Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Well folks. Now I've done it. I've gone and gotten myself banned from PhotoSig.com (a well-known photo critique exchange site).
It may have had something to do with this letter I sent to PhotoSig admin this morning...


To Whom it May Concern:

When I started at PhotoSig a couple of years ago, I thoroughly enjoyed posting my photos here. I wrote a few critiques, but didn't feel particularly qualified to do so at the time. My ratio of posts to critiques was about 1/1. At some point, admin started asking posters to critique three photos for every post. I immediately started posting at least three critiques for every image I posted here on PhotoSig. Soon, I was posting a critique for every person who critiqued my images... often ten or more critiques for each image I posted.

And yet - despite my efforts to give back - I still received rude comments from [a moderator at PhotoSig... I won't use names as I'd prefer not to get personal here]. It seems that no matter the effort one puts into this site, no one is exempt from this kind of treatment.

Once, I was accused of stealing the work of another member of PhotoSig - and although the accusation was withdrawn when [the moderator] realized she'd made a mistake, the negative feeling about PhotoSig remained.

On another occasion, I was told quite rudely to post more critiques - despite the fact that I had already posted eight critiques that day. Again, I received an apology - but the negative feeling doesn't go away.

After that most recent episode, I took a break from PhotoSig. Why spend time here when I end up feeling frustrated and angry? Seems a waste of valuable time.

But the other day, I came back and posted another shot because I felt that PhotoSig has much to offer - and here we are again. My first post in months and I get another nasty comment.

After my husband responded to the rude post, he got an email accusing us of sharing accounts (we each have an account and we post separately), using PhotoSig to drive traffic to our sites (does [the moderator] really think PhotoSig gives us enough traffic to our sites to justify the time we've spent here over the past couple of years?), and not giving back. Really? After the seven critiques I wrote in the past two days... after posting a single image of my own?

I don't object to being reminded of the rules – like critiquing regularly or not posting photos with a link to our individual websites (oops). I object to rude and condescending comments like the ones I regularly receive from [a moderator] here at PhotoSig.

I will no longer post images on PhotoSig. I’ve also pulled all my images from the site. Enough is enough. Why waste my time on PhotoSig when there are so many other critique sites that offer the same services - and a positive experience as well?

I do wish I could thank all of the contributors who took the time to critique my photos over the years. Contributors here are a great collection of people. I've enjoyed being a part of this community… and I regret that my time on PhotoSig is over. I’ll spend my time on FredMiranda, NPN, and other communities which offer a fantastic experience alongside the critiques and comments.

I do hope that PhotoSig will find a way to return to its former glory. It was a fantastic site once – but I’m hearing more and more negative comments about the experience as time passes. I know that the problems PhotoSig is having with [this moderator] are not a secret – and I know it must be politically difficult to handle a situation like this one. I do hope it will be resolved in the near future. I wish PhotoSig the best of luck.

Varina Patel


My mother would say, "OH, Varina...."

And she's probably right. But there it is. Now I've gone and done it.

Now - please don't think I'm asking all of you to remove your own accounts on PhotoSig. I still believe that PhotoSig is a great site - and that the community there is excellent. My problem is with a single moderator/administrator - and I hope that they will resolve the issue eventually. I know my experience has not been unique.

I do want to thank all those of you who reviewed my work while I was a member of PhotoSig. I'm a better photographer because of all of you. So Thanks! And I'll miss you all over there! :)

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