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Thread: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

  1. #1
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    Default Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    There are lots of clubs & societies teaching photography here. Any feedbacks or comments about the quality of the instructors and the clubs/societies?

    No personal attacks, just some coffe shop talk.

    Here's my pesonal experience:

    Everyone sld know of the friday photo clinic by PSS. There was once when i am suppose to hand in 6 pictures for the assigmnent and i brought all my collections of photos for some comments.

    And there was this insturctor, Mr E****** C***** who was sitting there so i thought i just show him my photos for comments.

    My heart really when i heard what he said. He was just flipping thru my albums and all he said was is that all u have? He then arrogantly showed me what he have thru his laptop and was happily boasting abt where he went and all these are his pictures.

    I was really sad and angry that as an instructor, he was more eager to show off what he has rather than to comment and help correct new learner abt photography. Nothing on composition, framing, subject interest, handling techniques were commented. My enthusiam abt photography was killed on the spot.

    By coming to this forum and reading all fellow Csers comments abt pictures and photography, i learn more than what i learn from PSS.

    Well, that was just my experience, hope no one is offended. Hope that thru this thread, u all can share wif all abt gd and bad clubs/societies or instructors.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Don't put too much weight on one person's opinion about your works.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    well, he din comment a single thing so there's no opinion to talk abt anyway.

    what i meant is to let others share their experience so we can all 'avoid lousy' instructors, whom they think they know a thing or 2 abt photography, can throw their weight ard.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    There's no better society than clubsnap.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    actually photography is as much as boys' game

    also that there isnt much context to getting 'ahead'..you shoot frequent, you shoot more, you are wise enough to pick up pointers along the way, wahla you got into a job that has an 'instructor' title. i personally think becos the lack of a proper hierachy in the photography business (EVERYONES CALLED PHOTOGRAPHER!) many like to give themselves 'namesakes'. who knows you organise a field outing abt charging batteries, and presto you are an instructor too!!

    unlike international chess, becos theres little credible ranking system, thats why i notice many photographers hereabouts are very secretive about their works..they only show their work they wish to show, and try best to take a dig at others to put them down. someone start an exhibition, hes now a 'renowned' artist. maybe its more lucrative being a photography.. trader!

    just put it this way, your that instructor probably got rubbed by 'others' ahead of him, hence he became an instructor to add 'credibility' to his 'works' ..so you think he interested in commenting however 'great' you do?

    just have to get used to it

  6. #6
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by Klose
    There's no better society than clubsnap.
    How 'bout this?

    I ClubSNAP


  7. #7

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    I was a PSS member and I've been to those Fri photo clinics. I think those clinics are good because we see members bringing their works for critique. Actually, I think there is more buzz between members than between member and instructor, cos there are so few instructors to go around compared to no. of members there.

    However, there are some instructors in PSS who are good. It was them who taught me the basics of highlights, framing, cropping and such.

    Ultimately, photography, like many subjects, need to be taught by masters and shared with peers. Clubsnap, like many e-forums, offer the advantage of peer review. However, ultimately, it would be good to approach a few photographers whose works you appreciate and learn from them directly.

    There is also advantage of 'live' discussion, which is why I always thought gatherings by some small groups within clubsnap do offer such opportunities. 'Live' discussions of sharing works of each other make demonstrations, pointing out etc much easier and make the learning process more lively.

    I like the Internet, but its real time and real human interaction which I find superior over electronic exchange.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by tariesy
    There are lots of clubs & societies teaching photography here. Any feedbacks or comments about the quality of the instructors and the clubs/societies?
    I can't help the impression the purpose of some "societies" is to bolster the CVs of its officers, offer expensive classes, or make money with hefty fees for applying for some meaningless accreditation (like "FTAT" = "fellow of this and that"). Others discriminate based on details of your professional status (e.g. one well-known "student" club locks out postgraduate students from full membership privileges) and have lots of subcommittees so that there can be a lot of very important subcommittee chairs.

    Generally, bona fide clubs would care about promoting the respective hobby/activity, not about selling expensive courses or enhancing the reputation of the club. My personal experience in (non-photography) clubs has been that members - from students to ivy league university professors - have volunteered their services (to non-members!) for free, charging at most a nominal fee to cover working materials (usually subsidised by the club), in a grassroots fashion. This includes courses that actually resulted in government issued certifications/licences granting special privileges, not some fake title to put after your name.

    If you want to learn, look for people who genuinely want to share their knowledge - not those trying to make a quick buck.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Actually I really agree with the thread starter! I attended a course at PSS before and also attended their critique session on Fridays.

    As a beginner, I'll really hope to hear constructive feedback on how to improve - and hopefully the more experienced photographers can let us know what's good and what's not about our pictures. Instead the "master" judged according to his own benchmark (not bearing in mind that he's in the line professionally while others JUST STARTED).

    It was rather discouraging and of course I felt really disheartened about that for a while... I do feel that constructive feedback should be given (not in a demeaning manner)...

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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    i agree with klose and catchlights that theres no society better than clubsnap. There are better ways to get constructive comments rather then seeing the arrogant faces of the so call 'instructors'.

    i also agree with yeocolin that there are gd instructors in PSS but sad to say, the ratio is very small.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Well, photography, or any art form, can be very subjective.

    It is who took the pictures and who commenting on it.

    First thing I tell any newbies into photography is take pictures to please yourself first. You must like your own pictures.

    To improve, either you show ppl your works and accept whatever they have to say about it, filter out those you dun agree and move on from there;

    Or you can go round (exhibitions) to see other's works and made an opinion for yourself and learn from there.

    Its just which way you want to learn.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    i love clubsnap...
    i love clubsnap...
    i love clubsnap!!!!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    I think your comments on PSS is pretty biased. I was a PSS member as well and I thought their Friday clinics were pretty helpful.. Take their comments in a positive manner.
    When I do right, no one remembers. When I do wrong, no one ever forgets.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Sion's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by tariesy
    well, he din comment a single thing so there's no opinion to talk abt anyway.

    what i meant is to let others share their experience so we can all 'avoid lousy' instructors, whom they think they know a thing or 2 abt photography, can throw their weight ard.
    Were the photos you showed him better than what he showed you on his laptop?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by GDSNP
    I think your comments on PSS is pretty biased. I was a PSS member as well and I thought their Friday clinics were pretty helpful.. Take their comments in a positive manner.
    i dun think he was being biased - just relating his experience. he was just disappointed at the response that he got. he was expecting some critique of his photos and din get any.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    what i meant is to let others share their experience so we can all 'avoid lousy' instructors, whom they think they know a thing or 2 abt photography, can throw their weight ard.
    i also agree with yeocolin that there are gd instructors in PSS but sad to say, the ratio is very small.
    If the above comments aren't biased, I dunno what is. No offence.
    When I do right, no one remembers. When I do wrong, no one ever forgets.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by GDSNP
    If the above comments aren't biased, I dunno what is. No offence.
    i still dun think he's biased leh. more like upset over the incident. wouldn't you be? maybe you dun see it that way since you have had good experience with pss - that in itself is a bias (supporting pss).
    Last edited by madmacs; 19th April 2006 at 01:02 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    i hope i din start a war against PSS, just sharing my personal experience with the instructors there. Not being biased towards the society too. Hope i din offend anybody.

    I personally went down for the photo clinic abt 3 - 4 times and each time with different instructors but each time, response is the same. They merely flip thru. The only comments i hear are merely too dark, too bright, with the extreme case like what i mentioned earlier. I even personally check with some other classmates and they all got the same treatment as me. Its really sad to hear that.

    Of cos i do spot some gd instructors giving real gd comments but mayb its just my luck, everytime i went down, i dun get to see them.

    Ever since then, i stop visiting PSS liao.

  19. #19
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by tariesy
    i hope i din start a war against PSS, just sharing my personal experience with the instructors there. Not being biased towards the society too. Hope i din offend anybody.

    I personally went down for the photo clinic abt 3 - 4 times and each time with different instructors but each time, response is the same. They merely flip thru. The only comments i hear are merely too dark, too bright, with the extreme case like what i mentioned earlier. I even personally check with some other classmates and they all got the same treatment as me. Its really sad to hear that.

    Of cos i do spot some gd instructors giving real gd comments but mayb its just my luck, everytime i went down, i dun get to see them.

    Ever since then, i stop visiting PSS liao.
    Don't be dishearten, how 'bout post some of your photos in the Critique Corner here, to get some feedbacks on your works?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by madmacs
    i still dun think he's biased leh. more like upset over the incident. wouldn't you be? maybe you dun see it that way since you have had good experience with pss - that in itself is a bias (supporting pss).
    Yes, i agree with madmacs, it's seems like this is an isloated case whereby the instructor showed the pics to the member, who feels the instructor did not critique the pictures. I don't think this is an attack on PSS or anything and it is biased. It's a sharing of experience.

    Before i proceed further, i should make myself known in case people think i am biased or anything. I am a PSS member, in fact a very active member until about 1-2 years ago due to work commitments. I have helped out at photo clinics and have my share of critique sessions both on my pics and others' pics. I am not an instructor and never claimed to be one.

    IMHO, i think this is more a case of miscommunication. Many people have different way of communicating. When i am giving critique, i will usually point what how i will approach and take the same shots and also some obvious technical and composition improvements like over/underexpose, cropping, rules of third. I usually try not to give my "Personal" opinion like whether i dislike the pic but will not hesitate to say i like a pic. This is not flattery but rather tactful as no one will mind people saying nice things abt their pic, especially if truthful.

    Photography is an art, not exact science. A perfectly exposed, technically excellent pic may still be a lousy pic. A head shot or passport photo is an example. Since it's subjective, it's easily misinterpreted and misunderstood.

    In this instance, i will give the instructor the benefit of the doubts not because i knew him or he's from PSS. But rather, sometimes i do show people my pic so that i can illustrate that the DOF should be this narrow for portraits, speed should be so slow to capture movement etc. I am not sure if thats how the instructor approach but i think that is the case as i doubt if he's not interested in giving u useful critique and yet will show you his portfolio. Just my point of view. :P

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