Peter Kolonia, Stand-Up Guy.

Well, I finally heard back from someone at Popular Photography Magazine. And it was none other than Peter Kolonia himself.

For those of you coming late to this thread, I'll recap.

1. In April I wrote to Mr. Kolonia (a columnist at Pop Photo) asking if it was okay to link from Strobist directly to his lighting articles on the Pop Photo website, bypassing the main gate. I never heard back, so I figured I was below his response threshold.

2. Several months later Mr. Kolonia writes a column for Pop Photo that very closely tracked the Starving Student Off-Camera Lighting Kit, right down to touting the sub-$200 price vs. the capability of the gear when compared to more expensive stuff.

3. I wrote to Mr. Kolonia again, CC'ing an editor, pointing out the time sequence and similarities. I was simply looking for attribution if they were borrowing from Strobist. Or an assurance that they were not.

Today I got back from shooting a weekend travel story to find an e-mail from Mr. Kolonia in my in-box.

He said that he was away on vacation, and was upset to hear that I thought he pulled form the site without attribution. He goes on to say that he is a strong believer in attribution when it is appropriate.

He mentioned that he did get the April e-mail, and forwarded it to someone at Pop Photo who he felt would respond. But for some reason they didn't. He went on to say that he read through some of the work here, but said he did not see the SSO-CLK material.

As for the lighting kit itself, he has seen the idea floated in various forms by several sources over the last few decades. But he said that he worked out the details on this particular kit with Julio Figueroa, of Adorama.

I would note that Adorama, of whom Strobist is an affiliate, is the company that has been the prime source for lighting equipment purchased by readers of this site. If there is any connection between the info here and there, it easily could have come from the guys at Adorama.

(It would also explain the absence of the particular model of light stand and double-fold umbrella that is suggested here. Adorama has been unable to stock those items for several @!##$%! months now. So they certainly wouldn't compound the stocking problems by suggesting them for Pop Photo.)

That connection in itself would lead me to assume coincidence on Mr. Kolonia's part. His taking the time to write me to tell me he didn't do it is just more icing on the cake.

As far as I am concerned, if Mr. Kolonia says he wasn't borrowing without crediting, he wasn't doing it. The wording of his e-mail left me to believe without a doubt that he believes in attribution of sources. And I applaud him for that.

What I mistook for reading over someone's shoulder was actually a case of concurrent and overlapping subject matter.

I would like to say that this is the first time I have ever overreacted to anything. I would also like to say that I am six feet tall and bear a strong resemblance to Brad Pitt. I would like to say both of those things. But, sadly, neither statement is true.

Crow eaten, I am very much looking forward to the rest of his series that began with this column. And I plan to link to them as they appear online, unless he would prefer otherwise.

In fact, I am excited to see what someone of Mr. Kolonia's experience will do using the same gear. I am sure I will learn something from it. And I hope you will, too.


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