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Monday, January 04, 2016

He hit me where it hurt

Funny story.

I let my emotions get the best of me at the Strut this year when some surly spectator put down my camera for being "too little." You know, over the years, I would be concerned about using a little Lumix digital camera at events, so I would bring out the big guns on occasion - my large-lens Nikon. But I always hated it. I wasn't using it often so I wasn't used to it, and so many times when I would go get the shot I would be pushing the "off" button at the crucial shot, rather than pressing the shutter and I would miss shots. Plus, I didn't like the feel of it or the bulk and it would always pound me in the chest as I ran around. And it was annoying to carry around all day before and after an event, where sometimes I am out there for six to eight hours.

Me with my little Lumix.
Anyway, so I finally grew mature enough to realize I didn't need to fit in with the other photographers there by having a huge camera, because first off, I am not a photographer and secondly, my photos are seen by more people than most of those guys running around with the huge lenses. The Strut is a Grove event, if the Grapevine doesn't belong out there covering the event, who is? 

So when this spectator at the parade came over to tell me that I was blocking his shots, which I can fully respect, as it happens to me at other events, I understood, but I didn't like his attitude and rudeness, I go out of my way to keep out of people's way and the parade had not even started yet, so I wasn't in anybody's way.

I had told him I was allowed to be there and I was taking photos for publication, and he said, "With that little thing?" and that's when my camera insecurities kicked in. He hit me where it hurt, I felt insecure after that remark. I'm not sure why, the end result is the same, but it seems that the thing is to have the biggest lens out there as you run around the event. At least that's what the other guys do. But honestly, other than the Herald and New Times, I don't know where these other photos are appearing with all these photographers out there. I never see them published. 

And I have taken to using my iphone most often these days, so taking out my little Lumix was a step up for me, rather than a step down. But I just thought it was interesting how his one comment really hit me where it hurt, I don't know why, as it's so stupid. The end product is what counts - my end product is in the Grapevine, the Huffington Post, often in the Miami Herald and shared by hundreds on Facebook, I think that's pretty good for a "small thing."  I took the FAM Night photos with my iPhone this past Saturday. It's less intrusive and does the job.

All that day during the Strut, rather than block the complaining guy and the other spectators, I sort of blocked the parade itself, because I stood right in the center of the street and I ran in and out of the marchers. But I think the photos came out good with my little Lumix, what do you think?

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your photos from your "little Lumix" are as good as any from any camera. I stepped out for about 5 seconds to get a shot and a group yelled and screamed like a colony of chimps. I got my shot and moved back beside my wife. All five, 3 men, 2 women then moved in front of us and block everyone - - I then accidentally spilled my beverage on two of them, I really despise ignorant, stupid, petty people; they stared and the incident blended in well with the theme of the strut.

January 04, 2016 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you have an iPhone you should probably shoot photos with that instead of the Lumix. The quality and sharpness are actually better than all point and shoots and getting almost equivalent to medium format DSLR's.

January 04, 2016 9:00 AM  
Anonymous Jack said...

your photos were The Best

January 04, 2016 9:28 AM  
Anonymous Robert Sullivan said...

To put my comments in context, I'll start by saying that I have been a "photographer" since I was six years old and a pro photographer for about the last ten. I also recently became an online instructor for Polaroid (yes, that instamatic camera company that is reinventing itself) in which I instruct how to take better photos with any device that captures images. One great quote by another guy with an online TV type series of instructional episodes on the internet created a well known quote: "The best camera is the one that you have with you." Simple but true.

It is a pain to carry around a DSLR and a couple of good (usually meaning large) lenses. When I decided to make photography my primary work I carried my DSLR everywhere I went...for a couple of months. That got old fast but until recently there were no pocketable cameras that produced decent quality images FOR PRINTING. Yes, Anon 9:00, the iPhone takes great photos but they do not even come close to medium format DSLR's (not sure that you really meant "medium format") and there are now some fantastic point and shoots that produce far better images than the iPhone. I finally bought the Olympus Tough TG-4 a couple of weeks ago and I now carry that in my pocket daily (contact me if you want to know more about why that was a great choice in camera).

Now, here is the important question when it comes to choosing your camera: What do you want to produce and/or what is the end product going to be? When it comes to printing large images, a point and shoot or smart phone is NOT going to come anywhere close to what a prosumer DSLR can produce. However, that is not the goal of most people taking pics these days. Only a tiny fraction of today's images are printed and only a tiny fraction of those are printed larger than 8x10". Most people are content with their images residing online where the resolution is limited to 72dpi which is far below the capabilities of any image capturing device created in the past decade. I realized that quite some time ago when my sales of sports photos such as kiteboarding and stand up paddleboard races plummeted. People are usually content with what I consider mediocre photos that they or their friends capture and put on social media for free. That was a hugely disappointing realization for me, but that's okay. I have adapted and I have learned to shoot content in a way that almost nobody else can in order to produce unique imagery that people still pay me for.

Tom, when it comes to producing the end product that is your goal as you stated it, your Lumix, iPhone, or smart phone are almost perfect. I'm sure that you get into some situations in which they don't quite do a great job, but that is probably rare. What matters is that you choose to conveniently carry an image capturing device with you and it gets the job done to the standards that you, your readers, and other publications that use them deem acceptable. That's all that matters! I urge you to not be concerned about what others think of your "puny camera" (read with the accent of Hanz and Franz from SNL). They are ignorant to the success that you have with that little camera and they simply had no respect for you as a professional due to their misguided perception. On the flip side, I have often gained access to places that most people can't go in public and in crowds just because I looked like a pro wearing a dual harness carrying two DSLR's with large lenses. No ID or credentials...I just looked like I belonged there. You experience was just the opposite because you didn't look the part and was probably also because they wanted to preempt the likelihood of having people start following your example and blocking their view.

So, I am long-winded and your blog limits my reply to 4,096 characters... be continued

January 04, 2016 10:09 AM  
Anonymous Robert Sullivan said...

....continued from above

I could go on writing about cameras, end use of the images, what people are content with in free or low cost imagery these days, what people are still willing to pay for a good photographer, etc., but I will just leave it with a glimpse of what the future holds. Polaroid (I mentioned that I am one of their online instructors) has recognized that for each of the last several years, more pictures have been taken with an iPhone or smartphone than by all devices in all prior years combined. That incredible fact illustrates the trend in what people want from their device....something that they can conveniently carry with them and take a hassle free photo that is "good enough" without having any technical expertise. That's why they started their online series which will be debuting at CES this week. But, it gets better! I pre-ordered a revolutionary camera that is shaped like and slightly larger than a smartphone. It has 16 lenses built in, up to 10 of which at a time are used to capture an image to produce a DSLR-like image with a resolution of up to 52 megapixels! Look up the Light L16 for an idea of what the future of pocketable cameras might be. In the meantime, just keep doing what you are doing. It works.


January 04, 2016 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you the same Robert Sullivan who kayaks around the body of water just off the marine stadium? Have you ever gone to the NE corner of that lagoon and walked about 100 to 200 feet NE to view that lake? You can see it from a weather satellite. I've been there about 5 times, but I'm not into cameras. I don't think many humans have been to this lake. I was so much life, just waiting for your camera! Jobie Steppe

January 04, 2016 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Robert Sullivan said...


I often shoot from my kayaks and stand up paddleboards so that I can access areas that most people can't get to. However, I have not yet been to those lakes and its been awhile since I have paddled near the stadium. You mentioned those lakes a couple of weeks ago in the post about the marine stadium so I found them on Google Earth and I plan to go there. I'm also excited to hear from you that there is "so much life" there. That's a bonus that I wasn't aware of and I look forward to going there.



January 04, 2016 11:02 AM  
Blogger Ron Jakubisin said...

Tom- I'm always impressed with your shots from that camera. And the best part is you can put it in your pocket and enjoy the event or dinner afterwards without ahving to lug a big camera around.

January 08, 2016 10:35 PM  

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