Community Standards, The Chastity Project, Etc.

Today we have an incoherent mixed bag of project and other peripherally related photo project stuff. Let's get the easiest and most mundane out of the way first. Two questions I received via email that were basically the same thing — The black and white processing parameters used on a couple of recent posts. Over the last few years I've called out various VSCO or other settings used on what I consider contact sheet proof treatments which I slather all over any particular session. Lately I've been using Capture One 10 and Capture One 11 and haven't detailed any particular B/W treatment.

Well, here it is in all the gory detail. Specifically the treatment referred to as "some random black and white preset".

  • A gentle S-curve that boosts the upper-midtones and highlights a bit more than it pulls down the shadows. The exact half-way mid-tone is left exactly where it is when flat.
  • A black and white conversion with the follow a mix of red:2, yellow:6, green: -20, cyan: -28, blue: -35, magenta: -6. That's just some random non-specific film with some random non-specific yellow-orange filter maybe. The overall effect of that conversion is lowering exposure since it's not even but I compensated for that a hair by lifting the upper mids and highlights while not lowering the shadows with that above referenced curve.
  • A bit of fake grain with the settings "harsh grain" impact:20 and granularity:80

Told you it was random. In fact it's very different than what I would usually do in terms of color mix and definitely fake grain as I usually go with less granularity, a different algorithm in Capture One, and more impact. There you have it seen above on a SOOC RAW from my XPro-2 with no other adjustments. It's a very tame preset for me. It's not a ton of additional contrast. It seems to work on normal to high contrast scenes well but I definitely will resort to a much higher contrast preset and a ton more grain for lower contrast scenes like the one under the title at the very top.

The Picture That Got Me Banned For 30 Days On Facebook

I'll start by stating I really don't care from a practical standpoint. I don't spend much time on Facebook, in fact about the only thing I actually use it for is to receive messages in IM from people that seem to use that as their primary method of communication instead of email, regular texting, or the actual old-school use of a phone.

I bring it up only due to my bewilderment on which particular "community standard" was violated? Forget for a moment whether you like or dislike the picture or it's content. Forget your particular taste or distaste for the entire chastity project. Really what particular rule in the documented community standards are violated?

I'm not trying to be tricky or clever here by asking that. Any research on this will lead you to the following understanding of how these "community standards" are enforced on Facebook.

  • They are extremely technical with almost zero judgement or context used to make that decision (automated, semi-automated, or otherwise).
  • When it comes to anything of "sexual" nature being violated it's so technical that it amounts to the showing of naughty bits no matter what the context. In fact just about any porn will pass the test as long as those naughty bits are blurred/black barred/etc. On the other hand the mere peep of a nipple will violate that standard.
  • Same goes for language against any group based on race/religion/gender/orientation.

I have no complaints or objections to Facebook running it's private walled garden any way it wants to. I am just baffled based on the extremely cut and dry technical enforcement rules why this particular picture violated those. If I do get even a little bit tricky it's even more perplexing.

  • I'd say this is about as non-sexual/anti-sexual as one can possibly get isn't it? On the surface of it it's quite literally anti-sexual.
  • Looking past the anti-sexual which one would actually have to apply some amount of context to even judge what about the pure graphic criteria of naughty bits? Certainly not showing any and arguable less so than a pair of undies or bathing suit bottoms which pass muster every time.
  • Even going completely game-the-system of technical evaluation where people rebel against that nipple policy by plastering mens nipples or other nipple looking things on top of nipples to show the absurdity of Facebooks technical rules this would have to fall into the same category right?

Just to demonstrate how baffling this is take a look at something I made just to post a couple of years ago back when all of this banning started. In this case I was trying to be tricky and figure out where that technical line was. A curiosity if you will.

Yes, I made this very specifically to test the naughty bits covered or no covered parameters. This passes muster. I even had someone report it on purpose and it was "fine" according to Facebook. See why I am baffled? I only bring this up because this is the second time I am banned for 30 days within a period of just over 60 days for the exact same thing but different people different people. The first time I guessed it was some auto-bot that thought the main prop for this story looked a bit too much like what's underneath in black and white. Looks like that is no the case. Just try getting some recourse or explanation on this, even a clarification. Good luck.

Revisiting Allie, Jessica, And The Chastity project.

There are a few important parts that are important for this project. One part I've not yet experimented with as much as I need to is context. I've done just enough to know that's a critical element but one thing or another has conspired against testing notions I have given the few times a year I have to work on it. The other part is reaction/expression/gesture of my collaborators. I've not polluted that with any expectations only after the fact observations related to cause and effect. After my last post and observations on the nature of the new prop and it's effects on that aspect I wanted to revisit some similar things from more than a year ago I never considered.

I've tested and used quite a view versions of the main prop along the way. Most of the time I've been concerned with the aesthetics, how they showed up on camera, secondarily with ease of adjustment and practicality of use in various contexts. While the last prop certainly was more oppressive in that it excepted unyielding pressure on a few areas of contact based on it's design there's two other factors that are now clear. Both of those have to do with something very similar to that "What comes before" effect I've noted many times.

Looking back at Jessica and Allie there's something that I didn't notice that's exactly the same as the new prop. With J. and A. the prop I used had very limited size adjustments and a very flexible piece of cable just like the new prop. The one used with Jessica and Allie just happened to require a fairly large woman for it to fit properly which is how I met Allie in the first place given what a disaster it was when tried with someone smaller. Here's the thing; With the other props there was never any sort of provoked or self-testing performed by my collaborators. It was too stiff and too delicate in terms of that insulating rubber coming away from the sharp parts.

With the new prop as well as the prop used with Allie and Jessica every time there was a "test" of just how effective it was in terms of escape. An accident, maybe human nature but when the fitting part was out of the way on all occasions every collaborator with that prop as well as the new cable-centric prop exerted more than a bit of effort just to see if it was actually secure. Truth is Melanie, Lauren, Allie, and Jessica pretty much expended an immense amount of effort to see if it would come off without the key.

I guess the fact that there's a key and it locks causes the reaction to test it really does? Every one of them no matter how long the time period after this was, an hour, two, ten, definitely had similar reactions after the instinctual desire to test it's security. There's a commonality across the board that's very different in contrast to other props that were literally too uncomfortable to actually expend serious effort in testing their security.

There's a sense of acquiesce that's distinct across all these collaborators that isn't present with the other props even with the same collaborators. I attributed that when I first saw it with Jessica as a one-off associated with her particular preferences and some additional props added later as she explained to me but obviously that wasn't a one time/one-person factor only. I can see this clearly in the picture at the top of the post as well.

End Notes

All pictures processed in Capture One 11. Cameras used were the Canon 5DsR with 24-105 L and Xpro-2 with 18mm f/2 R.