Forum

Discussion in 'Forum Announcements' started by martin henson, Nov 23, 2016.

  1. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Otley West Yorkshire
    As Admin I am checking on the forum each day many times, and to my disappointment I find I am the only one there. I think its shows how little interest there is in LF or there is not enough content.

    I think I am right in saying that another popular LF forum has died and its not that hard to see why.

    We really need members to post, pictures, ideas, comments anything relating the this wonderful medium, no good sitting on the fence viewing the forum list which many do.

    I do realize that there are not that many members and expect the place to be slow at times however in 3 days maybe a jaw breaking 2 members have contributed and some really experienced members who must have a lot of knowledge not posting at all or very little.

    Now I am not moaning or pointing fingers just raising a concern that it could go the way of the other forum which we really don't want to see.

    If you feel there is anything we can do to improve then let me or Ian know. We a started off running, then to a walk now its snails pace, the next will be to stop, please don't let this happen.

    Regards to all
     
    Bill Martindale likes this.
  2. alexmuir

    alexmuir Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland.
    I enjoy the content on the forum, but agree that it can be quiet at times. I am trying to produce work that I can contribute, but have been stuck for time, and my 4x5 images so far have been disappointing. I will keep trying! In the meantime I hope it can continue as I prefer this LF forum to the other option.
    Alex


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Otley West Yorkshire
    Thanks Alex for replying
     
  4. Keith Haithwaite

    Keith Haithwaite Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    45
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pontefract, England
    I understand your frustration Martin but trying to go head-to-head wih the two biggest established analogue/LF forums was always going to be an onerous task and one which more than likely sank the forum you referred to.

    We haven't a snowball-in-hells chance of of competing with the vast wealth of information and advice that already exists in those forums and I suspect that most, if not all, of the members here are members of them and some will also have participated in the said forums in the manner you alluded to i.e. asked questions and sought information.

    Large format photography is light years apart from the digital camera/cameraphone-toting world where images are selected from the zillions taken each minute and find their way onto thousands of forums which in turn leads to very busy sites - and there is nothing wrong with that but I don't need to tell anyine here that the LF world is the antithesis of this.

    Comparatively speaking, LF images are few and far between and, as many LF photographers never digitise their images, the number of submissions to forums are an order of magnitude less than those of the digital world - even on the big sites, so expecting a regular influx of images here is probably asking too much, especially from European members at this time of the year.

    Of couse we started off running. Like any new kid on the block we attracted attention and people came to see what we offered - sadly not enough to warrant their continued attention it would seem.

    So for what it's worth, this is my opinion on the 'state of the nation'. Can we do anything about it? - I'm not sure. I love the intimacy of the small forum even though I have only met one other member and perhaps therein lies a little nugget. Dare I suggest that we look towards organising small photoshoots here in the UK? Nothing too grand, possibly on a regional basis and perhaps just for one day? It seems from the membership that there are one or two 'clusters' of members that might like to give it some thought.

    Anyway, my apologies for rambling on a bit, these are just thoughts that occured to me as I sat here but hopefully there is more food for thought.
     
  5. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Otley West Yorkshire
    Well put Kieth and thanks, the meet would be a good idea if we could set it up
     
  6. Mathieu Bauwens

    Mathieu Bauwens Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2016
    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Brussels, belgium
    Home Page:
    Don't forget that LF photography is time consuming and take time,too.
    Not everyone can produce or post 2 pictures a day. This is a small forum, at his beginning. allow time to time.
     
  7. Alan9940

    Alan9940 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    180
    Likes Received:
    29
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    Martin, IMO the "problem" with these types of forums is that they're somewhat of a social outlet like Facebook. I participate on a number of analog forums and IMO there's rarely anything of substance offered. Like Facebook, lots of babbling about really nothing...

    Regarding this specific forum and my own participation, I have been a LF photographer (amateur/hobbyist) for nearly 40 years. I have replied to many posts where a specific question and/or issue was raised, but what do I really have to offer? Photography, at least for me, is a sole pursuit that has taken many years of experimenting with various materials to determine what works for me. What works for me probably won't work for you or anyone else. What help is it for me to tell anyone how I expose or develop my film? What paper developer I use? I'm sure you get the idea. This all reminds me of something my photo mentor said to me many, many years ago when I first started showing him my work. He said, 'I really can't teach you anything. Read "Letters to a Young Poet" by Rilke. Everything I would say is said better in there.' I read the book, of course! :)

    As for posting images, I have a personal rule that I don't do that due to an issue years ago. When I had my website, I spent quite a bit of time ensuring that none of my images could be downloaded; not even a thumbnail. Overkill? Perhaps...

    So, where does all this leave a person like myself? If you, Ian, or any other member would prefer that I not participate because I'm not active enough or not active in the "correct" manner, simply let me know and I'll stop visiting here. I truly hope this forum doesn't just whither and die...I really do.

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to offer an opinion.

    P.S. I think the "get together" for photo shoots mentioned above is a great idea for those that may be able to attend.
     
  8. Stephen Batey

    Stephen Batey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    256
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    60
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    None (retired)
    Location:
    Sussex - but originally from Wakefield.
    I normally look in here more than once a day - in fact, I read this thread when there was only an opening post and no replies. If there are no new posts, I'm straight out again, which is perhaps why Martin never spots me.

    The most enjoyable forum I was ever on was the long dead Arem forum, which was also very small, but had an enthusiastic core. The main activity was in posting and discussing photos, and there were some excellent photographers there. In those days, I was using medium format.

    I haven't got a lot I want to ask about; I would have when I first started in large format, as everything was new to me and I had to find a lot of the way by myself. Now, there's not a lot (if anything) I want to ask about. I'm not adventurous in wanting to try out new things, preferring to stick with what I know. The only two films I've used in large format are Fuji Acros (in Quickloads) and Ilford FP4. The only developer I've used is Rodinal. In the absence of encountering difficulties that might be solved by a change, I've seen no reason to vary.

    I "experimented" more back in the 1960s, although "experimented" is too grand a term for trying something new at regular intervals without making notes or standardising any variables. I've used many developers and films, but to be honest the only one that made any difference to the results I got was the original Acutol. The acutance effect with PanF was amazing. My own preference has always been easy of use, which is why I used Unitol (one ounce, one film, use once) until it was discontinued. With medium and large format, I now use Rodinal as much as anything because it lasts forever and is a one shot.

    Leaving out the technical material, that leaves artistry as the only subject matter. I gave up on that some time ago as the forum I mainly used (PhotoAnswers, now defunct) wasn't interested in things like that - too subjective, you either like it or you don't etc. No one could (apparently) differentiate like/dislike from good/bad when it came to anything remotely "arty" and therefore to them any attempt to discuss art was doomed to failure because there was nothing objective, it was all subjective. It was wrestling with smoke to attempt to discuss it. TalkPhotography is much the same, except that there are even more militant anti art people always willing to derail a discussion. So years of training on other forums has taught me to leave well alone.

    Put up my photos and discuss them? Interesting thought, but if the idea is that you either like or dislike them, that there are no objective standards and anyone's opinion is as good as anyone else's, what's the point? If I like them, then they're incapable of improvement; after all, if I can't see a fault no one else need bother as subjectivism rules.

    This forum shows many signs of not being like that, but old habits die hard.

    There have been some interesting questions posted here, but they are often couched in closed terms that imply that a lack of direct personal experience precludes joining in. I have sometimes been tempted to post to the effect that I've never tried it (whatever "it" is) but.... and gone on from there. However, that seems a little too much off topic. As is, I suppose, a lot of this post. My purpose was to explain why I'm not as active as perhaps I might be, even though I am a regular lurker here.
     
  9. Graham Patterson

    Graham Patterson Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    As a Brit lining in California for the past 17 years, I do find the UK element (I almost said 'European perspective'!) a change from largeformatphotography.info. It is one of the attractions, in fact.

    If you look at the activity metrics for APUG, you will see that the proportion of the membership online, and contributing, is not huge. It\ is the nature of organisations. It is 5:30pm here - about 1:30am in the UK, so I probably will not overlap a lot of people.
     
  10. Richard Warom

    Richard Warom Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Longton Lancs
    I think its just early days yet Martin, I log on every day and respond where I feel I can.
    The forum didn't start until this summer was well on its way so maybe next year will be more fruitful and the members will have the forum in mind as an extension of their LF activity.
    The website is good looking and easy to navigate and when photos are shown they are at a very good size which makes them attractive to view.
    Richard
     
  11. Bill Martindale

    Bill Martindale Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Furness Peninsula
    I check in here a number of times a day and keep up with the threads that are active. One of the problems I would have posting images is that I take very few LF images and with long intervals between. I also do not have a good scanner so would need to make darkroom prints before I could scan them at fairly low resolution. This does not diminish my enjoyment of the forum and some of the images posted are outstanding. It is just that I am unable to contribute in that manner. Also because I am an infrequent user of LF I don't feel I can make valid comments on the threads running as I don't have the relevant experience.
    However I hope the forum thrives and that I will be able to be a more useful member in the future.
    Bill
     
  12. mono

    mono Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Germany
    Hmmh, sorry,
    I´m a more passive than active member.
     
  13. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Otley West Yorkshire
    Thanks for all your input, at least it got you posting;-)

    Best regards
    Martin
     
  14. angusparker

    angusparker New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Francisci, CA, USA
    Another Brit living in California. I think it's tough to start another English language LF forum going up against LFPF - the Australian LF Forum is also quite slow. I guess it makes sense to concentrate building activity that is geographically constrained like buying/selling and meet-ups. I'm married to a Spaniard and have been on the Spanish language LF forum which has quite a bit more activity (although not huge) - I think quite a few of the Spanish LF community is monolingual so that might explain things. Having fun trying to figure out what all the specialized LF vocabulary is in Spanish.
     
  15. Stephen Weston

    Stephen Weston New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Essex
    I usually check in once or twice a day just to see whats going on. I find myself in the same boat as Bill. I do hope the forum manages to keep going.
     
  16. David M

    David M Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2017
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South London
    I gave up following the previous UK LF forum as it descended into inexplicable niggles and quarrels. I really couldn't see the point of any of them.
    I sometimes look at the US LF forum too. Full of useful information, but very US-centred. If I might blaspheme a little, you really can have too many views from AA's tripod holes.
    This forum was a welcome discovery. Polite and inclusive. I like the way it's a rather broad church and includes all sorts of ways of making images. LF photography is a minority interest inside the minority of serious (I wish I could think of a better word) photographers, so it might never be huge. But as far as I can see, it's doing well.
     
    LEO likes this.
  17. martin henson

    martin henson Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2016
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    115
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Otley West Yorkshire
    Thanks David, very encouraging comments.

    Regards
    Martin
     
  18. David Webb

    David Webb New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    In response to the Martins comments on lack of input, I have to confess that apart from my initial postings I’m as guilty as anyone. Unfortunately my photography has been unavoidably cut short in recent weeks as I’ve been looking after the wife following a spell in hospital.
    Maybe this little diy project of mine will be of interest:
    Sometimes I find it easier to evaluate/fine tune a print exposure using localised test strips, so this is my simple design for a localised test strip printer. I think it’s easier to make than the type shown in the “Way Beyond Monochrome” book.
    I was already using the small 5x7 inch easel with the wooden blocks for continuous test strips, so all I did was make a tray to allow the easel to slide one space at a time inside it - the tray isn't moved. I remove my normal easel and replace it with this, and the distance between the paper and the lens is the same.
    It’s easier to show how it works with pictures, rather than trying to explain.
    Start position:
    Position 1.jpg
    2nd position:
    Position 2.jpg
    and so on to the final position:
    FinalPosition.jpg
    The resulting test print:
    TestStrip.jpg

    Regards, David.
     
    LEO likes this.
  19. Graham Patterson

    Graham Patterson Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    This forum is a little more show and tell than the US site. The range and depth of knowledge on the US site is ...intimidating... sometimes. It's a bit like being back at grammar school - with some staff you just had to be on the ball and precise, others were more relaxed :cool:

    I'm happy to have both.

    I like the test strip printer solution. Convincing students to move the paper not the mask was always a challenge at first. And books suggesting otherwise didn't help. You have to compare like to like.
     
  20. KenS

    KenS Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    140
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    There might also be one.... that of 'weather'.

    Although I have enjoyed life in Canada since I 'escaped' the UK in '63, I have still not found any pleasure trying to practice the art and craft of large format photography outdoors, when winter temperatures regularly drop down to the -20° to -30°C range... or any time during the rest of the year, the 90+ km/hr Chinook winds out of the west. We just have to 'subtract' those numbers from the remainder of the 365 to spend on my summer's 'H.f.H. volunteer' days, then... days when it might not be 'quite' warm enough, or those with 'liquid' precipitation. BUT... spring should soon be 'in the air' soon... and hopefully, I may 'escape the eye of SWMBO... who always seems to be able to 'find' (at the shortest of notice) chores have to be seen to .

    Ken
     

Share This Page