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2009/07/28

Time magazine cover pays big coin

The decline in newspapers has been on-going. Photographers also continue to struggle. For a long time the freelance shooters whined about those of us that had staff jobs taking assignments on the cheap because it was supplemental income. Now that staff jobs are vanishing the hobbyist is to blame. Or something.

How about the corporate bastards over at Time magazine as a place to point the fingers? Get this: A photographer got paid a staggering $30.00 for his image that was the FRONT COVER of the magazine. Now, they go even further and offer to sell reprints of their cover for $15.95. So all they have to do is sell TWO reprints and they have made money.

I am sure that people will tell me to get over it, the people at time are simply running a business and maximizing profits. I am so damned sick of hearing about how profits are the ONLY thing that matters. No wonder so many high school kids thrive on gang-banger music, hardcore violence in movies and are not asserting themselves. Why bother? Being a good citizen is for chumps. Why would anybody bother to go and have ethics and morals and treat people with fairness?

I think that $30 for a magazine cover photo is like buying a copy of Fantastic Four #1 for $1.25 because the seller didn't know the real value.

People at Getty and Time and everywhere else think about this: what is going to happen when you are 80 years old and you want somebody to help take care of you, but instead you get kicked to the street or even put down like a dog because the people that tried to have principals and treat people fairly were long ago done away with, and the society that is left won't have any interest in your dignity, but in your bank account and your fixed income checks that stopped years earlier because Social Security was not really something that we needed to be doing to help people be dignified.

I'd love to see one of those **Extensive list of Expletives deleted** from Time be handled so fairly. Never mind what the going rate is for your job Mr. Employee, we are going to give you $15.00 this week because that's all we want to.

2009/07/13

Not everyone is abandoning newspapers....

For a long time newspaper owners on the high end of the spectrum have been gutting newsroom staff and demanding unrealistic profits. Across the country newspapers are apparently on life support. Lay-offs and salary cuts are the norm.

So, how about this: a former Wall Street type has bailed on the corporate life and purchased several newspapers in Iowa (including the Charles City Press).... and in a posting shared with members of Sportsshooter.com, the buyer - Gene Hall - shares his reasons (follow the link in bold, below) and why he believes he is NOT taking a huge risk.

THIS POST with his reasons makes me think that maybe there actually are a few people out there that are thinking about newspapers in the right way.

Good luck. Hopefully he can start a trend...

2009/07/08

Glued to my screen

I cannot believe how much time I am putting in at my computer. So you are wondering if you can see the results – maybe I have been writing, or editing a major photo project. . . ? No, I have been sorting through thousands of images that I can delete. For 2008 I have over 45k images still on my one drive. A lot of that number consists of junk. Basketball games where I hit the motor drive for an action sequence. I got the shot, and then a bunch of extra stuff too. All of those can be dumped. All of the images I just dumped into the drive that were things like ads for used cars and furniture. Lots of things need to be eliminated. The rest needed to be keyworded and flagged so I can find them later on.

Right now my photo hard-drive is like the old shoe box full of negatives. In addition to the stuff from The Independent, I also have my own personal work and my family images to organize. It is amazing how quickly it packs up and gets away from somebody when shooting five or six days a week for more than 14 years. I don’t even want to begin trying to figure out what to do with my negatives and slides.

2009/07/06

Photo Software: cheap=free=cool

I met with my school's principal today and was told that I should not count on having Photoshop or even Photoshop Elements on the computers for my students. This left me in a panic - what am I going to do with 3 classes full of 25+ students each for an entire semester in the digital darkroom class?

I know I certainly cannot afford to purchase any software for my students - and not 24-28 copies of it! So I did some looking on Google and I ran across somebody mentioning a piece of software called "GIMP".

Now, the name made me hesitate for a moment, as all I could think of was the guy all dressed in leather and chained in a box in Pulp Fiction. Thankfully, that has NOTHING to do with this software.

GIMP is open source software - for FREE (I love that word) and the name is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. So I just downloaded and installed the newest release and it totally knocked my socks off. I figured it would be something along the lines of Picasa - a basic adjust the brightness and you're done type of thing. Not hardly!

This program has layers, cloning brushes, color adjustments, handles image color profiles, text tools and even unsharp mask. Now, as I said, I just downloaded this and have only played with it for about 20 minutes, but for anybody that needs some serious editing power - on a budget - this is the way to go.


Yes, the tools/icons and menus are very different looking from Photoshop CS3, but once you find where things are (like brightness/contrast tool is in the color section) it is easy enough to use.

I am soooooo glad I found this, and I actually have time to learn it before schooll starts.

Now to explore the wavelet plug-ins, including one that is supposed to handle RAW files (and possibly .DNG???)

2009/07/05

Maybe I should get into a photo program

Hey there! Did you know that there are great opportunities for photographers out there to earn real money (as opposed to the kind you make yourself, I guess).

All you have to do is take an On-line photography course. Like THIS ONE.

Or, you can do like the lady at the New York Times said, don't bother taking any photos - just go to Flickr and appropriate whatever catches your interest.

Onto other photo related things. I have a 1TB hard drive, and it only has 34 GB left on it. The only thing on the drive are photographs that I have taken. So now I have spent a good portion of this past week letting my desktop computer import and catalog the images (by year) into Adobe Lightroom. In the current ingest for 2008 (which I have had to do in segments to keep the computer from locking up) I have 50,641 images. Now I know that some of those photos are in multiple folders, but even if they are not, 50k images for one year is not really all that excessive. Think about it and you get less than 1,000 photos a week. Say I shoot 5 days per, and that comes in at about 200 images per day.

So, I shot a LOT of images. What does that mean? I have no idea really. Perhaps it means that it is possible to shoot 43,000 images with your lens cap on and not know it....

2009/07/01

Image manipulation is a global problem

Mark Hancock is a photojournalist who spends an incredible amount of time on his blog - with research, trends and explanations of his work.

I have heard about various cases of image manipulation in news outlets over the years, and always wondered what these people were thinking. In the post linked to below, Hancock has detailed the specifics of multiple cases - going all the way back to Mathew Brady in the 1860s.

I encourage you to read through it - it is long, but very thorough and definately worth the time. I will be sharing this entry with my journalism students this fall.

PhotoJournalism: Image manipulation is a global problem