7.26.2018

I always get a kick out of the angst visited upon industry experts when something new is on the horizon.


I was busy being amazed at how well the refurbished Nikon 24-120mm lens was working for me on an ancient, used Nikon D700 (see above) when I chanced to click on Lloyd Chamber's camera site today and read the back and forth between him and Thom Hogan. All of a sudden it seemed that camera design and camera marketing were life and death issues.There was a mini-argument about whether or not Nikon could actually do innovative design work and then more wonkiness ensured.

If we could harness the human potential squandered across the web, reading tea leaves and trying to guess about future camera introductions, we would have already landed on Mars and cured cancer.

I'm pretty much ignoring all the misspent energy about future cameras this month. It's too hot to argue with anyone about much beyond who drank the last beer? 

Eric Rose asked me 'how much better a Nikon mirrorless had to be than a GH5 before I switch systems?'

I thought about it for a while but I'd just come back from a very warm walk with the D700 and the recently acquired (but still ancient) Nikon 105mm f2.8D micro lens and I was busy being re-amazed at the incredible sharpness and

7.25.2018

Watch Nikon Pursue the "Apple" Strategy of Letting Other Companies Work Out the Kinks and then Releasing a Great Product.

Remember in 1959 when all the rangefinder users laughed about SLR cameras?
They'd never equal the appeal of rangefinders, right?
So, who came through with proof of concept?
Hint: It was not "first to market" Exacta....

Many pundits on the web think that somehow Sony got all the knowledge about how to build advanced cameras and poor Nikon (and Canon) are just standing at the backdoor of the Sony camera factory begging for table scrapes. But I'm thinking that nothing could be further from the truth. I think Nikon has been riding a long tail of profitable film and then digital cameras and they've been standing back watching and learning from both the pitfalls and the successes of the companies who have been making and marketing mirrorless cameras for the past eight years.

Don't forget that Nikon launched the One Series of mirrorless cameras well over six years ago and they were able to get a lot of stuff right without having a Sony mirrorless one inch sensor ILC camera around to copy from.

We are hearing that Nikon will launch their first "professional," full frame mirrorless camera in the next few months. While it's true that Nikon stumbles from time to time they also have been making very successful and popular cameras since at least the early 1950's.

Here is why I think Nikon will come into the market and do well:

Love what you photograph. Photograph what you love.


Too often we are so enamored of our cameras as intricate little (metaphorical) puzzles that we come to subconsciously believe their purpose is provide the entertainment of puzzle solving, not image making. When we make images we seem to forget that our highest and best use of our cameras is as tools to interpret and share not only what we see but how we see it. Our initial impetus to buy and learn how to use a camera is usually the result of something new and special in our lives. That could be new insight or knowledge about a subject (the idea driving photojournalism) which we feel needs to be shared, or the arrival of new life or new love. The original embrace of the camera comes from the desire to show and share, and to prove that we were here with our own, unique sense of what is beautiful; what should be visually interpreted and preserved.

Try as we might to destroy the world by wringing from it every ounce of profit and plunder we can't stop beauty from continually swirling around us in our everyday lives. We can notice it, appreciate it, gain refuge from the knowledge of its existence, and try to share it with other people thru our cameras.

Sometimes we have to quiet our thoughts in order to see beauty more clearly. Sometimes we have to subdue our need to master a craft in order to understand more completely its real magic and its real reason to exist.

Just a few thoughts on a hot but happy day.

7.24.2018

OT: A modest reward at the end of a long, hot day...


It was a long, hot day last Thursday. I'd driven from Austin to San Antonio to attend a real estate closing that was cancelled at the last minute. I was literally within site of the title company when I got the call telling me they needed to re-schedule. I had no other pressing business in San Antonio so I headed back home.

There were a few traffic delays on the way back and it took longer than usual. The trip sapped my will to get anything else constructive done that day so I puttered around the office, answered some mail and paid bills. When I walked into the house a bit after six in the evening I was tired, frustrated and a worn out from the stress and the delay of the big transaction.

I looked in the fridge and saw that one of my friends had left me a couple bottles of Real Ale Brewing Company's beers. There were labelled, "The Devil's Backbone." I'm not really much of a beer drinker but the idea of a frosty, unfiltered, Belgian style ale seemed alluring so I popped the cap off one and poured it into a large glass.

I walked into our living room and put the glass down on our old, weathered coffee table, in front of the couch. By chance I'd put the glass down in exactly the right spot to encourage late afternoon/early evening sunlight to toss some magic toward through the glass and the beer.

When I glanced over and looked my first thought was not to drink the beer but to grab a camera and photograph it before the light faded altogether and the head on the beer crumbled into a visual mess.

On a nearby counter I found a Nikon D700 and an ancient, manual focusing 55mm f3.5 Micro Nikkor lens. I shot five frames and then the light was gone. The beer tasted good too. Wish I'd taken the TV remote out of the frame before shooting. Ah well. Next time.

The Real Brew is in Blanco, Texas. My halfway point between San Antonio and Austin, when I go "the back way." I've never been to the brewery but I'm planning to get there as soon as the weather cools off just a bit ----maybe in December. I love their products; especially the taste of their "Fireman's Four." It's a pale ale popular all over Austin. Sadly for many of you The Real Ale Brewing Company does not sell their products outside the state of Texas....

Radically hot Summer.


Barton Springs Pool. 

I shot this image of a lifeguard at Barton Springs Pool a few Summers back. I was walking around that day with a very special camera; it was the Sony R1. An all-in-one camera that had an APS-C size sensor and a pretty darn great 24-120mm (35mm equivalent) Carl Zeiss zoom lens on the front. It wasn't particularly small but it wasn't a heavy camera. I got the most amazing shots with it. The color and contrast was pretty much always on the money. The wide end of the lens was well enough corrected to allow me to use it for some brochure projects in which we photographed buildings and interior architecture. 

On the day I shot this it was smoking hot outside. I took the Sony R1 along with me on this adventure because I didn't need to bring along anything else. No attachments, no battery grips, no extra lenses and no extra batteries. Just a camera that was easy to operate and even had its own very usable EVF. When you work in the heat it's great to distill down the details to the fewest possible. Making fewer and fewer decisions is a great coping mechanism for dealing with heat.

Yesterday was a record setter for that particular date in July, in Austin, Texas. The temperature was 110 degrees and, with the humidity added in, the heat index was more like 115. Of course, that would be the day that the title company in San Antonio would want to schedule the final closing on my parent's house! The closing was scheduled for 2:30 pm and I didn't relish flogging my own car (yet again) through the tire shredding heat, nor did I look forward to the inevitable full stop traffic jams on the dreaded IH-35 highway. Really, who wants to sit at a dead stop on a blistering blacktop on a 110 degree afternoon, waiting for the coolant in their radiator to boil out? But since I had to execute the contract as power of attorney (or attorney in fact) I was more than ready to get the process over with, in spite of the heat.

In a flash of genius (they come few and far between...) I decided to rent a car for the trip down and back in the heat. On Sunday I picked up a white Buick LaCrosse from Avis car rental. It was as close to brand new as I've ever had from a rental agency, with only 4,000 miles on it. The car reminded me of the kinds of cars we got to drive in the 1970s. Big and heavy, smooth on the highway and fast. And I'll have to say after owning a number of BMWs and Hondas, GM knows better re: how to do air conditioning for Texans. You could keep a six pack of beer cold enough just by sticking it in front of the vents....

The car was fun and the traffic was surprisingly moderate. We closed on the house with no glitches and then I headed back up to Austin at 3:15 in the afternoon. I chose to go the back way, across the "Devil's Backbone" on Hwy. 281. I cut across my favorite "lonely" rural highway, #165 and saw few cars and no big trucks. When the temperature on the car thermometer hit 114 degrees (f) I started watching the radiator temp and then oil temp a little closer. I sure didn't want to have a breakdown five miles from the nearest ranch house...

Everything went like clockwork and I got back home around 5pm, just in time for Austin's legendary rush hour traffic. But since I was heading into town instead of out of town even that wasn't bad. I took a camera with me on the trip but the heat convinced me never to stop and click off a shot.

With the sale of the house behind me I finally (for the first time this year) feel like I can devote some real attention to resuscitating my own photography and videography business. I'm excited by the prospect.

We had a cold front blow in late last night. It should only hit 100 today!!! Break out the sweaters!!!

I hope everyone is coping with the Summer heat load well. Only three more months of Summer to go here in Austin and then we'll settle down and get our two weeks of Autumn. Brrrrrrr.

Now is the time to swim.



7.21.2018

The kind of photo session that makes you happy and reminds you why you love making portraits.

©2018 Kirk Tuck. All rights reserved.


©2018 Kirk Tuck. All rights reserved.

In this "final frame" E. is finished with our session and getting ready to walk out the door. I couldn't resist getting just one more frame. 


©2018 Kirk Tuck. All rights reserved.

I shot three profile frames. 

My work for the theater rewards me with the joy of meeting many talented and inspiring people. One of those people is a choreographer and dancer that I've worked with for a number of years. She asked me a week or so ago if I would take some promo photos of her daughter for her budding acting career. I gladly agreed and was thrilled when mom, dad and E. came to my studio for a session.

We photographed in the studio for a while and then we headed into my house just to change up the look. E and I collaborated on over 400 shots. She never lost focus or grace. I was amazed at the obvious talent of this amazing four year old. Our session made me happy to be a portrait photographer. I felt as though I'd been given a gift to work with such a great young talent. An hour today which reminded me why I love my art.

I had at my disposal a bunch of different cameras but a little voice in my head pushed me to use one of the D700s. I paired it up with the older Nikon 85mm f1.8D lens for these two images. In the studio I used the 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 VR lens. With the raw file settings at 14 bit, uncompressed, I think this camera is unbeatable for its portrait look. Better than any other full frame camera I've shot with in years.




7.20.2018

The Dog Days of Summer are Upon Us. Nothing left to do but go out and shoot a few photos with that Tokina 16-28mm lens I bought earlier.

My little "office corner" of the studio.

I like to do self portraits from time to time. I find them years later and it reminds me of how things were at a specific point in time. This photo (above) is from a few hours ago. I put it here to talk about something I bought for the Nikon D800's a little while back. 

After I bought two D800 variants (used) from my friends at Precision Camera I asked the repair/rental expert at the store if there were any "known" issues with those cameras beyond the early problems with left/right focus differences. He told me never to bang the camera hard on the bottom. Apparently earlier cameras like the D700 had a solid metal bottom under the cosmetic skin. It protected the little circuit boards and stuff from damage from blows to the bottom of the camera. The new cameras have a split plate that, once struck hard enough, kills the cameras badly enough to make them too costly to fix. The remedy for a camera disabled in this fashion is....total replacement. 

I asked if there was any workaround or fix and he suggested fitting a battery grip to each. I certainly didn't want to splash out for the Nikon grip because the price is outrageous so I did what every cheapskate photographer does and went looking for a cheap, generic substitute on Amazon. 

I found the Powerextra MB-D12 on the giant shopping site for a whopping $34. It's worked great. I have mine loaded with an extra battery and so far have had zero issues. Even the AF button on the battery grip works well. But included in my extravagant expense of $34 was also a wireless remote shutter triggering device. One button. Push it and the camera (with battery grip attached) fires. I tossed the remote in a drawer and didn't think about it until I needed to do a product shot and wanted to remotely trigger the camera. I pulled the remote from the drawer and it worked perfectly. 

Once vetted on a client's job I then moved forward and used the remote for my most important work --- my self portrait at my desk. It works for that too. So, in addition to camera protection I also got extra features for my big expenditure. I've kept the remote in the camera bag for those special occasions when the human touch on the shutter button isn't optimal. Like when I'm halfway across the room...

The Austin Public Library.

I had to retouch out the power lines that ran through this view...

I bought a used Tokina 16-28mm f2.8 lens a couple of months ago with the intention of doing more interior architectural work and then I realized that I have a tiny attention span when it comes to non-portrait photography and the lens has languished since its indifferent debut. 

The potential project for which I bought the lens has been rescheduled a couple of times and, based on need, the lens might have lain unproductive for months if I had not had to move it to get to a battery charger yesterday. I felt kind of sheepish having run out and bought the lens when the need was nowhere as pressing as I first imagined and, feeling a bit guilty for not trying harder to like very wide angle lenses, I vowed to try using it and to try getting used to seeing way too much in each frame. 

So, after yesterday's logistical missteps (driving 80 miles for a real estate closing which got delayed) I thought I deserved a little time away from the keyboard and the office and I grabbed the Nikon D800e, and the Tokina 16-28mm f2.8 lens, and headed downtown to take a few images of the new(ish) public library, along with a few photos of my favorite, white industrial constructions.

I've been taking advantage of the "system" when it comes to car parking for the last few days. Austin is the kind of city that isn't keen to send non-essential workers out if there are "dangerous conditions" afoot. A National Weather Service "excessive heat" warning generally means that the parking meter attendants remain indoors doing paperwork instead of writing tickets for expired meters. Works for me. I've been parking with impunity for the last two days. No tickets! But now that I've written it out loud I can only imagine that the gods who detect hubris and mete out punishment can't be far away. 

I've been trying to get a good shot of the new library for a couple of months now but my attempts reaffirm that I am aesthetically hamfisted when it comes to the nuances of good architectural photography; either that or I am too impatient to wait for the perfect light. 

Once I realized my limitations all that was really left was to try to like it. While I'm sure a more expensive optic might offer something more the Tokina 16/28 is very sharp and capable of rendering a lot of detail; especially when wedded to a 36 megapixel, full frame camera. I find the lens seems to be at its best at f7.1 and that's where I'd use it for paying work on a tripod, but I would not be afraid to go all the way to f11.5, given the right camera, with the right sized pixels. While it opens up to f2.8 I think some of these fast apertures on very wide zooms are really just a throwback or nod to the time of film when every photon needed to stand up and be counted, and when lenses needed to be fast in order to be easier to focus. 

There is actually a lens profile in Lightroom for this lens and it does a great job correcting for vignetting and most of the geometric distortion in the frame. Once you toss in the correction for chromatic aberrations you have a photo that's pretty convincing at all the focal lengths the lens offers. 

I got a great deal on mine because it was used, so for around $400 I think it's the bargain of the century. But then I'm not a power-user/architectural photographer. On the wide side this lens matches the angle of view I have with my Panasonic/Leica 8-18mm zoom.  16mm seems pretty extreme to me but I do remember getting some interesting and highly usable stuff with even wider lenses, like the Rokinon 14mm f2.8 lens. You really need to have the right subject matter to get the most out of lenses with extreme angles of view. But when you find yourself in situations like that these lenses can be a lot of fun. They create images so different from my usual perspective that the photographs do stop me cold sometimes. 

I guess it's like anything else, if I use a very wide zoom lens enough I'll start to figure out the strengths of these focal lengths and maybe even start to master a different look. I can tell you this: I could hardly wait to get home and drop a 50mm onto the front of the camera....

I'd be interested to hear how many of you like shooting with extreme wide angle lenses? How do you figure out how to compose? Why do you like them? And, of course, of all the stuff available out there what ends up being your favorite focal length. (For me, it's the 90mm). 

Thanks for reading.


The problem with shooting this building is that most of the angles that make the building look good have other buildings intruding into the frame. I guess the architectural pros just retouch the extraneous buildings out.....



I can't get enough of this wacky bridge. 
I like the soaring curve shots but I really, really like the details.



Not sure 16mm is great for street photography....



This is just "bad-vertising." Weathered signs that used to tout this project as a luxury living situations fallen into disrepair and sending exactly the opposite message. If I were the developer I'd be chasing out this kind of signage until I've sold the very last unit. It's just a lazy approach to chasing real estate dollars. Ooops. I hope this isn't one of my friend's properties.....

7.19.2018

Exterior Job on Monday Cancelled Due to Heat Forecast. Yikes.


We had a job scheduled for Monday and I was just about to call the client to see if we could juggle the days so I can get down to San Antonio on Monday to follow through on that pesky real estate closing. Just before I reached for my phone I got an e-mail from the same client. She nervously asked me if we could schedule her job later in the week. I was quick to agree and then I asked her, "what happened?"

She admitted that she just couldn't take the heat. Even though we'd have access to shade and places where we could take air conditioner breaks she shared that even today's "mild" 105 degree temperatures were more than she felt she could deal with and the forecasts are for temperatures on Monday to be up over 107 degrees. I had to agree with my client; I had a meeting at UT Austin today and had to walk about a half mile across campus from the only parking I could find. The heat hit me like a physical wall. My long pants and dress shoes didn't help much.

Addendum; forecast for Monday revised to a high of 109 degrees farenheit. A new record for that day in Austin, Texas.

I walked through downtown yesterday and even though it was only 102 I had to tie a cotton handkerchief to my camera strap to keep the sweat from rolling down my arm and soaking my camera.

There are some days which experience and common sense tell us are better spent laying on the couch under a couple of ceiling fans, reading a good book, and praying to the air conditioning goods to keep your systems running.

Also, for all of you who must shoot in this heat, be aware that high temperatures can cause an increase in file noise in digital cameras. My old Kodaks were infamously noisy when the temperatures rose over 102 (f). You could see the noise as color artifacts randomly distributed over the frames --- even at ISO 80. A white "flag" over the top of your camera works wonders for keeping the black metal surfaces from heating up and transferring the thermal load toward the innards.

Don't forget your wide brimmed hat and your big water bottle. If you're shooting around here you're going to need em. Careful y'all.

I like my client. She probably saved me from my own worst instincts; the ones that tell me to always be working....


7.18.2018

Lens Battle. Mostly Theoretical. Kinda Lopsided. Doesn't Make Much Sense. But.....hey.....Sigma ART.

In this corner it's the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens. Ten pounds (zany exaggeration) of prime glass and metal wrapped around a Nikon mount at one end. Priced for the photographer who just has to have the best performing 50mm lens with auto focus capability.

And in this corner, the featherweight, mostly plastic, screwdriver motor focusing, no rare element 50mm "nifty-fifty" ala Nikon. You can pick em up all day long at the used counter for less than the price of a decent Wagu hamburger and start shooting like HCB. 

But which one should you buy?
Which one should you use?
Which one is best?

In theory I love what Sigma has been doing with their art series lenses over the past five years. This is the second copy of the Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens that I've owned and they've both been more or less optically perfect. My favorite lens test site, Lenstip.com gushes about the center performance of this lens, even when used wide open, and rates it as equal, or slightly better, to the Zeiss Otus 50mm lens which is at least three times the price and lacks AF. 

When I shoot carefully with the Sigma and combine it with the right camera (any D8xx series Nikon) it's capable of incredible results. When you use f4.0 and nail focus you get files that give you amazing detail and contrast; far better than almost any other lens but the very best from the various makers. At the 50mm focal length I haven't personally used anything that will beat it. (But bear in mind that I haven't used the current APO series lenses from Leica!). For around $900 it represents a great bargain if.......

You have to use it with good technique to get your money's worth out of it. If you just need a lens you can stop down to f8 and shoot with an on camera flash you would be better off investigating some of the cheaper options. If you are a world traveler and want to/need to travel light then this is not the family of lenses for you because it takes up a lot of space in a camera bag and it's hefty. Very hefty. 
If you shoot in the rain and surf then this lens is probably not for you. Nowhere in the promotional literature or in the specs doesn't Sigma make any promises about weather sealing, moisture resistance of protection of any kind in harsh environments. 

I use it a lot when I want to shoot loose, environmental portraits in which I want high sharpness on my subjects, enough background to establish the location and also the ability to drop out the focus on backgrounds. At five feet from my subject, stopped down to f2.8 and used with a full frame camera I get a perfect editorial look.  For me it's a great lens. I don't mind the size if I'm driving to a corporate job and have my gear in roller cases. But you have to understand that for a 50mm lens it's huge and heavy. Way too heavy. I guess that's the Sigma trade-off for the best optical performance of just about any 50mm f1.4 lens every made.

With all this nano-acuity, superb sharpness and obvious (brag-able) lens gravitas why on earth would I fuss around with a cheap, plasticky, mass manufactured starter 50mm lens like the Nikon 50mm f1.8D lens from a previous generation? 

Well, to start with you can pick up a clean and perfectly functional used copy for just a tad north of $100. While the Sigma Art lens is the operational equivalent of a Nikon G series lens ( no aperture ring) the Nikon 50mm f1.8D lens has a fully functional aperture ring which will allow you to use this lens in a fully manual mode with other brands of cameras via a lens adapter. That's especially cool if you need a good, cheap, long lens for your micro four-thirds hybrid camera. Or a good, manual normal lens for your new Sony A7III. You can use it on a Nikon....or practically any other camera out there which has a shorter sensor plane to lens mount flange distance than a Nikon camera. 

The 50mm f1.8D is pretty poor performing at f1.8 but gets better and better as you stop it down. For handheld shots, using moderately good technique, the performance at f5.6 and f8.0 is hard to distinguish from the performance of much more expensive 50mm lenses (see above). While we seem to all love fast lenses the reality is that most of us are shooting most of our work in moderate to good light and, coupled with low noise sensors that deliver low noise at higher ISOs, we aren't pressed to use the widest apertures nearly as much as we once were. I say that the nifty-fifty is poor performing at f1.8 but I should explain a little better. It is not a flat field lens and won't give you a perfect linear/perpendicular plane of sharp focus. Like most lenses that share its design family it's got good performance in the center, even wide open, but the performance falls off because field curvature means that the outside areas of the lens focus in a different plane than the center. By f2.8  to f4.0 the effects of lens curvature on edge sharpness are largely ameliorated by the effects of increased depth of field.  

The real benefit of the 50mm f1.8D is the smaller size and the lighter weight. It makes the camera system in your hand much easier to carry around and it takes up much less space in your camera bag. It's the lens to buy if.... you are on a budget. You work mostly around f5.6 and don't need to impress your fellow photographer friends. You need a beater lens that can be subject to harsh conditions without triggering your anxiety about lens damage or loss. It's the daily shooter for people who are tired of the weight that comes with perfection or people who have injuries or health conditions that make a much lighter lens a necessity.

The bottom line for me is that I find too much to like about each one of them to make a "final" choice.  If you already have the big Sigma you might pick up the smaller Nikon 50mm lens just to have something small and light when you are just out for a walk or an adventure, saving the bigger lens for more serious work on a tripod.

There are very few reasons to ever actually need the bigger lens over the smaller lens in amateur or professional work. The number one thing in the Sigma's favor is that it is much sharper wide open and close to wide open which allows you to isolate a subject via limited depth of field which still ensuring that what is in focus is spectacularly rendered. If I didn't want to blow money or do a lot of slow and considered work on a tripod I'd advise to just get the $100 lens and enjoy the hell out of it. 

The difference to most users, even talented users, will be the difference between 92% and 98%. They are both decent enough for just about any subject matter but the picky users will see a difference in quality when all other conditions are good. 

I shot both today and was happy with the results from each. See below for a size comparison.

Life Notes: I'm heading to San Antonio early tomorrow morning. I'm closing the sale of my father's house. My brother, our spouses and I have spent the last six months emptying the house, organizing the outflow and getting the house ready to sell. We put it on the market a little over a month ago and got our first offer (and a contract) within 24 hours. Now I'll be able to cancel utilities, cancel the homeowner's insurance and stop worrying about the property while trying to sleep at night. 

The closing is in the morning after which I'll have lunch with my dad and then spend the day by myself at the spectacular McNay Museum at the Austin Highway and N. New Braunfels Rd. Once the transfers are complete I will have successfully completed all of my responsibilities
for handling my mom's estate. After the house exits my continuous mental subroutine maybe I'll be able to concentrate more fully on making photographs and recharging my business of image construction. 

addendum: Well, the didn't go as planned. I got the thumbs up from everyone yesterday so I headed down to San Antonio this morning. I left a bit early so I didn't have to drive my poor, beleaguered car through the hottest parts of the day. I was about five minutes away from the title company when I got a call from my realtor letting me know that the lender had a last minute screw up and the closing could not happen until Monday. I climbed back on the car and headed home. We'll try it again next week. Argh. 

Swim notes: I stopped using fins at any time during my training over the last three months and have found my kicking technique in freestyle and backstroke has gotten much, much better. I also switched to using smaller hand paddles during stroke drills and find my turnover has gotten faster. A faster arm turn over with a more efficient kick is like Christmas coming early for a creaky, old masters swimmer. I like that!

Future Advertising Copywriter/Creative Director Studying old Communication Arts Annuals. Getting great advice from wonderful people in the Austin Ad community.

Ben Tuck. Studying the noble art of advertising.

Many years ago I started out as an advertising copywriter. I would write anything for just about anybody. From public relations stories about model homes for local builders to smart sounding articles about medical or technology "breakthroughs." To be honest I will have to date myself and mention that part of my success was tied to the fact that I started in an age before word processors and my finest skills were being able to type fast, on a typewriter, and with few mistakes. I eventually learned how to massage the content too.

Now, decades later, my kid, Ben, has graduated from college and is seriously considering working in the advertising business as well. His mom (a thirty year veteran of the business as a graphic designer/art director) and I tried to present a truthful picture of the advertising business but he wants to do it anyway....

We've aimed him at accomplished pros in the business and he's been doing investigational interviews with them. Each person has given him a reading list which contains books and publications they think are crucial to the nurturing of a young person's ad career. So far several books are ending up overlapping in the multiple circles of the book recommendation Venn diagram. Regardless of the age of the mentor the one standout book that is a constant recommendation, for understanding both the history and the underlying creative process of advertising, is "Ogilvy on Advertising" by David Ogilvy. It appears to be the timeless bible of the industry.

Advertising is a tough business but not impossible to master. He's a quick study. We'll monitor his progress. 


Photo: Nikon D700. Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art lens. Handheld. ISO 800.