Coming Home to Nikon “ The story behind the story”

L

Lightmaster

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did you read this? was new to me.

..............
The program was dream come true run by a true visionary. It wasn’t about selling product it was about teaching and education. In the big picture if you taught and inspired people, they would buy cameras and if it was a Nikon or a Canon or a Leica it was all good for the overall industry. Michael Newler had one problem, he cared. In fact he cared so much that he put all of us first. This led to problems because we were first and the corporation was second. Michael was not a corporate player. He spoke his mind and really only cared about making the Explorer of Light program the best photographic program on earth. We all got to know each other and we all developed life long friendships within this tight knit group. Michael went to bat for all of us on every front explaining to management time and time again why we should not be traveling on food per diems as an example. He would go to the top and say these guys aren’t employees, they don’t get health care and vacations and they don’t even get a salary. We, Canon need to treat them with respect and understand that they are freelancers and they all get paid large sums from their clients so lets just treat them with respect. Michael was relentless trying to pursue perfection and we all adored him. We loved Canon. We travelled, spoke, ate and drank good wine and Michael would just go to bat for us because in the end the cost of the program was a drop in the bucket to the billions that Canon was making. In fact Canon would spend more to have their logo at major tennis event and other sporting venues than they spent on all of us combined. That said we talked, we inspired and people purchased what we talked about. Finally we threw a major surprise party for Michael in New York and just about every Explorer of Light showed up. It was the culmination of everything he had done for us and the program but we made a fatal mistake. We did not invite some of the Canon Management and they started to retaliate. The writing was on the wall and the program was going to change. Michael took a well deserved vacation and when he returned he literally found that his pass key didn’t work. When he asked a security guard why his card didn’t work he was led to human resources and told he was done. It was one of the most inhumane executions I have ever seen. With that move the program changed and not in a good way.


...............

This year there was another round of blood letting and I truly thought I was at least safe. I was even using Canon printers but I was told that my metrics weren’t right. Numbers don’t lie, people do because my metrics were about as good as they could get. To this day on the Canon web site I am listed as having 16,391 views and 125 searches which far exceeds any other Explorer. I have an image on Google with close to 20,000,000 hits and gave lectures, workshops, and multiple ads in magazines like The New Yorker, PDN, Popular Photography and more but my metrics weren’t right. I along with many others were reduced to the title of emeritus which sounds more like a disease and it was an insult. Canon was convinced that the future is video but they lack in my opinion a fundamental understanding of the very art form. just because a camera shoots video one is not a cinema photographer and Canon does not get this. They should have learned from there past mistakes because they have made them before. At one point they thought the future was point and shoot cameras and they spent billions but in the end they got their behinds kicked by Apple and the iPhone. They wanted cinema photographers in the Explorer of Light program and they should have started a different program but they lacked insight because they thought they would be able to use the material that the cinema photographers shot for promotion. The problem was and is simple, most cinema folks don’t own their rights, they are owned by studios.
I had to make a decision, do I sit back and remain an emeritus? It was a tough decision because I really like Steve Inglima but this is business and I simply could not go on supporting a company that stabbed me in the back. I started to look for a new home. I tried a lot of brands but I was looking for a lot more than a brand. I was looking for another “Newlah”. The cameras are tools and the tools help but it is our wet ware that creates the images and it is people that make a company. Switching back to Epson printers was a no brainer because I used them for decades and love the printers and the people behind them like Dan Steinhardt and Eddie Murphy. For cameras however, I needed a company that believed in the still image and my search bought me back to my very roots where I started which was Nikon. William Pekala who is soon retiring is a class act and built a legacy that I believe will live on and Nikon believes in photographers. I have found so many people whom I sincerely respect at Nikon like Joseph Carey, Michael Corrado, Mark Suban and Angie Salazar. So to make a long story short, I have come home to Nikon and I couldn’t be happier.


full story:

http://www.d-65.com/blog/
 

AcutancePhotography

EOS 5D Mark IV
May 8, 2013
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First of all paragraphs would make this a lot easier to read.
Second, I am not sure I understand the purpose of this thread. All you did was copy/past wording from another source. What about this did you find interesting enough to make a thread?
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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Mar 25, 2011
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I think he is saying he is not good enough for Canon's "Explorer of Light", but Nikon is not so picky. He changed brands because of that??
 
L

Lightmaster

Guest
Mt Spokane Photography said:
I think he is saying he is not good enough for Canon's "Explorer of Light", but Nikon is not so picky. He changed brands because of that??

well coming from you, a completely unkown photographer, i take this as a joke. ;D

seth resnick is pretty good at what he does and he was explorer for some time.


What about this did you find interesting enough to make a thread?

i find it interesting what happens behind the scenes and that canon kicks a lot of explorers lately.. and also interesting in which manner they do it.

i did not know that they force explorers to use canon printers and that explorers have to fullfill some benchmarks to stay explorers.

seth resnick said:
We were on per deims, and told we would need to use Canon printers and rule after rule about how many folks needed to be in the audience etc. etc. etc. Soon Canon would start to eliminate Explorer after Explorer and if you look at the masthead for the program now most of the absolutely best talent is gone.

i thought "explorer of light" is based on their work, not how many people atttend their workshops.
 

distant.star

EOS 5D Mark IV
Jan 19, 2011
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USA
wetracy.smugmug.com
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Gossip, nothing more.

Corporate horror stories are a dime a dozen. This would be fascinating only to someone who has bought into the marketing hype -- that Canon is just a bunch of nice folks privileged to make tools for artists while they share the wonder these artists invoke. Truth is they're a business accountable only to shareholders. All the rest is the magical smoke and mirrors of marketing. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. And Nikon is no better.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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Mar 25, 2011
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Lightmaster said:
Mt Spokane Photography said:
I think he is saying he is not good enough for Canon's "Explorer of Light", but Nikon is not so picky. He changed brands because of that??

well coming from you, a completely unkown photographer, i take this as a joke. ;D

seth resnick is pretty good at what he does and he was explorer for some time.

So, your only retort is to try a personal insult?

I did a google search for him, there are two sites owned by him and promoting himself, and a couple of companies that sell products with his name on them.
I can see why he is upset, his self proclaimed "Internationally Acclaimed" status is at Stake.
I realize that promotion is very important to any business, but he goes overboard, and the childish whining doesn't help, it detracts. It sounds a lot like Ken Rockwell.
It doesn't really matter which brand a photographer uses, there are great photographers using various brands, and many of them work together and do not fight over who uses what. I admire Nikon Shooter Chase Jarvis for his humorous posts, and his willingness to share his technique with all photographers.
 

Halfrack

EOS RP
Sep 14, 2011
668
1
Art Wolf was an Explorer of Light - one of their most famous ones at that, and he is no more since he picked up Phase One.

The branding that goes into the EoL program is heavy, and I can respect a photographer who uses the best tools available to them a touch more than one that just goes with any program. If I was an EoL and wanted to use the Profoto TTL B1 flash, would I be able to? What about a metallic paper from Moab that Canon doesn't make?

Heisler (an EoL) did the Boston Marathon 1 year photo on Canon, and I lost some respect for him for sticking with Canon for such a large group. Yes, the photo was only printed at letter size, but to do it as a huge testament print would have been better.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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Mar 25, 2011
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Halfrack said:
Art Wolf was an Explorer of Light - one of their most famous ones at that, and he is no more since he picked up Phase One.

The branding that goes into the EoL program is heavy, and I can respect a photographer who uses the best tools available to them a touch more than one that just goes with any program. If I was an EoL and wanted to use the Profoto TTL B1 flash, would I be able to? What about a metallic paper from Moab that Canon doesn't make?

Heisler (an EoL) did the Boston Marathon 1 year photo on Canon, and I lost some respect for him for sticking with Canon for such a large group. Yes, the photo was only printed at letter size, but to do it as a huge testament print would have been better.

I can see someone moving to Medium format for the equipment improvement, but not moving around from Nikon to Canon or vice versa. I guess there is some financial gain involved. so its all about ego and money. Which of us doesn't have those two issues?
 

AcutancePhotography

EOS 5D Mark IV
May 8, 2013
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I guess I would have gotten more out of this thread if I knew what an Explorer of Light was.

I had never heard that expression before. Something to look into.
 
AcutancePhotography said:
bdunbar79 said:
What the hell's a Canon Explorer of Light?

Glad I was not the only one!
The Explorers of Light concept came out of Canon USA in the mid 1990s as a broad-ranging initiative for photographic education and inspiration. Today, the group is comprised of dozens of the most influential photographers and cinematographers in the world, each a master of the their creative specialty. The Explorers share their photographic passions and technical expertise with eager audiences of photo professionals, hobbyists, and enthusiasts in a variety of personal appearances, seminars, and gallery showings through the United States.

Examples of the Explorers' work may be found in their contributor bios below, as well as numerous museums, galleries, and publications.

Explorers of Light use Canon EOS photographic equipment, and many print with Canon large format printers. Most recently, many of their public presentations have been enhanced with their use of high resolution Canon REALis projectors.

Source:http://learn.usa.canon.com/dlc/contributors/explorers.spr
 

Mt Spokane Photography

I post too Much on Here!!
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Mar 25, 2011
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mackguyver said:
AcutancePhotography said:
bdunbar79 said:
What the hell's a Canon Explorer of Light?

Glad I was not the only one!
The Explorers of Light concept came out of Canon USA in the mid 1990s as a broad-ranging initiative for photographic education and inspiration. Today, the group is comprised of dozens of the most influential photographers and cinematographers in the world, each a master of the their creative specialty. The Explorers share their photographic passions and technical expertise with eager audiences of photo professionals, hobbyists, and enthusiasts in a variety of personal appearances, seminars, and gallery showings through the United States.

Examples of the Explorers' work may be found in their contributor bios below, as well as numerous museums, galleries, and publications.

Explorers of Light use Canon EOS photographic equipment, and many print with Canon large format printers. Most recently, many of their public presentations have been enhanced with their use of high resolution Canon REALis projectors.

Source:http://learn.usa.canon.com/dlc/contributors/explorers.spr

Nikon has a similar group. Being named to the status is also financially rewarding in several ways, so getting tossed out is not only a blow to your ego, but can cost you money. Nikon often invites them to join their club, and the reverse is undoubtedly true.

A high profile case occurred a few years back, when popular Canadian blogger and photographer Rob Gailbreath started doing tests of the 1D MK III autofocus system and publically posted the results. He kept after Canon thru multiple firmware and software revisions, and was dropped from the program as a result.

He also switched to Nikon, but with the treatment he got, its understandable. He did not whine about it though. He has now suspended his blog and is into teaching photography. I'd love to take some of his courses.
http://www.robgalbraith.com/index-2.html
 

9VIII

EOS 5D Mark IV
Feb 8, 2013
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Oh what a sad story, we should all feel so sympathetic and punish that nasty Canon for being so mean to photographers.
Notice how the root word for "sympathetic" is "pathetic"?

(Edit: Technically, the root word of "sympathy" is just "path" Greek for "feel" (also disease), so I may have broken the rules. However, it was really catchy. http://membean.com/wrotds/path-feeling)
 

AcutancePhotography

EOS 5D Mark IV
May 8, 2013
1,853
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9VIII said:
Notice how the root word for "sympathetic" is "pathetic"?

You know where you can find sympathy in the dictionary?

Right between Sh&t and Syphilis. ;D

Had an old Chief tell me that about a hundred years ago. ;)
 
Jun 26, 2014
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If you want "stories behind the stories,” I am the guy to give you ALL the stories behind the stories you want — enough to choke on. :—)

Canon’s “Explorers Of Light” program was created and managed by me from December 1994 through March 2003. Anybody that has a desire to question my credentials, as an image-maker should take the time and make the effort to look at my Linked-In page —the URL is:

https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=21441632&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile_pic

Here is a huge story behind the story fact — I original brought the “Explorers” concept and idea to Nikon USA where I had worked as a Nikon School Photographer in 1974. It was, unfortunately, rejected, but I still had to take care of my family and eat. So I took it to Canon, and the rest, as they say, is history.

The initial concept of the “Explorers” was an educational program linked to marketing, advertising and ultimately sales — at least it was during my watch. The program started out with 55 photographers all signed to the exact same two-year contract and the same amount of money for the use of their name — that was it, and contrary to popular “rumors” it was NOT a lot of money — under $10,001 for a 24-month contract just for the use of their name. However, they did earn additional fees for lectures, seminars, workshops, and advertising. I was allowed to add ten (10) more photographers to the program because it was a huge success — even more than I imagined. The “Explorers” totaled 65, but, in a brief period of time, it became a “FAMILY” consisting of the finest image-makers ever assembled — all with the same contract and under one roof. I handpicked all but three of the original 55, and selected all 10 of the additional photographers making the total 65. My criteria had nothing to do with friendships but everything to do with talent, creativity, and “star power.” I wanted to bring East Coast photographers to the West Coast and visa versa. I produced over 800 events and shows with the “Explorers.” After my “departure” from Canon in March 2003, contracts changed, deals where not the same for all, and, in my humble opinion, the quality and exclusivity of the “Explorers Of Light” was decimated and diminished. Some photographers were brought in because they had a “friend” who was either a tech rep or in the camera division at Canon USA. In any event, the group grew to over 90 “Explorers.” Canon cut the group back once they figure out the program had become watered down. Unfortunately, and unwittingly because they began using “metrics” to determine who stays and who goes — the best of the best were eliminated along with some who never should have been anointed “Explorers,” in my opinion, of course.

Seth Resnick was, and still is, an incredible image-maker even before digital, and then he became even better. He not only makes terrific images but also teaches including the “Explorers Of Light” under my watch. You know how they say, birds of a feather flock together — well that’s exactly what happened with the “Explorers” during my watch. Seth Resnick and Jeff Schewe became the ultimate “digital gurus” for the “Explorers,” and that’s a FACT. They were both powerhouses and I don’t know if they ever slept, but they had more energy then anybody. Unfortunately, they were both excised from the “Explorers Of Light.” For anybody on this forum or anywhere insinuate Seth Resnick was let go because he is “…not good enough for Canon's "Explorer of Light," but Nikon is not so picky…” needs a reality check. Nikon leans more toward photographers who exhibit creativity; style, innovation, productivity, and the ability of do it with consistent results. Canon is now all about their stable of photographer’s metrics, and the least of which has to do with creativity or style.

The following are the list of image-makers who were “Explorers Of Light” while I was in charge, but have since been let go — would you dare to say they are not good enough for Canon’s “Explorers Of Light…” or any imaging company’s stable?

Paul Aresu • Harry Benson • Barbara Bordnick • Patrick Demarchelier • Anthony Edgeworth • Arthur Elgort • Robert Farber • Dick Frank • Beth Galton • Larry Dale Gordon • Timothy Greenfield-Sanders • Dirck Halstead • Ryszard Horowitz • Carol Kaplan • Steve Krongard • Harvy Lloyd • Mary Ellen Mark • Robert McNeely • Susan Meiselas • Eric Meola • Sheila Metzner • Duane Michals • Sarah Moon • Arthur Morris • David Muench • Co Rentmeester • Seth resnick • Roger Ressmeyer • Jeff Schewe • Larry Silver • Gil Smith • Melvin Sokolsky • Albert Watson • Stephen Wilkes • Art Wolfe • James Wood.

These image-makers are some of the most highly productive and creative photographers anywhere — especially Seth Resnick. Next time do some research before spewing out disinformation, misinformation, and pure “dribble.”

I consider myself very fortunate the original “Explorers Of Light” allowed me to be their “captain.” They trusted everything I did for them, the group and the company footing the bills. In essence, I literally walked with the giants of the photo-imaging industry.

I must also include those “Explorers Of Light” who died, and may G-d bless them:

Arnold Newman • Henry Wolf • Brian Lanker • James “Jimmy” Moore • Monte Zucker.

We are still a “FAMILY.”

Sorry for the length of this but at least now you know…All the BEST, and keep me in your “loupes”

“Captain Explorer — Emeritus”
(a.k.a. Michael Newler)
 
Michael, I'm not sure how you found this post, but welcome to CR and thanks for the very informative information. I'm sure it was an exciting project to gather these photographers together in your program and while it may not be the same anymore, the concept itself is still a success.
 

canon1dxman

EOS 90D
Sep 29, 2013
186
8
Is (or was) there any relationship between the explorers of light and the current Canon Ambassadors (eg Jonathan and Angela Scott)?
 
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