For those of you who have the spare time to write in correcting every little perceived error we make on the blog or the podcast, please, please, please read Seth’s post about Precision.

For those who catch an outright spelling or serious error, we thank you for your input – for those who think “dark” is a color, please read Seth’s post to understand why precision may not always be necessary.

Also, you can apply what Seth talks about to your photography.

Thanks.

Join the conversation! 43 Comments

  1. I’m sure you meant “sticklers”! (Insert smiley here.)

    Reply
  2. I’m sure you meant “sticklers”! (Insert smiley here.)

    Reply
  3. Why is someone else using my name?

    Reply
  4. Why is someone else using my name?

    Reply
  5. Yep Conrad just having a little fun. Now that someone caught it I’ll correct it.

    Reply
  6. Yep Conrad just having a little fun. Now that someone caught it I’ll correct it.

    Reply
  7. To be precise “CraigD”…I’m “Craig D.” Big difference…haha Ah, precision…

    Reply
  8. To be precise “CraigD”…I’m “Craig D.” Big difference…haha Ah, precision…

    Reply
  9. Fair point about the sticklers, but let’s be honest here – as even Seth acknowledges on his post – sometimes the details really are important. One of the examples on Seth’s post was an instruction to round a figure to the nearest tenth when adding 10.2 and 1.8. The idea was not to get the sum correctly, but to identify that you know where the tenths position is. So, by answering 12, instead of 12.0 you are in fact, demonstrating that you do not know how to identify the tenths. It’s a matter of following instructions.

    I experienced a great example of this in 8th grade. We were given a test and told to read all instructions before doing anything. The instructions told us to read through all the questions, but do not write anything on the exam itself. I was one of 4 people who wrote nothing besides their name on the exam, and that was primarily because we had always been taught to write our name on our test first thing. We were given 99% on the test. Everyone else failed the exam because they just started answering the questions.

    Bringing the point back to photography, paying attention to details is important. If you try “close enough” when hand holding, the results can be blurred results when sharpness is needed. Sometimes the devil is in the details. And in photography, just like any other field, sometimes you really do have to focus on the details. To not focus on them can often be construed as inattention to detail, or in layman’s terms – laziness. To quote the well-known lighting and photography guru – Joe McNally, from his Google talk:

    “The migration period [apertures, f-stops, shutter speeds, ISO's, etc.]…taking all the sundry stuff and migrating it from the front of your head to the back of your head…you need to learn that stuff”

    and…

    “Technique is important – mechanical inputs have enormous aesthetic implications. You need to learn them and be fluid with them and it enables you to be able to speak with a louder voice.”

    These same principles can be applied to any field, and I would classify professional bloggers and podcasters in that realm as well – especially when those efforts are done to earn revenue. Furthermore, when you have the resources on the level of people like yourself, Leo LaPorte, Chris Marquardt, Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, and a host of others, then yes, more T’s need to be crossed and more I’s need to be dotted…the standard you are held to is higher. It goes with the territory. Just like elected officials and celebrities, there is a downside of being popular and running a popular podcast where you earn money off that, and that downside is increased scrutiny – it just goes with the territory.

    Having said all that, please don’t get me wrong – the TWIP blog and weekly podcast is something I read/listen to daily/weekly. I find it to be a hugely beneficial resource, and hearing the perspectives and insights of professionals in the field is very welcome for those of us aspiring toward those ends. Without the generosity of professionals like yourself and a host of others, the future breed of photographers would have a much more difficult time crawling their way up the learning curve.

    So, while it may not be fun to be the subject of such microscopic critique and analysis, it may help to know that the ends do justify the means as there are many of us who really do appreciate what you do. Occasionally missed details or slip-ups are a part of any endeavor. If the masses happen to pick up on that, often times it’s their way of saying “I listen to and watch everything you do because I admire you and your work that much. As an FYI, I did find a little goof here that you may want to fix.” It’s often an attempt to help in some small tangential way, because we simply cannot contribute from a photographic skill level, simply because we are not there yet.

    To end on a positive note, let me just close by saying “Thank You for all that you do”,

    Reply
  10. Fair point about the sticklers, but let’s be honest here – as even Seth acknowledges on his post – sometimes the details really are important. One of the examples on Seth’s post was an instruction to round a figure to the nearest tenth when adding 10.2 and 1.8. The idea was not to get the sum correctly, but to identify that you know where the tenths position is. So, by answering 12, instead of 12.0 you are in fact, demonstrating that you do not know how to identify the tenths. It’s a matter of following instructions.

    I experienced a great example of this in 8th grade. We were given a test and told to read all instructions before doing anything. The instructions told us to read through all the questions, but do not write anything on the exam itself. I was one of 4 people who wrote nothing besides their name on the exam, and that was primarily because we had always been taught to write our name on our test first thing. We were given 99% on the test. Everyone else failed the exam because they just started answering the questions.

    Bringing the point back to photography, paying attention to details is important. If you try “close enough” when hand holding, the results can be blurred results when sharpness is needed. Sometimes the devil is in the details. And in photography, just like any other field, sometimes you really do have to focus on the details. To not focus on them can often be construed as inattention to detail, or in layman’s terms – laziness. To quote the well-known lighting and photography guru – Joe McNally, from his Google talk:

    “The migration period [apertures, f-stops, shutter speeds, ISO's, etc.]…taking all the sundry stuff and migrating it from the front of your head to the back of your head…you need to learn that stuff”

    and…

    “Technique is important – mechanical inputs have enormous aesthetic implications. You need to learn them and be fluid with them and it enables you to be able to speak with a louder voice.”

    These same principles can be applied to any field, and I would classify professional bloggers and podcasters in that realm as well – especially when those efforts are done to earn revenue. Furthermore, when you have the resources on the level of people like yourself, Leo LaPorte, Chris Marquardt, Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, and a host of others, then yes, more T’s need to be crossed and more I’s need to be dotted…the standard you are held to is higher. It goes with the territory. Just like elected officials and celebrities, there is a downside of being popular and running a popular podcast where you earn money off that, and that downside is increased scrutiny – it just goes with the territory.

    Having said all that, please don’t get me wrong – the TWIP blog and weekly podcast is something I read/listen to daily/weekly. I find it to be a hugely beneficial resource, and hearing the perspectives and insights of professionals in the field is very welcome for those of us aspiring toward those ends. Without the generosity of professionals like yourself and a host of others, the future breed of photographers would have a much more difficult time crawling their way up the learning curve.

    So, while it may not be fun to be the subject of such microscopic critique and analysis, it may help to know that the ends do justify the means as there are many of us who really do appreciate what you do. Occasionally missed details or slip-ups are a part of any endeavor. If the masses happen to pick up on that, often times it’s their way of saying “I listen to and watch everything you do because I admire you and your work that much. As an FYI, I did find a little goof here that you may want to fix.” It’s often an attempt to help in some small tangential way, because we simply cannot contribute from a photographic skill level, simply because we are not there yet.

    To end on a positive note, let me just close by saying “Thank You for all that you do”,

    Reply
  11. @Jason all I can say is

    sigh….

    Reply
  12. @Jason all I can say is

    sigh….

    Reply
  13. I should take something from this and maybe I won’t upset the wife as much if I follow Seth’s ideas. I do have a habit of correction and it isn’t always necessary. Great post and it says so much, don’t be quite so picky, but follow instructions if there given.

    My dad bought a tin of paint when I was a kid and on the lid was the quote, if all else fails read the instructions. I just love that.

    Keep up the good work and advise, love this site and everything that goes with it. Remember you have a world audience.

    Reply
  14. I should take something from this and maybe I won’t upset the wife as much if I follow Seth’s ideas. I do have a habit of correction and it isn’t always necessary. Great post and it says so much, don’t be quite so picky, but follow instructions if there given.

    My dad bought a tin of paint when I was a kid and on the lid was the quote, if all else fails read the instructions. I just love that.

    Keep up the good work and advise, love this site and everything that goes with it. Remember you have a world audience.

    Reply
  15. Not sure what having a worldwide audience has to do with this post Trevor – but okay. I’ll remember.

    Reply
  16. Not sure what having a worldwide audience has to do with this post Trevor – but okay. I’ll remember.

    Reply
  17. Sorry if my first post was a little over the top Scott, as I do see your point of view, and do not necessarily disagree with it. It’s just that as an admitted “photographic lessor” who would like to contribute, and often cannot due to lack of experience, I can see how some may want to delve into other areas because they want to help – not knowing that the feedback of the minutia is not taken in the spirit in which it was intended. Does that make sense?

    FWIW – I’ve never tried to contribute by pointing out flaws in details here and there – I just try to be a sponge and contribute meaningfully and on topic when possible. (I also did not think the comment above would be published in its entirety, as it was rather long, but thanks for at least reading it and letting it through…sorry if my commentary thus far as lead to sighs – it was not intended that way.) No harm intended…

    Reply
  18. Sorry if my first post was a little over the top Scott, as I do see your point of view, and do not necessarily disagree with it. It’s just that as an admitted “photographic lessor” who would like to contribute, and often cannot due to lack of experience, I can see how some may want to delve into other areas because they want to help – not knowing that the feedback of the minutia is not taken in the spirit in which it was intended. Does that make sense?

    FWIW – I’ve never tried to contribute by pointing out flaws in details here and there – I just try to be a sponge and contribute meaningfully and on topic when possible. (I also did not think the comment above would be published in its entirety, as it was rather long, but thanks for at least reading it and letting it through…sorry if my commentary thus far as lead to sighs – it was not intended that way.) No harm intended…

    Reply
  19. @Jason the point of Seth’s post and mine is simple. Minutia often leads to the hijacking of the point. It’s debate 101 – create a false argument and attack it. Here, the arguments are not usually created for that purpose, but the result is the same. Another way to put it is this. Perfect is the enemy of good.

    Reply
  20. @Jason the point of Seth’s post and mine is simple. Minutia often leads to the hijacking of the point. It’s debate 101 – create a false argument and attack it. Here, the arguments are not usually created for that purpose, but the result is the same. Another way to put it is this. Perfect is the enemy of good.

    Reply
  21. Spend time taking pictures rather than correcting crap that doesn’t matter. There is a difference between being a stickler for precision and accuracy, and being illiterate. I would hope that everyone would at least take the time to APPEAR literate when we post things on the internet. This means using correct (circa 9th grade) grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Black vs. dark is certainly minutia, but does anyone really bother to correct these kinds of things on TWIP? Nevermind. Knowing how some people are, they probably do.

    Reply
  22. Perfect can be the enemy of good. OTOH, confusing basic terms like “image circle” with “circle of confusion” can be the enemy of effective pedagogy — particularly if it occurs while attempting to define some of photography’s most basic terms to a newbie seeking out help. Not every error can be dismissed as “minutia”.

    Love the podcast.

    Reply
  23. Perfect can be the enemy of good. OTOH, confusing basic terms like “image circle” with “circle of confusion” can be the enemy of effective pedagogy — particularly if it occurs while attempting to define some of photography’s most basic terms to a newbie seeking out help. Not every error can be dismissed as “minutia”.

    Love the podcast.

    Reply
  24. @Tim I agree which is why in the post I thanked folks who point out genuine errors. Just curious – why did you feel it necessary to repeat what I said?

    Reply
  25. @Tim I agree which is why in the post I thanked folks who point out genuine errors. Just curious – why did you feel it necessary to repeat what I said?

    Reply
  26. lol!! This is brilliant……

    Why can’t some people just take the point, realise that for most “who cares?” and move on? Scott is just SOOOOO right on this! Grammar, spelling etc etc…..we all know its important…in the right context. Whats important here, on this very podcast, is the info given, the context it is given in and the inspiration it gives us. I know a spelling or grammar mistake when I see it and I also know a mistake or oversight too and I don’t need to be corrected every second line by some pedant……because I GOT WHAT THE POST WAS SAYING!!!!

    Sheesh…..keep up the good work Scott. Its a fine thing you all do!

    Reply
  27. lol!! This is brilliant……

    Why can’t some people just take the point, realise that for most “who cares?” and move on? Scott is just SOOOOO right on this! Grammar, spelling etc etc…..we all know its important…in the right context. Whats important here, on this very podcast, is the info given, the context it is given in and the inspiration it gives us. I know a spelling or grammar mistake when I see it and I also know a mistake or oversight too and I don’t need to be corrected every second line by some pedant……because I GOT WHAT THE POST WAS SAYING!!!!

    Sheesh…..keep up the good work Scott. Its a fine thing you all do!

    Reply
  28. I agree with the first concise comment. What else really needs to be said?

    Reply
  29. I agree with the first concise comment. What else really needs to be said?

    Reply
  30. I think the only way to avoid the intrusive pedantic nonsense we see here on a daily basis would be to shut down the comments section…although that would be a shame because I often learn from many of the commenters. It never ceases to amaze me how patient Scott is with these jerks…uh…pedants.

    Reply
  31. Mary I have thought many times that closing the comments might be the best thing. Seth doesn’t allow comments. Many prominent photographers like Moose Peterson don’t allow comments. The reasons for this are many.

    I find myself writing defensively because I know that the nit-pickers will look for a reason to comment if I don’t pedantically describe everything I say. This limits the advice I can give.

    Dealing with comments is also time consuming. I could spend that time teaching.

    I also deal with a lot of spam. While the filters catch most of it, they don’t work all the time. Then there’s the comment spammers who just want to sneak in a link to their blog so they can profit by my traffic.

    The “me-too” comments are a complete waste of my time.

    Then there is the special class of comments that really bother me – those that contain outright incorrect information. And of course there are the haters just want to argue.

    Lastly, it appears I am too old to understand the Internet culture. It seems that when I or my ideas are attacked or questioned, I am not supposed to respond. It’s not in my nature to roll over. I’ve mostly started ignoring the negative comments or just not approving those that are purely argumentative.

    But as you say, you learn from them so for now, I am leaving them turned on. I also like to answer genuine questions here. That’s another argument for comments.

    Time will tell wether or not the comments are useful.

    Reply
  32. Mary I have thought many times that closing the comments might be the best thing. Seth doesn’t allow comments. Many prominent photographers like Moose Peterson don’t allow comments. The reasons for this are many.

    I find myself writing defensively because I know that the nit-pickers will look for a reason to comment if I don’t pedantically describe everything I say. This limits the advice I can give.

    Dealing with comments is also time consuming. I could spend that time teaching.

    I also deal with a lot of spam. While the filters catch most of it, they don’t work all the time. Then there’s the comment spammers who just want to sneak in a link to their blog so they can profit by my traffic.

    The “me-too” comments are a complete waste of my time.

    Then there is the special class of comments that really bother me – those that contain outright incorrect information. And of course there are the haters just want to argue.

    Lastly, it appears I am too old to understand the Internet culture. It seems that when I or my ideas are attacked or questioned, I am not supposed to respond. It’s not in my nature to roll over. I’ve mostly started ignoring the negative comments or just not approving those that are purely argumentative.

    But as you say, you learn from them so for now, I am leaving them turned on. I also like to answer genuine questions here. That’s another argument for comments.

    Time will tell wether or not the comments are useful.

    Reply
  33. “Lastly, it appears I am too old to understand the Internet culture. It seems that when I or my ideas are attacked or questioned, I am not supposed to respond.”

    I agree with this point.

    To me, it seems that you waste a lot of your breath on the podcast and on here pandering to the people who make useless comments.

    You constantly frame your words to avoid a dreaded email from someone correcting you. You put out more disclaimers than a politician on the podcast. Isn’t receiving dumb emails from dumb people just part of being an internet personality?

    I never hear other people like Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, or even the other TWIPers preface their words nearly as much as you do. I can’t count how many times you have said the words “don’t email me….” on the podcast.

    Maybe your speaking time on the podcast and your writing time on the blog would be better suited teaching instead of worrying about getting some email that you can simply delete?

    Most of us know what you mean when you say it, and can appreciate it for what it is. For the few who feel it necessary to contact you for mundane minutia, well, that’s what the delete button is for.

    Reply
  34. “Lastly, it appears I am too old to understand the Internet culture. It seems that when I or my ideas are attacked or questioned, I am not supposed to respond.”

    I agree with this point.

    To me, it seems that you waste a lot of your breath on the podcast and on here pandering to the people who make useless comments.

    You constantly frame your words to avoid a dreaded email from someone correcting you. You put out more disclaimers than a politician on the podcast. Isn’t receiving dumb emails from dumb people just part of being an internet personality?

    I never hear other people like Leo Laporte, Merlin Mann, or even the other TWIPers preface their words nearly as much as you do. I can’t count how many times you have said the words “don’t email me….” on the podcast.

    Maybe your speaking time on the podcast and your writing time on the blog would be better suited teaching instead of worrying about getting some email that you can simply delete?

    Most of us know what you mean when you say it, and can appreciate it for what it is. For the few who feel it necessary to contact you for mundane minutia, well, that’s what the delete button is for.

    Reply
  35. Well Marshall you’ve put me over the top with that comment. From now on, I’ll just delete and the Internet transparency mavens will just have to curse me. I’m going to say what I think and delete stupid, useless, mindless, incorrect, argumentative and abusive comments. I’ll pass the rest through and pretty much ignore them too. Thanks for helping me get clarity.

    Reply
  36. Well Marshall you’ve put me over the top with that comment. From now on, I’ll just delete and the Internet transparency mavens will just have to curse me. I’m going to say what I think and delete stupid, useless, mindless, incorrect, argumentative and abusive comments. I’ll pass the rest through and pretty much ignore them too. Thanks for helping me get clarity.

    Reply
  37. Should I point out the the “click on my head” image doesn’t actually link to Seth’s site? :)

    I like Merlin Mann’s idea – disable comments and let people blog about it on their own site. That said, I’m sure a lot of people are only trying to help when they point out errors, so you need to be careful to not annoy your fans by dismissing their attempted helpfulness.

    Ben

    Reply
  38. Should I point out the the “click on my head” image doesn’t actually link to Seth’s site? :)

    I like Merlin Mann’s idea – disable comments and let people blog about it on their own site. That said, I’m sure a lot of people are only trying to help when they point out errors, so you need to be careful to not annoy your fans by dismissing their attempted helpfulness.

    Ben

    Reply
  39. @Ben I am pretty sure I am going to annoy my fans no matter what I do.

    Reply
  40. @Ben I am pretty sure I am going to annoy my fans no matter what I do.

    Reply
  41. Scott, I second Marshall’s comments above: a). Most people who read the TWIP blog and listen to the podcast are reasonable, but b) the internet can accentuate the goofballs. Don’t pay disproportionate attention to the goofballs. Most people know what you mean and do not need to hear preemptive caveats about possible emails. You are not in court – we like you and we want to learn from your experience and listen to your advice. Delete the troublemakers. Life is too short – for you and for your listeners!

    Reply

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