Category Archives: Community

Nikon Philippines is broken!

It is no secret that there is no love lost between myself the the national team at Nikon Philippines. When Columbia ran it; things were great. Think Dharma took over and it has been nothing but hell on earth for Nikon users. It has fundamental problems in communication and in support. No two ways about it.

If you can’t serve the community, you should not be the supplier. The truth of the matter is most camera shops only sell grey market models because working with Think Dharma would run them completely out of business. ┬áTo think that Herny’s Camera, the largest camera shop in the Philippines with a half a dozen locations only deals in the grey market is concerning. It is concerning for everyone.

I do not know if Nikon Philippines will ever get their act together and if they do not, I see no logical reason anyone would buy locally when prices in the United States are at least a quarter lower. If I have to go grey, I will go as cheap as I can. Best sale or promotional will win my business.

Nikon Philippines has a communication problem

Below is a facebook message from me to Nikon Philippines’ facebook page. Notice the date? Nikon D7200, the system in question was officially released March 19, 2015. What does it matter? They very likely had the camera in the country to have to ready to sell on the release date but the marketing team, the very one that should know did not.


If Nikon really did not know they was releasing the new body in a few weeks, it is a communication problem between them and Nikon Corporation in Japan. If they did know but the marketing team did not, it is a communication from inside of the Nikon Philippines. No matter how you look at it, it is concerning for good reasons.

If they can’t fix this, I would hope Nikon Corporation would change their warranty agreement so we could get our models serviced in Hong Kong, Singapore or Japan. To be honest, I trust the team in Hong Kong over the Filipino team anyways.

Buying Nikon USA makes sense for Filipinos

The market in the United States is very tight and the quality control is very high. Only the best quality can be sold and in America, your brand name actually means something.

Buying gear in the United States (and shipping it to the Philippines via Johnny Air) just makes sense for now. We have nothing to gain from buying it locally in Manila. Filipino pride only goes so far when it becomes dollars and cents. No need for pogi points!


Richard Prince is good for photography!

The photography world is ablaze the last year or so about a guy named Richard Prince that has taken images posted on Facebook’s Instagram, did some editing to them and selling them at a gallery in downtown New York City. Is is a business mastermind or is he the criminal everyone makes him out to be? I am not sure to be honest.

I am a photographer and I know photographers. I also know we can be a big bunch of insecure jerks about photos too. The way some photographers act about “rights” and intellectual property” looks more like a middle school hallway fight than a group of professional people with a craft and detailed knowledge of the science we call photography.

Legally speaking, I do not think he is in trouble. The federal courts have ruled before that he is covered under the terms of “fair usage.” People might not agree with what he is doing and believe me, many don’t; he seems to within his legal rights.

Donald Graham, Seattle based fashion photographer is the latest in a list of many that have filed cases against Richard Prince. I hope that Donald is not wasting his time but I bet that he is.

Richard Prince has done a service to photographers

Let me explain what I mean. You see photographer start out being photographers. They love to shoot and they love to learn from other photographers. They live, breathe and sleep the craft of the camera. They are citizens of the community.

Somewhere along the process, they lose the community and become businessmen and women. They only care about making photography into a business and using it as their personal cashcow. They become jerks to other people who have a camera. They see them as a threat to their cashcow business.

Here lies the issue that I see: Are we going to be citizens in the community of photographers or we just going to be businessman in a dog-eat-dog capitalistic showdown? The reality is that we can not do both. I love the people in the community; not so much the people with the cashcow mentality.

I can see it now. I can feel my professional photographer friends feeling the horns coming out of their head ready to troll me on Facebook for saying this. Fine, bring it on. However, realize your heart when you do. You are thinking about business; not the community at large.

If you are angry demanding your “rights,” you are part of the problem. You are the reason that young photographers never grow. You are the one that makes it hard to learn. They do not want to be gang up on for trying to learn. Oh, and they probably do not have $1,000 for your one day workshop if they are using the Nikon D3100 with the 18-55mm kit lens.

It is time for the professionals to lay down the bank statements and return to be part of the community of photography. We need you to help people become better at the craft and let’s think community, not business.

Is Photography as a business bad?

Not at all. I make money from photography myself. I think the mentality of professional photography is what is wrong. We do not think to behave like elementary school kids running because there is a fight on the playground. We do not have to see every guy that has some skills as a “threat.” We need to learn to work together, not against each other.

Now, about the workshops. The mentality is just wrong. Plain and simple. I understand you see as part of your business model but I think it is plain wrong. If you want to have one for professional photographers, cool. How about having at least one or two a year that is focused on the young photographers who don’t have much money. I remember doing one for free at my mother’s church that included a photowalk around town. Guess what, those young shooter remember it and it changed their view on the trade!

Richard Prince is a jerk for what he is doing, I get that. However, so many professional photographers are doing some well jerky things and their motives are just screwed up. No questions about it. I don’t even go to meetups, conferences or conventions anymore because I do not want to listen to photography bitch like they are moonlighting copyright lawyers. Doesn’t interest me anymore. Wait, it has never interested me at all. It wont interest me in the future.

Why I do not watermark images

I hate to tell you but one moment you upload an image on the internet, be on 500px, Flickr or Facebook; you are just told everyone it is free to the taking. You can bitch about the right click era but it is not changing. You will always have bottom feeders and that is not going to be different in my lifetime. Get over it.

What do I do? I don’t watermark anything and I assume it will be taken and used without my permission. I assume that when I upload it. It is so liberating to not give a damn about people stealing them. If they download it and print it; so what? Really….so what? It is not money out of my pocket because they would have never bought it at my price. It is nothing to me.

I grew up around ministers in the heyday of the Word of Faith movement. One of the things that we learn was to always have an open hand. Money will flow through your hands when you leave it open. It is like a pipeline; millions of gallons flow through it and as long as it is open, the whole pipe is just as wet as the water passing. When you have your heart and hand open, prosperity will flow to you.

What does this have to do with photography? If we start putting the community first, not business; opportunity will come that we could have never thought of before. We need to think about the ability to work together before we think about paychecks. We are photographers. Let’s keep it that way!


Jason Lanier is a paid hack

Ever wonder what popular vlogger told me to marry my Nikon D7000 (that I hardly use)? It was Jason Lanier, the regular Sony worshipper. I do not think I have ever seen a person so obsessed with being a gear whore in my life. He does not use the gear; the gear uses him. We call these people the infamous Sony Snobs.

Before I get into this, let me be very clear: he is a very talented photographer and does make amazing pictures. He is also a master at using lighting. I use to (and still do at times) watch his videos just to see the amazing images he puts together. I really did enjoy his older videos when he was using the Nikon D800 too.

The problem is not his craft; that is solid. The problem is first his obsession with a tool to do the craft and secondly, his ego is out of control. That is what concerns me. Truth be told, I kinda liked the guy at one point. I didn’t like him well enough to pay $600 for his photowalks, but I did like him nevertheless.

One thing that bothers me is anyone that disagrees with him, he lashes out at. This includes people like Jared Polin, one of the world’s most respected photographers.

Jason Lanier is a paid hack by Sony

Jason Lanier

Jason Lanier being questioned by police about permits.

If you watch any of the videos, you will notice he pimps Sony like crazy. He is also a Sony Artisan of Imagery. It is something that Sony gives out to professional photographer in exchange for being a sony snob and a gear whore. There is more to it but that is basically how it works. If you notice, since he took the “honor,” he has nothing but praise for every single move Sony makes.

I was interested in it all because about the same time, I was playing around with Sony mirrorless cameras too. I had picked up the Sony A6000 and even got a Sony A7 to try and see if making the switch would be worth it. I ended up selling all my Sony gear. Here is 10 reasons I sold my Sony.

I think when photographers start being ambassadors for brands, they start being whores. I had the chance to a Representative for a gear company in the Philippines and I was asked by Nikon Philippines to do some stuff. In both cases, I basically gave them the middle finger. I could not be without bias and also be a partner in a project.

A recent video I saw was him pimping the world’s most over-rated camera, the Sony A7rII, as the world’s best. I am sure any camera is great when you have Nikon’s holy trinity in front of it! Sony still have a “Lensgate” problem but don’t tell Jason Lanier that…. he won’t believe you.

What concerns is when people like him put more attention on the camera they use than the image they capture. I have seen some of the world’s greatest photographers’ bodies. Why is it only Sony snobs point out it was shot on a Sony mirrorless camera. Nikon and Canon boys don’t seem to do it…. only Sony snobs.

I think it is sad really.

Jason Lanier in Africa.

It just takes away from what Jason could offer to the photography community. He has some real skill when it comes to building an image with lighting. I am not talking about pimping Rotolight either. I am talking about actually helping people build an image with lighting that an average photographer can afford.

That means using the cheapest stuff on the market, Jason. I did my first portrait shoot with my desk lamp and wax paper to soft it. That was a $3.25 budget shoot. Believe it or not, this is what non-professional have to spend or close to it. Few are throwing down $500 on one light. It does not matter how awesome they are.

Doing videos about how to build lighting and even some Lightroom tutorials would do far more for the photography community than pimping a Sony camera out and trying to whore for Rotolight.

This is one reason I like watch Serge Ramelli and his videos. He does not pimp any model of gear and teaches things that work no matter what brand you have. The community needs more of that and less of the gear whoring. I have learned more from Serge and a few others than I did watch 100 videos from Jason Lanier.

Photographers need alot less ego

Jason Lanier Production shotI am not sure why but the photography scene seems to be full of complete assholes who do not little but compare how big their @##$ are. They do nothing but put down people’s work. Jason did this with Jared Polin (FroknowsPhoto). If I had to list the biggest jerks I know, at least half of the list would own a professional grade camera. This is not healthy for the photography community at large.

The condition of what is happening with photographer has concerned me for years. It is like a “every man for himself” dog-eat-dog environment. It is a place where you fear to ask a question, lest you are gang up on and beated down. I have seen this happen time and time again. It is not just Jason doing this but he has done it more time than he wants to admit.

Note: I realize many people have different views on Jason Lanier and what he has done with the Sony brand. I believe in free expression but please don’t attack people and be civil. If not, I will use the delete button for comments.