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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, 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 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.

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from Treve Willis on Wed, January 04, 2006 - 10:07

Quite agree. I used to think that Andy Rouse’s opinions meant something.

There has been a lot of hype recently from various people including Andy Rouse and from the Digital Outback saying how wonderful Pixmantec’s products are, so I have given them a go.

I have recently tried out both CaptureOne LE v 3.7.3 and Pixmantec RSPremium, having tried the RSE version last Summer. Previously I have been using CamerRaw with Canon 10D RAWs.

Basically I found the output from CaptureOne LE the best quality, especially detail in highlights. Both (in fact all 3) are better than CameraRaw (CS not CS2) for noise, but I have found the output from both Pixmantec products not as good as CameraRaw in general.

I really like the snapshot and slide show features on Pixmantec and would like them in CaptureOne LE, but ease of workflow is good, but not at the cost of quality (otherwise why use RAW?). So I still use Breezebrowser for my initial sorting and slideshow.

I simply can not repeat the quality claims that I have seen for Pixmantec - I do not think that I am particualry critical, but when I offer prints from C1 and RSP in blind comparisons, I and my friends allways seem to pick out the C1 output. Sometimes there is a big difference, sometimes subtle.

from Owain Powell on Sat, June 24, 2006 - 10:19

Before you say anything bad about The Great Andy Rouse, I would like to say that he he is my insperation. I am a 19 year old amuture wildlife
Photographer. I grew up on a poor council estate but inspired by wildlife photographey left and moved to the country to cut a longstory short i now work for an internet company and going places in the world of digital photograpy. All thanks to Andy Rouse, so what if does things others dont like, just you try do better. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

from david mantripp on Mon, June 26, 2006 - 7:40

Owain,  I’m very happy that you found inspiration on Andy’s work, and it is great that you’re doing well. I was also inspired by Andy. There is no doubt that he has inspired a lot of people, and that his example of basically jumping in the deep end and relying on his talent to realise his life’s dream is genuinely an example to all of us.  But personally I felt let down my his heavy promotion of a software product which he has a clear financial interest in.  Especially after he was previously encouraging (and paid to encourage, even if indirectly, by Camera Warehouse) people to go for the expensive CaptureOne.  What if you had followed Andy’s recommendation, and paid several hundred pounds for CaptureOne, only to find him effectively rubbishing it the next week ? Inspired ? Or let down ?

Andy’s a great photographer and especially, and importantly, a skilled businessman. He’s probably a great bloke too. But he isn’t God.

from Pete on Wed, June 28, 2006 - 7:17

Personally I would say there is only one pillock here and it aint andy - (or me). No he aint god but hes a damn good nature photographer and for all its faults raw shooter is a damn good bit of software - its free for a start which gives it a major edge over capture one etc.

I just sold an image processed in raw shooter to a national magazine and they didnt have a problem with it.

Personally I’d say you are jealous that your not as good as he is - and yes I know thats a bit personal but no more so than your comments about mr rouse and HE isnt here to defend himself.

from David Mantripp on Wed, June 28, 2006 - 8:11

er, WAS a damn good bit of software. Until yesterday, when the company sold you & all its other customers down the river.

Probably they kicked Andy in the teeth too. They don’t seem to hot on loyalty.

Pete, I haven’t said a word against Andy Rouse as a photographer. He’s a genius. I read all he writes, and I’ve got his books. It is just my opinion that by aligning himself with a particular product, he blew his credibility as an independent reviewer - and, as far as I could see, was in danger of losing focus on wildlife photography.  There are plenty of software marketing directors, some good, most average. There are very few photographers of Andy Rouse’s calibre, so why is he wasting his time and damaging his credibility with a dodgy software company ? (and it always was dodgy. PhaseOne must have very poor copyright protection).

He wasn’t the only one. Alain Briot ( did it too.

As for not being here to defend himself, where’s “here” ? He is, or was, aware of my site. He even sent me an email about it once. No other “known” photographer has ever done that.  Maybe it shouldn’t have said “pillock”, but to be honest, I’d classify that as banter. I’d say to his face, over a pint. I was much ruder about Martin Evening, also with no real justification. Where is his fan club ?

Anyway, how come this article is suddenly getting so much attention, over a year after I wrote it ?

from Cindy Gahan on Wed, November 22, 2006 - 7:53

I met Andy Rouse last night for the first time. I enjoyed his pictures (as many of us do) but he’s the rudest person I believe I have ever met!He stood by me and I said hello and he first looked and then turned his head (we were the only two people standing there).Then my husband bought one of his books and was getting it signed. I asked purely because I’m inexperienced in any of these things.Where would someone go to show their work if they wanted the public to see it? I swear this question had nothing to do with Mr. Rouse himself! He looked and said “If you think I’m going to help anybody your wrong”! “Noone ever helped me”! With that type of attitude no wonder no one helped him and no wonder he has to go into the wilderness! If he stays around populated areas someone will end up thrashing him! I’m suprised the penquins haven’t knocked him into the sea!

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