Create: For What It’s Worth Episode 021

Permalink 26 Comments

Dear beloved readers. Welcome to my mind. This week we have a new hero that I imagine will resonate with all of you global thermonuclear war fans as well as hits on topics like street photography, YouTube pandering, my new van, Lyme with Justin Bieber and my explanation of what happened when I was assigned to shoot in the sewer than runs from Nogales Arizona to Nogales Mexico. Fun and games. Tune in and turn on.

Comments 26

  1. Another great listen, I do enjoy these, thanks!

    Am I the only one who thought of Indiana Jones in Raiders with spears being thrown at him whilst you described the road-side spikes flying past you whilst you ran down a tunnel (replace golden statue with a Leica)? 🙂

    1. Post

      The Indiana moment was WAY cooler than my moment. I love that scene. Heck, love the entire opening.

  2. Great episode. Hoping to get my hands on one of the first copies of the zine!

    I followed that photographer you mentioned a ways back – Michael Clark? Is that his name? His most recent newsletter has a really in depth review of the X Pro 3. I stopped reading it to avoid the temptation. I want it, but if I’m going to buy a new camera, I figure I have to give the X-T4 a look. Rumors have it it will be announced in early February.

    I’m still on Instagram. Still debating deleting it. I follow the NYT’s series on privacy / tracking / surveillance state pretty closely. It’s crazy what we’ve mindlessly surrendered. IG is terrible on that front, but as it is, anyone using a smartphone or a web browser is feeding the data machine. Is YouTube / Google any better? (by now I trust you realize my questions aren’t trolling)

    I started doing some basic video ages ago, but like your rubber boots, the traction wasn’t there. I cringe at how much I’ve paid Adobe for the photo + premiere pro package. It seems like it would be much smarter to for me to get Davinci or Final Cut and Capture whatever for photos. I don’t know. I don’t want to learn new programs.

    I joined flickr way back in the early 2000s. Loved it. Went downhill fast when Yahoo took over. I signed back up recently when I saw that Smugmug was taking over. I’ve been tempted to start using it again in conjunction with my blog, (shameless plug here – One hesitation – I saw a note from Smugmug recently asking its users to help get the word out. It sounded grim, as if flickr was bleeding too much cash. I think I’ll go look for an update on that.

    1. Post

      There seems to be a lot of action at both Smug and Flickr but I’m not privvy to what is going on exactly. Final Cut does make sense in a lot of ways. Buy, use, keep. I’m using Adobe, and do love it, but I’m also being supplied by Blurb. But I’ve also been using the Adobe suite for so long I can’t imagine NOT using it. I can’t do IG, but for so many reasons. It ruined so many of my friends and fellow shooters by just destroying their insecurities. And it impacted all levels. Oh God, he reviewed the XPro? I’m not going there. I’m still using 2’s and doing fine.

  3. Thanks for another great episode!
    Your YouTube videos have been incredibly helpful and instructive. I haven’t seen anyone do anything like them on the platform. So, selfishly, yes, it’d be great if you could find time to continue them.
    Certainly, the zine project sounds amazing, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy.
    On social media: I’ve been off Facebook since January, 2017. And happily so. But here’s the deal with social media: my very close friends keep contact with me. But there’s a second tier of friends whom I care about and who only communicate to their friends with social media. I’m of an age where people’s parents are starting to die. In some cases, my acquaintances have died themselves. Because I’m not on Facebook, I tend not to find out about these and other, happier events until much, much later. Embarrassingly later.
    It sucks. It’s not anyone’s fault, but we’ve moved a lot of precious interactions to FB — exclusively. I’ve started to send postcards, letters, and cards to people I care about most. Still, there’s a group that I don’t necessarily need to hear from all the time, but who are people I want to stay in touch with and who I care about — particularly when something big happens. (The people that my parents would send Christmas cards to, for example.)
    I’m really curious about you handle communicating with that — I don’t want to say second tier— but that outer circle of friends without social media. Or if it’s even been a problem for you?
    Thanks again for the always stimulating podcast.

    1. Post

      Hey, I hear you. I’m planning on ramping up the YT films in the coming months but not really for myself. I’ve got some ideas about how I can expand. As for social, I’m not normal. I am SO happy being alone and being cut off from the rest of the world. So for me to ditch all things social was not an issue. I tend to find out about things in natural ways. Late, early, never. Again, I’m not normal.

  4. Hey Dano,

    Nice post as always and I do like these.

    No worries on the Leica. Your direction makes sense for what you want to do.

    Social media – off it completely and like you, I’m good with being not normal and being ut off from the rest of the world. My screen time has drastically been cut down and like it that way.

    I do like the idea of you doing something unique with YT. Like these posts, I do like the YT you put up. So keep it up. There is an audience for it If you have the time.

    1. Post
  5. Another great episode Dan! 素晴らしいです!
    For starters I am 100% guilty of been one of those street photographers, but in my own defense I was doing it before the big hipster boom. I was doing it because I was inspired by Bresson and Franc, but I soon learned that I would never come close to making bodies of work of their stature. I think most of the hipster street shooters on you tube have no idea who Bresson and Franc are.
    I saw a video on YouTube not so long ago that made me cringe. A guy named Evan Ranft. He said he was buying some photo books from amazon and in the recommendation section a book popped up that interested him so he bought it. He had never heard of the photographer before but the pictures looked good. The book was “Early Color” by Soul Leiter!! The bit that made me cringe was when he said all his work looks like Instagram work and if he posted it on Instagram he would get thousands of likes!
    I quit street photography a while ago now when it became a fad. I also realized that my work was empty, no emotion. I was relying on clever camera angles and window reflections to try and get something interesting. Now I know a timeless image is content, story, and emotion and not a random stranger in bad light walking along a street.

    Please, please, please… DO the photography education thing on YouTube. I used to watch heaps of photography channels but I don’t really anymore because I know 99% of them talk absolute nonsense! The more you learn, the more you realize how little you actually know!

    1. Post

      I am so lucky I came up before the Internet. And TRULY thankful before social. And for some reason, I never got a dopamine buzz from likes. I don’t have an addictive personality, so that helps. The YT thing is coming. Not sure why or exactly what but it’s coming. You should certainly know Daido Moriyama. Memories of a Dog. This might be a good guide but the COPY is as important as the imagery.

  6. Social media – As you know, I’ve followed your lead and can’t imagine going back to it. It’s such a waste of time and energy.
    Van – I’m thinking of buying a secondhand van in a few years so I can spend every weekend camping, cycling, and hiking in the mountains with my camera.
    AG23 – Sounds superb. I’ll buy one those 2000 initial copies if you decide to sell them.
    Flickr – Joined in 2006, quit in 2013 (I think) just before that big redesign that everyone hated. I don’t miss it, and don’t really have much sympathy for its current state. I used to be in a group that Martin Parr used to comment in and I remember when he left his first comment leaving everyone starstruck. But I did make some truly wonderful life long friends through it that I still meet regularly today (and they’re all analog photographers and always have been).
    YouTube – The only other photographer I know that does something similar is David Allan Harvey but you have to pay $5 a month via Patreon. It’s well worth it though because he’s obviously the real deal. All camera & camera gear reviews on YouTube are awful.
    Titanium – Yeah, me too. My gravel/bike packing bike is a Curve GXR titanium.

    1. Post

      NICE. Ti is the best. Social, check. Van, check. AG23 is free, we are working on fulfillment now. We have several alternative fulfillment plans in keeping with the pioneering aspects of the project. I’ve not seen what Harvey is doing but he is always doing NEW things especially for folks coming from his world.

  7. Glad to read about upcoming YouTube films.
    And, maybe implicit in your reply is the idea that if a relationship depends on the artificial respiration of social media, it might be time to let it go.
    I also meant to thank you for your perspective on street photography. It was a relief to hear it.

    1. Post

      It’s kinda like the human population. There are too many of us. Same for street photogs.

  8. Another great podcast Mr. Milnor, thank you for this. And thank you for your latest YouTube video, I’ve just watched it. Regarding the podcast I wanted to tell you that I still have my Facebook account because I want to manage the Facebook page of my father’s restaurant for marketing reasons. Other than that I do not use it at all. The same goes for Instagram. I also wanted to tell you that I have received my first blurb photo book with ProLine Uncoated and it is amazing. The quality, the texture, the colours it’s just amazing. If there is a way to write a review about blurb please let me know. I think it’s a must for anyone who takes photography seriously.
    Thanks again Mr. Milnor!

    1. Post

      Hey George,

      Fantastic! Good to know the book arrived to your expectations. Social is what it is. You use if you need it but otherwise.

  9. Hi.
    Could you explain / do a piece on how different modern kameras like e.g the X-T2/3 versus the X-Pro 2/3 make a difference for your photography.

    I just do not get it – and it would be interesting to have this discussed systematically and not only «it reminds me of my film days/ it slows me down …»

    I still accationally shoot with a Texas leica (fuji 6×7 rangefinder) and Mamiya RB67 but mainly with SLR style cameras (Canon, Panasonic, Fuji) with or without mirror.

    Technically cameras of the same generation use the same sensor and firmware .

    PS: any digital camera with a makrolens is an exellent film scanner for black and white – especially the Panasonic or Olympus with shiftsensors.

    1. PS: what I ment to say with « Technically cameras of the same generation use the same sensor and firmware .« was regarding Fuji where the use the same sensor and update the firmware across all cameras in a generation – and therefore the produce identical technical results. The size and weight are also more or less identical.
      It has to be something but lenses and sensor – what is it?

    2. Post

      I like Fuji because they are inexpensive, small and their ergonomics are the most like my older cameras. Fuji files tend to be pretty solid as well. I just updated the firmware for the first time so I don’t even keep up with the updates but only because I get busy and forget.

    3. Post

      I’m not sure I’m the best person to do that. My best work was all done with film. The modern cameras are only a necessary evil for me at this point. When I shoot now I am wearing many hats, and some of those hats don’t want film. So, I use them because I have to. But left to my own work, I’d still be shooting my fifty-year-old cameras.

  10. Thanks for quick reply.
    I’ll be more – what difference would the X-Pro 1/2/3 versus the X-T 1/2/3 make to your photography and why ?
    What if anything is change.

    Maybe some of the others could share their thoughts.

    1. Post

      Not much. Rangefinder vs through the lens but not a lot of difference. Back in the film days, there was quite a difference between using the Leica and use an SLR. But these days most mirrorless are used about the same.

  11. Daniel,
    Been listening your ‘For What it’s Worth’ podcasts while doing all kinds of chores around the house as Corona tied us to the house here in The Netherlands too. Well-found way to present all kinds of daily and less daily things in sequence . ‘Hak op de Tak’ that is what we would call it in Dutch, but in a positive way. You can literally translate this as follows: Hopping from branch to branch.

    I really need to answer the question you asked:
    1) I still use Flickr. Not as an interactive platform but an extension of my website which is horribly outdatet and I do not know how to update (sinds I do not want my friend who build the website 8 years ago to update it). see:

    2) I have had several titanium cameras. Not because I liked them so much, but because they were cheaper to get (I preferred black). I’ve had an Olympus 4 ti and a Konica Hexar (the one with te fixed lens and the silent mode). Beautiful camera that unfortunately got green spots allover. I simply had to live with that. So you can imagine that titanium did not leave the best impression with me, but that aside.

    Yours Heiko

    Your reaction to my last message was that you are so impressed with all bicycles in the Netherlands. We don’t know otherwise here. I only bought my first car last year and I am from 1974. We only use it every two to three weeks and do everything (including shopping) by bicycle and train.

    1. Post

      When this virus clears I’m coming to the Netherlands, with my bike and I’m going to tear around with an American flag on my back. I’m so jealous. Your country, I’m sure, if far from perfect, but there is a collective common sense that transcends our culture here. We are bought and paid for in many ways with the top 1% controlling most things. Bikes are seen as subversive to capitalism. I’m not sure I’ll be around when it comes to the point where it will have to change. Sorry to hear about your Ti troubles. I’m still obsessed.

  12. Yep. Agreed. Zuckerberg is out of control. His eyes look cold too, like there is no humanity or warmth to him.
    I don’t understand why anyone is still using Facebook either.

    Earlier this year I signed up for the online training provided by my local shire council that combined my two main interests to support the community. But as soon as I got the email saying I had to join their Facebook group in order to participate, I decided I wanted nothing to do with it. There’s no way I am re-joining Facebook.

    1. Post

      A lot of folks don’t know any other way. It’s a default. And all the bad things that come from FB….well, that is for other people.

Leave a comment