I want to blog about something very sensitive today. Its about online photography forum. The first photography forum I stumbled upon was LensaMalaysia (LM) but later I discovered about Photomalaysia (PM). PM claimed that they are the first online forum in Malaysia discussing things related to photography. So far I never heard anyone disputed their claim & I believe it is true. My impression was that LM has more Canon users & PM has more Nikon users. Since I migrated to Nikon system, I login PM more often than others. And I made many friends in PM. I was only a silent member in LM & I don’t really know their activities nowadays. I still frequent PM eventhough I rarely post now.
Later into this hobby I learnt about FMDC which is a forum dominated by Malay photography enthuthiast but it is never a Malay forum. There are few known non Malay members as well. But usually the lingua franca in FMDC is Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia. I have many friends in FMDC, some became close friends. I remember the first outing I organised which was a trip to Kampung Bantal in March 2007. Initially many members wanted to join but at the end, only 11 of us going. It was me, Ali, Aji, Buntal, ND, Butet, Kingmarul & wife, Azizi & wife and my friend Dr Azizi. Thanks to Aji & his effort on sponsorship, all of use got a good Deuter bag. I really enjoyed the trip. We felt closed to each other. I treasured the friendship created.
Picture by Aji the Jurufoto & Founder of FMDC
In 2008, we went again. But this time further up to Jeram Perahu. Again, I enjoyed the trip and the friendship. I managed to get small sponsorship in the form of cash to buy logistics supply especially for the Orang Asli but no bag this time.
My point here, I got many friends who love photography tru these forums.
Having said that the forum, regardless PM or FMDC getting big & bigger. More people interested in photography, everyone want to have SLR and many join in the forum. Some join the forum first with compact camera (especially in FMDC) and later upgrade to DSLR (I remember Butet did wedding with some royal guest using Lumix only ). There are many information in these forums but when there are too many ideas, many philosophies, some members opted out & form their own forum. I won’t name the forums. Some manage to create new direction with their ideology & style…..some just die off.
Now, my opinion on this matter. Regardless where you come from, who you are, what is your idea….please remain as friends. Respect people. Don’t shout, don’t call names. Just behave like any civilized community (unless we believe we are not!). I don’t think we should own anyone. If anyone want to create their own forum, let them be. Guys, this is why we are not united. Let people choose where they want to go. What they want to do.
Don’t become to obsess with one group & belittle the others. If you have a group, fine. You may have your own idea. Just don’t say bad things about others. We own nobody! If we regard the knowledge we share as charity, we should allow people to use the knowledge. If they transform the knowledge to be something of their own style, let it be. Why should we claim everything we contributed?
Don’t ‘worship’ certain people. That’s the beginning of idiolism & idols in the past. No one is better than the rest. Azazil became Syaitan because he said he is better than Adam. We will always have weakness because we are not God.
In Islam if you don’t want to speak with another fellow muslim for more than 3 days, your amal won’t be lifted to the sky.
So friends….let’s be friends again…..