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February 18, 2007



Sorry to read that you're leaving but I've tried to leave several times for the EXACT reasons.

Pbase helped me so much in finding my confidence - also in helping me to see what jude plus photography equals - my style, what I like best, etc. I struggled to not conform.. to not be disillusioned when a piece of work I loved was not even liked by the community. I will say that with this past year came a realization of what pbase is (not all bad), what I need, and what I am getting from it.

I post less and less .. where I was obsessed with taking and posting photos daily, I start and then wonder what I'm doing and if it's taking me where I need to go.

I think I'm afraid to leave completely. I get so many views - not only from pbase people but from those finding me on search engines.

If I take photos but no one sees them, do I exist (not unlike the fallen tree in the woods).. I don't know the answer.

I'm at a juncture but I'm not sure what direction to go. I guess I just need to think about it and let the universe guide me.

I will keep looking at your work on zenfolio because you are one of my favorites.. I'd hate to lose touch with where you go..



couldn't agree with you more. PBase was great to start with, but i've recently discovered the perils of getting sucked into the Vote a Day club. i enjoy the small group that does look and comment, because they seem to be into it for the fun of photography and not just to get votes. but to learn how o become better i need critical feedback...

i'll keep looking at you new site. i've learned a lot for you're work...

Craig Persel

I agree and disagree. I do understand exactly what you are saying about getting sucked into creating images that will be warmly received by pbasers. Not a good idea or routine to get into. On other hand, I've learned amazing things on pbase and grown a lot in my 1.5 year involvement. Also, my work has been discovered there by a number of magazines, organizations, publishers, etc. which has lead to my photos being shown in other, wider circles. So ... I guess pbase is a complex animal for me that I'm still comfortable with and one that I have to continually evalute, monitor and find the balancing point.


Sad you feel this way Chuck because you know how I feel about your work and approach to it. I have been feeling the same way as of late.
Whilst, I've really enjoyed a great year here, I can relate to your observations of the pbase community and your part in it. I think it’s vital to share your work and the community facilitates this wonderfully but you can’t underestimate the effect it has on your vision and creativity. Lawrence summed up pbase in his blog as a place where you get gentle warm encouragement, which is very true but it's only a small group who really look and whose patient critiques serve to move you on.
I have (had-they're slipping away!) a group of favourite artists of which you were one, whose work I love to view and whose passion for photography is infectious. Like Jude says (she’s another one, along with Craig and Lawrence) who continue to support my vision and obsession and have given me a great deal of confidence.
I have never felt compelled to make a picture based on people's expectations on pBase but as I live in Asia I dont have a great deal of photographic friendships here so this is my peer group.
Of late I am noticing a lack in real originality when scanning the popular galleries for interesting photographers, whilst noticing a group of comment addicts who leave comments EVERYWHERE in the hope of gaining popularity. I don't consider these to be the majority and personally I never comment on a picture that holds little interest/relevance to me in the hope of people returning the favour but the trend is undeniable and growing. I think because the voting system isn’t really visible I for one don’t pay any attention to it and just like to find interesting original work.
Whatever you do don’t go to DPchallenge where I've been entering competitons of late where it's ALL to do with scores and to quote you: 'My thought process was becoming dominated by a desire to create images I thought would rate well within the photo sharing community' REALLY fits and is what I've been doing!! Sell your soul Mr Procter!! I've been looking at it as a way of developing my more commercial vision in more original ways but it’s hopelessly addictive but I’m in control man!

I'm just about to bookmark your site and as I've written this it's occurred to me that I agree with you more than I first thought!
Keep in touch, I’ll be looking out .


Chuck, the bottom line is how YOU feel about your work/images. Like Jude, I have some images I am absolutely in LOVE with, that no one else seems to like. I can live with that.

The images you take and hold onto for a long time. The ones that give you pleasure each time you look at them. And, sometimes you even say my gosh, how did I do that. Those are the best. You resonate with them and that is important.

BUT, some of the images that cause you pause and make you wonder. Those can be important too as they can be saying that you are on the verge of a new path/experiment.

Anyway, have gone on too long. I will keep up with you here and at Zenfolio as I admire your work.--Rene

Ivan Apfel

Hey Chuck,

I think that at some point in our photographic lives we have gone through this issue. Having gone through one of the toughest photography programs in college and the dozones of peer reviews a year, I got through this before entering the "real world". One of my professors said it best. He said, "The moment you stop caring about whether someone else approves your images and begin concerning yourself with whether you approve of your images is the moment when you begin creating your best work." Since then, I have always been focused on making my next image better than the one before it. Hopefully before I die, I will finally create an image that I can look at and say, "There is nothing that could have been done to make this any more perfect than it is."



Jeff Seltzer


I am going to quit Pbase, too, for many of the same reasons you stated. I will maintain my "professional" site at www.JeffSeltzerPhotography.com, and will probably also maintain my Flickr account which is a different type of photo-sharing than Pbase - I like it for the local and specialized groups. No voting. I will of course bookmark this blog and check back regularly. You have always been an inspiration for me! (In fact, I believe it was you that turned me on to Pbase in the first place!).


Who knew so many felt the same as me? I appreciate all of the comments here. And to follow up on David's comment, I lasted all of 3 days at DPchallenge.

Ed K.

Chuck, this is first of several comments I'll be leaving. Just discovered your blog, read the entries, and noted several that resonated. I joined PBase in 2004 about the same time that you did. I joined for the discipline of forcing myself to shoot daily (with an unachievable goal of creating a competition quality image every day - unachievable). As a result my photography (1st camera about 2 years earlier) grew tremendously. I began competing and over the time since then won everything in site - which I would never have done without the PBase photo-a-day hammer over my head. Nearly 3 years later I still try to post every day. I rarely comment on images and don't care if anyone comments on mine. In addition to the forced discipline, it is now a quick index into my images for me. When I need to show something to someone, I send them a link. Not an earth shattering revelation, this, but I wanted to share another view since in many ways we're on parallel paths.

Ed K.


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I chanced upon the same thread when it was just starting up a few days ago. Started seeing the usual bi-polar comments of people either loving or tearing down the guy's work and sighed at the usual pack mentality of the latter.


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