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Author Topic: The Changing Landscape  (Read 36027 times)

David Mantripp

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #60 on: December 27, 2018, 12:29:17 pm »

Thank you Rob C

This:

What you mention here is perhaps my main inspiration for what I can personally bring to LULA. I agree, windows into one's experience and the photographer's impetus to create are paramount! Interviews and psychological /personal investigations into the artist's POV's are very high on the list and are in production right now.

This is probably going to sound harsh, but if you do have so much to bring ... er, well then where have you been all these years?   My opinion fwiw is that Lula was/is stagnating. The forum is useful but the content is largely reheated same old same old, just without the spark that Michael would bring to it.  Lula is largely a site run by old men for old men (and I'm certainly in that category), and as such it was heading for a cliff.  Maybe you can change course, but I have to say, it all seems strangely abrupt, and in particular unnecessarily so towards Kevin.
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David Mantripp

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #61 on: December 27, 2018, 12:32:42 pm »

InstaLuLaô️, anyone?

josh.reichmann

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #62 on: December 27, 2018, 01:29:16 pm »

Quote
but if you do have so much to bring ... er, well then where have you been all these years?   My opinion fwiw is that Lula was/is stagnating. The forum is useful but the content is largely reheated same old same old, just without the spark that Michael would bring to it.  Lula is largely a site run by old men for old men (and I'm certainly in that category), and as such it was heading for a cliff.  Maybe you can change course, but I have to say, it all seems strangely abrupt, and in particular unnecessarily so towards Kevin.

Thanks, David.

I cannot comment further on the timing of this transition or how this may reflect on Kevin other than to reiterate my gratitude to him for his contribution to content and his consistent hard work in delivering it. Truly.

The opportunity for me to do all that I'm suggesting (with a lot of help) was just not present - Until now - From a professional and personal POV, this was the time when it was both inevitable and desirable that I step to the plate. I'm very energized but also realistic. It will take a little time, and much teamwork (including that of the animated forum contributors) to execute all that I hope for while maintaining and stewarding the best of the site.

J

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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #63 on: December 27, 2018, 01:30:58 pm »

InstaLuLaô️, anyone?
I've already seen five cases of Trademark infringement.  you better get your attorneys busy on this.
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Rand47

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #64 on: December 27, 2018, 02:24:28 pm »

Quote
I will not address the change for the website other than to say that I wish Josh & Irene the best.

I see that Irene has made a post, following Chris' post quoted above.  But at the risk of sounding rude, who the heck is Irene?  No introduction, no bio, no nothing.

Despite my opening post of chagrin about the "out of the blue" sea change here, I'm not normally pessimistic nor nit-picky. But I was in senior leadership of a large organization long enough to smell political rhetoric when I hear (read) it.  And subsequent comments about "not being able to provide any details about the transition" is mere double talk.  What you mean is that you're not willing to provide any details.  Fair enough.  Apparently you have the authority to do what you've done.  No one is questioning that, so far.  But to say you "can't" when you mean you "won't" is just double talk.  So a good start would be to just say what you actually mean, and don't treat the members here as idiots.

And, I do actually wish you the best.  LULA is an important part of my photography life.  That's one of the reasons this poorly conceived, out of the blue, "transition" has me a bit fired up.  I'd love to see it thrive and maintain its quality.  Kevin's "Masters" series featuring Charles Cramer is exactly the kind of meaningful, thorough, content that makes this place worth the time investment. 

Rand

« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 02:28:13 pm by Rand47 »
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Rob C

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #65 on: December 27, 2018, 02:33:14 pm »

This is probably going to sound harsh, but if you do have so much to bring ... er, well then where have you been all these years?   My opinion fwiw is that Lula was/is stagnating. The forum is useful but the content is largely reheated same old same old, just without the spark that Michael would bring to it.  Lula is largely a site run by old men for old men (and I'm certainly in that category), and as such it was e been possibleheading for a cliff.  Maybe you can change course, but I have to say, it all seems strangely abrupt, and in particular unnecessarily so towards Kevin.


The problem with all of this type of comment is that it's based on knowing not a lot about the details of the given situation.

How do you, or anyone else, for that matter, know what might or might not have been possible or even permissible a few weeks or months ago? David Mantripp mentions feeling that LuLa was stagnating recently, that it is a site by old men for old men. Well, that's an interesting observation.

Any site with traffic becomes, should it survive, peopled by a set of faithfulls. Over the years, unless something radically bad hits them or the site, there's little reason to leave, so the years automatically tick past and youth turns into maturity, and in the case of LuLa, daily habit straight after breakfast. Don't forget that we are on about photography here. It's a very simple artform, and as better people than I have claimed, all you need in order to become a photographer is to be able to RTFM that came with the camera. The rest, the kind of photographer you might become, unfortunately, is up to the space between your ears, and I'm using "your" in the sense of one's, not aiming at any individual. Beyond being a photographer, you now also have to become good at using electronic devices, which for myself, at least, is totally against my nature. Hence, the debt that I feel I owe some individuals here who guided me through uncharted electronic routes whose layout I could find on no map. So don't forget that since photography ain't rocket science, there never will be much worth reading to write about it, but there sure will be a lot to learn about the great guys who work(ed) at it all their life and became big names.

So, the old gang gets to know who and what it is, who is worth the involvement and whom to avoid at all costs. Newcomers, as I once was, have to navigate on their own and make that same call too.

Now we face the situation where we know what we need to know to retain a peaceful coexistence here, and conversation meanders back and forth, on or off any particular topic, which can drive some people nuts, but keep others interested because in that way, conversation more resembles reality where most folks I know chat without a script. Especially in the rare event of some pretty woman walking past. And here, as in the local bar, it's the conversation and the people you get to know that differentiates the bar you use from the one you ignore on your way to your favourite.

But what new content can any site offer if new is the only attraction or lure? That's why the rest of the photo world tends to get bogged down in pandering to those with GAS by running endless reviews. After a while, some come to realise that cameras have increasingly less to do with their photography than ever, that the spark, the impetus required to keep on truckin' with this thing is not external at all, that it's all about self-understanding and coming to some firm conclusions about what it was about photography that pushed you to get into it. Inevitably, you conclude that any old camera, as long as it works as it should, will be all you need, and a couple of focal lengths the most you find yourself wanting to use once you know your interests properly. Few of us really are or want to be jacks of all trades.

That happy minimalism, taken to the public extreme, would soon lead to a vanishing act from the advertisers, and if they are the main financial support, then as with any pro enterprise, you gotta give 'em what they want, which will be reviews, the more glowing the better. That will render much of a website irrelevant to some of the older guys who have reached equipment sufficiency quite some time ago.

So what can you offer the older membership to retain its interest? It's not going to be reviews, and enthusiastic self-promotion pieces from people selling this, that or the other course are also going to soar with the mice. What the hell do people want? I've already outlined in an earlier post what I'd like to see here, but then I come from being a pro, so my interests are obviously going to be in learning more about the people that I admire, not so much how they light something or which cameras they might use.

Of course, the biggie here, is probably the facility for posting images.

You can do that seeking comment as you can specifically where you are pretty much guaranteed not to become victim of second-guessing games and experts.

To wind up, maybe the best thing LuLa can do is hope that its own membership take some active responsibility and post more. Complaining, but keeping a very low profile in other directions seems a bit daft and unreasonable, too. Don't forget that it takes input to create conversation. Conversation is as interesting as the material you put into it - it's really all of your own making.

Rob

« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 02:36:53 pm by Rob C »
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KLaban

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #66 on: December 27, 2018, 04:03:40 pm »

It was a year or two before I realised there was life here beyond the Forum which remains my primary, solitary even, reason for being here at all. It is a most engaging reason and long may it last.

Perhaps future changes will give me other reasons for being here: only time will tell.
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Two23

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #67 on: December 27, 2018, 04:23:42 pm »

While  I'm a bit taken aback by the abrupt and mysterious shake up, I'm willing to stick around and give it a chance.  Lula has been a useful resource for me.


Kent in SD,
A lesser  forum member
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JeffS

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #68 on: December 27, 2018, 05:06:21 pm »



I cannot comment further on the timing of this transition or how this may reflect on Kevin other than to reiterate my gratitude to him for his contribution to content and his consistent hard work in delivering it. Truly.

Reiterate? This is the first Iíve read concerning your sincere thanks to Kevin.  That should have been in your first post, donít you think?

Jeff
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ejkrouse

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #69 on: December 27, 2018, 05:32:48 pm »

First post here (plea, really) from Eric the newb:

I've been thinking about this continuously since yesterday, and may have now inhaled just enough Eclipse fumes to clumsily verbalize what I've been feeling (5 swabs worth, to you all playing at home. My D7100 is an oily SOB.) A lot of it relates to David's comment, that LuLa is by and for old men.

As a 35 year old photographer, I feel attacked.

I discovered LuLa in 2001, my freshman year of college. (Brevard '05, baby! Go Tornadoes! or was it White Squirrels...) I'd been futzing around with my N70, 3rd party kit lens, and no prayer to know what I was doing for years before then. An environmental studies degree's worth of living beside Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina will make at least an occasional landscape photographer out of anyone. The Luminous Landscape was, to me, the primary source for education in all things photographic, even over formal instruction in the art building. I learned to shoot images by reading the Nikon manual. I learned to make them here. The importance of a tripod, remote shutter release, waking up early, staying out late, where to focus, how to compose, how to see; everything was presented here. As a budding photog back then, I couldn't get through the articles fast enough. The spirit of the art form, and the process to carry it out successfully. Plein Air geeking, Lenswork for the computer age. Now today, I am not a Pro, or bonafide landscape photographer; I'm a recreational stock contributor who sneaks a few landscapes in, and I have a pretty good dog portrait side hustle, but the urge to learn is greater than ever. Since he took the helm, I feel like I've gotten to know Kevin Raber as an artist and a person. We all accompanied him while he adventured to fantastic photographic locations, became a husband, and endured heart jarring losses. I'm going to miss reading about his endeavors here. Thank you Kevin, for sharing your life with us!

On to the attack part:

As I said, I'm the appropriate age to shoot a disapproving look toward someone disparaging These Damn Millennials. (side note: we aren't killing Christmas, motorcycles, or cash, but mayonnaise is gross; I'll own that one). We're the connected generation, with smartphones, tablets, laptops, DEVICES shining at us constantly. And that's where most folks of the bracket, myself included, are getting their information and beginning their learning journey. I used to hit Barnes and Noble for a Peterson book if I wanted to understand exposure, now it's straight to YouTube. For instance; I'm a stock contributor who's been recently getting into footage, so I'm learning basic shooting and editing techniques- Philip Bloom's channel has been invaluable. Then there's the other content, aimed squarely at the new to intermediate photo/video creator who's looking for guidance. I'm sure this is just another iterative wave of the marketing machine (BESURETODRINKYOUROVALTINE), but we're getting absolutely attacked from all sides by influencers, marketers, and shoddily veiled 'reviews' of sponsored products by sponsored presenters. Buy This Stuff So You Can Shoot These Things Like These People. Episodes are devolving, with a few great exceptions, into a product's White Paper with some pretty pictures thrown in. Even though I'm pretty hardened to suggestion, I get tingling pangs in my fingers when a Z7 or X1D advertorial comes up in my feed. It's overwhelming. These folks are so good at making your current setup seem too inadequate to even hold down the table it's resting on. "but last month you said it was 'dope'..."

We (us younger folk especially) need to have a refuge from all this viral money-grab fanfare. LuLa is a sanctuary from the strobing, desk pounding, BEST/WORST clickbait horrorshow much of our hobby/obsession/profession has become. We all love fair, unbiased reviews mixed in with the technique, location, and process articles. Who here has a C1 and/or 34L directly because of this site? It's when the balance tips too far to Geartography, Likes, and tech brinkmanship that other content pages lose their way. We need our "old men" (read: the experienced, wizened masterful creators of visual art that are found here) to maintain some perspective. I need the reassurance that, yes, the new Phaselblad IQhy6 is badass, but also that my D7100 is also crushing face, spitting out buttery B-roll, pumping out the bangers, or whatever the hell we're supposed to say when 'everything just clicks."

The site surely needs to evolve, maybe it needs someone like yourself to "shake up the place" but I do hope it will remain at it's level of maturity, and opt for value and quality over flashy content and baited viewership. For me, that's the fear.

Josh, don't let the wolves in.
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JoshReichmann

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #70 on: December 27, 2018, 05:55:32 pm »

Great post Ejkrouse. Indeed, let me assuage your fears and state that my directional hopes for the site are far from the worries you present. I grew up with one of the wisened luminaries whose seasoned opinions you’re sighting as so valuable. I agree. In fact, the goal is to integrate that carried wisdom into updated methods of delivery on here while adding new voices and visionaries.  Aswell - my lens is one which values the human as personal much more so than the commercial noise on offer elsewhere, appreciate your story and sentiment.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 09:20:36 pm by JoshReichmann »
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guido

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #71 on: December 27, 2018, 05:58:20 pm »

I welcome Josh's breath of fresh air. The site had become quite stale and self congratulatory. More focus on photography as art will be quite a welcome change.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #72 on: December 27, 2018, 06:35:46 pm »

I welcome Josh's breath of fresh air...

You must be a clairvoyant.

JoshReichmann

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2018, 07:03:38 pm »

Donít you mean a clAIRvoyant ?

 8)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #74 on: December 27, 2018, 07:20:12 pm »

Donít you mean a clAIRvoyant ?

Ah, ok... one point for the sense of humor ;)

JoshReichmann

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #75 on: December 27, 2018, 07:25:24 pm »

I cannot possibly have won you over so fast.
Disappointed.  :)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #76 on: December 27, 2018, 07:27:06 pm »

... What will happen?

In the coming months, we will introduce a new batch of professional photographers, writers, gear reviewers, and just as importantly, new formats for presentation.

Some examples:
 
-     Photographerís profiles with a consistent set of questions - 15 &15 (fifteen questions and fifteen images)...

Hmmm... where did I see those "fifteen images" before?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #77 on: December 27, 2018, 07:27:53 pm »

I cannot possibly have won you over so fast.
Disappointed.  :)

One point down, 99 to go ;)

JoshReichmann

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #78 on: December 27, 2018, 07:36:58 pm »

Never have I seen that, but everything from the Washington Post to any number of music / art publications use a similer frame. Iíll revise though on your good council - 12 questions it shall be !
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Rick Popham

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #79 on: December 27, 2018, 09:08:13 pm »

Wow.  I've been coming to this site forever.  It eased me through my transition from film to digital.  Michael and Jeff's "Camera to Print" video came out just in time for my first show and saved my butt.  I've argued on the Forum against Adobe's subscription model.  So this site has meant a lot to me and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thank you Chris, for all the work you've done, mostly behind the scenes, all these years with Michael and then Kevin -- I've enjoyed every minute.  I hope you do pop in now and then to keep in touch.  And thank you Kevin, for keeping the place going and for your never failing enthusiasm.  Good luck with your new venture!

Josh, I certainly wish you the best and I'll be sticking around to see what's up.  I miss your dad's presence here and hope you can bring some of that back.

Best,

Rick
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