It’s no secret that I’m not impressed with Alien Bees or White-Lighting marketing hype or the quality of their products–simply put, the owner and CEO of the company, Paul C. Buff, knows my biggest beef is about their use of the word “effective” when describing watt-seconds of their products. I’ve more than once have asked Buff to join me on the photography forums for an open discussion on this and other topics related to his products, he’s refused and countered back with false statements and libelous claims.

So far I’ve ignored his unprofessional actions, but was rather disturbed when he posted a racial slur about me on (in reference to another poster’s photo) and I quote,

“Now if he’d used Rolando’s body grease you would see more. But maybe he didn’t want greasy bodies?”

Describing a Latino’s body as greasy is not a smart move by any corporate CEO when Latinos are more than 40-million strong in the United States alone—many are photographers too. Being of Latin descent I take the latter remarks by Buff very personal and find it a rather off-color remark, but Buff doesn’t stop with just this Latino, he slaps our European friends and family too!

On DPReview, Buff (click thumbnail to view screen capture) states:

I suppose us Americans are different than you Europeans – let’s see “your-o-peein” is that the correct way to pronouce the word. Is than derived from the common practice of dogs peeing on your $3000 packs?
Here we don’t generally have that problem nor need strong French perfume to keep our equipment odor free.
Indeed, lots of valuable info on this thread.


According to Buff, he’s now banned from DPReview. I can see why with those types of statements.

I just returned from a three-country tour of Europe for Calumet and California Sunbounce and I can assure you, the European people received me with open arms and are some of the best people on this planet. I once lived in Europe for three years, not to mention my own ancestors are from European descent and the photographers there are phenomenal and like the people of Europe themselves, great people.

Has Buff forgot where photography was invented?

Buff’s statements are, as one editor of a popular photography magazine (not associated with Rangefinder) put it, “Unbelievable, disgusting!”

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Buff statements not only show his true colors, but Buff also demonstrates his integrity when he makes false statements and totally-untrue claims, by stating that I was banned from the Rangefinder Organization and banned from Rangfinder and WPPI. I guess Buff doesn’t remember I was the cover story for the Rangefinder (Sept. 06) magazine when the topic was, Mysteries of Lighting Revealed.

Obviously Buff’s statements concerned me, so I went to the President of Rangefinder and WPPI, Skip Cohen, along with the editor, Bill Hurter to see if there was truth in Buff’s statements. Both Cohen and Hurter, assured me they knew nothing of it and the claims by Buff were inappropriate and totally false. Cohen, himself a former CEO (Hasselblad) personally called me and assured me that Buff’s claims were totally false and unacceptable.

Buff obviously owes an apology to a lot of people and needs to be reminded that the United States is in fact a country of immigrants. Even the U.S. military is filled with people from other countries and people with different ethnicities, I know, I served proudly for almost nine years, active-duty in the U.S. Army to protect and defend our country. Mr. Buff, don’t forget the men and women who ensure you the conditions to speak freely, many are of European descent.

Whether it be one European, one Latino or one person of any race, anything with race-implied slurs and making fun of an entire continent is not smart, especially when it comes from the CEO of a company. Perhaps Buff needs to have a talk with Don Imus and ask him how “effective” it was when CBS fired Imus over his racial slurs of the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

Thanks, rg sends!