Here's something I wanted to post for a long time now, but have been hesitant to do so because I anticipate a lot of flames that will come my way. But anyway after browsing the workshops forum today, I've had it. Here goes.
When ClubSNAP first started, we had folks like chngpe01 and tomshen posting fabulous, breath-taking shots every other week for all of us to marvel at, critique on and learn from. We also had some talented members who took critique in the right stride and made huge improvements in their art over time. Those were the days when I felt that this WAS the photography forum to be in, and the standard of photography here WAS comparable to other forums. I even took part in numerous photo workshops/outings organized by fellow members in the spirit of sharing experience and social networking. I even got to make some endearing friendships with several members here (you know who you are).
But look at what the forum has become today. It is more a classified ads site than anything else.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the Buy & Sell forum. It's a great place to trade equipment and the recent moves by ClubSNAP admin to regulate the threads are extremely commendable. But what I am against are the blatant, loud and annoying advertisements in the workshops forum. If all these courses were organized by fellow ClubSNAP members (or more specifically, amateurs) I have no objections. A lot of commercial photographers are coming here to make free advertisements. This really irks me. If the ad posters post these ads in the spirit of learning together and they can make a little coffee money out of it, why not. But if it's just for pure commercial interests (no longer coffee money), I say GO AWAY.
I am also sad that the standard of photography here is nowhere comparable to those I see at PBase. It seems odd that the humongously large number of members in this forum cannot even compete with PBase standard? (I'm not even talking about those top standard pics) Makes me wonder what those rich fellows here who seem to have the most expensive of equipment, lenses etc buy them for. Which brings me to what the equipment forums have become.
I would say that the equipment forums now belong to a handful of so-called photographers who are probably interested in photography as a hobby for spending money and building personal ego but not interested in the art per se. This saddens me as it makes me wonder if ClubSNAP is a tech forum (like HWZ) or is it a photography forum. I tend to think it has become the former.
For me at least, I will always have fond memories of ClubSNAP as the photography forum that it was, the nice people I've met here. But henceforth I'm probably only going to post or surf here when I have a WTS or WTB.