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16 August 2010


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C Weeks

@flippo: your english is great, man.

if one wants to learn about yoga, why would they read anything by anyone who's never really practiced?

are you saying that he's just a critic?

C Weeks

@per: um ... never said i was, mate. if anyone says they're the best leica shooter out there, they're full of shit.

your comment, though, seems to have an air of jealousy.

C Weeks

@baba: "tao of leica" are you kidding me?

C Weeks

@g.martin: it's not misplaced at all. if i want to know about a camera, i'm going to ask someone who's an actual photographer ... NOT just a writer or a critic or an editor.

i'll give you that he's got some points when it comes to history and perhaps even aesthetics but ... the business of photography? what the hell would he know about that?

if you take his advice, you'll probably end up with a blog.

yes, steve, myself and perhaps others all "drink the kool-aid" as it were but i'd much rather look at steve's work than read a review by someone who has no right reviewing gear in the first place. and, yes, steve has worked as a pro. i asked him specifically.

should i just grow a beard, give up being repped, listen to jazz, surmise about photography and call it a day?

that's the thing, mate, opinions are like assholes, everyone has one hence the title to this post!


i've never understood why the sample shots in gear review sites suck so much (with some exceptions like steve huff's or even KR's). i believe that everyone has their own style of photography; if they're going to post something for the world to see, wouldn't they want to put their best foot forward? you can talk a good talk but at the end of the day, its called photography, nor gear-ography.


I have to say, I found your comments on TOP off the mark. Specifically, when you wrote "Just because one is a good writer doesn't necessarily mean they're good at anything they write about." Are you saying it's good writing on that site? Because then I have to disagree--let's just say that while reading it, I find it easy to picture a boring high school teacher with most of the students asleep. You should have been harsher and bashed the dull writing along with the lack of photos. I don't know why I ever read it. Actually, I do--it's the really frequent posts. All the cooler people seem to have something better to do than blog daily.

@ Filippo M: TOP's lack of posted work gets to me, too, so it's not just C Weeks that says that. It's not that a critic needs to have his own work (I like the Conscientious blog well enough, for example), but someone who frequently gives "wisdom from the great teacher" type advice or brags about being a master printer really ought to back that up. Not doing so makes him seem like a blowhard.

C Weeks

@baba: i didn't realize you were referring to puts. he calls that the "tao of leica!" who knew. i didn't. thing is about puts is that he's too competent in the tech arena but has ZERO creativity.

C Weeks

@john: the reason the content sucks so bad is that they CAN'T make a photo but they sure as hell can write ... especially to an audience that usually can't make a photo either. it's like a giant pity party.

no, it's not called gear-ography. you're totally right.

C Weeks

@tim: i find his writing so superfluous that it bores me. i've never read to the end of an article. i do know, however, that there are "proper gentlemen" who love how he writes. indeed when i read it or just image this guy lecturing can, too, picture nodding high school students.

he should really go back and get his mfa or even better ... his ph.d. that would suit him the best. oh, wait, what suits him best is talking to his peers. ;)

i know people who post better stuff as status updates on fb.

you get the best comment of the day, mate. thanks! would love to see this guy post up his work. i mean ... just a small set on flickr! let's see how rad you are.


Great read as usual mate. Saved a few of those decent links to build ideas on for my site as I am about to sit and totally redesign my site moving it all across to the Wordpress platform. I just wish I had more time to throw at it to ensure my local business search results stay at number one for local photographers (and hope that incoming shoots start to reflect that search ranking).
I have been lamenting having taken on a production manager job with a pro lab that - while having been a huge learning curve for the other side of commercial & wedding photography, I don't get enough time to shoot more of my work and get creative later. Since I stopped posting shots on a regular basis, my monthly unique visitors dropped from many thousands to a plateau of only around 1400. Kinda drives me nuts but it'll have to do till I sort things out and can start shooting editorial more.
On a brighter note, I've been printing a LOT of my shots recently - oh and I'll send you a link to shots of my wedding from recently, quick, painless, half the crowd were shooters, so I was feeling odd on the other side of the lens through the day *laughs* =)
Hope you and your family are all well! Your latest puppy shots I briefly viewed last week were fantastic.

Filippo M.

TheOnlinePhotographer is not a personal blog but an online magazine in blog form about photography culture in all its different aspects edited and managed by Mike Johnston that is also one of the contributors. Otherwise anyone that never followed TOP could only guess this site deals with gear reviews or practical advices about the business of photography when both of these topics (occasionally present) are very marginal. That is the first "misrepresentation".
Johnston is a very fine connoisseur of photography; like many excellent team managers and trainers in the sport history who haven't been great athletes previously, he is not supposed to be a great photographer and thus he doesn't have to prove anything under that point of view. His articles show lots of competence and only the quality of the content he produced built his reputation.
This is the second misrepresentation.
He may live in Wisconsin and be "wholly irrelevant in the real photo world" (of Chris, maybe just a planet of the whole photography universe?) but for example we wouldn't spell it "bokeh" or even use such a word worldwide without his contribution
I oppose the attempt to discredit a person in such a shameless and contradictory way: in fact, do you mean to picture him as a loser, "the high school quarterback who used to be pretty good and then ... the majors ... well ... ya' know the rest of the story" or a self-entitled teacher? But wait, "he's got some points when it comes to history and perhaps even aesthetics", so confusing...
The third misrepresentation is that Chris doesn't mention the work of numerous contributors who are all very qualified, working photog or other professionals in the photography sector. Besides, among the usual readers there are not only serious amateurs but a number of artists and professionals whose main occupation is in photography, probably one of the most qualified audiences on the web. So much, in fact, that TOP's contributors and readers seem to form a quite unique sort of modern photography salon.
Perhaps I'm a "proper gentleman", whatever it means, but I can't understand: if it's not your cup of tea or if you just don't like Johnston, it doesn't mean you are authorized to discredit him with harsh and personal criticism without good points (or any point at all) about the content he provides.
To everyone who never tried TOP and is really interested in photography and not only techno things, try it because probably you will find it refreshing.

C Weeks

@filippo: i'm publishing your comment because it's a well-written argument. i doubt, besides some of top's contributors, that anyone reading it has anything to do with the "real world" of photography.

the word bokeh, which i never use, is actually incorrect for use when quantifying the "out of focus negative space" of a photograph or the ability to do so by a lens. wikipedia states: "The term comes from the Japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means "blur" or "haze", or boke-aji (ボケ味), the "blur quality". The Japanese term boke is also used in the sense of a mental haze or senility."

my japanese friends tell me they use that word for describing someone's mental ability. think alzheimers.

thanks for the comment but we can just agree to disagree, mate.

i'm happy you found your salon!


So true the comments on the photos of dpreview. The site was recommended by lots op people and for some time I believed every word they wrote, but then I looked at the sample photos. Uhhh...

Ken Z.

Greetings Chris!
If there is a Tao to the Leica,then I suspect that you could called the "Venerable Old Master" in the field.Many thanks for your choices of sites one can access/avoid when looking for somewhere to learn about the equip./skillsets one needs to "do it right".....what no Spaniel pictures???
Shame on you!!!;-)
Ken Z.

laurence zankowski


every time you post it seems I have to take 4 days of grumbling and working through your thoughts before I can even comment.

I am on day 2...

Lee Gillen

"The only opinion that matters is your own." But yours matters as well.

Speaking of opinions, I thought you might like these three photographers work.



What is your Facebook page? On devart I follow you for 5 years or so, what is yer facebook? So I know when to check ur blog. Or better, what is your twitter?

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