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It should be obvious at this point that I'm going to mirror images that I'm posting on my site (bythom.com) here and participate in discussing them. So far, so good. It's been respectful and interesting (hopefully to you, too). Thank you.
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Adam Anth's profile photoDan Vardell's profile photoBrent Burzycki's profile photoFrank Rehse's profile photo
31 comments
 
This is a great idea. I have just as often referred people to your site just for the discussion of your photographic choices described under your images as to your equipment and industry writing.
 
It's very nice to be actually able to "talk" to you via G+ and discuss all things photography. Perhaps you could add some direct links to your G+ posts on your website?

Now, how about some Canon bashing? ;-))
 
Yes i think many of us will be doing this and using G+ as the active discussion interface....
 
I also think that you write really really interesting articles that can get good comments out there in G+. It may be a bit time consuming though :)
 
@Marian: If Google+ were available as something you could embed within a site, I'd agree with you. However, given that's it highly likely that Google will start trying to monetize Google+ to their own benefit, it would be bad news for most people if they got too dependent upon this. Everyone, including the supposedly non-Evil Google, seems to want to "borrow" content on the Web for free and then monetize it for their own. It's essentially a fight over whose Web site do you log onto. At the point where we all have our "site" on Facebook and Google+, that means we've all lost.
 
@frank: Sorry, but I have to limit my discussions. And eventually, I have to have them on something I control, not Google.
 
Thanks Tom! I actually agree with you about Google+. Currently, you seem to get a lot of feedback via e-mail and you reply on your site to the most interesting of it. So this is still a good way of communication with the people that read your articles.
 
+Thom Hogan I was merely thinking of adding something like "https://plus.google.com/112847428408357711502/posts/14ZqM4sF24m" in the text below the picture on bythom.com so it's easier for your readers to jump directly into the discussion.

And of course Google will monetize G+ by adding personalized ads to the sides of your stream - which I will never see, because I use an adblocker with an up-to-date filter list. (I can thoroughly recommend this filter list: https://secure.fanboy.co.nz/ )

And you're right about "the supposedly non-Evil Google". Right now those services are still a great thing to have and enjoy, but I fear the times when this may change and the InterNet will be an oligopoly in the iron grip of the government. Things may not be as fun then .. but then again this might not happen either. :)
 
@Thom where have you been holding discussions you control? i take it that is an aspirational comment?
 
Don't know if you remember I emailed you a while back asking if you could show us the raw versions of your "masthead" photos, as a way of showing us how a photo can be improved? You said your site wasn't the right forum for this — how about here?
 
@frank: Ah, misunderstood. Hmm, that's an ugly URL. Right now my site is hand-coded HTML, so I probably won't do it any time soon there. But in the new site it'll be simple to do that. If I can ever get the damned thing done ;~).

One reason why I don't like Google ads is that they're Black List, not White List. I personally have a reputation to maintain. For years now I get regular calls from Google Ad Sales people and the conversation always goes the same way: "Have you added the ability to make it completely White List yet?" "No." "Sorry, not interested."

Black List refers to this: you can expel scam outfits after the fact. In particular with me and my site, I don't want gray market sellers advertising on it (If that starts to happen here, I'll drop my use of Google+ and go to Plan C). But if you expel them, they just keep coming back under slightly different names. Moreover, there are a ton of them. I don't want to spend my days researching and banning advertisers. On the other hand, I can supply a White List of advertisers I would allow.
 
Thanks to you for giving us a new way to interact with you! Looking forward to your next insight on the website.
 
@Dan: Most people don't realize this, but I've had a small private, by invite site for some time in support of my workshop students. Though it is moderated, I've never had to actually moderate ;~).

@Daniel: I do not supply my raw images to anyone who hasn't bought them ;~). While I'm all for teaching and using things as examples, without some form of legal agreement in place, it's dangerous to start letting images go freely into the Internet Undertow.
 
@Daniel: oops. Reading too fast. I misinterpreted your comment. But my answer is still no ;~). I've been collecting my Teaching Point images and comments for some time now. One of these days you can expect a book that expands on them, and there you'll find what you're looking for, I think.
 
Good to hear +Thom Hogan! I love your website but I sometimes miss the interactivity over there. I also hate the flamewars on other photography sites so I guess this is the best solution for all of us. Keep the great images coming. You're a great teacher.

Q: When will Nikon provide us with a DSLR with decent video capabilities? I.e. on par or better than the 5D Mark II
 
@floris:(when will Nikon provide...equal to Canon video) Depends upon what you mean. The D5100 files are actually cleaner than the 5DII files, in my estimation. Heck, I'd say the D3s ones are, too. Video is a very complex world (which I'm getting sucked back into--I'll be teaching a class at my old alma mater in Spring 2012). All of the DSLRs don't do what they advertise (give you 1920x1080 pixels direct from the sensor). Both Nikon and Canon use sub-sampling, and do it in slightly different ways. But I think both are subsampling vertical at 720. Which means skipped lines and columns. That plus differences in compression mean you can't make a meaningful spec comparison, you have to actually LOOK at the video. In that respect, the lowly D5100 holds up very well. Indeed, Canon's own 7D/70D do better in some respects than the 5DII.

The real problem with Nikon's video implementations is that they just don't give us enough control of it. The D5100 would absolutely rock the video world if it had manual exposure controls. Even though it's only putting out 18Mbps in the compression stream. It's very, very clean, as Nikon themselves demonstrated by using it to film the commercial they show on US TV about it.

Canon and Sony should know better about some of the small things; hopefully Nikon will learn: Clean HDMI from before the compression; SDI output to support 4:2:2; manual exposure control; headphone monitoring; mini-XLR mic input; real time code; camera settable metadata; heat sink the sensor; 16:9 preview in Live View; and so on.
 
Thom I just want to say I really enjoy your site, have read many of your reviews and articles, and am glad you have started using Google+ as a forum to discuss your images. Keep up the great work!
 
+Frank Rehse Canon bashing? We probably outnumber you amongst Thom's followers here :) +Thom Hogan as a long time follower of your site and writing, it is indeed a pleasure to be able to interact this way. Keep the amazing photography thoughts and insights coming!
 
+Sirish Raghuram I was just kidding. ;-) I'm not a pro photog with a bag of lenses, so I buy whatever I like the most, e.g. I have a Canon SLR, a Nikon DSLR and a Fuji compact (long live the F31fd). I couldn't care less about brands, I do care about quality, features, usability, innovation and such.
 
Thanks +Thom Hogan for your elaborate response. I was talking about the total package... and manual controls are very important to me. I also want a body with good usability. Nikon used to shine here... but on the lower end bodies... I think Canon has outdone them. I don't like the handling and button lay-out of the D5100.

I am waiting for a DSLR with a good video codec (as you said, Nikon is improving there), handling, usability and weather sealing (D400 please), a flip out LCD (love those on Canon), at least 900K+ pixel LCD and hopeful some sort of battery grip with XLR outputs (that would make that body a no-brainer for me). I see each generation improving up on the last and they just need to fix some small things for me to pull the trigger. I am also considering buying a 1/3" or 1/2" camcorder (i.e. the Canon XF-100 with 4:2:2 50Mbps codec) but I love to start photographing again (after a 3 year break, my last camera was the D200, which I absolutely loved), now I shoot with an iPhone :)

I'm also interested in the mirrorless space where I see a lot of innovation but I miss professional bodies there. I hear Olympus is coming out with one and the NEX 7 is around the corner.

I have decided that I can wait a few months until I pull the trigger. It will be either something very low-end (i.e. D5100/600D) to simply start shooting again or hopefully a D400/5D Mark III with the improvements I would like to see to make it 'workable' for me.

Anyway, good to see you on Google+ and great to hear that you are getting sucked back into video again :) Would love to see some of your video work here on Google+.
 
@+Greg Townsend Yes, that's the way Google prefers to run ads. That's because that's how they get the highest price per head (or at least they think that's the highest price per head). If you think about it a bit, you'll see that a scammer selling a gray market camera and then bundling on things that were originally in the box has more money to spend to get the buyer in the first place than a legit organization who's on at a tight 15% margin (at least here in the States).

I have less concern here than I would on my own site, but I still care about the perceived quality of my presentation in anything I do. I really don't want to facilitate questionable sales practices or be associated with them. But the problem is still likely to be high. For instance, Google also keywords the content. So, if I mention the CameraWiz XYZ-1234, Google is selling my mention of that word to the advertiser. The advertiser is paying for everyone who reads that word. The connection of my mentioning XYZ-1234 and it suddenly popping up in what Google is vetting as a place to buy it is problematic. And as much as you and I know it isn't me vetting that advertiser, once Google+ hits the Facebook-sized masses, there will be people who think it is.
 
@Floris van Eck: I think you're asking for too much if you're asking for video and stills in the same package at a very high level of quality. The dedicated video cameras don't sub-sample. Some, like my FS-100u have sensors the same size as the DX bodies but with much bigger photosites, giving them some real usable low light capability without throwing noise reduction into the mix. The Canon XF-100 is a very good example of what you're not likely to get any time soon with a DSLR: 50Mbps bandwidth, which is directly broadcast capable. If you tried to do that level of detail in the codec with the DSLRs, the subsampling would show, I think. And ultimately, if a DSLR adds mini-XLR and all that, then it's really a video camera that also shoots stills.

That said, you can get good enough quality for any project you're likely to tackle on today's DSLRs. There's also some very interesting things on the market. The NEX-5 turns out to be a very good video camera, and able to tuck into small places. The GH2 has some very interesting features, including a non-sub-sampled crop. Even the Sony HX9 turns out to be a pretty good pocket video camera.

Still, when you're doing real video, you want real video features. So I'd just get a competent DSLR and the Canon (or other camcorder, though the XF100 is darned good).
 
+Thom Hogan have you ever experimented with aerial photography? I'd love a discussion on any tricks you may have for shooting from a moving, vibrating platform.
 
Thanks, Thom. I look forward to the discussions, and contributing to them. As always, I really value your teaching.
 
This is really a great idea Thom. It adds an extra dimension. In addition to getting your insights, it's great to get inputs and comments from other photographers too. I am more of a "there's more than one right answer" rather than a "my way or the highway" kind of guy and am always (hopefully) open to new and also different ideas which may not necessarily match my own views about photography.
 
I'm also doing what Thom does, blogging a picture and writing something about it (http://wijnands.blogspot.com/search/label/pictureoftheday) and of course I don't have the skills nor the audience Thom has but I do find that it helps my own learning process. Expressing what you did right and what you did wrong helps you progress.
 
+Chris Kelsey This isn't the place I'd write that sort of thing, sorry. It'll have to wait for my new site.
 
+Thom Hogan What is your ETA for this new site you've talked about for at least two years? :) You innovate more slowly than Nikon. ;) Good to see you on Google+. Would also love to see your site take advantage of services like this to drive traffic to a place for discussion about your posts, although I appreciate your sensitivity about a company monetizing your content without any reward to you.
 
+Rory Gleeson Who knows? At present, the new site is only 7MB of text data so far (;~). Still have to add images, videos, and a few other things.
 
Thanks Thom - appreciate the opportunity for interaction and discussion with you and the community...
 
Thanks for making this possible. I have always looked forward to each new picture on your site, and being able to read a discussion about them will make it even better.
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