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Thread: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

  1. #21
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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.
    Well, despite what i have said in my post. If you think you are not getting proper critique, you should ask for one. You can either approach other instructors or clarify with the instructor on how can you improve.

    For the benefit of others who may not attend a critique session, typically at a critique session on Friday, there can be from 5-20 students requesting for critique. Usually there should be at least 2 instructors around and sometimes, those not on duty and more senior members will be around to help.

    Still, given that it only starts about 7.30-8pm to 10pm (occasionally, instructors stay till 12 midnight, which is way pass 10pm closing time to give critique as they understand that students can only make it on Friday), and the large number of students, each student prob gets about 10-15mins.

    Sometimes, those considerate students will filter out those obvious lousy shots (head cropped off, overexpose, snapshots) and request for critique for those better but can be improved shots. This helps the instructor to give more in depth and meaningful critique. I think it works on CS as well. If i linked 36 shots (a roll of film or an album) and ask for critique, i will likely get rebuff and useless comments like Nice!, Good Job, Lousy etc.

    Hence, my advice to those i have critiqued is. Set a high standard for yourselves, filter out and select 5-10 pics for critique will be sufficient as the problem, if any, will exist for other similar pics. This way, you can save ur time, instructors' time, fellow students' time as well as getting a better critique. I made the same mistake when i started out and expected critique for 16 albums of snapshots of my overseas trip:P In the end, i whittle down to.... 3 shots that i think is good enough for my portfolio! haha... what can i say, i am a lousy photographer.

    Do consider what i say and let the instructor know what you want to be critiqued on :P Cheers!

  2. #22

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    bit ot but the best way to learn photography is to

    shoot! shoot! and still shoot!... shoot everything, shoot anything, always shoot something... all must try... landscape, portraits, close-up, night, studio, .... 'carefully' use at least 500 shutter counts a week and after months u'll have learn to already visualise the picture b4 u get it...

    but of course, basic technical understanding is essential, the rest is how one explore... the internet should hav more then enough reading material to learn from...

  3. #23

    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.
    Have you tried showing Steven Yee your works?

    So far, many students including me have made him our mentors.

    But of course, we also have to be sensitive. Friday photo clinics are usually packed with people and the instructors on duty are on VOLUNTARY basis. We cannot expect to throw them a stack of 400 images and want them to comment on everyone. Aiyoh, this is common sense lah. Hence, I cannot blame them if someone were to bring a huge stack, they will flip through and select the better ones for your portfolio. But of course, if you have any pix that you like but not chosen,you can always ask why, and so far, I get replies from the instructors.

    I think it is important that we must be humble and willing to learn. I learn a lot from Steven as well as a few other good instructors from PSS. What we deemed as good is likely due to our ego, but what is acceptable to the masses is another.

    I have actually talked to E____ C____ about this case. I am not sure if the threadstarter is trying to find fault or what. E_____ C______ is trying to use his images to teach the thread starter on the finer point of composition and the subjects that can be taken. Not meant to put down students, as pointed out by the threadstarter.

    Perhaps different students have different way of interpretation of intention.

    Anyway, results have proven for itself. PSS has produced a lot of outstanding and good amateur, eveb professional, photographers.

    So far, I did not regret joining PSS as it is a good place for me to hone my skills, and most importantly, find your own mentor. For me, I am glad to have found one in Steven Yee.

    He taught me a lot of things, not just on photography, but also on how he run the club.

    My advise for the threadstarter is, to learn, you must be humble. I understand what you are going through, just like what I have been through. early days, when I first started, I always thought that my pix are good. But as you shoot more and learn from the master, you realise that there is still a lot of room for improvement. As you learn from them, you become more mature,and the way you look at things also differ.

    I have joined my mentor's Art of Seeing workshop. He really opened my horizon of the way of looking at things. You can ask anyone from his workshop, they will share the same sentiment.

    Overtime, the threadstarter will appreciate this, as he gets more mature in photography.

    For me, I am still learning from my mentor. There is really so much more to learn, and I am glad that he is sharing.

    Everyone has a choice. THere are so many instructors at PSS. Choose one whom you can gel with and you feel you can learn from.

  4. #24

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by nemesis32
    Well, despite what i have said in my post. If you think you are not getting proper critique, you should ask for one. You can either approach other instructors or clarify with the instructor on how can you improve.

    For the benefit of others who may not attend a critique session, typically at a critique session on Friday, there can be from 5-20 students requesting for critique. Usually there should be at least 2 instructors around and sometimes, those not on duty and more senior members will be around to help.

    Still, given that it only starts about 7.30-8pm to 10pm (occasionally, instructors stay till 12 midnight, which is way pass 10pm closing time to give critique as they understand that students can only make it on Friday), and the large number of students, each student prob gets about 10-15mins.

    Sometimes, those considerate students will filter out those obvious lousy shots (head cropped off, overexpose, snapshots) and request for critique for those better but can be improved shots. This helps the instructor to give more in depth and meaningful critique. I think it works on CS as well. If i linked 36 shots (a roll of film or an album) and ask for critique, i will likely get rebuff and useless comments like Nice!, Good Job, Lousy etc.

    Hence, my advice to those i have critiqued is. Set a high standard for yourselves, filter out and select 5-10 pics for critique will be sufficient as the problem, if any, will exist for other similar pics. This way, you can save ur time, instructors' time, fellow students' time as well as getting a better critique. I made the same mistake when i started out and expected critique for 16 albums of snapshots of my overseas trip:P In the end, i whittle down to.... 3 shots that i think is good enough for my portfolio! haha... what can i say, i am a lousy photographer.

    Do consider what i say and let the instructor know what you want to be critiqued on :P Cheers!
    I fully agree with nemesis. as I have seen some of the members bring one whole stack of photographs, or whole harddisk of images, which I think is about more than 500 shots, and expect the instructors to critique one by one. Aiyoh, common sense lah. We should be considerate.

    I think we should give credits to the instructors who are doing the critique for free. We should not abuse the system. We should be gracious Singaporeans.

  5. #25

    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.
    I think you are being too personal with your sweeping statement. If you think you are so good, why bother to go to Photo Clinic? Why don't you set up your own FREE photo clinic and sacrifice your Friday nights?

    Be a humble pie. We are grateful to the instructors. Of course, you have the freedom to choose the instructors.

    I have seen some of my classmates not putting in effort in their assignment, and insist that their works are good and insist the instructors feel the same way as them. The instructors are experienced and they have their duty to state their point.

    It is also like seeing GP doctors. If you do not trust one's opinion, look for another. But if you have 5 GPs giving the same judgement, then you really have something wrong.

    Well,of course, photography can be objective, but there also exist some level of standard.

  6. #26

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by Klose
    There's no better society than clubsnap.
    There are pros and cons of this forum.

    No one is perfect, as individual interest differs. There are also many who find the forum having too many non-sensical thread starters.

  7. #27

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by wiskiz
    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)...
    Your senior here, giving you an advice, take the humble pie. Though I do not consider myself as very much your "senior", you should be glad that you did not end up with a "Yes Man" instructors who say every pix is nice even if it is not. Do you want that? Then you will not learn.

    You should count yourself lucky that someone is willing to share his tips and benchmark with you. If you like "Yes Man" who will say all your shots are good, you might as well pay someone to sit down, go through your pix, and then say "good shot, good shot, good shot".

    Learn and tap on their experience.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf
    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.
    It is important to have such titles like Associateship or fellowship, which also exists in all other art forms as well as the professional line. Do you know there is such a thing as Fellow of Chartered Public Accountant (FCPA)? Do you know there are Fellows of royal music societies in Europe?

    Do you think such titles are easy to get? People who got them must have something to prove they are worth the titles.

    Do you think the Assoc Pro or full fledges Prof in the Universities are bogus? They have the substance.

    There are many fly by night people who claimed themselves to be "master" photographer just because of one or two solo shows, but have nothing else to prove and recognised by any bodies.

    By the way, do you know how much the UNiversity Prof are earning a month? A full fledges Prof can earn up to 5 digit per month. It is part of their effort to contribute to the Society. The Photo Clinic instructors at PSS, only claim instructor fee when they teach and do not get regular income like the University Prof.

    Sometimes, we should not get too idealistic about promotion of photography. The club must be financially viable, or else, how can PSS open 7 days a week, run exhibitions, seminars, talks, activities on a regular basis. Do you think the S$40 per year membership can sustain their operational costs? If you look at their annual report, it is not easy running the club.

    Not that Steven Yee brain washed me, but common sense and a sense of graciousness will tell you that these Council members who volunteer their expertise in running the club, should be aptly thanked and acknowledged.

    Every organisation has its own structure and objectives. We cannot compare club by club which function differently and have different objectives.

    Take up a management course and you will see the light. Read up on Mintzberg theories of organisation.

    Some organisations are able to charge less because they have funding.

    How recognised is the certification is based on the organisation track record and branding.

    The choice is yours, whether to get associated with the organisation or not.

    If you want to know where your level of skill is, try the RPS title alongside those offered by PSS. Try www.rps.org

  9. #29

    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?

    .
    If you care to do a gap analysis, you will find that you are lucky to be in a era where PSS is around, very active, very successful courses with very good instructors, very good programs.

    Sometimes, people are just too pampered and do not know they have the luxuries. I have a class mate in PSS Basic Course, an expatriate who has since wentback home, and we keep in touch, and she said how much she miss the good times at PSS which she is unable to find a parallel in her country.

  10. #30

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by black.ink
    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
    I disagree with you. This shows you hardly visit exhibitions.

    From what I observe, most of PSS instructors have their works featured in public exhibitions and received good recognition.

    I often mingled with my mentor and a few Council members. My mentor is the PSS Course Coordinator, and they have stringent criteria in selection of instructors.

  11. #31

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    I think I have said my piece. Not that I am a nagging woman, but I think I should do some justice to help set records straight. I have told Steven about this thread, and he said, just write what you feel is right.

    He is currently too busy organising all the seminars, events and exhibitions, as well as the operation of the PSS, on top of his work. I pity him, really no life.

    I understand that this forum is a place for discussion, but perhaps we should not get too personal.

    Give credits to the volunteers who make things happen for you.

  12. #32

    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.
    Just like what I said, if you see 5 GP doctors and they give same diagnosis, then the problem really lies in you, not the doctors.

    My mentor's advise is the more you fail and if you learn from the failure, you will learn more.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by truth-photographer
    But of course, we also have to be sensitive. Friday photo clinics are usually packed with people and the instructors on duty are on VOLUNTARY basis. We cannot expect to throw them a stack of 400 images and want them to comment on everyone. Aiyoh, this is common sense lah. Hence, I cannot blame them if someone were to bring a huge stack, they will flip through and select the better ones for your portfolio. But of course, if you have any pix that you like but not chosen,you can always ask why, and so far, I get replies from the instructors.
    Well, for your info, its bcos i know the club well enough that i only brought down 1 humble album with only abt 20 images for critiques and i must say i am really early, bcos again i know the club well enuf to not to be late as its diff to 'queue' for your turn. Students there wanting their photos to be commented at that time can be counted in 1 hand. So i dun understand why, esp this comment: 'Is that all you have'. I personally find this comment rather offending.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by truth-photographer
    I think it is important that we must be humble and willing to learn. I learn a lot from Steven as well as a few other good instructors from PSS. What we deemed as good is likely due to our ego, but what is acceptable to the masses is another.

    I have actually talked to E____ C____ about this case. I am not sure if the threadstarter is trying to find fault or what. E_____ C______ is trying to use his images to teach the thread starter on the finer point of composition and the subjects that can be taken. Not meant to put down students, as pointed out by the threadstarter.

    Perhaps different students have different way of interpretation of intention.
    I agree with you that wat we deemed gd is likely due to our ego but i guess it happens to instructors also.

    For your info, he is showing me what he took from his recent batam trip. Nothing else is commented. I'm not trying to find fault in him. I'm just sharing my personal experience. Hope i din offend you in any ways. Perhaps i really interpret his intention wrongly. He may be too excited to show me what he has captured from his trip.

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by truth-photographer
    My advise for the threadstarter is, to learn, you must be humble. I understand what you are going through, just like what I have been through. early days, when I first started, I always thought that my pix are good. But as you shoot more and learn from the master, you realise that there is still a lot of room for improvement. As you learn from them, you become more mature,and the way you look at things also differ.

    Overtime, the threadstarter will appreciate this, as he gets more mature in photography.
    For your info, i never did think my works are the best. All successful businessman has a humble starting. At any point of time, even if you are a master,theres still lots of room for improvement. Only when you are humble can you learn more to outbeat yourself. And i think i am mature enough to judge what are constructive comments and wat is arrogance.

    and for your info, i have since taken quite a number of courses in PSS thou i sometimes still find it sad to think of this case.i love photography and has been shooting and shooting and i certainly did mature in photography thru these years of learning and practicing but still, no matter how much i mature in photography, i won't consider arrogance as constructive comments.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by truth-photographer
    Have you tried showing Steven Yee your works?

    So far, many students including me have made him our mentors.


    I think it is important that we must be humble and willing to learn. I learn a lot from Steven as well as a few other good instructors from PSS. What we deemed as good is likely due to our ego, but what is acceptable to the masses is another.


    So far, I did not regret joining PSS as it is a good place for me to hone my skills, and most importantly, find your own mentor. For me, I am glad to have found one in Steven Yee.

    He taught me a lot of things, not just on photography, but also on how he run the club.


    I have joined my mentor's Art of Seeing workshop. He really opened my horizon of the way of looking at things. You can ask anyone from his workshop, they will share the same sentiment.


    For me, I am still learning from my mentor. There is really so much more to learn, and I am glad that he is sharing.
    From all these that you said abt My Steven Yee, and all your other post abt him. i can see that you are a great fans of his. I like his work and respect him too. I've always enjoyed his lesson when i 1st attended his beginner course years ago.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Quote Originally Posted by truth-photographer
    If you care to do a gap analysis, you will find that you are lucky to be in a era where PSS is around, very active, very successful courses with very good instructors, very good programs.

    Sometimes, people are just too pampered and do not know they have the luxuries. I have a class mate in PSS Basic Course, an expatriate who has since wentback home, and we keep in touch, and she said how much she miss the good times at PSS which she is unable to find a parallel in her country.
    I think you got my whole idea wrong. I was merely sharing my personal encounter with 1 particular instructor, nothing against the society. I understand every single word that you wrote. You dun have to take it so seriously. Just look at all the replies you wrote, shooting parctically every single person who said something not very constructive abt the instructors or club.

    I appreciate everything that has been created for the purpose of photography.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    I have completed a photography course with PSS recently and few things to share regarding the experience. If the students are still new to photography, they will probably benefit slightly more than the experienced students in their courses. What happened in my course is that some of us are so experienced in photography that when we know some pictures are going to turn out crap, we don't even bother to bring those crap pictures for the critque session. There is one of our classmates who can even present more higher quality pictures taken somewhere for critque, than want to bring those pictures he took during our practical sessions. What I must say is that PSS courses can probably give you value for money but at the same time, they are also a profit organisation. They can allow anybody to join their courses and outings at low costs. But at the same time, students must also understand that if you pay little costs, don't expect your pictures to turn out great. It is always the case of having too many people to shoot at limited time and not much efforts at planning the shoot. It is a good experience for learning how to take good pictures but not much time or opportunities at creating a good picture.

    I attended two courses from PSS and get to know two instructors form PSS. So far, both of them are very careful in not trying to pass bad comments, i.e. they will tell you more of what went right instead of what went wrong. Hence, be grateful if they mentioned something is wrong (by doing so, they are putting their ricebowl at risk actually and they know that perfectly well I guess, ha ha). Some more, they are getting a tougher time coaching these days when Singaporeans are getting more and more educated in photography (thanks to clubsnap and other learning outlets) and facing rising expectations from students. So, either you don't join them or be kind please.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    I agree partly with you and partly with threadstarter.

    Quote Originally Posted by truth-photographer
    I think you are being too personal with your sweeping statement. If you think you are so good, why bother to go to Photo Clinic? Why don't you set up your own FREE photo clinic and sacrifice your Friday nights?
    I guess it's his first time there and so he brought it down. What I do not agree is like someone said previously; If you don't like the service of the national library, you don't expect the reply to your complaint letter to be "Go open your own library if you ain't happy with ours" right? It is only right for the club to take feedback positively as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by truth-photographer
    It is also like seeing GP doctors. If you do not trust one's opinion, look for another. But if you have 5 GPs giving the same judgement, then you really have something wrong.
    this i agree, provided if the GP gave any useful feedback.

    I'm not part of PSS neither have I joined any PSS courses. I have got the same type of feedback before from a not photography related experience, I showed my handiwork to my 'mentor' and asked for feedback and how to improve. The reply was "lousy! take a look at this, I manage to do this project in X days and used this and that yada yada.." but nothing was touched on why my work was lousy. He was only interested in telling me how fast he can work. How good he is with his tools, like how he improvised this tool to achieve that. It was not a apple-apple comparison. It was like I showed him how I grew my apples and he show he groomed his dog. constructive? how to learn?

    If he told me things like.. "lousy! look at this.. sharp corners and here! no smooth. Now look at mine." and uses his as comparison to my artefact I can agree. but telling me how fast he work? how much experience he have.. how ingenius he was to improvise.. you tell me how I can improve?
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Comments on various photography clubs/societies

    Most people cannot take the truth, they just want to hear nice things. Anything that is not pleasing, they ignore.

    "Hear only the good stuff" - Gold 90 FM.

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