Bad Photo Contests

Sun June 6, 2010

Many of us love to send our best pictures to Photo Contests. Sometimes the prizes are worth it, at other times, we just thrill to get credit. But beware, not all photo contests are good for you — or your pictures.

Most photo contests have submission rules. You should always read them carefully. Most of them are written so that contestants are judged fairly — and cannot sue the judges and participating sponsors. There are also rules on the use of the winning entries by the sponsors. Once you submit your pictures, you are granting the sponsors the rights to display these pictures to promote the contest. Usually, the winning entries can be used by the sponsors for the sole purpose of promoting the contest for a period of a year. The winners also agree that they cannot enter the winning entries into other photo competition during that time. After the year is over, the winners are free to use the winning entries as they see fit. At all times, photographers retain the ownership rights to their entries.

Then, there are the lazy [unethical?] sponsors who simply claim the rights to use your entries for anything they want — for perpetuity.

These are the bad photo contests you want to avoid. Unless you want to outright sell them your photos for the price of the prize, which is what it really amounts to. Still, some rules state that your entries (whether they’ve won a prize or not) now belong to the sponsors.

We admit we’ve been lax on this issue when featuring photo contests on this site, but we’re going to pay more attention and avoid those that are unethical.

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How to nail your Panoramic shots

Fri June 4, 2010

Nasim Mansurov has written what I believe to be probably the best tutorial on how to take panoramas using your P&S or DSLR. It’s concise, choke full of useful practical info and the example photos speak for themselves. There are no hyperbole, no lists, no Flickr pictures [a sure sign that the author is more “teacher” than “doer”], just sharing of his experience backed up by wonderful panorama photos.

Read the tutorial at: The Masurovs.


Photo Mechanic: there’s no app for that!

Thu June 3, 2010

Camera Bits, the company behind Photo Mechanic [QuickPrice Check] has written a letter of apology to its customers saying there will not be an app for the iPad. Reasons? Restrictions Apple has placed on third party apps to directly access photos. “At this point it is darn near impossible for us to provide what we would consider a useful app, something besides a gimmick or curiosity.

Read the letter at: Rob Galbraith.

Articles, Videos

Teaching Photography in Jail

Wed June 2, 2010

[ via @_stephane_c ]


Google Chrome OS to rival MS Windows

Wed June 2, 2010

Is Microsoft’s dominance about to end? Google is releasing its Chrome Operating System to rival Microsoft’s Windows OS in the autumn. Price: FREE.

This is incredible and has a sickening sweetness to it. After all, it was Microsoft who continually bundled more and more free stuff into its OS and drove many companies who sold these “apps” out of business. Looks like the table is about to be turned.

It took Google less time to come up with a successful browser than it took Microsoft to build IE and get it “right.” And here is Google who is now offering a rival OS totally free. If you still think that Google is about search, think again. It has shown that it wants to own and rule it all. Microsoft, take note. Apple, take note. Nokia, take note. RIM, take note. Is there an area that Google will not stick its fingers in? The future, as Google sees it, is Chrome.

[ via PhysOrg ]

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Visa Pour l’Image to crack down on Photo Manipulation

Wed June 2, 2010

After the rashes of digitally manipulated photos that have won contests — and then have had their win annuled — Visa Pour l’Image has decided to ask photojournalists to submit RAW files with their submissions to the 22nd International Photojournalism Festival to ensure they haven’t been heavily manipulated.

This year’s festival will be held once again (numéro 22) in the city of Perpignan in the south of France from 28 August to 12 September. More than 30 exhibitions are planned with photographers such as Cédric Gerbehaye, Kazuyoshi Nomachi and Stephanie Sinclair on show.

Read the article at: BJP.


Hoya! Grandson Shareholder Questions Pentax Acquisition

Sun May 30, 2010

Yutaka Yamanaka, a grandson of the Japanese lens maker’s founder, Shigeru Yamanaka, calls for a more diverse, transparent board to help prevent “failures” such as the $1 billion purchase of PENTAX Corp.

Yamanaka, 33, owns less than 1 percent of Hoya’s outstanding shares, with 51 percent owned by overseas shareholders such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Capital Research & Management Co. and Deutsche Bank AG. On May 11, Yamanaka submitted a 15-point shareholder proposal (unheard of at a Japanese company) which includes calls for disclosure of individual directors’ pay, limits on concurrent board membership, and an end to cumulative voting (which lets shareholders withhold votes from some nominees in order to cast multiple votes for others). He claimes that Hoya’s 2007 acquisition of camera and endoscope maker Pentax to expand its medical care business was “overpriced.”

Read the whole article at: Bloomberg.


Understanding “Understanding Exposure” – Shutter Speed

Sun May 30, 2010

I’ve been negligent with updating my Understanding “Understanding Exposure series on Photoxels on Facebook. I’ve just completed the chapter on Shutter Speed.

For those who are new here, what I am doing is going through Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition) [QuickPrice Check ] by Bryan Peterson and commenting on each chapter, adding my own experience and bit of advice as we go along.

If you want to better your photography, you need to understand about exposure, and I believe there’s no better book that will explain this as clearly as “Understanding Exposure.” Once you do, you will also — as an unintended bonus — get a clear idea of what features and functionality your next digital camera should have.


Jim Richardson: Notes and Tips From the Field

Sun May 30, 2010

Jim Richardson has been on assignments for a quarter century, traveling the world and capturing amazing photographs for National Geographic. He shares his notes and tips from the field of how he prepares for a shoot, improvise in the field, and keep learning and growing.

Here are a few questions I geaned from his writings that he answers:

Follow Jim Richardson on: National Geographic.


How To Pick A Company Name

Sat May 29, 2010

Picking a name for your online company or blog may be the hardest part of starting your new business. You think you’ve got the perfect name but when you rush to register the URL, you find that it’s already “taken,” more correctly, “parked” by some company hoping to sell it to you for a hefty price. Some registrars even get into the game: as soon as you try their URL finder to check if your desired URL is available, they park it and offer to sell it to you for more than the $15 / year it usually costs.

SO, just how do you go about choosing a name that is cool, makes sense, has the right feel to it — and is not already taken in Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, etc. (for you do have to also consider all the social media sites you want to use).

Frances McInnis thinks she has the right steps for you to follow in this Mashable article. She lists seven “rules” that will help you find that perfect name for your startup.

Read the article at: Mashable.


Panasonic Perfect Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Sat May 29, 2010

Father’s Day is right around the corner (June 20) and I’m sure he’s not one to leave it to chance. Keep your ears open to the hints he’s dropping about his favorite digital camera or other gift hints.

Here are a couple of suggestions from Panasonic for the perfect high tech gift ideas that will help show dad how much he is appreciated all year long.

Panasonic 2010 Father’s Day Gift Guide Suggestions

SC-SP100 Audio System for iPod
This slim and stylish compact audio system is great for transferring music from computers to iPods making it easy for dad to bring his favourite tunes wherever he goes!

  • Compatible with both iPods* and iPhones*, the SC-SP100 audio system has a total output power of 20 watts
  • Featuring a dynamic bass with integrated subwoofer, this small system still delivers deep robust bass and clear sound in a compact body
  • Easily sync capabilities with iPods* or iPhones*, dad can transfer music to his iPod and update iPod data while it’s docked (SC-SP100 connects to a PC via USB)
  • The SC-SP100 audio system includes a remote control and the manufacturer’s suggested price is (MSP) CAD $149.99

* iPod/iPhone sold separately

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Why You Should Always Take Both Vertical and Horizontal Shots

Mon May 24, 2010

As photographers, we often have to decide whether to shoot a picture using the portrait (Vertical) or landscape (Horizontal) orientation. If we want to sell out pictures to grace magazine covers, the Vertical orientation seems to be the logical way to go (making provision for the magazine logo). However, a couple of surveys by LookStat have found that the Horizontal orientation seems to outprice the Vertical one, with the revenue per image for Horizontal shots being twice that of other formats.

Read the survey results here:

The conclusion: For each shot, shoot both a vertical and a horizontal orientation[s].

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