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Andy Rouse…photographer ?

Some time ago I wrote a brief but complimentary entry about Andy Rouse. I'm beginning to wonder if he isn't actually being a bit of a pillock, to be honest.

in General Rants , Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Some time ago I wrote a brief but complimentary entry about Andy Rouse. I'm beginning to wonder if he isn't actually being a bit of a pillock, to be honest. He's now heavily involved in Pixmantec's mega-hyped RawShooter, intially as a endorser, he uses nothing else (in which case I can understand if his sales are dropping off), but now apparently as a core member of the company - from Pixmantec's latest mailing: "Many of you will know Andy Rouse by his reputation as a wildlife photographer but few will know that before this career path he was a software marketer. This, coupled with his knowledge of RAW workflow and his digital profile in the press, has led to him working for Pixmantec as our Marketing Director." Ok, but why do I think this makes him a pillock ? First because he is seriously undermining any claim he may have to impartiality, and since he does a fair amount of product reviewing, this matters. Amateur phtographers presumeably are supposed to feel comfortable that a product endorsed by Andy Rouse is a good one, rather than one in which he has a financial stake. Second, because he's associating himself with a product which is still unproven, relying on Rent-A-Quotes from fellow hacks like Martin Evening (author of the most over-rated Photoshop book ever, IMHO), is a shameless rip off of another product (CaptureOne) which Andy used to endorse...er, no, sorry, still does endorse ("C1 is my product of choice" -- at least get your ducks in a row, Andy), and which is so firmly entrenched in the Microsoft camp that their newsletter states: "Be aware that links in Pixmantec NEWS may only function when using Microsoft Internet Explorer." (why ? so the embedded campaigns.com spyware can run properly ?) A startup tech company like Pixmantec, even when it has another company (PhaseOne) to do their R&D for them, needs totally dedicated top-flight marketing (I know this from very painful recent experience). I cannot see how a pro wildlife photographer can supply this. And why does Andy Rouse matter ? Because he is arguably one of the very best wildlife photographers working today (personally I'd put him in the top 3, and joining one of his workshops is a recurring daydream), not because he used to be one of the UK's army of mindless corporate IT suits. Although his recent writings on Nature Photography Network indicate that his creativity is alive and well, I'd seriously examine my priorities if I was him. Have I actually used RawShooter ? Nope. I'm a Mac user, and it doesn't run on Macs. I upgraded to Microsoft VirtualPC 7 expressly to try it, and it didn't work. Why not ? Dunno, CaptureOne works fine under VPC7 emulation, so I cannot see any good reason, save poor design, why RawShooter couldn't. I'd get out and do some photography if I were you, Andy.