2nd time in 2 years – a new tradition?

Posted December 30th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

Well lucky me… I seem to be on to a sort of new Holiday tradition, and hence the lack of postings for the last week. This is the second year in a row that I’ve been sick as a dog during the holidays. Yesterday was my first day of feeling back to normal.

So I’m wishing a belated Merry Christmas to many, and a timely Happy New Year to all. While I’ve done very little in the way of activities of late, I’ve managed to keep abreast of a few goodies and goings on which I’ll be posting over the next day or so. Until then – everyone have a very SAFE and SANE New Years!


– Gary.

Photo: Momentary Flight over the Pacific

Posted December 21st, 2006 by
Categories: California, Coast, People, Photos, Sports & Recreation, Travel, Water

Picture: Boogie board (skimboard) surfer flying through air over ocean wave, Balboa Island, Newport Beach, Southern California Coast.

This has always been one of my favorite portfolio-worthy people shots from when I was working on my California Coast book. As such, I think this also a great image to introduce my new four-page Los Angeles / Orange County Coast Regional web gallery. For those that wonder about the perspective of this shot, I was actually standig on the Balboa Pier looking down at the kids doing the skimboarding. This way I was able to fill the frame with water, and eliminate the very bright sky from the scene.

Photo: Couple watching the sunset at La Jolla

Posted December 17th, 2006 by
Categories: California, Coast, People, Photos, Sunset, Travel, Water

Picture: Couple shares a romantic moment on coastal rocks watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean from Scripss Park, La Jolla, San Diego County coast, California.

And by way of another introduction, this image part of my new online image galleries recently posted to the site. This time the images are in a collection called the San Diego County Coast. This new gallery contains images from San Diego, Carlsbad, Oceanside, La Jolla, and more.





Photo: Moonset over Sonoma Vineyard

Posted December 13th, 2006 by
Categories: California, Moon, Photos, Travel, vineyards

Picture: Moonset at sunrise over vineyard in winter, Valley of the Moon, Sonoma County, California

This photo has been in my Special California Wine Country Print Portfolio for this last year. But as a seasonal image, I thought this would be a great image to introduce my new 7-page Sonoma Wine Country web gallery. If you haven’t stumbled into it by accident yet, here’s a great chance to stumble in on purpose.

And speaking of Seasonal and Prints; A reminder that for the Month of December I’m having my Holiday Print Sale, with a discount on all Limited Edition prints.

Royalty Free or Royalty Expensive?

Posted December 11th, 2006 by
Categories: Copyright, Photo Business, Stock Photography

So that Royalty Free photo that you got way back when and not sure where… you’ve used for this and that without much thought, because after all, you were smart and purchased Royalty Free.

But are your Royalty Free photos really free to use for anything, anywhere? Probably Not. Did you know that your Royalty Free photo actually came with a license? Probably Not. Do you know any of the actual limitations on use you got with that Royalty Free photo? Probably Not. Did you really understand that much about copyright and licenses when you purchased your Royalty Free Photo? Probably Not. Did you actually read the End User License Agreement (EULA)? Probably Not. Are you surprised when an 800 lb Gorilla comes pounding on your door demanding payment for unathorized use? Probably.

That’s just what’s happening these days, so if you’ve used Royalty Free photos in the past, you better check to make sure that your using them in an authorized and correct manner. Why? Because the 800 lb Gorilla knocking on your door has a name: Getty.

Again with thanks to someone on one of my professional newsgroups, I bring you the tirade of the angry masses; people that have received demand letters from Getty for using their RF images improperly, or without authorization via payment and license. This is a forum thread on SitePoint, and it’s a very long forum thread. As of this posting, it’s over 14 pages long, with 350 posts to date. I suggest just taking a read over the last page (14)

After reading, I couldn’t help but think of how many people would have saved themselves hours of angst and frustration, not to mention the threat of possible collections or lawsuits, if they had just licensed only the uses they actually needed. No Fuss, No Muss, No 800 lb Gorilla.

Photo: Taking Flight in a Balloon over the Napa Valley

Posted December 9th, 2006 by
Categories: Aviation, California, Clouds and Sky, Outdoors, Photos, Sunrise, Travel, vineyards

Picture: Hot Air Ballon and storm clouds at sunrise over vineyard near Oakville, Napa Valley, California.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve just completed an overdue update to my website, including a number of new online photo galleries. The first gallery I’d like to introduce is the Napa Valley Vineyards and Wine Country. This image seems like it’s an appropriate metaphor regarding the launch of these new galleries.

In this photo, I happened to be shooting this vineyard at sunrise. I was so focused on what I was doing, that for quite awhile, I hadn’t noticed that less than a 1/4 mile away, a balloon had started to inflate in the vineyard behind me. In the still morning air, it wasn’t long before the balloon lifted and floated past where I was standing. I took several shots, but this is the best one because this has the flame under the balloon. FWIW – this isn’t one of the larger “tourist” balloon flights offered elsewhere in the valley. Rather, this had only 4 people; a great intimate way to see the valley.

Just replaced

Posted December 7th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

I’ve just gotten through an update of my web site, the full details of which will come in another post (for those who haven’t received my newsletter). Probably the most important change is that I finally replaced that decade plus year-old photo of me on the About Me page. The new photo (in B&W) is a mere one year old. I guess this one should carry me through the next decade. (F in ge rscr os se d)
I’ve also added a couple updated tidbits and a few cosmetic touches to the page.

New Photo of the Month; Dec. 2006

Posted December 5th, 2006 by
Categories: Animals, California, Mountains, National Parks, Photos, Travel, Winter

Picture: Native Spirit” – Raven flying by El Capitan at sunrise, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California.

“Native Spirit” is an image of fortunate circumstance and fleeting moments combined. I shot this image last year in Yosemite Valley. A cold snow storm had swept through the previous evening, and the clouds started to part right around sunrise. I stopped to photograph this scene, sans raven, and was busy checking all of my settings when I looked up. At that moment, I saw the bird flying toward me, and I only had enough time to check my shutter speed, spin open the apeture, and click. One frame. One Frame Only.

The title refers to something I have often thought of as I watch these ravens soaring past these huge granite cliffs, and through such a paradise. In those moments, I think back to the Native Americans that lived in this valley, and their reverence for nature.

BTW – It’s not very often that I actually title an image. I often find that too many photographers toss out earth-mother-speak titles to their images like they’re tossing out bad cheese. But in a few rare cases, a title speaks out to me, and I usually choose to listen to that little voice in my head. In fact, I can only think of a couple times this as happened. So be fair-warned that this doesn’t mark the start of artsy-speak spilling out of all corners of my site.

This is a very special image for me to offer as a Photo of the Month. It will probably be the only time it is offered as an opportunity to acquire a Limited Edition Print or Mural at 50% off the standard prices.

Journalist teaches that stealing is OK – especially from schools.

Posted December 5th, 2006 by
Categories: Copyright, Newsworthy, Rants and Raves

Geez! I was gonna post a photo, but this is much more important. It’s been out for the last few weeks that a journalist named Stacey Bradford wrote an article for SmartMoney.com where (s)he lists the Top 5 annoying school costs. (S)he then suggests some money saving tips for each offending cost. Apparently it’s Ok to teach your readers, parents, and children alike that stealing is OK.
To top the offending list, read the following excerpt from her aticle, snd note especially the last line. Following that is a copy of an email I sent to Stacey Bradford.

Read the rest of this post »

Photos that cross the line

Posted December 4th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photo Business, Photographers, Photos

This one is for the grown-ups:

In the news this last week, CNET reported on a a case where certain types of pictures of kids may help reform and redefine federal child pornography laws. This link came to me via a posting in a professional photographers newsgroup. On the CNET page, there is a link where you can see examples of some of the photos in questions through the Google Archive WAYBACK machine. Forgive me for not posting this link directly, but some people may find these photos distrubing. What makes this all so unusual, there is no nudity, and no overt sexual contact in these photos. However, the images do seem to place young girls in ‘suggestive’ poses. The photographer had signed model releases from the parents, but now he faces jail time.

This is one of those classic, “I can’t explain it but I know it when I see it” – but remember, we all may have different interpretations of whether it is or isn’t. I don’t want this to be debated here, but would rather you take a look, and just see what you think. Personally, I think these images are disturbing, and at the very least, show some possibly poor judgement on the part of the photographer, parents, and child. (although kids are allowed to have poor judgement). Is it child porn? Should it be considered child porn? I suppose part of that answer should be dependant on whatever reason the images were originally created and intended for. For myself, I’ll say at find it at least as distrubing as seeing some of the stuff that happens with those little girl beauty pagents that are now marked in our collective memory by the face of JonBenet Ramsey.