Monday, November 30, 2009

Editorial: FTC blogger review honesty regulations are disingenuous at best!

Review graphicI remember the big “Payola” scandals in the record industry of the 60’s. You may have lived through them yourself, or read about them in school. Record companies gave “promotional” payments to radio disc jockeys to play specific songs and give them ample air time in order to popularize them.

Alan Freed, the number one New York City disc jockey and early supporter of rock and roll, had his career shattered by a payola scandal.

It seems as though the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is concerned about possible blogger payola from manufacturers, distributors and service providers in exchange for positive online reviews of their products. They’ve attempted to codify a new set of rules to prevent this potential problem; FTC 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

There are so many problems with the new regulations, I hardly no where to begin, so I’ll start with what I do in my Blog, and in my other reviews, published on the Internet or in print.

Photography Exhibition: Royal Ontario Museum - Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008

Bette DavisThe Royal Ontario Museum continually shows some of the best photographic exhibitions in North America. The Museum includes The Institute for Contemporary Culture. The Museum’s diverse collections of world cultures and natural history with almost 6 million objects make it one of the largest museums in North America. The Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008 is one of the most interesting photographic exhibition shown on the North American continent this year.

This exhibition will run through January 3, 2010

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Photographing from boats and ships

Hubbard Glacier from Disenchantment BayI don't know about you, but I like cruising. I've been on large ships and small. I also enjoy canoeing and rafting. Taking photographs from any of these craft can be a real challenge.

Viewpoints can be highly limited. On a ship you may be far above the water's surface. In a zodiac or raft, you're right at the water. Water can change light conditions, and its movement can affect the photographer's ability to capture the image desired.

The photographer's ability to transmit the scale of the image is often impared in water shots as the frame of reference relevant to the photograph's viewer is missing or unfamiliar. In addition, the environment of being in a boat or on a ship can be hostile to your photographic equipment, and taking photographs.

Photography Exhibition: The National Portrait Gallery - Faces of the Frontier

Edward Sheriff Curtis Self-PortraitPeriodically the National Portrait Gallery has some incredible photographic portrait exhibitions. Faces of the Frontier: Photographic Portraits from the American West, 1845-1924 is such an exhibition.

This exhibition will run through January 24, 2010

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Photographing Seascapes

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska from the bayTraveling to the beach, a seaside city, a seaport, visiting a location on a bay, or cruising seems to be on almost everyone’s list. Each has a myriad of photographic opportunities.

Each of the opportunites have similar components, but in a vast variety of arrangements and conditions. Seascapes can be extremely demanding. The variety of weather conditions, and lighting can rapidly change, and offer difficulties in protecting photographic equipment.

Seascapes, like any landscape photograph are often considered best devoid of structures and people, but actually can be enhanced by indiginous buildings and wildlife. Sometimes having people in the shot can enhance it as well, although many would say, including me, that it’s not exactly a seascape at that point.

Photography Exhibition: Philadelphia Museum of Art - Frederick Sommer Photographs

Frederick Sommers photograph of Max ErnstThe Philadelphia Museum of Art has become one of the foremost exhibitors of fine art photography in the nation. Frederick Sommer Photographs is a wonderful exhibition worthy of this great institution.

This exhibition will run through January 3, 2010

Monday, November 2, 2009

Photographing Stained Glass Windows

Stained Glass Window from Notre Dame de ParisWith the tremendous technological improvements in DSLRs and even digital point and shoot cameras, coupled with the improvements in software used to remove lens and positional distortion as well as edit photographs in general, it’s now possible for travelers to make wonderful photographs of stained glass windows in the churches, synagogues and mosques they visit.

In most instances you’ll be able to get very good exposures of incredible stained glass windows while you travel, but there will be pitfalls, and most of the time there will be distortion to deal with in post processing once home.

If you’re going to at an out of the way church or museum you may be fortunate enough to be permitted to use a tripod and remote shutter release, but if you go to busy places like I’ve visited recently in Paris, such as Notre Dame de Paris, Musée de Cluny, or Sainte-Chapelle, that won't be possible.

Photography Exhibition: The Art Institute of Chicago - Irving Penn: A Tribute

Irving Penn. The Angel, 1946 (printed 1990)It seems as though this is the year to recognize the incredible career of Irving Penn. This new exhibition by the Art Institute of Chicago, Irving Penn: A Tribute, seems to be another of their superbly carried out exhibitions.

This exhibition will run through December 13th