Careful with that clone tool, Batman!

Posted August 9th, 2006 by
Categories: Digital, Newsworthy, Photo Business

As reported by CNN and the BBC this week, Reuters News Agency has dumped nearly 1,000 images from it’s archive, all from a single photographer. Why? Seems our photojournalist did the one thing any photojournalist should never do, doctor or ‘fix’ his images. In this case, a bad job of cloning smoke clouds over a Lebanese city was – for lack of a better term – a dead giveaway. While the the ‘amount’ of fixing can often be the source of debate, few will deny that an obviously doctored image, or one that has been edited to mislead or misrepresent reality, diminishes the public trust that is given to journalists in a free press society.

PHOTO: Clear Blue Depths

Posted August 8th, 2006 by
Categories: National Parks, Oregon, Photos, Travel, Water

Picture: Crystal clear deep blue sparkling waters of Crater Lake, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon.

Why post this image today? Funny story, actually. My two kids (7b/4.5g)  were told to clean the kitchen counters as part of their chores. They decide, on their own, to also clean our kitchen floor. I walk in, and they have been draining the drinking water from the fridge, and have the floor covered in water, and are scrubbing away with our dish sponges. At some point I hear crying, this after my daughter decides to play slip-n-slide – right into the kitchen table. An hour later, and a whole roll of paper towels, it’s almost dry again.

And now for your licensing pleasure…

Posted August 4th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photo Business, Stock Photography

First there was RM (Rights Managed), then there was RF (Royalty Free), which (d)evolved into MS (MicroStock). Now, getting a jump ahead of what the PLUS folks are doing, About the Image reports on a press release from Getty Images announcing the upcoming new sales model, RR (Rights Ready). I’ve read the release, and admit to being excited about the prospect of a new sales model to fit between RM & RF. However, I’m equally confused as to how they plan to provide unlimited duration and territory rights, and yet still be able to grant any exclusivity. I guess we’ll have to wait for the answers once the new sales model has been officially started.

Edit:  Thanks QT, I mis-read. You’re right – no exclusivity, but buy-out available. So this makes a model closer to RF than RM in use, but closer to RM than RF in price…. maybe?  I guess I’m not as confused anymore, and should drink at least two cups of coffee before reading corporate press releases.

Gimme that fish!

Posted August 2nd, 2006 by
Categories: Animals, California, Photos, Travel

Preface: This spring I sprung for a new lens, the 80-400VR (Nikon)

So last week I was on a family vacation to San Diego. Due to weather and family, I only took some tourist snapshots while taking our kids (along with my sister’s family) to SeaWorld and Legoland.

Once inside SeaWorld, we made a bee-line to the Shamu Show. We were sitting about three rows down from the very top of the stadium bleachers. This photo was taken at 32mm from where we sat. Note the distance to the whale platform close to the audience.

Now see what the 80-400VR lens was able to get, from my seat, handheld at 400mm.

Read the rest of this post »

Photo: Knarled Jeffery Pine, Desolation Wilderness

Posted July 31st, 2006 by
Categories: California, Photos, Trees

Picture: Afternoon sunlight on knarled Jeffery Pine tree in Desolation Wilderness, near South Lake Tahoe, California.

 I’m back from family vacation, but haven’t yet uploaded any of those images, so this is another from my backpacking trip earlier this month. You see, I have a thing for trees, but I don’t hug them.


You can see more of my tree photos in my online web gallery.



Excuse me, Officer, but those handcuffs are a little too tight

Posted July 25th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business

It’s getting tough out there to be a working photographer. Now think how you’d feel if you were busy snapping away, only to be suddenly confronted by a police officer busily writing you a citation. Put up too much of a fuss, and you’ll likely be trying on his handcuffs.

Two stories appeared here in California last week, about potential citation-worthy violations for taking pictures. The first is from the LA Times about photographing city buildings, while the second is from the OC Register, about the new requirement for permits at Newport’s Corona del Mar Beach.

Photo: The 4400

Posted July 24th, 2006 by
Categories: California, Clouds and Sky, Coast, People, Photos, Travel

Picture: People walking in fog on Pfieffer Beach, Big Sur Coast, California

I don’t watch the TV Show, the 4400; but I’ve seen the commercials. This scene reminds me of that, with the ghostly figures walking into or out of the distant fog. God, what I wouldn’t give to be on this beach right now. Saturday we hit 114 at my house, and yesterday was only a degree or two cooler. Ugh.

Overheard: The pot calling the kettle black.

Posted July 24th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Quotable Quotes, Stock Photography

In catching up on some overdue forum reading, I came across a photographer who sells microstock, lamenting about his micro-agency making a business deal to give away photos to some major company. In his post he says:

…. the (DEAL) clearly tells me three things:

1. They don’t value their contributers enough to ask them first

2. They don’t value our work, as they are giving it away

3. They are stepping down the ladder….

So if I have right, he’s chosen to sell the full unlimited commercial use rights to his images for a few dollars, on which he makes a single dollar or less from his meager 20% agency commission that he willingly agreed to, and now he’s complaining that his agency doesn’t value his work because they are giving it away. Umm… Ok.

Careful how you handle that CC thing

Posted July 21st, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Stock Photography

Creative Commons Licenses (CCL) are one for people to give away use of their intellectual property rights, while still maintaining some small level of control. However, just like everything else, even an assigned CCL can be abused or ignored. Worse, most people who assign their works under a CCL never register their work with the Library of Congress (in the U.S.), and therefore have almost zero recourse for combatting any found abuses or infringements.

Thomas Hawk has posted a good warning story that is certainly worth the read for anyone considering using a CCL.

Stock Photographer Entrance Fees

Posted July 18th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

Someone on a forum suggested that due to the depressing state of our industry, some jokes were in order. Well, being one to offend, I made up the following.


 Three Stock Photographers show up at the pearly gates. Peter, guarding the gate, turns to the first photographer and asks, “What brings you here?” The first photog answers, “I was photographing cars to sell on MicroStock sites.” Peter says, “That’ll be a dollar to get in. Take the escalator on the left.” The mircostocker pays his dollar, takes the escalator on the left, and descends promptly to the depths of hell.

Peter then turns to the second shooter and asks the same question, “What brings you here?” The shooter replies, “I was photographing cars to sell in an RF Collection.”  Peter responds by saying, “That’ll be $299.00 to get in, and take the middle escalator. The RF Photographer pays his money, and the escalator moves him off to the side, and through a door labled, “Purgatory”.

Peter then turns to the third photog with the same question, to which the answer received is, “I was so depressed over my industry that I decided to try something new, so I was getting all set to photograph cars to sell through my Rights Managed Agency.” Peter says, “That’ll be $1,500.00 to get in, take the escalator on the right – go all the way up to the top floor.” The third photog pays his money, grumbling under his breath about the high cost to get in.

As he was making his way to the escalator, the photographer feels a tug on his arm. “Before you go,” said Peter, “don’t you think there should be some kind of “unathorized use” penalty for running down those other two photographers with your car?” Before the photog can mutter a word, Peter brushes him along saying, “Aw, what the heck. I’m sure you won’t do it again. Besides, at $1,500.00 a week to stay here, we should at least be nice to you on your first day.”