The biggest problem with PhotoSig regards the pressure to write critiques, though the photographer was still trying to learn the craft. How good can the critiques be? Also, relative to new techniques, photographers who turned in HDR or Topaz work were attacked by "conservative" photographers who couldn't handle new techniques or didn't have the brains to learn HDR. Many would rant and rave over a flat digital image. Sheena seemed to enjoy arguing and always had the last word, especially if you were a male..
I joined photosig in 2002. At first, it was a good site to post photos and to get some very useful reviews. Some reviews were Great, Super, wow, etc, but many reviews were very informative. There were very many excellent photographers on the site, but the system was changed, and the rules for getting thumbs up were changed so the critiques would be better quality, but it backfired. There was nothing wrong with receiving praise, even if the critique was short, and because many photographers could not receive points for short critiques, or praise, photographers began leaving in droves. Sheena was so overbearing and if you argued with her, she and her clique would attack you. This happened to me numerous times. I contacted Willis and tried to tell him that Sheena was bad for the business, but he rebuffed me and protected Sheena so I left the site. Never to return.
I'm a confirmed photoSIG member (since Jan/03) so have seen it's ups & downs. The good news is there;s a new admin who is not so confrontational & has plans to improve the site through member involvement. Robert has some vision for the site & is polite but firm.I think his influence might result in a new flowering for the site & photoSIG is the only photography site I'm aware of where you're likely to get a decent, helpful critique of your photo instead of Flickr fluff. You mightn't always like the crit but that's good, it makes you think critically about the points raised. Of course not all crits are great, far from it, but there are some good photographers & critics on the site who really put in.
I had my run ins with Sheena but in her defense I would say some of the people she dealt with were impossible. On the other hand she did seem to pick fights & could be somewhat undiplomatic but she put her heart into the site.
If you want critical reviews of your work then photoSIG is the place to be. It's worth noting there is an expectation that for each photo you submit to the site you're expected to do 3 crits which is a great way of improving your photography skills.
Would I recommend the site? Yes,
EDIT. Sadly the site went down in the middle of December 2014 & hasn't been rebooted by the owner in over 2 months so I would say photoSIG is now dead.
They lack professionalism. Photographers are good but still a lot of improvement is required.
The site has finally folded. It had a lot of potential but was strangled by poor administration. The big question is what has happened to all the membership fees?
Photosig is junkl. minimal photos posted and supported only by a few sad friends of Sheena the admin (bit of a fat feminist who hates to see shots of the glamour or nude nature)
The site no longer offers quality critiques. The good photographers have all vacated the site. The few who are left do not know much about photography, there maybe 12 photographers who can provide quality photography and insightful critiques. . The website is off line for days at a time. Rumor has it the website was sold to a long time administrator. If it is the woman I will not go back. Rude, over bearing, bully with a poor customer service attitude. There are so many other photography critique sites who cater to professional photographers like myself.
This site is excellent for learning to compose images and present them. Yes you will receive some trite reviews, and some seem to ego trip on their points, going for volume rather than quality in their critiques. Nevertheless overall I have learned a lot and I thought I knew it all. Sadly its popularity has fallen away and the original intention to be a broader site based on the bulletin boards has failed.
If you're happy to be limited to one image per three days, then the site is free. Highly recommended.
What I am worried about is that I can't get the site anymore, it seems to have gone off line. Anyone else noticed this or know what is going on?
This is an excellent site if you want honest critiques of your photographs. A lot of very good photographers use this site which means that you can get a lot of good advice. It also means that people won't pile praise onto you unless your pictures are genuinely good.
If you can't take criticism than this is not the site for you. Remember that people are criticising your photograph, they are not criticising you. If you can take criticism than you can learn a lot.
Of course not everyone on the the site knows what they are talking about so sometimes people will write things that are clearly wrong. The best thing to do with this sort of thing is to ignore it. If you take it personally then you will end up all bitter and twisted.
Regarding the site's admin. In my opinion she does a very good job. I have not seen any of the "heavy handed behaviour" that sort people complain about. I have seen her intervene to calm down arguments that get out of hand, which can only be a good thing.
Note that the rules regarding critiques changes a while ago to stamp out the "mutual admiration societies" that some people complained about. The new rules also reward longer, more detailed critiques.
At least one review here claims that the site is "no longer free". That's not true. You can opt for a paid or for a free account. One of the advantages of paying is that you can post more pictures.
the moderator is an self proclaimed, "award winning" lesbian photographer that is extremely biased. she deletes critiques at her choice with no explanation.
The idea is nice but it fails in execution due to favoring paying members and ignoring the quality of work.
I had a pretty good experience the first couple days so I purchased a premium membership for $25 for a year. This way I can upload 3 photos every 72 hours. For some reason, after that. some people on the site became quite rude and I began to feel bullied. I intelligently stated the reasons behind my photographic composition choices, hoping to have a discussion and people were quite rude. The administrator, Sheena is rude and quite useless. I asked for a refund or partial refund of my premium membership because I was on the site for only 3 weeks and she has so far refused. The atmosphere is quite negative. There was some very helpful constructive criticism but when stating reasons for choices or disagreeing with critiques, expect a backlash from members and the administrator.
Great site, don't understand some of the negative. Great for me!
Several times I was screwed with on photosig. There is also some pedophiles on there posting young girl pictures. My latest run in was with a 2 thumbs down bad review of a photo that has no technical problems what so ever. It was shot at aperture 8 at close up of a flower. The reviewer stated that it needed focused. The picture was in focus. It was shot at f8. How much more focus can you do at that depth of field. So what I did is replied to the guy that did that by false review on his photos. I got banned for this. How come guys that start $#*! don't get banned. Photo sig has no good merit other than to aid in bullying others. Do your self a favor don't rely on that website to critique your work. It has no merit what so ever. It is a bully web site no professional conduct what so ever. Plus your run across child porn. With models of questionable age. And those are the guys that bully your work. I hope the police catches them and shuts down the site for hosting such images.
A lot of great people and photographs, but overbearing, cynical, and impolite administrator!
I found this site to be unique in that it strongly supports everyone to give there honest opinions on submitted photos. I haven't found another site that consistently supports that. I don't participate in the forums because I found that it is packed with a bunch of whining, childish people with over inflated egos complaining about the site or other members. These same people never seem to want to discuss photography The site seems to have been abandoned by the owner though and it is in desperate need of upgrading.
I go here for one reason. To get feedback on my photos that I can't get on other sites and to practice evaluating other peoples photo without fear. If you stick with that it's a great tool. Just try to avoid the senior citizens on that site that think they know everything about life and photography. I wish the site could find a way to get rid of those folks.
Unfortunately while this site does contain some good photos it is more a mutual admiration group. The reviews are lack any intelligent content and favorable reviews are traded. I recently reviewed my emails from the administrator who has often censored my comments. Years ago I was having a problem with the site because of the nudes, I don't have a problem with nudes but I do have a problem with nudes popping up while I am at work. All I did was suggesting with many others that something should be done to fuss out the nudes when it was not appropriate to view them. Well I got my threads deleted and a long email about censorship and what a bad person I was for suggesting censorship etc. I few years later when advertisers started leaving the site because of pressure from right wing groups the nudes got fuzzy and when I asked about the censorship my comments where again deleted followed by and email that stated there is no censorship at Photosig. If you are not liked are disagree with the administrator you usually find that when your photos are spammed for faults that are not present that the admistrator is unresponsive. Now you might ask why do I go to that site? Well because when I was robbed many of my best photos were taken and only exist on this site and sometime I choose to link them to interested parties. If you new to photography and believe in sucking up to the administrator this is a site for you.
Hank W hit the nail on the head with his review however he did leave out the drama that the clique members like to create with members. Gangs of them sometimes critique your photos with monotonous rapidity saying the same thing over and over. It's a great place if you have small format photo that you want to pass off as a large format photo; the quality of the photo doesn't matter if you belong to a critique group. If you like submitting your photo to a small group who adore each other (AKA PhotoNazis) be my guest and become a member of Photosig.
Good photographers but horrid administration and lack of quality feedback on new members photography. Seems like the website is in decline and broken quite often. Over bearing administration compared to other like websites. It was a good place back around 2005 but now just a soap opera for a drama queen. The owner has left the site to poor management. Run away fast as you can.
Flickr is fun but not very useful for learning better photography. My photo skills are lacking and the people on photosig give me harsh critiques but I do learn on that site. Flickr is TOO friendly to be very useful in improving one's photography skills.
Photosig and DPreview are the 2 photography communities that I visit the most often. The best part of photosig is high level of photography that can be seen on the site. Sometimes you will see photos that are not so great though most of the time the photos are quite remarkable. It is a great mixture of professionals and amateurs. The contests are pretty fun too.
No longer a free site, but you can really learn about photography if you read all of the reviews. It helps if you critique other members with quality work as they will in turn give you a critique of your photos. The best way to learn is to get solid critique from the experienced photographers
best way to learn about photography is from this site - Everything I learned about how to use my new Nikon D70, I learned from this site. I learned how to frame, compose and how to take great photos. You can easily become a member for free if you just message an existing user and ask to be given a free membership. But eventually you will want to pay for a membership on your own. The feedback from the other members is the best part about the site
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Hank W hit the nail on the head with his review however he did leave out the drama that the clique members like to create with members. Gangs of them sometimes critique your photos with monotonous rapidity saying the same thing over and over. It’s a great place if you have small format photo that you want to pass off as a large format photo; the quality of the photo doesn’t matter if you belong to a critique group. If you like submitting your photo to a small group who adore each other (AKA PhotoNazis) be my guest and become a member of Photosig.
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