May 19th, 2013
Fix Your Photos Without Photoshop-10 Options
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.
May 16th, 2013
Panasonic Lumix GH3 Predictive AF Tests
Awhile back I wrote about the new Panasonic GH3 and how it performed in Kenya, Africa. I was quite pleased overall but I knew there was one other test that had to be conducted to really see if this camera was up to the standards as my beloved Nikons. Those of you who follow this Blog may recall my Predictive AF test with the Nikon D4, D800 and D600 a few months back. Like those tests, for the GH3, I chose to borrow a good friend and his dog to put the Lumix GH3 through a series of predictive AF tests that are guaranteed to tell the real story when it comes to shooting action subjects. You can read my original Nikon post for more details but in short, I have a dog sit out front of the camera at 50 yards, her master throws the ball over my head and the dog charges full speed towards the camera. I’ve not found any better subject than a fast dog coming straight at the camera. The GH3 was set to it’s fastest 6FPS with the AF in Predicative Mode, single AF sensor, right in the middle of the EVF frame.
The Bozeman Hawks host a regional track and field meet in Bozeman, Montana. Click on the image to see a series of track and field images captured with the GH3 in predictive AF.
I’ve uploaded every image I shot so you can see how difficult it is for the photographer to keep the GH3 on the target. Any image where there is no dog in the frame is a situation where the dog bolted out of view, either left or right, and due to not being able to see that movement, the frame is missing the subject. As you’ll see, this happened several times. It also happened with the track athletes but not nearly as often since they were so much slower than the dogs.
Here is the link to the GH3 test on Track Athletes.
Here is the link to the Gh3 test on running dogs.
Tired pooch takes a break
May 16th, 2013
UK Photogs, Petition Against New Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill 2013
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.
May 14th, 2013
Canon Shooters Rejoice – I think? Canon 200-400 on its way for nearly $12,000.00 USD
Back in February of 2011 Canon announced that they planned to announce, the announcement of their recently announced, up and coming 200-400mm lens. Yes, I intentionally used the word “announce” that many times Seems one of the hottest lenses Nikon ever built was finally hitting a nerve with Canon’s top brass, so they announced they were getting ready to release one of their own. Today they finally put a date on their new baby’s arrival and a price tag to boot. The following Press Release says it will be for sale in June 2013, and just shy of a whopping 12,000 British Pounds which equates to $18,000 USD. Holy Moly and maybe even Holy Buckets. Is that a typo? Let’s hope so. Actually, I just checked B&H Photo, and they have the new lens listed far cheaper at a measly $11,800. So it’s not as bad as the Press Release suggests but compare that to the Nikkor 200-400 at $6750 and it’s still a lot more money. $4000 for a built in 1.4X teleconverter?
Canon’s soon to be released 200-400 F/4 Super Zoom. Notice the bump on the right side at the rear of the lens. This is the space taken up by the built-in teleconverter.
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May 10th, 2013
Orphan Works & Stripping Metadata/Contact Info From Your Photos Explained
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.
Sincerely, Daniel J. Cox
May 10th, 2013
Our Friends at Hunt’s Photo Digital Demo and Sale
Gary Farber of Hunt’s Photo, a long time NANAPA supporter is having a two day Digital Demonstration and Sale today and tomorrow. I’m a firm believer in supporting the little guys in this business and Hunt’s qualifies. Take a look if you’re considering purchasing new equipment.
Help support the little guy. Checkout the Digital Demo and Sale at Hunts Photo today and tomorrow.
May 2nd, 2013
UK Gov Passes Instagram Act: All your pics belong to everyone now!
Good grief! Photographers just took another hit in favor of corporations who may want to hijack your images for their own personal gain. The Register, a leading global online tech publication, just released an article detailing a new law passed in the UK . In short, the law allows anybody, any corporation, any entity wanting to use ANY photo, for ANY reason, to use that photo without first getting permission from the photographer.
Click on this image to read more about my work to help stop the thievery of our photographs.
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April 26th, 2013
NANPA’s Magazine Features Daniel’s Work With The Arctic Documentary Project
The North American Nature Photography Association has just released their spring issue of Currents Magazine. They were very kind to interview me about my ongoing work with Polar Bears International and the Arctic Documentary Project (ADP).
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.
April 22nd, 2013
Aperture 4, Aperture X, Whatever It’s Called, It Will Be Superb!
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.
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March 28th, 2013
The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright – Free from PhotoShelter and ASMP
Dan is traveling at the moment, but he’d want to share this free guide we recently received from PhotoShelter and ASMP. Click the link to download The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright.
March 25th, 2013
Hunt’s Photo & Ilford Present Fine Art Print Making Free Webinar
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.
March 22nd, 2013
Watercolor Workshop With Mom – Boca Grande Art Alliance
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.
March 22nd, 2013
Sharing the PBI Conservation Message in Florida
Dr. Steven Amstrup, senior scientist for Polar Bears International, and I shared the PBI conservation message with friends of the Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association this past week. Dr. Amstrup came to Boca Grande, Florida to talk about the changes taking place in the arctic. I shared a series of images from the Arctic Documentary Project and Steve followed up with scientific facts that were delivered in a non-confrontational, matter-of-fact way which garnered a very positive response from the 75-100 person crowd. See more photos of the event. Read the article by the Boca Beacon newspaper.
Steve Amstrup, Daniel Cox and Bob Elliott at the Boca Grande Community Center for Dan and Steve’s presentation on the ADP and PBI. The multi-media event was in association with Gasparilla Island Conservation & Improvement Association.
Steve is really the perfect person to be delivering this message. He’s such a personable guy, with a wealth of first-hand knowledge on the subject of climate change. He originally didn’t believe in the changes himself but was convinced after studying the science that was being produced by other world-class experts that he had a high degree of respect for. His delivery is straight-forward, non-judgemental and easy to understand. He won many converts the night of our talk at the Boca Grande Community Center.
March 8th, 2013
Battling to Preserve Your Photo Rights
As many of you know, I began a battle a few months ago to stop the world from removing photographer’s contact information from our photos when uploading images to the web. If you’re a photographer posting your pictures online to sites like Facebook, Flikr, LinkedIn etc., you should read these following Blog Posts detailing how photographers are losing control of their precious images due to the stripping of contact information known as metadata.
Campaign Monitor’s image uploading service was stripping all Contact Information known as Metadata from photos. After contacting them they immediately looked in to the issue and I’m happy to say they changed their policy and technology to stop the stripping. One small victory. One million more to go.
I’m pleased to say we’ve had one small but significant victory. Recently we sent out one of our promotional emails we call Natural Notes. Each Natural Note contains a favorite image of mine. Little did I know, in the process of uploading the images used in our Natural Note emails, the email company we’re using, Campaign Monitor, was stripping all Contact Information from our pictures. This was brought to my attention after a good friend of ours, Susan McElhinney of the National Wildlife Federation, contacted me. Susan and I had lunch a day earlier and I mentioned to her this issue all photographers are facing. During our lunch I shared with her the situation that took place last summer with Thompson Reuters. Susan pulled the photo of the flying puffin from the email to her desktop, opened it, and found it contained NO Contact Information. We contacted Campaign Monitor and they’ve done their part to help all photographers retain the rights to their images. Click on this link to find out how you can preserve your Photo Rights.
March 5th, 2013
Nikon Releases an Updated 80-400mm Zoom – Finally!
Nikon finally updates one of their most popular lenses for the photo enthusiast group, the Nikkor 80-400mm zoom. This lens was the first Nikon-branded product to incorporate their VR technology. The first generation of this optic, which came out twelve years ago, was a descent lens but nothing really special other than its focal length. It was soft at the 400mm range and did not allow people to add a teleconverter. Adding a teleconverter was not something I was interested in but many of my students were. The AF was slow to say the least and it had a horrible tripod collar. All of these issues on paper have been taken care of and from the photos I’ve seen it’s a beauty. I hope to get my hands on one sooner rather than later. Will let you know how it goes.
The new, second generation Nikkor 80-400mm zoom lens. Should be great for wildlife and sports.
March 4th, 2013
2013 North American Nature Photographers Association Conference
I’ve just returned from the 20th annual NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) conference that was recently held in Jacksonville, Florida. It was a terrific four days of meetings and seminars, all inspired with the world of nature and photography in mind. NANPA graciously awarded me the 2013 Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year award. It was a very moving experience and appreciated honor. Thank you NANPA!
A collection of images from my three days at the conference.
For me, NANPA has been an on-again, off-again affair for many years. In theory it was always a great idea but for numerous reasons, I just never embraced the organization as much as I really wanted to. This year may be the turning point for my interest in what really has the potential to be a powerful and FUN group of like-minded individuals who congregate due to a mutual love of photography and the outdoors.
Gone was the often palpable undercurrent of extreme egos. Many of the noted names in the wildlife field were missing. Not once did I see or experience the animosity and antagonism outwardly exhibited at NANPA conferences of the past. It made for a much more relaxing, enjoyable and productive atmosphere and left me feeling like NANPA’s time may finally be coming into its own.
Visit our Facebook page for more photos
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February 27th, 2013
International Polar Bear Day. Good for Polar Bears is Good for the Planet.
Today’s the Day! Our friends at Polar Bears International and Frontiers North Adventures are celebrating International Polar Bear Day. I just got off a conference call with one of the world’s leading scientists Dr. Andrew Derocher from the University of Alberta. It was a tough call to sit in on. Andy, as we call him around the campfire, recently released a scientific paper on potential ideas for dealing with the predicted impending die-off of polar bears that is forecast to happen between now and 2050. His argument, for starting this conversation now, revolves around the emotions which subjects of this nature create when a catastrophic event is taking place. Once polar bears start down this gruesome path, he’s concerned rational decisions won’t be possible. Better to start planning before serious anxiety kicks in.
International Polar Bear Day. Join Polar Bears International in their Thermostat Challenge by clicking on this photo.
This subject is hard to believe but unfortunately it’s true. People who hide from this subject or worse yet, refute the science, are doing so at their own risk. Polar bears are just the tip of the iceberg, no pun intended unfortunately.
February 27th, 2013
New York Photographer Goes After DKNY For Illegal Photo Usage
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
February 22nd, 2013
Consumer Reports Loves the Panasonic GH3
Congratulations to Panasonic for impressing the hard to impress folks at Consumer Report Labs. They do a series of tests with all cameras and the GH3 outscored all other DSLR cameras. It won by only one point but as Consumer Reports states, “It’s just one point higher, but that’s still remarkable, since mirrorless cameras arrived on the camera market less than five years ago. But camera manufacturers have been flooding the market with these models, and our Ratings reflect this: We tested 33 SLR-likes and just 19 SLRs in this most recent batch”.
Their comment about being impressed with the a mirrorless camera doing so well is exactly what I’ve been telling my students. I’m astounded at how fast this category of cameras has matured and brought great options to the photography game. For those who missed my review of the GH3 you can read it at Testing Panasonic’s Newest Four Thirds Camera, The GH3.
February 21st, 2013
Getty Gets Nasty With Photographer Who’s Finally Had Enough
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.