#881. Content is king

By Paul Perton | Opinion

Jul 24

I’m staring at an empty document. About to write a piece for DS (DearSusan), which is suddenly derailed. I’ve allowed myself to become distracted midway through the opening sentence and now find it necessary to veer off to the Interwebs for a shot of inspiration.

St Magaret’s Hope, Orkney – Fuji X-Pro2, Fuji 23mm f1.4

And failed – as more distractions came along.

We don’t get a lot of negative feedback from our readers. Mostly, it’s interesting comments and helpful suggestions. Occasionally, one of us gets a bit of a roasting and in the interest(s) of honesty, we publish those comments too.

We’re hardly cognoscenti, but my ‘net trawl this particular morning got me wondering what response these headlines/posts might have drawn were they published here. And of course, I felt duty bound to reply.

Nestled in the Cairngorms – Sony NEX-7, Zeiss 25mm Biogon
Gairloch – Leica M9, Zeiss 25mm Biogon

Stop apologising for enjoying camera gear

Yes, I know we all love taking pictures, but the acquisition is also what it’s all about. In case you hadn’t sussed it yet.

Use an Interesting Foreground for Your Landscape Photo


Blue door, Edinburgh – Nikon D700, Nikon 24-70 zoom
Loch Stack – Leica M9, Leica 35mm Summicron

How Long Will It Take You to Master Photography? (Part One)

A lifetime of learning, experimentation and enjoyment. One sentence. There’s a need for part two?

Eight Annoying Things Photographers Do That Harm the Industry

A complete how-not-to. If you need this kind of advice, you shouldn’t be a photographer anyway.

Moody sunrise near Advie. Nikon D800e, 50mm non-AI f1.4
The Abbotsford, Edinburgh – Sony NEX-7 lens unknown

Summer Is Not as Bad as You Think for Landscape Photography

This is vital information?

What Can You Accomplish With a Barebones DSLR?

Just about anything you could achieve with a top-of-the-line DSLR, given a little time and some intellectual application.

Loch Loyal – Leica M9, Zeiss 25mm Biogon
Morning sun, Edinburgh – Sony NEX-7 lens unknown

Recognising and Managing Stress and Trauma as a Photographer

Amateur photography is about enjoyment. It’s a hobby. Pro photography is about making a living and if that stresses you, you shouldn’t be doing it.

Good Photography Decisions Start With Pre-Visualization

The opening sentence says; “One percent of great photographs are simple luck, being at the right place and time with a camera… the other 99% are the result of good decisions.” I think the author has it bass-ackwards. What’s your take?

Near Cromdale – Sony NEX-7 lens unknown
Loch Farr – Fuji X-Pro2, Fuji 23mm f1.4

The Crucial Role of the Smartphone Camera in a Photographer’s Pocket

The best camera is the one you have with you. Expect the phone camera to continue to evolve and eventually, heave most standalone systems to the kerb.

How to Make Some Money With Photography This Weekend

Seriously? Yes please.

Near Beauly, Fuji X-Pro2, Fuji 35mm f1.4
Near Beauly, Fuji X-Pro2, Fuji 56mm f1.2

And then, just when this piece was all written, gussied-up, ready for publication, this:

Who is the King of Compacts? Ricoh GR III vs Fuji X100F

Fellow DS-er Steve has a GR and I was interested to see the conclusion. Scroll, scroll, scroll past the various (and sensible) comparisons, to the end. The GR wins!

But hold on. The author owns a Fuji, but didn’t take the demo GR out of the shop.

So all this is a work of supposition and you expect me to give it any kind of credibility at all?


Near Farr – Fuji X-Pro2, Fuji 16mm f1.4
Melvich – Fuji X-Pro2, Fuji 35mm f1.4

So, I’m a cynic and opinionated and have lots of my own ideas, but seriously, who could get any kind of inspiration from articles like “What Is Focal Length in Photography?” or “The problem with presets”?

In closing, I’m guessing that the shuttering of many and slowdown in other photo blogs might have its genesis in the content being flighted. So much so that if you even sense that we’re sliding down that slope, tell us and please don’t hold back.

The photographs in this post were all shot in Scotland during visits in recent years. Apologies if I’ve posted one or more before. Still, if anyone reading this doubts the magnificence of the region and its suitability for photography – think again!

Edinburgh – Fuji X-H1, Fuji 16-55 zoom

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  • Kristian Wannebo says:

    There’s this saying,
    “Have something to say, say it, stop talking.”

    Which you just did, Paul!

    The others – whom you quote – didn’t!
    ( I suppose it’s about blogging often enough even when out of ideas – to stay in the “soup” or just to attract ads, I don’t know which is worse.)

    For a change, try

    > “I think the author has it bass-ackwards.”
    He/she certainly has!

    > ” “The problem with presets”?” (and similar).
    Think also of all the beginners, some may need an additional push not to follow the main stream…
    Provided it’s well written, which, sadly, is rare. (Some on Photography Life ain’t too bad.)
    – – –

    Lovely Photos, Paul!

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    I so love people who have “opinions”, and “opinion-itis”. I can chew them up and spit out the pieces, from half a world away.
    Funnily enough, I recognise some of those titles. Unfortunately (my bad!) I didn”t bother reading them, so I haven’t the faintest idea what they were about. The titles kind of blocked me – like great “detour signs” – and I went off & read something else instead.
    Roast? – it’s the season for chestnuts, isn’t it? – oops, sorry, only in the bottom half of the planet. So are we supposed to roast you, Paul? Sorry – I was brought up as a nice little boy – I reserve that for people who’ve done something really bad.
    DS and Ming Thein’s blog shine, in my view. The diet is varied – the authors aren’t dogmatic – knowledge is freely shared – the principal players heave a ton of effort at keeping these two sites informative and interesting, and there’s hardly ever a troll mouthing off – all nice people, commenting on the various articles. Utopia in our time – BEFORE we head for the Rainbow Bridge, to pick up our connection with our dogs who’ve gone on before us.
    Fired with the enthusiasm of the newly converted, when I first abandoned analogue in favour of a purely digital photographic future, I found all sorts of “interesting” and “informative” sites. Just lately, as I prepare to switch Telco’s (my NBN is currently being delivered by a company whose standards have slipped way too far, and I’m dumping them shortly), I’ve had to flip all my contacts to my gmail account. Except that as I work through them, there’s an unexpected thing – exactly what you’re talking about, Paul – one site after another is not making it across the bridge, from the current site to gmail. I’m unsubscribing all over the place, instead.
    As my mother used to say, when she didn’t like something – “life’s too short!’
    On a lighter note, someone just sent me an email informing me that the “terrible twins” (the one with the comb over to hide the bald patch on the back of his head, and the one who never bothers to comb or brush his hair at all) share a remarkable number of characteristics – including, but not limited to, their names. Trump, apparently, is an English expression for a flatulent emission accompanied by an unpleasant smell – and Johnson is a 19th century slang term meaning “penis”. I hope this isn’t too out of place in this group, but I have also received a confirmed report that the new PM of GB is on record as having called the French “turds”, so I think the least I can do for him in his brief moment of glory is to set the record straight, about him.

  • Philberphoto says:

    What a brilliant set of pics, Paul! You should see the smile you put on my face!. Isn’t THAT what photography is all about?

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Yes, Paul, you already published the green boat… and it is a blessing… couldn’t find it, happy to snap it now, because it haunts me since you published it… no idea why, I even mentioned it to Pascal J…
    Tactile, timeless, real “suspended time”… gorgeous.
    You have “an eye”… and you know how to translate it in pics… inspiring.
    And… keep ranting 🙂
    Sorting through mediocrity is… sometimes exhausting.
    Then we get lazy… Ming and DS, plus blitz visits from time to time to other sites to see if they come to their senses… nope.

  • Steve Mallett says:

    “Who is the King of Compacts? Ricoh GR III vs Fuji X100F”

    As the aforementioned owner of a GRiii and also an X100F I feel bound to comment! A classic case of “which is better, apples or pears?” I love both of these cameras but they are sooo different to one another. Fuji has a viewfinder, Ricoh not, which to my way of thinking makes them as different as can be. How I shoot and what I shoot without a viewfinder is not the same as when shooting with. The Ricoh is a stealth camera, black, featureless, small enough to fit in a trouser pocket and so far nobody has ever given it a second glance. It’s smaller than the average smart phone so no-one pays any attention when waving it around. Can’t be a serious ‘tog, right? The Fuji on the other hand is a lovely looking retro design that sparks interest; is it film camera, gets asked. Which its better? FFS, it entirely depends on what you want. And as importantly, how I FEEL on the day tends to dictate which one I reach for.

    Great pics Paul, such a variety.


  • Click-bait about photography – no! Paul’s beautiful images of Scotland – YES! Simply follow Paul’s example of composing and clicking the shutter while letting go of the myriad bits and pieces of often bad and useless advice. Be your own inspiration and find your own muse!

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