It's easy to be a critic. You just need to have an opinion and a soapbox to spout it from. But when I listen to or read someone's opinions I want to know what combination of knowledge and experience allows them to hold forth on a given topic. Since I pontificate on many subjects in various essay and reviews on this site I figure that you deserve to knew a bit about who I am and what experience I bring to the table in each of these areas.
Photo © 2004 Doug Brown
— started making my living as a professional photographer some 40 years ago
— had my first fine-art / documentary gallery one-man show in 1963, with numerous exhibitions since
— in recent years exhibitions at the Pikto Gallery in Toronto; 2004, 2005, and 2006
— operated my own fine-art photography gallery and teaching studio in Toronto, Canada from 2007 – 2010
— first of several television documentaries on my work was aired in 1964
— over a 40 years period my work has appeared in many magazines and books in 6 countries
— work has been collected by private collectors and by public galleries on two continents
— have taught photography at the college level for the past 15 years
— teach photographic field workshops and seminars around the world on a regular basis
— an invited speaker to numerous industry conferences and symposiums in North America and Europe
— author of more than 300 articles on photographic technique as well as equipment reviews
— was a Contributing Editor at Photo Techniques Magazine for many years and also a regular columnist in American Photo magazine
— have tested and reviewed for print and online publications nearly every major camera system released in the past 30 years
— have been (and still am) a consultant to numerous companies with regard to product design and marketing
— an alpha and beta product tester for numerous companies
— hold six granted U.S. patents in communications technology
— store manager for four years for Canada's largest professional photographic retailer
— was head of product development for two major software publishers
— was Product Manager and then national head of Sales and Marketing for a major Japanese manufacturer
— founded, have run, and have divested two high-technology publicly listed companies
— founder, publisher and primary author of The Luminous Landscape and the Luminous Landscape Video Journal
— Producer and on-screen co-host with Jeff Schewe of best-selling training videos on Printing, Lightroom, and Photoshop, and with Kevin Raber on C1
None of this makes my opinions right. But it means that when I criticize something my opinion comes from some fairly extensive photographic and industry experience.
Am I biased? Yup! I like equipment that produces first-class image quality and that does so with well-designed ergonomics and user interface. A good product needs both. A product fails, in my book, if it only succeeds in one of these two areas.
Do I make mistakes in my reviews? Sure, lots of them. Who doesn't from time to time? I do my best to correct them though when I do.
But I put a lot of thought into my writing, and I don't criticize things casually or indiscriminately. I do praise good products, and point out failings when I see them.
Thought you might like to know.