Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday: “Questions And Answers Revealed” and Editorial Comment

Good Morning Everybody,
Well, I did it. I really did it. I deleted a comment to a blog the other day; a first, except for the occasional comment spam. You ask, "Did you not agree with the comment?" Nope, that wasn't it. I do not moderate comments in any way and have left every comment stay even if I don't necessarily agree with them. Heck, not my fault that they don't see the DigitalProTalk light. OK, just joking.

In reality, some posters will leave a comment that doesn't necessarily agree with what I post in the blog. That's fine with me because it generally encourages good discussion from our readers and, in many cases, helps to clarify a point.

A good case in point is my post Highlight Tone Priority Image Salvation right here. A lot of people didn't like the fact that I shot JPEG and had to let me know about it. I say, "Who cares?" It about getting the image - JPEG, RAW, handdrawn, painted, whatever - but I let the comments stay. There was quite a bit of discussion, most of which was beneficial to our readers, and that's my point.

The comment I recently deleted was different. It contained inappropriate language and was insulting. My mama always told me, "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all." I agree. For the very rare, less than friendly, reader, please don't bother knocking on the DPT door because you will be asked to leave. This is a friendly blog with lots of friendly readers - friendly people are always welcome. 'Nuff said.

“Questions And Answers Revealed”
I want to begin by saying how much I appreciate all the readers of DPT and especially the helpful, informative comments we get around here. Some of the posts elicit comments that want a bit more info on the subject I posted. As much as I would like to answer each and everyone of those questions, the day simply does not have enough hours in it for me to do so. Many of the answers to the questions can be found simply by searching the DPT blog. But some cannot, which is why I decided to start this new series, “Questions And Answers Revealed”. In it, I will periodically answer questions raised from the comments to bring clarification to that particular topic.

In today's post, I've gone back through a week's worth of posts, scouring the comments for the most scintillating questions asked and will attempt to bring new meaning to the original post by delving even deeper into details in order to bring clarity, satisfaction, and yes, even closure to those, sometimes, unanswered of life ;~) Anyway, let's give it a go and see what happens. Hit the Read More... link below for the rest of the story.

From the posts---
Technique Tuesday: Recession Lighting: A Poor Man's Guide to Lighting Gear
-You are suggesting you must use a 400 dollar GREAT flash to trigger a 25 dollar toy flash?
Nope, I think the point was missed here. The point is that it's always about the light, not about the expense of the light that makes the image. Heck, there are a gazillion other cheaper strobes on the market that I could have used. The 580 was handy while walking the hotel grounds at 7 p.m. I also take issue with the term toy strobe. This strobe is an integral part of my gear bag and has been featured in the series recently.

-How do you grind down the big threads?
Head to your nearest hardware store, pick up a metal file for about $5 bucks, add a little elbow grease and file away. Or, ask a buddy to do it for you with his grinding wheel as I did.

"Having A Great Time"
-What front light do you used to light them? My guess would be a zoomed on-camera flash directly towards them?
Exactly, check out, "I'm "Jellin" with My Zoom Flash" right here for the details.

-...those saturated red colors like you have in your images. Did you bump this up in Photoshop?
Nope, Just a dark red jell over the flash head. Lightroom 2.0 is my favorite color "Juicing" program anyway these days.

"The Bridal Session"
-On average, how many portraits of the bride do you take on the wedding day?
Lets see, 3500 images over 10 hours - I'd say about 30 minutes worth. That would break down to about 15 in total - 5 close up variations, 5 half-length variations, and 5 full length variations. Unless, of course we have less time, then reduce accordingly.

-How close was the umbrella? I thought by looking at it that it was through a snoot-ed light.
Nope, I do like the "snooted" light for SOME shots but not many. In this shot, the lighting MAY have looked "snooted" because of its distance from the subject - about 12 feet away. That's because the further the light is from the subject, the smaller the light source appears to be with respect to the subject, obviously. But the umbrella is still king for me - I use the shoot through umbrella on all portraits; families, wedding formals, and everything that needs a soft light. I use my "snooted" light technique and my Z-Ray lighting much less frequently than my umbrella lighting.

Gear Bag Friday: The Stuff At The Bottom Of The Bag
-Spectral Highlighter, find it almost anywhere?
No you can't. The company that originally sold them is long out of business. I bought mine over 20 years ago. I've actually considered having mine re-fabricated and making them available - any interest?

Hey gang, that's it for me today. Let me know what you thought of this little foray into “Questions And Answers Revealed”. If there is enough interest, I'll continue to bring it back around regularly.

Anyway, got to go. Everybody have a great one and I'll see you next week, assuming we get a thaw around here ;~) See you then, --David


  1. Thanks David, the question and answer s revealed is a great idea, as it has already answered some of mine. You are really a great source of information and inspiration for me and i'm sure many other amateur photographers!Thanks again.

    Juan H.

  2. You are such an amazing source Dave I cannot imagine WHY anyone would come here and insult you as well as use foul language. YOU as well as the posters, deserve much more than that.

    My guess is that he/she is overwhelmed with frustration in his or her own photography. This business is MUCH more than being able to take pictures, and YOU more than most, understand that, and you share your craft with the world.

    It gives me hope to know that you are reading your posts, I look forward to meeting you one of these days!

    PLEASE COME TO THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA SOON! Are we in the itinerary for your 2009 tour?

  3. I saw that post and also thought it rude and unwarranted. I'm glad that you deleted it. And I like this answers thing you've thought up. I really enjoy reading your blog and it's given me lots of great ideas to try out!

  4. I would just like to say that i am very grateful that you take the time to write this blog and to give out so many tips for free.

    Such a shame that somebody comes along and tries to spoil it for the rest of us.


  5. Don't know what the idiot said but I'm surprised that it's the first time you've had to delete a comment. You are (deservedly) somewhat of a rock star in the industry and that garners a lot of attention. Inevitably some of it will be this sort of unfortunate dribble from the ignorant. The other 99.9% are grateful for this great learning source.
    Looking forward to the class in the spring.

  6. David,

    I must say that you are a leading light when it comes to online blogging and photography teaching. I look forward to reading your posts every day. Be it a small video clip, podcast or the written word, whatever you come up it always teaches, enlightens and helps me see the world of photography in a new way.

    Please consider coming to Australia for some workshops!

  7. Thumbs up for the questions answered idea. You answered a question I had :-)

  8. Kudos to you for deleting the post from "Anonymous" Coming to your site as become a daily learning experience and I love it! I have picked up so many tips. Thank You for taking the time out of your day to help us out with everything.

  9. I think you should delete more post, David. This is YOUR personal blog and no one has a "right" to comment. It's fine to disagree but even if rude comments have a point, they should be deleted. If people can't be reasonable, then they don't get to comment, it's as simple as that.
    It's amazing how many people don't get it ... like the one when you said as an OBVIOUS joke that P stood for professional. In reality, you were saying just the opposite. That was a very funny comment, very funny and I appreciate the humor.
    Anyway, this is YOUR blog and you are welcome to delete any comments ... this one included if you want. :-)
    Anyway, love your blog and thank you so much !!


  10. I agree as well. This is one of the best photography sources on the web, and how someone can come to your personal blog and trash you is unspeakable!

    but my favorite? people who "know" and "demand" that you only shoot in RAW. RAW is just a tool folks. you use RAW when you need it, and jpg when you need it. I love how people go on and on about "throwing away information" by not using RAW.
    blah blah blah whatever. If you're the kind of photographer that can shoot great jpg's (and there are many who can) who cares?!
    Honestly, some people are just completely overboard with RAW.
    and yes, I shoot plenty of RAW and plenty of jpg. All in the right time, eh?

    David, Keep up the awesome work! I hope to meet you in person one day!
    Thanks for all that you post and teach. you are a real role model in the photography world!