Thursday, May 31, 2007

Love and Marriage

No updates lately -- I'm engaged! :) The above picture of me and my sweetheart, Jasmin, was taken by her father, Darren, with my camera. (Click to enlarge.) I love you, Yasmine!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Reeds and the Heron

Today's photos are of Holmes lake; one is an abstract of the reeds in the water, and the other is a Heron stalking a fish. It's such a wonderful park for being in the middle of a city. :) Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hey you guys!

Today's photos are some of the "fun" shots from my last photo excursion when Josh and Lanette came down to visit. :) We tend to end up taking a bunch of goofy pics of each other when we get bored.

That bridge kinda creeped me out -- the whole thing was held up with ropes, causing it to wobble around when you walked on it. It was a bit like Indiana Jones.

You'll also notice that Josh has the biggest hair in the known universe. I keep telling him he needs to make it a true 'fro!

Click any of the photos below to enlarge.

Holmes Lake Abstract #4

Some shadows on a bridge at Holmes Lake. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

HDR shots from around

These are the last 3 HDR shots from my little photo jaunt with Josh and Lanette. The church is near Wahoo, Nebraska, and the courthouse is the official Wahoo courthouse. :) The photo of Josh is from Holmes lake; props to him for holding very, very still as I cycled through the stops. The courthouse and the church were all assembled in Photoshop from around 10 photos, 1EV brackets, tripoded and cable released. The shot of Josh was taken from 6 photos, 1EV brackets, tripoded and cable released. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Here are a couple silhouette shots of a father and son fishing at Holmes Lake in Lincoln, Nebraska. I'm getting to the end of this series, so I think I'll post a photo blitz some time in the near future and move on to other topics. :) Click to enlarge.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Holmes Lake Candids

Today's photos are candids from the local Holmes Lake. The bottom one isn't the best shot, but what really gets me is... well, just look at it! I swear I didn't do any photoshop manipulation on it. It's just one of those funny products of juxtaposition. :) Click to enlarge.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Swimming into the Sunset

A duck swims into the sunset at Holmes lake here in Lincoln, Nebraska. I like the ripples in the water more than anything in this shot -- it gives it a bit of an abstract feel. Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sixth Sense

I dunno what it is, but sometimes when I'm shooting a candid of someone, they get a sixth sense and turn around and look at me. This woman was a good 50 yards away and had no idea I was pointing a camera at her. And then... :) Click to enlarge.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Great Blue Heron

While we were at Holmes Lake, we noticed a couple Great Blue Herons winging around. Eventually, one of them landed rather close to the banks. You'd think these birds would be afraid of guys with cameras, but they were more than happy to just sit there chilling by the side of the lake, stalking for fish. They are extraordinarily large birds; they remind me of the Sandhills Cranes. Click to enlarge.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Leap of Faith

A bluejay takes off in Pioneers Park in Lincoln, Nebraska. Normally I'd think this was a pretty boring photo, but to me the fact that he hasn't opened his wings up yet makes the whole thing seem a bit abstract. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Fishing at Dusk

A man fishes at dusk at Holmes Lake. This looks tranquil and relaxing and fun, and I suppose it probably was with enough bug spray. :) We photographers, though, packed it in for the night after getting assaulted by a brazillian midges and mosquites. (This was after pulling three ticks off me earlier in the day -- Nebraska may not be the Amazon, but it has its fair share of creepy critters!) Click to enlarge.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Holmes Lake Abstracts

With all the color and the texure at sunset at Holmes Lake on our last photo shoot, I had to try for a few abstract shots. :) We really do get the most incredible and colorful sunsets in Nebraska. Josh, who grew up in Nebraska and was back visiting from Vermont, mentioned that it's something that we take for granted here -- they just don't get the kinds of great sunsets in Vermont that we do here. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mars Spaceport

Today's photo is of a spaceport on Mars.

Oh, OKAY, it's actually just a negative of a construction site. Jeeze, I can't get anything by you people. Click to enlarge. :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wahoo Church (II)

This is another HDR shot of the Wahoo church. I like this one a bit more; this is an HDR photo created by with 11 photos bracketed 1 stop apart, tripoded and cable released. Assembled, downsampled, and converted to BW with CS3. Yes, the sun really was behind it -- that's why it glows. :) Click to enlarge.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Llama Love

Today's photos are from my last photo excursion. Somewhere out in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska, we came across a farm with a pack of llamas. "Tina, you fat lard, come get some DINNER!"

While I was shooting, a mother llama started showing some love to her llama kid. Awwwwww! Baby llama drama. Click to enlarge. :)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Box 13

Shot this at Pioneer's park -- this is a female Tree Swallow camping out on a bird box in the nature reserve. I wish I had a bit higher perch and a bit longer lens in this shot. :) Click to enlarge.

Stormy Day!

I didn't have a chance to go storm chasing yesterday (I had to work), but that didn't stop the storms from coming to me. ;) I took this atop a parking garage on break. It's not really composed that well, but given that CGs were dropping all over the place and I was standing atop a 7 story building, the best I could do was lean my head out the door of the elevator room with my camera and snap what I could from where I was. At any rate, the storm above was originally a tornado warned supercell, but had transformed into something a bit more linear at this point. Sure looked amazing as it rolled into town, though. :)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Get lost!

A turtle lets me know what he thinks of him. :) Shot a Pioneers Park. This lil' guy was captive and way too busy eating lettuce to be my pal.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Northern Flicker

Today's photo is of a Northern Flicker at Pioneer's Park. I ended up using a fill flash on this one -- sometimes that works if you're close enough. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, May 03, 2007's new old copyright policy has revised their legal verbage in their TOS regarding copyright. In a previous post, I pointed out that's copyright policy, as originally worded in their TOS, actually attempted to transfer the copyright of all submitted content to FARK, with FARK then granting you, the author, back permission to use your content however you like, short of selling it, since of course they would own it. Others pointed out that, in reality, FARK's wording violated copyright laws and was thus invalid and nonbinding. (I am not a lawyer, so I can't verify this.)

An excerpt from the new copyright policy over at FARK states (emphasis mine): permits the submission of text, photographs, opinions, comments and/or other forms of communication submitted by you and other users ("Submissions") and the hosting, sharing and publication of such Submissions. You agree that you are solely responsible for your own Submissions and affirm, represent, and/or warrant that you own or have the necessary licenses, rights, consents, and permissions to use and authorize to use all patent trademark, trade secret, copyright or other proprietary rights in and to any and all Submissions to enable inclusion and use of the Submissions in the manner contemplated by You retain all ownership rights in your Submissions. However, by submitting the Submissions to, you hereby grant a non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Submissions in connection with and's business, including without limitation for promoting and redistributing part or all of (and derivative works thereof) in any media formats and through any media channels/outlets

If the legal wording that this replaced were actually legally binding, this would have been an improvement. However, it is important for a sumbitter of content to understand what FARK is claiming for themselves here. First off, the royalty free license they grant themselves in the current language means that anything that you submit to can be used by FARK all they want, not just on their site, but also in advertisements online, in print, on television, on banners wrapped around the Empire State Building -- basically, any way that they want. This extends far beyond what is required to protect FARK from lawsuits stemming from someone posting their content on the website. As it stands now, if someone at FARK decides to write a FARK book, the owners of FARK (Drew, presumbly) is/are claiming that they can put, say, that photoshopped image you submitted to FARK in it to their heart's content and not give you a dime. This may seem trivial, but typical licensing for this type of usage is at least hundreds of dollars per image. Or, say, if you entered into the weekly photo contest and submitted an incredible image, FARK could use that image in advertisements all over the net or in magazines or on television. (Admittedly, FARK doesn't do much advertising; it's cool enough that the people who would like it just end up eventually finding it.) This kind of useage could run into the thousands of dollars, normally. Now, there are lots of folks out there who would kindly donate for free their content to help FARK advertise (I'm not one of them) -- that's not the problem. The problem is that FARK takes this right without asking you about it. And these rights serve no purpose other than to line FARK's pocket -- there is no legal protection derived by allowing them to put your photo or photoshop image on coffee mugs and t-shirts and SpikeTV. All FARK really needs legal permission is to display your content on their website.

The second issue revolves around FARK's declared freedom to sublicense or transfer the license they just made you give them. This is, in effect, a copyright grab. As I read it (and again, I am not a lawyer), FARK is saying that they are allowed to re-sell or give away your content to anyone they want to to be used for any purpose under the sun without asking your or paying you a dime. So, say, you take a kick-ass photograph and submit it to the weekly farktography contest. FARK is claiming the right to sell the unlimited rights to that photograph to advertisers or to give it away altogether. Any profits made on the content goes into FARK's bank account, not yours. Again, the license is "Royalty Free", meaning that once the license is transferred, it can be used for anything at all as much as is desired. You are, of course, free to license and sell the content yourself, but FARK retains the right to do it, too (in what would be, in effect, competition with you.) I don't know why they feel they would need these kinds of rights; I'd be glad to hear it. Anoyher difficulty is that by granting FARK a transferrable, sublicensable Royalty Free license to your content, you can never again sell that content as Rights Managed again. That will sound like Greek to a lot of readers, but it's actually a pretty big deal if you are someone who sells licenses to your content. The bulk of high quality photography, for example, is sold as rights managed and nets a great deal more money more per sale (and is more likely to be desired in a major advertisement campaign) than it would as a RF image. Again, this probably doesn't impact a great number of people, but those who this does impact will know right away what a problem this poses and will probably refrain from posting anything half-marketable to FARK.

Now, I'll be honest: I've read FARK for years and I trust Drew Curtis isn't trying to start a stock photography/smart-assed comments agency from all the content submitted to FARK. FARK's yet to try to do anything nefarious, and I doubt that under current management, they ever would. The problem with legalities like this is that by reserving the rights to do these kinds of things, FARK is both leaving the door open for future abuses and is raising the question as to why they feel they need these kinds of grabby rights to begin with. FARK may feel limited in explaining these things, since attempting to explain a contract sometimes has the effect of negating it, but ultimately I'm left kinda puzzled. Granted, Drew may just be handing this stuff to a lawyer and and not effectively communicating to the lawyer that he actually gives a crap about the rights of the content submitter (most lawyers, I think, assume by default that you don't), I don't know. But the current revision, while being a step forward (in that it isn't actually illegal under federal copyright law), still isn't a very palatable prospect for a content submitter. If this language were attached to, say, a photography contest, I would steer well clear of it. Having seen how FARK works, I trust Drew a bit more than some random national photography contest, but I still can't see myself feeling safe submitting content (mainly in the form of photographs to their Farktography contests and Photoshopped images to their photoshop contests) to FARK under these current conditions.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Church near Wahoo

A rural church and graveyard near Wahoo, Nebraska. Shot in HDR; 10 photos total, each bracketed 1 stop apart, tripoded and cable released. Combined and downsampled in Photoshop CS3, then converted to B/W sepia with the CS3 grayscale tool. I'm still not entirely satisfied with it -- I have a few toning artifacts in there that I want to get rid of, but I didn't have the heart in me to start all over again. :) Click to enlarge.