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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:10 am 
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Amethyst Aquilegia
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Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:32 am
Posts: 1251
Location: South Australia
Camera: Canon 40D, Panasonic FZ50
Lens: EF 17-40mm f/4L, 70-200mm f/2.8L, 50mm f/1.4, 100mm f2.8L IS
Favorite Type: All rounder
OK to edit my images: Yes
Hey all,

Marion here (aka Dragons Lair). For those who remember me it sure has, as they say, been a long time between drinks. Unfortunately I have little time for forums these days, but I recently stopped by to see if this site was still operating and then thought I'd see if my account was also still active here. I have to say, it was good to find the ol' Cafe still going, along with some of its originals members.

I spent some time browsing and re-familiarising myself with the forums, getting reacquainted for old times sake, and it still amazes me now, as it did way back back then, how high the calibre of photography is and how invaluable the advice. It's been really nice to reminisce.

Whilst I don't plan on coming back here to participate, as life currently precludes such frivolousness on my behalf, (I am currently caring for my terminally ill father whilst also running a photographic studio from home), I did want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts of the site and the role it has played in my life, AND to say a big, resounding , THANK YOU, to those of you still here, (and those not), who helped foster, what was then to me, a very newly rekindled pursuit, and that I now couldn't imagine my life without.

Light Cafe, back in 2007 when I joined, was the first 'real' photography forum I became a member of. It was recommend to my by another member here whom I'd had contact with through a different 'great shot' site, and who realised that I was hungering for much more than just the usual useless platitudes dished out by people who often didn't have a clue anyway. She told me about this new, still quite small forum where the members were quite happy and also qualified to give you, what she termed, 'real and balanced critique'.

Well, she wasn't wrong. The first two years on this site provided the most intense learning curve in my photographic life, I must have been on here every single day. Those were an immensely interesting & challenging first few years too, I remember being so nervous, to the point of feeling ill, the first time I posted an image here, because you all were so good at what you did and I felt so totally out of my league. In those days the membership was heavy with really high calibre photographers, many of whom were professionals, and they really knew their stuff. I knew that these were the brains I needed to pick if I wanted to progress, but they also scared me witless. Still, I ventured into, what was, I must say, a very heavily, male loaded forum and was instantly warmly taken in. The level and quality of the critique offered here was simply put, amazing & invaluable. I look back over the posts I made back then, and I can clearly see, (other than that I was a real novice and must have annoyed the crap out of some of you), the very real progress I made, not just with making pictures but also learning how to give and respond to in depth critique.
All this time later I can reflect and truthfully say, it was the best decision I made at the time to advance my photography skills & knowledge. I have, time and again, referred back to advice that was given to me here, from building up the camera kit I now have to most everything else.

I, for one, can't tell you how much I appreciate and value the time and effort the members here took to, not only make me feel like I was truly included, but to also make me feel that I really could realise my potential when it came to photography. I wouldn't be where I am today without your help, that too is the truth. I started out here with a ZF50 Panasonic, high end point & shoot and no clue really as to what I was doing. You guys helped me progress with my picture making and so then followed on the purchase of my first DSLR which your collective advice helped make up my mind on. I learned here just how & what to think about when assembling a kit, and have since easily moved on to a full frame camera and some lovely pieces of glass that I now use to run a, reasonably successful, newborn and pet photography business, (although I'm working only intermittently right now due to acting as full time carer for my father). I also still shoot often just for fun. As you can see, photography, thanks in no small part to Light Cafe, is still a huge part of my life and I can't see that changing any time soon.

I wish the current members well with their LC adventures, it sure was one heck of a ride for me :) I also wish the site well for any new direction it may take, and hope to see you about some time. If you do end up making a Facebook page, please let me know, as I would definitely come on board.
Marion


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Sith Lord
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Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:22 am
Posts: 3605
Location: Port Huron, MI
Camera: D7000 and Minolta SR102T
Lens: Nikon 50mm and Sigma 70-300
Favorite Type: Macro and Landscape
Inspiration: Sam Abell - for the longing of photos I have not yet taken.
OK to edit my images: Yes
Thanks for stopping by Marion.

I am glad that we had an extremely positive role in your life. I think that many people who have ventured here will probably say the same. This site really hasn't been very active at all this year. Most people who were posting regularly have moved on, either to non-photography hobbies, facebook, Google+, or just had life events happen that have stopped them from participating. It's unfortunate as I do miss the "old days", but frankly with all the other avenues to get photography advice and critique, forums are just antiquated. A few of the stronger ones have survived, the rest just died off.

I am keeping this site around because the knowledge and information here will be relevant to people for a long time to come. Maybe one day we will see things pick up again, but I doubt it.

Take care! I hope things in life go well for you.
Aaron

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:50 pm 
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A Strobist
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 11:18 pm
Posts: 1461
Location: Melbourne- Australia
Camera: D300, Hasselblad, FM2
Lens: Lots.
Favorite Type: Landscape
Inspiration: Nachtwey
OK to edit my images: Yes
I've been checking in every few days for the last couple of weeks, but hadn't seen a single new post for about 2 weeks now. Sad, but I guess it's the way things go.

Recently I've been using an Australian based forum that I found when it really died off here. It's very much a 'great shot' kind of place and in some cases any real critique causes defensiveness. Even a comment I made the other day about an image 'not having a strong focal point' got me a comment along the lines of "can't you read the title? It's the ___________"
Really makes me miss this place and the genuine feedback.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:15 am 
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Sith Lord
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Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:22 am
Posts: 3605
Location: Port Huron, MI
Camera: D7000 and Minolta SR102T
Lens: Nikon 50mm and Sigma 70-300
Favorite Type: Macro and Landscape
Inspiration: Sam Abell - for the longing of photos I have not yet taken.
OK to edit my images: Yes
I highly agree. That is why I don't visit any forums for photography anymore. I do wish it was different, but I feel that part of the reason we dont get a lot of new people to stick around is because people just want to get those great shot comments. If they feel like they might get any negative feedback they don't bother.. Is just a hunch, but after seeing Facebook posts I think it's more likely the case.

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Above all, it's hard learning to live with vivid mental images of scenes I cared for and failed to photograph. It is the edgy existence within me of these unmade images that is the only assurance that the best photographs are yet to be made.
Sam Abell


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:42 am 
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A Strobist
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 11:18 pm
Posts: 1461
Location: Melbourne- Australia
Camera: D300, Hasselblad, FM2
Lens: Lots.
Favorite Type: Landscape
Inspiration: Nachtwey
OK to edit my images: Yes
Ah I have been directly attacked on facebook for very simple comments (something like 'but needs a little more exposure' or 'it's a little crooked') when the persons friends who have been telling them how amazing they are, then suddenly go on the offensive to me along the lines of "well, what the f**k do you know? I'd like to see you do better!"

I totally skip over photography related talk on FB now, unless it's with certain friends.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:20 pm 
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Captures Light
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 893
Location: Maryland, USA
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, AE-1, Sinar Norma 4x5, Mamiya RB67 ProS
Lens: EOS: 50 1.8, 28-75, 75-200 F4L | Mamiya 90 & 127 | 4x5 90, 157, 210
Favorite Type: Portrait and Landscape
Inspiration: Our beautiful planet
OK to edit my images: Yes
I used to check in every now and then but I stopped when I didn't see any activity for the last couple of months. Nice that there are still some of us out there who check this forum. I will start a post with some of my new stuff - I am still shooting :)

Pali

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 2:54 am 
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Bleeds Nikon Gold
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Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:09 am
Posts: 589
Location: North Hollywood California
Camera: D40x /D200/D300/D610
Lens: too many to mention all Nikkor
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uhh I don't know where to start
I've been gone for years and recently check back and to my suprised that my account are still active
life got busy in the last couple of years and haven't been on any forum too
LC came to mind to check how is everyone doing :D
i join in 2006 but long before that we used to hang out in Phototakers.com until it became more of an advertistment site and we have move here
I've missed you guys 8)

Many Thanks Aaron for keeping the site alive, there were time in my life that I'm always online on this forum and treat this as my 2nd home
gee I even have met Keithwms in person in santa barbara california years back

I have learned a lot here too (specially with Packard criticism LOL)
I mostly enjoy photography as a hobby and taking picture of my kids as they grow
the biggest gig I did is a wedding event (date 10/10/10), done it only once and it will never happen again gee too much pressure and its hard to handle, Photography should just be a hobby for me to enjoy I cant do this like the pros LOL

anyways glad to see some of you are still active
as I always says "CHEERS"

Ador

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:29 pm 
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Captures Light
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 893
Location: Maryland, USA
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, AE-1, Sinar Norma 4x5, Mamiya RB67 ProS
Lens: EOS: 50 1.8, 28-75, 75-200 F4L | Mamiya 90 & 127 | 4x5 90, 157, 210
Favorite Type: Portrait and Landscape
Inspiration: Our beautiful planet
OK to edit my images: Yes
I just posted a set of some recent work. Hopefully the site can pick up again if the few of us who still shoot started posting again.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:31 pm 
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Still hanging around
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Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 3:32 pm
Posts: 3358
Location: Essex, UK
Camera: Nikon D7200
Lens: 16-85mm VR and 50mm f/1.8
Favorite Type: Landscapes & sunrises
Inspiration: Shaun Lowe
OK to edit my images: Yes
I still check in once in a while. I would visit more if I was shooting more. I still have an interest in photography but not as much as I used to.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:01 am 
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Captures Light
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 893
Location: Maryland, USA
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, AE-1, Sinar Norma 4x5, Mamiya RB67 ProS
Lens: EOS: 50 1.8, 28-75, 75-200 F4L | Mamiya 90 & 127 | 4x5 90, 157, 210
Favorite Type: Portrait and Landscape
Inspiration: Our beautiful planet
OK to edit my images: Yes
PaulT wrote:
I still check in once in a while. I would visit more if I was shooting more. I still have an interest in photography but not as much as I used to.


Paul, I can still recall your awesome landscapes! You have to post if you are still shooting - even it they are outdated at this point.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:34 pm 
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Platinum Member
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Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:25 pm
Posts: 1342
Location: Leeds, UK
Camera: Canon 550D (Rebel T2i)
Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55 F3.5-5.6 (Kit Lens),Canon EF-S 55-250 F4-5.6
Favorite Type: Wildlife, Portrait, Street
OK to edit my images: Yes
I still miss the excellent, honest critique I got from this forum. It was perfect for me as a beginner, and I was very lucky to get access to amazing and experienced photographers who persevered with me and set me on the right path. I'm still shooting regularly, but I mainly focus on macro. Maybe I should start posting some images here again, There may be life in the old forum yet ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:08 am 
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Captures Light
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 893
Location: Maryland, USA
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, AE-1, Sinar Norma 4x5, Mamiya RB67 ProS
Lens: EOS: 50 1.8, 28-75, 75-200 F4L | Mamiya 90 & 127 | 4x5 90, 157, 210
Favorite Type: Portrait and Landscape
Inspiration: Our beautiful planet
OK to edit my images: Yes
This forum was always different from other places because of the willingness of experienced photographers to critique beginners which encouraged a very balanced group of members. Fingers crossed that some of us who found this place helpful can bring some of this back for others.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:36 am 
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A Strobist
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 11:18 pm
Posts: 1461
Location: Melbourne- Australia
Camera: D300, Hasselblad, FM2
Lens: Lots.
Favorite Type: Landscape
Inspiration: Nachtwey
OK to edit my images: Yes
I too miss the proper feedback that I always gained from this site,
I spent a little time after this place completely died out and tried to find a local forum that I might meet up with some people to motivate me back into shooting more often.
Ended up on an Australian site which is ok, and busy enough- but nearly every photo comment is "great shot" and 95% of the time nothing more. It's already pushing me away from using it too often.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:47 am 
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People shooter

Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:02 pm
Posts: 978
OK to edit my images: No
Hey all, I was also quite active back in the day. I still check in every few months but with such little activity I don't post. I am still photographing people, particularly children. My focus, however, has been film, particularly black and white. I have also opened up a studio so I have had a little more success than in years past.

I did learn so much while on here. Packard and Ciaran and others gave such valuable critique. I agree that the forums of today aren't interested in real cc. It is all about copying the photographers du jour and then when everyone looks the same these same people wonder why they aren't getting any business. Find your own voice, people! Lol


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:43 am 
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Captures Light
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 893
Location: Maryland, USA
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, AE-1, Sinar Norma 4x5, Mamiya RB67 ProS
Lens: EOS: 50 1.8, 28-75, 75-200 F4L | Mamiya 90 & 127 | 4x5 90, 157, 210
Favorite Type: Portrait and Landscape
Inspiration: Our beautiful planet
OK to edit my images: Yes
Good to see you here again Mrs. J! Hope you'll be sharing your work soon. Some of us have be posting again recently but it's still relatively quite here.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:36 am 
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A Strobist
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Joined: Thu May 04, 2006 11:18 pm
Posts: 1461
Location: Melbourne- Australia
Camera: D300, Hasselblad, FM2
Lens: Lots.
Favorite Type: Landscape
Inspiration: Nachtwey
OK to edit my images: Yes
Would love to see some new images Mrs J, plus it's always nice to see some film work!
I also figure, it only takes a small group to regularly post and then the other 'occasional checkers' will be more inclined to post.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:09 pm 
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Pyro Shooter
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Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:35 pm
Posts: 4845
Location: Hockey Country
Camera: Fuji X-T1 (x2), Fuji X100s, Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: Fuji: 10-24, 18-55, 55-200, 14, 23, 35, 56; Canon: 17-40, 24-70, 70-200, 50, 100Macro
Favorite Type: Anything that doesn't run away (and some things that do)
OK to edit my images: Yes
Wow, someone pulled out the defibrillator and found a heartbeat. I knew the place was still running, only because neither Aaron nor I did anything to take it down (it would really be up to Aaron since it runs on his web host).

I'm still shooting, quite a lot actually. I've sold some of my Canon gear including my Canon 7D, but I still have my Canon 5D3. The 5D3 isn't seeing much use though, since I've pretty much switched from Canon to Fuji Mirrorless. I went through a number of Fuji bodies before finally settling on the Fuji X-T1 (x2) and the X100s. I couldn't be any happier with this system. A smaller, lighter system that produces images just as clean as the 5D3. My remaining Canon gear may soon find itself on the sellers block.

In the last year, I've made 2 trips to New York City, one solo and one playing tour guide for an NYC newbie. I also made my 3rd trip to India, this time in the very northern part of Ladakh, in the Himalaya Mountains. The trip had some glitches, but was still incredible.

Things are pretty busy, but I'll try to check in more often. Definitely good to see some familiar names again.

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikealex

I'm here to improve my photography, and to help others do the same. C&C always welcome and appreciated! If you like my photo, please try to say more than just "nice shot". If you don't like my photo, please tell me that too. You may edit and repost my photos, as long as you tell me what you did.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 12:11 am 
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Captures Light
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:18 am
Posts: 893
Location: Maryland, USA
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, AE-1, Sinar Norma 4x5, Mamiya RB67 ProS
Lens: EOS: 50 1.8, 28-75, 75-200 F4L | Mamiya 90 & 127 | 4x5 90, 157, 210
Favorite Type: Portrait and Landscape
Inspiration: Our beautiful planet
OK to edit my images: Yes
Great to see you back here Mike! Looking forward to your pictures from the trips you described.

This place is home for any of us so it only natural that we end back here sooner or later. Hopefully things can remain alive long enough to generate more traffic for the forum to sustain itself.

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