Posts Tagged 'Flickr'

Expired? I Never Had a Flickr Pro Account.

Big deal!  I gave up my flickr pro account a long time ago, and I still have zero intention of ever uploading more than 200 hundred photos to flickr.  For the record, I’m at a hundred right now, which is perfect for me.  I’m just wondering why is flickr telling me my pro account has expired when I haven’t had one for more than a year—possibly two.

Has anybody else experienced this before?  Is flickr known to have charged credit cards when they shouldn’t have?

Man Feels Strongly About Creative Commons

Photo by allabout george

(via Neatorama)

Photography Link Roundup

Photo by Kira Wakeam

•  People who live in Fort Greene are cool, yo.  Check out Kira Wakeam’s slideshow of the Brooklyn neighborhood’s residents and see how they do it. [The Local/New York Times]

•  Oops. Flickr accidentally deleted a user’s account…and 4,000 of his photos. [Switched]

•  Amateur photog David L. Foster got a photo of a train plowing through a snow bank, but still, he says, “I wish I had 20 more seconds.” []

•  Can you handle one more awesome timelapse video, this one of snow accumulation? But this has the bonus of Detroit Free Press photographer Brian Kaufman explaining how he did it. []

•  And just because …”The best in sexual harassment stock photography.” [PhotoZZ]

Los Angeles Times Joins flickr, Launches So Cal Moments

User-generated content is the future of newspapers, so it was only a matter of time before the L.A. Times added a flickr-linked photo feature to its web site. The decision came about as a result of the web team looking for ways to engage the readership and finding that the in-house methods they tried just didn’t catch on. The new flickr group was started in early December, and every day they’ll choose a photo to feature on L.A. Now and Southern California Moments.

It’s expected that some photographers will be upset over the idea that the L.A. Times is just one more news site to take advantage of user-generated content without compensating the contributors. Which, is a very valid position and something I agree with most of the time.

I rarely contribute to web sites that aren’t willing to pay for material, and as a group, it’s best that photographers (and all content providers really) not chum themselves to feeding sharks on a daily basis.  But I am not against working pro bono and will definitely contribute work on occasion to quality websites and online social media projects.

For instance, I did a non-paid assignment for last year, and after the subjects saw the completed photo essay I was asked if they could use my work for free in their yearly brochure. I said no for various reasons. And to prove a point, I asked if the printer who was producing the brochures was not being paid as well.  I did the initial assignment for free because I was interested in the subject and I’m friends with the writer.  I was also able to visit a part of California that I had never seen before, too.

Prior to that, I contributed a photo to Found Magazine because I thought that an old Polaroid I discovered in an abandoned house showing someone dressed like the bunny from Donnie Darko, pre-DONNIE DARKO!, was the most awesomest thing ever! Fans of the magazine thought so too once the photo was published on Found’s website.  But around the same time, my photo of Superman and Hulk “lighting-up” appeared on a very popular website that generates revenue — without my permission or credit.  I emailed the admins to remove the image from the site immediately and they did so.

And currently, I’m photographing Stephen Box’s Los Angeles City Council campaign gratis because I support his overall message and really want him to win the upcoming District 4 election in March.  On the other hand, I did state that the photos cannot be used by any local media free of charge.

Finally, I would absolutely never provide cell phone video or still images of a breaking news story to any news agency (a common occurrence nowadays) without compensation because I know that the paid staff reporters who didn’t arrive on the scene early enough to get decent footage of the actual event are stuck shooting b-roll shots of police tape and cops standing around their cruisers.

Now I realize that this may seem like one big contradiction.

However, if you’re a self-taught photographer with few connections to editors and paying assignments, you have to evaluate each situation and make decisions that are best for you in order to get your work the attention it deserves.  And the L.A. Times’ Southern California Moments seems like it could be a good opportunity for talented photographers who are working diligently to get their work some exposure. There’s also the slight possibility that someone will see your work featured on the site and hire you for a job.  So unless you’re truly happy with just flickr’s way of “promoting” your work, then why not contribute?

Plus, it’s a great feeling to know that an L.A. Times staff member thinks your work is good enough to share with their readers.  Especially when the newspaper already has Don Bartletti, Barbara Davidson, Rick Loomis, Luis Sinco, and Carolyn Cole on their staff.  I mean, with a dream team like that, it’s not like they’re lacking any amazing images of So Cal moments or existing content that actually drives traffic to the site. (Have you seen Davidson’s recent photo essay Victims of Gang Violence?  Awards are coming for that great piece of reporting.)

On the other end of the photographer spectrum, there are probably a lot of hobbyists who could care less about compensation, exposure, or even know who Don Bartletti or Carolyn Cole are. They’ll be happy just to see their work on a major news site like the L.A. Times because it will give them something to show to their family and friends.

But more important, after talking with Martin Beck, the paper’s reader engagement and social media editor, via email, he assured me that the L.A. Times flickr group is not intended to be a “free source of file or stock art.”  Which is a good thing to hear from a working journalist, who also added that he empathizes with folks who aren’t being paid for their work. So based on that, I believe that both he and Web Producer Armand Emamdjomeh have the best intentions regarding this project, and I’m going to contribute my work — which, you might want to consider doing too.

To join the Los Angeles Times’ flickr group, go here.

Photo by Shawn Nee

Mutual Slump

Photo by Justin.Beck

Spill Baby Spill

Photo courtesy of Governor Jindal’s Office

This oil spill business is scary. If you’re not yet freaked out about this, you should be. BP initially estimated that around 5,000 barrels are pouring into the Gulf every day. Experts think the number is closer to 95,000. At least 6 million gallons have already been spilled. The Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, considered the most environmentally damaging  spill ever, released around 11 million gallons into Prince William Sound. 

On Flickr, there is a set of photos of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s tour of the marshlands, which are now, a month later, being overcome with syrupy oil. See it here.

Poor Louisiana. The state just can’t catch a break.

Digital Has Done in the Pros

To piggyback on the New York Times article from last week (our post on it is here), the Guardian weighs in on the challenge professionals photographers are facing from the surge of amateurs in recent years. But instead of blaming Flickr, the writer of this piece feels it’s the point-and-shoot digital camera that’s made the most impact since it, he says, has “levelled the playing field.”

Incidentally, I always bristle at the mindset from digital enthusiasts that all these outmoded industries — music, movies, journalism, photography — just need to adapt to the changing landscape. There is a part of that assessment that’s true, sure. But the other part of it is, content providers need to be paid in order to produce high-quality work. When we expect that everything be free, fast and downloadable because, hey, that’s just modern times, get used to it — then quality will suffer. There’s just no way around that.

Article from the Guardian

Ordinary People

Photo by discarted

If you’re a regular reader of this site, or even someone new to photography, you’re likely already well aware of flickr—Yahoo’s user generated photography site where thousands of people upload their photos on a daily basis and join various groups to share their work, as well as discuss everything related to photography, including our favorite topic—photographers’ rights.

One of these groups is called Humanistic, which was created “In the spirit of William Eugene Smith (1918-1978),” and is dedicated to sharing photography that “…is humanistically driven, with a strong, genuine human-interest theme.

Humanistic was established in May of 2009 and the group administrator, tsienni, is celebrating the group’s steady growth by holding their first contest dedicated to Ordinary People.

The contest is limited to one submission per group member, and the rules are that the image must contain at least two people and not be altered in any way, or excessively processed—which, some would argue is rather arbitrary and nondescript. However, anyone familiar with William Eugene Smith’s work would instinctively know what the contest organizer meant by “excessively processed.” More important though, the first place winner will received $500 worth of Kodachrome.

Kidding. The contest is for fun.

And Kodachrome will be joining the dinosaurs very soon.

The submission deadline is March 10th, so if you  have a photo that you think is worth sharing with others and representative of Smith’s work, be sure to join the group and submit your image by this Wednesday.

Join Humanistic.

Obama Socialism Poster Has Flickr Roots


The Obama/Joker “Socialism” poster became newsworthy recently for a few reasons, one of them being that it’s based on a stolen Flickr image – which itself was essentially stealing two copyrighted properties.

The LA Times tracked down the “owner” of the image, 20-year-old University of Illinois student Firas Alkhateeb, who says he posted the modified Time cover in January after creating it in Photoshop. It wasn’t until someone (still not publicly known who) took the image, removed the Time title, added “socialism”  and plastered the posters around LA that people really started to take notice.

Forget that the article actually treats this college student’s political views as if they’re relevant and the myriad of things in play, from the trumped up socialism frenzy to political statements to copyright issues. The puzzling thing for me is that the Joker is the quintessentially self-interested cartoon villain, so the link between him and Obama’s purported socialism just doesn’t really add up. But whoever did it, you just know, thinks he/she is really, really clever right about now.

Article from LA Times

See Firas Alkhateeb’s Flickr stream here

Is Ripping Off Flickr Photogs OK?

20-2 Image by discarted

This week, in the New York Times tech blogGadgetwise,” writer Sonia Zjawinski advised readers to download “practically free!” flickr images to decorate their walls.

Of all the artwork I have in my studio apartment (there isn’t a bare wall in the house), my Flickr finds get the most attention. Best of all, they were practically free! I use a Kodak ESP7 AIO printer to ink my finds on various sizes of photo paper and frame them in inexpensive frames found at Urban Outfitters or Ikea. The only thing I pay for is ink, paper and frames — peanuts, in my opinion. 

Now, I get it’s a neat interior design trick she’s stumbled upon. The fact that she’s printing it for public consumption – in the New York Times of all places! The pinnacle of journalistic integrity! – floors me. She’s basically endorsing theft.

Because of the firestorm of complaints, Zjawinski wrote an update to say she consulted a couple lawyers who (absolve her and) say it’s basically a grey area and OK as long as you ask permission. It’s a grey area alright, and you sure as hell can’t control what people are printing in the privacy of their homes. But for her to publish something like that with no research or forethought is so seriously irresponsible – and, sad to say it, goes to show how little respect there is for photographers’ rights that it didn’t even cross her mind to do so.

 Article via New York Times

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