Alec Soth's Archived Blog

July 16, 2007

Soth-Blog Code of Conduct, Article 1

Filed under: on blogging — alecsothblog @ 9:52 pm

We embrace your diversity of opinions and values but must insist that your content not include discussions on the subject of digital vs. film photography.

Participants who violate this code will be escorted out of the blog. Thank you,

The Management


  1. Oh…that’s just too good.

    Comment by Sean Cayton — July 16, 2007 @ 10:17 pm

  2. Ha ha, excellent!

    Comment by Raoul — July 16, 2007 @ 10:19 pm

  3. Aw, nuts! There goes all the pointless, wheel-spinning fun.

    Comment by rolo — July 16, 2007 @ 10:39 pm

  4. That counts me out.
    Though there is always Poloroid vs. Monoprint.

    Comment by Brian Ulrich — July 16, 2007 @ 10:42 pm

  5. […] Please make note of the sarcasm inherent in the latter of the two questions (please do not answer that one). […]

    Pingback by SHANE LAVALETTE / JOURNAL » Blog Archive » Straight/Synthetic, Thirty Years From Now — July 16, 2007 @ 10:42 pm

  6. wow….seems like any topic can evolve into digital vs. film……

    Comment by Ben — July 16, 2007 @ 10:47 pm

  7. also don’t mention size of prints or LF vs. small format or that types of films are being discontinued on a regular basis…

    Comment by j zorn — July 16, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

  8. I’m taking this up with management the minute I finish applying my mosaic filter to every single Minor White image ever made.

    Comment by Brett Kallusky — July 17, 2007 @ 12:27 am

  9. Genius (the post AND the colorized Ansel Adams).

    Comment by Christian — July 17, 2007 @ 12:37 am

  10. what about color vs black and white? the whole “vs” thing is so silly. makes me think of sports. wooden vs aluminum bats?

    Comment by kevin — July 17, 2007 @ 2:27 am

  11. Mac vs PC?

    Comment by Dan Sumption — July 17, 2007 @ 3:42 am

  12. I wonder about the context of the lesson. Perhaps introduce kids to Ansel Adams photography, then go further and say, “How can it be looked at differently?”

    Ben may mean “devolve” in his comment.

    Comment by Robert — July 17, 2007 @ 5:13 am

  13. Excellent. Perhaps we can now drop Tod Papageorge off at the nearest rest stop? Thanks.

    Comment by Michal Daniel — July 17, 2007 @ 6:42 am

  14. Got a better one. Soth vs Cartier-Bresson! The Magnum combat:)

    Comment by johann — July 17, 2007 @ 6:43 am

  15. I say bring back ‘Pamela Anderson week’. That was much more fun.

    Comment by guybatey — July 17, 2007 @ 7:10 am

  16. Right on.

    Comment by Luis O. — July 17, 2007 @ 7:29 am

  17. Oh, that is so disappointing! Where else on the web can people now talk about digital photography and Photoshop? (just kidding, just kidding!)

    Comment by JM Colberg — July 17, 2007 @ 8:09 am

  18. At first I was a little relieved, sign me up for that blog! j/k I do like Soth vs. Bresson but is that really a vs?

    Comment by karolina — July 17, 2007 @ 9:17 am

  19. Michal – I’m not charging you a subscription to read about Papageorge, am I? Might I suggest to get your own blog?

    Comment by Alec Soth — July 17, 2007 @ 9:29 am

  20. Damn Me I was Ah Hopeing You Was Going to Show Me How
    That Solarazation Filter Works In Photoshop So All My Pics Can Look Like
    Man Ray’s !!!
    Time to Find Me a New Hobby

    Comment by Richard Billick — July 17, 2007 @ 10:03 am

  21. does a discussion about digital and non-digital watches count.
    @ Alec. It’s about time you told someone to shut up about the Papageorge thing. They are always welcome to leave the same way they came in!

    Comment by Joe Giordano — July 17, 2007 @ 11:03 am

  22. Woah. Didn’t expect that, Alec. Pardon me. Thought even contrary opinions were welcome here, as long as they were civil. My mistake. Done, gone. Best.

    Comment by Michal Daniel — July 17, 2007 @ 11:11 am

  23. What is Photoshop?

    Comment by William Greiner — July 17, 2007 @ 11:14 am

  24. Michal –

    I’m not asking you to leave. All I’m saying is that if there are subjects you would rather address, there is nothing preventing you from starting your own blog.

    I’m not being paid to do hours of work and research on Papageorge. I did it because I became passionate about the subject. You are free to be critical. But I’m also free to say that your criticism is annoying.

    William – this is for you:

    “Once I had a machine, meaning the computer, things suddenly changed. None of the maquettes I’ve prepared—there are now four of them, and counting—would’ve existed in any kind of believable physical form without the computer. To have a mechanism to view, store, arrange and connect any number of images into book form was for me a very different experience from printing in the darkroom and then pinning pictures to a wall that was always too small for the number of photographs I wanted to look at. This digital experience isn’t anything like a gallery or museum experience; it’s more like reading a book.” – Tod Papageorge

    Comment by Alec Soth — July 17, 2007 @ 11:22 am

  25. Did I mention that I’m exempt from this Code?

    Comment by Alec Soth — July 17, 2007 @ 11:23 am

  26. Very good! I think we’re all tired of silly discussions like film vs digital, rangefinder vs slr, canon vs nikon, etc.

    Comment by Nuno de Matos Duarte — July 17, 2007 @ 11:26 am

  27. how about “tastes great” vs. “less filling”??

    Comment by patrick — July 17, 2007 @ 11:40 am

  28. “Did I mention that I’m exempt from this Code?” – Reminds me of an Italian president 😉

    Comment by Joni Karanka — July 17, 2007 @ 11:47 am

  29. I do have a diversity of opinions and they allow me to appreciate the inherent qualities of each medium.

    Comment by Michael Morris — July 17, 2007 @ 12:15 pm

  30. It made it all the more humorous for me …to find this code of conduct the very first time I checked out this blog.

    Comment by Vesna Jovanovic — July 17, 2007 @ 12:22 pm

  31. How about Fellini vs Visconti? Some good image discussions there, but I guess that would be my blog.

    Alec, I loved the Papageorge information. Really inspired my writing, so thank you for your work and posting it all.

    Frustrated that I’m on the west coast and missing Colour Before Color. The images on the gallery website blew me away.

    Comment by vita — July 17, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

  32. Mr. Management, that sounds not very flexible….

    Comment by Stefan Rohner — July 17, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

  33. Management reserves the right to be inflexible!

    Comment by Jen Bekman — July 17, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

  34. how about ‘shit’ vs. ‘not-shit’

    Re: William Greiner “what is photoshop?”

    its the little computer program that makes resizing, recropping, and retouching a digital file in preperation for display in various applications possible–like on a website, kinda like

    Comment by pinocchio — July 17, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  35. OH I had no idea! What a wonderful one it is at that! I thought it was a shop where one could buy photos, which I would very much like to do!

    Alec, apologies for using your blog to respond to Mr. Pinocchio! Thanks for that explaination, I am going to keep reading it until I fully understand it!

    Sort of reminds me of when I was given a copy of William Eggleston’s Guide book in 1979. I had no idea what John S. was talking about, but those damn pictures were sure interesting!

    Good night and good luck!

    Comment by William Greiner — July 17, 2007 @ 3:41 pm

  36. ‘no explaination can make a photograph better art’

    Comment by pinocchio — July 17, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

  37. “”Management reserves the right to be inflexible!””

    ah yes, take them out, the ones who have different opinions, the webmasters of the web world have the power, the power over the tecnique, over the system of a blog.

    but they dont have the power over peoples thoughts and ideas! even if the want to, they can delete, they can take us to the door… they can block us. but does that change our ideas?

    I love prints, I love dark room, I love to hold my work and other peoples work in my hands…. there is nothing like a hand made fiber paper print, no machine can give you the same feeling….
    but people, there are new medias around, what is “photoshop”? it is a medium, it is the place where we prepare our work for the web, so everybody can see it. it is digital! amazing haeh! 😉
    in former times when we had exhibitions, in the real world, outside in gallerys, how many people saw our work over the whole exhibition time? 500? 1000? or 3000?
    today in the net, how many people see our work every day? best regards Stefan

    Comment by Stefan Rohner — July 17, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

  38. Is it the “vs” that’s a problem?

    Comment by David Paul Carr — July 17, 2007 @ 6:04 pm

  39. Yes!
    who cares?

    Comment by Juan Rayos — July 17, 2007 @ 7:00 pm

  40. how about film vs video?

    Comment by stefan abrams — July 17, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

  41. I just want to get back to the hilarity that are those Ansel Adams photos you linked to. Good stuff. I think it may make it into a syllabus….Always good to teach the kiddies a little irreverence.

    Comment by Patti Hallock — July 17, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

  42. Thanks Patti – I can’t tell you how much joy I felt when I found those pictures.

    Comment by Alec Soth — July 17, 2007 @ 9:21 pm

  43. Oh I forgot to ask, can I buy those A. Adams pictures in the Photoshop?

    And you can make pictures better with words, but they call those people “writers”!

    Comment by William Greiner — July 18, 2007 @ 10:19 am

  44. soup vs salad

    Comment by poisonpaper — July 18, 2007 @ 2:10 pm

  45. For the record, Mr. pinocchio quoted me without giving my proper credit!
    I think that might be copywrite infringement on my word thoughts?

    Comment by William Greiner — July 18, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

  46. “word thoughts”
    -W. Greiner

    Mr. Greiner I made the mistake of replying to your too-cool-for-school “what is photoshop?” comment, I hadn’t realized Mr. Soth had already let you down easy with his TP quote. Also, instead of replying to your thoughtless and cynical, “I thought it was a shop where one could buy photos” I applied the Sothian approach and challenged you with a quote. This allowed me to make a response and an assertion at the same time. My response was kinda like–I’m not gonna perpetuate this nonsense in front of Soth or his blog’s contributors, I’m not gonna argue about bullshit. My assertion was kinda like–your ‘statement’ is weak (I actually thought someone else would have pointed that one out first, so good going, you saved everyone the trouble).

    Regarding your ideas about words and their uselessness to a photographer or his or her pictures, I could not disagree with you more. See: Robert Adams, or Review: Papageoriapalooza. After you scratch those two off your list then maybe we can sit down and discuss Joel Sternfeld’s inclusion of text with picture, and how that twists things in an entirely diferent direction.

    Backing your work up with an explanation is part of the game. Originally I did not like this aspect either. It’s like, why do I need to ‘tell’ you why I’m great, can’t you ‘see’, isn’t that what photography is all about, ‘seeing’? Photography IS about seeing, however it is also about description, reality, fiction, farce, perspective, and many other things which can cause confusion if not made explicit by the object’s author. Enter: artist’s statement.

    I have to stop now, Mom’s calling me for dinner.

    ps the name is Mr. pishmocchio, pinocchio is my first name.

    Comment by pinocchio — July 18, 2007 @ 6:48 pm

  47. “We embrace your diversity of opinions and values
    but must insist that your content not include discussions on the subject of digital vs. film photography.”

    Sorry, but this phrase contradicts itself 🙂
    i understand that discussions which are only concentrated in one point, be it “digital vs. film” or whatever vs. whatever, don´t get too far or too deep .Even boring… But why prohibit ?

    For me this feels like an act of fear. Fear that things get out of control or annoying in some way. Or the inability or lack of patience to deal with situations or opinions or people who think and behave different.
    Is “different” so dangerous? Probably starting a conflict or a little “war” because of differences is easier than opening oneself to a conversation, to a discussion where people really listen and try to understand each other. … well, good luck :))

    best regards,

    Comment by Carina Berlingeri — July 19, 2007 @ 3:26 am

  48. Umm… well I guess you told me! The first thing I did was apologize to Alec for using the blog reply as a forum! Frankly, I am more than a bit suspicious , Mr. pishmocchio , of anonymous commentators such as yourself! I put my pictures , and , oh yes words out there for the world to see – good , bad or ugly! If you cannot garner anything that I can offer, I understand! Alec had talked about this blog as a substitute for a smoke filled room where ideas are shared, such a room, without humor, is one I would suffocate in! And you are right, I too am done with your close minded , goofy opinions! So enjoy yourself! coffee vs. tea?

    Comment by William Greiner — July 19, 2007 @ 7:39 am

  49. Carina, good input! I liked to read on this blog, but since some days, I don’t feel good at all, coming here, I also don’t read anymore. there is this strange feeling: “somebody with the technical power has the control” control over who………..?

    Comment by Stefan Rohner — July 19, 2007 @ 8:32 am

  50. “somebody with the technical power has the control”

    um, it’s his blog, he can do whatever he wants. you should start your own if you want something more ‘democratic’ and free.

    Comment by bryanF — July 20, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  51. “um, it’s his blog, he can do whatever he wants. you should start your own if you want something more ‘democratic’ and free.”

    yes I know, it is his blog. thank you for confirming 😉
    your answer is the standard answer you get when you question this type of attitude.
    “if you don’t like it you can leave”
    I have no problem with this, it just surprises me, I thought this would be a open and flexible discussion place. imposing “conduct codes” shows that people here are afraid from others.

    Comment by Stefan Rohner — July 21, 2007 @ 2:52 am

  52. Soth-Blog Code of Conduct, Article 2: Humor is allowed, even encouraged, despite the fact that some readers will (a) not find said humor funny (b) take said humor seriously.

    Comment by Alec Soth — July 21, 2007 @ 7:00 am

  53. Stefan & Carina – did you miss the link to The Management?

    (Please see Article 2 above)

    Comment by Alec Soth — July 21, 2007 @ 7:02 am

  54. Alec, to me the whole thing sounds very serious… so excuse me if I am confused. regards Stefan

    Comment by Stefan Rohner — July 23, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

  55. Alec, I take your July 21st comment as encourgement! Thank you. Wm.

    Comment by William Greiner — July 24, 2007 @ 11:11 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Blog at