Great discussion, I’m only sorry I hadn’t been following this earlier; but it’s still a discussion and I thought I would chime in my .02.
I have the answer. Everyone is right. No one is wrong. This is the beauty of NPN and the genius of how it is defined. From the very first defining statement on the Home page and in the About section:
"Dedicated to the art and technique of nature photography"
Key words are “ART” AND “Technique.” Technique can and is mainly about the technical aspects of photography. And to that, beginners and experienced 'togs alike that want to learn and grown in their technical abilities - whether it’s in the field, or post processing - providing this information in a post IS relevant to many folks. Canon vs. Nikon… nah, not really relevant, f/2.8 vs. f/16 or how one achieved sharp focus from 2ft to infinity… yeah, that’s important for those who want to learn those techniques.
In the other corner… there are just as many who believe that it’s the final image, the finished piece of art that is important. How one got there, (including climbing glaciers or stacking 96 images…) is NOT relevant for those just appreciating the art.
Both of these are true and fair. IMHO, I think we lost some members because in part they felt that cloning out dust bunnies or getting comments on a slanted horizon was irrelevant to their work of art. And that 's perfectly true for those just wanting to appreciate the “ART” of photography. Understand though, that there are just as many, perhaps more new, beginning, and experienced photographers who are also wanting to learn “TECHNIQUE.” And just as true, we probably lose members because there are those who are in the stage (thanks, escapes me who brought up the Stages analogy…) where they are simply learning HOW to do something and haven’t quite figured out the WHY, or what message they’re trying to create, or what meaning their photographs create…
And so, both camps are combined in to ONE place we call NPN.
Perhaps another way to look at the debate between having two galleries for each category; a critique and a non-critique gallery. Perhaps one could think of the non-critique gallery more suited to the “ART” of nature photography where the processing, tech info or critiques (dust bunnies, whatever) is irrelevant to the photographers vision and expectations. Then maybe think of the “Critique” galleries more in line with the “TECHNIQUE” of nature photography. Sure there is overlap as this is not a black and white topic; we all have both the art and technique in us (if we didn’t, we probably wouldn’t be here…)
A healthy discussion. I’m glad I stopped by to read.