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Author Topic: Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host  (Read 44589 times)

Rocco Penny

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #40 on: November 19, 2009, 04:41:53 pm »

Quote from: Schewe
...
... the students DO have enough money to go on a really great trip to shoot with really great cameras/backs and have the week to hang out with some really good instructors and learn something.
...
Oh, and yeah...we did have a lot of fun (and made some great images)...
From an amateur and please, not to talk out of turn, but that sounds wonderful.

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Wayne Fox

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #41 on: November 19, 2009, 04:46:02 pm »

Quote from: image66
I really wish to be proven wrong on this.  Would somebody please show us some world-class photos?  Claims of "but look at the detail and resolution" don't counteract the fact that the rest of compositions are amateur hour.

I'm not sure why anyone is judging the skill level of the group based on a bunch of snapshots taken by a couple of guys (frequently using the viewfinder optional technique) simply meant to document the event. (In fact, I"m not sure why it's anyone's concern as to the skill level of those in attendance).  I see nothing wrong with PODAS blog.  If you aren't interested in what we did then don't check it out.  It was a terrific event and first rate.  I believe eventually you will see some of the work on the Phase One site, although looking at it here on the web only allows you to formulate opinions about the photographer not the equipment.  The very purpose of the event was to allow people to experience the equipment and get an idea what it's like and what it can deliver without having to invest in it.  It's not for everyone, but I don't think anyone shooting MFDB ever claims it is.

What's your definition of world class?  If it's the same as mine, then you are welcome to come and see a couple of the 40x60's I've printed from the workshop to see if they are world class, because you know that sticking them up here on the web and they'll look pretty much the same as the ones I took with my s90.  As far as being amateur hour, I saw plenty of images being worked on, and it definitely wasn't amateur hour.

KR simply thought he found a way to support his claim that the camera doesn't matter, which is his big thing. (Personally I can't believe anyone would look at the snapshots and think they came from a PhaseSystem ... it's pretty obvious they're from a point and shoot).  The problem I have is he preaches it as an absolute.  Regardless of whether you believe MFDB offers anything or not, I'm certainly glad I'm not shooting the Kodak DCS 560 that I started with.  I'm also glad I'm not trying to print 40x60's from my s90.  We all know that the camera doesn't make a photographer, but to believe the camera doesn't matter is foolishness.  In one regard the camera doesn't matter ... a great image is a great image.  But to extrapolate this to the point that the camera never matters is what he implies with all of his rantings, and that's utter nonsense.

Here's one of my favorites from the week.  Unfortunately about all I can do with this is put it on the web, because the camera resolved so many footprints even as far away as the large dune they are just too distracting.  Too many to even tackle with the clone tool.

[attachment=18056:DunesCF000203_700.jpg]
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deejjjaaaa

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #42 on: November 19, 2009, 04:48:34 pm »

Quote from: feppe
but a point&shoot.
there were subpar even for a modern P&S though... may be cell ph camera ?
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JBerardi

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« Reply #43 on: November 19, 2009, 05:02:34 pm »

Quote from: Mort54
His basic point was that here were all these people, who paid a fair amount of money to participate in the event, who were using expensive loaned P65+ backs and Phase One/Mamiya cameras, and wondering if this was the best they could come up with. The pics he linked to were pretty bad (but as Jeff points out, they were quick uploads of unedited and probably unprocessed shots). But what really had everybody up in arms was the tone he used to make his point. He could have made his point without being quite so snarky (to use a modern term).

It's not the snark, it's the fact that Ken is a guy who's main photographic activity, last I checked, was shooting snaps of his toddler with a $5000 Nikon. The Nikon glass he claims to own is worth as much as a very solid Phase setup. And have you seen his galleries? He's a total hack. He is, in other words, the exact thing that he condemns: a rich poser with lots of shiny toys and no idea how to use them, artistically or even technically.

Bottom line: the guy adds nothing of value to our community. Ignore him.
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Jeremy Payne

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #44 on: November 19, 2009, 05:13:20 pm »

Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
the wayback machine may be of use...
Takes 6 months to show up there ...
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barryfitzgerald

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« Reply #45 on: November 19, 2009, 05:22:01 pm »

Someone needs to open the door here, getting a tad heated to say the least.
I don't think it's wise to attack someone's work so vigorously, I cannot say I share KR's love of mega colour, but I wouldn't by any means suggest he has no idea how to use a camera or make some decent shots.

We really don't need to dig this deep into the pit of shame..

This does not strengthen any arguments or points, just deflects from them.


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Jeremy Payne

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #46 on: November 19, 2009, 05:29:41 pm »

Quote from: Wayne Fox
Here's one of my favorites from the week.  Unfortunately about all I can do with this is put it on the web,

Maybe a postcard?  
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Jack Flesher

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« Reply #47 on: November 19, 2009, 05:37:14 pm »

Quote from: Mort54
He didn't use offensive language, if that's what you're asking. He basically showed some of the pics taken with P65+ backs at the event and made a number of derisive and very unflattering comments about the pics and the photographers who took them.

Actually, I think he implied to all his readers that ALL of the blog images were from P65+'s when if you looked at the EXIF, many of them were simple G10 images obviously chosen just to illustrate the blog.  So his typical spin and questionable veracity was present...
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Jack
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image66

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« Reply #48 on: November 19, 2009, 06:05:28 pm »

Quote from: JBerardi
And have you seen his galleries? He's a total hack. He is, in other words, the exact thing that he condemns: a rich poser with lots of shiny toys and no idea how to use them, artistically or even technically.

Bottom line: the guy adds nothing of value to our community. Ignore him.

Actually, I have looked very carefully at his galleries. There are some things which are rather pedestrian--no different than any of our own work, but there are some things which one can really learn from. He has a good grasp of color, light and eye-flow.

As to ignoring him and adding nothing of value?  Hardly.  He has got us acknowledging that there just might be an elephant in the room. Some people see the beast, others still choose to believe that the odor is just fine cheese.

There is this common belief today that SIZE and DETAIL is what matters in a photograph. Frankly, I've seen few photographs from the "masters" shooting MFDB cameras that hold any interest to me because they are nothing more than high-quality and massive postcards. To pick on our host of this website, Michael is simply an outstanding photographer in every regard, but almost without exception my favorite images that he's taken were with inferior cameras. Almost without exception these pixel-sharp "30x40" masterpieces all fall in the "I've seen that shot before" category. If I was there, I would have shot the same thing. Show me something I wouldn't have seen.

"Postcards" you ask?  Them's fighting words I know. But come on folks, let's be brutally honest with ourselves. There is hardly anything original going on here.  Trust me, this is my biggest criticism of my own work too. I don't have any corner on originality.

Funny thing about Ken Rockwell's criticism. It was less about the quality of the photographs and more about the entire model shoot.  He brought up a good point--what about the lighting? What about the props? Where are the motorcycle and the snakes? His point was that this workshop was all about the cameras and software, not about photography.  A fair criticism for sure, but the fact is this workshop by the very nature of being sponsored by Phase One was all about the cameras and software.

I look forward to seeing some original and creative photography from this workshop. I'm always up to learning and finding new ways to shoot the same old subject.  But, PLEASE don't show me the same shot I've seen 1000x before. If your tripod's tips were setting in well-worn pockets, don't waste my time. I don't care if you shot it with gear costing more than my entire house and you can make out the grains of sand 100 yards away. I've either seen it or done it myself.
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KeithR

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #49 on: November 19, 2009, 06:11:55 pm »

Quote from: Jonathan Wienke
   
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bjanes

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #50 on: November 19, 2009, 06:25:55 pm »

Quote from: Jack Flesher
Actually, I think he implied to all his readers that ALL of the blog images were from P65+'s when if you looked at the EXIF, many of them were simple G10 images obviously chosen just to illustrate the blog.  So his typical spin and questionable veracity was present...

One of the featured photos from the model shoot was from a P65+ and appears lifeless and dark. Hardly something that speaks well for the photographer or the camera. It was processed in Capture One, apparently without much attention. It also is in Adobe RGB, which is not the best space for the web's unmanaged color.

[attachment=18062:cf006135_small.jpg]

Anyway, I don't see the reason for all the fuss. People trying to score brownie points with Michael by jumping to his defense? Hardly needed since most of us know KR is a buffoon who makes outrageous statements and Michael is the respected host of this forum. However, I think whoever posted the photos in that blog should have used a bit more care.

Bill
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Schewe

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #51 on: November 19, 2009, 06:43:15 pm »

Quote from: image66
I look forward to seeing some original and creative photography from this workshop. I'm always up to learning and finding new ways to shoot the same old subject.  But, PLEASE don't show me the same shot I've seen 1000x before. If your tripod's tips were setting in well-worn pockets, don't waste my time. I don't care if you shot it with gear costing more than my entire house and you can make out the grains of sand 100 yards away. I've either seen it or done it myself.


Behind that anonymous screen name it's pretty hard to take you at your word since we don't know you from Adam...care to give a link to YOUR work so we can all share?

Fact is, it's ALWAYS a challenge to see something new or the same old thing in a new way...but just because somebody's tripod has been there before is that a reason to give up and turn away? Really, you go to all that trouble of going out at predawn, are you really not gonna kill some pixels?

What decides whether something is worth viewing is a bit more than simply noting it's complete "newness". If that were the case, why would the jazz greats often play the same traditional songs while throwing their own bit of themselves here and there?

Seriously, that's a jaded prospect to YOUR own work leaking out...I do what I do for myself...I seriously don't care what other people think (really, I don't on so many levels :~)
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RobertJ

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #52 on: November 19, 2009, 09:01:28 pm »

Ken Rockwell's work with the Mamiya 7 and 4x5 is pretty good, but he's nuts about the "Your camera doesn't matter" thing, as well as worshipping JPEGs, saying that tripods are OBSOLETE, and calling scanned 35mm film "RealRAW" or whatever.

What he is good at doing is pissing people off intentionally to drive traffic to his website.  In this sense, he's a genius, and is very successful at what he does (being an ass for a living).
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David Sutton

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« Reply #53 on: November 19, 2009, 09:35:39 pm »

I've no objection at all to a good thoughtful insult, but it's such a shame when a chap's pleasures are solitary. Young Ken should really get out more. Have a coffee. Shave his palms and make new friends. Perhaps even find a hobby. Having an interest in life is important, don't you think?
David
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John Camp

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« Reply #54 on: November 19, 2009, 10:23:48 pm »

I've been to a couple of major workshops, and the work produced was not high art -- because that's not what people go to workshops for. They go there to learn about cameras and techniques and to trade ideas, which actually detracts from the possibility of making really good photos. It's what comes after the workshop that counts. The workshops I attended (at Santa Fe) produced some profound changes in my work, but the little box of slides I bought home were generally junk -- I didn't know what I was doing and the pictures show it. If I *had* known what I was doing, I wouldn't have taken the workshop. Why would I? But my experience radically changed the way that I looked at light, and the manipulation of light; once through that barrier, it was up to me, at home, to do the real work.

In the case of this workshop, for example, I would have had no idea what to do with the models. I have no interest in models, or in fashion, and not much in landscape, but I do have a pretty sharp interest in what these cameras can do, and how they handle, and models and landscapes would give you a fairly thorough demonstration of that. The pictures would have sucked, because I would haven't been as interested in the pictures as in the possibilities, and I would have been as interested in others peoples' results as in my own.

As for Rockwell, I think one of the reasons that he is generally disdained on the more serious forums is that he pitches his view to beginning photographers, and quite a few of his ideas are simply wrong. I'm not talking about opinions or aesthetics, but photographic "mechanics," like his jpg vs. RAW views, which are silly. I've seen some of his camera "reviews" which have also had some major problems (like, mistakes.) There are other well-regarded photographers who like the way that their cameras render jpgs, or who like odd or unusual cameras, and pronounce themselves satisfied with their results, which is fine; but that's different than pitching bad information to beginners.

JC

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Wayne Fox

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2009, 11:27:27 pm »

Quote from: image66
I look forward to seeing some original and creative photography from this workshop. I'm always up to learning and finding new ways to shoot the same old subject.  But, PLEASE don't show me the same shot I've seen 1000x before. If your tripod's tips were setting in well-worn pockets, don't waste my time. I don't care if you shot it with gear costing more than my entire house and you can make out the grains of sand 100 yards away. I've either seen it or done it myself.

The workshop was about how to use a very high end digital back, not just physically but from an entire workflow perspective.  The focus was on understanding how to use the equipment as well as get the most out of it.  While it was in a landscape location, in fact many there were just trying to understand what the equipment was capable of.  While we were taking pictures of an interesting place, it certainly wasn't about how to shoot landscape photography and in fact many in the group were not landscape photographers. It was in a class setting so it was limited by the workshop agendas ... as any workshop would be.  While I like several of the images I captured, many occasions the light was inadequate so we just made do.  For example as far as the dunes, I would have never gone there on the morning I did if I were seriously trying to capture great images ... it's obvious you have to time your visit based on when the wind has cleared the footprints (or drive quite a bit further north to the dunes that are less visited.) So while I got some very nice things (I like them anyway and to me that's all that matters), I think it will take me several trips of exploring and shooting on my own to really capture what I was feeling as I visited the area.

That doesn't mean there weren't some great images captured ... whether they fit your definition of original and creative I don't know but I guess that really doesn't matter.

Quote from: John Camp
I've been to a couple of major workshops, and the work produced was not high art -- because that's not what people go to workshops for. They go there to learn about cameras and techniques and to trade ideas, which actually detracts from the possibility of making really good photos. It's what comes after the workshop that counts.

In the case of this workshop, for example, I would have had no idea what to do with the models. I have no interest in models, or in fashion, and not much in landscape, but I do have a pretty sharp interest in what these cameras can do, and how they handle, and models and landscapes would give you a fairly thorough demonstration of that. The pictures would have sucked, because I would haven't been as interested in the pictures as in the possibilities, and I would have been as interested in others peoples' results as in my own.

Good points.  I got the feeling there was a very diverse group of photographers there, from commercial to serious landscape ... all just wanting to take a test drive.  The models were provided because some wanted a feel for shooting people, and i don't think any of us really wanted to be subjects. Phase was kind enough to bring a few models in. Many in the group such as myself weren't interested in shooting the models so the compromise was going to a location (Artist's Drive) with the models so you could shoot the landscape if you preferred.  I don't think they had the equipment they wanted for a location shoot like this, and by the time we got there because of cloud cover it was already getting darker than would be ideal.  I don't think anyone was trying to create a masterpiece model shot, they just wanted some images with hair, eyes and skin detail to evaluate the equipment as well as see how the equipment was to handle physically for this type of work.
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Mort54

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #56 on: November 20, 2009, 12:36:36 am »

Quote from: Taquin
I've no objection at all to a good thoughtful insult, but it's such a shame when a chap's pleasures are solitary. Young Ken should really get out more. Have a coffee. Shave his palms and make new friends. Perhaps even find a hobby. Having an interest in life is important, don't you think?
It seems some people on this thread are being more insulting - actually a lot more insulting - than Ken ever was in his ill-advised post. His post was fairly stupid and poorly considered. But he seems to at least have had second thoughts, as evidenced by his deletion of the post. But now I see posts that suggest he shave his palms!!!! Come on - what's that all about. He never said anything even remotely as stupid and insulting and crude as that. And he never attacked anybody as individuals as many here seem to be doing.

I'm certainly no fan of KR, and I'm certainly not defending what he posted, but some of the stuff I'm reading on this thread reeks of hypocrisy.
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David Sutton

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« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2009, 12:59:25 am »

Quote from: Mort54
It seems some people on this thread are being more insulting - actually a lot more insulting - than Ken ever was in his ill-advised post. His post was fairly stupid and poorly considered. But he seems to at least have had second thoughts, as evidenced by his deletion of the post. But now I see posts that suggest he shave his palms!!!! Come on - what's that all about. He never said anything even remotely as stupid and insulting and crude as that. And he never attacked anybody as individuals as many here seem to be doing.

I'm certainly no fan of KR, and I'm certainly not defending what he posted, but some of the stuff I'm reading on this thread reeks of hypocrisy.
Agreed. A step too far. My apologies.
David
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Ray

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Ken Rockwell Insults PODAS & our Host
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2009, 03:21:37 am »

Quote from: Schewe
Behind that anonymous screen name it's pretty hard to take you at your word since we don't know you from Adam...care to give a link to YOUR work so we can all share?

There's an implication here, Jeff, that you think people should only be in a position to criticise a work if they have personally produced their own work that is of greater acclaim than the work they are criticising.

This is clearly nonsense. If this rule applied, then no film critic would be justified in criticising a film unless he/she had demonstrated a greater capacity to produce his own films, than the director/producer of the film she was criticising. Likewise, no critic of novels could safely express an opinion (according to your standards) unless such critic had himself written a successful blockbuster novel.

I also find the PODAS scenes of models on the 'What's New" site very lack-lustre.

All this Ken Rockwell criticism harks back to his notorious comment, "The camera doesn't matter".

We all know that that's the case. It's the photographer that counts, stupid. Many of us like to compensate for lack of talent with increased DR and resolution. I'm no different from everyone else in this respect, but at least I recognise the fact.
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Ben Rubinstein

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« Reply #59 on: November 20, 2009, 04:42:08 am »

Quote from: Ray
There's an implication here, Jeff, that you think people should only be in a position to criticise a work if they have personally produced their own work that is of greater acclaim than the work they are criticising.

This is clearly nonsense. If this rule applied, then no film critic would be justified in criticising a film unless he/she had demonstrated a greater capacity to produce his own films, than the director/producer of the film she was criticising. Likewise, no critic of novels could safely express an opinion (according to your standards) unless such critic had himself written a successful blockbuster novel.

I also find the PODAS scenes of models on the 'What's New" site very lack-lustre.

All this Ken Rockwell criticism harks back to his notorious comment, "The camera doesn't matter".

We all know that that's the case. It's the photographer that counts, stupid. Many of us like to compensate for lack of talent with increased DR and resolution. I'm no different from everyone else in this respect, but at least I recognise the fact.

+1

In addition...

My website, Shewe, for my personal work is www.timelessjewishart.com, the link is in my signature. I'm not hiding anything and I didn't need a P65+ to make the 30+ megapixel shots shown on that website, I didn't use anything more than an old and very battered 5D and usually a single lens. If people feel that my work is substandard, hey I'm just another hack with a 4 year old DSLR. I'm not someone spending ridiculous money on the most expensive camera equipment in the world without any justification whatsoever given the fact that they need a workshop and still can't get it even close to right. This was far from the Antartica trip which was more like a safari tour on ice. I used the word 'IF' in the sentence you quoted and it wasn't actually specific to this workshop as I made clear but a comment on workshops in general. All you had to do was either justify or refute it if you felt it applied to you. Instead you made a rather pathetic attack. Aging bully tactics are really extremely boring and say far more about you than they do about me.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2009, 04:43:25 am by pom »
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