lucidRose 5:52pm, 27 December 2008
"Just a reminder. This group is related to the main strobist group, which means we adhere to many of its rules. The first rule being, off camera flash/strobe/light work only; unless the photos are of setup/behind the scenes. We also request that lighting information be included.
Why the rules? If we didn't have these rules, there would be no point to the group. We would just be like:
Portland Photo Geeks
Portland Photographers
Oregon Based Models and Photographers
and so on."

...I really don’t use flash. In fact I cant stand flash really. I work with natural lighting or I use a lot of long exposure. So, I suppose I should not post my work here any longer.
What do you guys think? I realize my posts have been taken down, so I guess the answer to that question is quite obvious.
This is a shame I believe, especially since you say the reason you have these rules in place is to set you apart from groups like Portland photos geeks, Oregon based models and photographers, but truthfully you have the same people posting the same pictures in all the groups you listed including this one...only in this one you are collecting a good amount of fairly repetitive photography that seeks to mimic the mainstream adds in magazines ...the very adds that puts emphasis on consumerism, sexism and conformity.

studio work is all fine and dandy but I am really sick of the mainstream. Im looking for new expressions through photography as a medium. Photography that expresses soul and power. can someone direct me to a photography group that has some quality creative photography artwork being posted? I am especially interested in Portland/Oregon groups. I just moved to Portland recently and I am looking for photo buddies and some local inspiration. Unfortunately it seems all that I have found are fashion/studio photographers. Isn’t there some kind of artistic photography scene in existence in Oregon? Please point me in the right direction.

Please understand that i do not seek to make enemies with this post., I am just voicing my frustrations, opinions and thoughts in hope for some much needed guidance from you local Portland photographers.

best wishes to everyone here.
May the new year bring you all plenty of creative spirit and success with all your photographic endeavors.

-Chelsea Rose
OregonVelo 9 years ago
Sorry to hear that you will be leaving this group. I enjoy your work, although, it doesn't fit the scope of this group. I did post the reminder, but wasn't directed at you only. There have been several people posting photos lately that don't fit the scope of the group.

You said "This is a shame I believe, especially since you say the reason you have these rules in place is to set you apart from groups like Portland photos geeks, Oregon based models and photographers, but truthfully you have the same people posting the same pictures in all the groups you listed including this one"

You are right to some extent. There are many photographers active in this group, and they shoot a wide variety of photography. We ask that they only post their lighting work in this group. We cannot control what they do in other groups. We have the rules that we have, so we are not just like the other groups listed. Those groups really just have one rule. Be a Portland based photographer or model.

You said "only in this one you are collecting a good amount of fairly repetitive photography that seeks to mimic the mainstream ads in magazines ...the very ads that put emphasis on consumerism, sexism and conformity."

Without participating in this group, I could see where you see that. But if you were to attend our monthly meetups, you would see that we are loosely based around networking, friendship and learning (learning about lighting).

You said "studio work is all fine and dandy but I am really sick of the mainstream. I’m looking for new expressions through photography as a medium. Photography that expresses soul and power."

I am not sure if there is a group out there for you... It appears that you are not open to learning things that seem soulless to you. Just because you don't know lighting, does not make lighting soulless. And just because you see a few photos that are fashion and commercial doesn't mean that is what this group is about. I would consider myself a sports photographer, and I post my FLASH based sports photography here. Many sports photographers don't use flash for a variety of reasons. I use flash and other methods so I can continue to learn and try different things. The end goal is not to be like everyone else.

In the end. I hope you stay. I think that you can bring something to the group if you were to truly participate and I think we could be part of your shamanic journey.

Before you decide to leave, check out these photographers. I look at their work all the time and try to learn, none of them are soul-less or overtly commercial and they all have some beautiful art work.

metakephoto -
photoinference -
mr. meeker -

lucidRose Posted 9 years ago. Edited by lucidRose (member) 9 years ago

thank you for your sincere reply, i really appreciate it. its been frustrating ever since i moved. i left a large creative community behind assuming such a thing would be present up here as well.

you said:" I am not sure if there is a group out there for you... It appears that you are not open to learning things that seem soulless to you. Just because you don't know lighting, does not make lighting soulless. "
.....i am certainly interested in learning new things. i think thats pretty awesome, that you say within the strobist meetings everyone is exchanging knowledge/ learning together..
Let me clarify: lighting is in no way soulless. In truth it is the very soul of a photograph. I am sorry if I was unclear with the way I stated things…but I value lighting and i know how to untalize it …. Lighting is what makes or breaks a photo. After all….photography is painting with light. Its good to be well acquainted with lighting techniques but its another thing to harness those techniques to create something new and inspiriting. Catch my drift? thats what i am looking for and i was hoping to find here.
Lighting is an important part of a photographers weaponry. However I have already experiment for many years with lighting and I have settled to my own personal style. I wish to experiment now, less with the technical aspect of photography but with the medium as a means of expression. I am looking for a Portland based group to commune with on that spectrum of photography. Truthfully I crave the cosmic exchange produced when sharing my art with other creative souls on a similar experimental journey. This may be why this particular group doesn’t work for me…

you say you don’t believe there is a group that matched what I am looking for. perhaps i should create a new group? however there are millions of groups on flickr…. i almost hesitate to add to the madness.!

But I am a newbie in every sense. I am new to Portland, I am new to flickr and I am trying to connect with my new community. I gew up in Venice beach California…a very bizzar anything goes scene. I was turned off by the gallery scene aswell since I am less interested in making profit and socilazing...then I am genuinely connecting and fueling the creative spirit within myself and others.

I need to check out the general art scene more in Portland. I was turned off by the pearl district…it seemed to be very presumptuous and arrogant. Im looking for more of an experimental bohemian artists collective.

I had a lot of fun vending at the last Thursday art on Alberta st. Perhaps I will continue to venture that way in the Portland art community. Any suggestions from you, or anyone in regards to art districts/scenes/communities /galleries that I maybe interested in? I am a photographer but I also paint and draw.

I suppose there ist much of a point to leave pdx strobist. I didn’t join just to post my own work…I joined to be a witness to the local photographs in the area. I will just be more careful with what I contribute here. Unfortunately I don’t know when I will have a piece that I can submit that will fit your criteria.
Hardlinejoe 9 years ago
I can completely understand what you're talking about. I think the greatest artistic community I've experienced was when taking a darkroom class at PCC-we had a great mix of beginners, people who had been into photography for a couple years and knew where they were going and former students who just hung out in the class for the community. By the end of that class, I had reached my most inspired and creative point.
But I never have found a community to replace that, on Flickr or otherwise; even other photography classes have fallen flat. They do exist though, I think they remain under the radar, in small pockets. I hope you find what you're looking for in Portland, whether it is on Flickr or somewhere else (you could also start a Flickr group with that aim, I'm sure there are others that thirst for the same type of community).
lucidRose Posted 9 years ago. Edited by lucidRose (member) 9 years ago
thanks for your reply Joe!
I completely forgot about how art classes can really inspire! They can be especially conductive for networking/getting to know fellow artistic minds.
I had a similar experience to yours….but it was in a painting class I took at cypress college when I was still living in CA. I met friends that will last me a life time and I even ended up putting together a few art collaboration shows with some of the people within the class was truly an awesome experience.
You have totally inspired me to sign up for a few classes here in portland. It will be lots of fun to see what I learn...who I may meet and what comes of it all.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring me! i just have to find the time and the funds to put myself into a class or two.
LukeOlsen PRO 9 years ago

Don't discount the use of flash as a creative tool just because you don't like it. In fact I suggest you give it a try as it does open up some possibilities that you may not have thought about.

It doesn't make sense to knock this group simply because of the reason it exists. You made a reference to making your own group... well how would you define it? And how would you police it? This group is more about technique than subject matter and as such it is easier for the admins to police the group than other groups.

You say that this group "puts emphasis on consumerism, sexism and conformity." and "all that I have found are fashion/studio photographers". Judging by what I see in the group I would disagree... but that is a subjective choice. Catch my drift?

You have creative talent for sure but please don't close your mind to the thought of using flash to further your creative endevours.

lucidRose Posted 9 years ago. Edited by lucidRose (member) 9 years ago
Thank you for your response Luke.

As far as giving flash a try ... i am a working photographer who has slaved in many a portrait studio using nothing but studio lighting and flash. I have also done event photography in lighting where a flash was essential to get the job done Flash is certainly not useless and it can really give boost to a photograph. however i do prefer to use natural lighting with minimal off camera light sources. this is just a personal preference.....but still my mind is not closed to the thought of using flash for creative endeavors.. I am interested to see flash used creatively as is one of the reasons i joined this group.

However....I think this group has focused so primarily on the "technique" and "rules" of being a "Strobist" that its lost site of the need to have photographs of substance exhibited. i mean photographs of substance as in photographs that hold creative ingenuity to them as well as being finely lit and captured. Perhaps this group may consider adding a rule as such? But that’s just a suggestion. if this is in actuality such a hard core strobist group hardcore that we delete photographs from are pool that have artistic merit and interesting lighting... just because of protocol discrepancies....then I would expect to see some really awesome jaw dropping strobist work that really takes flash and lighting to the next level.

...and i suppose if i did start a group my only rule would probably be.... the need for all photographs in the pool to hold originality through creative process/technique/conceptualizing.

but yes Luke...i certainly see your point. its very difficult to keep a group here on flickr from becoming a big crap pot...unless you place firm themes/rules and police the hell out of it. So on second though, I don’t know if I would want to start a group and have to be the one policing people ...doesn’t sound like fun!

…anyway Luke. Im sorry if I came off so negatively and close minded. Im a bit too passionate at times, I will admit that much. I understand what you are saying and see your point. Thanks for your reply.

Best wishes to you
OregonVelo Posted 9 years ago. Edited by OregonVelo (admin) 9 years ago
Funny you should mention classes. metakephoto teaches a night photography class and I believe many of the initial members of this group were from his class. I remember my first meetup and feeling a tad bit the outsider since everyone one talking about this class that they all took. :)

Our goals of our meetups are to keep it free (if possible), to share and learn from each other and to try different things.

You should come to one of our meetups. You might find some people that are like minded. This January is more of a party, but there will be some photography going on.
OregonVelo 9 years ago
The main Strobist group, the one that this is an off-shoot from has a 1 photo limit and they request that you only post your best work.

This group, we are about sharing and helping each other out. Sharing the work we do... which isn't always 100% about artistic value. Again, I shoot sports photography... even fewer people consider that artistic than those that consider photography art. But I share what I do when I use more light sources. There was an earlier thread about setting up a photo booth and we all chipped in ideas on how to set it up. Later photos were posted from the results. This comes back to the helping and sharing.

I don't judge people work for art quality because there is no measure in art. Everyone has an opinion... I have seen some cr.p that makes me stop and wonder what the hell, whereas other people see the same thing and see the genius. Some people see some of my photos and think they are great and I hate that photo but only posted it because it was needed to fill in the gaps of an event that I covered.

Which brings us back to the rules. Be a Greater Portland Area photographer or photo was shot in the GPA and have used lights. Learn and have fun.
Nicholas Cooper 9 years ago
I wouldn't sweat it. I spend a lot of time thinking about certain things, situations, times of day. I am a light chaser. I mainly chase natural light and would rather work with natural light. I am slowly finding that light is light, and sometimes you have to interject it.

Long exposure has its place and time and I love long exposures to set the mood for certain shots. My whole thing is I am going to keep doing what I do. The only way you will get anywhere in life is to break the rules to a certain extent. Following rules, guidelines, etc just makes us all complacent, it makes us somewhat programmed. I don't want to look at the same stuff all the time. I do what I do and that is about it. Anything I can do to learn more, I seek it out, but I won't change my style to fit a clique or to blend in with everyone else.

I respect you doing what you want to do. I get the shot, no matter what I have to do to get it. A lot of people don't care how you got it, they care about the end results. As long as you love what you do and have a happy clientele, that's all that really matters. I find that the only people who really care about the in depth details are photographers. It seems in my experience, photographers are constantly putting work under the knife for careful examination. Sometimes people worry too much about what others are doing rather than themselves. The day that it becomes more of a chore than something fun, I'll sell my gear.
kenneth barton PRO 9 years ago
Dear LucidRose,

First Thursday can get pretty big in the summers, so before you write it off, make sure you are getting to places such as the Everett Lofts and the
labyrinth of halls and studios within. NE Alberta Street is fun (as you mentioned) in the summer and Mississippi too. They all have differing vibes. There are so many music and performance scenes, creative communities and sub-communities here I wouldn't begin to know how to start listing them.

Since I noticed you on Flickr I've become a big fan of both your photography as well as your exquisite line work. You are a really beautiful artist and exactly the kind of person I would be excited to meet. You are right that in the Strobist Group we talk almost exclusively about the technical aspects of our work and not the artistic foundations (assuming there are any). Personally, I care far more about the stories in my photos and what I feel I am trying to express, but it's not something I talk about much within context of this particular group.

I guess I have kind of a holistic view where I look to try and create something special in an organic sense first, but then try and pick up better techniques (the photographic equivalent of your use of beautifully constructed line weights) through practice and self-criticism as well as forums such as the Strobist group along the way.

Beside, we always have a lot of fun. You know, FUN, as in the kind life should be full of.

Anyway, I hope you stay in the group, and even if you don't, that you at least come to one or some of our meets. That's my two cents.

lucidRose Posted 9 years ago. Edited by lucidRose (member) 9 years ago

Let me just say that I really appreciate all of your comments and support. They are certainly appreciated and help to fuel my flame!

I am glad I started this thread because I now have a great picture on what this group does have to offer. I love that this is a group based on experimentation and the learning process.
I can certainly relate to your holistic approach to creating art. I am more artistically experimentive right now and much less experimentive with the technical aspects of photography and this may be why I wont be posting much in here out of respect for the rules set place in here. Ken, do you have any groups to recommentd to me personally?
You know....sometimes I feel giving the technical info away on my artwork can take some magick away from the viewer’s experience....which is why good magicians are never to tell their secrets. But I do understand and can certainly appreciate the fact that the technical info posted here can really help others with their learning process.

Ken, I would like to sit down with you sometime and pick your brain about all the local art scenes here in Portland. I really have not had the chance to talk with any working artists in the area and I am really excited to get the chance to.

I have decided it would be a majorly stupid/naive blunder to leave this group.

If I have not already put my head in a noose/burned the bridge by posting this thread I would love to come along to a meeting sometime and be able to connect with other local photographers.

Again, ken....thanks for your sincerity and your support. It means a lot!

Best wishes...until we meet!
-Chelsea Rose
OregonVelo Posted 9 years ago. Edited by OregonVelo (admin) 9 years ago

I see no hanging noose or any smoke from fires. :)

Although I agree with you somewhat on taking some magick away; often why I hate giving my work titles, people see what they want to see and giving too much information can take away from the user experience. Part of what Strobist is about, is removing the curtain so that everyone can benefit from each others’ knowledge. David Hobby along with a few others are shaking up the photography world in order to make it a better place for everyone not just the man behind the curtain.

I think this is where the group and other groups may differ. This group may be a part of the community you are looking for. It may contain people that you want to share and learn with. Other groups would be groups that you just want viewing and commenting without knowing the magick.

You are always welcome, like everyone is always welcome to come join in the fun. I do recommend you check out, if not for the technical information, maybe for the philosophy.

kenneth barton PRO 9 years ago

I’m sorry you weren’t at Sunday’s meet-up at my house. We had a lot of fun and I was hoping to meet you. Of course I’d be happy to meet you in the future. Yes, good magicians never give away their secrets, but our group has been all about learning so I guess we don’t feel that way about our photography. Photographers who want their techniques to remain mysterious have plenty of other Portland based Flickr groups and since getting back into portrait photographer last fall I’ve become a member of most of them.

I love Portland. I’ve been here 11 years, the first three of which I spent heavily immersed in the rock music scene, which is one of what seems like endless music scenes all the way from noise music to the big old time festival in two weeks. It seems like every week or two I discover another artistic scene, I mean it just never ends. Two weeks ago I photographed some marionettes which were set up in a new warehouse being rented out in sections as art studio spaces. How many of these there are I don’t know, but I’m discovering them all the time.

I’m probably not the best guide in all of this as I’m usually focused on my thing, but some of my friends are experts in their respective slices. My friend Jennifer Robin knows all about certain aspects of the dada music scene while another friend, Noah Mickens heads up what could best be described as a circus revivalist movement. My dad (a fiddler) is flying up from San Jose for the old time music festival soon (I forget the actual name of the thing) while another close friend, Lucretia Renee designs and sells her own gothic clothes as Dark Fusion Boutique. Her dance troupe is being featured in the current issue of Gothic Beauty magazine. I know a woman from my college days Modi, who has a store on NE Alberta where she sells her sundress like designs called Idom (her name backwards). And finally, my girlfriend Tara was an actress in the local movie scene for years. She still acts and works on movies, but she doesn’t hang with the Portlanders so much anymore, often commuting to L.A., Seattle and Vancouver, Canada, so even though I’m personally no expert on all of this, living mostly in my own small universe, I’m still being constantly amazed at all that is really going on. Pretty amazing for a city that is actually quite small.

I think a lot of this might be hard to find and/or discover for a person who is new to town, but if you network a little bit you soon will.

WJPpdx 9 years ago
I'm new to this group so I thought I'd share my perspective.

One could view this group as a platform to share work where you want to reveal your magick (or at least the portion of your magick that has to do with lighting) or perhaps have someone else share with you how they think you can improve or modify your magick. I have quite a few photos that I won't be posting here for various reasons.

The photos I do post are so that the person in the photo can enjoy it, so the group can learn from what I have done, and so that I can get feedback and learn from the group. I don't really think most folks here are giving away their deepest secrets and special powers, though many might if you develop a relationship with them and avoid competition for their customer base should they have one. Most photos displayed here are probably not their extra special art or images that they might want to sell. The images more likely tell a story about who they are, what they like to shoot or what they happened to shoot because they were somewhere with a camera.

Strobist groups exist for the purpose of sharing knowledge, learning from others, critique, comaraderie and community. I doubt anyone really thought they would use this platform as a major boost to their metaphysical journey. If that happens through the group or with people you meet here then that's fantastic.

Share, learn and develop your skills in lighting here. Keep your deepest secrets if you want to, share your the secrets that you can.

lucidRose 9 years ago

My Oregon roots have begun to grow...I am beginning the networking process and its been exciting. Thats neat that you’ve imbedded yourself in the local music scene. Speaking of music scenes...I was hoping there would be some sort of reggae scene up here. So far I have found a lot of dub music which I am not really interested in. There is a big reggae festival in Seattle in this summer. I will be checking that one out. How is the blues up here? My mom is a blues/folk musician whos played in la her whole life... i think she needs a change of scenery. far as these alternative Portland art photography groups go, can you recommend any to me? I asked this question earlier in this thread. I guess I am a dunce at this flickr thing because I couldn’t find many worthwhile Portland photography art groups when searching....
Sorry I did not make it to your strobist meeting, ken. I was hoping to meet up with you. It seems like my world is suddenly exploding with business (which I am taking as a good sign since its the dead of winter during a bad economy.)
I saw a video someone posted of the storbist meeting you hosted at your house. Honestly I was a little put off by the video but I am sure that the perspective given of the event was in no way complete. I will have to come out and experience the group myself. I am interested in meeting everyone.

Best wishes and Happy New Year
-Chelsea Rose
LukeOlsen PRO 9 years ago
While I can't comment on the art scene in Portland the video is not an accurate representation of our group meets.
kenneth barton PRO Posted 9 years ago. Edited by kenneth barton (admin) 9 years ago
Yes, one thing I tried to emphasize before is that my little world just touches on the corners of all the scenes I happen across so I’m not really the best resource though some of my friends might be. I lost interest in the live music scene (and that was just the indie rick portion) around the start of 2002. This is not a reflection of the scene, but instead of my interests changing; my band fell apart, the music magazine I was the photo editor for went under, and I got consumed making some extra cash creating small watercolors of race cars. So now in 2009, I would be of little help. I will admit that over my 11 years here I have seen little evidence of any reggae scene. Sorry about that.

Oh and PhotoInference is correct. While I’m happy to have all kinds of things going on at our meets, the video is not representative at all. Although I personally create a number of semi-racy shots, the PDX Strobist group has generally been G rated. Punch pdxstrobist1108, or pdxstrobist1008, or pdxstrobist0908…etc…into the Flickr search engine and you’ll see a wide variety of models and things.

And finally, there are no consistently good, photographic art based Flickr group in Portland (that I know of) which is kind of strange considering the huge concentration of artistic photographers I meet or whose shows I’ve run across. Maybe somebody needs to start one because there must be a kind of pent-up need for one. You might try MySpace instead of Flickr for that as most Portland artists I’ve run into as well as my friends who are connected to some of that all communicate there. I think MySpace may have beaten Flickr in that particular race, but that’s just my guess.

Stereoblind 9 years ago
I don't know if I should admit it but the only album I have on Flickr that used Flash is the Zombie Walk. But now that I think about it there was the one time I set up what I had and took some Flashed images.

I joined the Strobist group to learn and I have learned a lot. First thing I learned was I needed more gear. Then when I got the gear I got busy. Then my gear was stolen so now I don't have the gear anymore. But I have studio lights now and that was the direction I wanted to go anyway.

I still go to the events to learn. I see different equipment, different ways of interacting with models, handmade equipment, shortcuts, tricks - the list goes on.

So even though 99% of the images I post loosely fall under "behind the scenes" images (I also prefer ambient light outside the studio), I haven't gotten any negative feedback for it.

I suppose if I'd read the "rules" in more detail I might have offered to drop out too. :)

Glad you decided to stay @LucidRose, hope we run into each other!
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