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NSN Image Galleries - what makes you comment?


Posted by Greg Downing on Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:10 am

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by Greg Downing on Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:10 am
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Thanks Tom - I hear you and hope to figure out a way to welcome those people without watering down the site. We have established ourselves as a site for more serious shooters who actually call themselves "nature photographers" and that has always been our target by design. Targeting the more casual user in some way would be beneficial only if we can find a way to do it without watering down the site for the more serious photographers who do come here to share knowledge and images on a different level than the casual user. Right now we are spending most of our programming and design money to make the rest of the site responsive and increasing the size of images that can be posted etc. (since this has been one recent criticism) and we need the site to be responsive in order to keep up with the technology and times. Thanks again for the thoughts and we'll take this to heart and think seriously about how we can manage to make that happen under those parameters.
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by Vivek on Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:11 pm
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Greg, this is a very interesting topic and I've watched it for a few weeks now. I love nature (especially bird) photography and have made a serious commitment to it in my life since I enjoy it a lot. Yet, I have rarely posted images here because of lack of time and difficulty posed due to some of the restrictions. The images need to be resized etc. and then exported from light room and finally uploaded to the site. So, it takes time to prepare them for upload. Since I wasn't uploading, I even stopped going to the forums to look at the images, let alone commenting on them. These days, I enjoy good bird images on Flickr where I have the option of looking of images from "pre-selected online friends" whose work I like and enjoy. I also tend to share my images there because for my workflow it works better - there is a plugin for these sites in Lightroom and all I need is another click to upload.

All this said, I still love NSN a lot and is one of the only two places where I paid for the content on internet and I am glad I did. I enjoy the detailed technical discussions with serious photographers in the "Discussion" forums and post there from time to time. I also value opinions of several folks on this forum and try to help if I can by posting there. Lastly, I try to buy the photographic stuff I need at the NSN store if possible as a way of supporting the incredible resource you've created here.

I agree with Dick Ludwig & Tom Reichner's suggestions. Also, would you consider developing a "LR-CC plug-in"? Who knows, I might start sharing images here again and commenting again if that happens.
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by Greg Downing on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:08 pm
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Thanks Vivek - I appreciate the post and think that we're on the same page. A LL-CC plugin is certainly on our list when creating our next version of the gallery software. I will report back soon!

Thanks again
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by Todd Bauer on Sat Apr 30, 2016 4:17 pm
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pleverington wrote:
Or call it ...."Let's see it RAW"

Just think what it would say if no one posted their raw versions of an image. What would that then say?

Then again, on the other hand, what would it say if one or two individuals posted their raw versions? Wouldn't they gain some trust and respect for that as far  as their truth in imaging? Perhaps people might start looking at that persons images as some semblance to the reality of what actually is out there? Reliable, truthful, honest, real, believable, respectful, actual depiction of what nature is and looks like, ....not driving while getting drunk so to speak.....are just a few attributes I can think of that such a persons photo work could evoke.

I guess I'm in the minority about these things but clearly if an image looks to be so real  and true to what it is depicting, that image gains so much power due to it's validity for me. I actually feel resentment when being subjected to anything that is flagrantly presented falsely.



If people are requested to reveal shooting data, it seems perfectly reasonable to request processing data by posting the unprocessed image...if the goal is honest critique.
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by Vivek on Sun May 01, 2016 6:07 pm
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Greg Downing wrote:
Thanks Vivek - I appreciate the post and think that we're on the same page. A LL-CC plugin is certainly on our list when creating our next version of the gallery software. I will report back soon!

Thanks again


Yay! Best news of the day...
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by andre paul on Tue May 03, 2016 11:45 am
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oh please naturescapes , don't go to the "casual photographer " direction.
this would probably be suicidal ....
the web does not need another site in this line....

regards to all ....
andre reichmann
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by Campbell on Tue May 10, 2016 3:07 am
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I have been mostly absent from this site for a few years now for many of the reasons already stated. I have occasionally come back to quickly look through the discussions and galleries. The knowledge base here on this site is second to none.
Specifically what got boring/annoying was seeing the 'big' names on here garner the massive majority of comments in the double digit count for an image posted. And yet an image that could really use some helpful comments, barely got noticed. And then images have become beyond real in respects to colors and detail. Absolute perfectly perfect blue skies and waters, unbelievable greens and shocking yellows... I admit that they do look beautiful with out doubt, but it is obvious that the images have been very seriously worked in photo shop or whatever image editing software.

I have learned so much from NSN and as long as it is around, I will continue to learn from its incredible knowledge base. It has helped me reach a point where I am very pleased and often excited about the quality of my photos/images. Thanks to NSN!

I think there have been some outstanding ideas mentioned in this thread. Especially about getting the not so serious photographers on board. And Greg, I know you are worried about 'watering down' NSN but I think that is not so easily done. NSN is strong, it can handle the creation of an 'entry level' forum section. It's not a watering down but a widening of its base... making a bigger foot print.

Thank you for 13 years. Looking forward to many more.
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by pleverington on Tue May 10, 2016 10:17 am
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Campbell wrote:
 And then images have become beyond real in respects to colors and detail. Absolute perfectly perfect blue skies and waters, unbelievable greens and shocking yellows... I admit that they do look beautiful with out doubt, but it is obvious that the images have been very seriously worked in photo shop or whatever image editing software.


There ya go..............

See....I'm  not the only one who has grown weary of the hit parade.....

And the problem is not just NSN, but the digital frenzy all together. We all are loosing some, if not large amounts of connection with what truly makes an image great. We stifle the comments that are critical, but those are the very ones that would help the most...and bring on a much greater interest in the site. If I remember right, show and tell in grade school only lasted about fifteen minutes before we all got back to serious study. I personally don't think you can pick up significant member involvement on this site without rolling up the sleeves and dealing with the fundamental root causes and changes to imagery that digital is now attacking.
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by pleverington on Tue May 10, 2016 10:29 am
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And oh how I wish we could accelerate beyond the Arthur Morris "formula" for bird photography....it is so completely limiting



And David Salem : why are you  barraging us with repetitive cheap marketing for your workshops?  Did you see that Greg when you gave him editors pick or is that the kind of thing allowed now? your really going to loose people if that keeps up....

*Edit: David scaled it back to a tolerable level..Thank you Dave... But point is when the site looks like a big marketing ploy for those who want to considerer members as potential customers this rather transforms the nature of the site and how people feel about it. Both the intrusiveness of the advertising  and the volume of advertising need IMO to be kept reasonable and secondary to what most use the site for. Again IMO that would be learning, sharing, becoming better at what we do. 
Paul Leverington
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by david fletcher on Wed May 11, 2016 1:57 pm
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pleverington wrote:
And oh how I wish we could accelerate beyond the Arthur Morris "formula" for bird photography....it is so completely limiting

*Edit: David scaled it back to a tolerable level..Thank you Dave... But point is when the site looks like a big marketing ploy for those who want to considerer members as potential customers this rather transforms the nature of the site and how people feel about it. Both the intrusiveness of the advertising  and the volume of advertising need IMO to be kept reasonable and secondary to what most use the site for. Again IMO that would be learning, sharing, becoming better at what we do. 

plus one to that.  for me the Arthur Morris approach is the perfect horror story.   Sterilisation and perpetual fussing about a spot, bit of grass... omg.. get a life,   if it's more important to clone out a branch the original image doesn't have enough interest.  

It is interest and emotion that we should develop.  

second issue, is quite sadly, there are a host of pro's that are using the sight for marketing.  is that bad.  not sure as those that need development may well appreciate that, which will be a HUGE plus in their progress.  Think we have known that from day one so not a negative from me, other than oft the only time "they " post is when they want to promote their own business. 

My only suggestion is to find a balancing act to satisfy both sectors.   Bon voyage!


Took the time today to look at my own posts over the years to evaluate how comments have changed.   Interesting reading and interesting to note who is no longer here.  

A chap I posted a comment on a few weeks back had 76 looks and no comments.  To me, it beggared beyond belief that no one here could bother to post a comment.  I was personally outraged and suggested trying to add interest by way of how the image was arrived at... but that to me what is symptomatic of the problem we have.  
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by pleverington on Fri May 13, 2016 7:17 pm
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Thank you David....and thank you again.....

Your intuition drills down at the real problem.. Greg, bless his heart, wants so much for this site. So do I, and you  and others....
But just as I came back to this thread to make a point in a post that ...welllll....where are the elders?....the people that were here in the beginning I  mean...I found your post saying exactly the same what I was thinking.....You beat me to the punch....

It seems the site rotates on a 5 year basis, and those that were so involved ten years ago are now gone. The implications are that the site is only useful for  beginners or newbies, for the most part. It does not delve into the deeper meanings or seems to want to. Is this because the people that run it are into the profit and business end of it and have lost some, maybe most, of their reasons for getting into nature photography itself?? or is it the fact that digital has become an animal that no one can control anymore?? Or has all of society lost connection with our basic foundations and fundamentals that makes us beautiful empathetic creatures on this Earth??? Nawww...I think most here are connected...or trying hard to be...I don't think the latter is the problem...

It's gottta be those other things....
Paul Leverington
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by Greg Downing on Fri May 13, 2016 9:00 pm
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pleverington wrote:
And oh how I wish we could accelerate beyond the Arthur Morris "formula" for bird photography....it is so completely limiting



And David Salem : why are you  barraging us with repetitive cheap marketing for your workshops?  Did you see that Greg when you gave him editors pick or is that the kind of thing allowed now? your really going to loose people if that keeps up....

*Edit: David scaled it back to a tolerable level..Thank you Dave... But point is when the site looks like a big marketing ploy for those who want to considerer members as potential customers this rather transforms the nature of the site and how people feel about it. Both the intrusiveness of the advertising  and the volume of advertising need IMO to be kept reasonable and secondary to what most use the site for. Again IMO that would be learning, sharing, becoming better at what we do. 


I did not see that Paul. But it's also not the place to single people out. If you see something that you think is inappropriate please direct it to the proper channels not in the public forum. The guidelines are specific and do not allow direct advertising for a reason.
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by Debapratim Saha on Sat May 14, 2016 10:33 am
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Make things simpler, so that viewer can comment simply.............like social medias.
 

by david fletcher on Sat May 14, 2016 3:57 pm
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pleverington wrote:
Thank you David....and thank you again.....

Your intuition drills down at the real problem.. Greg, bless his heart, wants so much for this site. So do I, and you  and others....
But just as I came back to this thread to make a point in a post that ...welllll....where are the elders?....the people that were here in the beginning I  mean...I found your post saying exactly the same what I was thinking.....You beat me to the punch....

It seems the site rotates on a 5 year basis, and those that were so involved ten years ago are now gone. The implications are that the site is only useful for  beginners or newbies, for the most part. It does not delve into the deeper meanings or seems to want to. Is this because the people that run it are into the profit and business end of it and have lost some, maybe most, of their reasons for getting into nature photography itself?? or is it the fact that digital has become an animal that no one can control anymore?? Or has all of society lost connection with our basic foundations and fundamentals that makes us beautiful empathetic creatures on this Earth??? Nawww...I think most here are connected...or trying hard to be...I don't think the latter is the problem...

It's gottta be those other things....



Paul..  We are on the same hymn sheet.  I would like to see the site evolve, but retain the integrity I first felt it had.  The integrity to me, is more important.  call it Brand identity.  

In every site like this, there will be that element of business users using the site for their marketing needs..  they are probably needed.  i am purely being analytical as I have no personal benefit or need of such.  However, I do feel there is a benefit to members, albeit, I would not want that side to be over emphasised.   

Regarding digital, the benefit is that users may be getting quite appealing images without any apparent effort.  Downside being that the basic understanding not only on processing, but in acquiring images of emotional merit, etc for those on that road may still take time.  Not a bad thing, but I can say we have a prominent member here that clearly doesn't understand digital and is flying around like a plane out of control.  Translation.  no substitute for learning the basics, with the media used, Digital/film etc, being irrelevant.

One area that the publisher should consider, is one that I have been concerned with for quite some time and I feel, has and could have a BIG influence on the future.

That being...   Editors Picks.   These are steering members.  It's pretty straightforward.   To get a EP in birds you need a prescribed formula.  The pretty perch and a few flowers / buds etc.  BG OOF.. etc.  Flight shots are the banking pose, with the usual OOF bg.  Is that really challenging OUR SENSES, or providing an image that 10 years ago, would have been seen as sensational.  Translation.  we are being actively steered to what someone thinks as the benchmark, whereas the REAL WORLD  differs greatly..    seems to be no ability to see something that is original or does not conform, but the real world has a very different view.   we need to be in sync.

On a personal note, I reject and avoid pressure to conform.  

On a reality note, for many years I have personally voiced my objection to:

1.  The sterilisation site.  
2.  The BBC wildlife POTY.
3.  Forums that are stuck in a rut and have a limited formula 


We ARE in a rut.  Forums typically get very few members that win or are awarded International recognition.  (there are awards... but not many each year... WHY... any awards for the pretty perch/flowers....  NONE..   we are out of sync with what we should be recognising as the newer standards... )

I love this site.  that's the only reason I am inclined to respond and post right now with this.  I strongly feel we need to identify where we need to sit as a BRAND, and what we can offer to members that may retain the integrity of the site and as Paul says, retain the connection to members.
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by Greg Downing on Sun May 15, 2016 8:56 am
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Debapratim Saha wrote:
Make things simpler, so that viewer can comment simply.............like social medias.


Could you possibly elaborate on this? They way it is now when you open an image you can make a comment right there and enter it with a single click. Can't get much easier than that...
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by Eia on Mon May 16, 2016 4:06 pm
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Greg Downing wrote:
Debapratim Saha wrote:
Make things simpler, so that viewer can comment simply.............like social medias.


Could you possibly elaborate on this? They way it is now when you open an image you can make a comment right there and enter it with a single click. Can't get much easier than that...


Maybe he means the file sizes. That takes time; just another step for some that will not deal with bringing their photo through to meet the requirements, especially after going through the steps to resize -- only to see the photo lost quality. 

Maybe he means allowing multiple photos. Say up to three allowed if the photos tell a story in sequence; or they are so similar that they need to be grouped. 

Maybe he means seeing the latest comment on a photo bumped ( though I can see that a hindrance for reasons) but it can give the viewer a quick visual to see the latest remark about a photo. Perhaps that is a way to generate more replies rather than going through each photo.

I am not suggesting these...only trying to convey many social media sights.

There are many variables and i understand keeping the integrity but at the same time it can be a fine line with forming cliques and say a snob appeal. That will not attract new people at all....Please.... dont confuse that with constructive critiques.  Your websiight name is attractive. You have to decide if this is a sight for all who love nature photography which it obviously is.  Just don't smother a person's vision. If you do then you have to make this a place where expectations are stated up front and then maybe have a panel critique a photo before it is published. 

It is hard.... Photography goes in many a direction so you probably have to decide your guidelines, then the format for comments.
~AnnaMaria~
 

by Greg Downing on Mon May 23, 2016 8:00 pm
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Thanks for the additional comments. Will take them to heart. In the meantime we have now completed the responsive menus and I made a post related to that and the possible future of the galleries here:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=263395
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by isseu on Tue May 24, 2016 12:44 am
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I haven't seen this mentioned here before, but for me a great enhancement would bew to directly jump from one picture to the next /previous w/o going back to the overview page :-)
 

by david fletcher on Sat May 28, 2016 3:14 pm
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isseu wrote:
I haven't seen this mentioned here before, but for me a great enhancement would bew to directly jump from one picture to the next /previous w/o going back to the overview page :-)



allejujah!   nice and simple...  also, when logging in it asks whether to return to the previous page... doh.

another nagging concern.  Directed for the publisher, Greg.  Your responses indicate the direction you want to go to are mainly centered on features.  

Fine.  

Many are concerned also on the direction on the site "brand".  I would welcome your thoughts on this.  
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by Greg Downing on Mon May 30, 2016 4:14 pm
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Not at all David - I may have given some info and some "features" or updates we are working on, but that does not mean that is the only thing I am focusing on. The very question I asked has nothing to do with features of the site but I posted it to spark the conversation and for me to get a better understanding of how people use the site, commenting patterns etc. That being said there are some fundamental usability issues that must also be attended to.

As for the brand and where we are going we are multi-faceted and strive to be an all encompassing resource for our craft. We have a pretty successful workshop business, a thriving and growing store and a community of photographers who regularly visit the site to share ideas and images.

I posted the topic in order for us behind the scenes to be able to listen to user's experiences and find out what makes people interact and what users are looking for. We've gotten some good suggestions and some of them are aimed at some usability issues while others are aimed at how people interact in the community. And as a result we have learned a few things that will help us moving forward.

Oh and we banned on user ;)

Keep the suggestions coming :)
Greg Downing
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