Archive for the ‘Stock Photography’ Category

7003 Images

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Yesterday Masterfile posted some of the images from my recent submissions to thier website, these ones were from Chicago and Germany. This now brings the total number of images that I have which are available for licensing with them to 7003. If you have some time and want to browse through a few of my pictures here’s the LINK.

If It’s On The Internet, It Must Be Free!

Friday, August 28th, 2009

This is a follow up to my last post of unauthorized use of photography. Many people, probably most people, think that just because something is on the Internet it’s free. This has to be one of the biggest misconceptions about the Internet and copyright. In the case of the photos below they seem to think that if you give credit to the photographer that’s all you have to do, then you can do whatever you want to with the pictures. The person that’s used my photographs from Tahiti on their web site at least said “Pictures are taken from Garry Black Photography”. I get a kick out of “taken”, yes they were taken and without my permission. I have several options, I could ask that the pictures be removed; I could invoice them; or do nothing at all. What would you do?

For some of the starfish infringements I sent a take down notice. One person who was using it as an avatar on a wedding forum site was quite upset when she found out from the administrators that she couldn’t use it any longer. This is what she wrote on the forum “Anybody else get their avatar deleted for copyright reasons? I had mine up for almost 2 years and now I lost it since I don’t “own” the image. I get it, but really, I mean it was just some random image of a starfish, I’m sure nothing they ever would have gotten sued over. Now nobody will know who I am since I will have to put up a new avatar.” The funny thing is that this person is also from Ottawa, my hometown.

Unauthorized use of Tahiti photos

I’ve removed the web site’s URL  and name from this photo.

People Just Love My Pictures

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Star Fish on Beach

Recently while browsing the web I’ve found several different photographs of mine being used as avatars. And I definitely know that these haven’t been licensed (paid for). So I decided to do a search for one photograph in particular, the star fish on the beach, using TinEye. It came up with over 75 results of where this picture was being used on the web, and not one was a licensed usage. I’ve posted 4 of them below. Now, it’s very flattering that people love my pictures so much and would want to use them, but it would also be nice if they paid for them as well.

I’m quite sure that most of these people don’t realize that they’re breaking the law with copyright infringement by using these pictures and that they can be invoiced/sued for the usage.  Just because you find something on the web, that doesn’t give you permission or license to use it as you see fit, it’s not free! This isn’t anything new in the world of copyright, if you’re interested in finding out more legal information a good web site is Photo Attorney by Carolyn E. Wright.

Now Goggle has just made it easier and faster for people to steal photos with OffiSync 2.0 which is a plug-in for Microsoft Office. If you have any photos on the web and particularly if you make your living from photography, I would strongly suggest that you make sure that they are copyrighted in the IPTC Description data field and I would also put a visible copyright or your name on the image. In the past I’ve put my name on only a few photos, thinking that it distracts from the picture. Well from this date forward all of the images that I post will have my name visibily on them and then I’ll start to work my way back through the rest of them.

Every month on my sales statement from the stock agency that represents me, there is at least one invoice to a company that has had an unauthorized use of a photograph. There was one case where a photographic supplier had lifted my entire article, text and photos on photographing fireworks, without asking permission or even giving me a credit line. They PAID for that!

Web sites with Unauthorized use of photo Click for larger view



Trip Planning

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Travel Book Cover Tears Sheets

Before we head out on any trip there’s a considerable amount of time spent in researching and planning the itinerary of that trip. As a stock photographer, the first and also the most important decision is where to go? I have a few favourite places in the world that I’ve visited several times over the years and also some others that I’d like to return to. But if I keep going back to the same locations over and over again, I’ll end up with a fantastic (huge) collection of photos from that place, but then on the other hand that will also definitely limit my sales to only those locations. Since I’m self funding all of these trips, I have to think about the potential financial returns from the photographs that I’ll take on any trip and whether it’s worthwhile to invest my time and money on that trip. To date I’ve chosen wisely, every trip has more than paid for itself.

Once we’ve decided on a location, my work is pretty well done at least until we start packing for the trip and I’ll hear are your cameras packed yet? However up until that time Valerie will have spent endless hours in researching the trip. She uses the Internet (who doesn’t) but I mean she really uses it, she has travel magazine subscriptions and she also buys travel guide books. The funny thing about all of this, is that usually on the next edition of those guide books one of my pictures is being used on the cover, as in the 4 covers above.

Right now I’m at home in Ottawa trying to make some headway on the backlog of pictures I’ve taken over the last couple of years. While I’m doing that, Val is doing some preliminary research for potential trips to either Brazil/Argentina, Egypt/Jordan or Indochina. I’m not sure which one of these we’ll go on, hopefully we’ll get to all of them some day.

Questions and Comments

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

The last few blog entries have generated quite a few email questions and comments from readers. I’m not sure why there are so many, I’ve always received questions but lately there seems to be considerably more. I think that it may have something to do with the popularity of digital cameras. It seems as though almost everyone now has one and for a lot of these people, photography has become a passion, and that passion has driven them to learn as much about photography as possible.

The most common and probably the one question that I have been asked the most over the years is about stock photography. What is it? Do you make enough to earn a living? Can I make money doing it? And how can I join a stock agency? Which stock agency should I join? What about Rights Managed, Royalty Free and Microstock?

There has also been questions about equipment. Why did I switch from Nikon to Canon a couple of years ago? Would I have made the switch today or stayed with Nikon? What photo gear do I have now? There are questions about travelling and photographing internationally and here at home camping in our 5th wheel RV.

There have been questions and comments on other subjects too. Over the coming weeks I hope to be able to post answers to all of these questions.

Summer’s Over

Monday, October 13th, 2008

My sincere apologies to those readers who haven’t found anything posted here for the last 3 months! It’s not that I’ve been off to some remote world destination for an extended stay, in fact quite the opposite. After returning from France in June we had decided to stay in Ottawa for the summer, something that we had not done for the last 13 years. We had some house renovations and upkeep maintenance to do, I had a large backlog of images to edit and post-processing and finally I also thought this would give me the opportunity to get out and shoot around the Ottawa area during the summer.

Well now that summer is over, what did I accomplish? All of our home projects are finished, that was big and expensive. It ended up that I hardly did in photography in Ottawa, the weather here was horrible. So with the cameras sitting on the shelves most of the summer we decided that we just had to get away. We had a couple options, either taking the 5th wheel RV out on a road trip or flying away somewhere. A decision that I’m sure anybody would love the opportunity to have to make. We ended up choosing on returning to Europe and on this trip to explore Southern Germany – Bavaria, Romantic Road and the Rhine and Mosel Valleys. We left in mid Sept and returned back home last week. It was another great trip, and now I have lots of material to process from this trip. This only adds to the mountain of other work that I still have to edit and process. I’ve come to the realization that I will always have a backlog of images, but I no longer feel guilty about it. The reason that I got into photography many years ago, was that special feeling you get when you look through the viewfinder and everything just comes together and you know you’ve got the image as you release the shutter. For me that’s what photography is all about!

On the subject of editing and processing of images, this is probably what I spent the majority of my time working on this summer. I finished all the images from our 2 trips to New York City last year (spring and Christmas) as well as the images from a fall trip to Las Vegas. I’ve now started on the photos from Paris and France, but I still have all of the images from last summer’s road trip to Colorado and Utah as well as several thousand images from the road trip the summer before (2006) to New England.

I now have over 6000 images on Masterfile’s web site, I’m ranked as the third highest artist with the most number of images out of more than 300 contributing photographers.

Two Months Later

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

I haven’t posted anything here for the last two months. If you’re a frequent visitor to the site you may have thought, what have I been up to? I’ve been spending most of my time processing RAW images and also digital post-processing with Photoshop. I finally installed Photoshop CS3, I had been procrastinating installing it as I really didn’t want to take the time to learn how to use all of the new features. For me  it’s about creating images, not on how I did it or with which equipment and software was used.  While the equipment and software is important, lately I find that there is an infatuation with the technology of photography rather than the art of photography. Technology and art go hand in hand in creating a photograph, but face it all the technology can’t change a boring and bad photo, in the end that’s all it will be.

This winter we’ve almost broke the yearly record for the most amount of snow, so I’ve spent many hours shovelling, well actually I have a snow blower but it still takes a long time. Val has been planning our next trip, France in May and June, which will be here before I know it.

I’ve received many e-mail requests about stock photography and which agencies to submit to and where to find them.  Well, Rob Haggart the former Director of Photography for Men’s Journal and Outside magazine, has created a very interesting list of stock agencies. This is from a photo buyers point of view, so far there are 90 comments, many adding additional agencies to the list. Here’s the link