28 October 2008

October 2008 Workshop

"What does a blonde and a tornado have in common? They both start out with a lot of sucking and blowing, but in the end they take your house." - Faerie telling me a joke...

Yesterday's workshop went really well. Surprisingly, it seemed to go sort of fast. Despite the fact that the days are shorter, we finished well before it got dark. That's new for my group. usually we are still out releasing shutters right before it gets difficult to find your way back to the car. Well, the everyone got what they wanted for shots, so as long as that objective is met, why push the model any further. And yes, Brittany was superb. One of our female photogs, Roselyn, brought out some props for the model. Roz, likes to play dress-up with the models. Despite the fact that this is an art nude workshop, we like what she does. She certainly brings in a new aspect to what we do. She turned Brittany into a 1970's style hippie-chick. I tell you Brittany looked like she was born in the wrong era. The hats were my favorite although she also had a long flowing yellow dress at one point that was pretty awesome.

This was probably the last outdoor shoot that we'll do. For the next few months I've got to concentrate on venues that will keep the model warm, so we look forward to studio work and non-studio indoor places that we can set up impromptu lights or get away with ambient. We'll also be focusing on some glamour and fashion shoots as well. The nude figure will maintain a prominent role, but the fashion element be incorporated with it to produce a something totally different. Think Helmut Newton...

I mentioned before that I had planned to stop or at least suspend my nude work. I may should have delayed that statement for just a while longer. I did mention that I had planned to carry on with those that I had prior commitments to AND I said I might take on opportunity shots, but wouldn't actively pursue models. Okay, so I added on a project that I plan to do but this one found me. I did not actively pursue it. Around the same day as I posted the last blog post, I got a call from someone referred to me. I just met her today and I'm not turning her down. Nope, can't do it.

I mentioned making my camera earn enough to begin supporting itself as one of the reasons I'd planned on suspending nude action. Well, another reasons is that I simply need to catch up on a bunch of unedited non-nude work. I've still got material from my trip to Panguitch, Utah, as well as more from Kolob Reservoir and the Phoenix trip to work on. So we are talking since around 4th of July weekend, but I could also back up to my Cathedral Gorge expedition from my 20 June post! I did enough edits on that one to post a few pics on the blog. The nudes have been the priority and I've neglected some really good bodies of work for it. I think my nude work will be better served if I can refine my trade by shooting other subjects for just a little while. I also need to spend some time redesigning my workflow, updating my website, designing a logo, and doing more of my tutorials again to getting better in my post work.

My heart goes out to Jennifer Hudson right now. I'm not the sort to follow celebrity drama, nor do I pay attention to gossip columns. But, I just can't help but feel for this girl who's mother and brother were just shot dead a few days ago. Well it was also announced yesterday that her missing nephew has also been found dead. The kid was 7 years old and brutally murdered as well. I just hate to see mess like this happen to anyone. Celebs are still people too.

21 October 2008

Hear Me Out...

"Just because you have a Mercedes doesn't mean you can't look at a Beemer every now and then." - Lilia

I'm going to make a statement in a sec, and I don't want anyone to freak out. You may want to sit down. I am going to stop shooting nudes for a while. Okay, I said it, but be cool. Operative phrase here being "for a while". I guess, I should qualify that statement with a disclaimer. So let me add that I still have a few committals to take care of and I am certain there will be some spontaneous opportunity shoots. I'm just not actively searching for models for a particular project. Make no mistake, I am not tired of it. I have not changed my passion for it and I certainly have not given up on it because there's no money in it. I don't do it for the money anyway. But since you bring up the money thing, let's me settle there for a minute or two...or more. One of the reasons why I am making this call IS in fact for the money, in a way (I'll get into the other reason next time). I think I'd like to stop shooting nudes to try and refine my trade a bit and do something that might help me pay for more shooting of nudes. My art nude work is like a crack habit, but I am in control of it enough to where I refuse to steal or sell my body in order to do it. Instead, I am going to try to make my photo work pay for itself.

Canon has released its new version of the EOS 5D, the 5D Mark II. I want it. Maybe you don't understand me when I say, I want this camera. In fact, I'm not going to even go into trying to articulate the magnitude of "I WANT", in that sentence. This is one time words simply don't do it. I wish you could see my face when I say it. Then you'd understand me better. HOWEVER, I'd like to NOT spend my own money for it, or borrow to get it. I've got a 40D. Its a good camera and I've paid about two and a half grand for it and some lighting gear. That's a nice investment and you know what...it can pay for its own damn self AND my new Mark II. I have a tool with the ability to work on its own and I'd like to keep my camera from being lazy. So, I'm going to defray from my passion that makes no money and subsidize it with some common sense. That was my plan when I originally bought the thing. I've made it work, doing a bunch of free stuff and a few gigs here and there, but its not doing enough to burn off the fat....know what I mean?

And the 5D Mk II isn't all. You get serious into photo and you will spend more on accessories, software, backups, etc. than you will on the camera. The Mk II is a full frame system which is the main reason I wanted it. I've got to be full frame. As a former film purist, its the closest thing to it. But other than the camera, you have to compliment it with good glass and what's better than the superb (and expensive) L-series of lenses. Well, I can just say the costs are mounting (along with switching to a Mac) and while I am more than willing to pay, I know my current equipment should be up to the task. And you know what, it will be. I will whip that camera body into shape so fast, it will make your head spin.

Ah, but let me introduce the beautiful and most gorgeous...Brittany! This Sunday will be my next and probably final outdoor workshop for my Las Vegas Art Models Group. After this Sunday, we'll probably be indoors til the spring. Brittany is one of those models that makes you feel highly inclined to stop looking for anyone else after you've found her. Its always been tough choosing a model at times, but then you run across someone like her and the day just seems to brighten up, birds come out and sing, and little rabbits come up to you and offer you fresh daisies as butterflies dance a crown around your head. She's a professional model. This IS her day job. I haven't worked with too many pro's, and while I've had success with the non-pro's, Brittany makes you contemplate whether or not you've been missing out. These are a few simple shots I took of her just the other day. I can't wait for Sunday, but I'm already looking past then to more adventures with her in the future. Thanks Brittany.

17 October 2008

More on Protecting Your Work

There are several people on deviantART.com that I follow and one of those artists is Dave Ellis of the UK, who also goes by Dingodave. I began followind Dave because of his nude work. I liked the simplicity of his art, using natural lighting or his expert use of whatever light he could find available to do his bidding. However, when you look at the man's landscape work, OMF Goodness... you'll be mesmerized by his use of HDR. Even when he doesn't use HDR, the way he captures the local scenery around where he lives in Herefordshire, make me so envious, I want to move across the waters.

Oh...I'm sorry. I'm getting off the point as to why I am posting about him in the first place. (See how just talking about his work gets you distracted?) Umm, oh yeah. In his recent dA journal entry, Dave is disgusted by the recent theft of some of his artwork. According to his post, well, let me just put it in his words:

"That is until I 'googled' DingoDave as a image search today - in just 5 minutes I found 7 of my images on 5 different sites (including flickr and photobucket, suprise suprise ) - One A'hole even had my image for sale as a print!!!!"

Now that's just downright wrong. So not only are knuckle-heads pulling other people's images off the web and passing it off as their own, you've got low down scoundrels who will actually try to profit from your hard work! This has been an ongoing topic of discussion and area of concern for photographers every since the first image capture. Many opinions exist on the matter that go from one end of the spectrum to the opposite extreme. In a recent seminar/workshop, we got to listen to a pro give us a talk on copyrighting your work. But then another pro in the group began shooting him down on the spot, believing that none of any of the copyright laws work and that you should simply not have anything on the web...period. ~Good heavens~

I've seen some photogs welcome any and everyone to their body of work. Right-click at your heart's content, as far as they are concerned. I can't recall who, otherwise I'd definitely give you the link, but they surmized that the more their images showed up, the better exposure. Well, I guess that's fine as long as the right-clicker is giving you credit and singing your praises. I am not sure I am as comfortable as this artist in having my work in the hands of anyone who wants a copy. Yes, you expect those who will pull your images from the web where the final destination is their C: drive. But what can you do for the freaks who will do you harm or profit from your efforts?

I am not an expert on the matter, let me assure you. For that I invite you to Carolyn E. Wright and her bloggings and legal opines of lawful protections and rights of the photographers. I've posted on her blog, Photo Attorney before (just recently, in fact). Let me emphysize that I strongly suggest you become quite familiar with this woman. It'll do you good. I promise! However let me add in a disclaimer: That promise is not in a legal since, of course...just as a figure of speech.

For starters, register your images with the Library of Congress Copyright Office. As a rule of thumb, I do it every 3 months. That's because that any NEW work you produce is fully protected when registered within 3 months of its creation. Otherwise the protection starts on the date of registration. Infractions that occur before registration are not protected. Second, you need to let people know your work belongs to you. Throw a simple copyright text on your image. An ALT-0169 will get you the "©" (using a PC). I normally use © 2008 Terrell Neasley on my images. I also don't put images on the web at high resolutions. Typically a web image doesn't need to be bigger than 72dpi and I make the file size small like around 70kb or under. These are reasonable protections. Can someone lift your copyright info...sure. They can crop it out or just edit it out. The fact remains that you need to still show that you've made an effort to identify the owner to the image and protect it.

Also, you can build the metadata into your photos. Chances are, your camera already includes some of that info. I need to be better at this myself. In fact, there are a lot of things in which I need to be better. The metadata is embedded into the file of the image itself. You can also have digital watermarks in your images. I won't go into great detail on all this. You can easily google the points and get a plethora of info on anything you need to know. Creative Commons is another legal protection device that will actually let you stipulate terms as to your images use. deviantART allows this option. There are many software companies that provide a for-pay service that will track a certain amount of images for you. This way anywhere that image goes on the web, its traced and you'll be aware of its use. I have no idea as to what happens if the image is altered by someone. You'll have to check that one out on your own as well. One company that is barking on another unique trend is a search engine that searches by image not words. You can type in NUDE on google and do a word search or an image search based on the word NUDE. Tineye, of Idee, INC., will actually do a search for an image, based on an image and show you where that image pops up, whether its altered or not.

I'm sure there is something I missed here. This is not an all exhaustive listing on a guaranteed, sure-fire method of protecting your photographic expressions. It is a start, however. Some will disagree. I already know that. Where I am in factual error, let me know. All this is info is based on my own research and indepth study over the last few years.

These are a few more images of Clarissa. Isn't she just beautiful? This girl has been through a lot and she still keeps going forward and upward. Gotta give her credit. She's a trooper.

09 October 2008

A Few Noteables

"Putting clothes on a model is akin to putting a parking lot over a field of flowers."
- David Winge

I'm bringing back Lorelei again for this one and maybe the next one too. Between her and Lissa, I have a ton of edits that I am still working on. I'm working them in between some other freelance work that I've been at for a while as well. Something's gotta give! I've got to better manage my work flow, so any of you's photogs out there with some tips of managing a RAW work flow, give up the goods.

In other news, its also good to see some other sites out there promoting artistic nudes and the artists who create them. I happened to be commenting on a deviantART image made by Jarda Balek who was looking for some critiques on a technique he was experimenting with for this photo. Well, it was a little bit later that I noticed he was featured on Univers d'Artistes. I check him out and I've begun since then to see him all over. So now he's linked to my blog as well. So go give him a look-see on his new blog World of the Nude Art Photography.

Also, another noted photog I came across who's worthy of mention is David Winge. He's got some fabulous artwork that you should definitely check out. Because of the unique spelling of his name, I remembered seeing if often as I'd check out websites of models while looking through their portfolios. "Winge" kept popping up as the photographer of many great images that caught my eye on several model sites. One model in particular is GroovaciousK. This is a model I've elevated on my list of "Models I HAVE to work with at some point in the near future". She has such a voluptuous shape that begs the attention of my lens, so hopefully real soon, I'll be able to make arrangements to shoot with her. She and David are both located in California so maybe this won't be so hard of an endeavor. I just need to get to Cali. You can see more of GroovaciousK at her deviantART site.