A small note of thanks goes out to Anthony from FujiFilm SLR Talk, who took Mark to task for the post Mark made recently in Fuji SLR Talk. Mark posted some links to mental health counselling web pages last month,as part of a series of posts he did in FujiFilm SLR Talk. And this time, Mark tried to smear me with the same "mental health counselling" links tactics. A post and a tactic which Anthony said was, "rude" and inappropriate.
What's funny is that,even though Anthony and I have never really shared much of anything over the years, and have NO internet off-list relationship or off-list contact whatsoever, that Anthony came to my defense. Mark on the other hand, was somebody who I took a personal interest in,and who I tried to help with several long and encouraging e-mails over a span of over a year's time. Mark was/is, in my opinion, one of the rising stars of the Fuji SLR Talk forum, a guy who went from being a photographic newbie with the heart of a shooter inside,to a fellow who has made tremendous strides in his photographic abilities. I encouraged Mark as much as I could, with real,genuine heartfelt enthusiasm. I told him that he was a "shooter". I told him that I have hung around with numerous people who call themselves "photographers",and yet in over 20 years I have only met one, maybe two people who were real "shooters." As I told Mark in an e-mail some time back, "Anybody can call himself a photographer. But you have something even rarer--you are a shooter."
And you know, at one point Mark was kinda' down on himself, and down on his photography. I can understand that. But he decided to get more photographic education,and enrolled in the New York Institute of Photography's long-running home study courses in photograpic education,and he made several on-line,public posts about that educational course. It was after he had begun his NYI training that I wrote to Mark that if he had "somebody to process his images", his work would look much better on the web. I felt that Mark was putting himself in a lot of very challenging shooting situations, and that a truly SKILLED, top-level photoshop jockey could take Mark's work and really,truly make it sing. Of course, I think that remark kind of stung, but he did bring that remark up in a dPreview post,albeit in a twisted and out of context manner, but I think he realized that what I said was true. The real skill in photography has been in the masterful printing of images for display. The skilled darkroom manipulations needed to print tricky black and white negatives are what set the great masters of photography apart from the almost-greats in the days of film capture. The in-field shooting,while important, has always been secondary to the amount of art and science needed to make truly GREAT prints of the images captures with the camera in the field or studio. The master darkroom workers, like Ansel Adams and Paul Caponigro and Brett Weston, to name three of my favorites, were simply fantastic at what today we call POST-PROCESSING. That is, the work that goes on AFTER the shooting phase. Since there is now no wet,cehmical darkroom, the critical area that differentiates landscape photographers today comes from.......drum roll....Photoshop! What Adams and Caponigro could do in the darkroom was simply magical, but in today's world, the absolute best landscape photographers use a multitude of advanced Photoshop manipulations to ensure that their photography is represented to its best level. There is shooting. And then there is post-processing. For most of us, myself included, I feel that my in-field and in-studio photographic abilities far,far,far exceed my Photoshop abilities. My message to Mark was basically the same message I would send to most people with less than five years of shooting experience--namely, that better Photoshop skills will elevate one's photography. It's the post-processing that brings out the magic, that adds the nuance, that adds that little extra bit.
Anthony and I went way back in the Fuji SLR Talk forum. I think Anthony is/ was probably the second most prolific poster in that forum, and is one of the most tireless posters,who gives freely of his own knowledge,particulalrly about the S1 and S2 Fuji models,and about electronic flash use and operation with the Fuji cameras,as well as other camera and post-processing issues. Anthony has always been open-minded to more than JUST the Fuji brand of D-SLR cameras, with his own experiences with the Nikon D70 and D200 models shared willingly with forum members. He's not a One Brand Zealot, but somebody willing to share what he knows about photography,and to answer countless questions from noobs without resorting to the cry of "Off Topic!" or "do a search". I think Anthony thinks I hold him in low esteem, which is quite incorrect. He's one of the few prolific web posters who actually seems to still care,and who actually TRIES,really hard, TO HELP other people. Even when a person seeking help really probably could find his answer with a search, Anthony manages to resist the urge to scream, "Do a search first!" as so many posters are prone to doing these days. And, Anthony has been willing to step out from the Fuji brand tribalism,and to use his own intellect to provide balanced,fair commentary on a wide range of issues. Here is an example of Anthony's willingness to HELP people. Check it out....Anthony was the FIRST person to offer help! http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1020&thread=17657520
Anthony has recently started his own photography blog. He referred to his blog as 'the antidote to long,boring photography blogs'. I like his sense of humor. I suppose this blog of mine must be considered one of those long,boring blogs. After all, my blog entries run on,are long,and many would say qualify as boring snoozes. Check out Anthony's blog here http://anthonyonphotography.blogspot.com
Again, my thanks go out to Anthony, for his classy behavior. I find it interesting that a man whom I've clashed with,and whom I have no doubt offended with my writings in the past,was willing to step forward in a public forum to defend me, and to take to task a person who he felt was acting rudely. A guy I do not even know defends me, while a fellow whom I repeatedly encouraged in photography, takes potshots at me-- I find that somewhat ironic. Of course, the web makes for strange associations. Biting the hand that feeds is a longtime issue, one that even has fables surrounding it. Also with a long tradition are the stories of gallant men who have stepped up to right what they saw as wrongs. It's interesting to witness the public behavior of these two men in light of my interactions with them in the past.