leecamera

leecamera

Lives in United Kingdom United Kingdom
Works as a Photographer
Joined on Aug 2, 2009
About me:

Commercial, Portrait, Headshot, Events, Editorial photographer - based in London but shooting all over the world.

Comments

Total: 43, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (281 comments in total)
In reply to:

hypnotictortoise: You all want 'easy' right? (After all film is 'hard' and that's just offensive and unacceptable).

I'm not quite sure what people thought was going to happen, did people just think that hundreds of millions of photographers would hide their images from the world because they weren't being paid?

Here's the deal, it's a commercial world, and if you aren't good enough to survive in the market then you can go get an office job or some such thing.

Side note: I guarentee that Time Wallace (car photographer), for example, isn't going to see his client base evaporate.

Hypnotictortoise:
The assumition was that you are not a full time 100% pro photographer with no alternative income.

Certainly you've been running a business, but from whatyou say, not as a pro photographer. Commercialising your work as an aside isn't the same.

RED!:
And your reply makes a guy sad that society simply doesn't care. And here we go again with the cries of adjust with technology, adapt or die, change your business model... peddled by thsoe who have no practical experience of being a pro photographer.

I wasted too much time arguing with those who don't care about the industry and preach from the safety of their no photography jobs. I won't waste it again.

But when they come for you in your profession, can I knock on your door and tell you that you've no worth and jsut get another job as you hope to pay your overdue mortgage...?

No need to reply - I won't be visiting to read the drivel.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2018 at 21:48 UTC
On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (281 comments in total)
In reply to:

hypnotictortoise: You all want 'easy' right? (After all film is 'hard' and that's just offensive and unacceptable).

I'm not quite sure what people thought was going to happen, did people just think that hundreds of millions of photographers would hide their images from the world because they weren't being paid?

Here's the deal, it's a commercial world, and if you aren't good enough to survive in the market then you can go get an office job or some such thing.

Side note: I guarentee that Time Wallace (car photographer), for example, isn't going to see his client base evaporate.

I'm guessing you're not a pro photographer. I'm guessing you'd have no qualms with undercutting a pro because your income is derived elsewhere.

The proble isn't with the outside world, it's with our community eating itself alive - just because it can.

And yes we've all seen commercially successful people who aren't very skilled. But these are in the minority and we're talking broader strokes here.

I won't undercut a working pro just because I don't need the money. My morality won't let me do it I'm not expecting the commercial world to let hearts rule their head or have any moral compass - it's the commercial world... But I am hoping that the community I belong to will have that moral compass - especially when they've nothing to gain financially. But I hope for too much.

Step into our world for a year. Then you are qualified to say whether we're fit to survive or not. It's easy from the cheap seats.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2018 at 21:27 UTC
On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (281 comments in total)
In reply to:

hypnotictortoise: You all want 'easy' right? (After all film is 'hard' and that's just offensive and unacceptable).

I'm not quite sure what people thought was going to happen, did people just think that hundreds of millions of photographers would hide their images from the world because they weren't being paid?

Here's the deal, it's a commercial world, and if you aren't good enough to survive in the market then you can go get an office job or some such thing.

Side note: I guarentee that Time Wallace (car photographer), for example, isn't going to see his client base evaporate.

Nothing to do with "good enough" to survive. We had this conversation in another forum at length.

There is a perception, (usually by those not working as pro photographers), that good enough = success. Alas no it isn't so. I'm better than some of the local competition and often the difference is worrying - but I'm faced with "the other guy is free / £100 a day" and when faced with the option of cheap, then quality pales into insignificance.

But until anyone turns pro and truly understands the whole mechanics of working in that environment, it is easy to come up with blanket statements about being good enough. It's much more complex than that.

But if we could have the decent amateur photographers retain a sense of self-worth and a sense of what happens to a professional sector when they give away their images... then we have a partial solution and a slow down to the problem.

But you're not thinking that way are you, or maybe I've changed your heart - hope so.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2018 at 21:10 UTC
On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (281 comments in total)
In reply to:

leecamera: Part 4
But he sits there, uninformed and with no professional background - thinking that images are valueless, whilst having no personal stake in the photographic industry.

You can amost see his eyes glazing over when faced with the realities posed by Zack, (who was a lot more polite and generous than I would have been).

It's easy to create something that has no true value. Congrats to Unsplash, you have created soemthing people may want but hurts everyone in the long run.

I see you're a graphic designer.

I studied graphic design and I've done a bit commercially. Turns out I'm not at all bad at it. If I popped up and offered your employer / clients a similar product to you but at zero cost, (because I didn't need the money), how would that not effect you. How would that not effect your industry.

And when there weren't enough graphic designer pros out there because there were lots of me - how would that not be detrimental in the long run.

I could draw paralells with chain stores taking over the DIY market because in the short term their costs were lower, but now we just have lots of big chain stores selling the same and none of the staff know the product.

"Use it or lose "it springs to mind or "you don't miss it 'till it's gone" probably fits better.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2018 at 21:01 UTC
On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (281 comments in total)

Part 4
But he sits there, uninformed and with no professional background - thinking that images are valueless, whilst having no personal stake in the photographic industry.

You can amost see his eyes glazing over when faced with the realities posed by Zack, (who was a lot more polite and generous than I would have been).

It's easy to create something that has no true value. Congrats to Unsplash, you have created soemthing people may want but hurts everyone in the long run.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2018 at 20:15 UTC as 54th comment | 4 replies
On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (281 comments in total)

Part 3
The creator of Unsplash is clearly not versed in the history or practices of professional photography. He has no idea of how it works in real life and cites opportunity to showcase and network as key drivers for the working pro. This will not work whilst networking is only driven by a desire to never actually pay for images in the first place.

The creator of Unsplash will either walk away from this dismal venture as a failure - and help ruin some of the professional industry, or he willfind fortune in sideline profits (advertising on the site) - whislt ruining the professional industry.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2018 at 20:14 UTC as 55th comment
On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (281 comments in total)

Part 2
In our long winded arguments, we found an amateur community not understanding the concerns of the pros, and the pros frustrated that their careers were being erroded by freebees being handed out.

There was no bending by those that didn't care. They simply didn't care. It was disheartening to see society repeat an "I'm alright Jack" stance, or "I can do what I want" posture. I fear this side of the photographic community will help ever more to errode the professional side - and one day, when enough pros don't/can't invest and the subsequent manufacturing industry takes a different direction because, we'll have a world steered by domestic toys and cheaper solutions.

The true reality is that if talented amateurs stop giving their work away for free and have a sense of self-worth, the industry will be stronger for it. But then we come back to the "I don't care, I have a job" approach and it all goes downhill.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2018 at 20:13 UTC as 56th comment | 1 reply
On article Zack Arias on Unsplash and the 'race to the bottom' (281 comments in total)

Part 1
I was part of a long debate on a different forum about the issues of free images and the damage to professional work.

There is no reason why an amateur should be less talented than a pro. So quality of images isn't the issue.

What is the issue is the perception that images have less value, and I'm afraid it is the photographic community that is helping with this demise.

There are, alas, enough people out there, (some who can deliver great images), who simply don't care if giving away images is hurting the industry. They cry "adapt or die" whilst safe in their staff jobs and doing photography as a hobby.

Of course adapt to a model where free is the preferred option, (and given the choice, industry will largely choose free, even if it isn't quite as good), is not a real solution so the "adapt" model isn't quite as simple as it sounds.

And the issue is so wide ranging that finding different areas of ohotography isn't viable because the problem persists across the board.

Link | Posted on Feb 5, 2018 at 20:13 UTC as 57th comment
In reply to:

User9953865401: Buy An Eizo monitor and by happy forever.

Well my nearly 10 year old CG211 monitor is still going very strong, very stable and performs just as it did when new.

Its replacement, the CG2420 has built in calibration with its own swing down measuring tool. I did a calibration with my i-1 Pro and compared the accuracy. The built in calibator was more neutral than the i-1.

Milegae and experiences vary, but mine has been excellent.

Link | Posted on Dec 7, 2017 at 18:58 UTC
In reply to:

Internet Enzyme: QHD is nice and everything but I feel like if you’re buying a display in 2017 you should probably go for 4k. I understand 4k can be expensive, but I feel like future proofing will most likely save you money, Also I dislike that name “QHD”. It’s kind of confusing. 720p shouldnt even be called HD anymore in my book.

I set my Eizo 2420 at just 65 Cd/m2 which requires a darkened environment and a monitor that can deliver very deep blacks and no IPS glow.

But the advantage of working this way is that the difference between screen and paper images is quite small. The screen brightness is almost the same as paper in decent light.

Link | Posted on Dec 5, 2017 at 21:06 UTC
In reply to:

User9953865401: Buy An Eizo monitor and by happy forever.

Eizo are the best.

I've demo'd the other leading brands and nothing comes close. the CG 2420 and their 4K screens are amazing with perfect blacks and almost zero IPS glow.

And their built in calibration tool is more accurate than anything else on the market. Worth every penny.

Link | Posted on Dec 5, 2017 at 21:01 UTC

There is sooo much more to a good monitor than gamut range and contrast ratio, (which in itself is almost meaningless without refard to ambient lighting conditions).

Nothing is for free in this life. Quality costs. Cheap leaves you wanting.

Link | Posted on Dec 5, 2017 at 17:42 UTC as 5th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

John _ Finn: A lot of negativity here on the prizewinners and I must admit I'd have shared a lot of it except for one thing - yesterday morning I went to see the exhibition at London's National Portrait Gallery and my expectations of being underwhelmed were completely overturned. Seeing the actual prints and reading the backstories to the images made me appreciate the artistry involved and I realised that the judges made very good choices indeed. The prints were beautifully produced and presented and like any works of art, digital representations do not do them full justice. I will never criticise the TW Prize again and I will make sure to see next year's winners in the flesh also rather than making ill-founded judgments based on what I see on screen.

Backstories are all very nice, but we are not judging the images as part of a journalistic quest - there are other competitions for that.

The Wessing Portrait competition should be about the image in its own right, and for me, it has missed big time in this respect.

Heck, we even had a "portrait" of a dog on display. How is this a portrait?

Every year the quality of finalists gets worse. I'm sure the entrants are still great, (there is usually a separate exhibition held by another organiser of the "losers" and this is always much better.

Before long the Wessing competition will become a laughing stock in the photography world if it doesn't get its act together.

Now if you want to see a really great competition, see the BPPA Assignments entries at the PhotoBlock exhibition each year in London, (this year in October). Now that is an amazing display of the best of everything. We were in there for hours - and it's free.

Link | Posted on Nov 26, 2017 at 16:30 UTC
In reply to:

Stujomo: I can't help but wonder if most of the negative comments on here is down to jealousy.
Simply people thinking why did these images win when their own are soooo much better.

I've been to the National Portrail Gallery to see the display of the top images. Overall it is a very poor showing considering this is supposed to be the best portrait photography in the world.

At least half of the images had me and my girlfriend thinking WHAT...? The third place was worthy and their was a great image through a gate, but sooo many without technical or creative merit.

It gets worse each year. I can't imagine what the judges are thinking. With so many images exhibited by photographers who have "been exhibited" or "previous finalist in the Wessing competition" I sometimes wonder if it is recognised names that win these thinks and not the images themselves. The art world can often be like that.

I visit every year but next year - maybe not...

Link | Posted on Nov 26, 2017 at 16:19 UTC
In reply to:

PhotoKhan: I hope people commenting here understand that, at least in Europe, you're already required to obtain a license and/or pay fees if you want to shoot in most cities/villages for commercial purposes.

The fact that many productions get away with not paying those when they can pass mostly unnoticed by being less than disruptive does not mean those provisions do not exist.

Positano is just following lead and justifiably so because of the interest-to-size ratio and the explosion of "production" outfits that cater for the exponational growth of media content.

Let's just hope that the authorities there are photography-educated enough to realize that not every DSLR-with-a-tripod user is a professional photographer gathering commercial-oriented content.

I remember when I was shooting in Thailand, customs said our paperwork was not in order for the 10 cases of kit we had. (It was). But our paperwork "could" be legal for a mere £500 - which I'm guessing was the considered limit before crews might put up a fight. It needed to be cash of course, and we were "legal."

Link | Posted on Nov 4, 2017 at 12:51 UTC
In reply to:

PhotoKhan: I hope people commenting here understand that, at least in Europe, you're already required to obtain a license and/or pay fees if you want to shoot in most cities/villages for commercial purposes.

The fact that many productions get away with not paying those when they can pass mostly unnoticed by being less than disruptive does not mean those provisions do not exist.

Positano is just following lead and justifiably so because of the interest-to-size ratio and the explosion of "production" outfits that cater for the exponational growth of media content.

Let's just hope that the authorities there are photography-educated enough to realize that not every DSLR-with-a-tripod user is a professional photographer gathering commercial-oriented content.

It's amazing. A European crew turns up in the centre of Nairobi and it's like a cash register has rung in the eyes of the local police.

We were warned by our experienced broadcast Kenyan fixer, (himself a TV journalist), and of course with 10 mins of shooting were were stopped by two police claiming we'd broken some fictitious law.

Our fixer explained to them that we were with him and as part of his local station we needed no permits, but strangely enough there was a fine to pay - in cash and on the spot, or a quick trip to the station was next.

The cash fine was £80 but we said we only had £40 (which we'd already prepared in advance). Amazingly, the fine was reduced to exactly £40 but we had to make the payment out of public sight.

After which we were now "legal" and free to film anything we wanted. mmm...

Link | Posted on Nov 4, 2017 at 12:50 UTC
In reply to:

PhotoKhan: I hope people commenting here understand that, at least in Europe, you're already required to obtain a license and/or pay fees if you want to shoot in most cities/villages for commercial purposes.

The fact that many productions get away with not paying those when they can pass mostly unnoticed by being less than disruptive does not mean those provisions do not exist.

Positano is just following lead and justifiably so because of the interest-to-size ratio and the explosion of "production" outfits that cater for the exponational growth of media content.

Let's just hope that the authorities there are photography-educated enough to realize that not every DSLR-with-a-tripod user is a professional photographer gathering commercial-oriented content.

No not true. I work as a commercial photographer and TV lighting cameraman and although there are some select areas in some European cities, (London has its Royal Parks for example and a few council designated green bits), pros are free to shoot almost anywhere as long as they're not a big team.

For example, the last two days I've been shooting live TV for a major broadcaster in Paris with light / tripod / IFB links / camera / LiveU unit and even though we were only 500m from a heavily armed government building and could see major landmarks in shot, we were undisturbed by officials and police.

In London's central Square Mile area the police have powers to stop us filming if a tripod goes down, but even then it is often just a polite request as to what we are doing.

Permits and licences come into play when you're looking at larger crews / teams, where interference with public comes into play.

I've been shooting for 20 years and been OK all over the world, (except Nairobi)

Link | Posted on Nov 4, 2017 at 12:27 UTC

Did I read correctly that Bowens was actually in profit. It seems that sometimes being in profit isn't enough for some investors and they want more and quicker.

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2017 at 09:08 UTC as 4th comment
In reply to:

Scottelly: I don't know much about Bowens, but they seem to be more expensive than Alien Bees, which are probably responsible for a number of strobe manufacturers going out of business. Too bad, because it looks like Bowens makes some good stuff. It's hard to believe they can't keep running, with all that they have in place (over 300 products listed at B&H - a few dozen in stock). It seems like the hard, up-hill work has already been done. I can't find Alien Bees at B&H at all.

Of course there is the cheaper competition, like Impact and Interfit, and a lot of buyers choose those, rather than the more expensive stuff. It could be that those companies are offering good enough equipment now that there's no need for most photographers to pay twice as much to upgrade later. When I started with a set of Impact 160 WS lights, they recharged to full power in 5 seconds. I thought I needed more speed, and I didn't take very good care of them, so when one stopped working, I bought a set of Alien Bees.

Alien Bees are I'm sure quite fine, but you'll not see them here in the UK, or I'm guessing, much of Europe.

There is always cheaper and always more expensive. Bowens were solid products with great customer service and the new Generation X were great quality.

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2017 at 08:54 UTC
In reply to:

LiangMing: I use LED light to carry around easily, plus my new camera can handle high ISO in most situation without any lighting at all.

I do think that Bowens didn't innovate. Of course it's easy to say this without regard to the retooling and RnD costs associated with this. A company needs the revenue to expand and expansion can generate revenue. It can be a catch 22 situation. I had suggested a few developments that required almost minimal retooling which opened up a whole new product line, but they didn't even want to talk about it. Perhaps they were blinkered towards just developing what they knew. Easy for us all to stand back and be wise after the event of course.

They had just brought out the new Generation X lights which had some impressive specs. Alas, the photographic community often just wants to know how many watts, how many radio channels, is it LED...? And the improvements (which potentially put them in a new class) were probably glossed over and the Bowens mid-range reputation never elevated their new range to where it should have been.

Very sad. Hopefully some wise investor will take them on.

Link | Posted on Jul 19, 2017 at 08:38 UTC
Total: 43, showing: 1 – 20
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