3.02.2018

I must not write very clearly. Someone yesterday interpreted our blog post about stand-ins to be a professional portfolio presentation of my work and not a behind the scenes look at process. I need to write better or a commenter needs to read better.

The "Jenga" Building in Downtown Austin.

People are so painfully literal. It seems that every time I post an article about how I did something photographic, or how I set up a shot in video, I get someone who writes in with the "tsk. tsk." patronizing tone to let me know that "this is not your best work...." "it's a really mediocre portrait" "I expected more...."  I should develop a thicker skin but people who read blogs should develop better reading skills. 

So, I just want to make sure that everyone understands that yesterday's article about stand-ins, and the assistants' role in helping make photo assignments work more smoothly, was NOT meant to be a portfolio of finished, polished work. The images were meant to illustrate the written points I was making in the piece. 

Had the commenter paid attention he would have read (pertaining to the first image) that Amy (my assistant) was standing in for a doctor who would be photographed after we got the lighting just right and after we cleaned up all the clutter in the scene. It seemed to make sense to me when I wrote it but  I obviously must be overlooking something. 

A quick show of hands. Is anyone else confused by the use of the photos in yesterday's post? 

(I didn't have an image to illustrate frustration, and a sense that I'm just writing this stuff to exercise my fingers, so I put in a cluttered shot of a building under construction. This image is not meant to be a classical or formal presentation of the architecture as an art piece. It is meant to convey the visual chaos that layers parts of an urban environment. And no, I won't be explaining the intent of every photograph I post in the future.).


22 comments:

Frank Grygier said...

Anyone one has actually taken a portrait knows that setup and testing the light for exposure ect. is what a seasoned photographer will do as a matter of course. Blog trolls should be taken with a grain of salt. These are the people that Canon had in mind when they created the twirly speedlight. No concept of what it takes to do great work.

Rich from Tacoma said...

Kirk, you don’t need to write more clearly. The theme of the post was quite evident. The commenter needs a good cup of coffee. Rich from Tacoma.

Rich from Tacoma said...

On the other hand, maybe it’s a joke! Rich from Tacoma

Anonymous said...

No confusion....you came in loud and clear. On an unrelated topic and in answer to an earlier question
you posted, the Lumix 15mm f1.7 is a great lens.

Just curious, what software do you use for editing your video work?

Bill Pierce said...

You were perfectly clear. However, the fact that your tests were more interesting than some folks final shots may have confused the reader.

John Krumm said...

I've seen better random building shots from you Kirk. Perhaps that GH5 isn't serving you very well. The new Sony A7 lll would likely take random building shots much better, with 15 stops of dynamic range.

Jacques Gilbert said...

Did you realize that there is a pole and a bunch of wires right in the middle of the picture of the building? You could have found a better angle!

Craig said...

Not confused, don't see why anyone would be. But there are an awful lot of idiots on the internet.

Lenya Ryzhik said...

There was an old joke in the Soviet Union about a person who was "a writer not a reader".

William Collinson said...

I was not confused in the slightest by your post. It was pretty clear from the title and throughout with your excellent examples. I share your frustration.

James Moule said...

You are a very clear writer. I can not understand how anyone could have misunderstood your article.

Bassman said...

"Amy stands in ..." as the caption for the image made it immediately clear to me. I don't know what more would be necessary.

Fred said...

I will echo Rich from Tacoma"s second post, that maybe it was a joke.
But your post was very clear as to what the pictures illustrating it were and it was very informative. That is to say I think it was a good post and I liked it a lot.

Anonymous said...

The previous post was clear to me.

Can't see any jenga in this one though, just a great big building with suspiciously sunny skies pasted in.
Mark

MartinP said...

Perfectly clear with the other post. However, that interesting utility-pole photograph is spoiled somewhat by the messy building behind it -- I assume that for the final shot you demolished the building?

Ron White said...

Not confused.

Mike Rosiak said...

Perfectly clear intent for me, Kirk.

One thing that I noticed: Had I not known that it was Amy in all four images, I would have thought the first, profile shot was of another person, just dressed similarly. I've been back here several times, trying to decipher why I thought so. Still haven't put my finger on it.

Paul said...

I thought the post was great - so another vote for the writer.

Don't take criticism to heart unless it's constructive. I would hate to see you stop blogging because of a few disgruntled readers.

Maybe they were expecting a blow by blow Youtube style post of you:
- Unpacking the gear showing each step from asking Amy to stand/sit
- Adjusting each and every light
- Removing all the clutter
- Posing the subject
- Seeing the end result
if so they are looking at the wrong blog

Wally said...

It's a stand-in. That means tweaking anything needed for the final image. On network TV its done daily and used for everything from camera calibration to blocking shots of talent who won't be there during setup. Anyone who aspires to be professional would need to learn and implement this lesson. Your article made this perfectly clear.

Graham Smith said...

Ahoy there Captain! More posts on the journey as you go about your enterprise, please. Always instructive and enjoyable viewing and reading.

David said...

Yes people are stupid. But I thought you knew that.
I was surprised you have an assistant.

Hardison said...

I really appreciate you talking about your thought process. Anyone who was confused by the article didn't read it.