GarethDix 10:15am, 1 December 2006
Is it just me or have blocked typing in "strobist" or "" any time i try and send someone here for help with their lighting i get an error message but if i take out either term it seems to post fine...
Petr Novák 15 years ago
Unwanted competition? Sounds interesting :-)

"Off-camera flash is a spit in the face of the working class."
GarethDix 15 years ago
lol, it is really strange though i think maybe everyone was linking to here from there so they had to stop it... of course there are ways around it but i honestly think that the pro's are starting to get narked that people doing what they can do with a couple of speedlites and foamboard instead of the 5 digit amount they have as part of their kit
strobist 15 years ago
LOL - That sounds a little weird to me. I would write to them and ask if it persists.

For the record, you can type here any time you want - unimpeded...


vcallaway 15 years ago
They have. I complained myself about it. The reason given is because someone spammed the site with the stobist link.
NikonErik 15 years ago
Dave's making his enemies!

A true sign of sucess!
@kevinv033 15 years ago
They have. I complained myself about it. The reason given is because someone spammed the site with the stobist link.

Ah, what a poor excuse :(

I guess you could hack around it if you really wanted...

But then you may get banned if caught...
GarethDix 15 years ago
i always use the s t r o b i s t . c o m method myself but i don't see how they can ban you if you're giving information out to other photographers...

but yeah i think the competition was too steep for them...

the least they could do is tell you that your post is being rejected for the word strobist... i just thought great the website is effed
mattneighbour 15 years ago is regularly down, or slow...

And they try to guilt-trip people into paying for it!!
Ṁ‽ǩ€ §ρ!и@ķ Posted 15 years ago. Edited by Ṁ‽ǩ€ §ρ!и@ķ (member) 15 years ago
Whoo... Where to start?

Philip Greenspun, the founder of, recently returned to the position of Editor-in-Chief and Administrator, after a several year absence, and... well... you'd have to experience for yourself, to believe it.

He made some ugly changes in the Terms of Use, and most of those who questioned the changes were banned. He suggested that people download other people's pictures, and when people brought up questions of copyright violations and terms of use violations, he responded that he's a helicopter pilot, and he has more important issues to deal with than people's complaints. He described paying subscribers as "pernicious", because they expected accountability, and said he'd get rid of the subscription system, and then deleted the thread and continued asking for people to subscribe. He very publicly demoted the person who had been in charge during his absence (Brian Mottershead), publicly humiliated him while mandating that Brian not be allowed to post, described his work at as "undocumented hacks", and said that he was going to bring in professionals from MIT to get things back onto the (outdated) Ars Digita ACS3.4 system (which is when started greatly slowing down and having such frequent periods of being down). He has disallowed mention of other websites, and has banned many, many people for innocently linking to discussions on flickr... and then has refused to remove their pictures from the database, and has appended their names to say "banned for violating terms of use" or "banned for link spamming" or such. He has deleted many hundreds of threads which were critical of his odd policies, and censored thousands of posts for reasons that are often hard to fathom. And much, much more!

There is a forum, here, originally called The PN Dissident Café (now changed to The Dissident Café), for members who have fled from under PG's new rulership:

Read through the older threads, and you will understand. A few examples:
I'm surprised that site is still in business. I got fed up with the site being slow or down all the time, coupled with the big egos running it long ago. It's still an interesting resource that I use on occasion, but I haven't logged on since they lowered my quota to 31(how the heck did they come up with this number?) photos. I never got much real input there anyhow. Mostly just mate raters.
elastic reward [deleted] 15 years ago

"Banned by moderators due to (1) off-topic and unhelpful postings (see the Terms of Use for the intended purpose of the site), (2) using his biography area for stuff other than a biography"

Wrong. Fact is I was banned by Philip Greenspun for questioning the Terms of Use.
NikonErik 15 years ago
The abundance of very good free photography-themed messageboards make a lot of the pay-sites look like scams!

Buyer beware . . . the good pay sites will always have a free level of service or at least a free trial period so the subscriber can opt in if he or she feels the product is worth the fees.

I was invited to join and secretly evaluate a pay site once. I didn't have to pay, but i wouldn't have anyway. They justfied the fee because of the chance to win ten times as much in a monthly contest. Problem was all members of all skill levels competed equally in the same competition of they chose to enter.

So I began to suggest some changes on the boards, among other things . . . I was kicked out because I dissented too much!

The place was extereme. It made me shutter. ; )
Ṁ‽ǩ€ §ρ!и@ķ Posted 15 years ago. Edited by Ṁ‽ǩ€ §ρ!и@ķ (member) 15 years ago

"No user found"

"There is no community member with the user_id of 88027"

Every trace of my membership was removed from the database, almost certainly by Philip Greenspun, personally. I had been a paying member, a moderator, a winner of the photo of the week, the "top rated photographer" on the site, an "elf" who sometimes helped pick Photos of the Week, a contributor of a dozen or so articles, and so on.

I never violated their terms of use in any way; I just left My membership was erased from their system several months after I resigned and left on my own, for being a vocal critic, on flickr... not PN, of PG and his policies.

And, by the way, Philip Greenspun and his Luminal Path Corporation ripped off my money, too. I was a paid subscriber, through 2010, and they kept my subscription money when they deleted my subscription and account, without my consent, and without me violating the terms of use. I wrote to Philip Greenspun, asking for my refund. He said that he wasn't familiar with my case (which was false), but he believes I was removed for violating the terms of use (which was also false). I wrote back to him, asking him how he can simultaneously not be familiar with my case, but then have particular beliefs about the reason. I then challenged him to specify exactly which term of use I violated, and show the case when I violated it, or give me my money back. He said that he couldn't give me my money back in any case, since, because I was erased from the system, they had no record of my membership subscription dues. I wrote back to him asking him whether he really expected me to believe that Luminal Path Corp doesn't keep track of the sources and amount of its revenue, doesn't keep records of its credit card transactions, and doesn't keep records of its PayPal transactions. Of course, he never answered those questions, and never refunded my money.
thinkable cows [deleted] 15 years ago
I too stopped using some time ago, slow, and awkward to use.

I removed my content and try to concentrate on flickr instead. The upload of images to flickr is so much more user friendly, same as in gallery2.

There are some great content on though, so I do visit from time to time, but less frequent nowadays.

Too bad they 'banned' strobist though, that's just lame.
lauriemarie01 15 years ago
PN is circling the drain. Almost all the best photographers have left. All you can find over there are people playing the TRP game and those too new to photography and online forums to to understand how rediculous the site has become.

They don't want real discussion over there. They want people who will fall in line with the terms of use and won't write critical comments on photos or about the site.

I had a look at some of the new "learning" content about a month ago. It was nauseating. Greenspin has written articles as if he's an expert. If you've seen any of his work, you'll know how absurd it is that he's putting out the "expert advice" over there.

PN will soon go the way of his other failed endeavors. He blew it. His Narcissistic personality might have been what started the site but it will also be it's final undoing. Soon, the site won't even hold any value for the "Soccer Mom looking to buy digicams" that he touted as his target market.

For the record, I am a biased commenter. I was banned from PN after questioning the censorship of one of my comments on another member's photo. The comment had nothing to do with the site and was directly related to the image under which it was posted. The link to my personal web site, which made no mention of PN, was altered by one letter so anyone clicking on it would get an error.

Luckily, I saw the writing on the wall early enough to remove my portfolio from the site.
strobist Posted 15 years ago. Edited by strobist (admin) 15 years ago

FWIW, we try to be a little more laid back here. That's one of the reasons we set up the Flickr group as separate area.

Rather than build a bar in the basement, and pave to pay for and maintain it, we just hang out at the bar on the corner.

Works great.

You refugees are more than welcome here.
Stephen Faust Posted 15 years ago. Edited by Stephen Faust (member) 15 years ago
I've seen a few other sites that tried similar deals with the competition. So I just moved away. I did the same with I have a large collection of images there, but because of these issues I went looking and found flickr. I haven't posed on since, and when the subscription is up I'll just let it lapse.

>>but i honestly think that the pro's are starting to get narked that people doing what they can do with a couple of speedlites and foamboard instead of the 5 digit amount they have as part of their kit<<

Seeing the number of pros that use these techniques with speedlights, as well as their expensive setups, and have been for years, I don't think you'll find many being narked over it, and why would they.
chadworthman 15 years ago
This thread has prompted me to change my PN password to one I don't use anywhere else, change my email address to an invalid one, and delete my PN account.
vcallaway 15 years ago
When I orginally started visiting the site it was just the ramblings of an MIT student. It was interesting, especially when he was posting the travels with samantha series. I enjoy reading that type of thing.

Unfortunately he turned geeky. Too be expected from an MIT grad. Made a big deal about building database driven websites, blah blah blah. Unfortunately he had no experience with any online commuity stuff. Probably should have spent some time on some old fashioned dial-up bbs's.

I registered August 26th, 1999. I think that I'm the oldest active member but I'm not sure. My userid is 100012. Needless to say I've seen the good and bad. My participation is generally in the winter because I'm pretty much stuck at home. About the first of march I hit the road and don't get online much.

Several times when it has degraded I've considered setting up my own site. I have more than enough experience to set one up. The question has always been "What would I offer that is different or better?". Currently about all I could offer is an open forum. While that sounds good it is not really that important. A site is only as good as the people who are commited to contributing. It takes about 10 good, articulate, polite people who can answer questions and post good examples. Without that a photo site is just another empty forum. I currently have a good domain name, hosting and skill to set one up. Just not the time.

PN gets traffic because it is old. It gets top placement in searches and attracts new shooters. So long as someone there will answer questions it will continue to thrive. The question is under what business model, if any.
Mr. Speedlight 15 years ago
“Every trace of my membership was removed from the database.” --Mike Spinak

I feel slighted, my self-deleted account still stands.

HEY GREEN SPONGE: Your Mother Wears Combat Boots! Delete My
Account Already!

I replaced my few gallery images with thumbnails and quietly
deleted my own account.


Dave Hartman.
chrisleck 15 years ago
Hey Dave Hartman, nice to see you here. Looking forward to your posts....
lauriemarie01 15 years ago
Dave, If you really want to be banned, you can resubscribe any time and simply post a link in you bio to this group or the Dissident Cafe group listed above.

If you want to speed up the process, post a thread in the Dissident Cafe that states, "I just linked to Flickr in my bio on PN" I can almost guarantee you your account will be deleted within minutes. The PN moderators constantly lurk in the Dissident Cafe. Sad and funny all at the same time.
Ṁ‽ǩ€ §ρ!и@ķ Posted 15 years ago. Edited by Ṁ‽ǩ€ §ρ!и@ķ (member) 15 years ago
Hey, Dave,

I agree: nice to see you, here, and I look forward to your posts.

"I feel slighted, my self-deleted account still stands."

If you simply want to get banned, it should be as easy as going to flickr's The Dissident Café and making a post, and signing it with your real name. The ever vigilant, ever paranoid PN staff will take care of the rest. If you want to be removed completely from the database, then you need to do something or be something that bothers PG personally.
orange tiger [deleted] 15 years ago
Just read this from top to bottom, it was highly entertaining. Well not for those who suffered along the way of course, but honestly that place sounds like a bad joke.
carlos.benjamin 15 years ago
I lurked on for a long time before joining. At first it was pretty great except for getting feedback on photos. It seemed like it was difficult to get anyone to say anything good or bad about them. I felt like the site was becoming more and more clannish and I wasn't in the 'in-crowd'. Then the slowing and the outages started getting worse.....

My account is still there, but I haven't been back in a long time (except for just now to see if my account survives). So long in fact that I don't remember the email address I used and couldn't delete it if I wanted to.

Funny thing is, I liked Philip as a fellow geek...... Didn't know he'd returned to the helm over there.
Stephen Faust 15 years ago
Dave Hartman, if they won't remove your deleted account...

.. do you own the copyright to your images ;-)

.. or you could send them a letter telling them that non of those images are yours, and you can being sued and the other lawyers want to know everyplace you posted the images.

.. or as mentioned, just mention Flickr in every post of yours! :-)

I supposed there are some very creative ways if we all put our minds to it!
lauriemarie01 Posted 15 years ago. Edited by lauriemarie01 (member) 15 years ago

Make sure you remove your photos before you get yourself banned. Otherwise, you won't be able to get back on there to delete them. Several people got stuck that way.

My favorite, I didn't see it myself but read about it in a thread (or dreamed it) someone replaced all their photos with blank square except for the word "Flickr".

Also, if you want to copy your photos and keep the portfolio intact, Brian Mottershead is setting up a new site and will gladly assist you with this. I think the address is

The site isn't up and running yet but he will grab your pics for you.
chrisleck 15 years ago
I just posted to a thread. I got errors when trying to submit my post until I removed the words 'Strobist' and 'Flickr.' If I had not seen this thread, I would have given up in frustration.
peculiar planet 15 years ago takes the joy out of photography.

the only forum i ever found helpful was the wedding forum...otherwise it's just a bunch of tech heads who seem to be compensating for something with really long lenses.........
GarethDix 15 years ago
I never realised it was this much of a widespread problem.

I have photos on but purely as i haven't got around to finishing my website yet, and i thought it would a great place to start learning.

but then as someone said, if you're not part of the in-crowd then people don't like to comment/rate etc.... Which is where my comment about the pro's came from... everyone on there seems to be a tech-head.

there does seem to be a lot of snobbery on there as well... your ratings will a lot of the time depend on the equipment you are using. i use a 350d by choice as i have to carry it everywhere i go and it's much smaller/lighter than other camera's but it seems difficult to get anyone to take you seriously there.

in fact i've posted photo's taken them down, re-posted with no information about the equipment used and ended up with drastically better results...

if only they knew the photo they rated highest on there was taken with a sony P-10 lol

but there is still some interesting stuff on there, it's just much harder to find now. needless to say i'll be deleting my account when my subscription runs out.
chrisleck Posted 15 years ago. Edited by chrisleck (member) 15 years ago
I have verified that if you use the words 'Strobist' or Flickr' in a PN post, you will get a vague error message when trying to post.

Garry Edwards responded to one of my posts, writing, "BTW, I don't have a problem with people mentioning Stro bist and there is no censorship here. I blocked people from posting spamming links to the site, just as I try to prevent any other kind of spamming."

As I wrote above, it doesn't require a link, just one of the censored words. Maybe they'll ban me for trying to clarify. What does that mean if I never gave them money? Will I get some outlaw 'Banned' verbiage appended to my name there? Enquiring minds want to know!
chrisleck 15 years ago
I responded to Garry Edwards, pointing out inaccuracies in his comments. His response:


I'm deleting your latest posting.

This isn't censorship, I'm deleting it because it doesn't belong here. You are entitled to your views but you are NOT entitled to take a thread off into an entirely different direction.
strobist Posted 15 years ago. Edited by strobist (admin) 15 years ago
Dang man. Sounds likes somebody stole the strawberries from that guy...
lauriemarie01 15 years ago
When you get banned, you get no notification. You only know it when you try to log into your account and cannot. Anyone visiting your page there will see something like "This member has been deleted from the community". might say "This member has been deleted from the community for violtating the Terms of Use".

They also changed my last name to only an initial. Most of my comments and any photos still in my gallery (just one) remained.

Chris, I lurked in the lighting forum a lot over there. That was one of the things I thought I'd miss the most, post banning. However, many, if not most of the people posting in that forum (and offering good information) are now posting here. Perhaps they really do have good reason to censor Strobist links :)
thinkable cows [deleted] 15 years ago
Wow, some attitude. :-|
Im a member there and dont really like it.. The members are nice but the whole forum is kind of a hassle.. I never go there but I get the posts emaild to me so If i see something i can help with or an interesting question, i can jump in. I belong o a few other sites and is at the bottom of my list. Northeastfoto being my fave along with strobist and canon POTN and (which I hardly go to anymore..another PITA just to post to..)
AlwaysJanuary (Randy) Posted 15 years ago. Edited by AlwaysJanuary (Randy) (member) 15 years ago
I just wanted to inform you all that you have mentioned one too many times, and therefore I must ban you. (* * *SARCASM ALERT* * *)

Maybe I'd better give back that star next to my name, I'm getting a bit drunk with the power. Now I just need a bigger lens and a good pyramid scheme to rocket my photos to the top of the gallery and to photo of the week. Oh wait, we don't do that crap here....Darn......

As a side note though, I've found the Interestness scheme here to be almost as bad a trap with people practically begging for views and comments. It doesn't bother me as much here though, as I can still get useful comments beyond the 11 hour mark of my posting unlike pnet where if you didn't jump on the mate rater system you were buried. Also there are some very high quality images on PN, but that's a tribute to the photogs, not the system over there.

Alas, my rant has gone too far...

Randy (full name Randy January for those wishing to ban me or something).
Mr. Speedlight 15 years ago
“If you simply want to get banned, it should be as
easy as going to flickr's The Dissident Café and making a post,
and signing it with your real name.” --Mike Spinak

My logon at PHOTO.NET was “David H. Hartman”. My
account: user_id=112237.

HEY GREEN SPONGE: Your Mother Wears Combat Boots!

It’s no use! Now that he knows I desire martyr hood the son
of a bitch won’t delete my account.

HEY GREEN SPONGE: Your Father Wears Victoria's Secret Fashions!

It’s like having no citizenship! I deleted my own account
when I could have caused trouble and made them do it. At least I
was banned for 30 days once for objecting (off forum) to a
moderator calling my advice stupid.

Worst (that’s for the Sponge), Best to others,

Dave Hartman.
Mr. Speedlight 15 years ago
Yaron Kidron started a forum group at...

Although the name is FilmLives there are two forums
dedicated to digital imaging: MegaPixels and Professional
Pre-press Printing and Digital Workflows
. Links to
are banned as SPAM at PN also. It’s a mark of honor.


Dave Hartman.
i2View 15 years ago
This maybe slightly off topic, and whilst I have no personal experience with PN, it was certainly an eye opener reading the comments above. I am relatively new to this forum, and in a short space of time I am hooked - I have found stroblist to be one of the best place to learn. Hats off to stroblist himself aka Mr Hobby for his guidance and for forming this group to encouraging us all to share and help one and another in a respectful manner. Only time will tell, but lets learn from PN's mistakes, and show them how it's suppose to be done.
strobist 15 years ago
Yeah, the aim here is more toward "co-op" and less toward "dictatorship."

My hope is, in the unfortunate event that I got hit by a train, the group would be just fine.

(And, I would hope, produce some well-lit funeral pix...)
lauriemarie01 15 years ago
Which begs the question....At what angle should one place the flash to avoid the glare from a highly polished coffin? I wonder how the priest will feel about the strobe on a stand behind him for that hairlight, or should I say halo that will add so much to the mood of the photo.

Hmmm, so much to consider.
rebel seashore [deleted] 15 years ago
Hell, knowing the following you've inspired here there would probably be some well-lit pictures of the train as well !!
Airchinapilot 15 years ago
I actually know someone who makes a living photographing funerals.
Mr. Speedlight 15 years ago
Chris Leck, Thank you for the kind words. Best, Dave Hartman.
..Kev.. 15 years ago
I used to spend a lot of time over at PN. Visit ed very rarely in the past year or 2. Really interesting to read about what is happening there - just crazy.

I'm off to delete my account now.
humdrum sheet [deleted] Posted 15 years ago. Edited by humdrum sheet (member) 15 years ago
A lesson for the youngsters .... Whenever someone tells you "this isn't censorship" -- it is.

David, please don't get hit by a train. It's such a cliché.
david, the fourm would lie on but Id sure miss your blog!!!
strobist 15 years ago
Well, as long as you guys would keep spreading falsehoods.

(And no editing your post to make my response look senseless, either...)

Cappy5511 Posted 15 years ago. Edited by Cappy5511 (member) 15 years ago
Oh, make no mistake - the popularity of Strobist is what peevs that site and its owner, not any "spamming." I regularly link Strobist back from, no whining from there, and they haven't started hitting me. My final photo on, after deleting my entire portfolio, is a gorilla giving the admins the finger...but they edited out all the text relating to it and threatened me with banishment. Sniff.

lol sorry, my bad i ment the forum would LIVE on not LIE (bunch of stinking liars.. or is that Lawyers?) lol

Id just like to state I do not think anyone here is a liar..or a lawyer for that matter.
hell Canon POTN has a whole thread on the strobist page...People love this site!!
GarethDix 15 years ago
On some of my photo's not all of them (yet) i have a watermark with my external website on there, and all of them have a copyright with my name on there... so if they decide to restrict my account but keep my work then at least i'm still getting the free exposure...

I haven't tried to log back in yet but i think after opening up this can of worms i'll just get a DENIED message.

oh well if people start searching for and find this thread i guess it's their loss.

I'm really glad i found this site though (ironically enough through a member just before the summer) didn't get into it too much at first but now i'm hooked... and at least the feedback is actually feedback not just a rating with no nothing.
Mark Sirota 15 years ago
I've learned quite a bit from the forums since joining five years ago, though there's no question it has been going steadily downhill the entire time.

You've all just persuaded me to delete the small number of images I had online there...
PhotoAbuse 15 years ago
Meh....most photo sites get way too crazy what with the ratings and all. The more I see of it, the more I realize that perhaps evolution isn't working out as well as planned.

What sets this group apart from the crowd is that along with some real cool images being posted, there is also an exchange of ideas and techniques without all of the elitism, "he who has the most points must be a great photographer", "please look at my photo" kind of stuff.

This place is pretty darn refreshing if you ask me.....

btw...Cappy5511--- I left you a note on that gorilla. See how long it stays there.....
jim@jmp 15 years ago
Welcome David Hartman, glad to see you made it over to the other side
Jim Mucklin
jim@jmp 15 years ago
After reviewing my last post I am banning myself
jim@jmp 15 years ago

How I got rich and famous, oh give me a break
Cappy5511 15 years ago
Tick tick tick tick...
Cappy5511 15 years ago
Took two days, but the link has been removed by the oh-so-diligent admins. Just silly.
GeoDesigner 13 years ago
2005 Thread:

The OP Says: "All right, first of all, my budget is a bit limited. I mostly shoot outdoors/nature, but decided recently to get set up to do studio style portraits for family and friends (...)"

"I take my cheap non-dedicated flash that I already had, buy a light stand($19) and shoe/umbrella mount($14), umbrella($10), hook the whole thing up to my bargain basement chinese radio slave($15), and get to work. Oh, and I'll meter the shots with the Wein WP500B flash meter I got for $18.00.(...)"

Lee Stuart 13 years ago
I left after a delightful lady photographer had one of her images banned as it was "almost" critical of's rating system.

It is a shame, before i found Flickr, I was able to learn a lot from, I litterally spent hours looking at other peoples work and trying to figure out how to do it for myself.

On the flip side... if i didnt get browned off with, I would never have found Flickr, and hence this fine bunch of people :)

**Group hug anyone?**
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