Once you put a photo on the net it’s gone, doesn’t matter if you have it copy written or watermarked – if you look at the fine print of end user agreements even search engines and browsers say they have the right to use whatever you post – I’d like to see a test case of that in court for such “agreements” are coercive by their very nature.
I literally have thousands of photos taken over the years, some on film cameras and others on dslrs, many of them taken on various rezs depicting the every day world of rez life, in my own way I consider them a chronicle, moments, people, conditions, and events frozen in time that serve as an historical record.
Years ago I met a free lance photo journalist based in Seattle, we initially met as he had stopped me and asked to take a few photos, not knowing him and with a half smile I told him he would capture my spirit and I needed it.
He started laughing and said touche, then asked me to join him for a cup of coffee – being as how I’m always up for a cup I agreed and we wound up talking for about three hours.
He told me with the concerns I expressed for the nations and the access I would have I should consider photography and compiling a photographic record.
I knew nothing about cameras and after saying so he offered to teach me, I told him I appreciated the offer but wasn’t deep in disposable income and as I understood it cameras and related gear could wind up causing me to sell my truck if I got hooked.
He said that was true, that a person could invest a lot of money quickly and there was always something new you just had to have.
We talked some more and he asked me if we could meet again the following day for another cup, that he would like to discuss this some more – since the conversation had been good and what turned out to be multiple cups of coffee thrown into the bargain I didn’t see any reason not to, so we parted company with the understanding we meet the following day.
In our follow up meeting he appeared laden down with fruits and vegetables he had purchased at the Pike Street Market accompanied by his wife, a very gracious and soft spoken woman who laughed easily and immediately set the tone for the day.
She was carrying what looked like a back pack to me and if I gave it any notice I probably would have assumed it contained more items from the market.
I was asked if I had given any thought to our previous conversation and I allowed that I had but with the related ignorance didn’t see myself as a “photographer”. His wife reached out touching my arm and said “we see you as one, who do you think is mistaken?”
Then she opened the back pack and produced a well used Nikon f4 with a couple of lenses saying they wanted me to have it and if I was of a mind to accept it they would teach me the fundamentals.
I wasn’t sure what to say and admit for a fleeting moment I thought what are these people up to? What exactly do they want?
I told them how much I appreciated the offer but kind of had a problem with accepting things from people, I had an inherent need to feel as though I earned whatever I might have.
But they had an answer for that, saying that as I had mentioned previously the kind of work I did they had a house in the Queen Anne district with a porch that need some tlc, that I could “earn” the camera and gear that way if I felt I must.
So the bargain was struck and during the few days it took me to rejuvenate the porch they taught me as much as they could cram into that period of time and I came away with a greater appreciation and understanding of cameras and what they can truly do.
We’ve stayed in touch over the years and whenever I was in Seattle we would renew the friendship by going on photographic “safaris” as they referred to them – from killer whales in the Sound to territory bigfoot is said to inhabit – good times, both fun and educational.
They and others have urged me to compile the photos I’ve taken into a book, one of those coffee table types I assume – I’ve given some thought to that but feel there are more photos waiting to be taken that will speak a language of their own.
I’m not looking for a “name”, or profit, what I would like if such a book came to be would to set it up in a way that it would be affordable and proceeds would go to indigenous causes of my choice – something I am told wouldn’t be a problem.
I don’t buy any camera gear new, I have found absolute treasures in thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales – lenses I picked up for a few bucks I see going for hundreds on ebay and elsewhere.
That has stood me in good stead and expanded horizons.
I don’t buy into the if you own a Canon or Nikon you have to have gear with the same brand.
A battery for either can run fifty dollars, I have two generic ones I bought through a friend’s ebay account for six dollars four plus years ago and haven’t had a single problem with either of them to this day….so much for “branded”. They also have a significantly higher MAH rating.
I don’t care who made the lens or if it’s manual as long as an eight dollar adapter will allow me to use it and it has “good glass”. There’s a lot of those floating around the lens snobs won’t even consider… their loss.
Any way I much prefer to shoot in an all manual mode rather than allow the camera to make all the decisions in various auto modes. In furtherance of that the RAW format is head and shoulders above jpeg as a personal preference.
Yeah, I don’t have the latest or the most expensive, and after dragging what I do have through the forests, mountains, and over hill and dale they aren’t going to win any beauty contests – but what I have acquired will give the lens and camera snobs a run for their money as far as image quality any day of the week.
Reviews? I don’t place a lot of stock in them- doesn’t matter whose doing the review there seems to be a compulsion to add some “cons” along with the “pros”. In fact one lens I have I picked up for a pittance is a Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 ex dg – reviewers don’t seem to like this lens much, which has a tendency to pique my interest.
They love to drone on about a “good copy” or a “bad copy” as far as the lens itself goes, or it’s kind of loud in AF, or gee it’s kind of heavy.
If I was rich would I buy all the candy? I don’t think so, because I’ve found the groove that works and where it all comes together.
This lens is built like a tank, which I like, nothing plastic about it, and I have found it to be razor sharp, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I had it set up on a tripod once when a child knocked it over and damaged the mount, I almost went into mourning, but sent it to Sigma for a repair estimate thinking it would be beyond my payscale.
They repaired it for free, that’s standing behind your product, especially when the lens itself hadn’t failed due to faulty craftsmanship.
So I’m going to do this book and there are those willing to facilitate that who are in a position to do so, but I feel as though something is missing. What I can’t say? but I’ll know it when I see it.
In the meantime I won’t be posting anything on flickr or elsewhere – if I do on the blog it will be of what I consider lesser quality. I’d really be aggravated if it wound up on LRI or an AIM site.
That isn’t being selfish or greedy, only having an eye to a future book and thinking whatever if any revenue it might generate will be going to good causes, and in that context the more the better as the needs are many.