Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2012/01/31

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Subject: [Leica] Rant!
From: photo at (Nathan Wajsman)
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2012 19:02:29 +0100
References: <>

Doug, after having consumed a couple of nice beers in a cozy Munich bar I 
have a positive outlook on life. And the positive version goes something 
like this: the sheer incompetence you describe creates more opportunities 
for a true master like you.


On 31 Jan, 2012, at 4:41 , Doug Herr wrote:

> I went to a talk on Friday night on bird photography by a well-known 
> wildlife photographer who is sponsored by one of the Big Two camera 
> makers.  I won't mention names.  What a friggin waste of time & gasoline.  
> If I'd had to pay for parking I'd have demanded a refund.  His approach to 
> wildlife photography is buy-the-longest-lens-you-can and 
> buy-the-newest-and-fastest-(sponsor brand)-body-you-can, and he came 
> across as the sponsor's paid spokesman (which he is).
> He said NOTHING about light except for how to use more flash, NOTHING 
> about composition, color (except more is better), NOTHING about bird 
> psycology or bird identification, except for hiring a bird guide (more on 
> this after I stop seething).
> His photos were compositionally shallow and bland: no use of color or 
> forms to give a sense of depth or to draw attention to the bird, hardly 
> any discussion of the foreground or background except how to obliterate 
> it.  The best I can say for his photos is that they show what the bird 
> looks like.  Nothing about how it relates to its habitat.  Empty, shallow 
> mainstream photos.  And the camera maker pays him to promote this and 
> "teach" it to the unsuspecting wanna-bes.
> I'm still seething but I gotta get this out of my system:  He can't 
> identify some really obvious western birds - and he's lived in the west 
> most of his life.  He got Great Egret, Mountain Bluebird and Williamson's 
> Sapsucker right but he showed a couple of captive raptors side-by-side, 
> photos made at a rescue facility where he was TOLD what they are and he 
> thought the birds in his photos were the same individual, when one was 
> obviously a Prairie Falcon and the other was obviously a Buteo, probably a 
> Red-tailed Hawk.  They didn't even have the same eye color.  He couldn't 
> identify a Rail in one of his photos (fullframe, good light).  He had no 
> idea if it was a Virginia Rail, a Clapper Rail or a King Rail.
> This is the crap that a major camera maker is promoting as wildlife 
> photography.  This is what the sponsor has trained the unsuspecting 
> consumer to think of as good wildlife photography.  Buy our stuff and you 
> too can make these great photos.
> Grrrrrr grrrrrrr grrrrrr grrrrrrr grrrrrr grrrrrrr.
> Doug Herr
> Birdman of Sacramento
> _______________________________________________
> Leica Users Group.
> See for more information

Nathan Wajsman
Alicante, Spain

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Replies: Reply from jhnichols at (Jim Nichols) ([Leica] Rant!)
In reply to: Message from wildlightphoto at (Doug Herr) ([Leica] Rant!)