Day 1 with Tiffany (in the cold and the wind is a bit of a stretch for both photographer and model.)

1/125 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 165mm

1/125 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 165mm

Happy New Year everybody! I am usually writing a blog post about reminiscing about the year past and which photos were my favorites. But I would like to say I started the first day of 2016 off a little different from what I have in the past. It was cold here in the Northeastern part of the USA and it was windy too. But I had a wonderful time shooting outdoors with a model that I have worked with in the past and it was the perfect day for this project. Tiffany needed fresh shots and I wanted to do something that would tie her into the city in which she lives. Bethlehem Pennsylvania is a beautiful city with some strong culture and history. So local people will recognize the elements in the images as being shot in Bethlehem and others will still see good images none the less.

I really have to hand it to Tiffany (aka LayDeeFly) for braving the cold and even worse the wind and coming out on a day when most people are recuperating from the festivities from the night before. The Steel Stacks as they are known to the locals of Bethlehem are actually a national icon. The Stacks are the remnants of the once world-famous Bethlehem Steel Corporation that turned out tons upon tons of steel that built iconic structures such as the Golden Gate Bridge and so much more. The city is also rich in Moravian history as well. I could go on and on but this post is not a history lesson, but rather a lesson on growing and stretching. Stretching does no one any good unless it hurts a little bit and as the hurt fades away the endorphins kick in and you ride that high till it fades away.

So getting out and shooting on New Year’s day in the cold and the wind is a bit of a stretch for both photographer and model. I think more-so for the model because she was in a body suit. But with use of a blanket and a fury hat and several retreats to the car for a little heater break we did it. Shooting around the Stacks and in some instances just standing in the middle of the street was so easy because of the lack of people, there were very few. We did draw a fair amount of attention when people seen a girl wrapped in a blanket wearing a buffalo hat with horns and knee high socks walking down the street. But that’s the fun of it all; hearing the horns honking from the passing traffic was actually heartwarming.

So as the sun was starting its final decent we made our way to the bridge that overlooks the Steel Stacks and captured some final images, then it was coffee time.

Gonna be  great year!

2016 Watermark (Did you register your image with the library of congress?)

2016 watermark & logo.

2016 watermark & logo.

As my previous post stated I am in the process of preparing a new watermark for 2016. I like to design a new watermark for each year for a few reasons. First is it is a fun to make a fresh watermark and give some new life to my photography as a whole. But it also serves as a way to know at a glance what year an image was processed and posted.
I have blogged many times about the importance of watermarks and about the proper etiquette for the use of a watermark and last year I was called upon by an WordPress editor to contribute my opinions about how & why I use a watermark.
Honestly there is no true etiquette for the use; the creator can place it a he/she sees fit. However if the creator wants to give the viewer the most pleasurable viewing experience it is optimal that the watermark be placed in a way that does not distract from the main elements of the image. I have found a lower opacity mark placed in the lower right corner is my personal preference. I will sometimes move to the lower left corner or an upper corner if the images requires.
So many people are so worried about someone stealing their images when in fact I wish someone would steal my image. If someone steals your images it means (in most cases) that you have a really awesome image and the case in court is pretty much a done deal with a paycheck for you. BUT! Did you register your image with the library of congress? It is a very simple and cheap process. So more than worrying about the watermark you really should worry about registering all your images. Then if the image is stolen you have a lot more power over your burglar. Sure if you created the image it is yours, but you have to prove it and maybe you can. However when a police officer stops your car, you know it is your car, but he doesn’t. So you show him you “registration” and it makes life a lot easier.
Also congress last year passed a law actually making it illegal to remove a watermark from an image and that fine is a six figure fine if my memory serves me well.
Happy New Year everybody.

End of The Year Organization (I am always miss-placing small things and waste time looking for them)

“Nobody's perfect. We're all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels.”  ― Jeannette Walls,

“Nobody’s perfect. We’re all just one step up from the beasts and one step down from the angels.”
― Jeannette Walls 

So as we head out of 2015 and into 2016 as a photographer this is the time when you should be doing your “end of the year cleanup” as I call it. For me it means things like designing a new watermark for my photos. I like to make a new watermark with the year’s date so as time passes I can look back and know exactly the year the photo was processed and posted.

Another thing I do at this time of year is to go through my drives and throw away any images I know I will never need. My “download” folder is usually the biggest culprit, housing lots of images I may have downloaded for mood boards and other referencing. Most of these images are no longer needed and taking up space.

Then there are my external hard drives and cloud storages. Some hard drives I use on a daily basis and work with the files right from the drive and save back to the drive. Other hard drives are just for backup and I will look at all the hard drives both “working” & “backup” and make a determination as to if and when I need to purchase more drives or can I consolidate drives? So yes I actually have a time of year that I do this or at least visit this situation because the last thing I want to do is have photo work lined up and coming in and have no room on the drives to store RAW images.

I really am not anal about “organization” in my life as a person. Like most people I am always miss-placing small things and waste time looking for them all the while they are right in front of me. But with that said; I learned long ago that saving email can be a life saver in more than one way, such as proof of a purchase and the date of a purchase or even more important proof of conversation with someone. However in order for the whole thing to work you need to be able to find the email quickly and somewhat easily. The same is true with photos and I have blogged about this before; even if you are not a professional photographer, in today’s world we all have images coming into our life every day and the number can be staggering so having an organized plan really is something to think about. I will be blogging in a day or so again on the topic of keeping track of and how to save images so they can be found.

Sometimes I just want to go back and find that image that posted on Facebook earlier this year; Well for me that can be real easy because I generate the images right out of Adobe Lightroom and when the JPEG is made from the master file it is sent to a folder appropriately named “15 Facebook” and next year’s folder was just made yesterday and named “16 Facebook.” So when I need to find an image it is really easy and I also have sub folders for special events like a party or a day at the beach and so-on. This really is the only part of my life that is organized correctly; I actually have a goal in the coming weeks to move this organization to my tablet. How many times I want to show images from my tablet to someone and I spend 10 minutes looking for one image. I’m not a fan of New Year resolutions but it is a perfect time to say “Out with the old and in with the new.”

Happy New Year to all.