Old 04-18-2014, 03:05 AM   #1
Ron Flanary
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Default Jumping Ship for Flickr?

I'm hearing from more and more veteran photographers who are just quietly walking away from RP.net and its periodic drama in favor of posting their shots on Flickr. Of course that's much easier, and lacks a number of features that make RP.net desirable---but if their goal is just to share images on line with others (particularly like-minded photographers), it's a great option. Of course no one is voting on PCAs, or offering advice on how to crop a shot, or level it or improve the color or contrast----because no one is asking, and no one cares. Sure, there's a lot of crap on Flickr, but I'll likely view only the shots of photographers I know to be good.

I haven't started doing that (a Flickr account)...but I think I will. While I don't think you'll see a mass exodus from RP.net, I would be willing to bet some of the better OLD photographers will just stop submitting images. That's what I would do (or more likely, I wouldn't upload images at anywhere near the pace I have in earlier years).

I don't think this will damage RP.net at all, but it will make "room" for younger photographers to show their efforts. And, that's a good thing. It's just part of an evolving process, and people tend to eventually vote with their feet.
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:12 AM   #2
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You'll be amazed at how much easier and user frendly Flickr is, very surprised. Be sure to include full captions and you will be good to go. Build a group of great photographers and you will never see crap shots. The best way to do that is to look at who other well respected photogs are following.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:06 AM   #3
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RP is good for people just getting started, it definitely helped me with some of the basics that wouldve taken longer to learn otherwise. Now though Flickr is just so much more convenient, I can upload however many shots I want and I will get far more comments than I ever would on RP. With 2 slots a day uploading to RP just isn't fun anymore, especially when 1 or 2 of those get rejected for reasons that you can find several examples per day that were worse and accepted. Ive noticed alot of mediocrity get accepted here lately that would not have gotten on in the past, or maybe its just less good shots?
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:28 AM   #4
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Flickr in my opinion is the best way to show case your work and I mean anything, not just trains, for those who photograph other things besides trains. It's a huge community and I have seen great work on there from notable photographers and ones I've never heard of. It's pretty much one giant portfolio website that you have 100% control over. I love having it and it doesn't make myself rely on Facebook and RP.net to showcase my work. It certainly has grown a lot these past couple of years and it's nice seeing familiar faces on there show casing their work and finding new photographers.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:47 AM   #5
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Flickr über alles.
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Old 04-18-2014, 04:59 AM   #6
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Ron...I've been a Flickr member since 2006 and, even with all the recent upheaval at Yahoo (the corporation behind the curtain) it's still a decent photo community made up of some very thoughtful and creative folks. Most of them would be happy to offer suggestions on cropping, color or contrast if the posting photographer simply asks for such advice.

Since railroad photography is only one facet of my creative vision, Flickr allows me the "elbow room" and the freedom to post up any crazy image that I might come up with. Thanks to my contacts on Flickr, I've corresponded with...and even met face-to-face...several talented, nice, interesting people who happen to also be photographers. I have contacts who shoot heritage steam in the UK, race cars in Canada and street scenes all over the world.

There are plenty of other photo sharing sites...Mr. and Mrs. Bell use PBase for example...but I like Flickr's balance of photo sharing and social media. I've also had a few images spotted on Flickr by editors and designers who wound up licensing an image for publication. That's not my main goal with Flickr, but it's a nice side benefit.

And there's no reason to walk away from RP...Flickr works just fine in addition to RP.net, Facebook or any other photo site.

Worth a look-see if nothing else.

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Old 04-18-2014, 11:18 AM   #7
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I think it says more about this place's non-user friendly environment and complete lack of customer service. I think they forget that we are their customers sometimes, and you can only get away with not treating customers right for so long before people find an alternative.

I have said it before, but there is a lot of crap on Flickr, just like RRPictureArchives because it's not moderated. But there is also some very, very good stuff.

But at the same time, good photographers, and "so called" good photographers who feel they are above moderation or criticism dont have to deal with the issues people dont like about this place there...
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:08 PM   #8
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I have said it before, but there is a lot of crap on Flickr, just like RRPictureArchives because it's not moderated. But there is also some very, very good stuff.
I used to think that before, but then again, I didn't fully understand how flickr worked. If you don't want to see any crap, then don't "follow" anyone who takes crappy pics. And since I can choose whose photos I'd like to see, I rarely see anything that's much crappier than the crappiest on RP.

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Ron...I've been a Flickr member since 2006...
{click} Following.
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Old 04-18-2014, 02:19 PM   #9
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{click} Following.
Same!
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:07 PM   #10
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I've been toying with the idea of starting what I call a "Pivotal Rejections" thread here on the forums. I continually read threads from folks who have either stopped posting here, or who keep threatening to stop posting, indicating that they are honked off at the site, probably over one rejection or another. My proposed thread would be a place for each of the PO'd OPs to show us the images. If they've been posting for years and now consider themselves fit to be tied with RP, then let's see 'em. Let's see those gems that never made it here, and left them so miffed that they would rather display their material in places where it is much harder to find.

In my case, when I look in the bit-bucket, I can't honestly find anything that I would be comfortable posting in such a thread and say with a straight face: "Damn it, this DESERVES to be here." Yes, I've had some shots bounced that have left me with a bad taste in my mouth, but in the case of images that I really cared about, they have pretty much all been accepted on appeal.

All of us need a place in addition to RP to post our work. RP is a privately owned site and the owners are entitled to decide what their product will look like. If they want to advertise that product as "The best railroad photos on the net", they pay the bills and they have the right. This site is not and never has been a place to post EVERYTHING. I think everyone should have a Flickr Account, or a Smugmug Site, or Zenfolio, or or or....whatever. In my mind, no one venue is the end-all, be-all for railroad photography or any other kind of photography.

If you love what you do, use ALL available avenues to show the world your stuff!
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Old 04-18-2014, 03:45 PM   #11
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Flickr has its advantages, the presentation is a lot nicer. But its not a train website and to make it a train website, one needs to commit a substantial amount of time finding people to follow/getting people to follow me. Say what you about the system of RP, but on this site I know if I dump a good photo on, literally a 1,000 people will look at it with little to no effort on my part.

Sure, some people get a thousand views on Flickr photo (and by some, I mean very few), but thats only after many, many man hours of making contacts, adding photos to groups, linking said photos to other websites, etc. I don't have the time nor interest to do that. And, frankly, I generally like the definition of railroad photography RP screens by, so I generally don't have problems getting shots on.

Case in point;

https://www.flickr.com/photos/107685...7/12581433764/ 71 Views

Image © John Ireland
PhotoID: 470240
Photograph © John Ireland
1,077 Views

Same photo, same amount of work "promoting it," 15 times the views on RP.

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Old 04-18-2014, 04:39 PM   #12
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I've been toying with the idea of starting what I call a "Pivotal Rejections" thread here on the forums.
While I have no intention of leaving, I would participate with some of my personal WTF's.

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Old 04-18-2014, 05:08 PM   #13
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The funny thing is that when Flickr went through their first sight redesign a few months ago, people were dropping off that site like flies. Some people never came back. I looked around for another site like Flickr and never really found one. I still prefer the old Flickr, but I use that site as much if not more than RP. Until I went on Fine Art America, Flickr was where I sold most of my work that sold.
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Old 04-18-2014, 07:52 PM   #14
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This will be a long post, because I've been thinking about this very thing lately.

I'm an RP guy. Exposure to RP really helped finally get me kick-started into taking better pictures. I like the quality of photos, which varies from average to great. I like that I can see everyones uploads each day. I like the search functions that are provided. RP would have to really screw up for me to permanently leave.

Considering that the common thread that brings us all together is that we all take pictures of choo choo trains, it is amazing the egos you encounter in this hobby. I know this because I have a huge one. The thing with egos, is they cause you to completely lose perspective on things. The mass migration of the "good" photographers over to Flickr is because their ego can't take that a few of their shots they thought were great were rejected from this site because the screener on this site didn't think it fit what the site was going for. Here's a thought: Since when do ALL your good shots HAVE to be on RP? Or if they aren't, you're taking your ball and going to Flickr? You know the standards. You know what shots fit and which ones toe the line. If the borderline one gets rejected, so what? Post it to Flickr. Why deny uploading the RP acceptable one because the borderline ones aren't making it?

The thing that really amazes me is after badmouthing RP, in the very next breath, they'll say that they use RP for researching photo trips. That annoys me. You'll use my shots to research trips and find great angles, but you won't chip in a small handful of shots per year to contribute? I met a photographer once who went off on RP, and yet seemed to have good knowledge of a great number of shots I'd posted there. Why not throw up a couple shots? Think of the photographers that left. What if each one of them posted 1 shot per month. Just one. Doesn't have to be this revolutionary, boundary pushing shot. There would be a noticeable increase in image quality in the daily uploads.

Someone posted a few days ago that the ideal mix would be a combination of RP, Flickr, and Personal Website. I agree with this completely, and it's the path I've chosen. I post to RP, because I like the site and like to contribute to it from time to time. It gets me the most exposure and views. I also post to Flickr from time to time. I enjoy the non-RP photographers I find there, and again, want to give a little back since they were willing to share their photos with me. Finally, I started a personal website several years ago simply for my own enjoyment. I wanted a nice place to post photos to share with specific people who expressed interest in my photography, and to have a good place for non-train photos.

I'm going to break off here and leave two final thought. RP certainly has its imperfections, but it is a good place to share high-quality photographs. It is disappointing that the site owners are so checked out that they don't even contribute photos to their own site. It is disappointing to see the quality of photos diluted because of the ego of many talented photographers who had one too many shots rejected. But it is still a good place to me. Am I going to let the minor things I don't like keep me away, or am I going to focus on the good and keep sharing my photos here? I think I'm going to be part of the solution rather than the problem, and try to get back to uploading 1 shot per week. I'll try to help the new people by contributing more in the forums, and writing in my new blog some posts that might help them understand why their photos are rejected and the very simple steps that can be taken to improve them.

Finally, and this is just thinking out loud, I'm curious what the value of the site is. I wonder if a group of people would like this site and want to improve it to the point that they would contribute money to buy the site and pay to make upgrades to it to really make it great? Ad revenue over the long term could help replenish the initial out of pocket cost. Rather than 2 admins and 3-4 additional screeners, what if a group of 30 people ran the site? Rather than 1 screener judging whether a photo gets on, make it 2 out of 3? Maybe once a person gets 100 photos on the site and shows they know what they're doing, make a provision that they can add rejected photos to their portfolio up to 10% of their current number of accepted shots? So with 305 shots on the site, if a shot of mine gets shot down, I have 30 slots of photos I can put that reject in. That keeps the quality high, while still allowing those who are totally in love with a certain shot to add it anyway. Just some thoughts.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:44 PM   #15
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The reason I am almost exclusively Flickr is that it is just better and more enjoyable and there is no hassle involved, has nothing to do with being honked off at here or having a large ego, it is not even that difficult to garner an average of 300 or so views on any of my photos anymore, your work speaks for itself and people will follow you if your work is good. At the same time I see absolutely no crap and do not seek out anyone to follow anymore unless they follow me first and I check out their stuff and it is good.

The worst things I see on Flickr are no worse than the worst things here and that did not even take much work. If I want to search for a particular subject I simply search within my contacts and something always comes up, if I am looking for a particular one of my photos, same. There is no need to spend time on tags either as your caption information is searched just like a tag so include a full caption, location, line, unit etc and your stuff is a click away.

On top of all that most railfans will "like" anything train related, we are part of the ten percent that will say "no, that sucks" I think here is like that and Facebook totally is. So who cares about those views? I get views from the individuals I really care about on Flickr, and when my shots get explore I get a kinds of accolades from real artists that shoot amazing things that have nothing to do with Choo choos. I have one shot with 40,000 views over there that got 400 here. On average I get around 1500 views a day on all my pictures combined over there even without uploading anything. Over here I never get that unless I upload which is incredibly rare any longer. I just enjoy Flickr so much and the community there is awesome.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:42 PM   #16
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The funny thing is that when Flickr went through their first sight redesign a few months ago, people were dropping off that site like flies. Some people never came back. I looked around for another site like Flickr and never really found one. I still prefer the old Flickr, but I use that site as much if not more than RP. Until I went on Fine Art America, Flickr was where I sold most of my work that sold.
Their site redesign still sucks. People just got used to it or gave up with trying to find an alternative

Yahoo is one of the worst run internet companies now. I guess that's what happens when you hire a 20 something unqualified woman as CEO who has no work ethic (look her up, and her personal telecommute policy)

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I used to think that before, but then again, I didn't fully understand how flickr worked. If you don't want to see any crap, then don't "follow" anyone who takes crappy pics. And since I can choose whose photos I'd like to see, I rarely see anything that's much crappier than the crappiest on RP.
That works fine as long as you JUST follow well known or at least good photographers. Try searching for a specific RR or something, you find some stuff worse than on RRPictureArchives.net
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:38 PM   #17
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Troy, you just don't understand how Flickr works. You don't use it that way, that is the point.
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:06 AM   #18
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King Troy has spoken. Flickr sucks.
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:40 AM   #19
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That works fine as long as you JUST follow well known or at least good photographers. Try searching for a specific RR or something, you find some stuff worse than on RRPictureArchives.net
Why would I want to search for something on flickr when I have access to a great search function on RP? I use flickr to look at pictures that are uploaded by photographers I am following. That's all I have time for there anyway. It's just a nice image gallery to gaze at. If I need any searching, RP is the here for that.
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Old 04-19-2014, 01:54 AM   #20
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I'm hearing from more and more veteran photographers who are just quietly walking away from RP.net and its periodic drama in favor of posting their shots on Flickr.
Between this thread and Ron's other thread about Bad Cropping--On MY!
I'd be curious to know what the men behind the curtain have to say. What are their opinions?

Ron, when your out with Chase photographing trains or contributing to Railroad photography presentations etc. ( or others) do you guys talk RP and whatever it means to the Universe?
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:10 AM   #21
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Why would I want to search for something on flickr when I have access to a great search function on RP? I use flickr to look at pictures that are uploaded by photographers I am following. That's all I have time for there anyway. It's just a nice image gallery to gaze at. If I need any searching, RP is the here for that.
Jim, Flickr works better at that than you think. Search and then select your contacts. You will be surprised.
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Old 04-19-2014, 02:43 AM   #22
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Jim, Flickr works better at that than you think. Search and then select your contacts. You will be surprised.
Well, I'm talking about the type of searching I'd do on RP, like loco #'s and whatnot. I don't need to do that on flickr. I just want to look at pretty pictures there.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:37 AM   #23
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The reason I am almost exclusively Flickr is that it is just better and more enjoyable and there is no hassle involved, has nothing to do with being honked off at here or having a large ego, it is not even that difficult to garner an average of 300 or so views on any of my photos anymore, your work speaks for itself and people will follow you if your work is good. At the same time I see absolutely no crap and do not seek out anyone to follow anymore unless they follow me first and I check out their stuff and it is good.
That's exactly how I feel!

Yes, I have an ego. No, I'm not ticked off at RP, and I'm not going to demand all my images be removed. The guys who started this site are my friends, and they'll continue to be my friends.

It matters not that one of my shots has 17 views, or 17,000. I look at the 3000 or so shots I have on this site, and take particular interest in the most popular, by views. WTF?! These are NOT the shots I'm most proud of! How I see myself as a photographer--good or bad---is never measured by PCA votes, "favoriteds," or unique views. I have no interest in keeping score.

Flickr appeals to me (although I haven't even started yet...) because I can select a group of shots---old ones, new ones, scanned slides, or digital images---and post them without asking "pretty, pretty please---put this image on your site so people will like me..." And, I get tired of tweaking shots for this little thing or that thing just to appease some man behind the curtain. I can assure you 99 percent of viewers aren't that concerned with many of the innocuous details that screeners worry with here.

So---Flickr is, more than anything, stress-free! I will never have to get ticked off with a rejection. Will I stop posting to RP.net? Well---probably not, because I've invested quite a bit of effort over many years (more than a decade), and I've made many acquaintances because of it. I would like to think I'm richer (figuratively) for the experience.

I'm not ticked at RP.net---but it is important to note that many people vote with their feet (as I initially noted). I do think the younger photographers will continue to place great value in RP.net for the learning experience, and that's a good thing. But---you sure can't teach some old crusty hard-headed jerk like me!
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:38 AM   #24
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Ron, when your out with Chase photographing trains or contributing to Railroad photography presentations etc. ( or others) do you guys talk RP and whatever it means to the Universe?
We do not. I wouldn't even bring up RP.net in a conversation with Chase. We take pictures and enjoy our time together.
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:41 AM   #25
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We do not. I wouldn't even bring up RP.net in a conversation with Chase. We take pictures and enjoy our time together.

Well that's good. Never mix business and pleasure but like I said, I would be curious to know their thoughts about RP and the direction it's heading or where it's going because every now and again on of these threads gets going between RP vs. Flickr. I say do both. If it's rejected here, put it there. No fuss no muss. Either one is fine and serves it's purpose but neither is worth losing sleep or sanity over.

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