This past week Adobe announced their new Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service that will force Photoshop and Creative Suite users to pay a monthly fee for the use of Adobe’s software. The idea is to get Adobe users to accept the idea of paying for software on a subscription plan. Overall the idea is interesting and has the benefit of constant updates that the user gets immediately as they come online. No more waiting for 12-18 months for the newest version of Photoshop or other programs. The down side is the seemingly higher cost of the software that you are committed to on a continual, ongoing basis. With the old purchase model you could buy your software once and if you have no interest in upgrading, you at least have that option and still have the older software to call your own. With the new subscription model, if you decide to quit paying the monthly fee, you no longer have anything to take with you. You’re software is basically shut off.
Adobe’s new Creative Cloud subscription model for Photoshop and Creative Suite
With this in mind there are have been lots of photographers wondering what other options there might be. Awhile back I wrote about my favorite antiPhotoshop program called Pixelmator. With this question on the mind of many, DPReview has put together a list of programs you might want to consider if you’ve decided you’re not a subscription type buyer. They offer ten other options beyond Adobe’s Photoshop. Take a look and let me know what you think of these options. For me it’s been an easy decision since I’ve never used Photoshop and have always felt it was bloated and overly expensive. Are you planning to buy into the subscription model for Photoshop and other Creative Suite programs? Add your voice here.
In my ongoing quest to end the stripping of Contact Information/Metadata from the photos we all share across the Internet, I’ve been reaching out to folks who have been working to bring attention to this problem much longer than I have. One of the Metadata/Contact Information heroes is a gentleman named David Riecks. David recently sent me a collection of web addresses and information to help explain what we’re all up against. His email is copied and pasted in its entirety below. Take a read and follow the links to get a better understanding of this difficult problem. Education is the first step to solving any problem. The better educated we are the more powerful position we’ll all be in to make the changes necessary to protect our photos. The following video, by IPTC managing director Michael Steidl, is a bit dry but very informative.
UK photographer Martyn Chillmaid recently made me aware of a petition being circulated on the internet taking a stand against the new Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2013. My only disappointment is you have to be a UK resident to sign the petition. So if you are from the UK you can let the government know what you think of this miserable, antiphotographer, antibusiness idea. Pass this on to anyone who might be interested.
Click on this image to sign the UK petition against this new law.
I recently became aware of a podcast that does a great job of explaining the dangers of stripping Metadata/Contact Information from all of our photos posted to the web. Facebook is without a doubt the biggest offender. I’ve written a response to this Podcast that was originally going to be posted to the podcast’s YouTube page under discussions but my response was too long for that format, so I’ve posted here on my Blog. The podcast is over an hour long so most people probably aren’t going to go through the whole thing, but if you have some time, please listen to the whole piece. Add it to your iTunes so you can take it along while you’re driving or whatever. It does a great job explaining the topic and why we should all be writing Facebook and other web portals to request they stop stripping our Contact Information.
My response to the Copyright Killings podcast.
Great job folks on a very important subject. I appreciate your work in this area. One of the issues I honestly believe is working against getting more interest in this subject is the term METADATA. The average Joe, non-professional or serious enthusiast photographer, has no idea what Metadata is and doesn’t care and when the word pops up Joe falls asleep. I’ve been discussing the subject of stripping Metadata/Contact Information at length with those who will listen and I always make a point to replace metadata with the words Contact Information. Everybody knows what Contact Information is and everybody would love to be contacted if someone wants to use their photo.
At the 34:50 point in the conversation David Diamond does an admirable job trying to get Mr. Steidl to discuss how the stripping of Contact Information effects the average Internet user who posts their images to Facebook. Unfortunately, Mr. Steidl misinterprets the question or maybe it was a language barrier; either way the message of how this effects the average Joe was not discussed.
What should have been mentioned was the danger to the average person who is just a casual poster to FB and how they could lose control of their photos with them being used in ways they don’t approve. As was discussed earlier in the conversation, maybe a family photo is used by a a corporation for an ad that the casual FB photographer had no idea was being used. Maybe it’s an ad for something they would find extremely offensive like smoking, Viagra, children trafficking or whatever. The point is, even though you may not be a professional photographer, any image that is void of Contact Information is at risk. We need to make sure the general public understands this. Without the support of ALL people taking pictures, our voice will be unheard.
I’m working with ASMP in organizing a roundtable on this very important subject at the PhotoPlus Expo this fall in New York. I’m hopeful we’ll have a huge turnout.
This is the lead image for the story that starts on page 18. Click on the photo to be taken directly to the MagCloud digital edition.
You can download a copy electronically as well as purchase a high quality printed version if you choose. The presentation is by MagCloud, an HP company that I’m happy to say is offering published works in a very environmentally friendly way. I’m a firm believer that all books and magazines should be electronic with an option for people to pay for a hard copy if they want. If printed on an as-needed basis, fewer trees are harvested for publications that nobody may has any interest in. There are a host of other great articles in this issue, so don’t just turn to page 18 for my piece. Check it all out and if you enjoy the outdoors and photography, give some thought to signing up and becoming a member of this great organization. Please share with this with your friends and loved ones. Thanks for your support.
I’ve been reading so many disparaging remarks lately about photographers being disappointed in not seeing a major update to Apple’s Aperture software. Admittedly, I’ve been hoping to see the next version myself but I’ve also tempered my disappointment with the understanding that I would much rather wait and see Apple really get it right than to release it too early.
I’m confident Apple’s Aperture will be a huge step forward. Be patient – we want them to get it right. Photo courtesy of Apple, Inc.
I’ve known Gary Farber since way back in the days of film. He’s a great guy and works hard for his customers. He and I recently reconnected at the NANPA conference and he sent me some information on a free webinar Hunt’s is hosting on March 29 at 1:00pm EDT. I’m wishing I was going to be around but will most likely be en route to the Galapagos. Thought I would alert you all for those who may have an interest in doing your own prints – which I know some of you do. We print in our studio and there are a few things that can help you save money which I’m confident the Hunt’s webinar will help you understand. If you get a chance to take it in please come back here to the Blog and let me know what you think. Click on this link to find out all the details as well as to SIGN UP!
Fine art print making with Hunts Photo March 29th. at 1:00PM EDT.
I’m currently working with ASMP on a program to highlight the issues of Contact Information, known as Metadata, being stripped from our photographs when uploaded across the web. We’re planning to have a roundtable-like discussion this fall at PhotoPlus Expo 2013 in New York City. I’m interested in contacts representing any of the major players within the industry such as Apple, Adobe, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or others. Help me think of additional players.
Like wildfire spreading across the web, photographers contact information, known as Metadata, is being destroyed as you upload your photos to some of the world’s most popular social media sites as well as the world’s largest news organizations including Thompson/Reuters. Help retain YOUR rights to YOUR photos. You own them and should be able to keep your contact information in place.
This all was a result of the issue I had with Thompson/ Reuters news agency last summer. You can read about that here. If any of you know the appropriate people, have suggestions, or are the folks we need input from, please send me that information. I’m hopeful through social networking we can make this happen. Our goal is not to litigate but to educate. We all need to work on this together to get it done. Please help.
PS – The uploading of the image above to MY WordPress Blog stripped all contact info/metadata from this image. I’m now trying to figure out why. All photos I’ve been uploading to my blog for the past several years apparently were being stripped of all the information I’ve been screaming about. This is how pervasive this problem is. Even in my frustrated state of bouncing off the ceiling the web is giving me the shaft. I had never checked my images uploaded to the blog. They are all missing the contact info/metadata that I always embedded in them. This is crazy!
One of my dreams has been to share a workshop with my mother who’s been a fairly prolific artist dating back to my earliest memories. I proposed the idea to her a couple of years ago. The idea would be to team up in order to help her art students better use their cameras and understand the digital photography workflow so they had more material to paint from. We finally got it together and spent a day last week on a pontoon boat with about seven students photographing the beautiful waters and birds of Florida around Boca Grande. It was a first time event and went really well. We had a great time with the Boca Grande Art Alliance lead by Pike Powers. You can see more of the workshop photos from the fun event.
Jack, Marlene and Daniel Cox with Pike Powers at the Boca Grande Art Alliance in Florida.
I recently found this great article on the US News Bblog about photographer Brandon Stanton who was approached by DKNY to use his photos of street people from New York. As the article describes, DKNY offered an unreasonable fee for the use of so many images, so Brandon declined the deal. Amazingly, they chose to use them anyway in their Bangkok store. Friends of Brandon’s saw the illegal usage and contacted him. He then contacted DKNY. It all turns out very positive, but I wanted to share this little nugget of photo business wisdom with all my readers to encourage you to hang on to the rights of your images. This sort of thing just continues to get harder and harder to keep track of and I’m doing whatever I can to help you folks retain the rights of your pictures. Take a look at my post How To Protect Your Photo Rights, where you can download free handouts detailing what you can do to make sure your photos are protected.
Brandon Stanton, a New York street photographer who runs Humans of New York
Awhile back I wrote about Getty Images sealing a deal with Google that was announced on their Blog as “5,000 new photos of nature, weather, animals, sports, food, education, technology, music and 8 other categories are now available for your use in Docs, Sheets, and Slides”. 5000 images handed over to Google and Getty paid the photographers involved a whopping $12.00 each. I don’t fault Google for making this deal. It was a great win for Google. It was just another day in the world of making money for Getty and not sharing the proceeds.
iStock Photo/Getty is at it again
There’s been some interesting fallout over this Getty/Google deal. Here’s an excerpt from a recent PhotoShelter Blog post- Stock photographer Sean Locke - who has contributed more than 12,000 photos to iStockphoto and sold nearly 1 million licenses – decided to help out photographers who wanted to leave iStockphoto (although he says he was not directly related with the deactivation day) with an updated version of his popular Greasemonkey script that includes a deactivation button.
Good for Sean to make a stand and help others do the same.
In a recent Blog post titled Testing Panasonic’s Micro Four Thirds Camera, the GH3, I promised I would be printing two images of a leopard I photographed with both the Nikon D4 and the Panasonic GH3. Before heading to Patagonia I had the chance to do that and I wanted to share the results. Just as I had seen on my computer, the Nikon D4 is superior to the GH3. But…. as I also mentioned in my original post, I’m seeing something I can’t quite put my finger on that just doesn’t’ add up. It seems the GH3 is sharper than what the printed image suggests. What I mean by that is, the image seems sharp but also seems to have potential movement. This also relates to the comment I made in the original post about me not being sure the Image Stabilization was as good as Nikon’s. After further investigation I’m starting to wonder if what I am seeing is a phenomenon being discussed on the web known as Shutter Shake Syndrome.
Dan comparing two images that were shot with the Panasonic GH3 and the Nikon D4.
I wanted to get this out and update everyone interested in this comparison before I left for a two week shoot in Patagonia. Let me know if any of you know more about Shutter Shake Syndrome than I do. I hope to do more tests at the studio some time when I return.
When I realized which ad they were declining, or I should say CENSORING, I about doubled over in laughter thinking this was the best kind of advertisement I could have ever hoped for. So everybody please do me a favor and SHARE this blog post with as many people you can think of. Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t want everybody to know. Like I said in an earlier post, for now it’s Instagram’s new Terms of Service. If this goes through without people screaming like crazy they’ll be doing the same with Facebook pictures. Help me tell the world, especially on Facebook since they CENSORED our ad. Let’s tell the world. Thanks for your help. You can see my original blog post titled: Facebook/Instagram’s New Policy Allow Them to Sell Your Photos With No Compensation To You. Now go get crazy and SHARE this post.
Instagram is at it again. They’re approaching their online community of professional photographers, photo enthusiasts, mom and pops, school kids and grannies, with a smile on their face and a hand shake. As their right hand squeezes down, like the grip of any crook who’s about to make off with a suitcase of cash, their left hand reaches around to your backside, fingers gently massaging your wallet or purse as they extract your credit cards and all banking information. Oh…. and he also took your last five bucks for the latte you planned to buy at Starbucks as you walk back to your apartment because your old car is in the shop for repairs. Too bad Instagram and Facebook will be getting paid for your photographs and not you. Just think how good that latte would have tasted. Now quit whining and start walking. It’s cold out here.
Ok, wakeup and smell the coffee, my little creative writing exercise is over.
Here’s the guy squeezing your right hand as he extracts cash from your pocket with his left hand. He’s the multibillion dollar business guy Mark Zuckerberg – the one who owns Instagram.
Read this article about how a recent deal between Getty and Google continues to drive photographer’s ability to make a living into the ground. Doesn’t’ surprise me. The business model of giving something away for FREE, or virtually so, is a proven money-maker for eventual profits on additional related services. Make no mistake about it, Google and Getty eventually do make money, on searches, Google ads, data mining and the like. And they do so in the Billions of dollars. It’s one thing if the owner of the products (photos being represented by Getty) are the ones to make the decision to hand out free, or nearly free images, in hopes of making additional money later on. It’s another thing to have an agent you’ve trusted with your products (photos) to take it upon themselves to make the decision to give your work away for you. As I’ve said to our guests of our Invitational Photo Tours, “anybody can give anything away for free. Hold out for a reasonable and fair payment and if they pay, you then know your work is good. If not, you need to work harder.” Thanks to A Photo Editor, Rob Haggart, for bringing this to the world’s attention.
Red Digital Cinema continues to steam roll the competition and impress the image creation world with phenomenal new technology for still and moving images. I first heard of the Red One several years ago. The Red One was Red Digital Cinema’s first barn storming camera that turned the video creation world on its head. The story of Red is as interesting as the equipment they make. We’ll get to that in a moment. For those not interested in history and this great story you can go directly to Red Digital Cinema’s tutorial page with five great videos on what Red cameras can do. Including a video that highlights grabbing cover quality, still images from Red camera’s video output. It’s mind bending!
Jim Jannard, often referred to as the mad scientist, was the sole inventor, designer, photographer and marketer for Oakley sportswear and sunglass company. He actually shot most, if not all, of Oakley’s promotional images and video. In other words he knew what he wanted as an image creator in both stills and video. Part of the story I can’t corroborate is, Jannard supposedly contacted all the large video camera manufactures, Sony, Panasonic, JVC and others to try and convince them to build the type of camera Red One eventually became. They all told him is wasn’t feasible, nobody would buy it, etc., so as any good, red blooded, American entrepreneur would do – who by the way sold his Oakley sportswear company for 2.1 billion dollars in 2007 – yes, that’s billion – he started his own camera manufacturing company now known as Red Digital Cinema. And, as they say, the rest is history.
I just finished a video I shot and edited for our Natural Exposures Invitational Photo Tours. I created this mini-video for our upcoming, new and improved, Natural Exposures website. The new site probably won’t be up for at least 2-3 more months but we wanted to get this out so those of you who don’t know Tanya and I can get a better idea of what we do. Thanks to all those who participated. I hope you can find the snippets of humor. It’s always fun to see if those who watch catch on to my little snippets of fun. Special thanks to Dave and Shiela, Bonnie and Leon as well as Linda and Cheryl. They’re all some of our favorite guests and without a doubt Shiela is the easiest one to tease. Bonnie comes a close second but takes first in the give back department. Hope you enjoy my newest video creation. It was a lot of fun to produce.
Seems Facebook’s social media reach worked against them this time. You can read the apology from Instagram here. Yesterday, I was made aware of Instagram/Facebook’s (Facebook owns Instagram) new Terms and Conditions that stipulated posting any photos to the Instagram site gave Instagram all rights, commercial and otherwise, to those images forever. You can read more in my original post. These rights included being able to sell those pictures to anybody they wanted, with no recourse available to the person who owned the photos and no compensation for the sale of those images to the rightful owner. In a nut shell, they were in the process of starting their own private Stock Photo Agency, by way of stealing the images their users had provided. This proves two very important points. One, photography is worth substantial amounts of money and two, there may be some truth in the unethical accusations made by the Winklevoss Twins. Mr. Zuckerburg once commented on the fact that FB is providing a free service so they should have the right to try and monetize it in any way they see fit. My response to that is, I’ve spent nearly $1000.00 this past year advertising with Facebook. That’s a legitimate way to monetize your business as opposed to the old fashioned art of stealing from your supporters.
Multibillion dollar business guy Mark Zuckerberg tries to put the screws to all his recently acquired Instagram photographers. I say, “Not so fast buddy, we’re not as dumb as you think”
I was recently made aware of a great new website called Pro-Imaging. It has a lot of good information on all things for professionals as well as advanced amateurs and even the up-and-coming photo enthusiasts. It’s never too early to learn about the need to retain the rights to your photos. Even if you aren’t a so-called professional, what if you could pay for another lens, camera body or world travel with the sale of your pictures? Take a look at this website. It has a lot to offer on the ins and outs of the business of photography. Jim Lewis, a good guy who travels with us now and again, brought this website to my attention in relation to the issue of web publishers stripping metadata. See more about this issue by clicking on the Embedded Metadata Manifesto. You can also read about Thompson/Reuters Stripping Metadata in an earlier Blog Post.
Pro-Imaging web site for all photographers wanting to know the ins and outs on the business of photography. You don’t need to be a professional to participate or learn. Take a look to make sure you know the facts on retaining the rights to your photos.
One of our favorite people, Fred Kurtz, who has traveled the world with us, recently sent me a link to a book he’s published on trains. Fred and his wife Kathy are two of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and Fred loves photography. He’s fairly new to the game of creating pictures, but he jumped in with both feet from the very start. His projects span from landscapes to trains to wildlife and culture, all of them receiving his utmost in creativity and fun-loving spirit. Take a look at his newest project on trains, one of his many passions. Not only is this a great example of terrific photography, but it’s also a great showcase of Blurb’s online publishing capabilities.
Fred visited North Platte NE to shoot Union Pacific’s 150th birthday at Rail Fest 2012. Click on this image to be taken to an online version of Fred’s book from the online publisher Blurb.
Many of our traveling guests use Blurb and I’ve personally seen several of their high quality books. Other publishers many use include My Publisher and Apple. Out of these three, Blurb offers the highest quality that I’ve seen so far, but I know others are very happy with My Publisher and Apple as well. Apple’s Aperture and Adobe’s Lightroom offer capabilities to design your book then print directly from the program. It’s that simple, fast and easy. Take a look at the pictures that inspired Fred and check out any of these publishers for yourself. Blurb even allows you to sell your book from their online store. So get creative, get inspired and follow your passion to tell great stories with your images. Make a commitment to get published and inspire the world with YOUR creativity!
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