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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Professionalism & Civility vs. Antagonism & Intollerance
Rick Rickman, Photographer
Capistrano Beach | CA | USA | Posted: 4:28 PM on 06.12.12
->> Photography is something that has always been very dear to me. It's an all consuming passion of mine with so many rewards. I rarely write here anymore because on some levels this site has become arcane and redundant. Initially, it was one of the best things going. It's only natural that things change. It's the only real constant in life. The newness scuffs off that new toy and it gets laid aside for something else shiny.

For those of you who don't know, I'm an old timer. Older than dirt would be an appropriate term. There used to be a lot of greatly knowledgeable relics here. The dust factor was pretty huge but the knowledge factor was enormous. There's been attrition and that's a natural state of affairs as well.

Unfortunately, some of the attrition has come needlessly. Some of the attrition has been due to frustration brought on my a sense of antagonism and intollerance as well as a misguided sense of entitlement and ignorance. All of those aforementioned things are needless and useless.

Photography is a business. It's also an art form. As is so often the case. Photography suffers from what I call ignorant love. People love photography. Photography is what makes advertising so successful. It's conscience raising as well as aesthetically satisfying and whether we want to admit it or not it supplies a soul full filling need in all of us.

In so many cases, photography is a young persons pursuit of passion and dreams. Many of the young dudes and dudettes here want to get on with pursuing their passion and as in anything in life being in a hurry to succeed isn't the best formula. Unfortunately, I've observed a disturbing sense of entitlement that allows some of the youngsters to believe that they don't need to pay attention to the lessons of experience but can just charge ahead, unheading of good advice.

A very wise old, extremely successful, sage in this industry once told me that because photographers are, for the most part, visual learners, they have trouble relying on their auditory faculties to receive important lessons. He went on to say that the smart and ultimately successful photographers usually are the ones who discover that listening and actively seeking out good advice is one of the most important elements in this business.

It seems strange that in an era of great unsettling change in the photography business people wouldn't want to pursue as much experienced knowledge as possible instead of charging off willy/nilly trying to figure out some crazy shortcut to success.

It's just as odd to me that some of the elders in our business would see value in poking fun at pointless behavior. Offering up valuable experienced alternatives to acting foolish is what my father always suggested and I believe that is still good advice today. If, instead of poking fun or belittling dumb moves it's possible to make good suggestions, someone might be made to feel better about what's possible and less defensive about their mistakes.

There's not one person whose been a member of this site that hasn't at some point in their career make some really stupid gaff. There's not one person on this site who hasn't worked for less money than they should have. There's not one person here who hasn't done something lame that added to the continuing slide of this wonderful industry. So, for those of you old farts who feel that proclaiming self righteousness about their position get the hell over it. Supposedly, we are creative people. Let's work together creatively to try and figure out better ways to get people on board to lift the photographic industry instead of allowing it to continue to slide downhill.

Young people are just naive. They are insecure and unsure about how to find a path to success. They also need help to figure out that listening is a valuable skill.

Old farts are a valuable resource but only if they aren't self righteous and intolerant. This place has such great potential to be a source of real education and enlightenment. We all have to keep our artistic insecurities in check to help each other. Leave your damn egos at the doors folks and you'll find a lot of things will get better. Take the chips off your shoulders and you'll find life gets a lot easier quicker. None of us knows everything so, if we are just willing to share and be civil we might all actually become better at what we do and .... who we are.

Rick Rickman
 This post is:  Informative (35) | Funny (0) | Huh? (1) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Steve Allen, Photographer
Concord | CA | USA | Posted: 10:35 AM on 06.18.12
->> Well said Rick. There are especially a few that are the biggest egos here, we Probably all know who, most like myself don't bother reading what they type - even though there are others who defend these guys saying how this and that they are.... Who cares, they lost me at "insert their name up top" due to their continued belittling and arogent behaviour. I don't bother reading what they say. I see a trend, in many forums, it is unfortunate. At least if left unchecked by the forum mods.... and it chases off lots of good posters.
 This post is:  Informative (2) | Funny (1) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Dave Einsel, Photographer, Photo Editor
Houston | TX | United States | Posted: 12:34 AM on 06.24.12
->> Bump.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 6:02 AM on 06.24.12
->> As a fellow older-than-dirt photographer like Mr. Rickman -– who I’ve had the great pleasure of knowing, shooting with and competing against for over 30 years –- I find his words not only eloquent but to the point and oh so true.

I’ve had fellow old fart shooters/SS members contact me privately time and again where we’ve discussed the lack of focus on many SS topics and comments that have gone viral on things like US Presswire (of which many “facts” and claims were flat out wrong) along with attacks against people for simply asking a question while matters like changes/gains in copyright protection which affect all of us don’t even get a reply let alone an intellectual discussion.

And it amazes me how people can go off on someone and make potentially damaging comments without ever asking the subject what the facts are in the first place before posting a worldwide rant. I’ve been the target of such mis-information myself. I just did a search on my name in the SS thread archive and found one titled “Kobe and Cutlines...” from 2003 that I never saw until now. The first entry reads:
“Check out this AP cutline: Los Angeles Lakers (news)' Kobe Bryant (news) shows off his new tattoo as a tribute to his wife, Vanessa and Psalm 27 during camp Monday, Oct. 6, 2003, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Bryant never used to talk about his faith. Funny how fast a man can get religion when he's in trouble. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac) That's not cool bro! ;)”

Subsequent comments by the poster and others blasted me with things like “I wonder if Douglas has a side job writing for Jay Leno” and “Perhaps Douglas got his cue from the Limbaugh Institute for Advance Mental Disengagement” and “I doubt Pizac has ever been through what Kobe is going through right now; also, from the flavor of his commentary on religion, likely not a religious person himself.”

For the record, the first sentence is mine and still resides as such in the AP photo archive. It is the only sentence I wrote for the caption. It reads “Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant shows off his new tattoo as a tribute to his wife, Vanessa, and Psalm 27 during camp Monday, Oct. 6, 2003, in Honolulu, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)” The cutline is direct and neutral.

The other two sentences about Kobe’s faith and getting religion however were added by the publication who printed my photo. I had absolutely nothing to do with the offensive commentary, nor would I ever condone or even think of doing such an injustice to not only Kobe but photojournalism itself. However, because the thread is now part of the Internet’s search engines I must post a correction to a nine-year-old thread. Why? Because leaving such misinformation to live on in online perpetuity can be damaging should a future employer, client or security clearance entity do a search on my name, find it, and assume I am a heartless bastard because of the words of others.

Like Mr. Rickman, I too now teach college level photography courses not only to earn an income but more importantly to give back to my beloved career of nearly four decades and to teach the next generation of photographers not only how to hone their craft but to do the right thing, treat all your subjects with the same high respect, and be very careful of what you say and do because if you falter the breach in your integrity and credibility could go worldwide with the click of the Internet send/publish button. And this goes not only for what you may do to yourself, but what you falsely say about others and the damage that can cause to them.

Heed what Rick says because he speaks the truth. Thank you Rick for your prose. Your words of wisdom are always welcomed.

-- Doug Pizac
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (1) | Huh? (1) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

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Thread Title: Professionalism & Civility vs. Antagonism & Intollerance
Thread Started By: Rick Rickman
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