I write this blog for my pleasure and to share my limited knowledge with anyone who cares to read it.  In the back of my brain I assume that if people like what I write it might also motivate them to try one of the books I've written.  Also,  if you click on one of the Amazon links to buy something, I get a small percentage of that sale but it costs you nothing more.  Not a cent. (not too pleased that my wife recently bought the Adobe Creative Suite for her business without linking through......).  If I write a review about something I either bought it myself or I acknowledge upfront that I'm reviewing a product that is on loan from a manufacturer.  I'm squeaky clean on all this stuff.

From the outset I've made it clear that I reserve the right to a.)  Change my mind.  I may really like a product but in the following months some other company may come out with a product I like better.  Owning camera gear is not like marriage there is no promise of, "till death do we part."  And frankly, I like finding out about new gear, coming to grips with it and then moving on to the next thing.  Chances are you are the same or you wouldn't find this blog very entertaining.  b.) Go into as much depth, over time, about any subject that I want to, including Olympus cameras, 50mm lenses, the "evil" of technology (please note satiric intent, cued by use of parentheses: for the nuance impaired), the redundancy of assistants and anything else that I want to write about.  c.) Diverge from common opinion.  d.) Disagree. With anything.

I do have some credentials.  I've taught.  I'm published widely as a photographer (and as a writer).  I've actually touched and used everything I talk about.  If I write something about the photo business it's probably because the situation being discussed just came up.  Or is ongoing in my own business.  I've also worked in the ad business.

One of the things I really like about writing a blog is that I can get good feedback from smart, opinionated people.  And when it runs counter to my beliefs or ideas it makes me really sit back and think.  It challenges me to not be lazy in the thought process and to be open to other points of view.  If the comments didn't exist I probably wouldn't pursue this whole thing.

But  (and it would be nice if everyone paid attention here for my short but important rant)  if you're just an unpleasant person (edited)  and you want to call me names and infer that I'm lying or have something to hide or some hidden agenda,  if you have something nasty to say about someone I've written about or linked to,  in short, if you're just here make trouble,  I'll use my trusty moderating skills and reject your comments.  If you are not happy with that you could make it easy on both of us and just stop reading the column.  This blog doesn't exist as a vehicle for you to use to rip my day.

One or two readers (and one rude person) have commented on the fact that the images posted recently have no exif info.  Not sure why.  Must be a setting in LR3 that I've mistakenly ticked.  This has led to a conspiracy theory (on the part of one reader)  that my recent addition of Canon gear has filled me with overwhelming remorse for having once bought and happily used Olympus cameras and lenses and speaking glowingly about them.  Last I looked there are a number of Olympus bodies and lenses scattered about the studio though I will admit that I've come to like the EP, m4:3rds cameras best......  I think I make the provence of the gear most evident when it's the focus of the post.  If I'm talking about the collapse of western civilization I don't really think anyone should care about whether the display photo was taken with a 1995 vintage Mamiya 6.  ( having a hard time getting the exif info out of that camera as well.).  I'll fix the exif info if I can figure it out.  I am not a software geek and have never pretended to be one.

So to recap:  1.) Smart and polite people are always welcome to post comments and have a 99% chance of seeing them appear.   2.) Rude, vindictive people will no longer stand any chance of having their comments survive the ruthless moderator process.  3.)  I will continue to write about just what I want to write about until such a time as the subscriber base falls to near zero, the hits to the blog sag to under a thousand per day, or so, or until I get carpal tunnel syndrome.

The exif stuff will return as soon as I figure out where it went.  If you left a bitchy, anonymous post this morning, thanks for helping me get started on this housekeeping post.  You'll probably be much happier over in the forums at DPReivew.  You're welcome to stay and read and post interesting comments.

That's about it.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kirk,

Glad you are not going to let rude people ruin your day. You provide so many beautiful images and lots of food for thought that I can't understand why anyone would even want to be rude.

Please continue ruthless moderating!

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

A bit tired of the web version of feedback which many times equals "you suck", "fanboy!", "a clock is right twice a day" and all the rest of the hoary cliches. Thought I'd just make a declaration and go with it. Noticed I lost one follower this morning.......maybe you can bring a new one into the fold. Thanks M.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. The hell with the faceless critiques.

Steve R.

Jimbob said...

Kirk, I was told many years ago by my Marine Corp Drill Instructor that there is always that 10% that screw things up for the rest of us. At that time I thought he was using that as an excuse to give us more physical torture via a five mile run. I've lived long enough to know he was absolutely correct.
It seems the internet has given permission to some to come out of the woodwork, run amuck and like a cock roach scurry back to there hole when the light is shined on them.
Who ever these people are -- blow them off. They will find someone else's day to ruin. I'm sure I speak for many when I say keep writing. We/I enjoy it.
Love the pic by the way!

Jimbob from Texas

Ron said...

Back in the day you had to leave your house in order to be an a-hole. Now, the lazy ones get to do it from the comfort of their own bedrooms. No wonder our nation is getting fatter....

Glad to hear you'll keep at it and not let the bastards get you down.

- Ron

Kris Jorgensen said...

Hi Kirk,
I often read your articles to glean information, insight and for just plain curiosity at times. Sometimes I think your photos show brilliance along with your ideas and others not as much. I don't think about what your credentials are or how long you have been doing this for, it is what you do in the present that matters. Teaching my craft, is what creates an opportunity to be better at what I do. There are less things I think about, and more of what I just do, that makes a difference between someone just starting out and someone having done what I do for a number of years. What I observe is that students or beginners alike, want to know in detail what I am using and why, instead of what, or how, does the creative process affect me. I look forward to the technical aspects of your articles, but what I most appreciate, is your willingness to show yourself to others for no other reason than that is what occurs to you, and give what is read between the lines for some of us to get. Keep on learning by what you do best, sharing. Kris

koert said...

Hi Kirk,

I'd just like to say that I enjoy reading your writings both in blog and in book form. I don't always agree with you about photo stuff or other stuff and then again sometimes I do. Also I usually don't have the cash or the intension to buy the stuff you review, I still do like to read about it though!

Isn't it strange that the internet makes it necessary to say these things on occasion? They seem so obvious to me!

Also read your commercial photography book and found it a enlightening, well written and occasionally funny book. Should I try my hand at being a pro in the (far) future I promise I won't blame you for it!

In short keep up the good work!

Pete Appleby said...

Hi, Kirk. I enjoy reading your blog.

Don't let the toxic drive-by types get you down.

It's only the internet version of graffiti. It adds no value, is usually very ugly, and make most people wonder if their parents ever taught them right from wrong...

Anonymous said...

This is today's Internet and it's full of boneheads. Simply ignore them - they have nothing constructive to offer and are not worth anyone's time. And even though we all talk about cameras and pictures, there is a clear distinction between photographers as artists and photographers as technical geeks. Some people completely miss the forests for the (EXIF) trees.

I appreciate your commentaries and photography. Frankly, don't give a shoot about technical details in most cases - I'm just thankful for inspiring work and words.

e_dawg said...

Although it's easier said than done, I wouldn't take these comments so personally, Kirk. Some people just like to kvetch or add their 2 cents, just 'cause that's what they do.

There's the stereotypical "wiser than thou" mother that appears on those Enterprise Car Rental TV commercials "Sounds expensive!" And after being corrected that it isn't actually expensive after all, she retorts "well then why didn't you get me a bigger one?" You can't win because they always seem to know better or told you so.

And there's those on the net who like to lurk through various fora and reply to threads where they can chime in with a little smarter-than-thou quip, making them feel all smug as they do their daily "drive-by thread crapping".

The point i'm trying to make is that these people don't really do this stuff with that much thought or intent. The little pokes and asides come as part of their personality or some sort of complex and do it out of habit. Since it is so meaningless to them, don't turn it into something that matters to you.

You know what? I like the fact that it bothers you, as it shows that sincerity and honesty are important to you. It wouldn't bother you it they weren't. But don't, as the saying goes, let the bastards grind you down...

Michael Strycharske said...

It never ceases to amaze me that people can be so crass, cruel and inconsiderate. I am reminded of a time my mother took a glass of water out to a woman who had just crashed into our parked car in front of the house. The woman was slightly injured and the police had just arrived. I was there as my mom handed her the glass of water and she turned to my mom with a scolding look and said - 'no ice?'

I guess its not enough that people cannot appreciate the time you take, Kirk, to share your hard-won knowledge and experience with us. They expect you to hand deliver the information complete with ice. I can only think it is disappointment when something like the exif info is missing that prompts their lack of manners.

I have stopped reading the DPReview forums because they almost always devolve into a screaming fit - and over the stupidest stuff. Go figure.

Anywho, there are plenty of us out here who enjoy your words and appreciate your generosity. Keep on truckin...

Craig said...

I'm sorry that you get rude, dimwitted comments, but this being the internet it isn't really surprising. Keep up the good work and blow off the losers; your work will outlive them.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

You'd be surprised how many I reject each week. Seems like a mild mannered column with a few strongly expressed personal opinions is a magnet for the socially inept.

Ab said...

Hey Kirk,
I keep visiting just to read your posts (i enjoy reading) and look at your pictures.

I use Olympus, and your forays into DP review got me checking here almost on a daily basis. Now some of your posts i skim through, while others have me with a cup of tea and a biscuit, loved this black and white, as well as that BW swimmer you posted up a few days ago.

I got a Sony system to compliment my Olympus, but dont really care TOO much about the camera (and went from one Noisy system to another). I enjoy DP review for what its worth, gear talk (and i love gear)... It seems many of them have followed you here.

Maybe they are jealous that they can't swap systems as quickly and regret free as you can :)

Keep posting great photos... your non-stop pictures of swimming got me back in the pool, an activity i thoroughly enjoy... and i pulled my neck swimming too hard too fast... thats what sitting in front of the computer does to me.


Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Ab, Love that you got back in the pool. Wow. That is so cool. Take it easy on the neck, remember to breathe alternating on both sides and roll your body to breathe instead of turning your neck.

Much more important than photography.

Rick Cogley said...

Kirk - some people live to gripe and grouse about everything, including wonderful spots of light like your blog, which I read daily.

Then again, you _could_ just be an evil, money-grubbing capitalist with underworld links.

Nah. :-)

Dave said...

Kirk I've now read two of your books and check the blog daily. What I love about your writing and the blog is the balance between technical and artistic. There are too many "propellar head" web sites where people want to discuss images blown up to 200% size or chase tidbits of techno-geek knowledge around like carp after a lump of bread in the zoo's fish pond.

Even if we disagree with someone there is no excuse for a lack of civility. It seems this is a grace that society is apt to forget and the relative digital anonymity encourages bombastic nonsense in some.

Take it with a grain of salt and focus on the important things.

What I particularly like in your blog is that you regularly show both digital, medium format and large format film. Quality imagery should be our focus (no pun intended).

I don't care if you're shooting with a Brownie, Fuji or Canon. A camera is simply a tool just a brush or charcoal is. Frankly at this stage in my life I don't care two farts if some brand loyal fanboy likes what I shoot or say.

L Sullivan said...

I try and read your blog everyday. I enjoy your insight into the pro world which I am not part of but have delt with. I enjoy your excitement over new equipment and everyday challenges. More people need to make a case for good photos, over which equipment will produce good photos. Like every one is saying some people just like criticize.

Anonymous said...

I'll read any post that has that woman as the lead in...

Anonymous said...

I say leave the EXIF out on everything. Who really cares what camera, lens, ISO, shutter, aperture, whatever the image was shot at? Knowing the ingredients to a great recipe won't make you a great cook. EXIF peepers need to shoot more, look more, and analyze less.

Keep up the inspiring and truthful work.

Poagao said...

People seem to think that seeing their words published on a computer screen legitimizes them somehow, probably a legacy of the print age. It fills them with a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction. Of course, when said people have less-than-functional personalities, and they are otherwise shunned in society due to these shortcomings, the Internet becomes an even more important venue for them, as it's the only way they can sustain their remaining self worth without actually, you know, being decent human beings.

Or so I've been told;)

In any case, though I'm not really into the technical side of things and don't use any artificial lighting, I like reading about how you photograph, i.e., what you see and how you see.

Herman said...


Your blog is one of the very few ones that I visit daily, precisely because of your opinions and the way you approach the gear and shooting.
The writing itself is also pleasant to read, in a nice personal tone.

Anyway, just to say that not all of us agree with the nay-sayers.


Mike said...

It seems to me that the pixel peepers are missing the point of a lot of what you're talking about anyway. If you're hung up on whether or not you're using 1/250 vs. 1/320 or the 1.4 vs. 1.8 50mm, you're probably missing some pretty decent shots. Some of the best photographers I know aren't very good photo technicians, but they sure know how to nail the shot. I could care less about EXIF for the most part. This kinda makes me want to dig out the Yashica Mat . . .

Danny Chatham said...

Keep up the excellent art and articles,and remember, an empty wagon always makes the most

Alohadave said...

I'll join the rest of the crowd with support for what you are doing here. Keep doing what you are doing and enjoy the process for it's own sake rather than trying to prove anything to anyone, even us fans.

Rolando said...

We have never been more connected to one another and yet more out of touch than we are now.

People have either lost the ability to be civil with one another or are just miserable in their little lives that they have to "ding" someone just to feel better about themselves.

I wonder about people like that...how hard must it be to be that miserable day in and day out.

neopavlik said...

In the recent photoshops and probably lightroom if you "save for web" it strips the EXIF.

That said anybody that gets that uptight about exif and equipment will be a pale imitation of someone else instead of a unique interpretation of themselves.

Finished first part of The War of Art , great stuff, thanks for the heads up.

Anonymous said...

I'm always surprised at the number of people that don't have better things to do than become anti-"something." I wish I had that much energy to waste...but I'd wast it on something else. Anyways, I love your approach to writing about photography. It tends to strike as more about the art than the science and your personal relationship to photography. I really appreciate your personal perspective.

Chris said...

Kirk I first met you last year at the Precision photo expo. I had bought your “Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Studio Photography” book Amazon a month before, and found it to be really well written and straight to the point; starting from the very basics where you light a orange to setting up a studio in a garage. It was just what I needed. I didn’t realize you lived in Austin and was surprised to see you sitting next to the Precision check-out table with this book I just bought, so I said hi. You were so nice and friendly to me. I had just come from playing an all morning session of beach volleyball and was semi-covered in sand and half-dried perspiration. You easily could have ignored me as I didn’t look at like a serious photographer. Instead you complimented my D300 which I had around my neck. You joked with me as we people watched and wondered why some insist on bringing their cameras with the longest lens they own attached to these events. I was so thrilled a pro like you would spend the time with an absolute beginner like me. The next day I showed up to the expo early and spoke to the Profoto rep who was also extremely nice in answering all my newbie questions about lights. So nice, I was planning on getting my credit card out and getting back in to debt from buying a set. I spoke to you about it and you convinced me I didn’t need a set of strobes at this point in my learning curve. You suggested I learn how to use my flash first. I thank you for saving me over two grand on something I still wouldn’t be using and do not have space for in my apartment. Unfortunately I never saw your presentation at last year’s expo, but my friend and mentor did see you and she said you were great so I convinced the organizer of the Austin Photo Meetup group to schedule you as a speaker. You are the best speaker that group has had the pleasure to hear in my humble opinion.
This year I knew better and didn’t come to the expo wearing my camera. Last year I was a complete beginner and this year I’m a beginner who is beginning to become aware of all I still need to learn. Last year I thought I needed everything everyone was selling at the expo, this year, I couldn’t convince myself I actually needed anything. Last year I approached you and this year you honored me by approaching me. Of course you recognized me from the recent Austin Photo group talk you gave, but it was still nice to have a well known Pro, as well as a speaker, come up to me and say hi. As we shook hands I was thinking “God!! I must look so good right now!!” Last year I spent most of my time wondering around the vendor room looking at all the equipment, this year I spent almost all of my time attending the seminars and this year I was able to catch yours. If all the things you speak of in a previous blog are going through your head while you’re up there, you sure don’t show it. I’ve attended your seminars and would even consider quitting my day job to become your disciple, but I know you like shooting alone and only use female assistants when needed. Your blog and your books are the next best thing, so please keep them both coming. And how about some more seminars?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Wow. Chris. Thanks for posting this. Can I hire you as my PR guy? I'm thinking I'm glad I'm nice in public because people really are paying attention....

Can you send me your e-mail address offline? You've just won a copy of my new lighting book. I'm at kirktuck@kirktuck.com


Jaime Fanlo said...

Hi, Kirk.

Im an olympus e-520 user. I originally came across your blog when I was looking for information on my chosen system... hopefully to calm my substantial insecurities caused by the numerous "canon/nikon vs. olympus" noise comparisons that seem to pop up when I run a google search.

I only discovered the joys of photography beyond "point and shoot party photos" a little over a year ago. I jumped on the Olympus with little info, and some nudging from an enthusiastic olympus dealer in Madrid. That and i noticed they take lovely travel and landscape photos (at the time I was traveling a great deal so it worked for me). When I saw all the comparisons and harsh comments online, well, I was distressed to say the least.

Your insight on the four thirds system and the pictures you uploaded were very helpful to me. They set my mind at ease, and gave me many creative ideas which I started to practice on my own. Thank you for the help! My shots are slowly getting better, even the low light photos.

I did notice recently, that there was slighlty less of olympus and a bit more of canon in your posts. Strangely enough, by that point I didnt care anymore. I had already come to grips with my system, understanding that its good at some things, and not so good at others, but at the end of the day, taking good pictures is primarily up to me. But in any case, thank you for clearing up your stand on this matter. Rude people should get more sun and exercise, maybe it will improve their disposition. Good job on removing the nasty comments!

I want to improve, learn, and invest more in this system. I think in the next few months, i will be ready to get a new lens, probably the 12-60mm Zuiko. Seems like a good all around lens that will spend a lot of time on my camera body. That way i spend more time taking pictures, and less mucking about with gear.

Will I buy a nikon or canon? Yes! I got to try a G11 with an affordable underwater case, and it took lovely pictures when I went diving. I think my next camera should be something that I can take to places where I cant bring my DSLR.

But its not an ideological decision, its simply finding a tool that works best for me in a specific situation.

As you can see, i picked up more than a thing or two from your daily musings.

Looking forward to more of your insights, and many more photos! More power to you and best of luck in your future endeavors!



Chris said...

Hi Kirk,
That was easy to write because it was all true. Thanks for the free book offer, but I already own all of your books. I used the "get one Kirk Tuck book for free" coupon I received at your last seminar to get your latest one. I just booked my first family portrait shoot and will be using what I've learned from you extensively.
Keep the words coming!

Thank you,

Anonymous said...

I actually met Kirk on a shoot where I was from the client side. While totally in charge of the whole show he always made us feel like we were approaching our project as a team. He was kind and listened to even the most junior members of our marcom team as though they were the only person in the room. It was the calmest, most productive photography session I have ever been part of.