More on the Race to the Bottom

Posted May 25th, 2006 by
Categories: Photo Business, Rants and Raves, Stock Photography

There’s a sobering dose of reality on Wired about the effect of the global network and the entry of millions of new providers into various markets. One market that is highlighted is the booming effect of the microstock community, where selling images for a few pennies is now fiscal glory for the masses. I’ve always wondered if these photographers knew they were actually losing money, that everyone else was taking advantage of the situation, and the only real loser was the photographer.

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WIMPY WIMPS WIMP OUT

Posted May 25th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy

Cnet News has a report out today that Microsoft is set to launch a new image file format to rival and replace the web and email standard, JPEG. The format, if I have this correct, is going to be called, Windows Media Photo. Umm, is it April 1st? WiMP? Oh yeah, I can hear those art directors buzzing. No more of that old, “Can you send me a couple Jpegs?” Now it’ll be, “Do you have a couple WiMPs you can send over?” or “No, a WiMP will be fine.”

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Do you ever feel like

Posted May 22nd, 2006 by
Categories: California, Mountains, National Parks, Photos, Weather, Winter

I’ve tried to think about what would be a good photo to describe what I’m feeling. This is the picture I’ve come up with:

Photo: Clouds and fresh snow from a spring storm shroud the sheer granite rock cliffs at Lost Arrow Spire, above Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California.

So why this photo? What is this image trying to say about what I’m feeling? Well, you’ve heard it before and I’m sure you’ll hear it again; it’s about keywording. I’ve got over 1,500 full res 55Mb TIFF image files all scanned, sized, cleaned, and ready for captioning and keywording. Over the last week, I’ve made a dent in that pile, keywording about 370 images, including this one. However, when I consider the file folders filled with images still waiting for my attention, I feel like the proverbial barefoot climber looking up at this massive, seemingly endless mountain. Knowing I have to reach the top, the only word my aching mind can muster is, “Ugh.”

Just for giggles, here’s the raw keyworded text now imbedded into this image:

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Mad Max Model Release

Posted May 18th, 2006 by
Categories: Newsworthy, Photo Business

Photo District News reporter Daryl Lang reports in todays PDN Newswire about how a model is mad at Maxim Magazine for using a photo of her on the cover of it’s upcoming June 2006 issue. The photo was licensed to Maxim through Corbis Outline, an editorial division of the giant agency.

It seems the model doesn’t have a problem with the photo(s), as similars had been shot and used in another overseas publication. Instead, she has a problem with Maxim.

For those that don’t know, Maxim is like Playboy with a few clothes left on, or merely dangling around the models.

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Look down on me – please.

Posted May 16th, 2006 by
Categories: Deserts, Photos, Travel, Utah

A couple years ago I shot an assignment for a regional travel magazine on The Valley of the Gods in southern Utah. Specifically, one of the things I was to be sure and get in my coverage was of The Valley of the Gods Bed & Breakfast. It’s an off-the-grid lonely little structure, literally in the middle of nowhere. You can see the B&B as the little white speck on the big open plain. (see pic below)

Now the really cool part is thanks to NASA Earth Observatory, I received a link to a satellite image of the Valley. Below the image is a link to a Higher Res version, and if you look real close in the lower left corner, you can make out this one mere lonely building as a really, really, little white speck. In the same area of the photo you can make out the vestage of the Moki-Dugway road that ascends the sheer cliffs towards the Muley Point Overlook.

Happy Moms Day 06

Posted May 14th, 2006 by
Categories: Animals, Photos, Water

I’m really not a big fan of “Hallmark” holidays. But since I was working on this image last night, it just felt appropriate for the day. So to all the moms out there, and especially mine, “Happy Mothers Day”.

Picture: Mother and chicks swimming near shore, Kiva Beach, Lake Tahoe, California.

PS. Can anyone ID these birds for me? The beak on the mom make me think of cormorants.

ASMP RF v RM

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.

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