A Year of Shooting Film

On June 6, 2017 I started photographing with film again. The last time I was super serious about film photography was in high school, where we were blessed with unlimited chemicals and film. Sadly, all my negatives from high school got stolen from my apartment when I was living in Italy.

It was a relief to go analogue, and a respite from digital, especially social media. I could just shoot all day with either my Leica M-A, Pentax K1000, or Argus C3 and never worry about battery life. I could totally unplug and just focus on the real world, and work on producing decent images. I didn’t think about how an Internet audience would react to my photos. The goal was just a print.

I developed most of my film except for the first few months of shooting. For that I went to Photoworks SF. Once I got the hang of shooting film, I joined the local darkroom, The Harvey Milk Photo Center. I bought a bunch of tanks, a slew of chemicals, and a scanner (under $250) to develop and post-process my own film. The tanks, chemicals, darkroom membership, paper, and film come out to under $600 a year to develop and make my own prints. This is assuming I”m shooting 1 roll of film a week, and am just doing black and white. For the most part 90% of what I shot at this time was black and white. If you want to do color, tack on another $300 a year for chemicals and film.

The first trip I took with my film camera was to Oregon with Paul Wozniak and Dave Alcaraz. The familiar panic of film set in. Would the photos come out? With digital I would’ve known right away, but it was refreshing to just focus on my surroundings.

Samuel H. Boardman State Park

(Leica M-A, Portra 400, 28mm Elmarit f/2.8, f/8, 1/125)

My next trip was at the end of December to Yosemite. There was no snow, but I caught a beautiful moonrise.

Moonrise at Yosemite
Leica M-A, Velvia 50, 90mm Elmarit f/2.8, f/2.8, 1/60

After awhile, I soon grew tired of photographing landscapes. There was a feeling that it had all been done before. I devoted more of my efforts to street photography, since the same street was never the same on different days. I went to Cuba with my friends, Dan Fenstermacher and Harvey Castro. We were struck by the perpetual golden hour that suffused the city streets of Havana. I wish I had lots of great shots, but my technique still needed a ton of work. I would get anxious, and click before the shot was there. Dan got an award for 2 of his photos! But all wasn’t lost, I did get a few photos like this one:

Malecón Fisherman, 2018
Leica M-A, Portra 400, 35mm Summicron f/2.0, f/11, 1/1000

Street photography is something you have to do everyday in order to grow. For me 5pm to 6pm is perfect for street photography since there are so many people in the streets. After Cuba, I went to LA with Dan (again) and Armand (@armand67gt on Instagram). My modicum of skill and luck finally hit a level where I was getting the shots I anticipated or previsualized.

Los Angeles, 2018
Leica M-A, Portra 400, 35mm Summicron f/2.0, f/8, 1/1000

After LA, I was in New York for the Nor’easter snow blizzards, and even went out in that weather to photograph. I was very happy with this photo:

New York Snow Blizzard
Leica M-A, Portra 400, 35mm Summicron f/2.0, f/8, 1/60

For client work, I’ve been stuck with digital. There have been opportunities to offer film, but nobody has taken me up on it. Now that I’m done with a year of shooting film, and look at social media again, I can’t help but be struck with the tyranny of an audience. To produce any lasting art, the masters of the past relied on solitude. Photographing with a film camera and leaving your phone at home has totally provided many hours of solitude these past 12 months.

Rush Hour, San Francisco, 2018
Leica M-A, Kodak TMax 400, 35mm Summicron f/2.0, f/11, 1/1000

The pull of the world towards digital is still very strong despite this current film renaissance. There’s such an emphasis on NOW that the expectations are high for getting an image right away. I know that the great photographers rarely dabbled with “old” technology in their own times. Joel Meyerowitz is an exception with his “Connecticut Light” work where he used a large format, view camera that took 8×10 film. As technology advances, a new way of telling a story opens up, and its important to note that potential of that. However, with innovation pushing a new camera 3 or so times a year in the case of Sony, or every 3 years in the case of Leica, and the rest somewhere in between… Is it really worth it to keep up? I would have to say, “No.”

For my own photography, I’ve let film be the thing I shoot for travel, street photography and portraits. The great thing about 35mm film photography is that I’ll never have to upgrade my camera. For landscapes and night time scenes, I know that with a really portable, digital mirrorless kit the photos can come out so clean. However, I know large format, film cameras still can beat digital in landscapes at day time, yet digital is so convenient. Also, every year, the sensors are heading towards 1/30th of a second Milky Way shots that are clean, and at currently, science fiction level ISOs. Will I still shoot film? Yes!

Images are basically free to produce these days. Video, however, has always been a production, especially if its high quality. Where does this leave us? Nostalgia for the past isn’t the way forward, nor is being prisoner to a tech company’s idea of what is art, and what people ought to see. At the end of the day, you have to have a story worth telling that’s so good that even if you’re just sitting by a campfire, people will love it. The same is true for our images. Regardless of what the post-modernists say, exciting photography still has to be about something. Epic images have to be about something you are passionate about.

Do you shoot film? Want to meet up? Let me know in the comments below.

The Philosophy of Art

The Internet makes words mean different things. If you used the word, aesthetics, pre-Instagram, then that word could have meant, “The study of the beautiful and to a lesser extent, the ugly.” Post-Instagram, the word can mean, “The results of one’s ‘gains’ from doing things to get swoll,” or to use less idiom, “the physical results of following a fitness regimen.” If you do a search of “aesthetics” on Instagram, a good portion of the 16 million posts is dedicated to hour glass figures and six pack abs.

This is the tragedy of technology: to make the masses masters of words instead of philosophers.

So that thinking about the arts isn’t drowned, I’ve revived for posterity the term, “the philosophy of art,” which is a poor substitute for aesthetics. That word to the ancient Greeks meant simply “of perception,” or the things that came to the senses. It wasn’t until the 18th century that the Greek word became elevated to something akin to “The Philosophy of Art.” Yet it meant so much more, if we consider how the great philosopher, Kant brought brought to light flaws in Humean skepticism regarding space and time by using the Transcendental Aesthetic.

Why the philosophy of art in this point in time and place? There is widespread ignorance of terms such as “temporal power,” and “phenomenology.” The latter is a tool for revealing how many of the arts lack the former. Nobody asks why certain types of photography are privileged over others: well-marketed over authentic, viral over quotidian, digital over film, sharpness over grain, single photos over photo essays. I’ve asked this question, and the answer seems to be a fetishization of technology where pixels are chosen over morsels of meaning. We live in such ignorance of how things were or can be that the simple act of questioning is a radical cure for such ignorance.

From now on this blog will be more about the philosophy of art than photography. I will still post images to illustrate points, to make a point, to surface, to adumbrate, etc. But my main task will be to continue the work of exposing the aesthetic origin of things considered not so aesthetic, e.g. much of technology is an aesthetic choice, and we learned this from Gadamer. Also, much of what is regarded as inspiring photography is merely a technological fetish, and it is this that needs to be exposed.

How to Create a Photography Book in LightRoom

I just finished creating a photography book using LightRoom. You can find it on blurb. (Update on 2/28/2018: Blurb removes your book if it doesn’t get ordered. I’ve placed my book on Big Cartel for sale.) It’s about friendship and betrayal on social media.

Anyway, someone on Instagram (@mh.elemental) asked me about how I went creating this book, so I will go into detail about it here.

Step 1. Take lots of photos.

Step 2. Select the photos you want to use. Some people print out their photos as 4×5 prints. This is what Joe Aguirre does according to this excellent interview on YouTube by Eric Kim. Parts 1 and 2 are worth watching.

I chose photos of an autobiographical sort: my life in LA, moving to San Francisco, the alienation of life that centers around social media.

Step 3. Sequence your photos. Joe Aguirre likens sequencing to creating a string of pearls. Edward Weston sequenced his “American Photographs” to show first what people thought photography was (to show are best fake selves) versus what it could really do (to show us who we really are – warts and all).

My book was easy to sequence: I did it chronologically.

Step 4. Import your sequence into LightRoom. Click on the “Book” module on the top right.

Ted Viera goes into detail in this excellent YouTube video on what options are available in LightRoom for creating your book.

Step 5. After adding the text, title, and other pieces of copy, and after formatting your book, you can export it as a PDF for printing, or you can upload it to Blurb for sale. On Blurb, you can sell your photos as both a physical, hardcopy book, or a PDF.

I hope this guide helps you out.

Happy Shooting!

Beeronol: Developing Ilford FP4 film in beer

I’m experimenting with different ways of developing film, e.g. stand development. This weekend I developed black and white film using beer. The mix I used was from Peta Pixel and is called beeronol.

The ingredients for the beeronol I made are:

  • 50cl of Guinness stout,
  • 12g of Vitamin C crushed into powder, and
  • 50g of washing soda (I baked baking soda at 400F for one hour to turn it into washing soda).

Develop the film in this soup at 86F for 15 minutes. Agitate for the first 30 seconds and 5 seconds every minute until done. Stop & fix as you’d normally do.

I found the results to be interesting. The beer turned the grain in Ilford FP4+ ISO 125 into irregular shapes, and the grain was larger. Some frames became foggy. Many frames displayed some sort of bromide drag. Some frames were flat and others super contrasty.

In the example below you can see 8 bands of bromide drag.

8 bands of bromide drag (Leica M-A, Summicron 50mm, f/16, 1/125, Ilford FP4+ ISO 125)

Here’s an example of fogging with bromide drag, too.

Fogging and bromide drag

Here’s an example that came out okay. If you zoom in, the grains are highly irregular, large and spotty. I suspect this might have something to do with the beer bubbles. There’s bromide drag in the bottom left.

Some bromide drag, irregular and big grains

Beeronol is expensive to make. 2 bottles of Guinness Stout (25cl) is already $4 versus sixteen cents ($0.16) per teaspoon of Rodinal per roll of film. If I wanted to make a photo look like it was from long ago, the irregularities with bromide drag, fog, and graininess make this a good choice.

A List of Thoughts and Feelings that Cannot Be Expressed on Twitter

What are the limits of expressing thoughts in Twitter?

Here’s a powerful but inefficient (when run) thought that can be expressed on Twitter, a quick sort in Erlang in 126 characters.

qsort([]) -> [];
qsort([Pivot|T]) ->
   qsort([X || X <- T, X < Pivot])
   ++ [Pivot] ++
   qsort([X || X <- T, X >= Pivot]).

Also strcmp implemented in C can be tweeted:

int bstrcmp(char *s1,char *s2) { while(*s1 == *s2++) {if(*s1++ == 0){return 0;} } 
return (*(unsigned char *)s1 - *(unsigned char*)--s2);}

A lot of Perl one-liners can fit into a tweet – powerful and useful ones.

You can also propose the concept of a hash tag in a tweet:

hashtag proposal

However, there are many thoughts that seem to be difficult to fit into a tweet:

The Pythagorean Theorem and one of its many proofs
Anselm’s Ontological Proof for God’s Existence
Merge Sort in Ruby
Merge Sort in PHP
Why you should or shouldn’t outsource
What qualities make a great tech hire
The logical fallacy in another person’s tweet
How to subtly tell someone something in an indirect way with the only others knowing being those in the know

Twitter encourages the laconic expression of thought.

Stand Developing Ilford FP4+ in Rodinal 1:100

I stand developed Ilford FP4+ ISO 125 in 500ml of 68F, 1:100 Rodinal for an hour. I was expecting a very fine grain, and high amount of accutance but was slightly disappointed. The highlighting and gradient effect you expect from stand development still blew me away. In the highlights the grain was fine, but the midtones and shadow areas gave medium grain that one would find in pushed film. With all this said, when looking at a magnifier, these were the sharpest negatives I had ever seen. The quirkiness of the results will make me think twice before using it as a film for landscapes, but the detail I got from the close up shots with bokeh make me see the potential for portraits.

Unfortunately, the low-end Epson V600 scanner I had wasn’t able to capture the subtleties in highlights that I could see in the negative. I’m pretty sure that as a print the highlights will be there, and if not, a little dodging should fix that.

Here’s a photo shot with Ilford HP5+ 400 pushed to ISO 1600 stand developed in 500ml of 68F, 1:100 Rodinal for 2 hours. This shot is exceedingly sharp thanks to the lens, and stand development process. However, the grain prevails everywhere. Some like this; others don’t. I am a fan of grain, but also understand the need for fine or undetectable grain for portraits.

Leica M-A, 50mm Summicron, f/2, 1/500, Ilford HP5+ ISO 1600

Here’s a photo shot with Ilford FP4+ ISO 125 in 500ml of 68F, 1:100 Rodinal stand developed for an hour. You can see the fine detail and sharpness, but the bokeh area has a bit of grain.

Leica M-A, 50mm Summicron, f/2, 1/500, Ilford FP4+ ISO 125

If you compare the first two photos carefully, you can see that the Ilford FP4+ definitely has the finer grain, but not as fine as one would expect. I know I’m not comparing apples and oranges, but Portra 160 when well or slightly over-exposed exhibits no detectable grain.

Here’s another photo shot with Ilford FP4+ ISO 125 in 500ml of 68F, 1:100 Rodinal stand developed for an hour. This is a photo of a very popular spot for photographers, Sutro Baths in San Francisco. There were at least 2 couple photography sessions happening while I was here.

Leica M-A, 50mm Summicron, f/16, 1/125, Ilford FP4+ ISO 125

So I’m really not sold on Ilford FP4+ for landscapes, but close ups and portraiture would seem to be its strength. I was surprised by the amount of grain, too. I am not sure I would buy this film again.

A Review of Blade Runner 2049

I’ve seen Sicario and Arrival, and both had far more emotional resonance than Blade Runner, and Blade Runner 2049. In Sicario, I felt the loss of innocence of Agent Kate Macer played by Emily Blunt. In Arrival, I mourned for Louise Banks’ daughter which set the emotional tone for the rest of the film. These are both masterful films by Denis Villeneuve who is the director for Blade Runner 2049.

Neither Blade Runner had that emotional resonance. I thought Roy Batty’s poetic language before dying was beautiful. Gaff’s line, “Too bad she won’t live, but then again who does?” still sticks with me for its sang froid. I thought the “love” scene between Rachel and Deckard which teetered between rejection, and near rape, made me feel very uncomfortable. Yet, where was the emotional core?

The sequel to Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049, is even worse at evoking an emotional response. Like a reverse Voigt-Kampf test, if this movie left you feeling nothing, then you’re probably human. Yet, I can’t dismiss it. There are certain visuals that haunt me. There’s a scene where Officer K (Ryan Gosling) arrives at a dystopic orphanage, that looks more like a junk yard, where a sea of charges are made to take apart green computer boards. This harkened back to a visual that might more be seen in Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

I could not find fault with the world-building which extends Ridley Scott’s original vision, and at the same time has a Villeneuve and Cuaron feel to it. The visuals delighted. The world is headed to the ecological breaking point: sea walls to protect the city because the glaciers have melted.

The San Pedro Sea Wall in Blade Runner 2049

The philosophical questions raised by this Blade Runner sequel are the same as the last one (can an android be human?) except with the addition of the idea of a skin job revolution derivative of Battle Star Galactica (RDM).

It just gets worse and worse, both in Hollywood, and in dystopias, so maybe the replicants should take over.

A Review of the Argus C3

The cheapest range finder that I could find on eBay was this Argus C3. I saw it used as a prop in the movie, Carol, and saw that World War II photos were taken with it by infantryman, Tony Vaccaro.

The Argus C3, a 4 to 8 step shooter

You can get this range finder right now on eBay for between $14.95 and $40.00. I got to spend a day shooting this wonderful piece of machinery lovingly named, “The Brick.”

Before I could shoot it, I had to adjust the focusing which was off. Youtube has a plethora of videos to help you with this and adjusting framelines if needed. Once the focus was adjusted, I loaded the camera with JCH Streetpan.

I made my way to the N-Judah Stop.

Argus C3, 50mm, f/16, 1/300, JCH StreetPan ISO 400

The shutter speeds for this camera are 1/300, 1/100, 1/50, 1/25 and 1/10. The f-stops for the 50mm lens it comes with are f3.5, f4, f5.6, f8, f11, and f16. The camera comes with what I discovered to be a single zone focus setting: f16 set at 15 feet will put everything from 8 feet to infinity in focus. This zone focus setting is indicated by a red and yellow arrow.

To take a photo requires the following steps:

  1. set the f-stop
  2. set the shutter speed
  3. compose the shot in one window
  4. in the window next to that, focus the frame lines
  5. cock the shutter
  6. take the shot
  7. press the film advance release button, and then
  8. wind to the next frame.

That’s over 8 steps! 4 steps if you’re zone focused and already cocked.

The Leica M film cameras, by comparison, combine with composition and frame line window into one, and doesn’t require shutter cocking. Leicas require 4 steps, or 2 steps if zone focused. I found that most of the action already got away from me, but with practice, it would be possible to take street photos where you have to be quick. Unfortunately, you can’t shoot like Winogrand with this camera where you can shoot 1 to 2 shots a second and let a scene unfold in front of you. If you’re quick, you can maybe do a shot every 5 seconds.

I found the 50mm lens to be very soft past the center area, but such an effect would be great for portraits!

Duboce Park, Argus C3, 50mm f/16, 1/300, JCH Streetpan ISO 400

Like the Leica M-A which I reviewed earlier, this had a time machine effect. I found myself thinking of an earlier time more often than not.

Outer Sunset, Argus C3, 50mm f/16, 1/300, JCH Streetpan ISO 400

When I developed my roll of film, I realized that because of how it loads film on the right side, all the horizontal images were upside down. This doesn’t happen with left side loaded cameras.

Overall: This is the best value range finder that you’ll ever find. Spend 30 or 50 bucks more for a Pentax K1000 or Canon AE-1 to get an SLR with an optically superior 50mm and a light meter.

Pros:
Cheap
Solid, all metal construction
Made in America
Great for beginners
Beautiful, retro design

Cons:
Most of the items sold an eBay are 60 or more years old. They might all require a CLA.
The 50mm “kit lens” is very soft past the center
Too many steps to take a shot
No light meter

A Review of the Leica M-A

The Leica M-A is not a camera. It’s a time machine, a device that can take you back to the 1990s or further back. The only time that I regretted this purchase was when I had to remove insane amounts of dust from the first roll that I shot with this camera using the Tri-X film that came with it. Would I have to remove all this dust every time I shot? I realized that it wasn’t because of the camera but because I had an imperfect film development process. I added a squeegee for removing stabilizer and a fan to dry my negatives and no longer have this dust issue.

Leica M-A, Summicron 50mm, f/11, 1/60s, Tri-X shot at ISO 400
Leica M-A, Summicron 50mm, f/11, 1/60s, Tri-X shot at ISO 400
The first camera I owned was a gift from my mother. It was a Minolta XE-7 SLR with a 50mm f/1.7 lens bought used in 1988 from a camera store that no longer exists close to Park Merced in San Francisco. I shot with that camera until December of 1990 when the shutter no longer worked. With this camera I shot hundreds of photos, most of which ended up in the St. Ignatius College Prep year book for 1989 and 1990. The film advance on this camera was like slicing through warm, soft butter. This feature was due in part to a partnership between Leica and Minolta at the time. I felt there wasn’t anything I couldn’t photograph with this camera.

When I was at the Leica Store in San Francisco, I was on the fence between an M6, an MP, and the M-A. The M6 would be used and I’ve had such bad luck with used cameras in the past. The M-P had a light meter, but the battery cover for it felt like plastic. The M-A felt heavy, and its black chrome was smooth and cool to the touch. When I looked through the view finder, I easily focused super fast by lining up the focus patches. (I had read about how to focus a rangefinder before showing up at the store.) When I pressed the shutter, it was so quiet compared to the “THUNK!” of a film SLR. When I tried the film advance, I got that feel of slicing through butter that I had with my Minolta XE-7. For a moment, I felt like I was back in 1989.

The Leica M-A’s frame lines are clean and bright.
Without a moment’s hesitation I purchased the M-A and a 50mm f/2.0 Summicron lens. The Leica rep, Wayne, took me to a brick and carpeted area of the store with a comfy couch to sit on. I unboxed what had just cost me so dearly. What a luxurious experience it was. The camera is encased in what can only be described as a jewel box drawer. I slid the drawer out and there was my camera. Wayne put on the strap as we talked sundries about the photography. I placed the lens on. He showed me how to load the film by putting a fold on the first 1/3 of an inch of the film. Once the film was loaded, I was ready to go.

I left everything (including my phone) at my office close to the Leica Store, and walked around with the M-A like I would have with the Minolta I had in December of 1989. With digital when you press the shutter, sometimes it won’t take a photo because auto-focus is still hunting. With a range finder and manual focusing, the shutter always fires. The shutter always firing inspires confidence in this camera. Eyeing the exposure is something that comes with experience. I know the light in the city really well from shooting with my Pentax K1000 SLR. I knew that in the subway, I’d be shooting at f2.0 and 1/30 of a second. I knew that on cloudy days f/8 at 1/125 was the way to go. And of course, the sunny 16 rule never let me down. If the light was complicated, bracket the shots. I still have trouble with following this bracketing rule. I felt truly at one with my camera, and when I have to use a DSLR camera for work, or projects that demand instant or fast results, I miss my Leica M-A.

Leica M-A next to a photo of Lindsay Ashton, Summicron 50mm, f/4.0, 1/250, TMAX 100
After a few months with my Leica M-A, the pros and cons with a range finder became clear. First the pros:

  • I never worry about having to charge my camera. It just works.
  • The M-mount lenses that I got are simply optically perfect. No more vignetting, barrel or pin-cushion distortion. I can shoot a brick wall with my 28mm and all the lines are perfectly straight.
  • Perfect ergonomics: the camera just fits so well in my hand.
  • There is something about this camera that I can’t pin down. I’ll just say that it seems to have a soul.
  • Compact for travel: The lenses for the Leica M-cameras are small. The same DSLR kit that might require a backpack could fit in my hand and khaki pants pocket.

The cons:

  • Parallax: The closer you get to your subject, the more parallax distortion you get. What this means is that what you see in your frame isn’t necessarily what will show up on film. This is really pronounced at 2 meters or less.
  • Difficult to achieve perfect eye focus for portraits at 75mm and up with the 0.72x magnification in the frame. The sharp portrait with razor thin depth of field that you can achieve with auto-focus designed to detect eyes, e.g. the Fuji XT-2 paired with a 56mm lens, becomes near impossible on a range finder. You have to do focus bracketing to really make sure you nail a shot. The irony here is that you can get better focused portraits with a sub-$1000 Leica M3 with it’s 0.92x magnification in the frame.

Other cons are really more aesthetic and have to do with technology driving aesthetics. For example, most Sony gear heads believe that a photograph taken cleanly at ISO 12800 is better than a grainy one on film at the same ISO even if the composition is better on the film one. Canon gear heads will say that the same photo taken with an L-Lens is better than one without even if both lenses are stopped down enough to remove any distortion at the corners. I’ll save further exploration of these cons in another post.

The market for the M-A must be very narrow. You had to have had shot film before it was abandoned by newspapers in 1999. You had to have had it up to here with social media and the Internet. You had to have had dabbled with experiments in slow culture. Last but not least, you yearn to time travel back to the pre-Internet age. Any one of these experiences already make for a rara avis.

Ted Chin Is A Photo Stealer

If you look at page 32 of issue number one of the Art of Visuals print magazine, you will see at the bottom left, the Aurora Borealis veiled with some wispy clouds and a silhouette. Below this you will see the supposed name of the author, Ted Chin, @eye.c on Instagram. The photo of the Aurora Borealis is not his, and what is in this magazine is a crude attempt at art and plain theft. You see… Ted Chin is a photo stealer. What is more is that he is simply amoral and will do anything to get ahead.

The real photographer of this photo is Scott Slone. How did I figure this out? When I went to the Art of Visuals launch party in San Francisco, my friendship with Ted was already on the outs. You see, I gave him and Brock Sanders the @igerssf account. The moment I gave them this gift of friendship, they totally ignored me and never wanted to hang out with me again. I was duped, and all the times they called me friend was really just lies.

Before being frozen out, Ted and I would have debates. Ted showed me how following and unfollowing could grow an account really quickly. I didn’t think that was a way to grow community, but he really didn’t care about that.

So there I was at the Art of Visuals launch party about a year and a half ago… I thumbed through the magazine and there was a photo of the Aurora Borealis apparently by Ted Chin. No way. He never traveled that far north or anything. I know how tough it is to get these shots, too, because I was in Iceland freezing in the middle of the night just to capture the Aurora. When I got home and got the digital version of the magazine, I ran it through tineye.com and it showed the original photo was created by Scott Slone, @scottslone.

A few days later, I posted my discovery on Instagram.

One user pointed out that on his feed he even went so far as to claim that he took the photo with his Canon.

In fact this interesting exchange occurred:

After this revelation, Ted decided to use his ill-gotten position as a moderator to block me from the @igerssf account. He also decided to go ahead and steal a bunch more photos.

Ted has a video where he’ll show how he innocently goes to a site like Unsplash, and gets the photos there, but if you talk to any of his victims they will tell you that Ted is one of many photo stealers that have stolen their work. Moreover, that Ted is appropriating their images from shady photo dealers.

Scott gave Ted permission to use his photo after the fact, but I believe this was a mistake. This allowed Ted to believe that he could get away with his photo stealing with impunity.

Also, Scott Slone isn’t the only one he’s stolen from.

He stole a photo from someone on Flickr, and this is a response that I received when user, anoldent, found out his work was being sold:

Recently, as of this year, he’s used a stolen photo twice without attribution on the Photoshop account and on a Lightroom and Chill ad:

Whenever I run into Ted at Instameets, I keep my mouth shut. Why bother with the drama? I know Ted trash talks me to other people, and has supporters that are pretty huge. I know that he can use his huge following against me in the same way Trump will use his Twitter followers to bully folks that support good causes like Black Lives Matter. But I also know a ton of those followers are fake or bots or bought!

Here’s Ted’s account on the 31st of January, 2017. It grew by 1500 followers. How was this possible?

I did a little digging.

I found out that you can get your photo featured on Lovewatts for $600. I guess 1500 followers in one day can be bought for $450.

Ted has gone on to be a brand ambassador for Photoshop. Some people would report Ted as stealing their photos and they would get taken down as part of the DMCA. Large corporations though, they see someone with influence, and they don’t care if he’s a photo stealer or not. In my eyes, Ted Chin will always be a photo stealer.

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