Tuesday, June 19, 2018

GDPR explained and vacation photo hacks to deal with it

Hula Hooping on the StreetIn recent weeks you've likely received dozens of updated privacy notices. They're due to the implementation of the European Union's (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It went into effect on May 25. For some time to come, we'll be learning how far it reaches into daily life.

GDPR was written to strengthen European citizen's privacy rights and stop abuses by social media enterprises and other businesses who collect personal data and share it, often without the knowledge of users and customers.

Unfortunately, GDPR seems to have some unintended consequences.

Vacation photography is a staple of travel. Today, more photos than ever are made by travelers of all kinds. In the 21st century, travelers whip out their cellphones to photograph everything and anything they see. Sometimes, within seconds of making them, their photos are posted online for all to see.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Art is more than culture, stories and memories. It's jobs and economic impact!

Self Portrait at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CAThe dictionary defines art as “The expression or application of creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting, drawing or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” I suspect that, at the least, poets, choreographers and musical composers, among many others, would consider that definition narrow and unnecessarily exclusive.
Contributing $763.6 billion annually to the nation's economy, the arts are more than just a critical part of the U.S. economy. The arts are important to the quality of most American's lives.
Pablo Picasso said, “We all know that art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.”

Art is a medium which is highly communicative and can tell the stories of people across the globe like no other medium.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy New Year 2018 - Time to change your copyright notice in your camera!

Copyright? Happy New Year. I hope it's a healthy, happy and prosperous new year for you and your family.

It's January 1st so it's time to reset the copyright notice in your camera(s) to reflect the new year, so your 2018 images will have the correct information.

Most digital cameras today, can automatically insert your copyright notice into the metadata of every image you make as they are stored. Each of my cameras have been reset this morning to insert “Copyright © 2018 NSL Photography. All Rights Reserved.” into every image I make.

If you haven't been inserting your copyright notice in your images, to date, to help protect them, I suggest you consider start doing it today.

I'm often asked the question when I run workshops, or anytime I'm with enthusiasts and we're talking photography, “You're a pro, so I understand why you place your copyright on your photos, but why should I worry about it? I'm not selling my photographs, nor using them in my work.”

Friday, December 22, 2017

Capturing cityscapes "under glass"

Cityscape of Philadelphia made shooting through the windows on the 34th floor of the Murano CondominiumSome of the best potential cityscapes a photographer can capture are “under glass.” Whether you're shooting from a hotel room, an observation tower, or an observation deck, the glass between you and the cityscape creates photographic problems when making your images.

From the highest observation deck in the world, on the Shanghai Tower's 126th floor, to the One Liberty Place observation deck in Philadelphia on the 57th floor, the spectacular views from most urban observation decks can only be seen and photographed through glass.

Shooting through glass is an important skill for travel photographers.

There are a few glassless locations from which to shoot wonderful cityscapes, such as the top deck on the “Top of the Rock” in New York City and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, but most are glassed-in.

Dealing with glass reflections at observation decks is the main problem for photographers there. It comes from the deck's internal lighting, plus interior surfaces reflecting sunlight on to the glass. Additional problems can come from visitor restrictions and maintenance.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Lexar is back...or at least soon will be. That's great news for Nikon.

Lexar XQD CardIn June, Micron dropped a major bombshell in the camera memory card market which affected Nikon professional level DSLR users probably more than photographers using other high end DSLRs. Micron announced the that they were shuttering their entire Lexar brand.

When Lexar closed, for Nikon professional level DSLRs equipped with XQD memory card slots, that left Sony as the sole manufacturer of XQD cards.

When they shuttered Lexar, Micron didn't just stop manufacturing XQD cards. They discontinued the entire Lexar retail business line, including memory cards, USB flash drives, card readers, and other storage drives.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Clock in Musee d'Orsay in Paris, France
If your location in the U.S. changes from “Daylight Time” to “Standard Time” this Sunday, November 5, 2017, don't forget to change the clock in your cameras along with your watches and clocks at home and/or on the road 

To change to “Standard Time” set your clock back one hour.

On Sunday, November 5, 2017, most of the U.S. will switch from “Daylight Time” to “Standard Time.” That's most, but definitely not all of the U.S. Arizona, except for the Navajo Nation, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands don't switch to “Daylight Time” in the spring, and back to “Standard Time” in the fall. They stick to “Standard Time” year-round.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Nikon XQD based cameras have a future

Lexar XQD memory cardOf the world's major Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) and Mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC) manufacturers, only Nikon DSLRs have utilized XQD memory cards to store images and videos. Some Sony video cameras also use XQD cards.

XQD cards were manufactured by Lexar and Sony, until June, 2017, when Lexar announced that they were discontinuing their retail memory card business, including XQD memory cards. Since then, only Sony has been manufacturing XQD cards.

The XQD card was created for high-definition camcorders and high resolution digital cameras, as it offered considerably better performance than Compact Flash memory cards, even CFast cards.

While Nikon bet on XQD cards, their competitors bet on CFast memory cards. Today it's clear that Nikon won their bet. Frankly, based on the different cards' specifications, I don't understand how CFast supporters thought they'd win their bet.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

DxO has acquired the Nik Collection from Google

DxO has acquired the Nik Collection from Google and will continue to offer it for free until they make a new edition available in mid-2018.
Nik Collection by Google Logo - 2017

DxO, makers of PhotoLab, formerly OpticsPro, and other photo editing tools which are compatible with Adobe products, has purchased the Nik Collection from Google, one of the most widely used Adobe Photoshop plug-ins tools.

DxO announced they will continue to offer the current version as a free download, for the time being. By mid-2018 DxO plans to offer a new version of the venerable software.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Protecting your images from automated watermark removal

Image showing strong watermark with unique Image IDMany who market or sell photographs online or who just want to prevent online photo theft of the images they've posted for family and friends, often use watermarks as their first line of defense. While it's not the only defensive measure photographers can and should take to protect their images online, watermark use is sensible, practical and useful.

Although its true that someone with expert Photoshop skills can eliminate a watermark in an hour or so, even if thoughtfully constructed, watermarks still stop most thieves because it's rarely worth spending an hour or more to steal an image, especially if the final product has any telltale visual artifacts shouting, “Theft!”

This past July, at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference, Google demonstrated an algorithm capable of automating the removal of watermarks from photos. Google showed that the removal of watermarks from a series of photographs that now takes hours or days, could be done in minutes.