The Phoblographer Turns Two: Words of Thanks From the Site’s Founder

Two years ago, I had an idea.

I wanted to create a website for the photography world. Fresh out of college and subject to a terrible economy combined with layoffs from freelance work and  jobs, I sat on my bed and said to myself, “I’m really sick of being unemployed,” and so I started the Phoblographer.

At the time I had no idea where to begin but I knew how to develop content and I knew the specific audience that I wanted to engage. To this day, we’re known for our real world reviews and our down to earth tonality. It’s a trait that I pride the site and the site’s staff on. Our egos are checked at the door and we stick to the realities vs being blinded by ridiculous tests. We accomplish tasks in a practical way.

Two years ago, if you had told me that I’d be back to sitting on my bed typing up this blog post and surrounded by all that I am today, I would’ve laughed in your face. I never would have thought that the site would be what it has become. We’ve been linked to by Gizmodo amongst other tech blogs, mentioned by the Boston Globe, and gained a reputation with many companies as a credible source of information. Indeed, we almost often are always the first to report on things as well as is evident when the rumors sites always link to us in the rare occasion that we do news.

Though the actual birthday of the Phoblographer falls on New Year’s Eve, I’m writing this early partially to let you know that we’re taking off for Christmas Eve and Christmas and that we’ll be back to publishing the day after. I think that the staff and I deserve it.

The site has gone through a lot:

– We’ve worked on and scrapped redesigns. A new design will finally launch after CES of next year.

– We’ve created multiple social media channels

– We’ve gone through various staffers

– I encountered some legal trouble from a former staffer

– I’ve had a troublesome time working with certain companies to expand the site’s coverage

– I’ve tried to monotize the site better and when I found that I did it, my old host kicked us off because we brought in too much traffic.

This has been a very tough year for the site. We’ve been offered to have our content rented by a larger site; to which I responded, “No.”

The site, after all this, brings in roughly 10,000 uniques a day now. That’s not a small feat, nor was it easy. But I thank all of you for the help so far; and though I’m not exactly sure how much my thank you means, I want you all to know that it comes from the artistic soul that lives within me and that is dormant in my heart and mind.

I feel the need to make specific thank yous out to certain people:

– Theresa, Joe, Spoorthy, Steve, Douglas, and the other readers that have stuck with us for a long time.

Geoff Fox; who gave me my first traffic spike. Without you, I wouldn’t have some of my long time readers.

– The rumors sites and their staff for giving me amazing traffic. Though I don’t know who you are; thanks so much for building us though it was possibly not intentional.

– Kevin, Len, Jen, Chuck and the rest of the crew over at Canon USA. I want to thank you for helping us grow; especially you Kevin.

– Charles, Keith, Sally, Rick and the awesome people at Mullen and Olympus. Thank you for all the compliments on our coverage and for always being great folks.

– Marci, Jeff, Christine, and the rest of the people over at Matter Now; perhaps the finest PR company I know specializing in the photo industry. Thank you for being such an awesome company and amongst the most pleasant people to deal with.

– Christian, Clara, and Julia over at Evins and Leica; thank you for loaning me my first review unit and believing in the site.

– Michael and Reid over at Snapknot.com, thank you for finding us and the long time partnership.

– Yechiel, Isaac and Moshe over at the affiliate team for B&H Photo

– David Brommer, Gabriel Biderman, Jason Geller, Matthew D’Alessio, Lauren Mayerhoff, Joseph Carey, and the rest of the crew over at the B&H Photo Marketing Depts.

– Rich over at Carl Zeiss.

– Simon and Brian over at Think Tank Photo.

– Kathy, Katie, Josh, Mike, Kate all the models I’ve photographed for the site.

Sander-Martijn, who is responsible for the site’s migration while I pulled my hair out when we were kicked off of Bluehost right before Photo Plus this year.

– Will Greenwald of PCMagazine and Aggrogate

– Sal Cangeloso of Geek.com

– Aimee Baldridge of MAC-On-Campus

– PJ Jacobowitz

– Dan Havlik of PDN

– Terry Lewis of The Other View

– Theano Nikitas

– Allison Johnson of Digital Camera Review

– Laurie Grunan of CNET

– Eric Reagan of Photography Bay, who inspired me to create The Phoblographer.

– Carol Mangis at Consumer Reports: my first mentor in the tech industry.

– Mitch Unger of Planet 5D

– John Conrad Williams, my photography mentor

– Dan Bailey

– Photo John of Photography Review

– Stumble Upon and Reddit

– Ziv Gillat at Eye-Fi

– Mike Pouliot and Travis Lawton; my two main staffers who help me to do lots of the heavy lifting around here.

– Social Media Coordinator Gevon Servo, who this site owes lots to.

– Copy Editor Julius Motal: your talents, wit and 1AM text messages are always more than welcome and it has always been a pleasure having you here.

And those are the biggest ones that I can think of off the top of my head right now after a long day, but I want to thank all of you reading this as well.

The only other things that I can ask of you is to please keep reading and sharing our posts. Additionally, please support us by clicking the links in each writers’ posts and then making a purchase. The links in that writer’s post helps to keep them funded. The banners and the links in my posts help to keep the site alive (and keep me funded.)

So I close this post by saying thank you; and that I look forward to another year running the site.

We’re Looking for new Writers

Hey everyone,

Just letting you all know that we’re looking to bring on new staff members, so let’s get right into this. The ideal candidates will:

– Have great photography knowledge and be able to write well. While all articles go through my eyes and the Copy Editor’s, it makes it a lot easier on us to have polished writing and know what you’re talking about.

– Be able to contribute 2 times a week

– Be able to review gear, write features, and write posting that teach new things to our readers.

– Be super friendly: which is something that we’ve prided ourselves on here since Day 1.

– Know how to use WordPress

– Meet deadlines well

– Communicate with myself and the rest of the staff quickly

– Be well versed in social media like Twitter, Facebook and Flickr

– Being able to answer, “Who, what, when, where, how, and why?” in every single paragraph written in the story.

BUT FIRST: YOU’RE GOING TO GO THROUGH A TRIAL OF ONE POST A WEEK!

Now here are the plusses that give you an edge:

– If you’re a current B&H and/or Amazon affiliate, we will allow you to use your links in your posting here on The Phoblographer.

– If you’re located in NYC (or around it) you’ll be able to accompany me to meetings with vendors and you’ll get to bond closer with some of the staff members.

– If you’re familiar with The Phoblographer’s style of doing things (have been a long time reader and can figure out what makes us different than other places like DPReview) then you’ll have an even larger edge because you’ll meld in very easily.

– Familiarity with Photo editing products is required, video editing is a plus

If you think you’ve got what it takes: shoot me an email at chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com with a resume, a cover letter, and a portfolio link, and then we’ll take it from there. In the subject line, please put: Application for The Phoblographer (Your name here)

In the email, also please list the gear that you use. Nikon, Sony, and Micro Four Thirds users are a plus, but not at all required.

As for how many people we’re bringing onto the team: it depends on how many great candidates we get. I’m looking forward to reviewing your application.

For Every Person That Doesn’t Follow Our Channels, Nikon Delays the D800

First off: Holy crap, Nikon Rumors found the D800 and the staff sound very confident about it! In all honesty though, we know nothing about this one.

Anyway though, for every person that doesn’t follow us on our channels though: the company will delay the camera (not really, but really.)

Facebook: Updated often every day featuring cool posts that we’ve done. We also ask the readers to participate in various discussions. Some of them get really deep.

Twitter: Our Twitter account is where we feature lots of cool tips.

Google +: This is where we interact with the larger photo community and some of the staff show off their photos.

Tumblr: THIS IS THE NEW ONE TO WATCH! Our Tumblr features posts from the site, street photography from around Tumblr and great deals and news.

Flickr: Our Flickr group features photos from the site’s community members.

What Lens are You Interested in?

Hi everyone,

The folks over at SLRMagic sent out a poll to many people asking for help in developing their next lens. Since They’re a company that I believe makes fun and useful products, I decided to throw up this interactive poll to give them some feedback. I’d appreciate it if you chose an option, but I’m not forcing anyone to 🙂

Which Lens?

View Results

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Personally, I want a Canon lens.

Please Welcome Travis Lawton to the Staff

Original image can be found here

It’s a great honor to officially welcome Travis Lawton to the staff of The Phoblographer. Travis has guest posted for us for a little while now and has finally come aboard as the Lead Reviewer, Jr.

Travis Lawton is an up and coming Seattle based photographer. He shoots everything from commercial, weddings, portraits, newborns, music, landscapes, to pretty much anything that lands in front of his lens. Adding credit to his wide range of talent, he has been photographing for about 5 years, professionally for around 2 of those. Travis is the principle photographer for a Seattle-based music management company and his work has been purchased for use on book covers. Plus, he’s been commissioned to create advertising material for local businesses, and has a loyal client base.

Travis joins Mike and I as Canon photographers on staff, and has a fascination with lighting.

I say this in all honesty: this guy’s work makes mine look absolutely horrid; and it’s an honor to have him on staff.

You see his portfolio on his website at www.TravisLawton.com. More of his “everyday” work can be found on his Facebook page, Flickr or Blog.
You can also contact him at TravisLawton[at]thephoblographer[dot]com
Want to meet the rest of the staff? Take a look here.

Which One Are You: Canon or Nikon (Epic Star Wars Battle)

Canon or Nikon, which one are you? Let us know in the comments below. By the way, heads up to reader @Daniel_Neeley for the awesome artwork rendering on the left and who is also a kick-ass photographer. You’ve totally made my day with this awesome Star Wars epic battle stemming from the little bit of humor we threw in.

Me? I prefer the light side of the force, though I’ve dabbled in the dark arts. Speaking of which, you should study the dark art of metering and check out some of the latest weapons on the light and dark side of the force.

Choose wisely…

How Not to Photograph a Wedding

I don’t know him, but this guy has to be the worst wedding photographer in the world. I mean seriously, just think of what the pictures will look like. Has he read the beginner’s tips? Additionally, what is he wearing? Then I thought to myself: maybe he’s a second shooter. But I’d never place my second shooters there: and he’s using the Gary Fong Lightsphere all wrong (you can see how to use it correctly here)

If you’re interested in shooting weddings (but not like this guy) you can check out our major resource right here. I doubt he’s following the requirements on the checklist (over 8,000 Stumble Upons!) and I don’t even want to imagine what Joe Brown would say to him.

Could This Be the Canon 85mm F/1.2 L II? I Doubt It!

I found an old posting at Velodramatic via some internet forums that didn’t seem to get any buzz. Granted, it is an old posting, but it still brings up a very big point. The 85mm F/1.2 L isn’t terribly old, but there are some issues with it: like slow USM. Now, I have the 85mm F/1.8 (one of my highly recommended lenses) and haven’t found that I needed to have Image Stabilization built in. However, the L version is quite a bit heavier and I could easily understand why someone would perhaps want it. It is used by wedding, portrait and other photographers.

Though I have my doubts about this concept being real, I consider this image rendering to be a huge fake because I highly doubt it would focus out to 70 feet. However, this would be a very interesting move for Canon because of the fact that the 85mm F/1.2 L is used often in cinematography in addition to some of the current favorites. Adding IS to it would make a bit more sense. If it has the other focusing modes that their new zooms and primes, then they would be trying to prep it for other uses. It would be a viable option against the Zeiss cinema prime that we had hands on with before, though it would also be very different.

Do you think this could really happen? Let us know in the comments below.

Clarification: the writer says the lens is a fake. But consider the trends that Canon’s technology is following and the way they are moving forward with their lenses. Features from the higher end lenses often trickle down to other ones.

The Most Popular Postings For 2010

One year ago on December 28th 2009, I sat on my bed and said to myself, “I’m tired of being unemployed and unproductive. And so I started ThePhoblographer.com, and it has taken off in ways that I haven’t even thought were possible for a site started on a Macbook, on my bed, while in my pajamas. It’s been a crazy year and the staff and site have evolved. There are even more changes to come (like us moving to a faster server and a slight redesign and better search bar.) I’m straying off the topic though: here are the top 20 postings of the past year according to WordPress (though our other analytics have different numbers.)

Which One Should I Buy: Canon 60D? T2i? or 7D? More stats 75,771
Which One Should I Get?: Canon S95 vs Panasonic LX-5K More stats 49,050
The Best Budget Lenses More stats 32,752
Hands On: Nikon D3100, D7000 and the SB-700 Speedlight More stats 25,019
The Canon 7D vs Nikon D300s In Shooting Concerts More stats 24,955
Hands on and Hands Off: Olympus EPL-1 More stats 22,710
Hands-On: Canon S95 More stats 20,117
The Ultimate Wedding Photography Checklist More stats 17,774
What Would You Do With a Lens This Long? More stats 17,022
Leica V-LUX 20 Review Based on The Panasonic ZS-7 More stats 15,545
Long Term Test: Canon 7D Vs Nikon D300s More stats 14,608
Hands On: Sony A55, A560 and 24mm F2 ZA SSM More stats 14,473
The Complete Canon PowerShot S95 Review More stats 14,162
Field Test: Apple iPhone 4 Camera More stats 12,919
4 Reasons Why You Should Get the Leica D-LUX 5 vs Panasonic LX-5 More stats 12,815
Pentax K-5 Beats Out Canon 5D Mk II, 7D, Nikon D700, D300s More stats 12,227
Canon Announces 60D and Lens Updates More stats 11,702
Hands On Review: Panasonic ZS-7 More stats 10,923
Lens Sharpness Test: Sony 16mm F2.8 vs Panasonic 20mm F1.7 More stats 10,726
The Worst Excuses I’ve Ever Heard For Not Wanting to Pay a Photographer Appropriately More stats 10,165

What Would You Do With a Lens This Long?

Well this is a sight: this photographer probably stood up to photographers next to him and said, “mine is bigger than yours.” I tried to find out which lenses these are, and lots of my co-workers weren’t able to figure it out. It begs the question: what would you do with a lens this big? Spy on people? Use it to clear out a crowd? Find the remaining members of the Wikileaks organization? We want to know.

Let us know in the comments below what you would do with this big lens (most likely a Nikon).

Please Support The Phoblographer

We love to bring you guys the latest and greatest news and gear related stuff. However, we can’t keep doing that unless we have your continued support. If you would like to purchase any of the items mentioned, please do so by clicking our links first and then purchasing the items as we then get a small portion of the sale to help run the website.

Also, please follow us on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter.

Donate To Help Children's Hospitals Provide Toys to Children

Teddy Bear has a Message For You

Former ThePhoblographer staffer Will Greenwald is trying to organize a massive donation for Child’s Play and Penny Arcade. The point: to raise money for toys to be given to children’s hospitals. They’ve set up a special widget for you to donate to help the cause.

Now, I myself, Editor in Chief of ThePhoblographer, know what it’s like to ask readers for donations. But in a case like this, I can put aside our own link plugs to help you make your purchasing decisions. We’re going to ask that you please donate a small bit of money to help these kids out. I, perhaps like many of you, was a very lucky kid that was able to get almost any toy I wanted. But there are people out there though that are lot less fortunate.

So once again, we’d ask you to please take the time to click the links above, head over to Will’s site and place a small donation. Any little bit helps a child in these rough economic times.

Thanks.

Ken Rockwell on Where Do Babies Come From

Maybe this isn’t new, but I sure haven’t seen this before and thought I’d share it with all of you. KenRockwell.com appears to have a hidden easter egg in his site detailing where babies come from. It’s actually quite hysterical and as a fellow blog editor, I’ve got loads of newfound respect for Ken as I’d never have the balls to put something up like this. I wonder if I win a prize for finding it: like one of those Nikon cameras he loves 🙂

Editor’s note 10/25/2010: There’s more!

Continue reading…

Featured Canon SD4500 IS Photo Contest Entries

street parking (cool)
Photo by Isurusen

If you didn’t know that we have a contest going on, know that we’re raffling off a Canon PowerShot SD4500ISand that you’ve got nearly unlimited chances to win. You read about how to enter here and check out our review of the camera here. Take a look at some of the leading entries so far. After that, vote in our poll and decide whose photo you like the best; the decisions may help to influence The Phoblographer staff’s decisions later on. Remember, the contest is also far from over and we’ll be featuring more photos next week!

Continue reading…

Russian Leica Clone Hacked to Shoot Digital Photos

This is really cool: Youtube user ironwindow13 stuffed his Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1into an old Russian Leica film camera clone. For those of you not familiar with the Cyber-shot, he essentially just stuffed a high-end camera into an uber-sexy larger body. Aftwards, he modified the body to allow for easier access to the camera’s functions. While this is quite impressive, I yearn for the day that someone stuffs a GF-1(review here) EP-1(EP-2 review here)or an NEX-3(we reviewed of the NEX-5on the blog) into one of these cameras. That would be truly amazing and I’d pay top dollar for that type of durability, especially if it were in something like the Leica M7 reviewed a little while back. Here’s the google translation of how he did it.

Via Petapixel

How Many White Lenses vs Black Lenses Are There In This Photo?

Flickr user missapril1956 snapped this photo during the Mercedes-Benz fashion week event in NYC recently. To my eye, it looks like there are lots of white lenses in there. Perhaps part of this could be due to Canon’s revamped autofocus system in the 7D and 1D Mk IV? There do seem to be a couple of cameras in there with battery grips attached, as well as a random Rebel.

I’d love to thank April Palmieri for letting me use her photos. Be sure to check out The Phoblographer on Flickr, our 7D review, comparison against the D300s, 1D Mk IV review, comparison against the D3s, and Rebel T2i review.