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Author Topic: The Changing Landscape  (Read 43446 times)

JeffS

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #260 on: January 30, 2019, 09:14:08 pm »

The value of LuLa for me has been significantly enhanced over the years through videos with photographers like Art Wolfe, Charles Cramer and others, as well as through videos regarding processing, color management, printing and photo archiving/display/sales (as well as equipment) by Michael himself and through collaborations with experts such as Bill Atkinson, Jeff Schewe, and many more. 

Itís not enough for me to read essays or interviews with photographers.  Iím looking for more interactive and in-depth exchanges with experts on practical workflow issues that many of us face.  My focus remains on still photography and printing. The writing style since the transition is still not my cup of tea, but Michael set a high bar that even Kevin couldnít match. Videos would be a nice change of pace; more personal, engaging and informative. (Kevinís Leica interviews, especially with Dr. Kaufmann, were particularly educational.)

Besides, unless weíre able to see and bond with the people behind the site, I doubt weíll ever fully embrace its content.  Thatís part of what has always distinguished LuLa from various other photo sites. This wonít happen through articles, no matter how well presented.

Iím skeptical, but will give it some time.

Jeff
« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 09:24:02 pm by JeffS »
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alainbriot

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #261 on: January 31, 2019, 11:46:17 am »


Itís not enough for me to read essays or interviews with photographers.  Iím looking for more interactive and in-depth exchanges with experts on practical workflow issues that many of us face. (. . . ) Unless weíre able to see and bond with the people behind the site, I doubt weíll ever fully embrace its content.  Thatís part of what has always distinguished LuLa from various other photo sites.
Jeff

Great idea.  I am more than willing to participate and answer questions on the forum or over email, which I do regularly in fact.
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Alain Briot
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JeffS

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #262 on: January 31, 2019, 11:52:39 am »

Great idea.  I am more than willing to participate and answer questions on the forum or over email, which I do regularly in fact.

No, I was referring to more video content, with Josh and other site contributors interacting with photographers and experts in the field. I donít need or want any reader interactions beyond the forum.

Jeff
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alainbriot

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #263 on: January 31, 2019, 11:56:58 am »

Thanks for the clarification.  Great idea as well.
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Alain Briot
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JeffS

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #264 on: January 31, 2019, 12:26:11 pm »

Thanks for the clarification.  Great idea as well.

It was Michaelís idea, and worked well for many years.  I want more of the same.  But probably wishful thinking; the contributors are the key.  Michael was both incredibly knowledgeable and a superb presenter, alone and in collaboration with photographers and experts with whom he developed relationships over the years.  Kevin (whom Michael met through those relationships ) was somewhat similarly able to leverage his industry affiliations to present interesting site content.  The Leica interviews were a recent example.

We still know little about Josh and what heíll be able to bring to the table in this regard.

Jeff
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alainbriot

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #265 on: January 31, 2019, 01:26:31 pm »

I enjoyed working with Michael.  His original idea, the Video Journal, was video based (as the name implies). The Video Journal was the product, the website was the distribution vehicle. In the end the website outlasted the Journal. 
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Alain Briot
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JeffS

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #266 on: January 31, 2019, 05:35:36 pm »

Iím well aware, and the Video Journals remain part of the site, accessible in the video section, which also contains much more recent video content, by Michael and later by Kevin.  Video based interviews and discussions have remained a critical part of the site, and thatís what Iíd like to see retained.  Thus far, weíve only seen some brief written pieces that wonít maintain my interest over time.  YMMV.

Jeff
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ramd41@gmail.com

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #267 on: January 31, 2019, 11:04:56 pm »

Following the surprising December 26 post by Josh, I've been watching this forum on and off for over a month.  Many have expressed disappointment and others encouragement.  It's all understandable and reasonable.  Yes, the site needs an update.  It became a bit stale. Kevin's slavish devotion to Sony became tiring.  Yes, there is no doubt that we will miss Chris and wish him only the best.  He was critical to the success and growth of this site. 

IMO Josh's first post was grossly disappointing.  It lacked grace in the extreme.  It said this transition was nasty.  Kevin and Chris's subsequent posts also sounded as if they were required by whatever agreements that were signed.  While I didn't think Kevin did enough to move the site forward, there was no doubt that his enthusiasm was genuine and following a legend was far from easy.  His Masters series was terrific. I still think back on his Charles Cramer series on a regular basis.   Josh, we don't know the back story and may not be entitled to know, but you didn't make a great first impression. 

Your first couple of posts are OK.  My own sense is you are trying too hard to sound "artsy."  I believe that photography and its many genres are well entitled to be respected as art.  But I hope that your future posts sound less like the bloviating letters of the pretentious that makes other forms of art so off-putting at times.  I endorse the idea that you will not only look at the tech side of our art that is blessed and tortured by the fact that it is a mix of fantastic technology and great vision by those who are at its pinnacle, but also at the art side.  It is not as if, however, the world is devoid of those who focus on the art and the artists who create great photography.  Brooks Jensen, Ibarionex Perello and Michael Johnson are three among others who do a terrific job at that as well.  If you are going to bring something new to that genre, then bring something really new.   

I wish Josh only the best.  This site has, over many, many years, become an automatic go-to.  Mostly due to Michael's terrific posts and his and Chris's great videos.  How many of us knew of the wonderful photographic possibilities of Iceland before that Video Journal of so many years ago?  Knowing that this is now going off in a different direction, hopefully it is something different than the already very well done sites about the personal stories, insight and inspiration of wonderful photographers.  We will all be watching with great hope that this site remains a go-to.
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peterwgallagher

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #268 on: February 01, 2019, 02:27:06 am »

If you are going to bring something new to that genre, then bring something really new...We will all be watching with great hope that this site remains a go-to.

I agree with ramd41's remarks. I share his/her sense this was an abrupt and graceless transition from which I hope the new CEO will recover in the direction ramd41 suggests.
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WaynePeterson

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #269 on: February 02, 2019, 01:41:32 pm »

I've had the benefit of a personal exchange with Josh, and came away from it believing him to be thoughtful and well-intentioned.  As a result, I'm absolutely willing to "wait and see." 

With regard to Kevin's style and his departure, I understand what confidentiality agreements often stipulate.  And the stilted acknowledgment of Kevin's hard work after Michael's passing is likely all that was possible.  When those agreements are reached in "change of control" events, little else is ever said, and that's intentional.  Two parties rarely wrap up this sort of transition amicably on either side.  Both tend to walk away, agreement in hand, disappointed that something easier and genuinely better wasn't possible.  If you want to blame someone, most likely blame attorneys.

Complaining that Kevin wasn't Michael is specious and silly.  A gifted photographer he certainly is. But he's a completely different personality.  And his genuine enthusiasm allowed him to play the perfect foil for Michael's persona.  The videos they made together make clear that their collaboration was much more than merely the sum of the parts.  With Michael's loss, Kevin soldiered on and almost immediately reached for a series of others who could speak to the high creativity and art of photography. His interviews were enthusiastic, thoughtful and appreciative.  The interviews with Charles Cramer and William Neill make that clear.

Kevin's effort to stay apace of evolving photographic technology, and to bring it to LULA readers is something I appreciated and from which I benefitted.  The Back to the Print series was very valuable to me.  So was his interview with John Pannozzo from Colorbyte. I adopted the ImagePrint Black workflow, and it's proved a complete game-changer for my printmaking.  So dismissing him as a Sony fanboy missed the point completely.

Mastering the chemical process took time and effort.  At least it did for me.  But I did master the use of a 4x5 view camera, and used it extensively for 25 years.  The transition from chemical to digital photography is, frankly, far from done.  And the technology continues to evolve rapidly.  We're barely 20 years past the debut of the Nikon D1 , the first commercially viable DSLR which boasted a mere 2.7 megapixels.  The first commercial mirrorless camera supporting interchangeable lenses appeared less than a decade ago.  Printing technology has changed and advanced just a quickly and steadily.  In the face of that pace of change, a measured focus on developing technology is warranted, and has proven very valuable to me.  Wrap it in Kevin's enthusiastically positive energy, and the technical becomes both useful and highly engaging.

So I have enjoyed the Yin and Yang of the art and technology of landscape photography.  More, I've benefited from both. Do I have a great deal of use for art and artist profiles that read like wine reviews?  Not especially.  Writers appear to struggle at times to find meaning in the otherwise meaningless, and to appear thoughtful and deep when there's no depth to be found. Some of us continue to believe that the ancient Greeks had it right in their pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty as the highest ideals and the elements of real art. Vacuous, nihilistic ugliness is no substitute. And I've been glad to see nearly none of it in LULA.

Josh has my best wishes as he finds both his feet and his voice.  I choose to remain hopeful.  I will, however, miss Kevin's presence, energy, and relentless, self-deprecating enthusiasm.  He, too, has my very best wishes.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #270 on: February 02, 2019, 08:51:35 pm »

Thank you for that thoughtful essay, Wayne.
I think you covered the essential points very well.
I, too, am willing to give Josh a chance to show what he can do with LuLa.
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josh.reichmann

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #271 on: February 03, 2019, 08:42:07 am »

I continue to check in here,

I am encouraged by the more balanced read on the transition, conscious of the concerns, listening to the requests and truly grateful for the many messages of support.

Most angles (frustrated, indifferent, refreshed, confused, excited, intrigued, concerned, pleased, pissed off etc) have been covered in this and other threads related to my (and my little teamís) arrival.

 They are valid. Some seem more complete with wisdom, but all are the responses of people who ultimately wish for a very important project such as this site and itís culture and history to be honoured. Just as I do.

Perhaps we will see the method for doing so differently, but ultimately I have to trust my own vision and hold that close while responding to our community.

Onward.

Thanks to all, always.

Josh


 
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Eric Kellerman

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #272 on: February 03, 2019, 04:43:07 pm »

I would love to be one of those who adopts a positive and hopeful view of the future of LuLa under you, Josh. But when I read your latest article, already seen 1.8 thousand times when I looked just now, I wonder. 'Believing is Seeing' proved very difficult to read, opaque, rather full of 'pyschobabble' and in need of copy-editing. So far, LuLa readers seem to be open-minded with respect to your writing, but I would be unhappy with the standard 'Believing is Seeing' represents if it were to set the tone for future articles by you (and we already have Part II to look forward to). You are in a privileged position to promote your work and ideas here, but I don't think we should hesitate to be critical, if that is required. And I think it is required in the case of 'Believing is Seeing'.
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JeffS

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #273 on: February 03, 2019, 06:01:06 pm »

I agree with Eric.

Jeff
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Kirk_C

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #274 on: February 03, 2019, 06:57:12 pm »

'Believing is Seeing' proved very difficult to read, opaque, rather full of 'pyschobabble' and in need of copy-editing.

Well said.
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speedyk

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #275 on: February 03, 2019, 09:17:11 pm »

Meditation itself is the opposite of psychobabble, the antidote for psychology's continued futile attempts to change a tire on a moving car rather than stopping it first.

But reading about how it is done can be just as tedious for non-practitioners and instructions for sitting would seem out of place on LuLa. The *result* of sitting is what people come here for. As Zen folks have said for some time, no one likes the stink of religion (does anyone like chatting with born-agains?), and to a non-prac this talk can seem like that.

I did not need to know if Michael sat on a cushion, his mindfulness was obvious from the finely-parsed work he presented. But if he had written about his background practices there would have been a clear description of what works and how/why. And I think he would have presented the transition more mindfully as well.

I am happier with less of an emphasis on equipment and who owns which and what is best. I found that tedious. Michael was not above lampooning pixel peepers and had a way of presenting equipment so that it satiated curiosity rather than stirring envy. There was a sense of sales going on with equipment reviews more recently. I am still using a Panasonic G1 which I bought after he reviewed it, not all of us have money to buy the latest camera and then a current computer to process those new/larger files. For me, it's about what I can do with what I have.

There is a point to contributing practices. Someone who does yoga (the modern version of which is really an assemblage of calisthenics and stretches taken from practices of many cultures, put together by the Indian government over 100 years ago to try to unify the nation through exercise, they put a yoga label on it but it isn't what yoga actually is) is likely going to be able to position themselves more solidly, with more balance and stillness when shooting hand held. But this isn't a yoga site, not yet anyway.

I can see an article on mindfulness practices and their contribution to photographic arts as a valid if controversial post on this site. But this one was unfinished in a way that belies its very premise.
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JeffS

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #276 on: February 03, 2019, 11:00:26 pm »

Content aside, how about hiring a proofreader to at least eliminate the spelling and grammatical mistakes...again.  I thought the goal was to raise the standard, not lower it.

Jeff
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Jonathan Cross

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #277 on: February 04, 2019, 05:54:07 am »

I have now read 'Believing is Seeing - Part 1'.  As others have written, I did not find it an easy read, nor engaging.  Josh is entitled to his views, but I did find it patronising at times, and preaching to the converted.  I have talked with many photographers who refer to being lost in the process of getting an image or series of images.  To me that is a form of meditation, so many of us are already doing it. 

The Rector of our church comes into contact with many types of people with different talents, interests and circumstances in which they live.  In a conversation with him, he commented that he thought I was an observer, and not the sort of person who is oblivious of my surroundings.  I guess this is a trait of photographers, people who are more aware of their surroundings and interested in visual communication.  Although I will sit and concentrate on my breathing if I am on my own in familiar surroundings, I am very content to look around me - meditation on my surrundings,  If those surroundings really interest me, I want to record them, or aspects of them.  I have no real need to meditate in the way Josh writes, or ask myself philosophical questions.

I am also interested in how others see the visual world around us.  I was therefore very interested in articles on Lula about others and, like other forum contributors, found the Charles Cramer series fascinating.  One of my 'go to'  forum categories is Discussing Photographic Styles in the Art of Photography section.  Thank you to all the contributors to it who have introduced me to the way others see the world.  I do look at many other sections that cover what is involved in photography, but 'Believing is Seeing - Part 1' seems to me to be making the simple sound complicated and rather 'off piste'.

This is perhaps a long-winded way of saying that I hope the article is not a foretaste of the Lula future.  No doubt Josh is trying to see where the boundaries lie, but I hope such articles do not become part of the Lula territory.  This one was a turn-off for me.

Best wishes,

Jonathan
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Dave Rosser

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #278 on: February 04, 2019, 06:05:27 am »

I would love to be one of those who adopts a positive and hopeful view of the future of LuLa under you, Josh. But when I read your latest article, already seen 1.8 thousand times when I looked just now, I wonder. 'Believing is Seeing' proved very difficult to read, opaque, rather full of 'pyschobabble' and in need of copy-editing. So far, LuLa readers seem to be open-minded with respect to your writing, but I would be unhappy with the standard 'Believing is Seeing' represents if it were to set the tone for future articles by you (and we already have Part II to look forward to). You are in a privileged position to promote your work and ideas here, but I don't think we should hesitate to be critical, if that is required. And I think it is required in the case of 'Believing is Seeing'.
Plus 1 to that.  In fact I could be very rude and call "Believing is Seeing" Arty-Farty Mumbo-Jumbo.
I have a feeling we will see no more detail technical work flow videos or the like - a great pity.

Dave
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gchappel

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Re: The Changing Landscape
« Reply #279 on: February 04, 2019, 06:24:40 am »

Sorry, article was unreadable.  Strike 2.
Enough said.
Gary
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