The Grid: The Grid: Episode 68 – Tough Love


The Grid is a live talk-show about photography, Photoshop and other industry-related topics. Each week features a different guest (in-studio or online) and viewers are encouraged to chime in on the Liveblog here on or via Twitter by adding #TheGridLive to their tweets.
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Episode Summary

Scott and RC are back from Photoshop World with a little Tough Love: 5 things people won't tell you about photography, or, as one viewer put it, "You are a lazy photographer who sleeps in, doesn't take advice, puts technical stuff over composition, buys gear you don't need, and takes cruddy photos." Nah. They weren't that tough.

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  1. P@ says:

    Hey guys! I loved the promo for Jay Maisel’s A Week In Paris. What’s the name of the acoustic song that was used for the promo? Great show! Keep up the good work!

  2. Jeff says:

    Seriously, When are you going to add RC’s name to the shows title. The man is constantly hosting and brings more than his share of thoughful, intelligent insight to the table. Not to take anything away from the other two fine hosts, just seems like something small you may have overlooked . Everyone likes to be appreciated for the hard work they do

  3. Dave Moore says:

    Wow! Great show, and great advice!

  4. I loved this show. Slowly over the past few years I have become drawn to RCʻs insightful, thoughtful yet straightforward approach to photography as a career. RC is gracious and humble and thankful to have achieved this level in his profession. At photoshop world, he spent 20 minutes with four of us in the hallway, pouring over his philosophical views and backing them up with examples. Before he had to leave us, he grabbed his iPhone to show us his latest photo of his four-year-old daughter. Class act.
    The Kelby guy was not bad either.

  5. Bill Araujo says:

    WOW, what a bummer! I’m trying to become the best photographer that I can possibly be and now you’ve got me wondering. Do I have the talent or not? I agree and do all of what you said from #2 through #5 but #1 has thrown me for a loop. Most of my critiques come from family and friends which as you’ve said is always positive. Even the critiques from my camera club associates is positive. I don’t seem to be satisfied with my work and often think it sucks. How do I know if I just don’t have the talent or I just need to hone my skills? Where can I get an honest critique of what work?

    On another note, I shortened my annual photo trek that I take by myself to Glacier, Yellowstone and Teton so that I could attend Matt’s Lightroom 4 seminar here in Kansas City. It was terrific! I not only purchased your, Scott’s, Digital Photography Library but also took advantage of the On One Suite 7 offer. Thank you for finally doing a seminar here!

  6. Deja vu, so nice to get choppy pointy back :-)

    Really enjoyed this show.

    Canon 5D3 dvd would be real nice if it’s still going

  7. Andre Kreitlein says:

    Thanks for The Grid .. I love this show and enjoy it so much ..

    About this times topic .. I agree what you say.
    I changed my ideas on this over the years and in meanwhile I feel happy on be free from all this worries. Now I enjoy taking photos much more. Even I like to be a better photographer.


  8. Great show. Okay, here’s my critique on the Tough Love show.
    At the intro, photography is art. There are different genres of photography: art, journalism (history), abstract.
    I haven’t heard RC play the guitar, but I doubt that his skills compare to Eric Clapton.
    Negative critiques: Offer suggestions for improvement. Don’t say “You suck!” without saying why. By the way, I am my own worst critic and that includes the computer code that I write.
    The Right Time: I have two photography projects for this year. These projects will test my dedication. 1) Photographing the sunrise over Columbia, South Carolina from the Lake Murray Dam; 2) Photographing the Full Moons of 2012 (2/2012-1/2013) since I got the idea after the Full Wolf Moon. So far, weather has been in my favor; clouds obscured my photography of the setting of one moon. I have a shot list of lens and filters. I got the idea for #1 when I photographed the first sunrise of 2012.
    Auto Mode: Okay, most of the time, my camera is set on the Programmed mode; other times, I’ll set it on Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority. Depending on the lighting situation, I’ll use the exposure compensation dial to underexpose or overexpose. I use manual mode on special projects.
    For my Moon Project, I use the Sunny 16 Rule: Set the shutter speed at one over the ISO, the lens at f/16. My research indicated that was the correct exposure for photographing the full moons. Overwise, I use automatic mode.
    Exposure: I have to be concerned about what ISO I am shooting at. I still use film. I found that Kodak BW400CN can be underexposed at 1600 (intentionally) for the final Space Shuttle landing, which was still not fast enough and overexposed (accidentally) at 100 when I forgot to change the ISO. I should’ve ordered T-Max 3200 for the landing of Atlantis, but I had less than a week for planning. I asked for advice to photograph the final Space Shuttle launch and one of Florida Today’s photographers suggested using ISO 100 and underexposing by 1/3 stop. He also suggested mounting my camera backwards on the tripod. I made an executive decision and underexposed by 2/3. Finding 100 speed film in my area turned out to be a scavenger hunt.
    GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome): This past Christmas, my wife wanted to buy me a DSLR; then I found her budget was a Canon Rebel T3i. Since this would probably be the last DSLR I would get, I started researching. First choice was the 60D, more research pointed to the 7D. Yes, I want a full-frame DSLR, but unless I win the Powerball lottery, it’s APS-C for me; plus there’s the “cheat factor” of telephoto, but I am cheated on the wide angle side. As a consolation, she bought me a used Canon FD 28mm f2.8 for my Canon A-1.
    Tools: “When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail.”

  9. Aino says:

    Nice show – some good points!! And I totally cracked up at your Brittish accent Scott – wow, what a talent!! 😉 Good stuff!

  10. David says:

    Great show, great advice. Thanks. I’d like the InDesign thingy.

  11. Patrick says:

    I have bought a lot of gear. Where can I buy talent?

  12. Andy says:

    Good showl.

  13. Lee Zeitelhack says:

    Rational discussion of the “Tough Love” facts. Of course, there will be many who will just not get it. I am one of the those “passionate” photographers you spoke of. I will NEVER be a pro, and frankly, have no desire for that. Too old to start all over anyway, even if I had 10% of the “Talent” necessary. Well, okay. I do have 10% of the talent and I am working on getting to 50%. No matter how many of my freinds, co-workers and family tell me I could be a “Pro”, I know better. As Clint Eastwood famously said, “A man has to know his limitations.” Thanks Scottt & RC for keeping things real.

  14. William Chinn says:

    Would love to get 1 ticket to the PS CS 6 seminar in LA. Don’t need the other ticket.

    Loved the Jay Maisel in Paris. Hope Scott takes more people pictures on his vacations now. They don’t need to be referees.

  15. Tony says:

    Great show. I sure don’t think I’m a great photographer. All my friends and family constantly complement me on my photos, but, since I have been learning photography and following other photographers for six years now, I know they are not near what they should be. Sometimes, I get to thinking that I’m getting pretty good, then I look at some of the photos on G+ or 500px or even Facebook and I quickly realize that I have a LONG way to go. It brings me back down to earth. That is why I have never submitted photos to your blind critiques. Not because I can’t take criticism, but I realize where I am at. I also don’t post photos on G+ or 500px, because of the quality of the photos that are there. I only post to Facebook where my family and friends are. I also post to Flickr and get a few good comments here and there. I am not one of those like Scott talked about where everyone thinks they are a good driver. I realize that I am not as good as so many others so I don’t even want to be compared to them. Many friends and family are always telling me that I need to sell my photos. I never say it out loud, but I think to myself, “Are you willing to buy one?!” Everyone says they are good enough to sell but no one is making an offer to buy one, just telling me I ought to. If they are good enough to sell why aren’t they offering to buy one?

    Oh yeah, I loved Scott’s English accent. That was so funny!

  16. Marcel B says:

    Photoshop cs6 learn by video. Also we welcome you with open arms to Seattle Jen. Good luck and let us know how things are going for you out here in the Emerald City :)

  17. Interesting show, polemic and politically incorrect, as any pub conversation should be :-)

    The talent thing is important, though Neil Peart (Rush’s drummer) would disagree, since he said he has no talent and worked his way up (I don’t buy it hehehehehe). But talent itself doesn’t solve the problem if you don’t know the “craft”. You can be the most talented guitar player, if you never had a guitar in your hands you’ll never know you could even be good at it!

    Also being good doesn’t make you successful! You need to “project” yourself and sell yourself also!!!

    On the technological evolution, today’s great camera will be outdated in a couple of years, but this argument about exposure is so true. Now you don’t have to worry, so much, about it and let’s you free to worry about the creative part.

  18. Dennis Kretzschmar says:

    You guys are so freaking good. What you do with photography and Photoshop/Lightroom has me in awe. How do you manage to write blogs and books, make videos, learn new stuff, test things, work, have family time, travel and sleep? Yous do sleep right?

    I love photography, I know what shots suckand what doesn’t. Alas, my ambitions far exceed my ability.

    My bum is always 18″ off the ground as I’m in a wheelchair. As such there is no squatting down, climbing steps, getting to the waters edge on the beach or stepping through a fence etc for a chance for a ‘winning’ shot.

    My hands don’t function either. Imagine operating a DSLR wearing mittens. An action that should take 3 seconds might take me 30
    seconds of fumbling around. Taking the lens cap off requires two hands. Swapping a lens or holding the camera whilst zooming? No chance.

    Great photograpy from a wheelchair is not impossible. I’m sure that there are some great portfolios out there. With extrememly limited use of hands, the task becomes harder still.

    I’ve got a Nikon D5000. Maybe a D4 is what I need? Yeah, that’ll fix everything. Ha ha ha, as if.

    Seriously though guys, I need some inspiration of what can be achieved in my situation. Fancy the challenge :)

  19. Andy Bitterer says:

    I wish you’d bring Photoshop World to Europe.

  20. S Lu says:

    another very good show…insightful opinions…learned a lot

  21. W Patrick Clements says:

    cs6 learn by video

    good points and I love taking the pictures if I get a good one that is ok too

  22. Ivan Boden says:

    Scott and RC,

    I watched a week with Jay Maisel in Paris, and it was simply wonderful.

    You have my permission to quote me to.

    Great show guys.


  23. Nir Livni says:

    Hi guys, great show. I know prices went out to peeps how watched the show, I would love to go to Scott’s seminar in LA. Oh well, maybe next time. Oh, PSW2012 the best ever, thx. I would most definitely see you there next year.

  24. james says:

    great show guys! 😛

    wow i think you guys really enjoy photoshop world !

  25. John Content says:

    I’ve always wanted you guy to do this program. Thanks!

  26. Jane Hamilton says:

    Indesign cs6 learn by video

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