Rants

Syv Ritch's rants about the business of photography and the state of the industry

Clearing the BS about Adobe's Creative Cloud

Now that the dust is starting to settle after Adobe's announcement that Photoshop will only be available by subscription only, I think that it's time to cleanup much of the BS that has been flying around when talking about the Adobe's strategy.

It's a money grab

  • Yes. Adobe's responsibilities are about its own investors and about maximizing its own profit. That's the law. No kidding, if they don't, they most likely will be sued for not fulfilling their fiduciary duties.
  • Photoshop is the single most pirated software. It's not Windows, it's not Microsoft Office ...

Stop Stealing Photos

After a long hiatus, the “What The Duck” from http://www.whattheduck.net/ came back. Here is one of his latest.

What The Duck: photographers stealing photos

What The Duck: photographers stealing photos

We all heard about people stealing photos (excuse me “borrowing”).

Improving Photos

I took the photo of this lady while she was using her Canon Rebel to take photos of the Sandhill Cranes. As you can see these Sandhill Cranes are pretty tamed. I feed them by hand, they eat the seeds from my hand (only during the winter and the early spring).

I took the photo of this lady while she was using her Canon Rebel to take photos of the Sandhill Cranes. As you can see these Sandhill Cranes are pretty tamed. I feed them by hand, they eat the seeds from my hand.So what's the problem? Almost all photos have an horizon, whether it is physically present or implied. If the physical horizon is not there, the implied horizon for people are the eyes.The lower the horizon, the less important the subject below the horizon. The higher the horizon, the more important the subject below the horizon.The Greeks and the Romans, from the antiquity, knew it just as well when they built their statues, high above.So back to my photo. The level of the eyes is on the upper third. I used my secret weapon, I have a single carpentry kneecap protector on my right knee. I knelled on the gravel without hurting myself. That allowed to make a better photo that standing up at eye level.Both the lady and the Sandhill Cranes become more important. She is the main subject, she takes the most of the space and the red shirt helps attract the website, then we look at what she is taking photos of.

Lady Photographing Sandhill Cranes

So what's the problem? She is pointing her camera down on the Sandhill Cranes.

The Evil of DxOMark

DxO Labs is a French company, in a Paris suburb, that started in 2003 doing software to correct lens/camera problems. To do it, they developed some equipment/software combination to measure these lens aberrations and how these aberrations were affected by the various cameras.

The Watermark Police

Watermarks! What for?

Watermarks! What for?

This cartoon is from http://whattheduck.net which is right now in hiatus. It's funny but very true. Just use the healing brush in Photoshop CSrecent or Elements PSrecent and the watermark is removed. This works in 95+% of the time.

So what about the copyrights?

Should You Upgrade to Full Frame?

There are some people that ruffle my feathers. Most of these people are “absolutists”. The problem with me is that immediately I dismiss them. You've heard the expression“In one ear, out the other”, me I do not even waste one brain cell, it doesn't go through any ear.

In the States, Seattle claims to be the coffee place because Starbucks started there. San Francisco claims to be the best coffee place of US. Vancouver, Canada must be just “up there.” In my area of Vancouver, BC, three to four packed coffee places per block is not unusual.

dSLR vs Point and Shoot Which one will have a better photo? My guess is the point and shoot. It's too difficult to handhold the telephoto and be rock steady.reifel-20101030-9420.jpg — (c)2010: Syv Ritch -- sritch.com: http://www.foto-biz.com/usageterms

dSLR vs Point and Shoot: Which one will have a better photo?   click on image for gallery</font size>

I was at one of these organic double venti moka coffee with Dan and his friend Walter, more of an acquaintance than a friend, who is also a photographer wanna-be. I don't know how we got onto talking cameras, what do you expect from photographers? In anyway, Walter's argument is that only “idiots” would use APS-C cameras, all photographers must upgrade to either the Canon 6D or the Nikon D600. APS-C could be acceptable for wildlife and birding but for the rest…

Secrets of Great Portrait Photography

I was speaking with a “famous” photographer. He was showing me some of his photos, mostly posed portraits. He went on to point to me the highlights in the eyes, the fill-in in the shadows that were revealing… The flash for the background… and all I could think was: “How terrible this photo was.” We were talking about a lady in her 50s with a Carmen Miranda hat1 a foot away from old, yellowish slats curtains.

The photos were technically “perfect”, but what a piece of cr*!p. It was more like a properly lit “jail mugshot.” He was under the impression that lighting is what makes a good portrait. I was in the process of reading “Secrets of Great Portrait Photography” by Brian Smith.

Secrets of Great Portrait Photography” is not about lighting. Joe McNally and David Hobby have already cornered this market. The book is unique (I don't know of any other book) in that it deals with how to interact with people instead of dealing with light. Only 2 pages on the lighting gear and 2 pages for what's in the bag… For Brian Smith, portrait photography is a contact sport.


  1. Carmen Miranda was an Hollywood actress, famous in the 1940s and the 1950s for her huge fruit hats. 

Universal Truths and the Consequences

Photography is about images

To make photos you need to have a camera. even when people will wear Google glasses, we will still need some type/form of cameras. Without a camera, you can't make a photo. From the pinhole camera to latest and the greatest Leica M or the Hasselblad H5D, you need some type of camera.

Nobody except professional photographers and a few “crazy photographers” carry their dSLRs with them. A few people have their point and shoot camera with them but almost everybody carries a cell phone with them.

Do Your Photos Have Any Value?

Photos can have 3 values:

  1. Sentimental
  2. Financial
  3. Historical
  • The vast majority of the photos only have a sentimental value. These are the photos the people take with them in case of floods, fire, disasters… When was the last time you looked at them? Do you even know where they are? Can you find them? In the old days, only 15 years ago, we would look through the albums and go through the shoe boxes full of photos. Today? I know where my photos are in Lightroom. I know my categories, I know my keywords, I know which directory/folder these photos are located in.

Canon Sells More dSLRs

Over the Xmas - New Year break many websites and business news reported that Canon sold more dSLRs than anyone else in 2012. The pundits gave the following numbers:

  Canon:    28.6%       
  Nikon:    25.0%       
  Olympus:  14.3%       
  Sony:     13.3%       
  Panasonic:11.3%       

We know that the Olympus-Panasonic alliance is about the micro4/3. This makes the micro4/3 represent 25% of the market. 99.9999% of Sony is APS-C, over 85% of Nikon's dSLR sales are the APS-C and Canon is slightly less than 85% sales are APS-C dSLR.

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