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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

The Intensity of Camera Enthusiasts
Joey Terrill, Photographer
Tarzana | CA | USA | Posted: 9:16 AM on 08.10.13
->> An interesting article by the always insightful Nick Bilton in the New York Times about cameras, photography forums and the venom and shaming he received after writing about Leica cameras. "I am endlessly astonished about the rigid and hostile views and arguments over nothing," one reader responded. He goes on to say that the forum was, "the equivalent of a digital dartboard." http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/the-camera-community-defends-their...
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 12:47 PM on 08.10.13
->> It's the nature of the Internet. Nothing new there. Was that the first time
he ever wrote anything online?
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 12:53 PM on 08.10.13
->> The article reminded me of my younger days at Mileo Photo in Miami. The client base was a good mix of professional and amateur, and none as passionate as the Leica owners. Note that I said owners and not shooters.

Many of them had enough knowledge that they knew that Leica was good - very good. Many of them collected, sold and traded anything Leica - and this was in the late 60s and early 70s. I can remember two people who actually shot consistently - Rose - who was a owner; and Al, a friend of Rose's who happened to be a lawyer. He may have also had a Leica SLR ... but it's been a long time (Both used M series range finders. We also carried the SLR which was rock solid, but the price made Nikon look like a real deal.)

Everyone else - well, they fawned over their Leicas. They would buy something and 2 months later want to trade it for something else Leica. Passionate? VERY much so. There were serious collectors back then. But darned few of them actually shot with the cameras.

The article only surprises me in one respect: The mentality is even worse now than then if that's possible. Leica owners felt then as now that the Leica was the best camera in the world.

I shot with everything in the store back then from Minox to Deardoff. What I learned back then still applies today: The camera, whatever brand it is, is simply a tool - a photographic paint brush.

Ultimately, it's the nut behind the viewfinder that is the critical difference. But, just like then, you'll have a hard time convincing some people of that fact. The less they actually use the equipment, the harder it was to convince them of that.
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Joey Terrill, Photographer
Tarzana | CA | USA | Posted: 5:58 PM on 08.10.13
->> It's interesting that in just three short sentences. the first comment to this post exhibited the exact behavior that the NY Times article was referring to.

The first is an authoritative comment based solely on the commenter's personal view of the Internet while dismissing the myriad ways the Internet can be informative, interesting and thought provoking. It also illustrates the fact that every commenter on the Internet has the choice of whether to contribute helpfully to a dialog, attempt to dismiss the dialog as useless, or not comment at all. It's only "the nature of the Internet," when you decide to participate or contribute to the negative part of it.

The second sentence is remarkable in it's breadth: There are some 7,000 users of this site. How can the commenter possibly know that there is "nothing new there," for every reader of this site? I assume he must have meant nothing new to him. I suspect that there might be more than a few users of this site who might find the content of the article new, but apparently since it's not new to him and not useful to him, it's not useful to anyone—and should therefore be summarily dismissed.

Finally, there's the shaming comment about the NY Times columnist who posted the article. With only the smallest amount of research the commenter might have discovered that not only is this not his first time being published online—he is a New York Times columnist after all—but that he's also a fine photographer, a published book author, the lead blogger on the New York Times Bits Technology site, and that he has more than 192,000 people following him on Twitter. So, no, this wasn't the "first time he ever wrote anything online."
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 6:54 PM on 08.10.13
->> Joey, with all due respect, you obviously don't know sarcasm when you read it. But I have to say I am honored that after seeing you've been a member here for 11 years and having only made 11 postings in that time you used one of those precious few posts to bash me with a dissection, followed by a dissertation of my comment. seriously dude, lighten up. It's the internet. If he, or you for that matter, are just now realizing that people are rude on the internet it's time for ya'll to wake up. thanks for taking your valuable time to research mr. bilton and enlighten all of us with his very impressive stats. you don't work in the newspaper business but I can assure you those comments weren't near as harsh as the stuff we get at our paper on our comment boards. as bad as you might think things are here on good ole SS, I think I can safely say that if this message board allowed anonymous postings you might faint. yes, it's horrible that some of us are sarcastic. sarcasm is not for everyone. wait, damn....I'm being sarcastic again. the horror, the horror.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 7:58 PM on 08.10.13
->> People were rude on the internet before there was an internet. I remember a forum for independent software developers I used to hang out in on CompuServe 20 years ago was exactly the same way.

Computer programmers and photographers have a lot in common: creative and imaginative people with (highly varied but GENERALLY) poor social skills.

OK, now flame me for insulting all of you.
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Mark J. Terrill, Photographer
Simi Valley | CA | USA | Posted: 8:11 PM on 08.10.13
->> Chuck, Why does the fact that it's the internet make it okay to be rude or sarcastic to people? There is also war, famine, crime and massive drug addiction problems in this world. Should we all just throw up our hands and say "Well, that's just the way the world is." and not try to do something about it? Yes, it's just the internet, but there are people out there that have killed themselves because of things said on the internet. In the case of SS, I suspect that the derision here has kept most of the 7,000 people from ever posting here as well as made many of them quit SportsShooter.

BTW, Joey did major in photojournalism and work at the Los Angeles Times for a few years in the early eighties, but was smart enough to get the hell out of the business.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 10:29 PM on 08.10.13
->> Tag team!!!! Lettttttttttssssss Rrrrummmmbbbbble! Lighten up, drink a beer (or two).
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:59 PM on 08.10.13
->> I understand Joey and Marks feelings. On this site Chuck you have consistently been so negative ti is unreal you have hurt people so much i see your name and think what is he putting down now. It is about time to be helpful there is an old sports shooter that is not on this forum who form the moment I started shooting sports refused to talk to me . he has done this to a number of people For years it hurt and now it is just sad, that a very well regarded person can pick people to hate. Think about it how do you want to be thought of. i was told by one of his friends when i started you will end up like us. Well I see a kid shooter and try to be nice and helpful to this day.
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Joseph Zimmerman, Photographer
Howard | Pa | USA | Posted: 12:48 AM on 08.11.13
->> I don't know chuck liddy but would love to sit down and chat with him one day. I think some of you are just making more out of it than it is and turning around with the attacks on him for pointing out old news. Yes its old news. Like Chuck S points out trolls have been around since the usenet/BBB days. Whether its cameras, cars, gaming, any forum/blog/user net I've ever been a part of has had it's trolls.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 8:36 AM on 08.11.13
->> Thank Joseph, at least someone got what I was trying to get across....and don't worry about me...I'm used to being the SS piñata !!! It makes me laugh., frequently and loudly.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 10:56 AM on 08.11.13
->> "...you obviously don't know sarcasm when you read it..."

There are a lot of people that don't understand sarcasm but if you really want to mess someone up try litotes.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:32 AM on 08.11.13
->> Sarcasm omn the internet in emails in texts usuually leads to trouble. in the printed word you do not get to hear the voice and it just comes across like a punch in the gut. I would think by now someone as smart as Chuck is, no no sarcasm here, and all the grief he has gotten would've have figured this out by now and tried to be more constructive.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 4:42 PM on 08.11.13
->> "Sarcasm omn the internet in emails in texts usuually leads to trouble".

Unlike, say, a spell checker.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:10 PM on 08.11.13
->> Negativity is a drag, maybe you guys should try going without it for a week and see what happens.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:12 PM on 08.11.13
->> negativity here chased away a lot of people and that is really sad.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 9:49 AM on 08.12.13
->> That's a load of garbage. Negativity has never chased anyone away from SS. Inane comments and silliness from GWC's has caused more people to bail out than negativity. OH CRAP!!! was that negative? I guess because I don't agree with you it's negative. that seems to be the major gripe from a lot of people....you don't agree with them and "you're negative" or "you're angry" or "you're inappropriate" good god. hell I work for a daily newspaper I have one of the most positive attitudes around. I just call bullshit when I see it or hear it. that's not negativity sir.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 11:15 AM on 08.12.13
->> I wish this thread did not exist with the same passion I have for hating Hitler and Honey Boo Boo.
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Robert Seale, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 11:53 AM on 08.12.13
->> Mark, I can assure you that Chuck is just as rude and sarcastic in person as he is on the internet. That's part of his charm.
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Armando Solares, Photographer
Englewood | FL | USA | Posted: 12:55 PM on 08.12.13
->> G.J. - I think Honey Boo Boo deserves just a little less hate than Hitler. She is a minor after all. - just saying.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 1:58 PM on 08.12.13
->> Not garbage and very true. the funny thing is I am a new yorker in person we would probably be fine . But I have learned on the internet what is fine in person is not so fine on forums, I hope someday you learn this Chuck.
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Michael Granse, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 4:56 PM on 08.12.13
->> I am pretty sure that I am against whatever caused this.
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Joey Terrill, Photographer
Tarzana | CA | USA | Posted: 5:26 PM on 08.12.13
->> Interesting dialog. And a revealing one as well.

Internet bullies never seem to make mistakes. They don't write things in error, they don't attack people, they don't shame people, they have no reason for regrets, and they are never, ever wrong. Despite people suggesting otherwise, they will always assert that it's the person reading their comments who needs to adjust their perspective and adapt. No matter the issue or the subject, it's someone else who is the problem.

They are also quite adept at laying the blame at the feet of the offended. They will tell you that you're too sensitive, you don't understand, you live a sheltered life, you don't live in the real world, or that you can't handle the truth. They will enlighten you with how tough and calloused their particular existence is and how far removed you are from it; thus, you're just too soft and sensitive to understand their particular brand of communication. It's you, the reader, that's the problem.

What they never seem to do is address the argument about their behavior. Instead, they engage in mocking you personally for having the audacity to raise it. They attack your inability to handle sarcasm or rudeness as though they are the arbiter of what someone else should be able, or wish, to handle. If that doesn't work, they'll completely shift the discussion away from their behavior and target something like your lack of message board postings—apparently preferring to argue that "posting by the pound" is the equivalent of posting something that has value. It's a transparent tactic that conveniently shifts the focus elsewhere. It's all you have left when you can't defend the bullying and rude communication on it's merits. It's like the photographer who would prefer to talk about his portfolio case hoping you'll overlook the weak pictures within it. The diversion rarely works.

What would be interesting is to see how many of the serial offenders here would be willing to start a thread that begins, "My name is (insert name here). Users of the SportsShooter message board seem to be repeatedly hurt or offended by my postings and feel that because of my behavior, voices have been silenced, discussions have been abandoned, and valuable members have left the organization. I don't believe that other members have any cause to be offended or have ever left the organization as a result of my behavior here. However, in the interest of making this message board the type of environment that encourages thoughtful conversations, friendly engagement, and spirited discussion without bullying or shaming, I hereby offer to resign my membership if at least 50 people mark this post 'inappropriate' as an indication of my misguided contribution here."

It would be revealing to see if any of the serial offenders would have their usual supreme self-confidence to put their membership on the line and actually risk having their voices silenced—or at the very least, get some indication of how people actually feel without being bullied into how someone else thinks they should feel. I would submit that if the offenders truly feel their contributions and comments have been valuable and without offense, there is virtually no risk to their sustained membership.

As a good-faith offer, I'm willing to go first. Simply mark this post "inappropriate," and if the number reaches 50, I'll resign my membership immediately and not make any further contributions here. Simple.
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Robert Caplin, Photographer
New York/Barcelona | Worldwide | | Posted: 6:39 PM on 08.12.13
->> ^ Couldn't. Agree. More.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 7:48 PM on 08.12.13
->> So we're voting people off the website now? Sweet. This is just like watching an episode of Survivor!

Everyone hold on while I go make some popcorn ...
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 8:01 PM on 08.12.13
->> ....so much for me ever making a sarcastic comment when Joey posts something....ouch...and your avatar is so cute! GJ I'm bringing the nachos and queso dip....
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:18 PM on 08.12.13
->> Well I have another idea any way to ban people from commenting on there posts.
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 12:53 AM on 08.13.13
->> The saddest thing about this entire exchange is this:

Chuck Liddy is (in real life) the type of person that any single one of us, irrespective of whether he knows you personally or not, could, in a time of need, turn to for help and he'd move Heaven and Earth to be there for you. I'm honored to count Chuck as both a friend and a colleague.

While I don't know Joey personally, I feel confident (based on his long-standing and admirable reputation) that the same can be, and likely is, said of him as well.

These are two seasoned professionals who both have a lot to offer this site and, by extension, have a lot to offer the photojournalism community as a whole. Admittedly they both have a different tact. Fine. I'm an adult; Chuck's bedside manner doesn't offend me. We're all adults here. Let's get past this.

Respectfully,

-Blanco
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Clark Brooks, Photo Editor, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 1:24 AM on 08.13.13
->> Lets look at the other side of that coin Mr. Terrill is holding, shall we?

Internet wimps never seem to make mistakes. Everybody always picks on them. They don't write things in error, they never leave themselves open to attack, they don't accept responsibility for their inability to effectively communicate their ideas, they have no reason for regrets, and they are never, ever wrong. Despite people suggesting otherwise, they will always assert that it's the person reading their comments who needs to adjust their perspective and adapt. No matter the issue or the subject, it's someone else who is the problem not them.

They are also quite adept at laying the blame at the feet of the offender. They will tell you that they are too caustic, you don't understand them, you are too dog-eat-dog, you don't live in the real world or that your years of experience or technical knowledge is not relevant. They will enlighten you with how insensitive and hurtful your existence is and how far removed you are from real life (as they see it); thus, you're just too hard and battle-seasoned to understand their particular brand of gentle communication which requires plenty of ego stroking and cuddling. It's you, the guy that gives them the answer they didn't want to hear, that's the problem.

The coin is just as dull and abrasive on the other side.

- - -

What both parties generally avoid is staying on point to discuss their differences in perception and clarify any misconception. Generally speaking, both parties clearly believe they do not need to modify how they communicate in order to exchanged their thoughts or experience in a civilized, thoughtful manner. When one side does not comprehend or can not logically defend their position, almost immediately the conversation deteriorate into personal attacks. Then allies of both parties jump in following up with additional salvos of comments intended to be hurtful, the weight of their words dragging the thread down further.

Message forums would be much more civil if folks just followed one very simple rule. If a post offends you don't immediately peck out a response to post or fire off that fiery email laced with obscenities. Instead, wait a minimum of 24 hours to respond. Read and re-read the post, as well as the following replies, as many times as you like, but do not post, if you still feel the need, until after 24 or more hours have past. Your argument will be much more logical and persuasive if you wait, think, then post.

Participating on message forums is a lot like driving a car. If you are going to drive, you are likely to be involved in an accident at some point. If one is going to actively participate on message forums, you are likely to read a post that offends you. If you don't drive, you won't get in accident, but you'll never reach your destination. If you don't participate, you won't be the target of an unwanted comment, but you will never obtain the knowledge you wish to learn or share.
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 1:27 AM on 08.13.13
->> http://www.sportsshooter.com/news/2635
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 1:43 AM on 08.13.13
->> Thanks Nic Years ago i was shooting in the old Yankee Stadium being in the back row and being 6 foot 2 I was blocking a fan just barely. I said can you work with me and let me know just how tall i can stay so I slowly started lowering my monopod. We worked ti out I could still shoot. Turns out it was the owner of the Devil Rays
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Michael Proebsting, Photographer
Barrington | IL | USA | Posted: 9:39 AM on 08.13.13
->> Why is it every time a thread like this pops up I am reminded of this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2SbCW7K_YM
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 11:26 AM on 08.14.13
->> @Seelig

I come from the school of it's just easier for both parties to work together. There are enough assholes out there, so why not try to be the nice guy. We're all working hard out there.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 12:31 PM on 08.14.13
->> Actually, this is what I think every time this thread pops up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYMSJxN4WDU

So I read all the way through this, and like every other time we've run in to this abyss of negativity and hurt feelings, I have the same thoughts:

Everybody chill out and stop taking yourselves -- and this website -- so seriously.

It's that simple.

- gerry -
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Joey Terrill, Photographer
Tarzana | CA | USA | Posted: 8:37 PM on 08.14.13
->> With the utmost respect for everyone's comments and opinions, this discussion would seem to be more important and far-reaching than anyone's individual sensitivities or opinions. Shouldn't the broader question be, "What exactly is the purpose of the SS message board?"

If the purpose is to provide a few members with their own personal sandbox to throw sand in other people's faces, then for them, it's functioning as designed. If the purpose of the forum is for people to ask questions, share insights and gain knowledge, then it would seem that more than a few members don't understand the intended outcome when someone resorts to sarcasm, shaming, or mocking them for their question or their posting.

For reference, here is the precise and accurate definition of sarcasm from the dictionary:

"to mock or convey contempt: his voice, hardened by sarcasm, could not hide his resentment."

I guess I would ask, why does mocking, contempt or resentment have a place on the SportsShooter message board and why are a few members so eager to demonstrate how resentful they are of others?

If you love the profession, believe in the next generation of photographers, and wish to support their growth, exactly how does sarcasm, mocking, contempt, or resentment help them? If people are complaining about someone's tone and comments—and still they continue to run roughshod over others waving the flag of sarcasm as though it's a birthright—how is that not deeply selfish? More importantly, how exactly are those members honoring the profession and their contribution to it when they choose to mock others publicly?

Is it just that the resentment of other photographers—veteran and novice alike—is just so deep that kindness, encouragement, or even silence is simply not possible for some members?
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 11:51 PM on 08.14.13
->> Amen Joey
Photography saved my life . I was orphaned at 16 if not for my work, Is tarted shooting at 13, I do not know what would've happened to me. So for me this world of photos is a religion so to speak, and I am here on this earth to be something positive. For those who do not know Joey has a site to help others learn about lighting it is free and I have never seen ads on it. He gives something we should all do and no I am not directing that at anyone.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 8:14 AM on 08.15.13
->> Well said Joey.

I joined for the connecting with colleagues, hearing what is happening in the industry and the ability to share my experiences.

Thanks for putting you neck out there and saying this, it is ling over due.
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 9:54 AM on 08.15.13
->> "So for me this world of photos is a religion so to speak, and I am here on this earth to be something positive."

You and me both, David. Call it fate or what have you, but I really can't see myself understanding the world in any other way than via a camera.

Ironically enough, I had eye surgery at 18 months old and wore glasses since. I'm 29 now and the camera has become a pair of glasses for me.

Due to a terrible (understatement) high school experience and people giving me a hard time, I'm really bad at looking people in the eye, although I know it's very important, but discovering photography as a means of viewing the world and all it and the people here have to offer, changed my life for the better.

I couldn't be happier now, so I try to approach it, and everyone in the world, with kindness and respect.

So let's be nice out there, shall we?
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Mark Perlstein, Photographer, Photo Editor
Plano | TX | USA | Posted: 12:10 PM on 08.15.13
->> I kind of like the occasional drama here, the sarcasm. This would be way too boring a forum otherwise. I can weed out the good from the bad.
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Jeff Jones, Photographer
Harrisburg | IL | USA | Posted: 12:31 PM on 08.15.13
->> For the record, I usually enjoy Chuck's barbed comments, but I've never been a target either. I can see how some might be offended, but I concur with pevious comments concerning taking the forum too seriously.
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David Seelig, Photographer
Hailey | ID | USA | Posted: 2:07 PM on 08.15.13
->> Jeff that feeling that is fine for a working pro but what about the kid just starting out. I started checking out being a pro at 13 years old running inot negativity like what we have here might have been devastating instead , I got a lot of support in those early years from Joe Dimaggio the photographer Tim Considine the ex actor turned photographer. Marcia Resnick fine art photographer and many others. Society is here to protect all of us from the weakest to the strongest, a place like this should not be compared with other forums but be the best it can be.
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Jeff Jones, Photographer
Harrisburg | IL | USA | Posted: 4:08 PM on 08.15.13
->> Sorry, but I never considered this a nurturing site. I always found it remakably candid and honest, real world, if you like. I would think a newbee could learn a lot by just listening (watching) the forum. They may learn that they don't like the people and work situations associated with sports and photojournalism. They may want to consider landscape photography. I think, though, that they will find most members here honest and helpful, even if they're a little gruff with their language at time. I think that too is real-world.

If some kid posts here that he would like some helpful advice, maybe a member could step forward to take on the roll as mentor on a one-to-one basis.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 5:31 PM on 08.15.13
->> If we ran a business where everyone was treated with honor, dignity and respect it would thrive.

Good etiquette does not rule out sarcasm, but when using it you need to really know the subject and they know you.

In an open forum like this you could still know the person and those around you will be offended because it may appear that you don't know them in the way you are talking.

While everyone is free to speak their mind they are not free from the responses they will get from speaking. There are consequences.

From a business perspective I can tell many "staff" photographers struggle making the switch to being an independent photographer running their own business. Use sarcasm inappropriately and you will damage your brand.

You see when clients hire you they must trust that you will represent them well. Many clients will hire certain photographers over and over because they do not just a great job, but make them look better when they show up.

Conversely, there are photographers that may have a great eye and are outstanding shooters, but when clients hire them, they always have a handler with the photographer.

There is no question in my mind there are photographers here being hired over and over because of their helpful posts. Also, I am sure some of us are burning bridges to clients even before we have shot for them.

Running a business requires you not to be the arbiter of truth all the time. Running a business requires you to be sensitive to your clients needs and others.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 6:56 PM on 08.15.13
->> For me, actions speak far, far louder than words, and in the end that's basically what this site is -- words.

I was kind of a "kid" when I first started poking around here about 10 years ago. Guess what? The message boards were about the same back then -- there were just a lot less people on the site, and there were more people involved, posting, who were what you all would consider "pros" ... I guess.

I'll be the first to admit that this site helped open doors for me. In a sense, I basically have the staff job I do now because of an acquaintance I made back then. Long story short, someone I reached out to via this site eventually put me in touch with folks at the DMN, which led to me picking up freelance work from the paper.

Most of what I've gotten from this site was because I reached out to folks; I did the work. Sure, I was able to ask questions on the message board, and absorb valuable information from other people's posts. But looking at the site as a whole, the percentage of what I've gotten from the actual message board is pretty small.

Take that for what it's worth, as it's my limited experience.

I'm not here to defend Chuck or anyone else, but I will say, having met the man in person and having a lot of mutual friends, I know he does a lot for folks in the business, whether they're just starting out or they're a little more established. And again, that's through action, not words.

Just a thought. I don't really want to get involved beyond that. I still think a lot of people on here take themselves and the message board a little too seriously, but hey, whatever. That's on those folks, not me.

Cheers,

- gerry -
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Joey Terrill, Photographer
Tarzana | CA | USA | Posted: 8:55 PM on 08.15.13
->> Under the About SportsShooter heading on the home page the creators of this site wrote:

"SportsShooter.com is an online community and resource for sports photographers and other working photojournalists. It serves as an informative and inspiring site for anyone who aspires to be on the sidelines capturing great moments at their favorite sporting venue."

"Anyone who aspires…"

By looking at that same home page, it would also seem that much of this site is devoted to the Sports Shooter Academy, workshops, scholarships awarded for students to attend those workshops, the monthly newsletter, and various other avenues where information is shared between photographers. I doubt that anyone would suggest that encouraging the next generation is the only reason this site exists, but education certainly appears to be a primary focus.

Further, can anyone accurately define where the novices end and the "pros" begin?

If someone posts here asking, "Where do I get credentials?" some members become enraged and indignant and the shaming begins. But, if someone were to post these questions: "What size beauty dish is best for a 3/4 length portrait?" or "When shooting the football team photo, how can I make the strobe exposure equal to 1/10th of an f/stop from front to back?" or "How many watt-seconds will I likely need to overpower the sun using a seven-foot Octabank at noon at ISO 200 without using Hypersync?" Because of the type of work I do, these are fundamental questions. So, if I were to see these queries posted, should I simply dismiss the question as being from a novice and not worthy of an answer? And while I'm at it, should I shame the person for their ignorance? Or should I just answer them because they are a fellow photographer? Would you want the answer, or would you want to be dismissed as a "GWC?"

If you believe that fellow photographers haven't been influenced or affected by the behavior on this message board, I would offer these four excerpts from more than a dozen emails I received today alone that begin with the subject line, An email from SportsShooter.com viewer:

"Hi Joey,
I was a member from 2003 to 2010 (the years where the information was good and fruitful) I did not renew because of people like (names removed) asserted their method of hierarchy on this board.  Many people have asked me if I was a member and why I resigned.  All I do is refer them to a thread similar to yours and they see what I mean. Then I say why pay $25 to see this type of s**t.  Read it for free."

"Joey,
We've never met nor even corresponded, however I wanted to take a moment to let you know that you're not alone. I've tried being the voice of reason myself on a couple of occasions and have long decided that...it just doesn't work."

"Mr. Terrill,
Thank you for taking a stance on the state of the SS message board.  You have a valid point and are doing a great job expressing it.  Although the worst offenders on the message board will probably never get it hopefully more members will join you in your efforts to stand up to the bullies."

"Joey,
I'm not a long time SS Member, only 4 years or so.  But I lurked for a long time, reading the message boards, and monthly newsletter for years. But once I became a member I tended to stay away from the message boards. I don't want to fault anyone, but there seems to be a certain amount of negativity, self righteousness.  It's almost a pissing match to claim or reclaim your turf is happening.  The loudest voice wins. Sportsshooter used to be a different site.  There was a lot more teaching and learning involved. It was a thriving community. There were many how-to's posted after many member trial and errors. There was a sharing of information as the digital photography age was thrust upon all of us, and we all learned from one another.  A simple question asked on the boards to many of us, gets lambasted in the worst possible way.  The thread goes south quickly and many times off topic, ala your "Intensity of Camera Enthusiasts" thread."

This website is viewed by a number of influential people in the photography community. They may not ever post or comment, but they definitely read what people write. The photography business is much smaller than many imagine and it's easy to be lulled into believing that only a handful of other photographers are reading and discussing what's being posted here. In truth, there are many influential photographers and editors who read what's written and form lasting opinions about the people doing the writing. In a rapidly changing business environment, it seems wise to consider how best to contribute to this great profession and what sort of behavior to align with.
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Grover Sanschagrin, Photographer, Photo Editor
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 1:22 PM on 08.16.13
->> "...there seems to be a certain amount of negativity, self righteousness. It's almost a pissing match to claim or reclaim your turf is happening. The loudest voice wins."

I do believe this applies to every single message board on the Internet (and talk radio, too). People are people - some want constant attention, and some are easily annoyed by people like that, and that's just life as we all know it.

Either a website has a message board and deals with the good and bad that comes with it, or it doesn't have one at all and deals with people constantly asking for one.
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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 1:44 PM on 08.16.13
->> Post like this are needed every once in a while to help remind people of civility needed to keep more people engaged.

This is why we say some people have "class" not everyone does.
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Garrett Hubbard, Photographer
Washington | D.C. | USA | Posted: 2:39 PM on 08.16.13
->> I would be fascinated to see what percentage of the rude, dismissive, and snarky comments come from shooters with W2 income versus the percentage that comes from those with 1099 income. I think I already know the answer, but it would be fascinating nonetheless.

Thank you for your contributions in this area over the past few months Joey.
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 10:27 AM on 08.17.13
->> I have read this thread with interest since posting early on. When I started my response, Joey had just started. When I hit the send button, I noticed Chuck's response.

For the record, Joey Terrill is someone that I have met. I followed Joey around the Clarkson Workshop like a puppy dog many years ago. He and Robert Seale are responsible for my love affair for lighting. ( I remember watching Joey set up a shot and talking about using a grid - I had no idea what a grid was...).

Whether you are a 1099 or a W2, you should listen to what Joey writes whenever he writes it because he is at where most of us should aspire to be as a photographer, business person and damn fine human being.

Garrett hit it on the head.

Where does this leave Chuck? While I have never met Chuck we have communicated many times over the years. Can Chuck be a little over the top? Yes, but as I said, Garrett's analysis I believe is spot on. A lot of the members on this website are not journalists or photojournalists and never have been and their perspective is different - sometimes annoyingly so. I tend to hit the delete button sometimes and sometimes I respond. Chuck doesn't hit delete as often and sometimes, in my opinion, it doesn't serve him well. Knowing Chuck a little, I'm going to guess it doesn't bother him a bit that he's viewed as a hard core type.

Bottom line is this: Joey and Chuck, I love reading both of your posts. I would hate not having either one of you here, so please do the following: Joey - write more often if you can. Chuck, try not to let some of the BS that passes as knowledge by some get to you - it's not good for your blood pressure or your soul.

BOTH of you, please keep participating.Both of you are reasons why I keep forking my $25 over on a yearly basis.

And THANK YOU to both of you for giving a damn about others.

M
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 12:35 PM on 08.17.13
->> If you already know the answer, Garret, why don't you enlighten us - and explain why this is?
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