Being Inclusive and regarding opinion
You know what? I do not disagree with your comments. For my part I would not say out loud the amount of money I have spent on the equipment I have accumulated over the years, as an armature. Because that is what I am...and to be honest I would be embarrassed to confess out loud.
On the second topic, I think all on here can identify without prompting, the brilliant pictures that have been posted. My issue is with the pictures, where the general consensus is, the pictures are mediocre at best. Therefore if they were mine, I would not shoot the messenger simply because I need help? Nasty comments accepted.
Well there's a few things to remember I guess. DPR isn't a photography site, it's a digital photography site.. aka a gear head site. This results in a few things;
1) endless arguing over minutia - I don't really have a problem with this until the horse has been beaten so thoroughly that someone needs to tell me what is being beaten was once a horse and not a giant pile of mush
2) *rampant* fanboy-ism. Luckily the introduction of community mods seems to have brought this into check so it's much less of an argument now than it used to be. Some forums still are a bit much cough-cough-sigma-cough, but as a whole the site is a much better place
3) tech heads who don't appreciate the art of picture taking. This is my single biggest gripe with the forums these days. Questions like 'which is the sharpest portrait lens?' are a good example of everything that is wrong with taking a *purely* technical view of photography. Anyone who has done portrait work knows a few things; a) most portrait lenses are more than good enough (especially when working in studio conditions and stopped down), b) the sharpest lens on the planet isn't always what you want when shooting portraits (it's certainly not the most important thing).
The 3rd point continues for image critique too. Now before I go on I will say this; everyone is entitled to their opinion and personal preference for images, I'm not taking that away. That said, I'm tired of people looking at pictures from a purely technical standpoint. I can take a technically perfect picture of a brick and it's still just a picture of a brick. What I never see asked by commenters on these forums are questions like; 'What was your intended emotional response from this image', or 'What emotion/feel are you trying to convey'.
I've personally taken a lot of picture where the goal wasn't to be razor sharp, hell some of them the goal is to be very very soft. Similarly I've taken a lot of pictures with 'bad' exposures, on purpose, because that's the look the subject wanted (soft contrast washed out images are unfortunately all the rage these days).
What all of this says to me is that there are very few working pros here anymore, most seem to have sadly moved on. It's been a long time since I've seen a shot on DPR that blew my mind when I used to see them regularly years ago
PS: Forgive typos, I'm rushing off to an appointment in a moment.