New comment and email policy

Thanks to an unusually large number of rude, profane and personally insulting communications in recent weeks – following reviews, especially – I have decided to implement a new policy regarding comments and emails. I have no problem with friendly and objective disagreements – they spur discussion and knowledge sharing, and this is what the site is about; however, abusiveness and insult will not be tolerated.

Site comments, Facebook, twitter and other public fora:

  • Please use a consistent username when commenting. All current readers with an approved comment should have no problems posting without moderation.
  • Posts from new commenters will be held for moderation.
  • Posts with a lot of links from any user will be held automatically for moderation; this is a WordPress thing to prevent spam (or in case somebody’s account has been hijacked).
  • Abusive, rude or trolling comments towards me or anybody else will be treated as follows: the first one will be left there because it will be obvious to the civilised rest of the community that you are a troll to be ignored, and clearly have social and mental deficiencies. Subsequent comments will be deleted and your username and IP blacklisted. I will no longer waste time replying you or engaging you in discussion.

Email and other private messaging:

  • I will still do my best to reply all emails so long as they’re legitimate.
  • Trolling, spam or rude emails will be ignored and deleted.
  • Repeated ‘what should I buy’ emails will be ignored.

To put it bluntly, I do this for free. I no longer have the time, patience or desire to deal with idiots. Thank you. MT

__________________

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Comments

  1. Sir, I was just looking at your camera reviews and took note of the comments about the Fuji XPro1. Have you checked it out recently since all Firmware updates have been added ? You might be surprised at the improvements. At least Fuji supports and improves it’s products, and is still doing so over 2 years after the XPro1 was introduced. Thank you, RG.

    • Many other companies do, too. I don’t see the point in wasting time in looking at a system that doesn’t work for me. None of the updates fix workflow or resolution.

  2. paul witzig says:

    Ming, I just want to apologise for the possibly provocative language used in my earlier comment. I was angry. For those of us who have the passion, often in very far locations, it is really important to read and share thoughts and experiences as part of a wider photographic community. This feeling of belonging to your photographic community is both important and inspirational for us. Thanks for everything, Paul.

  3. Dennis Kane says:

    Hi Ming
    I am so sorry to hear of the trouble you are having with, I am sure, a small minority of the people who view you website. I have a personal friend, Philip Bloom, who also experiences a similar frustration.
    It is hard for me to put in words how much I enjoy, learn from and value the time
    that you expend to crate your blog. All I can say is that I look forward to the day I that I may meet you in person to thank you.
    Your friend
    Dennis Kane

  4. Ming, you have one of the best photo sites on the web. Please keep up the great work. I am indebted to people like you for my continued interest in this craft.

  5. Keep up the great work Ming. I found your blog a couple of months ago and since then I check it every day. The breadth and depth of the content is amazing.

    -Dave

  6. Ming, sorry to read of the frustration with the ignorance of some of the commenters. Typically I do not read comment sections and do not participate in forums. Although, the discussion on you’re site has been excellent until recently. I think this pervasive wave of haters and trolls is the worst aspect of modern photography (as well as the internet). I am not sure what type of person believes it is OK to anonymously append hateful comments to someone else’s work? I can only imagine the education is low and self loathing at an all time high if this behavior makes them feel better about themselves. Regardless.

    On one of my websites I have to deal with this as well. Over the years I have learned to simply delete the comment and blacklist the IP addresses. I don’t leave any crass comments as it encourages other trolls who inevitably come along. I redirect the IP addresses of the most egregious trolls to cat websites using my .htaccess file of WordPress. Why pay for the bandwidth for them to enjoy the amazing content of your website if they are just going to tear down your work.

    Keep your chin up. You produce some of the most amazing content about photography.

  7. Ming, perhaps it would be better to have a forum here moderated by the keen and loyal. You could carry on posting subjects on the blog but disable comments and leave the banter to the forum.

    • There’s a reason why I don’t have one – mostly because in my country there are significant legal liabilities associated with being an online publisher of any kind, which place all of the responsibility on the proprietor. I don’t want to take that risk.

      • It’s a shame when government becomes so draconian we can’t even discuss cameras without being worried. How about hosting it outside your country? I know Thailand expat forums are hosted outside of Thailand because of similar issues there. Forums can become aggravation, trouble is you are now so popular on the web it’s tricky. On my photographer sub-forum (ThaiVisa) you are extremely popular and often the point of reference for the definitive answer.

  8. Bravo Ming. Great writing but more importantly, great photos so don’t let those bastards get you down.

  9. So sad. Just remember Ming; Makers gonna make. Haters gonna hate. Tall poppy syndrome is a disease. Keep up the great work, its only getting better!

  10. paul witzig says:

    Ming, from far way north coast of NSW I send my kind regards & thanks again for your inspirational blog. I (we ) need you to stay online, so please do whatever it takes to get rid of the polluting scum who try to tear you down. Paul.

  11. Ming, I remember some of the nasty remarks that people made on a dpreview.com forum about your GH3 review. As a GH3 owner, I simply couldn’t understand why people’s shorts were getting so bunched because of your assessment of the GH3. I deeply appreciate the outstanding quality of every article on your site and all that I’ve learned from you.

  12. I have always appreciated your efforts to write all the articles in your blog.
    And, I have only one suggestion. I wish you change the font color to black from grey. With ageing eyes, I prefer stronger color.

    • Why would grey be stronger than black?

      • plevyadophy says:

        Opposite way around Ming.

        I think what is meant is that black font creates more contrast and is easier to see for ageing eyes

        • But the font IS black!

          • Of course not ;)
            Look at your source code, it’s #555 (which is relatively lightish grey), black would be #000.

            But if you see it black, as a photographer you have a much bigger problem ;)

            • Are you referring to the body text or something else? Because the former is definitely marked as #000 here.

              • Hi Ming, I didn’t see it myself at first, but there does seem to be a cascading style sheet that appears to be contributing the value #555. I won’t claim to be authoritatively accurate, but it looks like this:

                body, h1, h2, h2 a, h2 a:visited, h3, h4, h5, h6, p, input, select, textarea {
                color: #555;
                font-family: ‘Droid Serif’, arial, serif;
                font-size: 14px;
                font-weight: 400;
                line-height: 22px;
                margin: 0;
                padding: 0;
                text-decoration: none;
                }

                Cheers!,

                • I’ll check it out when I get a chance. Currently buried under trying to deliver images before the next trip.

                  • Sounds like the right priority to me, though I wish to heck I was going on one of these upcoming trips :)

                  • That’s funny because I always thought it was an editorial choice (and a good one).
                    Anyway now it’s like “your” look and feel, I’m sure you don’t want to switch it to black, you may want to push it a little bit like #666 or #777 (for your “aging” readers), but definitely not pure black.

  13. Thank you for your contributions Ming. Sorry for the idiots. You’re contributions are original and appreciated by many, such as myself.

  14. Ditto what Kasra said in the beginning. Thank-you for what you do!

    • Oops. Must be getting late. Scratch the “in the beginning” part. I’m used to reading comments the other way up and wasn’t paying attention. Still, the sentiment holds.

  15. Dear Ming,

    Sorry to hear that you are affected by the usual Internet negativity. Just wanted to say, (and I think sometimes its needed to be said, no matter how seem obvious), that your work, both in writing and visuals is highly appreciated, and the way you run this web site and your social media communities can be a reference point for others to how to conduct in a professional manner. I acknowledge that I’ve learned many things from your website and photography, without paying a penny, and really appreciate your generosity in sharing your experience and knowledge and even responding to my silly questions in flicker group and elsewhere.

    You have every right to moderate your online communities to keep their high standards. Please do that and I’m certain the majority of your readership -who share your values of friendship, generosity and professionalism- want the same.

    As I’ve said about, in friendship, love, workplace relations and society, sometimes it’s necessary to stop for a moment and express our gratitude to those who nurture our human capabilities.

    Warm Regards,
    Kasra

  16. Well said. No one should have to put up with a******* in their life, let alone anonymous ones with too much time on their hands and a decidedly weird sense of fun. It’s not like the world is short of Actual Bad People Doing Really Quite Nasty Stuff – you’d have thought there were far more appropriate targets for all that rage. Anyway, I’ll add my voice to the other lovely folks in the comments here and say a big thank you for your writing and teaching. It’s a little oasis of photographic thoughtfulness amid the shouty chaos and is hugely appreciated. :0)

  17. Tom Hudgins says:

    I’m actually surprised you’ve gone this long without having taken action. It’s unfortunately the price one pays for having a free site. I wish you continued success with your site as it has been helpful to me as well. Thanks.

  18. Rene François Desamore says:

    I am an idiot in photography matters and was learning so much from you. Sorry that I shall be left out.

    • I was not referring to you specifically. I’m referring to the people who swear at me, call me racist names, tell me they’ve made bowel movements with more value (in cruder language). No need to feel sensitive if you’ve never done any of this.

  19. David Challenor says:

    Hi Ming, Just a few words to say your site is very informative and it is clear you work hard to give an honest assessment. Unfortunately some of your readers hang on your recommendations as they are influenced by your comments.For instance your abandoning of the Olympus OM D EM1 surprised me as I have bought one. However, we all move on and for my needs I am very happy with my decision. One of the sad side effects of our so called social media is that every idiot can have a say. One of my favourite sayings is…”If you have nothing to say, then shut up” You have a lot to say which is valuable and I fully support your approach to cut off the idiot remarks. Please do not be too put off by the morons. Regards David

  20. Tim Lake says:

    Hi Ming, Sorry to hear, you’ve been through this. Greatly appreciate you being there. Tim

  21. Michael Matthews says:

    Sorry to see that it’s necessary, but do proceed. The only thing I’d change in your statement of policies is the idea of publishing the first offending comment. Subsequent blacklisting will only lead to an avalanche of crap from the same mouth-breathing individual making use of disguised IDs, addresses, and inciting escalating forms of disruption. Better to ignore and leave them urinating in the wind. A fickle breeze may serve up retribution in your behalf.

  22. Good, trolling and generally obnoxious comments don’t contribute to the discussion, so they can just as well be deleted.

  23. Surprisingly generous of you. I expected you would be forced to drop commenting altogether. :( Your blog is very much appreciated.

  24. Hugh Maaskant says:

    Ming,

    Sadly it is necessary, so just do it your way (you do not seem to be the type to do it anyone else’s way anyway :-) and we will all benefit.

    rgds, Hugh

  25. A widespread disease. A journalist of Frankfurter Allgemeine just wrote an article about the deteriorating quality of reader comments. Journalists are generally addressed as stupid, corrupt, etc

  26. Kenneth Scholz says:

    Suggest that troll-like comments not be posted at all (they have no place here, no one wants to see them), sender cautioned on first offense just in case their account was hijacked and frozen out on the second offense. Minimize your effort with them.

    • Actually, I’m not even going to bother with that. They will be deleted and IP address/ handle blacklisted. I shouldn’t even have to tell somebody why they’re being rude if it’s that bad.

  27. Gordon Lewis says:

    As upsetting as it is for you to have to read rude and abusive comments, it’s just as upsetting for your loyal readers. We don’t like to see people wasting your time and energy with their “issues,” but there’s not much we can do about it other than behaving ourselves. It’s a sad fact of life that the more successful you are, the more haters you will attract. Just throw up the hate filters and keep on stepping.

  28. Bravo! Your blog is absolutely the best read. The comments are usually helpful, too, and I appreciate your engagement in them. Keeping them pruned will help.

  29. Eric Bowles says:

    Great post and good move. Keeping trolls, nutcases, and spammers away makes the site better for everyone else. 99% of people behave properly.

  30. I sympathize with you. I’ve never left a comment before, but I very much appreciate your site, your test,your “fair play”….and your photos, of course …. even if they make me feel an incapable photoamateur …
    Do not blame those idiots. they are “minus habens” in the mind….

    mikeol

  31. Tom Liles says:

    I’m down with you 100% MT. Good decision.

    And at the limit, if it persists I would just deep-six the entire comments section. And that’s me saying that.

    Peace on Earth.
    And cameras.

    • Hmm…but what about the epic discussions you’ve had? It’d be a shame to lose them.

      • Tom Liles says:

        Like photos they’re only good for that moment in time; we can discuss again, write again, think again… And we will. If not about cameras and photographs at MT’s place then about something else somewhere else. Opinions and comment are a dime a dozen. Mine especially. What is worth something and important is your work above the line, Ming. That has to be preserved—the words, the pictures. I’d way rather see the entire comment section wiped than see the site itself go. And the snark merchants, trolls, brand fanatics and character assassins threaten that.

        That said. This community—we have had some pre-ttay pre-ttay good talks down here :)

        • And I think those good talks and community is what makes the place special. Anybody else can produce the stuff above the line if they have the time and inclination…

          • Carlos El Sabio says:

            The photos and essays are the primary attraction. The discussions are lagniappe. I fully agree with your policy and I sincerely hope that it is sufficient to keep a very congenial blog available for those of us who truly appreciate it. I personally benefit greatly from this site and what you do.

          • Tom Liles says:

            I’m not sure anyone could go take pictures of a beautiful red Ferrari, and not on the nose guff but artistic well composed and meaningful pictures, with not one not two but three super-cameras; and then spend at least two paras discussing the relative merits and verisimilitude of the reds, how that relates to workflow, and work, and then discuss which equipment therefore makes sense for someone who produces images professionally but also has a stake in chasing the best possible image quality they can, just because they can, and they want to.
            I’m not sure anyone could pen definitive articles on metering, focus and composition that are so rich in detail they need three parts. Some themes never end and we get to see a gestalt evolve. And yet still all (expertly) abridged versions—but versions that lay out the necessary bits to equip a newcomer with knowledge on how to start but also how to continue.
            I’m not sure anyone could write a photographic article in Shakespearean verse.
            I’m not sure anyone could go from reviewing BMW Z4’s, Wacom Intuouses, Sony RX100s, Hassel 501’s, Leica M’s or Nikon Af-s’s, to Magnum photo books and iPhones… and then out of nowhere do a post entirely on trees. Or clouds.
            I’m not sure anyone could do more to get cuddly polar bears into serious artistic photographic work or do less to dwell on the glitz, glam and fluff.
            I’m not sure anyone could write Camerapedia. I’m not sure anyone could do astrophotography with nothing but a jumper a CoolpixA and a window side seat. And make a frame to become fine art print on the landing. I’m not sure anyone could ever take a Sony 5n apart and make a multi-spectral camera; and I’m not sure anyone could put together the GN calcs for 12 perfectly illuminated watch shots on 120 negative film, no test frames.
            I’m not sure anyone could write as much, teach as much, think as much and photograph as much, while doing a full-time job.

            But the main thing I’m not sure about is whether the D810 is better than the Fuji X100T which isn’t out yet—but which one should I buy Ming? What would you do?

            Thanks in advance.

            • Damn, you have a good memory! Well, I’m sure there must be somebody – we may just not know about them yet. And they can most certainly answer your question better than I can. In the meantime, I’m going to be making a mini-Cube out of used optical bench parts I found off ebay because the big Arca Cube is too large for my travel tripod legs…

              • Perhaps an article explaining how you constructed the mini-Cube? I’m sure I’m not the only one interested in this!

              • Tom Liles says:

                Ha! More MT MacGuyver like ingenuity :) hope the mini-cube goes well.
                [MacGuyver is a reference sure to throw you—if you know you know; if not, Canadian friends can answer!]

                At the risk of explaining a joke, the last question was of course a joke ;)

            • Damn, Tom. I bow to you. The recent digital MF comparison (http://blog.mingthein.com/2014/06/29/review-the-pentax-645z-part-ii-medium-format-shootout/) really impressed me in one other way: that Ming went out of his way to find an interesting subject and proceeded to shoot it beautifully. Most any other new camera comparison would have involved crappy shots of brick walls, cats (though I like cats), and whatever else they can rustle up in their neighborhood.

              • Tom Liles says:

                Absolutely that Andre. That’s what’s always impressive about an MT review.

                I do recall, on a related note, MT mentioning that he’s shot nearly every inch of his local surround now, so he has to go the extra mile on reviews of late. It’s the “has to” that impresses about Ming; you know most blogger type review sites — not that this is a blogger or a review site — but most of those type sites would be happy to continue on with the same old same old, or drop out the game. Not MT. In fact it goes the other way—we get articles about motion picture production equipment now. First hand!

                Give it a decade or so, MT will probably be reviewing the Nikon D8 on the dark side of the moon or something :)

                • I hope he’ll be able to tell us whether the D8 or the RX100MarkXXIV will be better for kids, Ultraprint moonscapes, and pocketability.

                • BTW Tom, I have a rental DP3 Merrill on the way. Wish me luck … :)

                  • Enjoy – I thought IQ was spectacular, operationally less so.

                  • Tom Liles says:

                    Hey! That’s awesome Andre. I’ve been quietly stacking up the X3Fs with mine; but haven’t sat down to process them in SPP… Which out of nowhere (probably since updating to Mavericks on the MBPr) has decided to make it unworkable by seemingly ripping out the gamma and colors when I pull a frame up for editing. Never ever happened before and I’ve used SPP A LOT, not changed any settings etc; all that changed is my computer (and the version of OSX). I fix my problem by changing SPP working space gamut to sRGB… But that’s a killer since I only need SPP for reclaiming highlights and converting to 16bit TIFFS, and I want to keep as much data as possible as that 16bit TIFF is intended for full editing in an editor that actually works… I use Lr, default work space is ProPhotoRGB, up until now I’d protected that gamut size between software so edits in Lr could be the best possible and the final output exports the most accurate possible. Have to work in sRGB now or buy that copy of Iridient…

                    I wish you luck Andre, but you won’t need any with the camera — it is a blast to use! Simple, intuitive, original — you’ll need every ounce of luck (and patience) you can get with SPP. Quite simply THE WORST idea I think I’ve ever seen in photography.
                    [And instead of use their money to just get the mission accomplished with Adobe, by hook or by crook, which absolutely would have won Sigma SO MANY users, instead of that they splurged on a new camera, which is a train wreck. I tell you, no one touches them in store, no one cares — even I’m getting apathetic toward them — there’s like one review for them online, compare this to when the Merrill came out… I’d put them on a par with the E5 or whatever Olympus’ last remaining four thirds mount camera on shelves is. It is quite quite sad to see, a totally new camera, still-born to zero fanfare and user demand. So sad. And they did it too themselves…]

                    Brace yourself for SPP, Andre! :D

                    • Apparently Sigma made the files open source, but Adobe didn’t want to change their raw conversion engine to handle the Foveon coding – the whole thing is based around Bayer. Look at how much of a disaster the X-trans files are via ACR…

                    • Tom Liles says:

                      Sure, there’s no demosaic for a start too…

                      I’d heard the same thing: that Adobe were the blocker; but let’s be clear that the onus is squarely with Sigma on this; it’s their platform not Adobe’s… Think of all the man hours and manpower it took to make a Quattro; if they’d spent the same effort petitioning Adobe, we’d have support by now… And I’d take crappy x-Trans level conversions in Lr or ACR over another minute with SPP. It’d be a foot in the door, so to speak.

                      The other thing is, if it must be a standalone converter: why not outsource the proprietary software to Adobe? They can do Lr for 150 dollars or whatever it is; I’d happily pay three times that for a reliable converter, with the Adobe interface, but mostly the Adobe tools. Would aid workflow greatly—the promised land of images taking less than 30 seconds to get loaded up, without the software falling over!

                      It just annoys me because Sigma act very conspicuously like their greatest problem isn’t workflow or data handling, when it so so so obviously is. Anyone can see that. I just can’t buy that with all the time they’ve had, they’ve been working hard to fix this. Their attitude to it all seems like “software? good enough is good enough.”

                      FAIL

                    • Volume: there aren’t that many people who’d buy Quattros or Merrills, even in an ideal world. $150 won’t cover the development costs; probably not even close. The hardware is quite impressive; the software and workflow is terrible. I can live with slow focusing, 50-shot battery life and operational foibles, but workflow is critical. I’m starting to be annoyed with the D810 because I’m forced to use CC, and that’s much slower for sharpening than CS5.5; the difference in processing time for me is nearly 3x.

                    • Tom Liles says:

                      Bummer. I mean, what will it take for camera makers to figure out what happens after is of critical importance to us.

                      With the Sigma problem, it’s a chicken and egg thing: how many more happy and evangelical users would they have with Adobe support — I see it as being as legitimized, in effect — and how much easier would it be to bring new users in with that?
                      From what I’ve seen of the Quattro, they didn’t need that; I don’t see how my life is better than on the X3 Foveon. The Merrills are already there for us in terms of IQ. Yes, including noise considerations—that is a tiny compliant, in my mind, compared with the workflow impasse. Which Quattro does ZERO to remedy.

                      Any business, somewhere, has to take a risk, make a leap of faith. 90% of the time they will crash and burn. Look at the Quattro, it’s not like Sigma are afraid of making a leap—why can’t they go big on the software?

                      I’ll continue to put up with them; be interesting to see how you hold out Andre!

                    • Thanks Tom and Ming (for the DP3M review, too, which I re-read). I downloaded SPP 6.0.5 last night and found a DP3M RAW file to run through it. It’s kind of slow, but if I use it just as a RAW converter I should be OK. (fingers crossed) The resulting TIFF looks gorgeous, though, and seems to stand up to pretty severe abuse in both PS and LR. I’m looking forward to trying it out as a street photography camera as well as for landscape.

                      The Quattro really looks like a disaster at this point. Apparently, it has more of a Bayer sensor look, and the colors are really messed up.

                    • Ah ha, so I’m not crazy for thinking that Smart Sharpen in PS CC is much slower than in CS4! I just “upgraded” to CC this weekend because I wanted to use ColorPerfect, which doesn’t work in CS4. It used to be that saving out a file from PS would take the longest time, and Smart Sharpen was really fast, and now it’s the opposite. Also, there are weird integration problems with LR and PS CC so editing a file from LR in PS doesn’t work anymore for me. I might have to reinstall LR or something, but it’s kind of frustrating. Since I follow Ming’s PS workflow, there’s almost nothing I need in CC, and I may ask for a refund before the end of my 30-day trial depending on how well ColorPerfect performs.

                      I didn’t know Sigma released source code for their RAW decoding. I’d been reading some exchanges between the author of Iridient and some Sigma users, and apparently, the big thing with Foveon RAW decoding is controlling the noise in the lower layers. There is apparently a lot of processing going on, much more than for Bayer sensors, in Foveon decoding. Out of the chip, the lower layers are said to be very noisy.

                    • It’s definitely slower. Unfortunately other than going via DNG converters there aren’t any other options for processing files from newer cameras. I may still revert to the DNG converter actually.

                • You should see what I did to get sample images from the latest piece of equipment I cannot talk about…

            • Brilliant ode! My thoughts exactly. I think the comments below the line (and I have always been an avid reader of your prodigious comments, Tom) is one of the things that makes Ming’s site special. It is just so unfortunate that the actions of a few can spoil things for the many.

          • Peter Boender says:

            Ming, well done on your new policies. Well justified! As far as I’m concerned they were long overdue, and you could have flipped the coin much earlier.

            Tom, I’m sorry, but I don’t agree with your “Opinions and comment are a dime a dozen” comment. Off course, there’s no denying that Ming is King on Olympus Mountain (that’s a reference to the Greek myths, not the camera brand… ;-) ), and you’ve made a very impressive compilation (kudos!!) of all the surprising wanderings we’ve witnessed and participated in over the last few years, but the additions from “the followers” are very worthwhile and very important too! It is like Ming says: “those good talks and community is what makes the place special“. Ming ignites this little spark or flame, and “the followers” (many of which are regulars, and some of which I’m privileged to meet personally and talk to regularly because of this site, which makes my (photographic) life so much richer) make it into this huge (bon)fire!

            I often revisit topics, and I dig through the comments section too! So many useful additions. Gear wise, and on technique, sure. But what about our (indeed) epic discussions on e.g. philosophy and art? I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Can we do it somewhere else? Probably… But this sophisticated, well-behaved, eclectic, articulate and knowledgeable community is what makes this place so special.

            It’s my weekly sanity check. So I’m not only thanking Ming, for being the Grand Master of it all, but “the followers” too! Thanks everyone, you know who you are!

  32. Understand, but a sad commentary on the internet and digital, where a person can be pretend to be an expert, rude, and anonymous.

  33. John weeks says:

    One cannot argue with a fool….or worse. And a quintessential professional like yourself should not have to. Thank you for your time and knowledge you place on these pages.

  34. Luis Vallejo says:

    Greetings from Burgos, Spain. About time ! I follow your blog quite regular and enjoy and admire your work. Thank you

  35. You have already granted more than enough patience to those “trolls / idiots / bastards” ( i’d have named them parasites ), as i recall long long time ago you have already expressed the annoyance of “what should i buy / which is better” kind of emails or messages.

    Indeed you have been so gentle to these kind of keyboard fighters ( with this announcements which i don’t think they will truly read them through ), if i were you, for those who spit on my ground, i would simply drop them out silently.

    If any moment in the future this seems to be so discouraging that you want to put a fullstop to maintain this website, please consider paid memberships ( in which the same policy can still apply, but to a smaller population ), i think many of us would understand and support such change.

    • ‘What should I buy’ isn’t even that bad. I’ve had personal threats and non stop profanity. You’d think I burned their homes, are their pets and tortured their family.

      • plevyadophy says:

        Hey!

        Wait a minute!

        Say what?!

        You’ve had personal threats? Really? Serious?!

        When we spoke in London and you seemed a bit down about the negativity, I had no idea things were THAT bad. Wow! There are some peeps out there who have really DEEEEEEEEEEP issues. I am sooooo sorry to find that things had got so so bad.

        But like I said to you before, don’t let the bastards get you down. And always remember my Waitrose analogy.

        Warmest regards

        Paul

      • It is a sad development and I for one am grateful that you have chosen to continue. Reading your column is one of the positive experiences in my life. Often it is about gear I would never be able to afford but am keen to know more about. It is a great plus to the internet photo community that you chose to follow your instincts.

        I cannot help wonder (utterly unpleasant as it must be to be at the receiving ends of threats etc.) if online terror is a replacement for actual violence. I.e. does yelling at someone online actually prevent physical violence, or does it spur people on in face to face encounters as well. Or maybe people being bullies online are too yellow to do the same in the street.

        Best wishes to you and your wife (and I hope she continues to recover).

        Xpanded

      • Personal threats? That’s outrageous ! But as one of us here said, “he is just too yellow to do the same on the street”. and you know what? my finding is : small dogs ( e.g. chihuahua ) always bark out much louder than their big counterparts – and bark **only** ; )

  36. Well said, MT! I’m sure 99.9% of your readership will agree with you. Thanks again for all that you share, here. Best regards, Rob.

  37. I can only thank you for the inspiration you give to the majority of us, and the passion you show in your job/hobby.
    When I read about those unlucky trolls I try to repeat myself that those who screams are usually just a minor portion of the web.
    Things are not so negative, most of the visitors (we’re guest and you are the host) know how to behave properly when visiting someone else’s home, but the bad behaviour of a bunch of guests can really ruin a community.
    I’m sorry this will bring you an extra amount of work, and that’s another reason to give you our most respectful support.

  38. I’m so sorry to hear this – really, its too bad. :)

  39. I was not aware it was that bad.
    Any kind of blasphemy, humiliation and sabotage have no place on these pages of serious work abot wisdom, art and inspiration. This is a page about sharing art and its genesis which is so generously offered in written, in video and in workshops by one of our times great photographers. It really calls for respect.
    Keeping it clean will always make us come back again and again.
    Thanks for keeping atrocities away from our eyes.

    • Sadly, it’s getting pretty bad…

      • I always said the Internet is a dangerous place to be. Nevertheless we have to ignore, ban or route out any offence. When things come to a level that reminds of hacking, it’s perhaps called crime. But I am not a lawyer.

        I know a photosite (guess most knows it too) with a belonging forum which tone is hilarious rude. Moreover no one seems to interrupt the harsh and evil tone there? Pfew…!

        E-mails are different. They are personal if not just spam. It is about not to read those mails and block the senders along the way they come in. Answering to such mails is the same as asking for more. Perhaps it is also a crime to thread people through mails? I guess it is.

        I am sure Ming you know your ways to deal with it, just don’t let it affect your very good mood and creativity.

        • Sadly there is no policing whatsoever, nor has any ‘real’ crime been perpetuated – so there’s no recourse for punishment. People continue to be a******. What can you do?

  40. Seems reasonable what you are good to do. I am always amazed myself how “emotional” people get in forums and just wouldn’t let go. Always makes me wonder how these folks are in real life.

  41. I completely agree with you Ming. Rude people that write on forums are cowards and a waste of space. I regularly follow your excellent work with great admiration and have a great deal of respect for you. Keep up the outstanding work and delete the idiots!

  42. From the intelligent reader’s standpoint strong moderation is a generally a good thing, but must be a PITA and time-suck for you. I have to say that the abuse of others over the net is a cowardly. Of course the fanboys can be hard work, even in person. This reminds me of the reaction of a friend and fellow Canon user (I’m very heavily invested in Canon both financially and in many years of use) when I suggested Canon could learn a few things from Nikon… Apostasy!!! And from then on my opinion on anything photographic was worthless because I’d criticised the almighty Canon!!!

  43. Dirk De Paepe says:

    All that us, visitors, can do, is to be extremely thankfull for your work, Ming! What you offer us is a unique opportunity, not only to get reliable (!) information (which is not obvious amongst all the trash on the internet), but also the chance to share thoughts, ask questions, differ from opinion, and check it out in regard to the opinion of a super pro, who is willing to share his knowledge. Of course I don’t know every photography site on the web, but as far as I know, this one is absolutely unique, and therefore immeasurably valuable. The way you take it as a matter of honor to answer virtually every comment, is simply beyond my comprehension. But what everybody, no matter what his level is, can learn with it can never be underestimated.
    The least we can do, is treat this with respect. So hurray (!) for your decision to ban the trash.

    • Thank you, Dirk. The community is the main reason I continue. I’ve made so many good friends through this site, and I know other similar connections have happened between other groups of readers, it seems a shame to let a few trolls spoil things.

  44. A perfectly reasonable approach, IMHO, Ming. We use pretty much the same approach on my Forums, and we have over 700 members there (and a huge number of intelligent posts).

    • I still believe in friendly disagreement and discussion. That is the way we learn. And for the longest time I haven’t moderated anything; but I just feel it’s gotten to the point where we’re starting to waste time and feel unhappy about the whole situation. Sadly, it seems there are some real a******* in this world.

  45. Risto Vainio says:

    Hi!

    Very understandable and recommendable policy. I’m utterly sorry people are such assholes, especially towards someone giving and brilliant character as you.

    I’ve enjoyed immensely reading your blog in many ways and have very high respect towards your attitude, thinking and writing.

    Thank you so much!

    Respect

    Risto Vainio Finland

  46. Well said Ming.

  47. Well done! Exactly what is needed.

  48. gordon frederick says:

    my thoughts are with you ming , those type of people are very low & gutless to attack you,you put a lot of good and hard work into the site. hope we get to meet next time you are in melb. cheers.

  49. Thank You! This is exactly perfect! And there was much applause!!!

  50. Martin L. says:

    Yes, bravo! All online forums should do this!

  51. Good for you. It’s important to keep comments on a high and courteous level. Please continue your posts – they are among the most valuable to photographers of any on the Internet but as regards trolls and those who cannot differentiate civilized discourse from being rude, profane, and insulting, ‘Non illegitimi carborundum’.

    Best regards

    Joe Kashi

    Soldotna, Alaska

  52. John Bresnen says:

    Good rules….respect you and your work.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  53. Amen, brother.

  54. Yes I agree there are some bullies in the Internet and I appreciate a site tha makes them behave.

  55. David Ralph says:

    Good for you! I enjoy, and benefit from this blog too much to have you get bummed out and maybe do something else. There are those who think the Internet sites of others belong to them too. Nope. Let them get their own blog, and their own reputation. As to your responses to them, you can just do it. You have no need to explain or justify doing so to anyone. Thanks for sharing so much of your experience, and your evolving life.

  56. Edward Pentney says:

    Unfortunately, there are a small number of so called photographers out there that would rather walk around with the latest expensive ‘toy’ around their necks just for show, whilst taking the occasional snapshot.
    Their ego’s obviously get bruised when you do not confirm with one of your subjective interviews that they are in fact not carrying around the so called ‘best camera in the world’.
    I had a conversation with a guy the other day on lenses. When I mentioned the other day that I had just bumped in my Nikon 50mm 1.4g for the New 50mm 1.4 Sigma Art, he turned his nose up and declare ‘oh, I only ever buy Nikon lenses’
    You don’t need the trolls, or the hangers on, that read the views for your ‘verification’ that they are in fact carrying the best DSLR or best Lens.

  57. Yes, absolutely fair and about time. Too much negative, attention-seeking, brainless, nonsensical and selfish keyboard abusers out there.

  58. Completely understandable, but really too bad you even have to say this. Like my dad says though, “Don’t let the jerks rent space in your head”.

  59. This is a great example to manage all the comments on the internet. Quite inspiring Ming. I will follow this rule :D

  60. BRAVO!!!

    • It’s sad this needs to be done rather than devote your time to the wonderful service you provide with your blog.

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