Boy Scouts Honor

Posted October 22nd, 2006 by
Categories: Copyright, Newsworthy

Yes, that’s right; the Boy Scouts of America now have a merit badge for copyright awareness. The AP report highlights that this is aimed toward music and movies. Let’s see them try to clean up and educate all the masses of people swiping material, including photos, for posting on their MySpace account. Now there’s a task!

Learn HDR

Posted October 18th, 2006 by
Categories: Digital

I don’t do too many HDR (High Dynamic Range) photos. In fact, I’ve only experimented with a few shots here and there. But with Photoshop’s HDR feature, it’s possible to get images with a range of detail in highlights and shadows that had not been previously possible with single frame film shots. If you’d like to see a really good tutorial on how to make professional looking HDR images, check out this site.


Posted October 18th, 2006 by
Categories: Photos, Space and Science

Maybe you’ve realized from browsing through this weblog that I’m a bit of a Space & Science fan. One place I love to visit is APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day). I’ve selected out a few really cool images that are worth seeing.

1.) Saturn Eclipses the Sun – taken from the Cassini spacecraft, this is an amazing display of light and shadow, and a glimpse of the solor system’s second largest planet in a way you may not have seen before.

2.) Space Station & Shuttle in front of the sun. This is an extraordinary example of previsualization and some incredibly good timing.

3.) Finally, Watch a mountain grow. We almost never see how mountains form, as the geologic process occurs over eons. If you click the link to watch the time-lapse photography, and the geologic forces at work below Mount St. Helens, you can actually see a huge rock rise out of the earth at up to 3 feet (1 meter) per day. The result is like watching a huge tooth erupting from the ground.

Check these out!

So unprofessional…

Posted October 16th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photo Business

Reporting from the far and wide regions, the has an article about a local photographer who has been busted for failing to deliver wedding photos to 25 couples; weddings where his fee ranged between $1,500.00 and $5,000.00 each. As I often say, anyone can call themselves a photographer, but not everyone is cabable of being a “Professional”.

This story hits close to home, not by miles, but in as much as the same thing happened to my sister. Her wedding photographer wound up taking only marginal quality images, gave them proofs, but never filled the order. According to my sister, there was a whole coalition of angry couples that worked for years with various city and county agencies trying to track this guy down. More than money, each couple was desperately seeking to get the negatives. (It was a number of years ago…) In the end, I know my sister got her pics back, but many other couples didn’t fare as well.

PS: The reason I didn’t do the wedding photography was because I was the one doing the marrying. Yes, that’s right; I married my sister. And all with the official blessing of San Diego County. Y’all understand that means I was the one standing in front of the Bride & Groom, and NOT the Groom, right?

Swiper, No Swiping!

Posted October 14th, 2006 by
Categories: Copyright

Those of you who have young daughters will recognize the above quote from TV’s “Dora the Explorer“. But for myself, it seemed the fitting quote for mentioning a weblog I found recently through a link posted in one of my professional photography forums. Unfortunately, it’s been such a busy week that I can’t remember where exactly the link came from. Oh well…

Taken directly from his logo, “Plagiarism Today is a site about Plagiarism, Content Theft, and Copyright issues online”. It’s not an official legal site, as in written by a Law Firm, but there is certainly some very informative writing. Listed among the sites goals are:

  1. To increase awareness, both among copyright holders and the media, regarding the prevalence of plagiarism on the Web,
  2. To inform copyright holders of their rights on line and encourage them to protect those rights in a responsible manner,
  3. To bring about legal reforms that benefit all copyright holders, not just those with deep pockets, and create a fair balance between the rights of ownership for the copyright holder and society’s need to have a free and open culture.

Isn’t it ironic how most of the words come directly from his site?  :)

One of the greatest public benefits to copyright laws are the Fair Use Doctrine, which allow a person to take snippets whenever the purpose is for editorial commentary, criticism, or review.

Another Blue Angel shot

Posted October 11th, 2006 by
Categories: Aviation, Photos

Here’s one more shot of the Blue Angels flying in formation during the San Francisco Fleet Week celebrations.

Blue Angels

Posted October 9th, 2006 by
Categories: Aviation, Photos

I felt so non-professional.

In a way, it’s enjoyable when you don’t feel you have to get the shot. That’s the expectation everytime you’re hired as a pro photographer. But not this last Sunday. It was take the kids to the city for the day, mainly to watch the Blue Angels perform as part of the Fleet Week celebrations. We watched the whole show from a distance, and I got a couple nice images, snapshooting away with the Nikon 80-400 VR lens. The VR (Vibration Reduction) was turned off since I was panning with the planes. For the techies – I used Manual focus while panning; this is not the lens to use for AF, due to the AutoFocus Motor not being one of the faster “S” lenses. (“S” stands for Silent Wave Motor in the high-end Nikon lenses. It’s super fast, and super quiet). You can see another image of the Blue Angels that I shot a few years ago, much closer, while MF panning with an F4 500mm lens.

Holy Lightning Bolts, Batman!

Posted October 5th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photos, Weather

Wow – talk about close! Check out the photo and article in the Daily News about a guy who photographed a lightning bolt strike only yards (meters) from where he stood. The blast was so powerful that it knocked him six feet in the air. Be sure to click the “Enlarge” button below the photo to get a really good look.

Those dirty rotten #@$!*#$&~!!

Posted October 5th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

Un-blanken Believable!!  The plague is spreading. It seems that  I now have comment spammers spamming one of the forms on my web site. I’ve gotten about a dozen emailed forms in the last few days. They are semi-filled out with some options selected, and a comment that says, “Nice Site. Check out our cool site at…”, followed by a bunch of spam links to Viagra or Mortgage sales sites.

First was email, then web forums, then Blog comments, and now, web forms; no place is safe from these (Edit).

Web Color Tips

Posted October 3rd, 2006 by
Categories: Digital

Creative Pro has a quick tutorial for understanding how Color photos appear in web browsers, and how to best prepare images for display on the web so that the colors remain accurate. If you’re not familiar with the terms “Adobe RGB” and “sRGB”, yet you love to post images onto the World Wide Web, for family or community groups, this is a great intro article on the concept of a ‘color-managed’ workflow.

For those interested in my own workflow; My images are scanned as TIFF and adjusted in Adobe 1998 RGB, since most will be used in Print form. Once I’ve saved a Master TIFF File, I convert each file to a JPEG, and also convert the colorspace to sRGB. I then view in PhotoShop CS2 as a “Monitor RGB” proof. I find that in order to make the Jpeg appear like the TIFF (for client fidelity), I usually need to tweak the Blue & Cyan hues, since the conversion to sRGB makes my originally Blue skies appear significantly more Cyan.