Random Topics

Every blog needs a grab-bag category….

New Business Cards: Collect Them All!

I’ve been wanting to order some new business cards from Moo for a while now, but I wanted to do something fun. So in an effort to promote my portraiture, I chose 17 of my images and added a little “call to action” to them. Moo did the rest!

Collect them all!

Rat City Rollergirls Birthday

Everyone gets older, but that doesn’t mean we have to act like it! Well, sometimes that’s exactly what it means, but hopefully not on your birthday….

For the most recent celebration of my annual existence and survival, I fulfilled a lifelong dream. No, not to compete in a roller derby. I’ll leave that to the Rat City Rollergirls. But I did get to go watch a “bout” with 20 friends, and what a spectacle it was! I tried to capture some of the action, and here are a few long-distance snaps:

As you might imagine, Seattle has a roller derby league that is the envy of the country, breaking attendance records while playing at KeyArena, and fielding a barnstorming All-Star team. On this night, the Rose City Rollers were in town from Portland, and the two leagues battled to a 2-2 draw. Afterwards, I think we dropped in on the afterparty, although my recollection gets a bit fuzzy. Like I said, just because we get older doesn’t mean we have to act like it. Just ask the Rollergirls.

Knowing Your Rights as a Street Photographer

I just saw this article in the local paper online (Can people legally photograph on-duty Seattle cops?), and what seemed like a silly question to me probably is very confusing to many people. Not only the “on-duty” cops that you might photograph out in public, but others often uneducated about the legality of various forms of street photography include property owners, store employees and security guards, not to mention Joe Schmoe sipping his latte in the street.

Photographing people in a public place is well within your rights, and that obviously includes police or other folks acting in some “official” capacity. There is no presumption of privacy out on the street or in other public places. The restriction might later be trying to use those photographs for commercial use without obtaining a model release from the subject of your photo, or getting a property release for a photograph obviously taken in front of someone’s storefront.

You can even photograph people who are on private property if you are on public property, as long as you are not invading their privacy. For example, they are in a restaurant and you’re outside, or, you’re not reaching over a fence to catch them in their back yard.

Obviously the distinctions can get blurry, so then a good idea is to think about being respectful and dignified in your shooting. If someone asks you why you are taking a photograph of them, tell them it is for your personal use and you won’t be publishing it. If a cop asks you for your film or digital card, politely tell them you are within your rights to shoot as long as you are not being a nuisance or getting in the way. Being friendly, open and communicative about your work is a good way to defuse a potentially uncomfortable situation, and it will help educate those people who aren’t as aware of the rights of photographers.

A good resource is the The Photographer’s Right which includes a downloadable and printable version of a document elucidating your rights. I’m not saying that a cop is going to be willing to read it if you pull it out, but it might be a good reminder to yourself of talking points should you ever get into a friendly conversation about photography and your rights on the street.

Photography Best Practices From An Online Dating Site

I’m not inclined to post third-party articles, but this was photography-related, and also informative and funny at the same time: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/dont-be-ugly-by-accident/

The short version: OKCupid.com aggregated a lot of profile photos of their users, had people compare and rate the subjects for attractiveness, and then filtered all the ratings by camera EXIF data such as camera brand, depth of field, time of day. A couple obvious results are that a camera with an interchangeable lens makes for a more attractive photo, as does shooting with a shallower depth of field.

Also, photos taken with Nikons (my brand) rated lower than those taken with Panasonics or Canons.

Also, iPhone (my brand) users have more sex….