So you say you want a revolution…

Posted January 11th, 2007 by
Categories: Photo Business

In the last few weeks, a very new, but long-discussed strategy to affect Rights Managed Licensing has finally been enabled by placing it’s first legs on the ground. In an attempt to answer the market-driven “easy” solution offered by Royalty Free licensing, the PLUS group has come up with “Plus Packs“. These are designed to make the process of purchasing managed rights easy, both for buying and tracking. Oh here, let them tell you:

“PLUS Packs introduce a universal licensing standard for a streamlined form of image licensing. With licensors of all sizes worldwide offering the same conveniently standardized, numbered packages, Rights Managed image licensing will be easier than ever.”

See the Standards Library and Media Matrix at

A recent discussion on a pro forum had one photographer commenting on the early demise of the PLUS System within two weeks of the announced availability, because he basically hadn’t yet seen anything sweep into action. It was a sort-of, “Where’s all the hype? Where’s all the media? Where’s all the photographers clambering aboard?.” Quick to answer the call in the vein of “My early death has been misreported and greatly exaggerated”, one spokesperson basically said, “Hey, give us a break; it’s only been two weeks”.

While I chuckled from the sidelines during this exchange, it did get me to thinking that we could be seeing the start of a quiet revolution. Between the Plus Packs and Getty’s Rights-Ready Licensing model, maybe Rights Managed photographers will have a chance to stay in the Buyers game of “Simple & Easy”. Read the rest of this post »

New Photo of the Month – January 2007

Posted January 8th, 2007 by
Categories: Animals, California, National Parks, Photos, Winter

Well it happened today, I wrote 2006; ugh. At least now it’s outta my system. Now for the first POM of 2007:

 Picture: Coyote in snow covered meadow in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California.

My 5 year old daughter chose this for her Christmas card to her Grandma. I actually have, by complete accident, discovered a nearly fool-proof method for ‘calling’ and getting coyotes attention. I have even seen them come prancing across entire meadows to within a few yards of where I was. I won’t share this method with you, and I actually haven’t used it since its “discovery”. What is truly sad is that this method is a testament to the horrible habituation some wildlife encounters in our National Parks and beyond. However, this coyote here wasn’t ‘called’, and he wasn’t paying attention to me or the several other photographers nearby. He was focused on looking for mice; a perfectly acceptable behavior for Wiley E.

Remember 110 format film cartridges?

Posted January 4th, 2007 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

PRESS RELEASE:  From the makers that brought you the 110 format film cartridges, advantix, ektachrome and kodachrome, now comes “Glorychrome – the worlds best all-digital analog film for use in Kodak’s patented hybrid cameras – due for release in late 1997 .”

Yes, this is how Kodak plans to bring itself back from the brink of extinction; a stunning and very funny example of how every corporate TV commercial should be made.

“I’ll give you a ‘Kodak Moment’…” – Well I would, but mine were all shot on Fuji.

Starting out the New Year right.

Posted January 3rd, 2007 by
Categories: Photos

Photo: Cracked Crab Omlette for New Years Day Breakfast, at my mom’s house.

Some of you may know that in a past life I was a cook, and primarily a breakfast cook. For about 10 years off and on from when I was a sophmore in high school through the completion of my Masters Degree, I worked at a variety of restaurants. I was best at breakfasts, but gosh how I hated waking up early for work.

But at rare times (“rare”; get it? cook’s humor) I’ll dust off the old apron and make something special. This New Years Day morning, it was my delight to treat my family to a fresh cracked crab omlette with spinach, jack and cheddar cheese, grilled onion, mushroom, and avacado. The garnish was a pair of crab legs, tomatos on mixed greens with brie and fresh blue cheeses, tangerine sections, sourdough french bread, mini-quiche wedges, fresh coffee mixed with mudslide, a bloody mary, and orange juice.

My wife and I call such moments of sheer gastric delights as a “foo-gasm”. The only bad part is I know it’ll likely be another year until I savor another breakfast that good.

Bad ad of the year #001

Posted January 2nd, 2007 by
Categories: Photo Business, Rants and Raves

I often say of photographers that if you don’t value your own work, why should anyone else? To that end, I love it when people post serious ads on Craigslist looking for photographers who will line up to work themselves silly for little to no compensation. Here’s a prime example:

Parenting network is seeking a photographer who would be interested in a collaboration for taking photos of children (3-5 years old) for the cover of our magazine. We would like to hold a one- or two-day event at your studio. Your studio and our website would advertise the event to draw in parents from the Bay Area. On the day(s) of the event, parents would bring in their children to be photographed for the cover of our magazine.

Parents wanting copies of the photos would purchase them from you. Any that we select to use would be provided by you for free since the event would bring you business. We would also credit your studio in our magazine.

If you’re interested, please reply to the email address above. Serious inquiries only, please!

So, my studio, I advertise for you, I work one or two days shooting parents and kids to be on the cover of your magazine? I then have to sell pictures to the people who may (or may not) show up if I want to make any money? The parents should be happy for the pictures, and you shouldn’t have to pay them or me? OH GOSH, IS THIS TRUE – Please please please tell me where to sign up and how can I keep any other photographer from walking off with this tremendous opportunity?

I think Craigslist should often be called the “We want you to work for us but we don’t want to pay you” list. The sad part is, well, you know they’ll probably have a gaggle of photographers lining up at their door thinking that this is a great deal. (It is, just not for them.)

PS: Shame on the folks at Parenting Network. I assume they all like to get paid for the work they do, I’m sure they pay the printer, the distributors, the website folks, etc., and I’m sure they’re happy collect money from subscribers and advertisers. Everyone deserves fair compenstation, except for the stoopid dum photographers.

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.