A Sunday Photo Talk Plus Extra!

In this Photo Talk Plus Extra, Lotus Carroll and I talk with photographers Billy Wilson, Olav Folland, Doug Kaye, Todd Green and Helen Sotiriadis.

In this discussion we talk about Olav’s aerial photography this week and his photos from a Cessna airplane of the Golden Gate Bridge.

We recap Lotus’ San Antonio photowalk yesterday and share photos from the walk.

We talk about a new Christmas based photography series Billy Wilson has started.

We talk about 10 photography based films for photographers to watch and review my personal Amazon.com wishlist for photography related items that I want for Christmas this year. πŸ™‚

We also share the photos of Helen Sotiriadis and talk about some of those.

Todd Green joins us for his very first hangout ever and Doug Kaye stops in and updates on his movie plans tonight. πŸ˜‰

Towards the end Mark Esguerra joins us, but too late as we already were over the 1 hour broadcast mark.

Braden Carroll makes a brief guest appearance to remind us all that he loves us.

Thanks to our +Photo Talk Plus sponsors +SmugMug and +Drobo Check them out at http://smugmug.com and http://drobo.com.

Introducing Photo Talk Plus, A New Weekly Videocast Launching Tomorrow Night at 8pm PST



Well, after months of behind the scenes work, +Lotus Carroll and I are happy to announce the arrival of Photo Talk Plus.

What is Photo Talk Plus?

Photo Talk Plus is a new weekly hangout videocast hosted by myself and that awesome +Lotus Carroll that will broadcast live every Wednesday night at 8PM PST on +Keith Barrett’s +Vidcast network.

The show is dedicated to all things photography and photographers on Google+.

Each week a group of different panelists will talk about some of the top hot photography related stories, trends, memes, etc. appearing the previous week on Google+, as well as interview a prominent Google+ photographer about their work.

For our very first episode we are pleased to have the one and only Jarvie!!!! aka +Scott Jarvie as our special guest. Jarvie promises to let us in on all the secrets that make him one of the top wedding Pros shooting today.

Photographers/Panelists +Brian Rose (Google Photos Community Manager) +Amy Heiden and +helen sotiriadis will join us on the show as well.

The show is sponsored by +SmugMug and +Drobo (you should totally follow them both on Google+ here if you are not already).

SmugMug is a great place for you to host your photos if you want to sell prints and other types of photography items. You can set up a free trial account here: http://www.smugmug.com/ +Lotus Carroll uses them and will have more to say about that on the show tomorrow night.

I’ve been using Drobos myself for years (I’ve got 5 now and they are an integral part of my backup strategy). You can learn more about Drobo here: http://www.drobo.com/

We are super excited about the new show and hope that you will join us tomorrow night at 8PM PST. We’ll also have a follow up video on Keith’s site that you can watch later as well if you can’t make it live.

After the hangout recording is done, we’ll open the hangout up to the public and field photography related questions from the broadcast chat room live as well.

Hope to see you there tomorrow night!!! Did we mention there will be prizes?

If you can help us get the word out by resharing our new show announcement we’d sure appreciate it. πŸ™‚

To stay on top of our latest episodes, be sure and follow our Google+ Brand page as well here: http://goo.gl/ebS0D

Death Valley Google+ Photowalk 2011

Photo of me jumping on Mesquite Dunes by +Mark Esguerra.


What a GREAT weekend I just got back from!

About 50 of us descended on the small town of Beatty, NV this weekend and spent an entire weekend doing very little sleeping and lots and lots and lots of shooting in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Our weekend Mayor of Beatty +Luc Asbury — who was on his 7th trip to Death Valley — gave us a great itinerary of some of the most iconic Death Valley locations and right now some of the most amazing Death Valley photographs are popping up under the #DV2011 hashtag on G+.

There are so many highlights to this weekend that I don’t even know where to begin — so many talented photographers and good friends were on this trip. Many of us stayed at the Atomic Inn Motel (which was hard to find because the HUGE neon sign outside said Phoenix Inn, but the staff was super nice). Food was somewhat limited in Beatty, although a few of us did brave the smoke filled casino to get to the 24 hour Denny’s and get our fix of steak and eggs.

Some people got in as early as Thursday, but I came in on Friday. Our first stop was the Ghost Town of Rhyolite, NV where we got a great sunset and also did some fantastic night shooting and light painting into the evening. We took a brief break to take over the back room of the Sourdough Saloon for drinks and adult beverages, went out and did some more light painting, and then came back yet again to the Sourdough Saloon where I think we frightened some of the locals.

In Ghost Colors – Rhyolite, NV, by +Matt Roe.

If you’ve never shot Rhyolite at night, you definitely want to put this one on your list.

It was fun for me to finally get to try out the Jarvie Window (this flash ring thing that +Scott Jarvie uses for making really awesome wide angle portraits of people). After some good drinks and fun bar portraits most of us headed off to bed to get ready for our big sunrise shoot out at the dunes the next morning.

+Bo Lorentzen had also made up the *coolest* +1 Death Valley 2011 Google pins and he handed those out as well. Thanks again Bo for having those made up!

The Mesquite Dunes in Death Valley are really something. Saturday morning some of us got up at the brisk hour of 4am to meet up for our 4-5am departure time to make it out to the dunes by sunrise. Still others (+Amy Heiden, +Scott Jarvie and +Sly Vegas) got up at 3am to make it out there even earlier.

Shooting the dunes is tricky, but they are beautiful. I still think I’ve got about 5 hours of work left on one of my photos from that morning’s shoot cloning the thousands of little footprints out of the sand. We also had a good time just playing around on the dunes too. +Lotus Carroll took the challenge to roll down the Dunes and not to be outdone +Matt Roe decided to jump off of them gonzo style. +Mark Esguerra got that great photo of me doing my own jumping up above. πŸ™‚

We thought we lost Sly in the dunes later that morning and had a good time at breakfast coming up with scenarios on how Sly had disappeared to have his Carlos Castaneda/Jim Morrison sort of dune experience. In actuality Sly had really just snuck off back to the motel with +Cliff Blaise. πŸ™‚

Google I Love You So Much I’d +1 That, Death Valley Edition.

Breakfast was a great but greasy all you can eat thing. At breakfast we thanked everybody for making the trip and introduced the folks who had made the trip from Google — +Dave Cohen, +Brian Rose, +Vincent Mo, +Tony Paine, +Ricardo Lagos, Tim St. Clair, Vega Paithankar, Gerard Sanz, Agata Krzysztofik, and +Priscila Queiroz. (I’m sure I probably left somebody from Google out, if so let me know so I can add them).

Also at breakfast I got to finally get my +Ricardo Liberato Liber Angry Guy portrait. πŸ™‚

After the Dunes and breakfast in Stovepipe Wells, we made our way to the grandaddy of them all in Death Valley, The racetrack. We stopped off for a brief nap at Scotty’s Castle on the way where +Luc Asbury told me the story about his first ever trip to Death Valley which was preceded by a dream that he’d had about lighting up the grandstand at the Racetrack. We also made a stop at Ubehebe Crater.

The Racetrack is a mysterious almost spiritual place. You have to drive in on a somewhat treacherous dirt/rock road for about an hour and half. I had rented a 4×4 and still couldn’t go much more than about 70 mph (joking, really the pace is about 20 miles per hour or slower on this road). We saw a Ford Expedition that had a flat tire on the road on the way in — bummer. +Matt Roe told me that it’s about $6,000 to get a tow out of there if you get stuck.

All i can say about Death Valley is “WOW” ! ! ! by +sly Vegas.

Out at the racetrack (a giant hard mud playa) are some amazing moving rocks that are referred to as “Sailing Stones.” These large stones in some cases have travelled 100 feet or more and have long tracks cut into the hardened mud. They really are amazing to see. Apparently there is some sort of a scientific explanation for them, but I liked fantasizing in my own head about supernatural or spiritual explanations — because that’s how the place feels. We were able to do some great night shooting out on the Racetrack and +Michael Bonocore and +John Getchel brought some steel wool to do some awesome night fire photographs.

#DV2011 by +Brian Rose.

Unfortunately +Ricardo Lagos, +Matt Roe, +Lotus Carroll and myself stopped at THE WRONG PARKING LOT!!! and missed some of the fire fun — instead we wandered aimlessly around the middle of the Playa but got some great shots out of it. πŸ™

Death Valley Google+ Photowalk Weekend 2011 (6 photos), on Google+, by +Dave Cohen.

Many people stayed out and slept on the Playa that night. We did end up making it out alive though, only to have to get up for a 4am departure time for Zabriskie Point the next morning.

After driving about halfway to Zabriskie Point behind +Elizabeth Hahn (who thankfully drives fast!) I unfortunately realized that I’d made the boneheaded mistake of leaving my camera back in my motel room. Fortunately +Karen Hutton was right behind us and I was able to drop +Ricardo Lagos into her car and go back and get my camera.

Although I didn’t make it to Zabriskie point by sunrise, I did get to almost hit four donkeys in the road (hey, we were warned with a Donkey Crossing sign) and still got a wonderful sunrise shot of the salt flats. Stefan Bδurle (and a lot of others) got a pretty kick ass shot though!

After breakfast on Sunday people sort of broke up to do different things. We were able to get some amazing abandoned buildings and cars at the old Cashier Mill and Aguereberry Mining Camp along with some great rock shots on the Canyon into that mine. We also made a sunset/night excursion into Badwater, but we were robbed of our sunset by a heavy layer of overcast fog and a bit of rain. And I finally got the giant “Cowboy Steak” that I wanted back at Furnace Creek and got to watch +Karen Hutton talk for about 5 minutes with our waiter about show tunes.

Aguereberry Mining Camp, Death Valley. 2011, by +Ricardo Lagos.

Some people stuck around for still another Monday Morning sunrise (you’ve got endurance +Cynthia Pyun!) and I heard +Luc Asbury took people the long way home on the drive back to the Bay Area on Monday.

I’m sorry I didn’t get to name each and every person on the trip in this long blog post. I met so many more great photographers on this trip and was really impressed with everyone who made it out for the weekend. It was truly one of my best weekends ever and my only regret is that I didn’t get to spend more one on one time shooting with even more people.

I don’t know about those of you who went on the trip but I’m thinking we ought to make this an annual event and head back there again next year at this time. Death Valley is so rich and there is still so much that we didn’t get to shoot — I feel like we barely scratched the surface and know that as great as the shots that we got this trip are that we should all think about having just as good a time again next year.

Thanks again to Google for the great turnout and for supporting our event and to every photographer who made the great weekend out there. I had a total blast and I hope you did too.

If you’d like to add some of the great photographers on this trip to your Google+ account, you can find a lot of them doing a search on Google+ for the hashtag #DV2011.

Update: Also don’t miss +Amy Heiden’s excellent list of what she loved about Death Valley and +Scott Jarvie’s equally amusing 45 Fond Memories. +Elizabeth Hahn’s take here as well.

Robert Scoble Interviewing Trey Ratcliff on His New iPad App “Stuck on Earth”

A few weeks ago I jumped the gun (as I frequently do) and published a review of +Trey Ratcliff‘s awesome new app “Stuck on Earth.” This is a brand spanking new iPad app that is probably the single best app for traveling photographers that exists on the market today. It absolutely blows away anything by the likes of Conde Nast or Lonely Planet or the Travel Channel or any of these other attempts at serious travel apps. This app was built and designed for photographers and best of all it’s absolutely free.

It’s a wonderful tool for you to use in planning a trip and seeing both highly rated flickr geotagged photos as well as user curated lists of some of the best photo spots on the planet. I was one of the contributors to the app and contributed the 50 best secret shots to shoot San Francisco.

Above is a video interview by two of my favorite people in the tech/photographic community +Robert Scoble and +Trey Ratcliff (I’m putting +’s in front of people’s names sometimes now because Google+ is so awesome and I want to link to people’s Google+ accounts so that you will follow them there too). πŸ™‚

Also here is Trey’s announcement on the app on Google+ from yesterday as well as a very good conversation about why he built if for the iPad initially instead of Android (even though some Android users are getting pissed about this — both Trey and I are Android users by the way).

Anyways, if you are an iPad user (I bought one just to get this app) GO GET THIS APP HERE NOW!!!

My Photography Workflow 2011

My Photography Workflow 2011

Probably the number one question I get from people (after which camera should I buy) is “what is your workflow?” For the past two years I’ve published three different articles on my workflow, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Because my workflow changes so much over time, I figured now would be as good a time as ever to update this post for 2011.

I process *alot* of images. I’m trying to publish 1,000,000 photos online before I die — because of this it is imperative that I am as efficient as I can possibly be with the time that I spend processing images. I’m sure I could do some things better/faster, but I’m pretty comfortable with my system right now which is as follows:

Step 1. Capture the Images. At present my daily set up includes the same Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera that I’ve been shooting with for a few years now and five Canon lenses. The 14mm f/2.8, the 24mm f/1.4, the 50mm f/1.2, the 100mm f/2.8 macro and my favorite lens the 135 f/2.

Step 2. Import the images. I’ve got a high speed Hoodman FW800 card reader and four SanDisk cards (8GB, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB). Usually I just let Adobe’s Lightroom 3 import my images from my cards. LR puts each day’s image into a folder properly labeled with that date, so if I’ve got more than one day’s shoot on a card LR will automatically put the images in the right folders by day. If I’m out shooting in the field and need to dump a card and don’t have as much time, I might manually create a date folder myself and simply drag and drop the files from my CF card to the folder on my 17 inch MacBook Pro. This gets the photos to my computer faster.

Step 3. Back up the images. As soon as is practical (and hopefully before I’ve reformatted my CF cards) I will either transfer a day’s photos from my MBP hard drive to a drobo, or I’ll make sure that I’ve run Time Machine on my MBP’s internal hard drive. My drobos have two primary folders, photos to be processed and photos already processed (aka archive). I keep my drobos in a fire proof safe that’s bolted to a cement floor. I also keep copies of my files offsite. I did start using cloud storage as well but cancelled Mozy when they raised their rates. I’ve looked at a couple of the other cloud storage solutions but haven’t really found anything that is compelling for me yet.

Whenever I travel to shoot I always make sure that I bring my Time Machine backup drive and run it each night on the photos that I’ve already shot on that trip.

Step 4. Reimport the images For the most part I try to process in the order that I’ve taken the photos in. Sometimes I’ll skip ahead to process one or two photos from a photowalk, or if an event (like the Oakland riots) is time sensitive. But most of my work is not time sensitive and so I’ll just take my oldest unprocessed day and begin working on it. Right now I’m pretty far behind on my processing. I’m working on images from a Nashville trip from January 2010.

When it’s time to work on new images, I’ll copy that folder for that day’s images from my drobo to my MacBook Pro hard drive. Immediately Time Machine begins backing it up. I process most of my images on a 27 inch Apple Cinema Display. It’s great to have that as a second monitor. Note, if you leave Google+ on one of the displays it’s hard to get any actual processing work done. πŸ˜‰

I’ll import a day’s image into my current Lightroom catalog and begin work from there.

Step 5. Flag Images. The first thing I do with a folder’s images when imported into Lightroom is begin flagging the images that I’m going to want to process in Lightroom’s Library mode. How many images vs. frames that I process depends on the shoot. On some shoots I’ll process almost every image. On other shoots (like a sports event or runway models) I’ll way overshoot. In terms of the images for Nashville I’m working on right now, I’ve flagged 830 out of 2,646 photos for one of the days that I shot there.

Step 6. Process Images. Once I’ve flagged all of the images I want to process, I’ll filter by flag and begin one by one going through these images in Lightroom’s develop module. Each image is processed one by one by hand. I do have a ton of presets and sometimes I’ll use some fo these as jumping off points — many of these presets I’ve made myself, others I’ve found on the web, have been given by friends, etc. Most of the time though I don’t use presets and I just start tweaking the image using the various LR controls for what looks good to my eye and artistic sense.

I use most of the tools available to me. Frequently I crop images, boost contrast or vibrancy/saturation, increase blacks and fill lighting, use cloning tools to remove the horrible dust from the 5DM2 and definitely apply Lightroom 3’s killer noise reduction tech as needed.

Less than 3% of the time I’ll want to do something even more than what I can do in Lightroom and I’ll bring the image into Photoshop to do some work on it there. You have to be careful with Photoshop though because when you bring an image in there it’s not uncommon to look at your watch and realize you’ve been working on the same image for the past 2 hours. πŸ˜‰

Sometimes if something really works in black and white I might bring it into Nik Software’s excellent Silver Efex Pro. The black and white conversion effects available in there are remarkable.

Step 7. Keyword. Once I’m done processing each of my flagged RAW images, I’ll begin keywording them. First I’ll apply the broad keywords that apply to everything (eg. United States, United States of America, USA, Tennessee, Nashville). Then I might select multiple images to keyword, (all of my neon shots, all of my bw shots, etc.). Finally I’ll go through each image one by one to add unique keywords (i.e. sunset, Tootsie’s Bar, guitar, graffiti, etc.).

Step 8. Title photos. I spend a great deal of time on my photo titles. For me each image conveys a message. Some titles are obvious and descriptive. Other titles are more personal to me. Titles can be meaningful or random. Alot of my titles come from music. Alot come from poetry. Most are just made up out of things coming from my head. In the meta data “title” field I’ll title each image.

Step 10. Save metadata. A quick cmd-s saves all of my keywords and titles to my photos once I’m done with this process.

Step 11. Export files. Once I’m done with my processing, keywording and titling I’ll export my RAW files as JPGs for online publication. I export at full resolution. I don’t use or apply any crappy watermark. These finished photos then go into a “to be uploaded” folder to be added to about another 20,000 images that are waiting to be published. I title the file titles descriptively (eg. Oakland, Jan 2010, street — note these are just the JPG file titles, the actual image titles are in the meta data).

Step 12. Save folder as a catalog. After I’m done with all this, I will save the folder as its own Lightroom catalog. I then move this catalog file into the folder with the RAW images itself. This way if I ever need to go back and process more from that day’s shoot, I’ll know exactly how I left things when I was working with those images from before. Once this is done I’ll copy the day’s folder into a new archive folder on a drobo and delete the folder from my MacBook Pro’s hard drive.

Step 13. Geotag. Usually I geotag if it’s easy. If I’m shooting all of my images in one place (like a comic book convention in Houston) I’ll simply select all of those exported JPG images and use the application Geotagger to write geotags to them. Geotagger works by me loading up Google Earth and then manually finding the spot I took the photo and then dragging the files over the Geotagger icon in my dock.

I always get people suggesting to me that I use an actual GPS unit (or even my phone) to do my geotagging instead. Basically it’s just not worth the hassle to me. I know it’s gotten easier over the years, but I have to believe that we’ll see in camera geotagging reasonably soon and I just haven’t wanted to invest the time, money, or energy in coming up with a solution here. I hate that with most solutions that I have to synch my DSLR’s clock up with a phone/GPS unit and that I’d have to deal with merging files later, afterwards.

Step 14. Upload. Each day I do two batch uploads to Flickr, 25 images in the morning, 25 images at night. These images are largely pulled randomly from around a 20,000 image bank of reserve photos I have. I’ve also selected about 7,000 of what I feel are my stronger images to upload to Google+. I upload more sparingly to Google+ uploading 5 images spread out during the day there. These are my primary two places that I publish my work online. I’ll also put up some images up on 500px as well, but not systematically like I do with Flickr/Google+. If a photo of mine gets a lot of +1’s on Google+ I might also publish that photo to my blog.

On Watermarks and Signatures

On Watermarks and Signatures

Earlier today I caught myself unfollowing someone on 500px because I clicked through on their photo and found this garish looking signature on their photograph. I know I’ll probably take a lot of heat for this, but I HATE watermarks and signatures on photos and many of the particularly bad borders and frames as well — so much so that more and more these days I’m not faving them or commenting on photos that I find them on and have actually started unfollowing some people who use them.

Some people will say that they put signatures on their photos to stop the “photo thieves.” But I think that’s just an excuse. It’s so easy to remove almost any signature on a photo using content aware fill or other super easy tool in most image editing software. To me the real reason why people do it is that they think that it gives them some means of promotion for their work — that and just pure ego. It’s like an advertisement for their work – except that if I’m a contact and I’m looking at your work already, it feels dumb to me that you want to continuously hammer me with this same advert on your photos over and over and over again.

To me signatures are also a pure sign of an amateur (not that there is anything wrong with amateurs). William Eggleston doesn’t use them. He has a copyright notice on his site, but on his photos on display on his site, none of them are overlayed with something that says “William Eggleston Copyright 2009, Fully Party Promotion Production BABY! Richard Avedon doesn’t use them (RIP). The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite run by Ansel’s son Michael Adams doesn’t use them. Mary Ellen Mark doesn’t use them.

Is your work so much better than these masters that it must be protected with your watermark?

Some of the best photosharing accounts that I know don’t use them. Bernie DeChant doesn’t use them. Ivan Makarov doesn’t use them. Kelly Castro doesn’t use them. WatermelonSugar doesn’t use them. Bill Storage has some remarkable work up — no signatures here either.

And yet some brand new account with some underexposed photo of a flower (not that there is anything wrong with flowers) somehow thinks that unless they have their name emblazoned across the bottom of their photo in 24pt Helvetica, that someone is going to “steal” their photograph.

For me looking at photos online is a new way of consuming art — and online photosharing sites are sort of virtual museums for me in a way. If I went to see the Richard Avedon show at the SF MOMA and every print was stamped with a garish “COPYRIGHT RICHARD AVEDON” I’d be just as put off I think. But they aren’t.

I don’t use signatures or watermarks on my own work because I care about the art. I care about how it’s presented to others. I want it to be beautiful. I want it to stand on it’s own. I trust you. I respect you. I want you to see my work the best that it can possibly be and come back and see it again and again and again in the future.

As an artist my biggest ambition is to have my work seen and appreciated, at all costs. To get it out there and distributed as broadly as possible and to make it as welcome and inviting to those who might come and visit it.

I might blame the software makers for adding this functionality into their products — but they only do this due to consumer demand and some people want this, I suppose.

The thing is that I have friends and photographers that I admire that use signatures. And some people feel super strong about them and so I’m sure some people will react badly to me saying how much I hate them. I certainly don’t mean to upset people who do use them and feel this way. It’s just an opinion. Really, don’t hate on me for hating your watermark. If you want to use it, you just go right on using it. The important thing is that YOU like it. It’s your art after all. This is just my blog and my opinion.

So What Can You Do When a Company Steals Your Photograph and Uses It For An Advertisement on Facebook? Apparently Not Much

I do love technology

A few weeks ago Veronica Belmont alerted me to a photograph that I’d taken of her that was being used as an advertisement on Facebook (see above). Veronica wasn’t very happy with her likeness being used to promote the company Wireless Emporium and also pointed out that my photograph (which is not licensed for commercial use) was also being used without authorization.

At first I wondered if this was just part of some sort of Facebook rights grab. I’d heard that Facebook can use your photos in advertisements unless you specifically opt out of this — but the thing about this photo was that neither Veronica or I had actually ever uploaded the photo to Facebook. (By the way, if you want to opt out of Facebook using your photos for advertisements you can do that here like I did.)

So I concluded that the only way for this photo to get into a Facebook advert would be for someone to steal the photo and make the advert and upload it and buy space to promote it on Facebook.

Of course the first suspect that I thought of was the company that was actually being promoted in the advert, “Wireless Emporium.” After a few tweets about the advert, one of the company’s representatives Greg Daurio, who seems like a very nice guy, got in touch with both Veronica and I. We traded a lot of back and forth emails and he ultimately provided me the following statement below on their position on this unauthorized photo use:

“About two weeks ago we here at Wireless Emporium noticed a bit of chatter on Twitter regarding a Facebook ad that was promoting our company. Unfortunately, the chatter was of the negative variety, as the model whose photo was used in the ad (Veronica) and the photographer who took the picture (Thomas) hadn’t given permission for that image to be used.

In terms of people power, Wireless Emporium is a relatively small company with less than 30 employees. In order to stay competitive, we outsource a portion of our SEO efforts to professional firms. While we do our due diligence to make sure we only do business with reputable firms, unfortunately, one of the firms we contracted wasn’t living up to their end of the bargain.

After doing some investigating, we concluded that this firm tried to leverage the popularity of Veronica in the tech community to grow our brand awareness without her permission and without consulting us before moving forward with the ad. Unfortunately we have no concrete evidence that this firm indeed was the one responsible for the rogue Facebook ad. Nonetheless, within 4 days of finding out about the ad, we terminated all business relationships with this SEO firm based on our internal investigation.

We are extremely apologetic to both Thomas and Veronica and appreciate their patience and understanding while we investigated the matter internally. We are also thankful that this was brought to our attention. It is extremely important to everyone here at Wireless Emporium that we grow our business in a moral and ethical way. And when we discover that one of our partners isn’t following those same guidelines, it is important that we act swiftly and accordingly.

Lastly, we here at Wireless Emporium would like to thank Thomas and Veronica for allowing our voice to be heard on this matter. They certainly didn’t have to do that. We wish both the best of luck moving forward.”

I don’t know very many people at Facebook, but I did put a Facebook message into a fairly senior person there to see if he might be able to help but never heard back.

As far as I’m aware there is no real mechanism for a photographer to use to get Facebook to tell you who paid for an advert illegally using your image. I don’t know the name of the alleged SEO company that stole the photo and I’m not sure that there is ever any way that I will know. Such is life on the web for photographers.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice on a situation like this?

Hot Box Interview #1 Marc Evans, AKA Clearlight

Brent Air Pool Supply

Hot Box Uncensored is a new dynamic group on Flickr where a group of photographers play a voting game on photographs. It’s a place to get uncensored feedback and criticism on your photos (some more valuable than others) while participating in a growing online photographic community. It’s only been around a few weeks now, but is one of Flickr’s most active groups and will already pass the 2,000 member mark sometime this afternoon.

In addition to the Flickr Group, there are plans to do books, magazines, videos, podcasts and possibly a major motion picture or photography related theme park at some point.

Today there is also a twitter account and blog where photos are posted along with articles on photography and interviews with prominent members of the group.

The first interview is up this morning with Marc Evans, aka Clearlight.

I’ve known Marc for a number of years now. He does lots of different kinds of photography but has specializes in neon photography and landscapes. Marc is one of the finest neon shooters shooting today and I’ve had the good fortune of both shooting and learning from him as I continue to shoot neon signs myself. He’s also something of a fast food historian with an seemingly infinite knowledge about the In-N-Out Hamburger franchise.

You can check out the interview over on the Hot Box blog here. And if you are so inclined come join us in the group here (but read the rules before you post a photo in the pool).

More interviews are coming so keep checking the blog and twitter account.