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Cliques

You know what?

I?m on this really fantastic photo-sharing site. I mean it?s awesome. But there are some things that kinda bug me about it. I can?t really say anything in any forums, because there?s the whole censure thing & getting kicked out of groups & offending people & upsetting others & so on & so on. But you know what? Catharsis I think. Isn?t that what a blog is all about?

So, I have contacts, friends, am in a bunch of groups where I post my photos where relevant, check out others & I take a whole pile of shots with a bunch of different cameras & lenses. Last month I took over 800. I only post the good ones, or at least, the ones I think are worthy of posting.

Before I start my rant, let me say that there are a ton of extremely talented photographers on the web site. There are some amazing shots, lots of them, lots too that are acknowledged by their peers. I am humbled by their greatness...BUT there are some really shit shots out there. Real crap you know? Garbage. Crapola. Stuff anyone could take with an instamatic camera. Although there are some great shots with camera phones, fantasitic composition, but there's alot of no talent stuff. Household snaps...mediocre snaps, you know? It's a real melting pot.

That said, some mediocre stuff has become a popularity contest. How much talent does it take to point an automatic camera at a flower & press a button? (Yes, I?ve done it!) There are thousands of these shots on this site. There are a TON of groups dedicated to this type of shot. It appears this type of shot is immensely popular. Some are worthy, but many are completely banal yet get hits & comments galore. I guess it's a soft spot for alot of folks. BUT, no matter the subject, why do many mediocre shots in ANY category get hundreds of hits & dozens of comments? Why do absolutely brilliant shots (hundreds of others I?ve seen by other photographers), perfectly executed, fantastic composition, amazing subject matter, awesome results, get few hits or comments? Don?t get me wrong; I?ve had my share of successes. But a virus is diluting merit.

Cliques.

Yup. ?In-groups?. Little knots of individuals that cater to each other?s photo streams regardless of merit.

There was a ?contest? a short while ago, where people were ?recognized? (by what critical body? I don?t know?In case you were wondering I was nominated in two of the dozens & dozens of categories but I withdrew from the contest because of all the bullshit) for ?excellence? in their field. Well, it became a heyday. Some folks were actively trolling for votes, others gratuitously voted for their friends, and in one case I know of, someone was forcibly removed from the voting process because of their dissenting opinions. Now THAT?S democracy!

I think that happened in Germany in the 1930s.

But the real thorn here is the clique. It kinda reminds me of high school. If you?re not in the ?in? group?forget about being acknowledged. Many talented photographers, are being ignored. Don?t get me wrong, I?m in my own little ?clique? I suppose, with folks who enjoy my shots & regularly comment or look, & I look and comment on theirs with great regularity but that doesn?t stop me from ranting about the phenomenon?

Filed under General, Sep 10, 2005
 

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