Tag Archive for 'photo'

The Case of a STOLEN Photo & Facebook’s PUNISHMENT – Of the Victim

Look to Wind theft combo

OK true story here. Many of us have been here, but this one has a few plot twists.

It all started on a dark night in May.

Well lets skip the prologue. Above is an image I shared recently showing how Matt Black Photography took my photo “Look To The Wind”, edited it badly and posted it on his FB Facebook page as his own image. It’s a page littered with other peoples work and even a Windows desktop wallpaper claimed as theirs. So I posted about it and soon many of you went over and called them out. The page admin proceeded to delete my photo only and all comments from people that had called him out on the theft.

The Crazy Part is that a day layer Facebook removed MY post of the image above from my Seim Studios page and told me what you read below. I was BANNED for 12 hours from Facebook for unnamed violations. It seems nothing is happening to the photo thief. I call this a Facebook Spanking. I had one awhile back and I wrote about it here.

To top this off, the next day when I was allowed back into the land of the social, I posted the screenshot you see below explaining how I got banned – I then got banned AGAIN for posting about being banned for posting about the photo. Say that three times fast! At that point I did what I should have done to start with and started writing this post.

What I saw when I logged in later that day.

What I saw when I logged in later that day.

 

But Wait, It Gets Better: So The page owner, someone named Sam, messaged me making excuses. Apparently he is actually concerned about the fact that he is a thief and I have the evidence. He claimed he was being slandered and that it’s NOT his fault because his ex-girlfriend was messing up his page while he was in jail – No joke.

I didn’t believe him, but I was not looking or a fight. I offered to let it go if he corrected it and fessed up on the page with a simple apology. He obliged by calling me names and informing me the photo they stole above was mediocre and that he would report me if I continued to slander him.

I don’t know where the whole truth lies, but I do know this all sounds like the makings of a hit song. Maybe a country western reggae. Something like this.

I went to jail in summer
My girl was one my Facebook page
Never should have made her admin
She stole photos all o’er the place

But back to business. What does all this mean to those of us trying to run legitimate business’s

Solving Our Three Fold Problem:

Problem 1 – People stealing our photos – In truth I think the best way to deal with that is to publicly call them out and hold them accountable. If need be, whether on a website or social page, you can even file your own DMCA take down request and the host of the image has to respond. Just search for how to file a DMCA complaint. I have done it many times for stolen content and it usually gets results as it bypasses the thief and goes direct to where he’s putting the stolen content.

Of course you always want to take screenshots of stolen content as I did here because it will likely get taken by the thief down when things start heating up. Finally, you can of course take a legal route. A stern letter from a lawyer, or even the legal team at Professional Photographers of America (if you’re a member) usually gets fast results. If worst comes to worst you could sue, but unless there are actually serious damages that’s probably more than most want to take on. Less lawsuits are better I always say and I prefer to resolve things without the lawyers and judges.

Problem 2 – Finding when and where your work is being taken – This can he tough. In my case a nice follower sent me a tip, but who knows how many people are using mine or your images that don’t own them. One handy resource is tineye.com which allows you to search for a specific images all over the web. For some images it works great, but it is a giant index and not nearly every photo in the world is in it’s archive.

You might want to check his page for your own images. But along that note is a site to watch and report to called Photo Stealers. It’s a blog that posts about people who steal photography and us it as their own. They names names and show the evidence.

We don’t have any one solution, but we can be proactive. Just keep your eyes open and don’t be worried too much. The truth is that when someone steals my image like this I do need to deal with it, but this goofball did not really make any money off me. Do mark your name on your images so it’s clear you own it, but DO NOT freak out and plaster ugly watermarks on your work, ruining the presentation. It’s not worth it. More on that in this article on branding and signatures.

Problem 3 – Is the sheer incompetence of Facebook – And sometimes other sites for that matter. Vague terms and undefined punishments are the norm in the social world. A page that you spent years building could disappear overnight because someone does not like you and some desk jockey in a far way land opts to punish or even banish you entirely from Facebook. Their draconian practices for policing content are beyond shameful. Even as an advertiser who spends thousands on Facebook ads I have no contact, no approach, no recourse.

I am close to calling it quits with Facebook. It does nothing but cost me money anymore and frankly gives me very little return since pages get almost no interaction unless you pay compared to a couple years ago. In fact, the payout is very small even when you do pay. But that’s something we covered in this article. In the end you have to weight the pro’s and cons. I’m moving gradually away from Facebook. trying other spaces like Google+ and more importantly my own newsletters that I control.

A wallpaper from Windows OS. The page owber messaged me claiming he was in prison untill Januraty and his girlfriend posted my photo. Funny how this was posted in April.

A wallpaper from for Windows. The page owner messaged me claiming he was in prison until January and his girlfriend posted my photo. Funny how this one was posted in April.

The best solution? I don’t have all the answers, but these are a few of my thoughts. But when it comes to Facebook I’m trying to get away. We’ve come to rely on them too much and the lack of care they have for users is quite clear. Even if you’re not vocal and opinionated like me, you could run afoul of Facebook gaining only damage to your business. You may not even know why it happened.

My little secret is this: Many have stopped their newsletters because of sites like Facebook – I’m learning that if you build a solid list and send quality content people enjoy it. In fact, they respond much better they do on social networks where ads and information overload have jaded them to all but the most titillating posts.

You can subscribe to my newsletter here or below – When FB becomes useless, that’s where I plan to be. The content is good there and it comes on our terms. You might considering building such a lit of your own. It takes time and cultivation. But it’s an invaluable connection if you do it well.

Good luck, Gavin

111 Photo Project – One Goal One Hour. One Image

by Gavin Seim. Spread the word. Because its’ time to raise the bar. I have a challenge to photographers everywhere. One that will teach us all something. I know this because I’ve started doing it. It’s addictive, educational and I plan to do it a lot more. Different expedience levels will accomplish different things, but everyone will learn something new.

When you’re done, come back post a link to your result. For those that would like, email me and I’ll even call you personally to critique and talk about the image for no charge.

The premise is this. Nearly every photographer I know needs to SLOW DOOWWN. I’ve encountered this in everyone from newbies, to some of the most experienced and award winning photographers in the world. We need to stop the clicking and start the thinking. the better image we make in camera the better piece of art we’ll have when we’re done. There I said it. And I’m included. I’ve on a mission to slow down.

One of my results of slowing down. I spent hours planning this single frame and I learned so much from it. Even the exposure is over 2hrs. Click the image to see the details in my journal.

So many images being are made, but there’s not enough thought about whats happening when we press the shutter. Anyone can take a “pic”. But not anyone can be a craftsman. It’s not to say everyone is making bad images. I just think we need a moment if silence. Silence from the clicking. Making great images is not about how many you take. It’s not about having so many to put on your blog that our eyes bleed when we read. It’s about real quality.

The 111 challenge is this.
Spend one hour in the field, planning and capturing a single composition. In camera. Planning and making that single scene.You can edit after, but at least one hour making that one image that achieves one goal. It’s not that every image needs to take an hour or more. But if you really do this, you will start thinking more about every image you make. No matter long long it takes.

No matter what genre you work in, you will benefit from this one. Slowing down and learning to see in one area teaches us to do it on others. It’s opened my eyes in every area of my work. You may not be able to execute this project at your next wedding. But will help your next wedding, or anything else.

What do you get? Mainly you get knowledge. Which is extremely valuable. Every time you take on this challenge, or take it further, it will open your eyes to new ideas. Plus you get to display the Pro Photo Show achievement badge on your site along with the resulting frame.

There’s no photographer that this will not help. I speak from experience when I say it’s amazing. Remember not to pick just any subject. You need a subject that’s inspiring. You need a plan and the right light and make it all happen. This will all take far more than an hour, but once you have the goal, spend at least that just composing and planning for the final image.

Once we master this, maybe we’ll plan a day long image setup. Also for anyone that finishes and wants it, email me and I’ll call you and give an honest one on one critique session on the image for no charge. So, do you have the discipline to take this on? I look forward to seeing what you learn… Gav

Some simple guidelines.

  • There’s no deadline. Think about your goal. Plan a trip or event worthy of this image.
  • You can’t spend a random hour. Spend it making the best image you’ve ever made.
  • You can spend MORE than one hour in the field making the image. Just not less.
  • Planning the excursion, subject or post edits do not count towards your hour.
  • Plan one composition. No spending an hour making random images hoping for success.
  • You can make test images, but only to help you refine the one image you’re after.
  • It can be HDR or bracketed if you like, but we just want to see one image in the end.
  • Take your time in post. It’s not part of the hour, but it’s relevant to a great image.
  • Take that one final image and post a link in the comments. Make sure it’s ONE image.

Photo Couch Podcast. Episodes 09 – 12

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by Gavin Seim: Here’s the latest from the Photo Couch podcast. The baby brother of Pro Photo Show. Short five minute bursts of photo ideas, musings and information. If you want them as they come out, you can subscribe in iTunes or use the direct feed in any podcatcher. Give em a listen and get some ideas or maybe a few laughs. If you have thoughts you’d like to discuss in depth, visit the Photo Couch board on the forums. Enjoy… Gav

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. 03/13/10 Pitfalls of a Newbee.

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. 03/08/10 Stepping out in B&W.

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. 02/11/10 Shooting Groups.

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. 12/28/09 How to Print BIG.

Pro Photo Podcast #66RT – Future Feelings.

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The Panel... Gavin SeimDavid ZiserDennis ZerwasDouglas CoonBarry Howell
This week the panel discusses the latest news, nigh photography, Ansel Adams, business ideas and more.

Podcast #66 forum discussion:

Notable Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Random news and ideas.
  • 47:43 Lets talk tips and business.
  • 1:15:24 Zisers Secret. FUTURE FEELINGS.
  • 1:51:20 Promoting to venues.

Viveza2 is here. You can save 15% with code PPS.

LumaVue panels are a great way to stand out.

OnOne’s new suite is here too. Save 15% with code PRPHTPC.

Olympus E-PL1 a $600 pen camera.

Get David Zisers new book. Captured by the Light.

Aperture3
is here. What do you think.

Treys. World in HDR book is available.

Gavin’s Color Fantasies Lightroom presets are here and ready to rock.

PICKS:

Thanks all… Gav

On Getting EPIC Photos.

by Gavin Seim: Here I sit hammering away on these keys at 12:30am, wondering why I’m still up. I’ve started thinking about that “EPIC” photo we’re are always trying to capture. You know the one. You see them in Magazines, you see them in other people’s work. Of course opinions on whats that epic photo may vary by your taste and experience level, but if you’re your own critic it might seem like epic images are everywhere but your own portfolio. Then again maybe it’s because you’re actually that bad! Just kidding.

What is Epic. In Websters I found this… “extending beyond the usual or ordinary especially in size or scope” Bottom line is it’s that perfectly amazing photo we always want to bring home. There are unwritten rules in my mind that define the various levels of epic, but rather than confuse you lets just agree that to be epic it has to be really good. I get them sometimes, but often when I think I’m trying the hardest I have the worst time and I figured out why. It’s because an epic photograph is not so much about finding an epic subject as it is learning to make an ordinary subject epic.

For example. I have a far easier time getting epic portraits than I do with fine art. “Why is that” I thought to myself. It’s not because I can’t photograph other scenes well. Sometimes I mentally make the excuse that I just don’t have good enough locations to work with. “Maybe I need to go somewhere exotic” I think. But I know better. Washington is one of the most beautiful and varied places in the world.

Why then? It’s because on a paid portrait session the pressure is on and I happen to work well under pressure. I don’t get to choose my subject. I have to make my client look good and I have to do with in the conditions available to me in the time allotted. Yes it’s more stressful for sure but it makes me look deeper at how I can be creative with a scene. I don’t always achieve that epic image but I always bring home good work. On the other hand when I get in my car and go shopping for something from which to make fine art, I tend to look for the scene that’s already epic. Sure, I tell myself to look at the details because it’s easy to miss amazing things, but too often I just keep moving until I find something that strikes me as amazing. Something easy. I’ve made great images that way, but there’s so much more to see.

Continue reading ‘On Getting EPIC Photos.’

Photo Couch Podcast #003, Of Phones & Websites.

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