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.

Those pesky blank pages

Posted December 4th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

Anyone who tried to visit the site in the last four – five days seems to have stood a pretty good chance of seeing a blank white page. If that has happened to you, or does happen when you visit, please be aware that this has been a bit of an issue with the mysql server at my web host. Please accept my apology (on behalf of my web hosting company) for any inconvenience. I greatly appreciate the several of you who have emailed me to let me know when this happened. Getting a trouble ticket in to the support desk always gets right to the front burner. Unfortunately these problems tend to come in spurts. And to be honest, when things run good for a while, I tend to spend less time checking to see if things are running well. And just like cars, that’s usually when the trouble sets in.

Winds of Change, make that a Hurricane…

Posted November 27th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Stock Photography

First, I hope everyone here in the US, and Americans abroad had a nice Thanksgiving Holiday. I enjoyed a week off with my family.

The Stock Asylum has posted the text of a speech given by Roger Ressmeyer, President of the Picture Archive Council of America (PACA) called, “The Storm before the Calm“.

This is a worthy read, as he discusses some of the recent changes in our industry, and outlines how, by cooperating with each other, the industry could be on the brink of stabilization. Without mutual cooperation and frank talk about industry imperitives, the industry might fracture beyond hope of repair.

I personally agree with the thrust of his speech, especially on the support for the PLUS initiative. The only odd taste in my mouth is that it comes from a photographer whose work I admired above many others, yet sold his entire collection to one of the Big Two.

I’m Like, … so upset.

Posted November 20th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Stock Photography

Major stock photo player, Getty Images, has announced a new plan allowing photographers to place images on their site for two years. It’s a basic pay-to-play arrangement. But I’m not upset about this. I’m not even the one who is upset.

After the announcement by Getty about their new program, many industry newsgroups had a flurry of actvity about this subject. On one list that I subscribe to, a photographer who sells his images through microstock was expressing his outrage about the thought of being charged to place images in Getty’s files.

It’s not too often I reply to posts on this one particular list, but in this instance I felt compelled. My basic reply was along the lines of:

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Bummer in ‘bama

Posted November 15th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Trademark

The New York Times has reported on the troubles of a sports artist down ‘bama way. (That’s Alabama, btw.) It seems our esteemed artist has made a bit of a career painting scenes of “The Crimson Tide” university football team. He’s an alumni, he has several kids that attend the school, and now he can’t even attend the games anymore. So what’s the problem? His paintings are certainly good. But the school is claiming trademark infringement because he includes the football players in uniform playing the game, and that the crimson and white uniform is “off-limits”.

You may need to login to an account at the NYT site, but it’s free to set up an account to access reports. The story page also contains an A/V version that includes some of the art in question.

While the University addresses trademark issues with him, I must admit my first thought was that the paintings seem so realistic, that they must have been copied from photos. I can only hope (or trust) that they were his photos – if made from some other reference than pure memory and imagination. I’d hate to see him slapped with a copyright action from another third party while fighting a trademark action against the school.

Deer Country

Posted November 13th, 2006 by
Categories: Animals, Environment, Outdoors, Photos, Utah

Photo: Deer skins on a dumpster, Kanab, Utah.

I admit it. Ok; two things…First, I’m not a hunter, never have been. Doesn’t mean I’m anti-hunting. Had I grown up in Wyoming or Montana, I’m sure I’d know this, but I’m clueless why hunters would leave these skins? Don’t they have any value?

I’ve had deer meat. Didn’t like it. Elk; now that’s good meat. I always said if I was gonna hunt for meat, it’d be for elk.

That far, huh?

Posted November 13th, 2006 by
Categories: Space and Science

Check me on this distance thing:

The oldest stars in the universe are some 14 Billion Light years away. That’s 186,000 miles per second, times however many seconds there are in a year, times 14,000,000,000.

And yet, some scientests calculate the nearest parallel universe is only 1/10,000,000,000,000 of a millimeter away from every point in space.

So, which one seems further away to you? Odds are you stand a better chance of reaching the oldest star than coming in contact with a parallel universe.

So long to the middle class

Posted November 10th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Stock Photography

I just read via a link from one of my photo forums, a very interesting take on the vanishing middle-class photographers, and how technology has opened the flood gates for competition, and the lack of perceived value from the vendor side has impacted our profession. It’s fairly long and packed with comments, but worth a read.

Ain’t it the truth x 27

Posted November 9th, 2006 by
Categories: Quotable Quotes

It the best tradition of internet sharing, this came to me by a buddy on a private photo group. I want to pass it along and ask that if you have any good ones to contribute, please add it to the list using the comment form. Thanks.

25 (and growing) Photographic Truths. (This may be a bit dated due to the film references, so we can use a few good digital truths to add in the mix.)

1. The best scenic views are clearly designated by highway signs reading NO STOPPING ANYTIME.

2. Edward Steichen owned a three-legged dog, which he named Tripod.

3. The Post Office folds all parcels containing photographs.

4. Camera straps never fail above soft surfaces.

5. Lens caps and cable releases can become invisible at will.
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New Photo of the Month Nov. ’06

Posted November 9th, 2006 by
Categories: Autumn, Mountains, National Parks, Photos, Travel, Trees, Utah

Picture: Fall colors on tree below the Watchman, Zion Canyon, Zion National Park, Utah

This month’s Photo of the Month is as fresh as they get, only a few days old, and from my recent trip to Utah. This is from the most well known icon spot in the park, but minus the river and the wider angle that most photographers shoot. And speaking of other photographers, I should mention that this place was thick with them, to the point where tripod legs were interlocking in spots. You can see what I mean in this photo. Eventually, this image wil be added to my online gallery, where you can see my other from Zion National Park. And remember, as Photo of the Month, this image is available at a 50% discount until next month.