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Photographer's Note

Please CLICK HERE to see a larger and sharper original version of this image.

This archival photo presents a view of Californian Coast south from San Francisco, which is known as Big Sur.

I am one of the TrekEarth addicts. Of course, there are different levels of this addiction, I may be not the worst, but nevertheless I really like it. With the site slowly collapsing I feel as if my friend was dying. I have heard from Gert that regional TrekEarth maps are not being updated. This is quite sad because I believe it was the maps which made this place different from any other place where you could simply dump some photos. I feel like I repeat myself recently. For those of you who did not notice it I will paste here the text which I used in my personal TrekEarth profile.


MULTIPLE TECHNICAL ISSUES HAVE NOT BEEN FIXED FOR YEARS NOW. THE SITUATION HAS REACHED A CRITICAL LEVEL WITH MANY ELEMENTS OF THE WEBSITE NOT FUNCTIONING ANYMORE, MAPS NOT BEING UPDATED, ERROR MESSAGES, ETC.

Why on Earth I am on TrekEarth? (10 February 2020)

REGIONAL MAPS
Since my early childhood, I love browsing through maps. TrekEarth offers not only the option of organizing my travel photos according to a country but also the possibility to sort them into regions. I can quickly access my or other member’s photos from a given region. This is something extraordinary. This is a very (geo)graphic way of grouping photos, which are souvenirs of my trips, and remind me great time I had on holidays. No other website offers that to this extent.

LOCAL TOURISM
Most of us cannot travel around the world all the time. We miss either health, strength, money or time to travel to faraway lands. Viewing photos of TE members from other countries is like taking part in a trip. It is sometimes easier to find time and money to make a local trip to a beautiful place and share it here. In that way we can feel as a part of the travel community and other members can learn about off-the-beaten-track destinations, which they will not hear about from commercial guidebooks.

PLANNING HOLIDAYS
TrekEarth is a great help in planning holidays. You can browse through photos, read the comments and learn what places to visit what to avoid. I learned a lot about some locations before going there in person. If you know what to expect, you can better prepare and you can optimally use the valuable time at the destination. Some photos can also teach us which places are not for us. You have to be also very careful regarding the advice you get here. Some people may try to convince you that a place is safe but this may refer to their own feelings. The safety rules will be different if you are an attractive young girl traveling alone or an old ugly man like myself :) They may try to convince you that traveling is cheap but intercontinental flights tend to stay expensive no matter what, etc. Apply a common sense to the advice which you get here.

PHOTOS QUALITY
At the beginning I put a lot of emphasis on learning what photographic equipment to purchase and how to take a good photo. Now, even though I make an effort to take a good photo, I am rather focused on sharing a place and experience rather than a perfect photography product. I see many people leave TrekEarth since the quality of uploaded photos is not challenging them enough. I can understand them but I don’t see us staying here as losers. We just select a different approach.

WRITING CRITIQUES
People have various approaches to writing critiques. I am not going to question anybody’s approach. People are here to have fun. In the end we are all like children, and there is nothing wrong in ticking off smileys as long as we enjoy it. My personal approach is to reply to critiques, which I get. I prefer to write comments to imperfect photos but made by real people and those who appreciate it and are involved as well. Some people say that members here are just complimenting each other but are not honest. I believe it all comes down to the maturity of a person. Of course, I know how to be harsh and fundamental and that would probably quicker lead us all to better quality photos. But is it what we really want? Harsh, efficient and perfect? I think focusing on the positive aspects of the photos and occasionally pointing out the improvement areas creates a more pleasant environment. Whoever is predominantly interested in the photo quality will pick it up from subtle comments. I am learning it in my personal and professional life as well. A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

CONFLICTS
Of course, there are unpleasant situations happening here, just like in the real life. You learn to avoid some people who are arrogant, have different view of the world, or simply have different expectations from this website. Some people experience also conflicts with the moderators. That usually happens when people get so excited about being here that they forget that the rules apply to them too.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5723 W: 104 N: 14826] (58672)
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