Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Swansboro, North Carolina

Last week we were in North Carolina visiting my mother for her 85th birthday. (Way to go, Ma!) New Bern is located at the meeting of the Neuse and Trent Rivers, and not far from the Intercostal Waterway. About thirty miles from New Bern is the picturesque (which also means touristy) town of Swansboro, located at the mouth of the White Oak River and just across the Intercostal Waterway from the barrier beach and the Atlantic Ocean. "Downtown" is narrow street about three blocks long lined with shops and homes. It rained on and off while were were there, but that didn't stop me from capturing some local color!

More photos in the expanded post.

The fishing boat, from another vantage point and with the colors muted.

Doorway to one of the many shops housed in historic buildings.

This second story home was located in the back of one of the shops. It looks as if the inhabitants take living in a seafaring village very seriously.

This final photograph isn't much to look at, but tells an interesting story. The ripples in the water were made by a school of small fish that kept jumping out of the water. You could see the fish nearing the surface and making ripples, and then all of a sudden a bunch would jump out of the water. The school was huge, and the antics went on for a good twenty minutes before we left the dock. I went back on the dock a little later, but all the fish had gone. I couldn't capture the fish, but at least I got their ripples.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Zoo… and other blogs — part I

Eddie & I finally made our planned trip to the Bronx Zoo last Thursday. We hadn't been there since the kids were — well, kids! And that was a long time ago. The zoo has actually become a wildlife park, and most animals live in natural habitats instead of behind bars. It makes it much more difficult to get good photos, but it is so much better for the animals. I had my Nikkor 70–300mm VR lens on the camera the entire time.

This photo of a group of NYALA (a species of South African antalope) was taken at f/8, 250 of a second with the lens zoomed to 240mm.

On to another subject…I've been promising some links to blogs that you might find of interest. Expand this post for the first installment.

The blogs I read regularly are divided into several categories. A few are just about photography and photographic equipment, several deal with photography and Adobe Photoshop & Lightroom, and others are pretty difficult to categorize.

Three excellent photography blogs are:

1. DIGITAL PROTALKDavid Ziser is a wedding photographer, but the tips he shares are valuable for all photographers.
2. STROBISTSTOBIST is a site devoted to using off-camera flash. I'm not really sure why I have it on my list. 99% of my photography is natural light, and I don't own an off-camera flash. That being said, anyone using a strobe should check out this blog.
3. MOOSE PETERSONMoose Peterson is a wild life photographer and teacher. He runs photography seminar in all sorts of amazing locales, and the photos he posts on his blog are phenomenal. (He wouldn't be posting photos taken at the Bronx Zoo!) His most recent post, July 8, is a series of grizzly bears in Alaska — where I think he is now. According to the blog, Moose, his wife and son camped next to where the bears live, and I gather the photographs are for a book. Pretty amazing!

We are going down to North Carolina for a few days celebrate my mother's 85th birthday. I'll list some more blogs when I can next post, probably over the weekend.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A blog post worth reading…and not mine!

No photo from me today. Nothing I could post could possibly compare with the photos, and accompanying story, at Joe McNally's blog. He is a New York based professional, and the story he tells in his July 8 post is extremely powerful. Check it out!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Legal Issues

I took this photo of a street musician in Washington, DC last July. I politely asked if I could take his picture and he said sure. I told him to keep playing, shot a few photos, thanked him, put money in his flute case, and went on my way. Since then I have included this image in my web gallery, but I have been reluctant to use any of the photos as a printed, fine art prints since I did not get a model release.

My question has been, do you really need a model release to use a photographer of a stranger in a fine art print that may be displayed in an art show, or even sold? Another legal question of mine relates to copyright. Is putting a copyright notice on a photograph really legal protection?

A final question that has gotten a lot of play on photography websites concerns taking photos in and around public buildings. It seems that many photographers, especially when using a tripod, have been approached by security guards and told to stop photographing in public places. In some instances photographers have told of being asked to turn over their memory card (the image comes to mind, no doubt from an old movie, of a photographer having his or her camera opened and the film torn out — a much more dramatic than surrendering a memory card).

Low and behold, answers to these question came in the form of a two part YouTube video on Scott Kelby's (yes, Scott Kelby again - he publishes good stuff) Photoshop Insider July 4th post. The video is an interview with Intellectual Property Attorney Ed Greenberg.

It seems that a fine art photographer can use a photo of a person without a model release for limited edition prints (you have to wait until the end part II for that information), just writing a copyright notice will not hold up in a court of law (but there are recourses), and in most instances photography in public spaces is legal.

Here is a link to the post — the two-part video is really worth viewing.

Later in the week I will start sharing some other blogs of interest to digital photographers.

Addendum: On Monday morning I came across another blog post with links to information about the legality of taking photographs in public places. The blog is The Online Photographer and the post was dated July 3 — click here to link to the post.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sour Grapes?

Something interesting, and upsetting, happened yesterday that I thought I would share with you all — and hopefully get some comments & opinions.

As I have written in earlier posts, I have been printing my photographs on canvas. The printed photos are gallery wrapped on stretchers so that frames are not necessary.

Canvas printing is becoming popular with both photographers and the public, and I love the way the images look. They are clearly displayed as photographs — there is no attempt to make people think they are paintings.

I had submitted an application to the South Folk Artist Guild for their juried, July 12 show in Westhampton. I only submitted the application three weeks ago, and since it was sent in so late, I knew there was a good chance that the quota for photographers was filled. Yesterday I received a rejection, with two reasons cited. First was what I had anticipated — the category was full. However, the hand written note went on to say that they had waited to contact me to see if there were any cancellations. Finally,the note said that the jury also decided not to allow photographs on canvas, because the painters were complaining!

Thinking back a few years ago, traditional photographers were wary of digital photography, and many art shows and exhibits prohibited digital media. Today it is rare to find someone shooting with film and/or printing in a darkroom. I see the printing on canvas issue as similar. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shooting Fireworks…

I like to feature what I consider quality photographs in my blog, but for today's topic I needed a shot of fireworks, and to be honest I could not find a good photo in my personal archives — it is obvious I need some pointers!

With July 4th just a few days away Scott Kelby (the publisher of Photoshop User Magazine and the President of NAPP - the National Association of Photoshop Professionals) published How to Shoot Fireworks in his Photoshop Insider blog today. I recommend checking it out — and if you won't be using the techniques this week, you can save the link for future reference. I know I will! If you still want more technique information, there is an article on photographing fireworks in the July 2008 issue of Popular Photography magazine.

Happy 4th of July everyone!