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Mine Exploration Forum

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ChrisP

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Posted: 22/10/2008 19:21:57
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So as not to have them removed/moderated/pruned or whatever.

Barney wrote:

I think you all need to calm down a bit, there is a bit of fun going on in the form of a photography competition, that has clearly had some time applied to it i.e. applying apropriate rules, organising prizes, and of course the good nature of the prize contributers.
If you dont want to enter then dont, i dont want to read peoples reasons for not entering. If anyone can do a better job at organising something, or even a day underground, then get on and do it.


I'm not complaining about the organisation- I'm claiming that the photography competition has promoted a rise in artistic photos filling the database. There are some photos which do not record what is there, due to being taken purely for photographis merit, and are useless in trying to understand more about the mine or quarry.


LAP wrote:

I think that everyone likes arty photography to an extent


Have you failed to notice that in the thread at least two people have stated that they do not like so-called "artistic" photos, which was the reason this discussion started?

Failing that, can we have two albums for each mine, one for useful photographs and one for photos which some people think are "artistic"? That might save some time.

Tweak: Thread title tweaked by Vanoord

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IP: 86.133.172.87 Edited: 22/10/2008 19:52:31 by (moderator)
Dark Prince

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Posted: 22/10/2008 20:03:57
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Does it matter how a pic is taken, does it matter if the pic is arty or not....er no not to me anyway. I like a good picture but i'm not bothered if it took 3 hours of setting up or 20 secs with a flash gun and torch. A good picture is a good picture regardless

Quite amazed that we are even having this discussion re pictures.

DP
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SimonRL

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Continuation of the points I was trying to make in the photography competition
Posted: 22/10/2008 20:07:12
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I'm on holiday at the moment ChrisP, but...

Nobody, absolutely nobody will be barred, banned or abused for posting an opinion on this web site. That is one of the cornerstones to this site. It is run for the community, by the community, and is blissfully free of posturing, backslapping and egos.

However I take absolute and total exception to some of your comments.

Firstly however I must say I agree with your comment on captions. It would be great if more people would caption, something I cam guilty of myself from time to time. Hopefully we can encourage more captioning of photographs from this point on. I shall modify the bulk upload facility (itself a feature demanded by members) to request captions and descriptions once the upload is completed.

That single point aside, describing a lot of the photographs on this site as worthless is tasteless in the extreme. This web site has a membership comprised of all ages, all abilities and a mix of interests. It has members from all the main clubs, members with more years experience than you or I have years, and it has some very good photographers. It has members who will spend days rigging pitches and embarking on major SRT trips to bring back photographs of places many of us will never see. It has members who are published authors and members who have very specialised knowledge in a diversity of areas. All of these people are here and are prepared to share.

Last time I was underground a chap on the trip submerged about a grand's worth of kit (lighting and camera) to take underwater photographs of items not seen since the mine in question closed in 1953. Is that arty nonsense? I think not. Similarly all the members who, in their own time and through their own goodwill, upload photographs of their own explorations. Sometimes people will have a play with a new LED torch as you say, that goes without saying, but it's the sharing of the results that help us decide techniques and technologies to better record the underground.

Let me make it clear I have not taken offence at your posting, but I am posting this to be sure that no other contributing members takes offence at a lack of admin response to your posting.

I sincerely hope you opinion is not the majority opinion.

A quick check of the home page as it currently stands shows a mix of archive and current photographs of both above ground and below ground subjects. Nothing at all there I would classify as worthless, and nothing that I would want, through lack of response on my part, for the contributors who uploaded them to think was anything less than welcome on the site and gratefully received by the community.

If you are going to make comments like the accusation that a lot of the content of this site is worthless then you should:

1) Be able to back that up with examples, and to argue your point

2) Be prepared to practice what you preach, through contribution of relevant and well captioned photographs, falling back on the line "I don't upload any more because..." doesn't wash, if you're not happy, lead by example, feedback information to the admins, but do try not to post comments that potentially insult a lot of the site members who contribute an awful lot more than you do

At some point I expect (hope) that the competition thread will be cleaned up. It is about the competition, not about why one or two individuals are refusing to enter. That is tedious in the extreme. But if people want that then stick it in a new thread, do not go out to spoil the enjoyment of everybody else who wants to take part in this sort of, supposedly, fun and very occassional event.

I cannot think of a single other hobby where a simple and innocent photographic competition would cause such fallout and ill feeling. Mountaineering, climbing, sailing, caving, motorsport, modelling (railway, aircraft, etc.) all seem to manage it without all this complaining.

What, in a nutshell, is wrong with trying to do something well?

I think Dark Prince summed it up very well:

Dark Prince wrote:

Quite amazed that we are even having this discussion re pictures. DP


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IP: 87.202.106.63 Edited: 22/10/2008 20:11:26 by SimonRL
Peter Burgess

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Posted: 22/10/2008 20:18:41
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I 100 percent agree about the lack of captions. There is a box for entering one, and it only takes a short time to write something, if only what and where something is. "Ore chute on Adit Level" for example. When I have found an old photo of somewhere in the back of beyond (South East Roll Eyes ) I recognise that most of you won't have a clue what it is. I post them up to say "Hey, look where I've been" or "look what I found" and there is little point in trying to do that without a caption.

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SimonRL

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Posted: 22/10/2008 20:20:58
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Captions (or lack of) certainly seem to crop up from time to time.

I'm going to be doing a lot of work on the site from next week and making it clearer how and when to add captions, and tweaking the system to be somewhat more insistent (e.g. prompting for them after upload) will be on that list of jobs.

Thanks for the feedback everybody who has mentioned this Smile

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The National Sarcasm Society - like we need your help
IP: 87.202.106.63 Edited: 22/10/2008 20:21:38 by SimonRL
royfellows

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Posted: 22/10/2008 20:35:13
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I will not waste space by quoting.
Re Simon comments above, one word sums it all up:

YES

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Peter Burgess

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Posted: 22/10/2008 20:41:23
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And a DATE is often a useful thing to include in a caption!

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Vanoord

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Posted: 22/10/2008 20:58:48
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Peter Burgess wrote:

And a DATE is often a useful thing to include in a caption!


The system does allow this, in that a specific album can be created for a specific visit and date-stamped. Several of the Cwmorthin collections, for example, are of a trip on a specified date.

Similarly, the date that a photo was uploaded is displayed above the photo and it's reasonable to assume that the date it was taken was probably no more than a couple of months before that.

For archive pics, the date is usually put in the description or a batch uploaded to their own album (see Grahami's collections from the 1970s in North Wales).

I think this is about as good as is realistically possible?




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IP: 86.133.172.87 Edited: 22/10/2008 21:01:38 by Vanoord
Peter Burgess

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Posted: 22/10/2008 21:02:00
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Yes of course, but I have had single photos of places I visited 15 years ago, and it seems pointless to create a special album for a single image.


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Vanoord

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Posted: 22/10/2008 21:07:57
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Peter Burgess wrote:

Yes of course, but I have had single photos of places I visited 15 years ago, and it seems pointless to create a special album for a single image.


Indeed - in which case such a photo can be dated in the description. Which, to be fair, most archive pics are Smile

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Vanoord

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Posted: 22/10/2008 21:14:57
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Back to the opening post: I think DarkPrince has hit the nail on the head pretty much.

Quite amazed that we are even having this discussion re pictures.

Photographs are very subjective and it's important to realise that just because one or two people might think a photograph is "artistic" that it is necessarily so: people's opinions differ and it's important to realise and accept that.

I'm more than a little confused about the suggestion that there has been a rise in the proportion of "artistic" photographs being uploaded: I've not noticed it, although of course what I consider to be normal may be "artistic" to others.

Perhaps more importantly, I'm actually not fussed about photographs being 'artistic' or not, as long as they're good.

I enjoy taking photographs in mines and I hope that they will provide a good record of what I've seen. Some of the photographs may be considered artistic by some of the people, but to use that as a criticism is a bit bizarre.

If some people don't like some photographs, then that's only to be expected: but that's no justification at all for discouraging them. Indeed, I don't like nuts, but I don't expect them to be removed from the supermarkets
Wink

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Peter Burgess

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Posted: 22/10/2008 21:43:35
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My point of view is that there are GOOD photos and BAD photos, and which category a given photo is in is largely a subjective matter. That's what competitions are for, to see which photo gets the majority to agree is the best. But that doesn't mean the minority are wrong to say it isn't such a good photo -it's just their opinion, as valid as anyone else's. Some will judge a photo's merits by its artistic quality, others by it's historical interest and so on.


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hymac580c

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Posted: 22/10/2008 21:54:06
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Some people take their time to get a photo right. Getting the right light at a certain time of day. then improve it on photoshop. Well what is wrong with that? If they enjoy it and it is their hobby then that is a good thing.
I do not think people should be criticised for doing their best in trying to make a good photo better.
Personally I look at a photo and I either like it or I do not. I would prefer to look at a photo of a Deusenberg rather than the Mona Lisa. But then that is just my oppinion.

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toadstone

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Posted: 22/10/2008 22:00:00
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While I've been writing the below many comments have been added. Nevertheless I feel as though I would like to air my comments.

Oh dear, why oh why when a genuine opportunity of participating in a fun event is presented, we get dissension.

The subject matter is very "open" and uncomplicated. The prizes are very much worthwhile. At the end of the day the judges will be those who decide who is/are the winner/s from their judgement as to the subject matter presented before them. What is the problem?

So far the pictures I've seen are no way unrepresentative from any other images that people comment on being good images. These are the very same pictures that form the basis of the database anyway, so again what's the problem? Its one hell of a specialist photographic resource of a very high standard.

Yes I am an anorak, its my hobby. I like exploring all aspects of my hobby any facet that will produce something different. My mind is full of images I would like to take. I can't fly but I take images from the air. Many years ago I had a nasty underwater experience but I still try to take images underwater even though I don't dive anymore and the feeling of deep water scares me sh--less. The idea is to record and document, if by chance an image is outstanding it is nearly always because it shows some professional or artist element contained within the image that puts it apart from others.

There is also the very important service of taking esthetically pleasing photographs that allow people who will never be able to venture down mines or caves, to see the scale whether large or small of the underground environment. There are more people I guess that would happily watch a film or read a book about mine or cave exploration than would be prepared or able to go underground.

Anyway may I suggest that some of you may like to take a peek at this [web link]
This IMHO shows how to combine factual photographic information with artist license. This is lighting the darkness.

I shall continue to enter competitions here and elsewhere (Hidden Earth next year). Even if it is considered pointless by some.

Peter.

BTW I agree there should be more discipline in captioning photos and dating them.

Also how do we view the entries, all the links I've tried don't show them??

Moderation: Entries are in the forum at this [web link] - please click the box marked "Show topics from 30 days" and select "Show all topics" from the dropdown menu to show older entries.

(Sorry for the slightly intrusive way of doing this - Vanoord )
IP: 86.133.172.87 Edited: 22/10/2008 22:20:33 by (moderator)
Vanoord

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Posted: 22/10/2008 22:10:42
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toadstone wrote:

Anyway may I suggest that some of you may like to take a peek at this [web link]
This IMHO shows how to combine factual photographic information with artist license. This is lighting the darkness


WOW!

Just WOW!

I may be selling all my cameras shortly: I am humbled! Big Grin

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JohnnearCfon

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Posted: 22/10/2008 22:13:19
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Unfortunatly as Vanoord has been out with his pruning shears again I cannot quote word for word what I said. What I was getting at though (and judging by this post there must have ben quite a few replies while I have been out this afternoon) I think it was partly misunderstood. I was saying I take photos underground to record things and as a memory of visits. I am not saying I go underground to take bad photos although I certainly don't always take good ones either! What I was trying to get at was some photos are taken on this site (and I don't think they are in the majority) seem to be taken more for the skill of photography than the actual object in a mine. As I did say before, in my 30+ years of mine exploring photography I have taken a mere handful of "artistic" photos. That is not to say I go around taking rubbish photos either, and I do not mean that to sound like I am blowing my own trumpet so please don't take it that way.

To pick up on a point Simon raised, now deleted, yes, the photos in the calenders are all excellent, and yes, they needed to be like that to raise sufficient money for Cwmorthin, and good job too. However, the vast majority are what I would call artistic (excluding the tunneller of course).

My initial point was as I don't take artistic photos I will not enter this year, I did last year, and doubtless I will in the future but still think, particularly with the wording used, it is aimed at artistic photos which I do not aim for.

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carnkie

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Posted: 22/10/2008 22:22:07
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toadstone wrote:





Anyway may I suggest that some of you may like to take a peek at this [web link]
This IMHO shows how to combine factual photographic information with artist license. This is lighting the darkness.

I shall continue to enter competitions here and elsewhere (Hidden Earth next year). Even if it is considered pointless by some.

Peter.

BTW I agree there should be more discipline in captioning photos and dating them.

Also how do we view the entries, all the links I've tried don't show them??


I did take a peek and I'm seriously impressed. Just taken my D80 and put it in the bin. Wink Without wishing to change the topic some of these discussions about captions apply equally to mine/quarry descriptions.

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IP: 79.74.170.82 Edited: 22/10/2008 22:24:08 by carnkie
Vanoord

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Posted: 22/10/2008 22:31:50
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JohnnearCfon wrote:

To pick up on a point Simon raised, now deleted, yes, the photos in the calenders are all excellent, and yes, they needed to be like that to raise sufficient money for Cwmorthin, and good job too. However, the vast majority are what I would call artistic (excluding the tunneller of course)


I fear we shall have to agree to differ!

By my reckoning, two of the photographs for the '09 calendar are "artistic" - and one of those two has been put into the calendar because I only agreed to assist on the basis that it was featured: I want to see it on my wall next year!*

What I'd say about the rest of them is that they're quite simply good photographs which show off the subject well. They're all of a very high standard and are good enough to be looked upon for a month without becoming just background.

Yes, a lot of care has gone into taking them: and the results justify that in my opinion. What they don't do - in my opinion - is to put style above substance.

Quite honestly, if anyone really thinks that a lot of the photographs on this site are 'artistic', I'd suggest you spend a hour looking through www.28dayslater.co.uk - it's sometimes impossible to recognise somewhere you know well, so arty is the photography. It's often good photography, mind...

* I'd have done it anyway, but...



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IP: 86.133.172.87 Edited: 22/10/2008 22:32:37 by Vanoord
Barney

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Posted: 22/10/2008 22:34:51
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So, after reading your first post Chrisp, why have you uploaded this ...



It would appear that in your opinion, if a photo isnt taken with a flash attached to the camera, and additional lighting is used, then it becomes arty. I dont think you understand the principles of taking photographs, for example basics such as the 'rule of 9's'
It is also very clear that you do not understand the recording of an artefact. It is far from just taking a photo of something. This is something i do in my line of work on occasions and just the photography side of it would be around 15 photo's for one item, then there is the rest of the recording procedure to adhere too.
If you trawl through the database of around 15,000 photo's you will see that the photo's with additional lighting are the ones getting votes and comments, pictures of a truck fading into blackness get nothing.
If you want to see arty shots look at the 'draining' sites

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LAP

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Posted: 22/10/2008 22:38:00
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ChrisP wrote:

So as not to have them removed/moderated/pruned or whatever.

Barney wrote:

I think you all need to calm down a bit, there is a bit of fun going on in the form of a photography competition, that has clearly had some time applied to it i.e. applying apropriate rules, organising prizes, and of course the good nature of the prize contributers.
If you dont want to enter then dont, i dont want to read peoples reasons for not entering. If anyone can do a better job at organising something, or even a day underground, then get on and do it.


I'm not complaining about the organisation- I'm claiming that the photography competition has promoted a rise in artistic photos filling the database. There are some photos which do not record what is there, due to being taken purely for photographis merit, and are useless in trying to understand more about the mine or quarry.


LAP wrote:

I think that everyone likes arty photography to an extent


Have you failed to notice that in the thread at least two people have stated that they do not like so-called "artistic" photos, which was the reason this discussion started?

Failing that, can we have two albums for each mine, one for useful photographs and one for photos which some people think are "artistic"? That might save some time.

Tweak: Thread title tweaked by Vanoord


Well they're photos of mines and that's what matters right?
[web link]

This photo is what some might call artistic, but it's off an artifact. So what does this come under?

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IP: 84.69.93.201 Edited: 22/10/2008 22:39:06 by LAP
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