Thomas Heaton Responds to Critics in the Best Way Possible

British landscape photographer and YouTube personality Thomas Heaton came in for a bit of heat recently after he botched one of his latest videos that features Fujifilm's latest medium format camera, the GFX 50R. However, he didn't just get stick for that, so he decides to wipe the slate clean for 2019 by taking it all on the chin like the pro that he is.

It can't be easy being in the public eye all the time. One little slip and the masses descend like a vicious Mongolian horde. We see it all the time with famous celebs, but with the advent of the YouTuber/social media influencer, these brief falls from grace are a little more niche. Landscape photography YouTube vlogs are about as niche as one can get while still having a decent following, and Thomas Heaton is up there with the best of them with over 300K followers. But with 300K people following your work, it's no joke.

Naturally, anybody in that position will have their nay-sayers, critics, and, sometimes, outright trolls, so I really do feel for them. Sure, they might seem like they're living the life of Riley, with their sponsorship deals and spectacular destinations, but at the end of the day, they're one-person shows who are beholden to their contracts. It's a fickle game, social media, and the pressure one feels when one sees money coming in while being aware of the fact that it could disappear with the click of a button must be enormous at times. I'm not trying to excuse half-assed posts or some of the more disingenuous videos on YouTube, but I think it's good to take a balanced look at creators when they mess up. It is, after all, free content that we're consuming. 

Which brings me to Heaton and the heat that he gets from some commenters. Heaton comes across as one of the most genuine creators on YouTube, but he still gets quite a bit of stick in the comments section on some of his videos. Some of it is valid — and being an honest person, he admits when he's wrong — but a lot of it is typically overboard for the YouTube community. Thankfully, he's a good sport about it, and responds in the best way one can in this situation. Have a look at the video if you want to put a smile on your face. 

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18 Comments

Xander Cesari's picture

Gorgeous.

Michael Dougherty's picture

Most enthusiast photographers won't admit it, but a lot of us have gone into the field without first figuring out how to use a new camera. I will generally learn just enough to operate the camera, go into the field, and then quickly discover all the things I should have learned. I'll then go back home and look up that stuff in the instruction manual or just YouTube how to do it.

Or read the manual, nod knowingly while skimming over sections that talk about things we'd never use/are too basic/don't have a clue about and no time to dig deeper, find out what were the important bits that we skipped while shooting ;-)

user-156929's picture

Well, it started out funny but, as usual... gorgeous but too long. ;-)

Eric Salas's picture

I love this guy. He’s calm demeanor towards everything is relief from our world of bravado and arrogance.

Mike O'Leary's picture

When watching Youtube one can only listen to so much face-melting music and watch only so many forced, hyper personalities before one developes tinnitus and a nervous disposition.

You botched the part about how/why he botched the video.

Mike O'Leary's picture

Thanks, Yin. Fixed now :)

How did he botch it? Still doesn't say?

Exactly! He botched the fix.

Mike O'Leary's picture

Ah, jeez. I misunderstood you, Yin. I had previously mentioned that he posted the video "a couple of weeks ago" when it was only last week. That's what I thought you were referring to and that's what I changed. Apologies for the confusion.

I didn't feel the need to say what he botched, because that's not the point of the article.

i scrubbed thru the video but couldn't find out what he botched. i guess i will never know.

Mike O'Leary's picture

Basically, he didn't read the manual for the Fuji so he wasn't able to operate it properly.

Have look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jloCp4UCS0&t=839s

Ansel Spear's picture

I've followed TH for some time. Being a bit of a Northerner myself, I like his self-deprecating style. However, recently I've wondered whether he's doing too much and is beginning to struggle for new material. Shorter, less frequent posts might help.

I'm sure it's hard to come up with constant Youtube content, but I doubt he's struggling-way to deal with entitled trolls.

Such disgusting behavior! Filming yourself eating and talking with your mouthful...I am appalled at the lack of proper dental hygiene. Mr. Heaton didn't even brush his teeth, much less flossing, after eating. But perhaps that scene is on the proverbial cutting room floor?

I wonder if Mr. Heaton would consider assembling an "out-takes/blooper" reel?

Stupid comments from idiots with single digit IQs with no basic grasp on how Youtube works.
A total waste of his time.
Would have been better to put all that effort into making another gorgeous video on landscape photography :)

Well I think Heaton is so likeable he has the least amount of hate comments I've ever seen on a YouTube channel... But he seems genuinely affected, despite how few there are. It may not appear at first, but I think he's a very anxious guy, that's why he questions every of his YouTube moves, like the attempted temporary shift to gear reviews. I believe he doesn't need to do more, he's already got a very high standard of videos. It may not be the shot of the century every time, but that's what his followers like. Also he wears beanies instead of baseball caps. Gotta love that.