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Thread: BPN ETL Question and Help

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    BPN Member Sandy Witvoet's Avatar
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    Default BPN ETL Question and Help

    Hi All.... I would like to know why most of our wonderful photographers here seem to have no time to visit nor comment in the ETL Forum?

    When I joined, I saw that BPN was ... and still is ... the best Site on the Web for posting, discussing and critiquing photography. Just seems that our ETL Forum has become an orphan.... with few, if any comments, views and/or helpful suggestions. Diane and a few others are very helpful and much appreciated.... But, in review, seems that the folks that post in ETL are outside of the BPN "clique". I do say this because I have posted comments to many threads in various forums, but have received very few replies to my posts. Would be nice to have a bit of reciprocation. I thought it was about sharing and learning... not a competition.

    Hope I didn't rant too much.... if so, my apologies.
    www.mibirdingnetwork.com .... A place for bird and nature lovers in the Great Lakes area.

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    Sandy, I'm happy to see you bring this up. It should be about reciprocation. And BPN should be the best place on the web for constructive, meaningful comments and critique. But in my experience with camera clubs, that's not what most people want. They want praise, and ribbons, not learning. I would hope the folks here are a little more advanced than that.

    What I find discouraging is that even when good critique and information is offered, in any of the forums, there is too often no meaningful response from the poster. That should be the case least of all in ETL, but it seems to be the other way around.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Hi All, Good question Sandy. I do believe that this is more of a BPN-wide issue than an ETL issue. As I have said often, I truly wish that I had time to critique every image that is posted in every Forum. But with the demands of the blog, travel, e-mail, famiily, and TV :), I struggle to spend some quality time on BPN each day. Many days I think of it while I am falling asleep on the couch. At 8:30pm. I do try to visit the various Forums and was doing OK with that for a while.

    If there is such a thing as a BPN clique, I would think that there is an easy way to get in it. Comment to as many posts as humanly possible. Every day. Yes, everyone comments on Dan Caideux's images, not because he is in some sort of BPN clique but because he has 17,500 posts... I will admit to seeing some weird stuff in ETL. If my memory is correct that includes folks giving me an argument as far as my comments go. Or making excuses. But again, that happens in all the forums.

    We had many discussions as to how we can get folks to comment on the 5 or 6 images for each time they post one image.... Ah, if but it were an ideal world.

    Just so you know I have been wanting to post about 6 items in the Workshop forum for the past month. I finally got one of them posted the other day....

    In the same vein, there are many times when I post and image and there are 30 or 40 views before one person comments....

    As far as ETL thank God for Dianne Miller :)

    You might try being pro-active;I would personally have no problem with you or anyone commenting on an image made by a photographer whose work you like, asking them if they might take a look at one of your ETL images, and including an active link. The more I think of that idea the better I like it....
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    BPN Member Sandy Witvoet's Avatar
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    Thank you Diane and Artie.... All works, and will keep your comments "under my wing", learn, and use them. Will surely try out your recommendation, Artie, about being pro-active and asking for help from an Avian to ETL. Most helpful! I always respond to any comments on an image I post.... so, must also agree with Diane, some folks don't.
    I would surely encourage any ETL (well, and all!) posters to acknowledge the comments they receive.
    Diane... most awesome Mod you are. Much appreciated.
    www.mibirdingnetwork.com .... A place for bird and nature lovers in the Great Lakes area.

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    Thank you both! BPN is a great place and I'm happy to stick my nose in occasionally with comments. I learn a lot from trying to help others.

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    Sandy, Pardon my French but this ETL post does not suck: http://www.birdphotographers.net/for...ead.php/123344

    Tons of great interactions, suggestions, and re-posts.... As they say about lotteries, you gotta be in it to win it!
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs): Fort DeSoto, SEPT 2018. Bosque, DEC 2018. San Diego, JAN 2019

    E-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net for BPN member IPT discount info.










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    BPN Member Sandy Witvoet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    Sandy, Pardon my French but this ETL post does not suck: http://www.birdphotographers.net/for...ead.php/123344

    Tons of great interactions, suggestions, and re-posts.... As they say about lotteries, you gotta be in it to win it!
    Am confused here... of course this post ROCKS and does not "suck"! YIKES! (I would never say ANY post here does that!) It's incredible and has fab input! I am just wondering why (perhaps I'm a moron) you pointed me to it? I don't play lottery, I'm here to participate, learn, grow and share... could you clarify a bit for my "feeble" mind? Thanks! (BTW, don't worry about your "french"... I've been known to throw a few phrases out from time to time...)
    www.mibirdingnetwork.com .... A place for bird and nature lovers in the Great Lakes area.

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    Hello Sandy. Point well taken! I just commented on a nice image in ETL and will pop in more often. I see most of the recent images have quite a few excellent comments and suggestions. One thing that I have learned from my time on BPN is that one or two really detailed, constructive critiques are more valuable than a string of "great shots". So it's not in the quantity but in the quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy Witvoet View Post
    Am confused here... of course this post ROCKS and does not "suck"! YIKES! (I would never say ANY post here does that!) It's incredible and has fab input! I am just wondering why (perhaps I'm a moron) you pointed me to it? I don't play lottery, I'm here to participate, learn, grow and share... could you clarify a bit for my "feeble" mind? Thanks! (BTW, don't worry about your "french"... I've been known to throw a few phrases out from time to time...)
    Because your wrote: " Just seems that our ETL Forum has become an orphan.... with few, if any comments, views and/or helpful suggestions."
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs): Fort DeSoto, SEPT 2018. Bosque, DEC 2018. San Diego, JAN 2019

    E-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net for BPN member IPT discount info.










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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    I've always felt that the ETL forum was one of BPN's biggest assets (and unique among the internet's many photography sites), and always wondered why we have not more people venture there either to ask for, or offer, constructive help. I am just as guilty of this, and should make it a point to visit more often.

    Diane has indeed been an amazing moderator for ETL and BPN in general!

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    Diane is indeed doing a terrific job there. She provides lots of interesting feedback and her articles are icing on the cake.

    I did notice that the activity level in ETL was higher when there were 3-4 mods. Maybe a few mods from Avian might be interested in working overtime? :)

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    Thanks, everyone! It's very rewarding to have conversations with people who are committed to good photography. After being involved in a small forum that degenerated into point-and-shooters who just couldn't understand their real cameras, this place is a joy!

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    BPN Member Sandy Witvoet's Avatar
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    As Diane said, thank you all!
    www.mibirdingnetwork.com .... A place for bird and nature lovers in the Great Lakes area.

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    Not commenting on other peoples images images is the silliest thing you can do if you want to learn or keep up your high level. When I joined BPN I just had bought my first serious camera and had no serious nature photography experience. Now, a few years later I have my own photography website, get my images published and even won a few IOTW's . The only reason that I could have such a steep learning curve is thanks to BPN, because I didn't attend any workshops , photoclubs or other fora. And that is not only by getting great and detailed comments on every aspect of my photographs by mods and other members, but as much by commenting on images of others, whether they needed a lot of improvement or were absolutely stunning and perfect. By forcing yourself to look at good and bad points of an image you don't have a personal attachment to and being forced in voicing your observations in a concise comment including suggestions on how to improve or why not to change a single thing, you learn as much as from following up on critiques on your own images.

    My two cents on ETL (which might stir up things a little, but are by no means intended to show disrespect to the wonderful work of the mods and participants of that forum): I do not see the point of having a separate ETL forum in its current format. I too sometimes noticed a lack of response to my images in ETL. My 'solution' was to just post the images in the regular forums, no matter how unsure I was of the quality. Without a separate forum for more inexperienced photographers a true mixed class of photographers of different abilities is created, who can all learn from each other. Experienced photographers who now don't look at ETL are then regularly confronted with images by more inexperienced photographers to critique on (given of course that they stick to the request of commenting on other images when posting), which could create more sense of a learning community, for which BPN was created in the first place ( and which made me the photographer I currently am!). I think 'putting away' the beginners in a separate forum actually does the opposite.

    Having said that, I could see ETL working as a more assignment based forum, comparable to the (now discontinued) monthly RAW processing excercises and the themes that are regularly hosted in the OOTB and Wildlife forums. I think that provides participants to such a forum (whether they are experienced or not) with an opportunity to step out of their comfort zone, learn a thing or two and get provided with specific feedback. This even could be connected to the great tutorials that are offered on the forum. I think this would create a lot of added value to the ETL forum, compared to the current setup, which is basically no different than the other forums on BPN. I do realize that this would take up a lot more time from the moderators, which I fully appreciate might not be possible at all.

    Sorry for the large amount of text, but this has kept me thinking since Sandy's OP (which may explain the large number of views compared to the number of responses :) )

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    I'm sure many people will jump into what might be called the deep water and post directly on any of the forums for help and learning, but ETL is good for some people that are not quite as sure of themselves yet, on a steep learning curve, or for the occasional images that are not great but bring up questions. I think there is always a place for a "safe haven" forum.

    A forum devoted to assignments would be welcomed by some but I don't see it replacing ETL, and it's not something I'd be interested in moderating.

    When I have time to cruise forums I will always comment on an image that I think has issues or is an opportunity to bring up a good point of information. Mostly it is appreciated, but sometimes not. A large percentage of the comments on other forums seem to be polite praise to get in their 3-5 posts so they can post one. But a little dialog and questioning can certainly elicit great learning in any of them.

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