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Buin 08-21-2006 06:12 PM

Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world...!?
My son Andreas (20) is travelling with some friends all around South America where he can see a lot of fascinating landscapes, breathtaking cities, wonderful people... and grinding poverty. For a 20 years old young man from Europe it's certainly not easy to get on especially with these experiences. A few day ago he (AandK) posted a for my taste very impressive picture ("Contrasts...") with a - I think - sensitive note. This picture shows a small miserable boy from Ecuador, who is crying with hunger (he was asked about this) in front of a big shining noble car.

I am so disappointed that only one TE member gave a comment to this - not because it concerns a picture of MY son - but because it concerns one of the most important questions of our time. The theme of TE is "to learn about the world through photography". It seems that the purpose of TE is reduced to comment about POVs, light-conditions, cropping ... but please no thoughts about the unattractive things of our planet. I think we have to take down our pink glasses.
Well, I hope I haven't alienate you, but I MUST address this problem and I would like to hear your opinion.

cherryripe 08-21-2006 07:12 PM

Re: Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world.?
Photography is very subjective and members are usually first attracted by the photo and the note is an added and useful bonus which can help. But just because there's an interesting note does not mean everyone will stop by and critize the photo. By observing some members' galleries you can see that some members are more landscape, others portraits and others graphics etc which can influence as well. My husband Toni_Al prefers taking colourful landscapes and many years ago a local gallery refused his photos because the lady organising the exhibitions thought that only shots of poverty were interesting enough to show. She probably would have liked to have your son's photo in her gallery.

Another point is that naturally we see differently our own photos or those taken by people close to us as there is the sentimental side of it. If a photo isn't given many points, it can be for a number of reasons: quality, time of post, notority (which increases the more critics one gives) and personal taste. Just because a photo has a point to make, doesn't necessarily mean it will be appreciated. Maybe, many members enjoy seeing photos which make them feel good. I can't really judge.

kinginexile 08-21-2006 07:38 PM

Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world...!?
Hi, Frank

TE is a big tent, a lot goes on all over the place, not every worthwhile pix gets noticed, no matter the subject.
I have not seen the pix from Andreas, but one thing I can say is that such a pix as you talk about cannot be shot too indifferently or as a snapshot, in that case people think more about the guy being on vacation, sometimes shooting a nice sunset, sometimes a giggling child, sprinkled with a dirty sad beggar kid pix here and there. Just because this is a very serious subject,

I think many refrain to either show or even shoot such topics while away, and likewise, may not think there is such value in i, save for the shooter him/herself (I do not doubt the genuineness of your son's feelings).

Personally, I think such topics are best served in a photo-journalistic context, with a sense of purpose for shooting poverty, which posting on TE doesn't qualify for, IMO, unless the intrinsec quality of the photo makes you want to share it. So you may have the world, but also a valid photographic effort too. To sum up, when it comes to active membership (writing) I think TE is more about photography than the world.


AdrianW 08-21-2006 08:14 PM

Re: Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world..
Here's <a href="">a link for the curious</a>

kinginexile 08-21-2006 08:37 PM

Re: Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world..
Thanks Adrian. I must say except for Andreas, the idea behind the shot is hard to read at thumbnail size. I think the reason why few chose to look closer have nothing to do with indifference or insentivity to the poverty of the world.

Keitht 08-21-2006 10:06 PM

Re: Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world?
Does TE ONLY show the nice sides of the world? No.

Does TE MAINLY show the nice sides of the world? Yes.

Most of the people on this site are not photo-journalists. We take photos for the enjoyment of the hobby. Maybe I am too selfish, but I don't want to take pictures of 'grinding poverty'.

AandK 08-22-2006 04:04 AM

Re: Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world..
The point that a thumbnail is too small doesn't count since it already received 215 views. The thing is that most of the people don't know how to deal with it. What to say if you see a picture like mine? Actually I can understand some people who don't want to comment on it but on the other side it is cowardish. Looking away is way easier than trying to find suitable words.

I don't want points for the image. All I want is to show that we shouldn't just live in our world of "perspectives, lighting conditions" and you know what but open our eyes to the thing we can see on the image no matter how th conditions were or how I managed them. We all want to learn about the world, otherwise we wouldn't be members but my what my picture shows is this world and unfortunately a large part of it!
Don't just look away cause it's easier!!

lotis 08-22-2006 04:37 AM

Re: Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world..
Hi Andreas,
I don't think people look away from your photo, or are afraid to critique it. As it was previously stated, many factors can explain the fact that your photo has not had many critiques. And one is not obligated to critique it juste because it shows poverty. Your photo is not the first one to show the darker side of the world.
People will often critique photos that mean something to them, or that grabs their attention. I'm not saying yours is not good, far from that. What I'm saying is that it is very simple, like a snapshot. Seeing the thumbnail is just not the same thing. And concerning the number of views, don't forget that most of them will probably have been related to this message posted by your father.
Also by saying those that look at it but don't critique it are cowards is quite wrong. If I look at it and have nothing to say, what do you want me to do? Write "nice shot"? What for? Will it really help you? If I have nothing to say, I will not even say that. TE has also become a more "technical" gallery over the months and years. Maybe this can be a factor...
I have also had photos that meant a lot to me, but have only been critiqued a couple of times. You just have to learn to accept it and move on. It should motivate you to poast the same kind of photo, but get more critiques next time.

Best Regards,

roamermark 08-22-2006 05:16 AM

Re: Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world..
It's a little antagonistic to call people who view but don't comment or critique your photo cowards. Perhaps you should face the fact that maybe it didn't hit the same emotional chord with them that it did with you, or that they weren't that impressed with to as a photo. By the way..there LOTS of photos on TE that deal with poverty, hunger, homelessness and other social issues. Posting a picture of a dirty poor child doesn't mean it will demand respect or attention. A good social issues photo must have compelling subject matter rendered artistically as well as being a good and creative or experimental technical photograph.
Sorry to be blunt, but that's the way I feel about this issue

AandK 08-22-2006 05:19 AM

Re: Does TrekEarth only show the nice sides of these world..
I think you got me entirely wrong. I don't want critiques including points to get a certain way of recognition or whatever. All I want is people to stop by and leave a comment telling about her feelings or whatever... I hate these "nice shot, well done" critiques and I think we have a lot of these on TE. People who don't have anything to say after seeing a child of this poorness are somewhtat strange to me because I have never seen something more touching...

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