2.18.2013

hyperventilating about photography. don't pass out.


Just a note to refine our understanding about the Visual Science Lab blog site. We write about anything that I'm interested in that has to do with photography, video, art and literature or life in general. The blog is free to read. We currently accept comments but moderate them on an ongoing basis. We do not directly sell products on the site nor are we paid by any manufacturer for mentions of their products within the blog. If we write about a product we are either acknowledging a new product that we think alters the course of the industry (even if only slightly) or it's a product that we've purchased or requested from the maker for testing and we've used it in commercial and personal photographic applications enough to report accurately on the results that we got. Your readership is never contingent on purchasing products represented in links embedded in the articles or supporting any of the manufacturers whose products I choose to write about. You are all grown ups. You get to decide what you want to buy and when.

The links are there to serve a commercial purpose. I receive a small percentage of the sale of products from Amazon where my link initiated a reader's visit to Amazon. The fee that Amazon pays me does not increase the cost of the product to the buyer. The fees I've received so far constitute a negligible percentage of my income.

While we will continue to provide links for people who enjoy what we write here I find it important to mention that the vast majority of articles I write are not product specific and are about the processes or the way we approach making images. A large number of articles are general interest articles that are relevant to both film and digital shooters.

For all the people who protest that we write too much about gear and that their interests would be better served if I only wrote philosophical articles the reality is that the single most popular article, by far, that I've published here was a review of a mid-priced mirrorless camera, the Olympus EPL-2. It has ten times the pageviews of my absolute favorite articles like, Lonely Hunter, Better Hunt. The "gear" articles drive readership. When I resist writing about any gear whatsoever the precipitous decline of readership (within days) is breathtaking. It's truly a case of gear subsidizing non-gear articles.

Similarly, any time I write about microphones or video rigs or video processes the readership numbers dive off the diving board into a largely empty pool. But I am interested in video and motion and I'll continue to explore that.

People are tremendously invested in their idea of what photography is all about. From time to time I get someone writing or commenting that I'm doing it all wrong. But the secret is that there is no "all wrong" in the arts, even the injection moulded "plastic" arts. You've been invited along for a ride in my own introspective and eccentric online journal about photography. There's no hidden agenda. There's no secret handshake. I don't know all the answers. But neither do you.




25 comments:

PvR said...

Stunned I am to read that I don't know all the answers.

Sigh.

ODL Designs said...

:) I enjoy your articles full of photographic or photo business hand wringing, closely followed by your Brand New Day articles full of new energy and optimism :D

This is one of the few blogs that has a variety I enjoy! I am also just getting involved in ILC video, so seeing your results has been educational, looking back at your beginnings has been revealing!

Thanks
Abraham

Kevin Foster said...

It is sad you even had to write this up... Keep up the great articles!

David said...

Sometimes you do have it wrong, and the time someone points it out they might be only less wrong than you.
I am also all wrong. What we never achieve is all right. If we did life would not be fun

Clay Olmstead said...

What makes this blog unique is that you bring out your passion for the subject, the gear, the process and the result. Maybe you're reaching people whose interests are more narrow and encouraging them to expand a little. You'll probably never know, but that's no reason to stop being yourself.

Stephen Roberts said...

I really enjoy your writing Kirk.Sometimes its of interest to me and at other times its not,thats the nature of things.Keep up the good work as i would never think bad of someone who is just out to share his passion and vast experience that most of us readers can only dream of attaining

Lanthus Clark said...

I'm amazed that anyone would complain about something good that is also for free... the mind boggles! Just keep 'em comin' as they are, I really appreciate the insight to your world and the work you put into keeping us up to date on the inner workings of your mind. Screw the dissenters, they don't pay you. B-)

arg said...

Is it just the american readership that is so gear oriented?

Gregg Mack said...

It's your blog, Kirk. Write whatever you want. I really enjoy stopping by to see what you are up to, and I usually learn something or get something to think about while I'm here. I would hate to see you change things up - if the reason was just to get your number of page views up.

arg said...

You should put up a post called "Some of the feedback I have to put up with!" I'm sure it would be top entertainment.

John Krumm said...

I'm highly anticipating your EPM2 review. :)

Kirk Tuck said...

I'm too hard headed to change. I write what I want and for the most part I've found the audience I want. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Kirk Tuck said...

Pretty much. Don't know why.

Kirk Tuck said...

Thought I'd tackle the whole Nikon Coolpix line first...

thequietphotographer said...

Kirk, you are you. This is your blog. You write the way you feel appropriate. I like it. Sometimes technical, sometimes gear, sometimes process, sometimes...But always with passion. Again, I like it, thanks.
robert

Olaf Hoyer said...

Depends on the readership as such- I remember a german saying that can be loosely translated to the following: The Amateur cares about (his) gear, the professional about money, and the (true) master cares about the light...

So, when you have lots of amateurs trying to condense whomevers wisdom to get better, first try ist nearly always the gear. So they want to buy the cool new camera a proven pro uses.

I also enjoy the true life reviews of products, because I know that it is no test in a lab done under synthetic conditions. I really want to read a honest opinion of how well a product can hold up under real conditions of a real assignment.

And, by the way: Some of your books and also a good part of past articles regarding a certain attitude towards photography and gear and lighting stuff remedied some of my anxieties of a fixation towards the thing of "Well, with better gear i could shoot better photos- less noise, way better AF in dark rooms, ..." A few weeks ago I did some fun shooting with (female) friends, and we ended up using candles as only illumination. 35mm f/1,8 on my DX camera, ISO 800, and off we went. Yes, technically, theres noise in the picture, skin colors could be better, and of course FX with a 85mm/1,4 would give wayyyy cooler photos- but what counted in the end was the fun in the session, the intimate atmosphere, and the look that is generated by revealing true expressions in the eyes...

Lighting with hot lights is cool and exciting- you were right in some previous posts ;-)

Jim Simmons said...

Groucho said, "I wouldn't want to belong to a club that would have me as a member." Not exactly sure why that feels relevant, but it does.

Craig Yuill said...

I find it ironic that the E-PL2 review has been the most-read post on this blog. That is the very post that drew me here. Yet, as much as I enjoy your gear posts, it's the how-to and why posts I seem to like best. Please keep posting whatever tickles your fancy.

Anonymous said...

Kirk;

This blog business is about you having fun, If it becomes other than fun it will stop. You're a smart guy, So, do whatever the F*** you want - and those who enjoy your musings will read on. Any who have a problem with what you post can go read the flickr crap. Write about the quality of seamless paper if you like.. if it's you and written by you in your (not enough/to much coffee style) we who like you will read on. No worries!

Best Salty

MartinP said...

Hmmmm, considering the bizarre page-stats, it's almost as if the world out there was led by marketing, rather than by knowledge or thought . . . Naaaahhh, that can't be right, can it?

Mike said...

Rule of thumb: for every lens you own, you must own at least 15 photography books. I mean books of photography, not how-to books and not camera gear books.

Kirk Tuck said...

That's easy to agree to.

Brad Calkins said...

I love your blog, and the variety as well. Keep posting about gear if it helps support the more interesting stuff.

My own blog (obviously much smaller audience) has weird stats too - my most viewed post is STILL one on the Fuji X10 'orb' issue :(

Kirk Tuck said...

"...you were right in some previous posts ;-)" Okay, which ones was I wrong in???? :-)

David Mantripp said...

I think that makes me entitled to a couple of new lenses :-)