Why Image Theft Hurts Us All

2015-01-26 23_37_01-Pixsy PhotosI am not a pro-photographer. Quite in the contrary, I use photos to underscore my work, largely to illustrate and save a few thousand words here and there. That’s more or less how I operate, my work is elsewhere and photos are but a part of it, a small one. Yet, every once in a while I take a picture even I like. Some of those are good enough for sales. No, I couldn’t make a living from them, but I can support my work and remain relatively independent thanks to them.

Today I received an invitation to Pixsy, a new service promising to find infringement online and bring it to your attention. As of right now, only Flickr and some other services are supported (Facebook, Dropbox, your website, etc.), but it’s already been an eye opening experience.

Not that I didn’t know about this. I did. You see, while not totally in tune with all the commercial things that go along with being a photographer and only a photographer, I am not ignorant to the fact that many people seem to believe that something available on the Internet must be, by default, free. That’s, in some cases, the same people who viciously defend their content on the Internet, and often people who aren’t so much wanting things for themselves but are collecting and curating other people’s work to gain something from it. Be it the Circlejerk on Google+ collecting half a million followers with his or her stolen content (claiming it being theirs) and safe in the knowledge Google won’t do much about it, or be it image sellers. Read More

Haute Cuisine preset for DxO

hauteIf you, absolutely, positively, must take pictures of your food :)

“Washed Food (Haute)” is a DxO preset for a first pass correction on food photographed under less than ideal lighting conditions (your kitchen, a restaurant kitchen, a restaurant dining room, etc.) It works best when combined with DxO Optics Pro (or, better, Nik’s or Perfectly Clear’s) sharpening and noise reduction in cases where low lighting made you bump up the ISO.

It accentuates greens, reds, and browns while reducing magentas and blues, the usual colors cast by restaurant lighting. It also compresses colors a bit, reduces contrast, ups saturation and vibrancy, and adds a slightly washed curve to the image to kick your colors into the haute cuisine blogger look. It works particularly well with colorful foods on wooden backgrounds and white plates.

Download 'Washed Food (Haute)'

This preset is released free as in beer and free as in thought. Do with it whatever you will. I would appreciate a share on your social network of choice of this page if you download it, because we all could use some more visits to our blogs, eh? :)

Portable Charger / Power Bank Recommendation Roundup

They’ve become a cheap, almost necessary, addon: portable chargers. Between camera, phone, tablet, watch, and other tchotchkes taking USB charging, not having one on the road is an almost constant gamble over the availability of power outlets, something even some high end hotels do not guarantee.

Zendure A2I went through a few of those things. Some had good (more than 6,000mAh, two cellphone charges) capacity but were bulky, heavy, and/or recharged slowly. Others were stylish but had no capacity and even less long-term stamina (how long they hold a charge without being used).

After a while I stopped at, what I think is, the best compromise between both. Read More

Nexus 9 and Folio Keyboard on the Road

DSC00143-Edit

For the past years my travel tech setup didn’t change. A medium sized mirrorless camera (the OM-D E-M10 lately, before that a Nex-6 and Nex-5), cellphone, and laptop. While make and model changed a few times, my Linux laptop morphed into a Chromebook a little bit more than a year ago, and cellphones change in my hands every few months, anyways, I never really considered trimming that setup even more. Sure, it was a little unwieldy, but what can ya do? Need a decent camera, need a tether to the world (phone), and need a way to edit images and write text (laptop).

The introduction of the Sony RX100m3, a compact camera with RAW file support, a fast (f/1.8) lens, and electronic viewfinder, allowed me to step into the compact camera space. How that worked out is for another day. The Nexus 9 tablet and associated Folio Keyboard, however, is for today — a contemplation on being a laptopless writer.Read More