I have a decision to make

And I am of two minds as to what to do.

A few weeks ago, a photo judge allowed his personal bias to derisively dismiss and insult me and my work in a rather rude, arrogant manner (calling the photographer, me, lazy and the photo not a ‘challenge’).  His actions, in my opinion, were unprofessional, rude, and cruel. I came >.< this close to just putting all my gear on ebay. No joke. As it was, I just packed almost all of it away.

Turns out my husband kind of ranted about it on his own. I didn’t know, I had no part in that. 

Because of his rant, and in a totally creepifying move, the camera club president showed up at my door, unannounced, and proceeded to vicariously threaten me for said judge. 

*I’M* the injured party, willing to just shut up and go away, and the judge is in a snit?  This was a person I had respected, who turned out to be unworthy of said respect. 

Ok, my choices:

1: Just brush my hands off, and let the incident fall to the past. Sounds good in theory, but to me, this not only allows but encourages him (and possibly others like him) to repeat this unprofessional behavior.

2: Mediation. His lawyer has offered mediation, and the mediator he suggested is member of photography group, one which the judge was a member of, and is probably a good friend of. Figure the odds of THAT being unbiased. Call me paranoid, but that would be as unbiased as a certain “Fair And Balanced”  cable news show.

Still 2: I am intimidated and scared of said judge. I don’t want to be anywhere near him, and even typing this out, the very thought of it is bringing me to tears and making my hands shake.  I don’t think he realizes or cares. But you should ask my husband how much my hands were shaking when I picked up a camera a few days ago.

So, do I face him, scared spitless and wanting to throw up, or just let him slide, and allow him to do it to someone else again?

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But I just has someone come up to my door, and tell me if Wing doesn’t stop complaining/talking about what happened last week, the person he has complained about will sue. That said person has gotten a lawyer and is drafting a cease and desist. Smart move to not email the threat to me, just threaten face to face.

I told him last week to just let it go. That what’s done is done.  I’ve said my piece, and I’m done. And for some reason the person who dropped by seems to think I control Wing? It’s not like he’s wearing a shock collar, or other device to make him behave.  They might have better luck going to his mom and telling her to tell him to behave.

But threatening to sue me, and then him?

Barratry: the offense committed by people who are “overly officious in instigating or encouraging prosecution of groundless litigation” or who bring “repeated or persistent acts of litigation” for the purposes of profit or harassment. It is a crime in some jurisdictions.

When said person left, I sent a panicky message to Wing. He called me back almost immediately. 

Like I really need something else to be keeping me awake at night.

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I do wish nothing had been said

I was quite willing to just go away, to not be heard from again.  And to chalk it up to it was just something else I was no good at (as I have been told all throughout growing up, and into my adulthood).

But I do have to clear something up. For one thing, I am not thin skinned. If I was (for example) I would have dropped out of high school, instead of graduating on the honor roll. I would never have gotten married or been a mother. I never would have started my dance company which grew and thrived for 6 years, in spite of certain people who actively tried to sabotage me, until a medical problem cropped up. (An accident I had in my 20s caused a disc to calcify and collapsed in my back, making it impossible to dance or even teach dance again.)

I have zero problem with constructive criticism (ie, re-frame with cropping, or burning/dodging). And I know that judging is subjective. BUT I do, however, don’t react well to abject ridicule and humiliation. On to the show:

Exhibcompetition: aka why I have packed my cameras away…not sure for how long.

One photo I submitted was a candid photo of an infant, taken on the sly in a dark room, while the mother was talking to him. He smiled and I got the photo. How was I to know I was supposed to, in an auditorium setting, go over to the parents and ask them to strip their baby to the skin, in a cold room, for me to photograph him?  Oh well, it was a nice portrait, and the parents were thrilled to get it.

After submitting different bird photos over the past 2 years to different competitions/exhibitions, I took away comments and criticism, and improved.  One of the major things I was told “Bird perching, nothing to distract, clear skies”. I read up on it, and looked at examples from other pro Wildlife photographers, especially one who had visited our camera club a few times that specialized in birds. After weeks of stalking, and acclimating a family of birds to my presence in the garden, and many flubbed photos, I got one that was exactly as it should be. And bonus was the diagonally bisected sky (clouds on upper section, clear bright blue sky on the bottom).

I submitted it in an OPEN category. 
What I expected was an honest critique of the technique, composition, exposure, sharpness, etc.

Even if it bombed, I expected to walk away with useful information.

What I didn’t expect was to have it eviscerated because the judge, who had graciously stepped in at the last moment when the one scheduled fell ill, didn’t like the subject. That it was the product of a lazy photographer, that didn’t challenge his/herself. That he personally didn’t like these sort of bird photos. That it was what he derisively called a “bird on a stick”. (Actually, it was a bird at the very top of a palm frond getting ready to launch itself into the air, but I digress.) That it was one of his ‘pet peeves’, that he mentioned in his blog (who knew his blog was required reading), that these photos were on his “hit list”, and it would be automatically marked down, regardless of the quality of the image itself. 

I left wishing to all that I held dear that I had submitted anonymously, as he led the room in a chorus of ridicule and laughter, and all would know who was the ‘lazy unchallenged’ photographer.

And when I got home, packed up most of my gear (still have a few things out because I didn’t want to empty the closet getting the boxes out.)

And I wasn’t the ONLY one, but I can only speak for myself. As someone said, there are critiques and then there are critiques.  I don’t expect anything I submit to win/place/show. I expect to come away with information to improve my photography skills. I didn’t expect to be treated with kid gloves.

But what I did expect was professionalism, respect, a critique of the above mentioned composition, exposure, clarity, sharpness. Not to have it ripped to to shreds because the judge didn’t personally like the subject. Especially from a photographer I had respected.

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Didn’t sleep too well

And not overly surprised at that. My son was taken to the hospital early yesterday morning, before 6am, in extreme abdominal pain. No, not gall stones, not appendicitis, so any keyboard diagnosticians take a break.  Spent almost the entire day with Alan in the ER and then hospital ward. 

After being awake for over 20 hours, I come home and find some really rancorous comments from RWNJs that think they’re being witty because they look at the header of my weblog, and stupidly assume it’s referring to my mental health.  No, it’s a bit of prose from a book about arguing with oneself and choices, and how close we come to making wrong decisions. Literacy is great, and when you see it fail, it can be either amusing or sad.

This time, it just pissed me off. I don’t mind disagreements, but when you take it to personal attacks, all your comments have lost any merit you thought they might have had.

Now pardon me, while I go back to waiting. 

Oh, and in case you think I’m bullshitting/lying :

My son Alan, at Fiona Stanley Hospital, letting concerned friends know he’s ‘okay’, taken yesterday afternoon

Now fuck off.

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Although I am quite sure Adobe will deny it

I just updated CS6 Extended and Bridge that goes with it.

Now, for the past 3 years, Adobe CS6 Bridge has been glacially slow loading thumbnails, and even if you worked in one folder, when you closed Bridge, and reopened it later it would treat it as a new import, grinding away at reading files, generating thumbnails.

I downloaded and applied the new updates.  Then reset Bridge to factory default (something I do with every update) and suddenly CS6 Bridge is loading files/thumbnails as fast as CS5 did.

Not quite believing it, I opened a folder I knew had 300+ CR2 files. It generated thumbnails in less than 15 seconds.  Closed Bridge, and reopened it. It opened to the last closed folder, and everything was immediately there. No “building criteria” stalling, no rebuilding thumbnails.

Now, after 3 years of telling me it was something *I* was doing wrong, and something wrong with my computer, they fixed something in it, and just passed it off as a typical update.  Schmucks.  Yes, I am grateful they fixed the problem, but still pissed off that it took them three friggin’ years to do it!

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Annoyance, thy name is Software Support

I sent an email to SD Recovery Pro about how dismally their product performed on recovering accidentally deleted image files. I told them I had done all the trouble shooting (tried in camera, in built in card reader, using external card reader, using different computer, all with the same dismal results).

I get a simplistic “did you try a card reader. Many users have success that way”, showing that whoever answered didn’t bother to read my original support request.

I wonder if said person will like my reply:

Thank you for replying, although offering me such simplistic instructions is an insult to my intelligence, as I had already gone through all the trouble shooting methods.

It WAS in a card reader, the one built into my desktop computer.  And then I tried another card reader, and external one, AND just for giggles I tried it with it in the camera. Same results. 74 photos recovered, but not one of the ones that had just been accidentally deleted.   I even tried your software on my laptop’s SD card reader, with the same results!

I ended up searching the internet, trying different programs, and found  R-Undelete and not only did it recover the accidentally deleted ones, the ones it did find weren’t ‘unreadable’ or corrupted. Regards.

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All File Recovery Programs aren’t created equal

Because I wasn’t paying attention while Wing was getting ready for work, I chose the wrong delete option when clearing off a CF card. I chose DELETE ALL instead of DELETE SELECTED. And of course I couldn’t stop the deletion while in progress.

I immediately started SD Card Recovery Pro… effing USELESS. It found 74 files. Some of which were from 2012! Too bad I had deleted over 300 images.

Then came EaseUS File Recovery. It found over 900 files. YAY! Unfortunately it recovered them as unopenable TIF and ICO files. Yes, I tried every graphics program I had on the computer trying, and searched for others. No Joy!

Iolo Search and Recover – Ok, this found more of them, but only two of this mornings photos. In total about 150.

Just about read to give up, I searched and found one called “R-Undelete”. Not expecting much but hoping for the best, I installed it and ran it. it found over 900 images/files, and I recovered all the sunrise photos I took this morning, and then some. All in their proper format. All readable, openable, not corruptions. And the best part, is R-Undelete is free for home user.

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