Fighting Copyright Infringement In The Real World
Friday, July 22, 2011
Here's some great advice, courtesy of photographer Jeremy Nicholl by way of the A Photo Editor blog. It's Jeremy's recommendations for photographers who are interested in protecting copyrights. Namely, it's a list of the ten steps to take to help collect from an infringer who has profited from your images in violation of US copyright law. It's all well and good to brush up on your copyright, but when you read the part about the author collecting "a five figure settlement for a 468-pixel wide image" that had been used illegally on a site he had never heard of, these ten tips take on a whole new meaning (and value). So pay attention and protect your rights!
Photo by William Sawalich
Space Shuttle Flight Deck Immersive Panorama
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Well this is super cool, and definitely not something you see every day. In honor of the current and final Space Shuttle flight I present you with a 360-degree virtual tour of the flight deck of the soon-to-be-retired space shuttle. Actually this one's already decommissioned, as it's the Discovery, and the one circling the earth right now and getting ready to land is the Atlantis. What a cool tour of a high-tech cockpit. Though I must admit it sure is a little low-tech looking in there. Where's all the touch screens and laser beams and holograms and stuff? Farewell, Atlantis!
A Few Great Tripod Accessories
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
I love my tripod, and I feel like it's fairly tricked out: it's got legs and a geared head I love… and that's about it. I never give much thought to tripod accessories, or I never did until I read this great post by Photo Naturalist Steve Berardi. He suggests three simple—and yes, amazing—accessories for tripods. The first one is an L-shaped bracket that keeps your camera centered over the legs even when positioned in the vertical axis. He had me with this one; I hate the way my camera dangles there over the side of my tripod whenever I go vertical. Not only do I hate it, it tends to mess me up when I've worked to center myself precisely for a composition. I won't give away the other two accessories, so you'll have to go read about them for yourself. Trust me when I say that your tripod CAN be tricked out, and it's probably a great way to improve your tripod efficiency too.
A Kickstarter Success Story
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I love the idea behind the web site Kickstarter, especially as it relates to creatives. You get an idea, you need to raise funds to make that idea a reality, you start a Kickstarter project and folks all over the world can contribute to projects they believe in—or the ones that offer the best schwag in exchange for a monetary pledge. While I've seen interesting Kickstarter projects for photo books, travel magazines, gallery prints and even independent films, none of them have seen the success of this project by an inventor of an interesting piece of camera gear. It's the Capture Camera Clip system, which is designed to let you securely hold your camera on your belt, without worrying about camera straps and too much fuss. The device sure sparked the interest of lots of other photographers, because as of this writing almost 5,200 of them have contributed a whopping $370,000—a significant success when you consider that the inventor, Peter Dering, was looking to raise just $10,000 in order to complete an initial production run of the product. Check out his Kickstarter page, consider contributing, and look for this neat device as soon as it's released.
Mount Your D-SLR Lenses To Your iPhone. Really.
Monday, July 18, 2011
Ever since the iPhone, and in particular the introduction of its Instagram app, folks everywhere have been treating their iPhones like actual cameras. The point, usually, is that you can make great pictures with even a relatively rudimentary fixed-focal length lens. And it also proves, as Chase Jarvis will attest, that the best camera is the one you have with you all the time. Just like an iPhone. Well now there's another add-on for folks who want to get serious, really serious, about taking iPhone pictures... in a totally ridiculous way. It's the SLR iPhone lens mount from PhotoJojo, which allows you to take the zoom off your Nikon D90 (or whatever Nikon or Canon D-SLR you happen to be toting) and affix it to your iPhone for "serious" picture taking power. I know it's too ridiculous to be true, and yet here it is. See for yourself at the PhotoJojo web site.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Thanks again, John Paul Caponigro, for coming through with spot-on invaluable Photoshop information. In this recent post he points us readers to a great resource for over 10,000 Photoshop add-ons—from templates to tutorials, brushes to plug-ins. It's Adobe's own Photoshop Exchange, where photographers can access thousands of unique tools (like Actions, Styles and Brushes) to make Photoshop better—or easier, more fun and more interesting. And many of them are given away for free. The ones that do charge, Caponigro points out, average only a few bucks each, so either way it's an invaluable resource. Take a look at what you can add on to your computer to make Photoshop work even better.
Cameras In Action
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I recently saw this neat little video on the DPS blog. It's by street photographer Eric Kim, who strapped a tiny GoPro video camera to his Leica's hot shoe and took to the streets. A neat way to see how an actual street photographer works. I'm not at all disparaging Mr. Kim's approach to photographing people on the street, but it did make me realize how differently he approaches his subjects than some other photographers I've seen from their cameras' perspectives—like, for instance, James Nachtwey, who in the documentary "War Photographer" had a tiny video camera strapped to his camera as well. It too is a fascinating look at how a photographer works, made even more powerful when viewed from the perspective of his camera. It's interesting that Mr. Kim tries to avoid eye contact and shoots quickly before moving on to another subject, while Mr. Nachtwey works in a more lingering, deliberate manner. Part of it may be the different subject matter, part of it is surely different shooting styles. Whatever the differences, and whichever approach you prefer, it's extremely interesting to watch photographers work like this. Check out both videos via the links below.
Restoring An Antique Tintype
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
It's amazing what a skilled set of hands can do with a tool as powerful as Photoshop. Take, for instance, the world of photographic restoration. It's a different set of skills than just the regular old image editing and retouching so many of us do in our regular photographic workflows. When it comes to restoring an old image, I can't think of any challenge more daunting than a 19th century tintype. Here's a link to a collection of these photographs, which were made right on a sheet of metal. Check out the amazing transformation that takes place in this restoration project, and keep it in mind the next time you feel like a retouching project is too daunting.