Nice surprise for a Sunday evening to see my latest image with the lovely Natalie had been featured on the Front Page of Purpleport :-)
For those not familiar with the site, Purpleport is a models, photographers and related creatives networking site with tens of thousands of members and every day literally thousands of images are uploaded. To have an image selected for the front page is quite an achievement so I was delighted to see this:
Here’s a link to the original:
And by the end of the day it had been in the list of ‘most loved’ images too :-)
The example below show how much more effective a simple image can be with a monochrome conversion.
Hopefully by the wonders of modern science you should be able to move your mouse over the image below (grab and drag the little handle) and see a before/after example of the original image with nothing done to it (other than a slight crop), and then the ‘after’ image with a little TLC applied. What’s been done? Actually on this one not that much.
- Cloned out the plastic bag
- Converted to mono
- Localised exposure adjustments to bring up some shadow detail
Move the slider to the left to reveal the ‘before’ image..
Recently I’ve had to remind a couple of people about the way copyright works.
It’s all too easy these days to post an image on Facebook or a blog that you found somewhere, but it’s important to remember you need permission from the person that owns that image to do so..
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the picture, and yes that includes if you’re a model on a photoshoot (paid or TF makes no difference), the copyright belongs to the photographer.
You can’t ignore this stuff, it’s important!
Here’s an interested blog article about the issue: http://www.blogher.com/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-using-photos-your-blog-my-story
You should probably read this too: UK copyright Law Fact Sheet
An extract from the UK Copyright Service website:
“Fact sheet P-16: Photography and copyright
Who owns the copyright on photographs?
Under law, it is the photographer who will own copyright on any photos he/she has taken, with the following exceptions:
- If the photographer is an employee of the company the photos are taken for, or is an employee of a company instructed to take the photos, the photographer will be acting on behalf of his/her employer, and the company the photographer works for will own the copyright.
- If there is an agreement that assigns copyright to another party.
In all other cases, the photographer will retain the copyright, if the photographer has been paid for his work, the payment will be for the photographer’s time and typically an allocated number of prints. The copyright to the photos will remain with the photographer, and therefore any reproduction without permission would be an infringement of copyright.”
As you can see, that’s really quite clear. In all cases, the photographer, or photographic company own the copyright. It doesn’t matter who’s in the image, the person who took the photo owns the rights unless there is a signed agreement to transfer the copyright.
It is the photographer’s right to be credited as the author of the photograph, and you should always do this unless they specifically tell you otherwise.
If images have a watermark or logo on, this MUST be left intact. To remove or mis-attribute a photographer’s copyright is a very serious issue, and will be treated as such. For example, I caught a national newspaper using my images without permission once, and it cost them a LOT of money.
To give you an idea how serious this is, for a small image used on a website you could easily end up paying in excess of £1000 per image in penalties. I know this as I sent the bill to the newspaper and they had to pay it.
One UK photographer was awarded more than £5,000 in damages for the use of a single image, and there are cases documented online where photographers have received tens of thousands in compensation (example). In one famous case a photographer was awarded $1.2 million when a company used photos they had posted on Twitter!
Here’s my page with my licensing / copyright information, I have asserted my rights to be identified as the author of all my photographs, I expect to be properly credited where any photograph is used, and I expect anyone I work with to read this page!
It obviously nice that people like what I do, but sometimes it seems they don’t appreciate what it took to get there..
Often it seems that people assume that because you’re good at something “it comes naturally” or you just have “the knack”. How often have you heard someone say something like “well it’s easy for you..” as if you just magically woke up one morning with the skill and talent to do something? Worse still, it’s usually said in the context that they would like you to do something for them, because they can’t do it themselves (or can’t be bothered to try) and you can, so they’d like you to do it for them “as a favour”.
So, lets stop to consider for a moment just why I might be able to so something which you can’t, or don’t want to, do yourself.
I didn’t just magically figure out how to take a decent photo. I learned how. I have invested thousands of hours of my time in reading, asking questions, practicing etc. I’ve invested thousands of pounds in equipment and training, and I’m still continuing to do so today.
The reason I know how to use Photoshop is because I’ve spent night after night up until gone 2am learning how, reading books, trawling through website tutorials etc. and actually practising this stuff.
Why then should you get the benefit of that for nothing if you’re not prepared to do so yourself?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to help people out and will occasionally do someone a favour with some photos or help with their graphic design or web projects etc. But when I do, it would at least be nice to feel they appreciated just what had gone into that. Remember, what might take me two hours, would probably take you two days, or even two weeks. Now how valuable is my time?
So, why the rant now?
Well basically there have just been too many occasions recently when people have been taking advantage of my good nature, and I’ve been guilty of putting myself out way too much for other people who really don’t appreciate it. Yes, of course I understand that different people have different skill sets, and I’m flattered that people think enough of some of mine that they want my help or advice, but also there comes a point when I’ve got to draw a line under it as I’m spending way too much time and energy on sorting out *other peoples stuff* and not enough time on my own projects so it’s come to the point I’ve simply got to switch those priorities around.
When it comes to my to-do list my order of priorities will be:
- Paying clients
- Collaborations with mutual benefit (i.e. TF model shoots)
- Personal Projects
- Favours for other people
So, if you’re #4 on the list, please remember that I’m doing you a favour, in my own time, for nothing. I’m afraid that means you’ll just plain have to wait. If I can do something, I’ll do it when I’ve got the time. That might be a few days, or it might be a few weeks. I can’t make any promises.
If your ‘favour’ is urgent then I’d argue that it’s not actually something you should be relying on favours for in the first place. Obviously if you want me to make you a priority you have the option jump right to the top of the queue and be a #1, but otherwise you need to remember the holy trinity of getting things done:
How do you want it done? Good, Fast or Cheap?
Back in my former life as a software developer, there was the classic ‘development trilogy’. i.e. How do you want it done, good, fast or cheap?
You can pick any two out of three.
Here’s another before/after example illustrating the benefit of using a circular polariser:
Move the slider to the right to reveal the ‘after’ image with the polariser..
Note, other than the crop and adding the copyright text, these images are both straight out of camera. The only difference between the two was the use of the polariser.
If you’re looking to buy a polariser, in my opinion you can’t beat the ones made by B+W. I use their top-end ‘Kaesmann’ filter, which isn’t cheap but it really is the Rolls Royce of polarisers. Here are a couple of recommendations for you, with Amazon Links:
Hoya Pro-1 (minimum spec I’d recommend for beginners)
Hoya HD Digital Circular Polarizing Filter (better)
B + W Circular Polarizer Filter With Multi Resistant Coating (pro-spec)
B+W Kaesemann (The best imho!)
Here’s a little write-up in the Gloucester Gazette about my talk at Tyndale Photography Club last week.
I had another very enjoyable evening yesterday presenting a talk on digital workflow and editing techniques to the Tyndale Photographic Club in North Nibley. They always make me feel very welcome, and it’s nice to have a group who are open to new ideas and who’ll ask plenty of questions! :-)
A couple of people asked about the little rugged backup drive I mentioned in my talk, so I thought I’d include a link for you to make things easier. I’ve added a little Amazon ‘web store’ where I’ll share some useful product links etc.
Click here: [button link=”http://astore.amazon.co.uk/richardolpinphotography-21″ style=”info” color=”#8080ff” text=”grey”]Amazon Web Store[/button]
You can add them straight to your regular amazon account from this and check out as normal.
Hope that’s useful!
Tim Flach is a great wildlife photographer with a rather unique style
The one thing I will say, is that his website is rather out of date, relying rather heavily on outdated technology such as Flash, and the news hasn’t actually been updated since 2012, but don’t let that put you off. I Highly recommend his latest book ‘More Than Human’ (The image on the right is a link to buy it from Amazon)