Lives in United States Carlsbad, CA, United States
Works as a Photo Editor
Has a website at http://www.jphotog.com
Joined on Apr 6, 2003
About me:

Photo Editor for the Gemological Institute of America. If you shoot gems - why haven't
you called me? (Or mines and factories, and other stuff related to gem/jewelry industry.)
I use a 1Ds Mark II at work, but thinking about getting a D200 or D2X for myself.


Total: 87, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM real-world sample gallery (109 comments in total)

Just saw next year's budget. I'm scheduled to buy it in February! Yes!

Direct link | Posted on Nov 24, 2015 at 21:20 UTC as 34th comment
In reply to:

happypoppeye: There is very little benefit shooting in RAW these days and its easier for a company to handle jpegs. Plus, jpegs are almost just as editable.

Maybe you can't get better photos out of RAW. A class or two can fix that. Try photography as a living and you'd see things differently. I've literally been around the world multiple times shooting photos. When you go to exotic places and shoot in situations you can never repeat, you do not want to make a mistake that can't be fixed. If you can't do a better job than the algorithms built into the image processor in your camera, you shouldn't be paid to shoot. (And I don't mean just you.)

Try shooting available light 12 levels down in the oldest emerald mine in the world near Muzo, Colombia. JPEG will not cut it.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 16:39 UTC
In reply to:

instamatic: You really don't need RAW most of the time - if speed of delivery is important - like stated here. Proper photography discipline and understanding of lighting will produce excellent JPGs out of camera probably like 95% of the time.

What struck me here, is that the size needs to be limited at 3500 px longest edge, which is about 8 megapixels. This goes contrary to some of the stuff one could read in the past, which stated, that stuff under 11 megapixels is not accepted, etc., etc. But then that probably applied to stock images.

All-in-all I think it's a wise decision, and allows the use of a smartphone alone to download and transfer images to the news agency.

Tell that to the guy whose once in a lifetime million dollar photo was compromised be being in that 5 percent.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 16:33 UTC
In reply to:

migus: This may be about content, trackable edits, archival mgnt. and practical speed (of 'processes').

However unpopular Reuters' decision might be, it's IMHO positive. Because we got lazy:

1) Some camera makers don't feel any real pressure to improve their image processors and OOC JPG, when their most discerning users couldn't care less (since they're hooked on a RAW/LR workflow anyway). And the consumer segment can't tell the difference between great and mediocre OOC JPGs, given their cheaper screens and other practical factors.

2) We as RAW shooters got lazy as well, knowing well that today's sensors DR and noise characteristics + post-tools can fix nearly any exposure time issues. Those 13-14 steps of DR + the LR magic can literally salvage most botched shots and still produce spectacular results.

Perhaps Reuters wants less 'magic' and 'spectacular' RAW results, in favor of a simpler to produce, store and audit JPG (with much less tolerance for error at shoot time)?

It better not look like the original RAW file. That would be gross incompetence. Cameras apply some serious processing to the RAW data to generate jpegs that look acceptable.

As and editor (who still shoots), I would never shoot jpeg-only. I never do in-camera jpegs. They have clipped highlights and allow for inadequate corrections of difficult subjects that can't be undone in post. Why hobble yourself out of the gate? Competent photographers I know shoot RAW. Because it's more flexible, archival, and technically superior.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 16:31 UTC
In reply to:

AlanG: Since they clearly limit adjusting the overall look of a scene to the minimum, they must be somewhat concerned about preserving the integrity of the "look" of the original scene.

However this goes against the long tradition of photojournalism where photographers exaggerated and emphasized a mood by removing all of the colors from a scene using various techniques with filters, dodging and burning, etc. This is to the point of abstraction in many cases. E.g. would Lange's photo of the migrant mother with kids and others from the dust bowl have the same drama and feeling of sadness in color?

So is Black and White photography also prohibited?

I worked for newspapers in the 80s that used black and white on all but section fronts. Such abstraction is not an issue. Does the photo reflect the reality of the scene?

Dorthea Lange worked in an era before photojournalism standards had evolved. I despised the "hand of God" technique many used, into the 1990s! (Burning excessive darkness into corners, now known as vignetting by holding one's hand in the center of the light path of the enlarger.) Photoshop now can reverse the natural vignetting from lenses. How things change!

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 16:22 UTC
In reply to:

Rick Knepper: As a consumer of news and news photography/video, I welcome any change that will help maintain the integrity of the facts and truth. As an experienced photographer, I'm scratching my head as to how this policy will facilitate this goal over any other method.

As a long time self employed person, I understand the need to get the product to customer quickly although I do not understand how this will help. There must be much about Reuters' workflow that has gone unsaid in the article.

I knew the guy who wrote the rules. Cliff Edom, who started the first photojournalism program in the world at the University of Missouri. His mantra was "show truth with a camera." He knew the limitations of that phrase. But it makes the point. It's not the tools that make your honest or not. A point Reuters seems to miss. Not to mention many here. It's how you do your job. And it's hiring people you trust.

Ironic Reuters can be sticklers on their photos (It's a very good thing!). But not so strict on the content of so many of their stories.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 16:13 UTC
In reply to:

madeinlisboa: Time to separate good photographers from Photoshopers...

Time to set aside the competent ones who use the right tools, and the tools who couldn't use Photoshop correctly, and rely on camera algorithms to make acceptable images. Ha!

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 16:04 UTC
In reply to:

Ross Murphy: Editing RAW is no different than editing film in the dark room, if your not shooting RAW your throwing away the equivalent of the negative. Reuters will change their mind on this one eventually.

If there is a need for speed the photographer will shoot RAW+JPG and send the JPG, no need for speed then they should be able to process the RAW. Each camera type processes RAW based on the manufacturers specs, not Reuters specs, how will that be consistent?

Yes, but as a photo editor who sometimes licenses photos from Reuters, I want the best possible quality. So they should say shoot RAW + JPEG, and if we need something special, we'll call you for a better quality image as needed. Computers make such processes a no-brainier if you know what you are doing.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 16:03 UTC
In reply to:

chj: Translation: checking these raw files is just taking too much damn time and money, let's just use the honor system.


RAW files have the same kind of metadata. They can be reset to being fresh out of the camera. And, Reuters allows adjustments. And Photoshop can be set to embed info about every single edit made to the file in metadata.

If someone is going to edit EXIF metadata, there's nothing the editor can do about it. Hiring professional photojournalists has to be one of the easiest things these days. There are so many of them unemployed. The editors would do better to warn photographers that cheating will be dealt with swiftly and they will be blackballed at all agencies if caught.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 15:49 UTC
In reply to:

DesmondD: People taking photos for a living should be able to get their settings close enough for decent jpegs anyway. Too many people [not all who shoot RAW but still many] use RAW as a crutch for bad technique.
It has its benefits but if your settings are so bad you can't salvage a jpeg for a newspaper then you're in the wrong job.

The problem with your argument is that a photojournalist doesn't have the luxury many times to wait for the right light and can be dealing with quite a chaotic environment. I've been a photojournalist for 30 years. There are plenty of times my photos required lots of adjustments to make them appear in the photos as the scenes appeared to one's eye. The question is whether the photo reflects reality - with due consideration to how photography is an abstraction from the scene to begin with. The camera never lies. It shows what you point it at. The problem is photographers sometimes do lie.

Reuters is making a dumb, but typically naive policy here. Some bozo who thinks he/she knows better than photographers. It's like the IT department blocking Dropbox, which has 256 bit AES encryption, while allowing unfettered access to any foreign language website because their systems only block bad English websites. It does no good, any only hinders the competent people in doing their jobs.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 21, 2015 at 15:45 UTC
On article Olympus shows gains in first half financials (139 comments in total)
In reply to:

bluevellet: I contributed in their better financials. :)

If those hyperprimes are really coming next year, along with the EM1 markII, I'll contribute some more.

Well, I think I'm going to enrich Panasonic in the lens area (100-400), but I can't wait to see what Oly comes out with in the EM1 Mark II. Zero doubt I will be buying one of those.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 13, 2015 at 18:08 UTC
On article Olympus shows gains in first half financials (139 comments in total)
In reply to:

Thorgrem: So mirrorless sales are up 22% for Olympus. How can that be? Reading the news articles on this site and the reactions under it gives the impression that Sony has the entire mirrorless market and is destroying everything else. How can such an tiny sensor gain share? FF supposed to be the only thing that matters...

Sorry Miron09, the statement about Fritz Kreisler is bunk. My violin teacher was friends with Kreisler. And they would tell you that yes, he can make a bad violin sound better than an amateur. But the problem with cheap violins is that they have no depth. You can't bear down on them and hope they won't start falling apart sound-wise. It leads to screeching and distortion and the sound of a dying Grumpy Cat.

But your point has validity to a degree. Any great photographer can use any camera and produce great results. Andre Kertesz, when he came to America, was told by the magazines that they weren't interested in his photos because he shot with a Leica. Only a 4x5 camera was a professional camera. So he made his prints at home, told them they were from a 4x5 and the editors were none the wiser.

Ansel Adams complimented Peter Stackpole for getting a large format camera to shoot the construction the Golden Gate Bridge, and was flabbergasted to find he had shot them with a Leica.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 13, 2015 at 18:01 UTC

Been burned on Kickstarter way too many times. I'm pretty picky about what to back. I might be interested if I used circular polarizers more. But glad I'm not tempted.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 11, 2015 at 16:29 UTC as 20th comment

Not terribly surprising. Back in my newspaper days, I shot football quite a bit, and found manual focus was the most reliable way of getting photos. (Using Leica SLRs mostly at the time. So I guess I didn't have a choice when using my own cameras. Company cameras didn't help on that front. AF never worked that well for me.)

High frame rates are highly overrated. I remember one Kansas City Chiefs game where I was in the AP lab during half time going over my negatives. I was sitting next to the AP bureau chief Cliff Schiappa. I had 12 or so rolls of film and he had something like four or five. (He was shooting with a Nikon 400 3.5 btw.) I said, "Look how many fewer rolls you shot compared to me! His reply was classic. "If I shoot it, I have to edit it." He knew the game so well he was able to cherry pick the great shots. Cliff was amongst the best. He was one of the AP's go-to guys for the Olympics.

Good review. Gives us a lot to think about.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 5, 2015 at 15:29 UTC as 27th comment

You want to really trash that dress? Hire Joel Peter Witkin to shoot it.

Direct link | Posted on Nov 1, 2015 at 14:52 UTC as 78th comment
On article PIX 2015: Brian Ach and getting the right shot (41 comments in total)

Well, not sure I'd say the right shot. But that's subjective. That's the best he could get from Prince? Is the singer formerly known as a symbol on cold medication?

For my taste, the group of rap singers? Cliché. Cheesy.

Lighting? Way over-lit. Like I said, my taste.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 29, 2015 at 16:30 UTC as 26th comment | 4 replies
On article A lot to Leica? Hands-on with the Leica SL (Typ 601) (1409 comments in total)

As I've said since I sold off my R and M systems 12 years ago.

Leica has lost their minds. This is unbelievably ludicrous. There is zero chance I would ever waste my money, time, and luggage space on this travesty.

All the image quality on planet earth can't make up for horrible ergonomics, and massive space-wasting hardware that can't even in their gargantuan size provide constant apertures.

This is the Leica that made the M3? I don't think so.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 20, 2015 at 19:30 UTC as 437th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

GlennKoehler: This leaves me wondering why they bothered developing a 24mm version at all?

The wider you go, the more difference a millimeter makes. There's a vast difference between 20 and 24 if you use such lenses a lot.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2015 at 19:58 UTC

Yeah, because 20mm isn't 21mm, which has been on the Leica for years.

Come on Sigma, you're better than that.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 16, 2015 at 19:55 UTC as 58th comment | 6 replies
On article Video: Cristina Mittermeier delivers PIX 2015 keynote (68 comments in total)
In reply to:

Tronhar: I got two things out of this video: neither of which have anything to do with what equipment she uses or how well known she may or may not be. The significance of her messages is in their veracity.

1. I know we will not not destroy our planet, but it will change to the point where life as we know it will no longer be sustainable, and that is a tragedy for all species including our own. Denying that, or hoping someone else will sort it is not a solution and we all have a part to play.

2. Not only is a picture worth a thousand words, it does it in a hundred languages. There is a wealth of data on climate change, and there is no debate among 98% of scientists that we are in the middle of it. But the average person is not swayed with tables and graphs, they are moved by images showing these events in action. One such effort by James Balog in his series, Chasing Ice, shows in dramatic fashion the acceleration of glacial melt on a global scale. This is the power of photography...

No scientist with a whit of credibility denies climate change, or the fact that it is largely from human intervention. The climate was in balance. It doesn't take much to throw systems off their perfect balance. Deny it all you like. But just like the guy who claimed vaccines causes autism finally admitting he ginned up the numbers and now admits he lied, and yet people cling to what they believe anecdotally or not, the same goes for climate change deniers.

Climate change, FYI, is global warming. It's not one and then the other. They are one in the same.

Direct link | Posted on Oct 7, 2015 at 22:43 UTC
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