Photographers & other Artists getting royalties from subsequent auction sales of their works.

The American Royalties Too Act (ART Act)

It’s funny but I’m really not sure how I feel about this legislation to give Artists a share of auction proceeds generated by customers subsequently selling their Art.

Part me me says it’s a wonderful thing, part of me figures it’s a nightmare for the auction houses.

It would be wonderful to receive checks out of the blue as the price of your Art spirals upward.

It will be a nightmare for the auction houses to track down & pay bunches of people they’re not necessarily knowledgeable of and then generate the W-2’s in December.

Now this probably won’t effect me personally since it doesn’t kick in until the sale price exceeds $5000.

The article in PDN is consist and well written. I encourage anyone who is an Artist to read it.

http://pdnpulse.pdnonline.com/2014/03/photographers-get-royalties-auction-sales-proposed-federal-bill.html

So…what do you think?

 

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A Novel Way To Destroy Your Computer System

Wow, it’s been a while since I wrote a blog entry here on #WhyPhotograph.org.
I was reading a LinkedIn discussion about backing up systems when, of course, the horror stories appeared. The horror of house fire and how the Fire Department sent so much water into the house to stop the fire that there was more water damage than fire damage and how that will overwhelm “Water Resistant” housing and even compromise “Water Proof” ones. The tornadoes that just delete everything by removing it and depositing the machines, backup drives, etc in someone elses home at full storm velocity.
Lots of good off site  solutions were given but I wanted to add a warning about an interesting way to destroy your computer system and anything connected to it.
A short thought on your computer & your files safety:
Something I haven’t seen mentioned much in any of this is the importance of having EVERYTHING that is connected to your computer on a surge protector. I was developing on-site for a company and had set their system up completely on good surge protectors, etc. Several months after I had finished I got a call that their machine was dead. I went in and found someone had moved the console (ok…I’m old) to another area and plugged it in to the wall. I opened up the box and it was real evident where the surge came in.The video card was literally fried & you could follow the surge into the rest of the machine.
I expect a hurriedly connected (& forgotten) USB, FireWire device, or monitor will cause the same thing.

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ILL-U-GRAPHY – Illustrative Photography

While reading Lisa Hogbens posting “unhip hipstamatic or fauxtography fail

I realized that some reason or another, I haven’t heard the word Fauxtography before but I like it.

It definitely describes a lot of what I’ve been seeing on the phone boards and pages. 

 People just shooting pictures & putting them up with nothing behind them. People posting endless variations on an image, apparently searching for something but sticking up even the bad images.

Now I have seen a great amount of interesting Illustrative work done with small cameras, phones & apps.

I wonder if we don’t need a category of Photography called Illustrative mashed with  “graphy”.

Perhaps IlluGraphy would do.

I’m not sure this term will engender the respect it deserves though but it will be a good place holder until one is found.

Something not quite what I’d call Photography but definitely thought thru, interesting and new.

…and yes… I do IlluGraphy too…

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Opening of AWSchmitt.com

I just thought I’d mention that www.AWSchmitt.com is open and ready for business. You can get loads of Free-Bees and other helpful information along with the start of my on-line gallery business. Please stop by and say HI and let me know what you think.

thanks

 

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A few short entries

Before I get back to a better use for the emphasis idea I put forth in my last entry, I just wanted to mention a few interesting happenings.There’s even a musical interlude available to listen to as you peruse the article, located at the end of the article.

The New York City Hall of Records has finally made over 870,000 images available online for all to see & use. There is also mention of an ability to purchase prints.
http://nycma.lunaimaging.com/luna/servlet

An interesting piece of software that might interest you. It allows the easy extraction of individual video frames, both on the iPhone & on the computer. This could allow for some fascinating composite images.
http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/14/qa-capturing-a-video-frame/?nl=technology&emc=edit_ct_20120517

A App for the iPhone (and soon android) called the Trigger-Trap. If you buy a dongle that fits your SLR it works with that as well controlled by your iPhone.
The full program has a bunch of functional modes:
Timelapse, Eased timelapse, Sound sensor, Shock & Vibration sensor, Metal & magnetism sensor,
Facial recognition, HDR mode, HDR Timelapse mode, Distance-lapse mode, Motion detection mode,
Cable Release mode, Star trail mode
There is also a free version with three trigger modes (Cable Release mode, vibration sensor and timelapse mode)
I will report back on this soon.

https://triggertrap.com/

Adorama has released an interesting tutorial on Flash fro photographing flowers. Though heavily Nikon-centric, the concepts should work for all.

http://www.adorama.com/ALC/Article.aspx?googleid=0013667&alias=What-Everybody-Ought-to-Know-About-Flash-for-Fantastic-Flower-Photography

And last, but not least, Adobe has released a note on using TWAIN plug-in for running scanners among other things through Photoshop. It’s not a pretty sight anymore. Even Adobe is recommending 3rd party software to do it.
http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/twain-plug-photoshop-cs4-cs5.html#main_Photoshop_CS5_and_TWAIN

I happen to really like VueScan.
http://www.hamrick.com/

oky-doky…that’ll keep you busy while I try to write a cogent article on using emphasis in iPhone portraits.

I’ll probably be listening to Iron Butterfly’s Inna Gadda Da Vidda…It’s the full length version with some interesting video…

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Creating emphasis in an image

One of the things I miss in the iPhone is a variable aperture. This allows for the relative isolation of a subject by soft focusing the rest of the image not in the same focal plane as the primary point focus. This is also accomplished using swings and tilts in a view camera, but I digress..

Last time we were in England, we went to Stratford-Upon-Avon. This tree was in the garden of (I believe) Shakespeare’s sisters house . Since I love animal forms where there aren’t any animals, I shot this both with my Canon 5D MII and with my iPhone. I find I do this frequently, so when ever I get a break since I can easily review and play with the iPhone images, putting what I’ve found to use later on in the 5D images.

The original image showed great promise, even without the Real Ale I had been consuming.

A growth springing from a tree takes the shape of a being escaping from the core of the tree

A growth springing from a tree takes the shape of a being escaping from the core of the tree

The being needs to be separated more from the surrounding tree to give it emphasis and a sense of movement. I carefully outlined the being in BigLens on an iPad, because doing it on the iPhone seemed crazy after a few Real Ales. The result achieved my desires but is far too obvious for my tastes.

A growth springing from a tree takes the shape of a being escaping from the core of the tree

A growth springing from a tree takes the shape of a being escaping from the core of the tree made more obvious by blurring the surrounding image using BigLens

I loaded the origional image into Blender, on the left side and the BigLens’ed image on the right and moved the pointer back and forth a bit. I was pleased that I immediately saw the result I was seeking.

A growth springing from a tree takes the shape of a being escaping from the core of the tree made more natural by blending the original with the BigLens image using Blender.

A growth springing from a tree takes the shape of a being escaping from the core of the tree made more natural by blending the original with the BigLens image using Blender.

Now there are some things I have learned since doing this.
a. Real Ale really helps image realization.
b. I should have edited off the side branches on the BigLens image to remove the smear around them in the final image.
c. When using Blender, I always load the target image on the left and the modifier on the right. It’s just easier to remember when you’re doing multiple blends
d. English people don’t seem to notice people editing images in pubs, especially if they cheer the local team occasionally and drink Real Ale.

I believe the next entry will be about using this technique in portraits. Have a great day and see you then.

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SlowShutter… Why II

One of the things I didn’t realize about SlowShutter is it allows you to set the shutter speed. (hey, I didn’t say I paid attention..)
We were at the opening of the new East Gallery at the Grounds For Sculpture and I thought I’d take a few pictures of the new wing. The first image was using ProCamera, my normal “quickie” camera.

Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture

Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture

This is an ok image, a little static though, so I thought this would be a good time to try out SlowShutter and see if I could introduce a little motion in it.
Since I didn’t have a tripod with me, I had to try to wedge the iPhone inside the buck frame of an outside door to properly steady it.
The first image is shutter speed set to 0.5 seconds

Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture

Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture with a .5 sec exposure with SlowShutter


There is a little movment on the ground but still rather static.
The next one is 2 sec.
Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture

Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture with a 2 sec exposure with SlowShutter


You can now see the effect I’m after. The rush of the crowd inside the still container. This is pretty much the look I wanted but the room isn’t completely sharp (remember, no tripod..)
and now 4 sec.
Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture.

Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture with a 4 sec exposure with SlowShutter


and finally 8 sec.
Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture

Inside the new East Gallery at the Grounds for Sculpture with a 8 sec exposure with SlowShutter

You can see that it’s almost impossible to steady a camera for that period unless it’s firmly pressed into a flat, supporting surface. I also did a 16 second exposure but it’s not even worth seeing.
Another think you may notice is the variability in the rate people move. Crowds have a tendency to surge and stop. Once you find the correct exposure, shoot a bunch and pick the best one.

Please remember that what I’ve just showed also applies to Big Boy cameras too…

Blending several of the images together can also make for a wild composition.

Speaking of Blending… I think my next note will be on using BigLens and Blender to direct visual focus inside an image.

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SlowShutter… Why?

Why would you take the risk of deliberately introducing blur into a camera system designed to be so sharp?

In the days of olde, before apps, people crafted their images “in camera”. Through experience, looking at reams of other peoples images, disassembling them in your mind and then integrating them in your own work. Initially producing, perhaps, derivative images but allowing you to integrate the technique into your bag o’tricks to be applied at some later date when your image you were composing screamed out for it.

Ok, enough about the “good ‘old days”…

I had been looking for a way to slow down the shutter speed for a long night exposure when Teri mentioned it in “The Last Pixel Show” so I thought i’d give it a try.

I shot the first pair on the lake when I noticed the water lapping over a boulder.

The first shot was with ProCamera and shows what you’d expect, crisp water with movement patterns in it.

image of boulders on a lakeside with water washing over them in crisp detail

Shot with Procamera


The next one shows the same scene but with the water smooth & dreamy. Quite a different look.
image of bolders on a lakeside with water smoothly washing over them

Shot with SlowShutter


If look at the rocks, you’ll see why I recommend a tripod with this. I had supported the camera on another rock to steady it. It works fine for ProCamera but allowed just enough vibration to get through that the rocks aren’t sharp.

The next examples were shot with a tripod.

The first image is the SlowSutter version of the barn by my studio in Peters Valley. It has a different feel than the next image. There seems to be more texture and shadow detail in this very high contrast scene. There is tree movement visible especially in the middle left & the grass is a tad softer from it. Since there was a decent wind that afternoon, you’ll notice the buildings moving slightly as well.

Image of a disintegrating barn with grass and clouds

Image of a disintegrating barn with grass and clouds shot with SlowShutter


The second image is a 645Pro one. Sharp & crisp though I think a little too contrasty causing some loss of shadow detail. I used the K14 film type which may help explain the higher contrast.
Image of a disintegrating barn with grass and clouds

Image of a disintegrating barn with grass and clouds Shot with 645Pro

It all depends on what you want to accomplish, how you visualize your final piece.

Right after I posted this piece I remembered that I had another, rather cool, use for SlowShutter.
While at a charity thing I decided to see if I could balance the iPhone on the table and do some slow shutter exposures. Here are the results:

Group of fashionably dressed people slow dancing

Group of fashionably dressed people slow dancing shot with SlowShutter.

Group of fashionably dressed people slow dancing

Group of fashionably dressed people slow dancing shot with SlowShutter

Group of fashionably dressed people slow dancing

Group of fashionably dressed people slow dancing shot with SlowShutter

In my next entry, I’ll take them indoors & see what happens… Have a great day Friends…

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Thoughts on a website I

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It’s been an amazingly long time since I posted anything to WhyPhotograph.

It all started when I got the bright idea to (finally) build a new website and Hypermart, my ISP, had a “sale” on URL’s & Hosting for a year. Unfortunately, WhyPhotograph.com was taken so I thought I’d take the experts advice & try to link it to my name. AWSchmitt.com turned out to be available so I took it. I expected I would be able to build a new site w/o disturbing my old faithful http://www.aandy.org. I could just build AWSchmitt in the background then migrate it to AAndy.org when it was done. It seemed like a plan at the time……

Since I didn’t have a copy of DW CS5 to do an HTML site I decided to run with WordPress. This had been easy to setup, in the case of WhyPhotograph, and there seemed to be a bunch of themes available that I could probably customize later on.

I wanted a Photography based site so most of the free themes really weren’t applicable so I bought a simple, slide show based one. I didn’t want to do one that pushed images to the user, due to Verizon starting enforcement of bandwidth useage and the yoking of those who exceeded it. Of course, there is very limited documentation for the chosen theme. Documentation such as image sizes needed. If you put in one that was too big, it didn’t do the rational thing & limit it’s size on the screen, it just overflows the image across other sections of the screen. Put in the slide images and they go all over the place…

The worst problem I ran across was similiar to one discussed by Lisa Hogben  (http://lisahogben.wordpress.com) when she was setting up for a retrospective exhibit. Out of the bazillions of photographs she has taken, which ones to use? 
Just starting to run thru images upon images… all screaming “What about me???” (swiped that from Lisa too) is an amazingly daunting task. One that stymies me every time I attempt it. Pretty weird, huh?

Some of them even tried to climb out of the image.

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iPhone

Finally broke down & got a new iPhone 4s a month or do ago and thought I’d pass on a few comments.
Apple seems to want to takeover the small camera market with the 4s and they’ve almost got it right.(IMHO). My predominate complaint is the low light response which is not particularly good. In an attempt to rescue this, I’ve tried using TrueHDR to produce an extended range image but normally end up with low image quality & excessive grain.
I haven’t been able to find a program that gives me manual control of the camera yet.
Other than that the new sensor, especial when paired with TrueHDR, produces amazing results.
Well it’s time to get to work so more later…:)

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