TWiP #263 – An Olympic Photo Finish


Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Martin Bailey, Doug Kaye, Nicole Young

Episode Overview

This week on TWiP:

  • Outrage over bad Olympic photos (6:00)
  • Microsoft reveals the Surface (17:10)
  • Why is the Canon T4i causing allergic reactions (31:35)
  • An interview with Trey Ratcliff on discovering the art of photography (43:10)

Martin Bailey, Doug Kaye, and Nicole Young join Frederick Van Johnson to discuss these topics and more on this week's episode of TWiP.

We record TWiP every Wednesday at 6pm Pacific, so be sure to circle Frederick on Google+ to catch the show. *Note that we have reverted back to recording the show using Skype while we work out some things on the technical end to improve the audio quality of the recordings via Google Hangouts.

Interview with Trey Ratcliff

This week Frederick caught up with Trey Ratcliff to discuss his recent move to New Zealand, a “meta” discussion about art vs tech, and how to market yourself in the digital age. You can learn more about Trey at

Doug Kaye: Digimarc and a video by RC Concepcion showing how to automate its use in LR+PS

Martin Bailey: Photo walks

Nicole Young: Canon 40mm Pancake lens

Frederick Van Johnson: – Use the offer code “twip” and get $40 off StickyAlbums Pro (reg $189) and the Wacom Cintiq 24HD

Please Support our Sponsors:

This episode of TWiP is brought to you by Carbonite On-Line Backup. Automatic, continuous, and unlimited backup for your computer files – for only $59 a year. Try it free at Use the offer code TWiP and get 2 bonus months with purchase.

TWiP is also brought to you by FreshBooks, the easy online invoicing app for small businesses that saves time and gets you paid faster.  Join over  3.5 million Freshbooks users, and try the service free – get 30-days of unlimited use at Be sure to let them know you heard about it on TWiP.

Connect with Our Hosts & Guests:

Martin Bailey: or Twitter or Google+

Doug Kaye: or or Twitter or Google+

Nicole Young: or Twitter or Google+

Frederick Van Johnson: or or Google+


Pre-production by: Bruce Clarke
Post production by: Suzanne Llewellyn
Bandwidth provided by: Cachefly
Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro
Photo Credit: Allie_Caulfield on Flickr

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  1. One of my general critic / suggestion / comment / whatever about TWIP is that you are way too high above the mortal people. I understand that you are professionals and you talk about what you know best, at the level you are at. Most of the times that’s great, but *I* would also like to hear something more down to earth, for “entry level” photographers like me 😉
    For example, I hadn’t heard about the olympics photos, so I look it up a bit. I found a lot of “angry bloggers” in the way the internet is used to produce. I found a couple of really interesting pages putting some sense into it, one of them stating something like “unless you are not a professional photographer, please hold the keyboard”.

    1. You have actually pointed out a general shortcoming in the online photo community. You will find lots of comments about how “bad” or “good” an image is, but not a lot about WHY the image is good or bad.

      Recently there have been some good blind critiques on Scott Kelby’s show, The Grid. These are valuable but still fall a little short. The best critiques online that I have seen come from Craig Tanner over at The Mindful Eye. He does a series called “the daily critique” where he talks about what is working in an image and why. He also talks about things he would change in a perfect world. Also detailing why.

      A couple of good off line resources that I have found valuable in this area are Michael Freeman’s The Photographer’s Eye and David DuChemin’s Photographically Speaking. DuChemin’s book is probably the better one to start with and Freeman’s in much more in depth.

  2. Loved the show , as usual … and now you guys are cross-podcasting a lot, so It was easy to find you ! I came from Martin’s podcast witch is a calm and relax thing and also came from Kelby’s pack of podcasts and here in Twip i found it very balanced 🙂
    So congrats Fred, keep up with the good work.

    Comments: Lately the topic about copyrighting you images, either by licencing, digimarcs, watermark, selling photos on stock photos, have came abroad this show it the last episodes. Since I’m not a US citizen nor resident and I live in Portugal, Europe, the point that I have in mind is, laws differ from country to country and there’s no straight line. What I mean is that is very hard to actually protect your photographs ªbullet proof” mode and it’s also very difficult to prevent someone from another country to pick up your photos and sell them, or post them to their website and pull traffic to it , there are dozens of ways to use licenced photos in a “preverse” way and get out of it ok. I would like to hear you guys discussing that a little bit more.

    I also would like to you Fred to do a “Mobile Show”. In today’s era that we are all mobiled what is your used apps, your personal/family workflow (getting the desire of the less amateur-pro from previous post attended) , what phones, what cameras, what lenses for mobiles have you guys experienced before…. and so on…

    My name is Miguel Garcia and you can find me on twitter: @MrJazzMan

    Thanks and keep up with the good work.

  3. Great podcast. Thank you. Re: Trey Ratcliff interview, I find it nearly impossible to do what he’s describing in any of the -priority modes, basically lock down 2 of the 3 exposure settings and change the one, just based on what I know. Isn’t a -priority mode just that, isolates one of the exposure parameters and lets the camera judge the other one (or two, if there’s an auto-ISO)?

    1. Yeah David, Trey must have mis-spoke on this point. If you lock down Aperture (by shooting in aperture priority) and ISO, it won’t change exposure. The camera will give you the same exposure at f/2.8 with an ISO of 100 as it will at f/2.8 and an ISO of 800. There will be more grain in the ISO 800 shot and the colors will likely be somewhat affected by the higher ISO and subsequent noise levels, but the exposure will be the same because the shutter speed will adjust to the different combination of f stop and ISO – obviously a slower shutter speed will be selected by the camera when the ISO is 100, and a faster shutter speed when at 800. If you want to make the shot darker (which was his example), then you need to add or take away light with your exposure bracketing, or shoot with manual mode.

    2. Just re-listened to what Trey was saying and I misunderstood. My bad. Disregard the above comment (can’t figure out how to delete it). He wasn’t talking about the image being darker with a slower ISO, just that the situation was too dark to get a fast enough shutter at that slow ISO for a non-blurry image. He was suggesting to up the ISO to get a faster shutter and a less blurry image. Sorry about that.

  4. Thought I’d say a few words about Canon service, since that came up in the discussion. When I received my 5DMkII, it was basically dead, and I had to send it to Canon for warranty service. It was one week door-to-door before I had it back. They said they replaced the main board, so it had to be torn down pretty far. I was impressed with the speed.
    I later had to have my 50 1.4 fixed (AF failed) and that was also about one week. When I received my 5DMkIII, I sent the MkII in for cleaning. Had some stubborn stuff on the sensor, and I think that was about 10 days total. Probably would have been 8 days if I’d sent it a day earlier.
    You’re still without a camera (or a backup) for some time, but it’s not weeks and weeks. So, not quite so bad as you might expect. YMMV, of course, but wanted to mention my experience.

  5. Re:the 5Dmk3 issue. I don’t think sending it in is acceptable. At this price range, this early in production, if Canon did not give me a new camera, I’d flip it back to them, and buy my own new unit. When you are an early adopter, I think that warrants a special level of service. I also think the car recall is a bad analogy. The price of the average car is around 30k, and I still think you can make a case for a replacement vehicle. Buying something new then having to get it ‘fixed’ immediately due to no fault of your own is unacceptable. Many people waited years for this camera, then it cme out at a grand more than the old model, and while it sounds amazing, buyer one and having it have to go back right away would royally piss me off.

  6. On the Canon 5D Mark III, I was surprised that TWIP missed the boat on this one. Canon has had really bad camera issues on their high profile launches. Canon 1D Mark3 had a major AF issue, that was known about during testing but was still not corrected until after manufacture, the 5D mark2 had black spots showing up in highlights and many firmware updates to correct minor bugs. Now the 5D mark3 has a light leak.
    I would at this point say wait 6 months before buying any just release camera from Canon.

    I think every photojournalist had in some form or another been placed in photo assignments with poor or no information about a certain assignment. Where the panel was wrong there is no telling an editor I did not complete the shoot, there are no images.
    Most photojournalist do not have lots of studio gear, most work with natural light.
    At the last chain of papers I worked for there was about 5 photogs. The company supplied basic equipment no studio gear. Out of the 5 only 2 of use had our one gear. We both had strobist setup and I only had a complete mobile photo studio.

    Most photojournalists and sports shooters have limited experience studio lighting. So you have to look at the big picture here, was a lot failure from the shooter, editor and whoever made the assignment.
    When I look at Klamar work I see one key mistake. In stead of going simple clean dramatic shots he went made the shots to complex. His has decent lighting technique but, when you only have minutes to work with a subject you need a solid focus plan.
    By the look of his work Klamar, made several bad calls on location which compounded a bad shoot into a disaster remember this was a cattle call shoot in which had only minutes to shoot. He should stayed with the basics of lighting and just worried about getting clean simple images.

    The reason I had this gear was because, I was doing commercial work on the side.

  7. The segment on the Microsoft Surface was way short on actual discussion on the product and way long on the panel’s Apple fanboy talk. Panel members should be pro or con for some other reason than it not having an Apple logo. I’m not an Apple hater, I have several of their products, but you guys can do better than that.

  8. Apple fanboys. Horrible to listen to at times. Some objectivity would be nice.

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