Photo: Footprints on a sand dune

Posted February 13th, 2007 by
Categories: California, Deserts, Photos, Sunrise, Travel

Picture: Footsteps along the ridge of a sand dune at sunrise, Algodones Dunes, Imperial Valley, near Brawley, California.

I have that feeling again, as I sit here at my desk, neck deep in production. This is one of 300 images taken over a five day shoot around my attendence of the NANPA Conference in Palm Springs. As I wade through the editing, Raw Conversions, and Photoshop processing, I’m now about halfway done with this set of images. Yet everytime I scroll down my Adobe Bridge Folder, I get that feeling like I’ve crested the top of one sand dune, only to see the horizon filled with more and more sand dunes. I keep lying to myself by saying, “This is the fun part of photography.”

And the winners for this year are:

Posted February 11th, 2007 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photos

Several image galleries worth taking a look at represent the winners of two notable “Of The Year” contests.

First up are the ten winning images of the 2006 World in Focus Photo Contest put on by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. These are usually pretty images of places and cultures. FWIW, I was a Merit Award winner in this contest back in the mid-1990’s, and had one more of my images used in their calendar that same year.

The other award winners worth seeing are from the 2006 World Press Photo Contest. These are not always pretty pictures, but quite captivating nonetheless. Fair warning as usual for press photos – some of these are VERY, VERY graphic and disturbing and may not be suitable for young kids or overly sensitve types. Don’t miss the Sports and Nature portfolios toward the end of the winners gallery.

Enjoy.

Ma Bell vs Pa Gates

Posted February 7th, 2007 by
Categories: Copyright, Newsworthy

Batton down those proverbial IP hatches, as AT&T is about to have a Supreme Court face-off with Microsoft over some intellectual property involving every PC sold running Windows software. Microsoft admits infringing on AT&T’s patent of a Digital Speech Coder when it developed it’s Windows OS, but new issues involve transnationallization and a potential $1 Billion settlement award. Cornell Law School has a nice write up on the upcoming face-off.

Fine, you may ask, but what’s this got to do with photography? For one, it pays to keep an eye on International IP issues. Markets are becoming increasingly globalized, and yet many countries like China, India, etc., the respect for copyright and other intellectual property matters are at best, poor to non-existent. (Kinda like most all photos and songs used on MySpace) 

Disclosure: My wife works for one of the companies involved.

New Photo of the Month; February 2007

Posted February 3rd, 2007 by
Categories: California, Coast, Photos, Travel

Picture: Coastal rocks and fog along the bluffs at Cambria, San Luis Obispo County, Central Coast, California.

We’re having such a mild winter here in the Bay Area, that aside from the mild chill in the air, we could be considered “seasonless”. One of the great things about the climate along the central part of California’s coast is how steady the sense of seasons really are; save green hills in spring and a bit of rain, the rest of the year is all one big long dose of the same mild temps.

See more images from this area in my Central California Coast gallery.

“A Stand-Out Date”, or “The Importance of Proper Captions and Metadata”

Posted January 31st, 2007 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photos

This one actually even needs a third title; “The Year That Really Lept“.

Here’s one I really haven’t seen before. I can’t imaging any photographer, photo-editor, or news editor letting this one fall through the crack, but MSNBC (and / or Fox) got some serious problems with their ability to properly caption a photograph. Appearing in response to tonight’s American Idol show, MSNBC ran the following:

Now check the Photo Caption:

In case you can’t read the small type, it says,

Los Angeles contestant Martik Manoukian on “American Idol” on Wednesday, Feb. 31.

NANPA Conference Report

Posted January 28th, 2007 by
Categories: Photo Business, Photographers

Over the week of Jan 17-21 I was fortunate to attend my first NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Assoc.) Conference in Palm Springs, California. It was also my first year as a NANPA member. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect, and I had some concerns. I’ve watched NANPA from the outset, and one of my major concerns was that it was nothing but a glorified camera club; and honestly, in part it was. At nearly 3,000 members, it really is a very social organization. That’s not a bad thing, btw. But my personal interests revolves around if, how, and where the organization was working on or supporting professional business issues and education.

Prior to my arrival and check-in on Wednesday, the conference had several days worth of pre-summit workshops that I wasn’t able to attend, although I heard some good feedback on them. I spent my several days prior shooting around the area south and east of Palm Springs. Part of me would have liked to have stayed away from civilization, but the cost of attending the conference was enough to ensure not changing my plans.

Read the rest of this post »

If only there were some guidelines…

Posted January 26th, 2007 by
Categories: Digital, Photo Business

At the NANPA Conference Pro’s Meeting, a packed room was asked, “How many people are just using film?” Out of several hundred photographers sitting in on this session, only three raised their hands. That means almost everyone is now using digital. Not surprisingly, at the outset of this ‘revolution’, professionals and agencies alike had to wade through a miriad of potential workflow solutions. The problem was that if everyone is doing things slightly different, the end results would often be different as well. There was no guarentee that what went to one agency or client would be cross compatible or acceptble with other agents or clients.

So how in the world do you get so many people to agree on what’s best for all? The Solution, a multi-partnered organization called UPDIG, The Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines. From their site:

Who We Are: A working group of digital imaging professionals and allied trade groups and manufacturers, dedicated to promoting worldwide standards in the commercial application of digital imaging.
Mission Statement: Our mission is to bring the creators, distributors, customers, and other vendors in the imaging trades together to identify and promote digital imaging standards. We will identify a delivery protocol that promotes creative and quality control, and builds value and efficiency.

From color management, monitor calibration, file naming, and file sizes, to archiving and delivery, this is the place to get info on what the industry has agreed should be the right way to work with your digital image files. Check ’em out!

Quote of the Day 01-24-07

Posted January 24th, 2007 by
Categories: Quotable Quotes

I’m catching up on reading emails after having been gone for more than a week at the NANPA conference. (More on that later.) One of the emails referenced a signature line of a photographer that reads:

“Getty (Images) cares about photographers the way McDonalds cares about cows.”

– ’nuff said.

“Say Hello to my Little Mule”

Posted January 18th, 2007 by
Categories: California, Deserts, Photos, Travel

Picture: Toyota 4-Runner on the sand dunes at the Imperial Sand Dunes State Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area, near Brawley, Imperial County, California

Who forgot the rake?

One thing about taking pictures: Sometimes you see something after you took the photo that you wish you could have changed. Sometimes, maybe you could have done something about it at the time – had you discovered it. Other times, there’s nothing you could have done given the circumstances. After I processed this shot, I noticed all of my footprints near the car door. Of course, this is a completely natural occurance. Yet, if you tried to envision this as a car ad – you’d never see footprints. In fact, the ground would look so pristine, that it would look like the car was dropped in by helicopter. The less dramatic truth is that the ad agencies hire cleaning crews who’s sole job is to prep the car to ultimate cleanliness on site, and then rake the ground of all human traces. I never would have thought to bring a rake on my trip. Now I wish I’d brought one, or better yet had my own detailing crew.

Is there a photographers conference nearby?

Posted January 16th, 2007 by
Categories: California, Deserts, People, Photos, Travel

Photo: Self portrait at Font Point in Anza Borego State Park, near Borego Springs, California

This was taken tonight. I am in Southern California for the North American Nature Photographers Assoc. Annual Conference in Palm Springs that starts tomorrow. Frankly, I’m not looking forward to leaving a place like this for the likes of Palm Springs.