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Thursday, 20 February 2014


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Sometimes, just sometimes, camera companies do the right thing.

Ages ago, at the camera store where I worked there was a large (about 3X4 ft., not an original, a half tone reproduction I'm sure) print of a kabuki actor applying his makeup. In the corner was the contact print for the original negative, 18X24mm from an Olympus Pen F. Looked quite good from several feet away and was done to show the capabilities of the 35mm half frame format.

Of course this was poster art advertizing, not a magazine ad.

Government enforcement of truth in advertising? Ha ha ha.

If you think photo ads are bad, go to most any fast food restaurant and try to get a meal that looks like what you see on the menu photos.

A nice restrained cover design. I'm not a fan of the modern style of cover on which the cover photo is behind loads of blurb. Especially when you can't find what the blurb refers to anywhere on the contents page. I also don't buy magazines that are plastic wrapped. Usually the contents do not live up to the hype.

The way things are going, it doesn't look like the corporations need to be too concerned with truth in advertising any more, since the burden of advertising is shifting to their customers.

Last night, I watched a Frontline documentary called "Generation Like" on PBS, that detailed the way corporations are exploiting the teenage affectation with social networking. It was a real eye-opener.


Just like those "editors choice" awards that are basically bought based on advertising buys. Of course the editors had nothing to do with it, just rammed down their throats by the "suits".

Don't' get me started, I was educated to be an advertising photographer back in the days when it was 4x5" chromes photographing the lipstick on the tomatoes properly lit. Somethings change, but advertising dollars do not.

Truth in advertising is relative - only to the company placing the ad. Current laws were created because ads stretched the truth - yes your car loan interest rate is 5.9% (no we're not going to tell you it's monthly, that's for you to read the fine print, a.k.a. buyer beware). Yes this camera and lens can take pictures LIKE this - (but this wasn't taken with them).
Photo products ads have the implication that your photography will be better with this stuff (and won't improve without it). A half truth at best, usually not though.

I'm interested that you made mention of Robert Monaghan's excellent and comprehensive medium format "megasite". It once was one of my frequent and favourite stops on the interweb, but seems to have disappeared some time ago. (available on the wayback machine for keeners).

Does anyone have any idea why it was taken down, and at least as interestingly, who was Robert Monaghan, and where is he now, as he seems to have disappeared fro the web.... Hopefully he is still with us!



Here is a nice photo illustration! Ashton Kutcher illustrates how compact a Nikon D3200 is.


Nikon would be wrong to drop Kutcher. Where else could they find a model that would make a D3200 look smaller than an Olympus OM-D?

Truth in Advertising

Keep the classic columns coming, please!

Stay warm. Spring's on the way (we trust).


I once worked in partnership with a (nameless, but still in business) software company. Our company supplied a piece of software that they embedded inside theirs. The software could be run only on Microsoft Windows.

At some point, they sent a mock-up of the shipping box, put together by whichever graphic design firm they hired. It featured, among other things, a photo of a laptop computer running the software. The laptop was an Apple Powerbook, of course ;)

Tom V, I had a funny incident in this vein. I arrived to teach a workshop years ago and the management, who'd never met me in person, were amazed at my appearance. I'd sent them a promo shot (made by Oren) showing me standing in front of a view camera, in a tight crop. They thought the camera was an 8x10, and that I was a diminutive figure. The camera was my 12x20...

Reminds me of a nice flashy photo by Pete Turner that had been shot with a Zeiss 20mm f4 until the Nikon 20mm f4 was introduced and it magically and suddenly had been shot with that new lens, despite a real time problem.

Years ago when I was a young pup lawyer, I acted in a sales tax case for Agfa in Australia. Of course, I proposed to use photographs in evidence. When the MD and CEO of my client came in to review them, they didn't even glance at the beautiful 8 x 10 prints, rather the first thing they did was to flip them over to see what brand paper they were printed on. I kept the client and my career thanks to my secretary who was far more experienced and much smarter than me, and specified the paper when she ordered the prints.

I find it hard to believe that Canon had trouble finding Canon "pros" to shoot ads, maybe back in the film era. A recent study I read on another site pegs the "sell-through" of Canon cameras to pros, running about 16 to 1, Canon to Nikon. You can't swing a cat without hitting a pro using Canon today...

[I doubt it's that lopsided today, but it was that lopsided the other way around in the '80s, as I'm sure you remember. --Mike]

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