Grrrr. Camera club vent again.

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TracyF's picture
Last seen: 18 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2554
Grrrr. Camera club vent again.

I really appreciated everyone's input on my questions about which photos to submit for my camera club's "Architectural Interiors" competition! But now I wonder why I sweated the issue at all. Last night was so depressing!

I chose the wall of windows, as suggested by everyone here, and the other selection was tough because I felt the one I really wanted wouldn't go over well at this crazy club. But I couldn't have done much worse!

The first one of mine that came up for judging was this one:

and it scored the lowest of the night, two points BELOW a photo of someone's living room, taken with flash, with nothing artistic about the POV or anything. Seriously? I know this isn't a "great" photo, but it has more ambience than a flash-photo of a living room.

And then the windows photo scored a little higher, but not much:

And if that weren't frustrating enough, the projector they use isn't calibrated and is over-bright, so this photo for another competition that night on "Fog", did not go over well either:

I realize that one isn't everyone's cup of tea with all of the negative space, but still. There was much discussion about what was wrong with it, and a lot of the complaint was the colour, which wasn't at all representative of the image itself - none of the pink tinge to the fog or anything. A couple of people went and looked at it on the computer that was being used and said later to me that it's a completely different photo when the colours are right, and they didn't "get" it on the projector screen, but totally "got" it on the computer.

To add insult to injury, some guy who's never been to the club before made a big, very long-winded deal of the problems in my photos in the most patronizing way possible, ending by saying, "I always think constructive criticism is meant to teach us, but I also always try to find something nice to say about the photos," and yet never found anything nice to say at all.

It really is demoralizing to be in a room full of people who hate what you've done; and the judging there just leaves me completely perplexed, every single time I go. So frustrating!

Ladybugsteph's picture
Last seen: 1 year 5 months ago
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2977

That's so not fair, Tracy. Sad Is there another camera club in your area that you can join? Or maybe you could even get involved with a group of mommies that like to take photos. It doesn't seem helpful to be a part of a group like that. And for what it's worth, I LOVE your photos. That fog one is one of my favorites from you. Don't let them get you down.

And can I say that I think it's weird that they're putting images up on a screen through a projector for critique? Most of the time, I don't even like the way movies look up on the big screen. There's just no detail through a projector.

Jeffininer's picture
Last seen: 3 years 3 months ago
Joined: 11/07/07
Posts: 1796

This whole post just made me mad and sad at the same time. I highly suggest you stop going to that silly club. You want to be a part of a group that uplifts you, that you enjoy doing, and that you can learn from. It sounds like this group you are a part of is the complete opposit of that. There is one thing to CC an image (even stronge CC) but to make you feel so down on yourself is NOT the way to go about it!!!

Have you tried to look for other groups in your area? What about seraching flickr for a group...I know sometimes they set-up local groups. I honestly found the most amazing group of gals through Clickin Moms. 99% are in business and a lot better than I am!! But we share ideas, offer advice, give CC, and support each other. THAT is what a group of photographers should be about.

I'm so sorry you've found yourself in a situation where you are unhappy. I also really hate how discouraged you seem to be in your posts. You have grown so much since I first saw you on here and I think your creativity is great.

Chin up, girl. Don't let some fuddy duddy old men bring you down Smile

TracyF's picture
Last seen: 18 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2554

Thanks for the encouragement and sympathy, guys.

I will say, not everyone in the club is so difficult. When the one new guy was going on to me about how healthy it is to receive constructive criticism, and rather unconstructively ripping me apart, one of the guys finally quietly said, "She has produced some great images. In fact, her last submission to a CAPA [Canadian Association for Photographic Arts] competition received scores equivalent to the Honourable Mention placements, and the highest scores in our club by far." He was really trying to support me, and I was surprised but so grateful. Having said that, I really DON'T understand the judging, and some people there honestly have no sense of art at all, and it's frustrating.

I'd love to join a group like your Clickin' Moms group, Jennifer, except that when I usually only have a P&S at my disposal, I feel like I'd be way out of my league in that situation, because I simply can't produce GREAT shots of my kids with my P&S. It's why I'm loving the loaner DSLR so much, because it shows me what IS possible, you know?!

But I don't really know what to do about the club, because -- I know this will sound a little weird to some people, but -- I really believe that I'm supposed to be there. I was discouraged about not feeling really a part of this community since we moved here, and prayed a lot about getting involved somehow; and then two very strange and timely events coincided to lead me to the club. I think I will at least see the year out and then reconsider in the summer, though right now every part of me just wants to quit. I may just stop submitting images to competitions, though, so as not to put myself through the wringer!!

Steph, it is a bit weird about the projector, I guess, but they're a really small club (20 members or so), and don't have the funds for anything more high-tech than that. The projector isn't calibrated, though, and colour is off and highlights often look blown, so it really isn't very helpful for judging!

I know I often sound down in my posts, and I'm sorry about that. I hate being a downer for other people. Sad I just get so easily discouraged because I feel like I want so badly to fulfill the vision I have in my head, and to meet the high standards I see here and elsewhere. But I know I've improved a lot and keep thinking I ought to do an anniversary post, to remind myself of that fact!

Thanks for listening to all of my babbling. It really helps me to vent and explain myself.

Muddee's picture
Last seen: 1 year 9 months ago
Joined: 03/13/08
Posts: 2119

Sorry to hear things at the camera club are frustrating you a bit, could you maybe take a break and come back in a little while. I think you do amazing work with the equipment you have.

lmh101979's picture
Last seen: 4 years 2 months ago
Joined: 07/05/09
Posts: 966

I think your pictures are beautiful and don't let someone who was obviously trying to impress everyone with his big mouth get you down. It sounds like there are some people in the club that appreciate your art and know how amazing your work really is. There are always people that want to bring you down to make them feel up. The Homeowners social committee I volunteer with has one of those ladies and it takes every muscle in my body not to jump up and slap her when she starts going on and on about nonsense. I just remember how grateful and kind the other ladies are and try to go to my happy place when she's talking.
Everyone on here is right, you are doing awesome with your pictures and I am really learning a lot from you and your posts. Please don't get discouraged, I find your work to be very inspiring!

sadieruth's picture
Last seen: 3 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6267

Just want to offer some (((HUGS))). To be honest, I think your photos are great, and what's truly important is if YOU like them. I understand the CC and it helps a lot, but you have to like them as well. I LOVE your fog photo- it's just soooo peaceful. If you feel like you are meant to be there, then I would stay. You know in your heart if you are or not. I will lift you up and I hope you can feel more at peace while you are there.

TracyF's picture
Last seen: 18 hours 48 min ago
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 2554

Thank you all, you guys are the best encouragement. Between my husband's hugs (and anger at the people at the club!) and perspective, and your encouragement here, I am feeling much better. Yesterday morning at this time I just wanted to bawl. Today I feel like I can pick up my camera and keep on shooting! Smile

Last seen: 2 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 10/26/01
Posts: 3627

I'm glad you were encouraged enough to keep going, Tracy. You really do have an amazing eye for photography and I would hate to think that you stepped away from it due to the inconsiderate nature of others.

Whatever you decide about your local club, I hope you will always feel welcome, inspired, and encouraged here.