xtoph

Lives in United States seattle, WA, United States
Works as a anthropologist
Has a website at www.phloiterer.tumblr.com
Joined on Sep 22, 2004

Comments

Total: 96, showing: 21 – 40
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On article Ten things we learned this week (91 comments in total)

I have to add my objection to the new "click and load 12 pages to view content worth maybe 2" design i have seen a few times here recently.

Not only is it tedious and timewasting, but it is incovenient if you want to compare anything or review anything you just read as you go along.

Please dont go this way--just makes your site look like "10 wardrobe malfunctions" clickbait nonsense.

Link | Posted on Oct 12, 2013 at 05:53 UTC as 36th comment | 3 replies

(based solely on the pairs displayed here: )

eric wins!!!
...
and there in a nutshell is the absurdity of photography as a competitive sport.

(though this does seem to be all in a good lot of fun. )

Link | Posted on Aug 20, 2013 at 01:52 UTC as 24th comment
In reply to:

xtoph: The arguments here seem to range from 'let a 1000 flowers bloom' to 'how dare she', with some detours in between. In general i tend to side with letting artists experiment--but this isnt the same as painting a moustache on the mona lisa, which will never be confused with the original work. On the contrary, this seems to implicitly suggest that it is a 'better' version of the artist's intent (because it masquerades as closer to reality) than what we are currently stuck with, as if it were a restoration of a chapel fresco. That seems to be the gist of the many comments that 'the world is in color, bw is a manipulative lie'. 

This i think is the biggest issue: a fundamental misapprehension of what goes into bw photography. Yes, MBW looked out on a color world; no, she did not frame her subjects in color. All of these photographers knew what they were doing and worked in bw deliberately.
[continued]

[from above]
Bw wasn't a technical limitation that held their work back, it was a creative tool they exploited for conscious expressive effect. the fact that some of them didn't have a practical option to shoot in color doesn't mean they really wanted to do so, relegating their actual efforts to the status of some kind of mistake or inferior draft of history. And even if they had a desire to make color photos, they crafted these with a different aim.

It is this covert subversion of the artistic expression of the original photographer, rather than the colorizer's overt and distinct original contribution, that characterizes the present incarnation of the photographs. I dont find that worthy of celebration.

To my eyes, the only one of these photos which seems to work as well in false color is the last one. (a better prepared bw version might change that.) the others all suffer by comparison.

Which begs the question.

Link | Posted on Aug 19, 2013 at 19:24 UTC

The arguments here seem to range from 'let a 1000 flowers bloom' to 'how dare she', with some detours in between. In general i tend to side with letting artists experiment--but this isnt the same as painting a moustache on the mona lisa, which will never be confused with the original work. On the contrary, this seems to implicitly suggest that it is a 'better' version of the artist's intent (because it masquerades as closer to reality) than what we are currently stuck with, as if it were a restoration of a chapel fresco. That seems to be the gist of the many comments that 'the world is in color, bw is a manipulative lie'. 

This i think is the biggest issue: a fundamental misapprehension of what goes into bw photography. Yes, MBW looked out on a color world; no, she did not frame her subjects in color. All of these photographers knew what they were doing and worked in bw deliberately.
[continued]

Link | Posted on Aug 19, 2013 at 19:18 UTC as 57th comment | 2 replies
On article Panasonic GX7 First Impressions Review (1200 comments in total)
In reply to:

StefanW: Regarding the scene:
Having twice the brushes, color tubes and cards in the scene doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Instead I would prefer additional objects, something like the globe (of the old scene). The different text sizes on the globe were nice for comparison of resolution and high ISO capabilities of different cameras side by side and which texts can still be read. Different text sizes are relevant to allow also a distinction or comparison for the future when the cameras in maybe 4 years come with the a 100MP sensor.

Two points--first, there is more text of various sizes in this scene than the old one. Second, the repeated elements are very useful because they permit comparison of bright and shade performance, which is a major improvement over the old test scene. (check the tungsten version.)

Link | Posted on Aug 15, 2013 at 11:34 UTC
In reply to:

xtoph: it is really bad advice to recommend buying from someone who will not take returns/offer refunds, on at least two levels.

first, because the fact that not many people do return items, doesn't mean it isn't very valuable in the rare case when you need to do so.

second, because some of the best places to buy cameras also happen to offer some of the best return policies. (eg, bh).

which makes the advice both impractical and potentially disastrous. all to confer a false sense of 'scienticity' to your advice.

not helpful.

the entirety of the useful advice in this article boils down to 'don't worry too much about it.'

Tom--
B&h will ship most anywhere. I am aware that 'refund just because' is largely an american flavor, but hardly exclusively so. And of course there is a time limit--but the advice in kim's article was to avoid that window of security altogether.
As for "must add to the street pricing of goods", thats the same sort of reasoning in a vacuum kim is indulging in. In actual fact, prices at bh are about as low as they get.
It isnt hard to see why. Lots of people will take the plunge if they know they have a free do-over; but when it comes down to it, relatively few actually do return stuff without good reason.

Kim's advice, essentially to engage in psychological warfare against yourself, is silly. If you are in need of some psychic chill, try yoga, or maybe a hobby you enjoy and find relaxing... Maybe photography?

Link | Posted on Jul 25, 2013 at 19:52 UTC

it is really bad advice to recommend buying from someone who will not take returns/offer refunds, on at least two levels.

first, because the fact that not many people do return items, doesn't mean it isn't very valuable in the rare case when you need to do so.

second, because some of the best places to buy cameras also happen to offer some of the best return policies. (eg, bh).

which makes the advice both impractical and potentially disastrous. all to confer a false sense of 'scienticity' to your advice.

not helpful.

the entirety of the useful advice in this article boils down to 'don't worry too much about it.'

Link | Posted on Jul 24, 2013 at 22:43 UTC as 34th comment | 3 replies

it is a pretty serious issue, imo.
consider an expensive camera purchase, for the sake of argument, a leica m9. reviews vary wildly, to say the least. but the most troubling part is that some of the problems pointed out in negative reviews are extremely serious issues--which other users don't believe exist.
i've shot 100k+ exposures with an m9, and i can attest to the fact that there are problems with it i have never encountered with any other camera. otoh, there is no real way to decide whether you want to buy one, in spite of those problems, besides using it yourself. (i don't regret mine.)
now i want to buy a replacement. there doesn't appear to be any way to sift through some of the criticisms of the new m240 to determine whether they will be decisive other than, you guessed it, using the camera myself.
normally, the solution is trusted reviewers. but authoritative reviews of both the m8 and m9 failed miserably to expose actual problems-user reports did that.
catch-22.

Link | Posted on Jul 15, 2013 at 22:41 UTC as 130th comment | 1 reply

Really, the first three carry about equal weight for me, along with losing the ability to lock in a familiar and predictable set of program abilities, compatibility, and interface.
A long time ago steve jobs said 'people want to own their music', and that goes triple for their important computer programs.

Link | Posted on May 8, 2013 at 20:40 UTC as 835th comment
On article Photoshop CC: Adobe responds to reaction (1852 comments in total)

I legally purchased ps from v2, and cs v1,2,3. I was only able to do so because i get academic pricing, but even after i switched most of my photo work to aperture, it was worth it to use ps a couple times a month, indesign a few times a year. There is no way that the cc model makes sense or me. It is far too expensive--but it means i effectively lose the ability to run a few plugins i occassionally need to run on layers. On top of that, for an occasional user, the pitfalls of a constantly evolving interface, and shifting print output glitches entailed in evolving versions sounds like hell to me. And on top of that, i travel for long periods in countries where internet is spotty at best--i cannot risk a part of my workflow going down in the middle of a trip because subscription validation doesnt work.
I might consider renting ps by the hour, if that were reasonably priced, as a way to access it a dozen times a year. But i wont hold my breath.

Link | Posted on May 8, 2013 at 08:58 UTC as 559th comment

Focal length may be the least interesting aspect of a great photographer's work, but i can't help but find it funny that kim aparently can't tell that the photo he used to illustrate the point about the importance if wide angle lenses--the second shot in the essay--is not made with a wide angle lens.

If you want real insight into klein's work, google his name + 'contact sheet' on youtube and watch the short vid of klein himself talking candidly through some of his contact sheets. It is well worth your time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V_F_MDfB2g

Link | Posted on May 3, 2013 at 07:28 UTC as 13th comment
In reply to:

Roland Karlsson: Ehhhhhh ,,,,, in what way are they achromatic?

Roland, you're thinking of 'apochromatic' not achromatic.

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2013 at 22:01 UTC
On article Photographer turns to iPhone for creative wedding shoot (132 comments in total)
In reply to:

gl2k: Why does the headline explicitly state "iPhone" instead of smartphone ?
Wouldn't any other modern smarthphone with a decent camera work as well ? Even more since the iPhone camera is average at best.
That smacks so much like "WOW, look what an iPhone can do !!".
Using a decent Nokia gives a lot more headroom to play with.

well, yes, of course you 'could' use something different; but apparently he used an iphone. the headline is perfectly correct; so why does it bother you?

arguing that something else has an incrementally better sensor kind of completely misses the point; if he needed a better sensor, he'd have used his dslr. part of the appeal of 'iphoneography' is that it uses nothing special, just the most common, default device of its kind. and it is pretty hard to argue that this whole technology segment--both the hardware and the software ends of it--the didn't start with the iphone. the point isn't to say 'look what an iphone can do that nothing else can', it is more like 'look what even just an iphone can do'. the essence of the statement isn't aggrandizing the device, it's emphasizing the lack of reliance on exotic devices.

Link | Posted on Jan 25, 2013 at 13:52 UTC
In reply to:

maxnimo: Since my Canon 50mm prime lens died I'm done with Canon. A $380 prime lens should not die before the camera dies. Never again will I buy Canon camera equipment, and I most certainly won't spend $5000 for a prime.

The ef50/1.4 is notorious for its micromotor af breaking down, and it is a shame. But, optically it is an excellent lens well worth the money, and canon have fixed the af on mine (twice) for just over $100. Considering the use i gave it, not so bad.
Really has no bearing whatsoever on these new lenses, and we may even see a replacement to the venerable old 50 announced any day--i will be curious to see if they introduce something as useful as the new 35/2is in this focal lenght.

Link | Posted on Jan 10, 2013 at 22:51 UTC
On article New image viewing options for forums (162 comments in total)
In reply to:

xtoph: i have not given anyone permission to 'download original' files of my photographs. dpr's inclusion of a dedicated button for this is bizarre, and suggests that i somehow do give such permission.

i am aware that people can copy my photos, but there's a difference between that being technically possible and it being actively encouraged and tacitly approved.

please change this. and shame on dpr, after facebook's photographer unfriendly changes (including a 'download original' button we have no control over) and the backlash against them, you would think that a photographer-centered site would have handled this differently.

@simon--
Thank you for clarifying that you will change the label on the 'download original' button. It was far from clear previously that you agreed this should change, especially after your responses to my comments above.

I put a great deal of effort into dpr and have contributed a fair bit over the years to making it a better place, so i appreciate the responsiveness of dpr to fixing this misstep.

Link | Posted on Jan 7, 2013 at 08:32 UTC
On article New image viewing options for forums (162 comments in total)
In reply to:

xtoph: i have not given anyone permission to 'download original' files of my photographs. dpr's inclusion of a dedicated button for this is bizarre, and suggests that i somehow do give such permission.

i am aware that people can copy my photos, but there's a difference between that being technically possible and it being actively encouraged and tacitly approved.

please change this. and shame on dpr, after facebook's photographer unfriendly changes (including a 'download original' button we have no control over) and the backlash against them, you would think that a photographer-centered site would have handled this differently.

simon: i don't need the operation of the browser explained to me. if you think it is 'no big deal', then it should be no big deal for dpr to change the misleading invitation to download the original file. as i said, most people who read that are not thinking 'oh, that just means to view the picture in my browswer'. they are already doing that, at 100% if they desire. if they click 'download original file', that clearly connotes taking possession of that picture file. and there's a difference between condoning that, and it being possible.

why would you not change this so as to cease to encourage people to steal photos--even if it was not dpr's intention to so encourage people?

i realize that it can be exhausting dealing with criticism of your every move that comes in from the web no matter what you do, it probably seems like. but this is a simple issue; you made a mistake. if you acknowledge that, change it, then we'll all move on and everyone will be happy for ever after, right?

Link | Posted on Jan 7, 2013 at 01:56 UTC
On article New image viewing options for forums (162 comments in total)
In reply to:

Jimmy jang Boo: Nice! This is a great improvement and it is much appreciated.

As for those who are so concerned about their images being downloaded, if they want to use your website to promote and protect their business interests, they should pay for special privileges. And in addition to that, if they actually sell anything, charge them a royalty.

@ jimmy
I don't know why you would think that this is a matter of 'promoting my business interests'. The point is dpr explicitly suggesting to every viewer of my photos here that it is okay not only to view those pictures, but to download the original file. 'download original' connotes ownership to most people, regardless whether it is the camera original file or a smaller, edited version.

In the world of pinterest, tumblr, "curatorship", etc., it is misleading to suggest that any viewer is welcome to take the original file for their own use, without a link to original context. Facebook made this exact same error (created 'download original' button out of control of the photographer) a year ago. Given photographers' reactions to that, it is simply inexcusable that dpr has made the same mistake, and taken the choice of approving downloads out of the hands of the photographer.

It is very simple: a photographer's site should facilitate viewing, not appropriation of, photographs.

Link | Posted on Jan 6, 2013 at 21:15 UTC
On article New image viewing options for forums (162 comments in total)
In reply to:

xtoph: i have not given anyone permission to 'download original' files of my photographs. dpr's inclusion of a dedicated button for this is bizarre, and suggests that i somehow do give such permission.

i am aware that people can copy my photos, but there's a difference between that being technically possible and it being actively encouraged and tacitly approved.

please change this. and shame on dpr, after facebook's photographer unfriendly changes (including a 'download original' button we have no control over) and the backlash against them, you would think that a photographer-centered site would have handled this differently.

It is bizarre to me to hear people tell me i should not be concerned whether people steal my image files. Surely it should be up to me if that's something i am concerned with?

Once again, i understand that it is always possible for people to copy an image presented on the internet. My objection is to dpr effectively telling one and all that it is perfectly okay if they want to steal that file. It is not okay, and dpr should not be facilitating it.

To those sagely opining that i shouldnt upload 'original' size files, my gallery photos are generally about 1100 px on the long dimension. Dpr still offers a button to viewers to 'download original', i this case the 1100 px file. No one should be downloading that file; it is for viewing, not offered to people to keep, use, or alter.

Some of you think it is witty to denigrate your pictures. Your choice. My photos are good enoth to care about. And i respect my subjects enough not to condone giving away photos of them.

Link | Posted on Jan 6, 2013 at 20:50 UTC
Total: 96, showing: 21 – 40
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