Posted May 13th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Stock Photography

Someone posted a link in one of the newsgroups I belong to, pointing to a Buyer’s Awareness article posted at the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) web site. The article warns of some of the dangers buyers face when choosing between Royalty Free and Rights-Managed Photography. I’ve added a permanent link to this article on my Photography -> Resources page. You can also see my own take plus an additional example that I use for clients who may not be aware of the differences between the two main sales models.

Also, be sure not to miss a semi-obscure link about halfway down on the ASMP page, called, “An Unsolicited Commercial Love Story.” It’s a great tale of discovery whereby one person tracked down over twenty different uses of one particular model from an RF site. Best of all is the last page, which includes a letter from the model herself.

Photo: Ready, Set, Flood; Yosemite

Posted May 10th, 2006 by
Categories: California, Mountains, National Parks, Photos, Spring

Picture: Merced River on a spring morning at sunrise, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California

Merced River in Spring, Yosemite Valley, California

I posted this image today because a news report mentioned that the Valley could flood this weekend. Here in Northern California, Spring rains stopped 3 weeks ago, and now we are experiencing classic California sunny blue skies. The warm weather is causing a rapid melting of the Sierra snowpack that had been sitting at 150% of normal. According to the news, the flooding should be minor, and will most likely be limited in scope to the campgrounds along the Merced River. With all our hopes and prayers of the previous few months, we can now say unabashadly, “Spring has Sprung.”

Judge this shoot

Posted May 10th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photos

Photographers are best at showing only their best photos. It’s rare that a member of the outside community gets to see an entire take of a given photo shoot. If anyone bothered to calculate the number frames that never see the light of day in any given year, I’m sure the amount would be astronomical. But, with the unfortunate death of a college football athlete while in training, we get to see an entire photographers coverage of a particular shoot. 

The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) reports on a case involving the Columbia Tribune Newspaper. A judge has ordered that a newspaper to turn over all unpublished photos taken by a staff photographer, so be used as potential evidence in a trail brought by the players family against the school. Read the rest of this post »

National Park Photography

Posted May 9th, 2006 by
Categories: National Parks, Photo Business, Stock Photography, Travel

There’s been a slew of comments on a half dozen professional photography and nature photography forums regarding shooting photos for commercial use while in our (US) National Parks. Every so often some poor landscape photographer raises the ugly spectre of “Ack, the Park Service wants a permit  for any commercial photography.” And just as often, there follows a complete re-hashing of the subject. So, I figure I’ll clarify this for posterity:

YES, The National Park Service (NPS) does require a Permit for Commercial Still Photography. Yes, The NPS is now planning on charging a fee for this permit. This does NOT affect the traditional Landscape photographer, even if is photo is later sold for a commercial use.

  Read the rest of this post »

The Sky is Falling

Posted May 9th, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

This last week or so has been filled with all that “Life” stuff that makes you feel like you’ve just been run through a blender. So allow me please this one small chance to vent.

 We own an older house, and the ceilings still had the old asbestos cottage-cheese type covering. Yuck!! – Anyway – last week our house got stripped and wrapped in plastic tarps as a construction crew came in bearing water hoses and scraped the ceiling clean. It was quite a sight to see all that work, especially with the drops of dust ladden water streaming down the plastic tarps. After several days of being warped in plastic, another crew as come in to tear up our living room floor, in prep. for replacing our kid stained carpet with hardwood. Ok, Laminate. But it’s still gonna look worlds better. Last night we ate dinner standing around our living room coffee table, which is now chest high in the middle of our kitchen, perched atop a displaced cabinet and our stereo speakers.

Add to all that headache and inconvenience, I’ve managed to get  concurrent cases of an aggravated hip ligament, and strep throat.

File under: “Perspective; use it or lose it”. All of life’s little headaches, inconveniences, and annoyances mean nothing. I learned this when my Dad passed away nearly 15 years ago. “It’s all small stuff.” Last week a family member faced some very Big Stuff, and has so far come through everything with Two Thumbs Up. So right now, the sky could be falling around me, and relative to that, I feel great. “If it’s just small stuff, I’ll take it, –  thank you very much.”

New Photo of the Month May 2006

Posted May 3rd, 2006 by
Categories: California, Mountains, Photos, Spring, Trees

Picture: Oak tree covered hills in spring below the snow covered peaks of the high Sierra, Tualre County, California

Oak tree covered hills in spring below the snow covered peaks of the high Sierra, Tualre County, California

I shot this image on assignment for the Nature Conservancy.

We see image after image from the Eastern Sierra, showing the dramatic rise of the mountains. Rarely do we get to see that same feeling from the Western slope of the Sierra. This is primarily because of the long gently rolling slope of the foothills. In this case, I got to enjoy a nice trip onto private ranch lands. when we came to a ridgetop, there was this incredible view of the lush green foothills rising into the snowy peak in the distance. If I had my way, I would have loved to get this shot at sunset, but the assignment timing just didn’t allow for that. On the other hand, I do like how the backlighting helps to show the very slight haze, giving us a clue to the depth and distance. In summer, there would be so much Central Valley haze stacked up against the western slope, you wouldn’t be able to see the mountains at all. BTW – the mountains are in Sequoia National Park.

What to do when your wallet is stolen

Posted May 3rd, 2006 by
Categories: Fossil Beds

 Protect thy self and thy credit. We all have them; friends and family members that send us jokes or other email tidbits that have 10+ fwd notations. Worst are the ones where if you send it to 12 people your prayers for instant wealth will be answered. Being a business person and parent, I’m usually too busy to read most of these – except for a few of the jokes. But one family member sent the following email, and this was one of the better tidbits of advice I’ve seen – so rather than clog your email box – you can read it here and take it for what it’s worth. Apparently it was written by a corporate attorney and circulated to employees in his company. I guess one of them forwarded it to their friends and family.

ATTORNEY’S ADVICE — NO CHARGE – Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday.

1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

Read the rest of this post »

Big Bang Poe

Posted May 1st, 2006 by
Categories: Space and Science

What do you get when you mix thoughts about the Big Bang Theory, God, and Edgar Allen Poe? Some Damn Interesting reading! Check out the related links, and don’t forget the comments.

Sorry Mother

Posted May 1st, 2006 by
Categories: Rants and Raves

This is a belated rant – good for a beautiful spring Monday morning. As many of us may recall, Earth Day was recently celebrated. Sitting in my email inbox was a mailing from photographer Michael Fatali. I just had a chance to read his email. It was a drippy, hippee-speak laden poem praising our Earth Mother. It read in part with statements along the line of Let us give thanks to our goddess Earth Mother as we renew our spiritual energies in your pools of eternal yada yada yada.

To be clear; I don’t have a problem with Mr. Fatali’s images, and I don’t have a problem with hippees. In fact I live just over the hill from Berkeley. I don’t even have a problem with drippy cheesy poems praising the Earth Mother on Earth Day. What gets my gall in a knot is that this cheesy Earth Mom poem was delivered to me by a photographer convicted of scarring our National Parklands with duraflame presto logs for the sake of getting a picture.

So next time, Mr Fatali – if you want to send me a drippy poem praising your Earth Mommy, just remember that it would come across much more sincere if you included an apology for giving your Mother a fire scar.

Sheessh!    < end Rant>
Read More opinions about the incident from several years ago HERE and also about the outcome posted at the NY TIMES.

Photo: Morning Light on Oak Trees

Posted April 27th, 2006 by
Categories: California, National Parks, Photos, Travel, Trees

Picture: Morning sunlight on oak trees in spring, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California.

This isn’t one of the images I referred to in my earlier post, btw. This was taken on the third or fourth morning, and I’d been hanging out near Sentinel Bridge when I saw the morning light illuminate these oak trees across the meadow. One of the points I always raise in my workshops or lectures is to not shoot a subject, but shoot the light.

See more images in my TREES & FORESTS online web stock photo and fine art print gallery.