Friday, May 29, 2009

The Musings Of A Photographer

The disgruntled upgrade path of a photographer---- Honestly Sony, wtf are you doing?!?!?! I don't know what exactly I am going to do now, but I think my plan is this; to go with what is now an "older Alpha", probably a200, a300, a350, and just wait and see. The newly released Alpha's have me more than disappointed, honestly. They lack features, features which I use in my everyday photography, and are clearly aimed at what I can only describe at Soccer Mom's. In fact, someone on the dpreview Sony dslr forum made the comment "The girlfriend dslr has officially landed!", while someone else said "Wife Camera 101 debuts!" (Seriously who the hell thought of a PINK lcd screen on the camera? WTF!?!?!?) You can watch the youtube review of 2 of the 3 new dslr's here I like how the Sony rep states "The a200's successor", ya, sure, lol It is dummied down for geeze sakes!

So here I sit, debating about all this, and wondering what exactly Sony is doing. I am going to have to sell my current dslr and a couple lenses (now ya all know WHY I bought 3 lenses from Ritz) to buy my new body eventually, which will happen in a few months. Sure, an a900 would be nice, is it realistic? No. Especially NOW considering all this and the fact that my money would be better spent in other real life issues. So I have come to a conclusion. I may just buy a cheap used a200 for now, and play the wait and see game, for a few. I am honestly very disappointed in these new cameras Sony has come out with, these are very beginner cameras, more so than any other out there and make a d40 look like a pro level camera.

If I don't like what I see, well, my only hope then is that Fuji releases the s6 Pro. Otherwise, I may just hop into a s5 Pro. Other than that, Pentax I have always liked, a lot, and Bestbuy has the Nikon d200 on closeout for $599.

How bad is bad? Look at this post on dpreview:

"Sony entry level DSLR's - redefining the term Upgrade

A100 had MLU, DOF preview, AEL button and SSS switch
A200 only had the AEL button and SSS switch
A230 has none."

The A200 was 70 gram lighter than the A100 and most people who handled both agree that build quality seemed to be worse with the A200. The A230 is 150 gram lighter, so I wouldn't be surprised if it feels like a cheap toy. To make matters worse, its framerate is now lower too (2.5fps vs. 3.0fps in the A100 and A200).

Does anyone want to guess what will go next? For the A260 I bet Sony is considering to drop PASM and RAW. After all, who need those?

I hate this crap. Minolta, where art thou? Please come back and save us, we dearly miss you more than we can say.....

Hey Photo Forums? Guess what? It's 2009! Wake up!--- You know what I can't stand, and is a serious pet peeve of mine? Photography Forum sites that only allow 700px-800px photographs on the longest side is what I can't stand. It is 2009, wake up! This usually equates to people posting photos from their flickr site that are like 400px in size. Seriously. How the hell is anyone supposed to see ANYTHING at a resolution of 400px? It's 2009, 24" monitors are the norm this day and age. If you didn't know, your ass better call somebody! I didn't join 4 forums because of this rule, the 2 exceptions is and which only allows 700px on the longest, because, well, the info one gains there is next to invaluable.

Shutterstock CEO--CSR Skills Much? FAIL!--- Seriously, want to see how NOT to talk to your contributor base? This is ridicules and shows not only complete lack of respect but arrogance as well.

A little history first---The IRS is for some reason withholding taxes of international contributors on Shutterstock, even though they are not citizens and pay NO US tax. They have a right to be pissed, I would be too. There has been a massive outcry and well, there should be, as well. (Last I heard, wasn't America essentially founded on the catchphrase "No taxation without representation"? So do they get to vote in our elections then?) Check this out on the Shutterstock forums

Here is the post on how the CEO of Shutterstock responded to the community (not the way to address your clients mind you IMO. BAD customer service defined!)

Witholding Tax Issue - Calm down.


1) This is a US government regulation. What would you like us to do about it? Go to jail? Go out of business? We are sorry - but we can’t just move the company out of the US or creating another company somewhere else to pay you. That is called tax evasion. These are laws. We can’t change the laws. We have 60 employees in NYC - they aren’t going anywhere.

2) If you follow the rules you won’t be double taxed. Your country has rules that we follow every day also. You may need to do a bit of work here, but we will help you out with them. You will have a chance to get your ITIN before we start following regulations and witholding.

3) If you don’t want to deal with this, then leave. We are happy to remove all your images for you. If I continue to read threads on the forum that you will be taking your images elsewhere, I will delete them myself and close your account. I’ve done it a few times already- I am not kidding about this.

4) Online petition claiming we are taxing you? Why would we be taxing you? Again, this is the US government. We are just following the law.

5) Want to change your avatar to something obnoxious? Again, I will personally delete your profile, images, etc. You are just creating more work for us.

6) If you think other microstock companies are except from paying tax, think again. It’s a matter of time before they start following the law also.

7) Why don’t US citizens have to deal with this? Because we already have their W9 forms. Don’t worry - they dealt with it also.

8) Welcome to doing business internationally. We will all make money together - but we have to follow the rules.

9) We will answer every single question you have - but you have to give us time to get to them.

Jon Oringer
Shutterstock Images LLC

Captured this past Sunday at Mount Evans Wilderness here in Colorado, Bristlecone Pines are the oldest living on the planet, it is amazing to think that some of these trees are literally thousands of years old, imagine the stories that they could tell if they could speak! To see more of my images, click the photo which will take you to the gallery on my website with the photos from my trip!Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, May 25, 2009


I have this obsession with images of nature and images of a rural setting, and when they come together it just always seems like such harmony is being created.

Captured yesterday outside of the Mount Evans Wilderness area here in Colorado, by the Chicago Creek Camping area, I am not sure I can find all the words to put this shot into perspective but I will try my best.

One of the great things about Colorado is exploring, it seems down every road that you have never traveled on, something photographic is always there within seconds, and this was one of those places, I have always wanted to explore this area some but just never really have, maybe it's fact I have always thought it was a rough dirt road, but while it is a dirt country road, it wasn't rough. The creek and river flowed right next to the road with old beautiful country cabins dotting the landscape next to it, when I saw this sitting in the yard of one, covered by wildflowers. I actually almost missed the scene completely, but luckily I JUST saw it. I didn't have the lens on really I wanted, as I had my Tamron 200-400mm on my camera at the time, but decided what the heck, and had at it.

It is hard to describe the sounds I heard when I was shooting this, but let's just say that between the constant buzzing of Hummingbird's, the soft roar of the river, and the very strong scent of wildflowers mixed with the incoming rain, THIS was SERENITY defined! Not a sound of man anywhere, nothing, nada.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Something To Ponder

Some of you may recall the recent journal I wrote titled "Ponder This" and this Tuesday morning, while reading my Twitter stream, once again, I saw a post that made me think and kind of made me take notice, you can say.

This one comes from danielwharmby (Daniel Wharmby, a California based professional editorial photographer some of you may know, his website is here and if you aren't following him on twitter, you should be! Like NOW!) What he posted just made sense. Pure sense;

--My instructors used to say "There's no point going around the world if you can't tell a story in your back yard."

Now how true is THAT!? How often do we sit around dreaming of being able to go and shoot somewhere exotic, while often we don't realize the incredible locations we have at our very own dispose. I know often I do. There are a billion locations here in Colorado that I still want to shoot, and haven't yet. Heck, it was only a couple years ago that I discovered one of my favorite gems to shoot, South Valley Park, which is tucked away in a subdivision here in metro Denver of all places. It is one of the best kept little secrets around, and is like a mini Garden Of The Gods kind of place.

How often do you guys get out and actually explore where it is you live and shoot? Have you ever checked your local parks and lakes? You might be quite shocked, I know I certainly have been several times.

Often it seems that paradise is close by, but rarely we see it. However when you open your eyes and starting to take notice, you start to notice the very things which are around you! And believe me, beauty isn't always that far away!

South Valley Park, Colorado....a little local gem of a location almost in my backyard

Monday, May 18, 2009



I wonder what one is to do when they become disenfranchised with their camera maker?

Minolta, where are thou? You were such a great legend, a great maker, an icon in the photography world....come back, for I miss you, I miss the days of affordable lenses, true dedication, and cameras that actually advanced the future.

These new cameras that just came out that has your mount, is not what I have known nor loved the last almost 20 years. A chocolate and copper colored DSLR? I did not get myself into a whole new definition of the word "Fashion Photography" by purchasing your cameras.

I don't want to switch systems, I just want my Minolta back, where the motto "Now you don't have to buy expensive lenses to have them stabilized" was a sales cry. Instead, we now have 70-200mm f2.8 lenses that cost more than a Canon IS lens of the same focal length.

Please come back Minolta, many of us miss you....terribly.....

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