I’m Sorry Doesn’t Make It Right (How can they stop people from posting other people’s photos? A lawsuit!)

You are a photographer and one of your photos is stolen and used in public for monetary gain; so what do you do? What is the proper course of action? And really the bigger question here is; what is the proper course of action to keep it from a happening again?

Recently (September 21, 2018) I came across a post in my Instagram feed from a photographer whom I follow and he had posted about someone using his photo without permission. I might add that he is a very well-known headshot photographer in NYC. As in, maybe the “best” headshot photographer in NYC. I will not use his name, but he does a lot of work for the entertainment industry and for everyday people as well. He is the “go-to” guy for getting a headshot that will make you look the best you can look. He also shoots other styles of photography as well, but I think it’s fair to say he is most noted for his headshot business.

So here’s the scoop as I know it and in my opinion what he did wrong, very wrong.

(These are the facts as I know them from reading the photographers posts on his IG)

Someone used his photo as their profile photo on the website https://www.airbnb.com they used his photo but used a different name. Most likely not their real name, however that doesn’t really matter. It was brought to the photographer’s attention and he, like most people was very upset and contacted @airbnb to have the photo removed. On the first contact @airbnb would not remove the photo. He was told they really have no control over profile photos (not a quote, but that’s the gist of it). His second contact with @arbnb he was told the photo had been removed and that the first employee he spoke with did not know the company’s copyright policy. After @airbnb removed the photo the photographer was pleased and for the most part all is good. The photographer had said in his post that he liked @airbnb and had used their service in the past.

I had left a rather light hearted comment on his first post saying “you should sic Ed Greenberg on them” (infamous intellectual properties attorney). Although a light hearted comment I fully meant it.

I also left another comment on his second post about this situation and rather than quoting the comment that I posted I will give my more detailed opinion here (because it is my blog).

He was wrong! The photographer is wrong for accepting that @airbnb can do nothing about it and he is wrong for accepting their moronic statement that their employee did not know about @airbnb’s copyright policy.

As a headshot photographer this man (the photographer who had the image stolen) has spent years of his life honing his craft. He is as well known in NYC and around the world for what he does and how does it. He teaches the art of creating headshots… I have sat through his classes. I look up this this guy and I full believe without a doubt he is a master of his craft. The equipment he uses, the staff he employs in not cheap by any means and to have someone steal his image and use it as their own is absurd at best. But then to have a company who is benefiting from it and flip-idly claims an employee didn’t know the copyright policy is just as or even more absurd.

So I know at this point you are most likely thinking a few different things like; well, yeah how can @airbnb stop someone from posting a profile photo that is not theirs? And; well if @airbnb took the photo down all is good, so why complain?

Why complain; because they’ll let it happen again and again and again. And if not @airbnb other sites will do it and think it is ok.

Now first let’s understand there are many frivolous lawsuits filed every day. However the purpose of a lawsuit is not so much for the plaintiff to just get a windfall of money, but rather it is a means of correcting a wrong and making damn sure it does not happen again. The biggest way to correct a wrong and make sure the offender or future offenders do not do it again is a lawsuit. Simply put if you punch the bully hard enough to cause him pain he stops. The best way in the business world to cause pain is take a person’s or company’s money. Yeah they scream like a little baby that has had the nipple plucked from their mouth.

Any good intellectual properties attorney will have a good story or two… or ten to tell you about the cases they have won where the offender “didn’t really think it was a big deal to use a photo and there is no harm done because we removed the photo.” And then much to their surprise when the court delivers that devastating blow to their wallet they scream and scream they should.

Let me step back for those who may not know and refresh your memory about the fact that copyright is laid out in the body of the US constitution. Not an amendment… but a right given to us by our founding fathers and it can be found in section 8 “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

This is why copyright infringement is a serious offense.

 

 

So I know you (the reader) may still be saying “but how can @airbnb control what photo a person uses for a profile?” Easy… if the lawsuit is big enough to make them scream they’ll find away very quickly. We live in a world where companies like Twitter and Instagram can grant people verified accounts, so I know there is a way it can be done. With the coming of AI (artificial intelligence) I’m sure it will be very easy to verify people’s online identity with the greatest of ease.

Now for the scary part… This whole post has been about someone using another person’s photo “online.” What about when a photo is stolen and used in “printed material?” It happens all the time, companies making money from someone else’s hard work.

When a photographer is well known for his/her work it is not something that just happened one day. You just wake up and bam you can take a great photo and the world loves you and lavishes you with money. Sure it would be nice if it worked that way, but it doesn’t. All too often (and it happens more than you know) images are ripped off for monetary gain. In this case @airbnb is letting a customer use a photo of a very good looking man for a profile photo. I might add that the photographer was a model for many years before he became a photographer. “Good looking” sells… there is no other way to look at it. Good looks will take you a long way in this world. We never see every day looking people in advertisements and in my opinion if someone had a really great looking profile photo it would most likely stand out and get noticed more than others.

I urge all serious photographers to educate themselves about copyright and registering their images. It really is not all that hard of a process. I register my images four times a year. The biggest problem with copyright is there are so many myths out there. Again… there are so many myths and I think the biggest and most confusing myth that I hear all the times is “if I have the original RAW file I can prove it is mine” or “I have the copyright as soon as I snapped the shutter and created the photo.” While both of these statements are 100% true, you still need to register your images with the library of congress. Look at it this way… you bought a car from me and I gave you a recite for the purchase of the car. Now you own the car, but to make it complete you have to register the car with the state government so that it is documented that “you own the car.” Same thing applies to intellectual property. You created it, but you need to register it.

Take the time to read the Copyright Zone. The book is very easy to read and as I have said in previous posts “it will actually be the most important photography book you’ll own.” There is so much great and accurate information coming straight from the infamous intellectual properties attorney Ed Greenberg and commercial photographer Jack Reznicki.

Thanks for reading.

DSLR vs Phone Camera in Shallow Depth of Field (and I realized I was “legend in my own mind.” )

Reese Maddox

Ebony Beauty

 

I feel like taking a little abuse today so I’ll drag this “dead horse” of a subject out of the barn and beat it a little more… Why? Well just because a dead horse needs to be beat every once in a while.
“I don’t need a DSLR because my iPhone is just as good or better”. How many times I have heard this statement and I’m sure you have too. Why maybe you are one of those people who have made this statement. And actually the main reason I bring this dead (as far as I’m concerned) topic up is because someone I was talking with the other day was asking me advice on what kind of camera to purchase. The gentleman seen me with my DLSR and it started up a conversation. This man whose name is Mike said that he was an amateur painter and because he couldn’t paint from memory he thought a god camera would help him capture scenes that later could be painted. So I explained you really do not need a high-end camera but a decent DSLR with a wide lens would suffice as an entry point into DSLR photography. He then asked “Can you explain why an iPhone would not work in place of a DSLR?” My reply was it will work for capturing wide-angle environmental shots with no problem, but… that’s about where it stops. If you ever decide you want to get creative and you want very shallow depth of field (sdof) and stay crisp with focus the little pee-wee elements that any mobile phone lens is made of is never going to get you there.

It’s kind of like when I had my first dirt bike (motocross motorcycle) I was so good… I was fast, I was quick in the turns, I flew over jumps like an eagle. I mean nothing could touch me. Till the day I entered my first race and I realized I was “legend in my own mind.” Twenty bikes lined up at a starting gate… only five fit through the first turn. Hummm… If I go down these guys are gonna use my head for traction… Oh my… yeah so you see the scene.
The mobile phone photographer is pretty much that same legend in his own mind, he thinks he’s got a great camera, but put it up against a good DSLR and a great lens and your left in the dust. Especially when it comes to shallow depth of field you just cannot get the bokeh nor can you get the compression that an f/1.2 to f/2.8 lens can offer. I like many others have been brow beaten on social media with long-winded explanations of how I’m wrong and yda yda yda… And I’m just talking about shallow depth of field today, why I haven’t even went into the print side of the whole conversation, about how you cannot really get the quality need for say 20”x30” prints without using something like genuine fractals to up size the file. Nor have I touched on the fact the mobile phones do not shoot in RAW format. And actually the biggest grip I have with phone cameras is nearly every function is touch screen controlled. When I set out years ago to learn how to use “manual” mode on my first DSLR I also made it a point to learn each and every setting and control on my camera. I actually set a goal to go through the whole manual and learn what every little thing on the camera did and how to properly use the control or function. While doing so I realized that not all controls were positioned for quick or easy access. I then noticed as I moved up to better camera bodies the controls and functions were more ergonomically laid out. For example the body I use now lets me assign what button I want to control the ISO and I can change ISO settings in a flash or maybe exposure compensation, again I can change it on the fly and be ready for the next shot quickly. Try that with your mobile phone… seriously tell me how fast you can do any of what I just mentioned with any mobile phone or any other mobile device. Oh I just love the iPad photographer twisting and turning this huge screen to get a shot… why not carry a TV around? Mobile phones are great for catching the personal moment or maybe for documenting something to say “yeah here see I have a photo of it right here on my phone” and of course social media would most likely wither up, dry out and blow away without the plethora of selfies that are posted… I mean what would Instagram do if there were never another selfie taken? Ever think about that? What would IG do?
Ok, I’ve had my fun we can drag the dead horse back in the barn till next time.

 

Are You Seeing What You’re Looking At? (Am I always able to do it? No. But I strive to do it.)

Are you seeing what you're looking at?

Are you seeing what you’re looking at?

Sometimes we just don’t know if what we see is real and sadly enough most times we just take what we see and never really process it to its fullest. Everyday things happen in our lives and we never really see it even though we are looking right at it or I guess I should say we never notice it and it doesn’t just stop with what we see, but also what we hear. We as humans just tend to tune out both visually and tonally. Children are very much more attentive to all the little things that we adults have tuned out. I remember myself as a young child and how attentive I was to extremely small details in my surroundings, more so than most. I did not realize it at the time because as a child many times you think that what you do is what everybody does, until somebody points out that you are different. So I thought everybody noticed small details. As I got a little older I remember a high school teacher giving the class a simple test of taking one plain piece of paper and a pencil and he gave one simple instruction of “take the pencil and draw a house on the paper. There are no rules; you can make the house whatever you’d like. Just put your vision of what you see as a house.” Of course there are always the students that didn’t understand and had fifty questions. But all he said “was draw a house as you see it in your mind.” After the last student completed the task he collected the papers and we had a discussion about how some people are more detailed than others. See some students had drawn a house that was simple and basic; some added a door and a window and others had two windows and so on. Oh… and then were two papers that really stood out, my paper and that of a female student. The teacher looking at my paper quite perplexed, looking at me then at the paper, then back at me. Mr. Roberts walks up to me and asks very calmly “Richard can you tell me what the instructions were.” My heart started to sink and I said in a low voice “you said draw a house,” he looked at me and smiled and said “why yes I did, so tell me why you also drew a tree and a dog, four windows, a chimney… and with smoke I might add. You also have grass and a walkway and somebody looking out of the window and you even have the windows divided into quarters to show four separate panes in each window (he chuckles). He then turns to the female student and gives her a rundown similar to mine. She had two trees and a car, windows and a door. After class he called me aside and told me that you have a knack for detail, well more than a knack. It doesn’t make you any smarter than the next person, but it shows how creative you are. Some could even argue that you did not follow the instructions because the instructions were to “draw a house” and not a dog, a tree, ect… My reply was “you said draw your vision of a house and my house has trees, a dog and several windows ect… That is how I see a house. He smiled and then put my paper in his briefcase.

So in regards to detail and our surroundings; “are you seeing what you are looking at?” I think it was renowned photographer Jay Maisel that was quoted as saying that. And it is so true; many times we don’t really see what we’re looking at. As a photographer it is a great piece of advice to get in the habit of asking yourself that question as your setting up a shot or scouting a location. And another odd but incredible tool for “seeing what you’re looking at” is to use a mirror. Smack my face and call me crazy, but I noticed many years ago how different a scene looked in a mirror. Because most times we use a mirror in our house to look at our self and we are so familiar with the scene we tend to just take it all for granted… But take a mirror and stand outside and look behind you and you surely will see the whole scene just a little differently than if you look at it straight on. Try to use a rectangle mirror, a side mirror from an old truck door will work and change between landscape & portrait. This really is nothing new as I had seen a director doing this while setting up shots for a video he was working on. At the time I thought he was crazy, years later it hit me while driving down the road and I figured it all out. Looking in my rearview mirror one day I saw the most beautiful landscape scene. It looked as if it had been taken from a storybook. But this is a road I had driven on for many years of my life and I had just never seen it from that perspective. Not to mention mirrors will sometimes cast a bluish color to the scene and this can give a little different feel to a scene, making the sky & clouds stand out.

It really comes down to perspective and how you approach a scene and what you can pull out of the scene that is being overlooked. My weakest point can sometimes be seeing reflections. Many times I have looked at a scene that had a wonderful water reflection and it would not stand out right away. However they say learn from your weakness and I have. Now I force this to the front of my mental checklist and after a while it comes as second nature. Another great tool is having a second pair of eyes. When doing a model shoot it can sometimes be daunting trying to interact with the model/s and dealing with ambient issues such as wind, heat or cold, maybe your lighting is causing you a nervous breakdown and now you are also supposed to see the little things like stray hairs across the eyes & face or maybe a wrinkle in the wardrobe. These are just a few of the things that can drive me crazy in post. If it is a large shoot then of course I will have an assistant as my second eyes, plus the hair stylist and makeup artists and maybe even the clothing designer. Or there could be an art director overseeing the project and working together as a team is so much easier to see when a small detail is out-of-place. But if I’m working on a personal project it may be just me and a makeup artist and it makes it a little harder to see what is out-of-place. Again I have to ask myself; “are you seeing what you’re looking at?” It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and distracted. I’ll be the first to say that “yes” I make note cards for when I’m shooting. I know my weaknesses and I know I am a disorganized mess. As much as I can notice details about a lot of things in life, however like most people when I am rushed or there is pressure I tend to get three steps ahead of myself. If it is just me and the camera shooting wildlife or nature I’m ok and I can handle the pressure (if there is any). Maybe rain is moving in and I’m trying to finish the shot, not a big deal. But if I’m working with people I know full well there is a chance for pressure. It does not mean there will be pressure, but the potential is there so I will prepare my little note cards a day or more in advance. Most times I will have a shot list and wardrobe changes or looks. I will also have a locations list if we are outside and I may go further and put some plan “B” notes on the card, just in case a location becomes unavailable at the last-minute. I try not to make my notes too complicated; they are mostly a guideline to follow. But aside from those notes I will have a mental checklist that I will stop and think about. Asking myself; are you shooting both landscape & portrait? Are you seeing everything you are looking at? Is focus sharp? What would this look like with another lens? Where is the light coming from? (Natural light) And the list goes on and it repeats as I’m shooting. I equated it to being a professional driver because a professional truck driver should always be scanning his mirrors. He/she should be in a mode of constantly scanning from looking at the path of travel as well as what is happening alongside of the vehicle. For me shooting a camera is similar if I want to see what I’m looking at. I try to keep my mental checklist rolling through my mind as I’m working the shoot. Am I always able to do it? No. But I strive to do it. Sometimes distractions or the situation will hamper me from the flow; however it is what I strive for.

Thanks so much for reading and have a great day.

URBEX Photography. (when there is not much happening, put a pretty face in the scene) Part 1

1/250 sec at f/3.2 ISO 50 80mm

1/250 sec at f/3.2 ISO 50 80mm

 

Urbex Photography. What is it? Urban Exploration photography has a few definitions but for the most part it is the exploration of decaying and aging man-made structures. It can also be places were the everyday person may not travel such as under bridges, inside tunnels and the list goes on and on. In all my photography I had never really traveled down the road of this genera in a meaningful way. Sure I have photographed ruins and burned out houses and the like, but I have never put a model in the scene. I have seen it and admired it on 500px.com and again never really gave it a thought. That is until recently when I met a model who unknowingly steered me to this rather unique style. I love street photography and again street has a few interpretations but it is basically capturing life, not necessarily always shot on a street but in the streets is where a lot of life is happening. Urbex is kind of the opposite, there is not much happening. So when you incorporate a model into the scene you have something happening. The biggest thing you have going on is the contrast of the beauty of your model (you do have a pretty model… right) playing off of the decay or whatever the situation is around you. Now contrasting a model’s beauty against something plain, uninteresting or deplorable looking is not a new concept by any means. We have all seen what we may have deemed a “crazy” photo of a model in a Victorian style dress and she is in some sort of horrible background. The background by its self would most likely not catch our eye, however the beauty of the model would catch our eye or if it is a couture fashion shot her dress maybe the focal point. But put that beauty against a decrepit background and we get a contrast going that really sets things apart. Apart to the point that now we may even notice the background more so because of the beauty that is playing against it.

Where I was shooting yesterday in the historic section of Bethlehem Pennsylvania there were these Moravian ruins. If I had walked past and stopped to look at the location where I was shooting, and I was not there with a camera… I would have thought “just another old building in decay” and I might have wondered as to the history of the building, but other than that I most likely would not think any further. Now change things up… I approach the scene with a model (the beauty part) and it changes the whole game. Now I’m looking as to where and how I want to shoot her… with a camera of course. So now instead of just hiking along looking at old ruins, I have a reason and can turn it into a project.

Keep in mind it is not always about shooting a vast scene with a model in the middle. As I was shooting yesterday, we were under a huge and very high arched cement bridge. It was cool and there was a very nice breeze coming through, a nice place to take a break from the heat of the day. I looked around and noticed a cement wall that had several things going on. There was the age of the cement; there were huge water stains that were rusty colored to varying degrees, faded paint from old graffiti and mold. Looking at this I said to Reese (my model) “some photographers would give anything to have this background in their studio” and she agreed. So she went to work right away posing and we captured a nice series with this one of a kind background. Only thing I did wrong was I did not shoot the background by its self to use in Photoshop later. Oh well, now I have a reason to go back there.

Let’s talk about the camera & lenses; Ok so for this kind of photography I like to use available light when possible. I feel it gives a feel to the whole photo. I guess you could say it adds to the patina of the scene. But with that said, there are times when I could see myself setting up a 5 foot softbox for lighting the scene in a particular way. But available light is what I shoot most. I try to keep ISO in the 50 to 100 range when at all possible, although the newer cameras are really improving with a whole lot less grain in the higher ISO ranges. Just a few years back if I had to go to ISO 800 I would cringe. But now… last year I shot a bride in a hotel room at ISO 2000 & 5000 and had beautiful shots to work with and not much processing. The key to high ISO shots is; you must crop in camera, period. If you crop in camera the noise is to a minimum. As for lens choices; if I was just shooting the scene of the decaying building I would most likely shoot wide. But for faces, my 70-200mm is my favorite choice. I can zoom in for nice face shots of the model and if I want wide, I zoom back using my feet. …can you believe that “zoom out using your feet” what a novel idea? And lastly I must say I like to use a tripod whenever possible. The tripod will increase your score on “in focus” shots. Being on a lot of uneven ground and strange surfaces, it only makes sense to steady the camera the best you can.

In part two, I’ll talk more about an actual shoot, finding a location and more.

Personal Photo Favorites From 2013 (I would rather have a selfie of me punching Kim Kardashian in the face but…)

1/250 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 175mm

1/250 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 175mm

So after mulling through all of the better photos I captured in 2013 I wanted to choose some of my favorites to share with you. As I had stated in an earlier post I always have one photo of my wife that will really stand out and be my favorite of the year. I also wanted to include some additional photos as well.

So I really feel that of all the photos I captured of my wife in 2013 this one is my favorite. A little story about the photo; this photo was shot at 5:49pm on July 29th. As you can see the sun in July is still very high in the sky. I had to shoot a wedding in five days and not being a wedding photographer by trade I was doing my homework and preparing for the big day. I wanted everything to be right. I spent a lot of time reviewing video material by Cliff Mautner. Mr. Mautner is one of the best wedding photographers of our time. I say this because part Cliff’s style is to just go and shoot using mostly available light and minimal flash. His style and approach is very organic and not over the top with a “Broadway” like production to shoot a wedding. Also Cliff is a Nikon Ambassador. If company like Nikon is going to trust him with talking about their products… well I think Cliff might know a thing or two or ten about photography.

One of Cliff’s prize techniques is shooting brides in the middle of the day with high sun and no fill flash. So I had to try this technique out for myself. In short the; put your subject between the camera & the sun and use a dark background. That is it that is all you need to do. Then meter with the camera off the subject’s face. Look at the photo and the front lighting is even across my wife’s face with this wonderful rim lighting. If she had been wearing a darker color shirt would have been even nice for the rim light on the shoulders, not to mention that if this was a bridal shot with the veil, the veil would be very nicely back lit with a glow like effect. So to conclude; I walked out the door and captured this shot in about 5 minutes. The color, lighting and smile all come together to make it a very nice photo. I love it and I will print and frame it.

Pixel (aka Pixie) at day 2.  1/640 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 200mm

Pixel (aka Pixie) at day 2.
1/640 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 200mm

My favorite photo of Pixel (aka Pixie) was shot at 11:17am of May 27th at a roadside rest area along route I-78 in Pennsylvania. I had received Pixie for the first time the day before. I had lost my previous Bichon Poo to liver cancer and a mere 20 days later Pixie had come to fill the void and ease the pain of Snuggs rapid departure. So on the second day of having Pixie my wife and I had a road trip planned to visit my father and we just couldn’t leave this little creature home. We stopped to stretch our legs and to let Pixie have some fun. It was our first chance to let here run and be free in the wonderful green grass of the springtime. Using my trusty (you’ll pry it from my cold dead hands) Canon EF70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM lens I shot this wonderful candid shot. She had been running and moving so fast to & fro it was nearly impossible to get a great shot of her. I made a squeaking sound and she stopped for just a few seconds and looked right at me. I love the photo and after posting to Facebook a friend had commented on the light & dark green background as an adding quality to the photo. She was so right it just gives the photo a “good” feel.

Photoshop composite of NY motocross rider Harlan Hoose.

Photoshop composite of NY motocross rider Harlan Hoose.

My favorite Photoshop image of 2013 would be “Shattered” a composite of a motocross rider that I had captured in the springtime at our local motocross track. His name was Harlan Hoose and he hails from New York State. Harlan and two friends had made the long trek down to Raceway Park in Old Bridge Township just to practice. I happened to be there and Harlan Had asked me if I would capture some images of him. This was one of the first of many photos. In the original photo Harlan was just sitting on his bike waiting to go onto the track and I captured a close up focusing on his eyes. So several months later I used the photo as the main element in a Photoshop composite that I call Shattered. With time I grew to like the image even more. Thank you Harlan it was nice meeting you, Anthony & Jordan that day.

1.1250 sec at f/2.8 ISO 200 200mm

1.1250 sec at f/2.8 ISO 200 200mm

My favorite nature shot would be this photo of the Wild Foxtail Grass. Captured at 4:57pm on October 14th right here on the farm where I live. The contrast in color between the background and subject is what I love most about it. Also it didn’t hurt that it received so much affection on 500px.

Sunken Forest 172 sec at f/22 ISO 50 24mm

Sunken Forest
172 sec at f/22 ISO 50 24mm

My favorite Long Exposure photo is this image of one of the “Sunken Forests” at Merrill Creek reservoir located in Warren County New Jersey on top of Montana Mountain. It was cold and very windy that day, but in the end it paid off because I came home with some really nice images.

American Bald Eagle

American Bald Eagle

My most favorite wildlife shot of 2013 would have to be, hands down the one of the images I captured of an American Bald Eagle. It was amazing to see this beautiful bird right here in the town where I work, a rare sight for sure. The photos are not Nat Geo quality but still my favorite nonetheless.

At The Train 1/1600 sec at f/3.5 ISO 200 200mm

At The Train
1/1600 sec at f/3.5 ISO 200 200mm

My most favorite candid shot of the year was taken at the Flemington train station. I was first trying to capture the expression on the little boy’s face and then in the background a young lady and a child stepped from the train. I re-focused at captured a wonderful candid photo.

Selfie in a jail cell.

Selfie in a jail cell. Sussex County, NJ.

Lastly my most favorite selfie would have to be of me in a jail cell. I would rather have a selfies of me punching Kim Kardashian in the face but I’ll settle for the jail cell shot.

I Conquered The Beast (chasing the latest technology is like going to school every day of your life without a break and your clothes are out of style.)

My very first image uploaded from my Canon 6D to social media via Canon Gateway Image service.

My very first image uploaded from my Canon 6D to social media via Canon Gateway Image service.

Ah____ how sweet it is when one finally is able to rise up and conquer what is supposed to be “easy technology.” When purchasing my Canon 6D it was advertised to have WiFi as most cameras now do. I did not buy the camera for this feature, however it did seem interesting. I really was not openly thinking to the possibilities of this feature. I soon found I could download an app to my smart phone and use the phone as a means of viewing the images on the camera’s memory card and I could use the phone as a remote control for “live view,” focus and shutter release. Additionally I could change ISO, Av & Tv as well. This shutter release feature is nice but since I have always used a wireless or hardwired shutter releases, learning to use the phone was a little bit of a challenge and only because being a 49 year old man, sometimes I find it easier to just do it the way I know best. I think the “phone as a control” is great for controlling the camera from a long distances and may reduce walking to & froe. Talk about; “learning something new every day.” Being a photographer and chasing the latest technology is like going to school every day of your life without a break and your clothes are out of style. Sometimes you just have to pick & choose your battles with technology.

So today I felt like fighting. I had a free day, the weather was a light icy rain and it is Sunday so I’m not really going anywhere. I made a decision to attack Canon’s evil bastard child the “Canon Image Gateway” photo service. If you purchase a Canon camera with WiFi and register it, you will (or so the myth goes) have access to upload to some social media and or put you images in folders on the Gateway. Now the reason I am so disappointed with this so called “Gateway” service is it makes you jump through more hoops than that of a three ring circus and after all is done you end up feeling more like the guy cleaning up after the elephants. Throw the paper manual out it’s worthless. So let’s head on over to big brother Google and see what we can conjure up. Now first let me say I purchased this camera over six months ago and have tried several times to get this Gateway process up and running. But today I am dedicating all my time and I will win. I was able to get the camera to connect to my phone not long after I purchased the camera, but needed therapy from a near nervous breakdown afterwards.

So today after heading over to YouTube where I found a very good tutorial that helped me with setting up the Gateway connections with social media. But connecting the camera to WiFi was not as easy although I finally conquered the beast and was even able to set up a connection between my camera & PC which enables me to view and download RAW files wirelessly to a desired folder on the PC. So to recap my accomplishments today;

  • Able to capture an image and send straight to Facebook or Twitter and leave a copy on the Canon Gateway (jpegs only).
  • Able to view and download RAW to my PC via WiFi.
  • Able to connect, view and download to smart phone.
  • All connections have proper names and are working as needed.
  • Learned how to set up a new WiFi connection as needed.

In conclusion it just seems so disappointing that we live in an age of technology that is ever increasing but corporations have remained with the same old mentality; “make a product, advertise the features and let the customer figure it out.”

Big Business you have to love it.

Friends ( personally I do not know anybody, but my Facebook says I do) lol :-P

Photographed this sunset while walking the dog on January 1, 2014. 10,000th photo shot on my Canon 6D

Photographed this sunset while walking the dog on January 1, 2014. 10,000th photo shot on my Canon 6D

So for many years now I have had a personal Facebook page and I have had friends come and go from my friends list. I watched as the list grew to twenty then fifty, seventy and it seemed to hang around seventy for some time. I never felt compelled to make it go higher. I have seen teenage girls and others who have over a thousand friends listed. I asked one this one girl if she really knew all the people on her friends list and she replied very fast “sure I do.” At the moment when I asked her that question we were out at a restaurant with other friends. So I asked her to come over and sit at my side of the table. Using my phone we sat together and started inspecting here friends list and I would ask her “how do you know this person and that person.” I would mostly pick the older males on the list and of the older males we started to see that she knew very few of them. Her mother asking “yeah just how do you know all these men?” She soon admitted that she was guilty of accepting pretty much every friend request that came her way for about 3 years. Reason being “that it looked cool” to have a high amount of friends on your page. Now she is 19 and in college, so I pointed out that it just doesn’t look to cool from another angle. I mean to each “his/her own” I always say, but I always regarded the “Friend” list on Facebook as people I actually personally know. I may not have met them in person, however we do live in an age where we are able to reach around the world and have a personal interaction with someone via webcam, file sharing and chat. After all many of you who know me personally, know I met my wife as a 100% cold contact via Skype and see was 8000 miles away. So each person on my Friends list (currently 233) I have personally interacted with in one way or another at one time in my life and it meant enough to me to add them to my list. Some are people who I may not have known at all and were sent my way by a current friend because they wanted to see photos and that is fine. But then I will soon interact with them commenting on their posts and soon enoughI have a reason to keep them on my list because I find they are interesting in some way. I was just chatting with a photographer friend last night about camera flashes. I have never met him in person but he is a very interesting photographer and posts very nice work. I belong to a private Facebook photo group in Thailand and many of those members are also on my friends list .

So again I never felt I had to go out and find Facebook friends but it just seemed to happen. Will I find 1000 of them? I seriously doubt it, because I don’t want that. So as my photography has evolved and hopefully improved I started up a website, soon followed by this blog page on the website and now comes the next step, the “Reckless Pixel” Facebook page. I have a plan to be a better photographer and a better known photographer, so I have to promote and use more than one cyber avenue. Most of the entire Reckless Pixel page will give me a place to post my photography and let people comment as they always have in the past, only now they do not have to be on my friends list. This keeps my personal Facebook page more personal while letting everybody see my photography.

In closing I would like to thank all the people around the world who read this blog, I am amazed every time I look at the WordPress statistic page and see all the different countries that click on my blog. Same goes for my pages at Adobe’s Behance site and my Twitter. So thanks for looking… and I know there are many viewers out there that never hit the “Like” and never leave a comment, but still enjoy viewing my photography. I know because when I do meet people in-person they will make a comment about a photo they have seen. They didn’t hit “Like” and they never left a comment but I know they seen it. So here we go with something new for 2014 the Reckless Pixel Facebook page.

Happy New Year everybody.