Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Scams: Avoiding fake photography contests

I've just read the article below about photography contest scams.

Scams: Avoiding fake photography contests (Photoethnogrphy.com)

Given that this article was originally posted in May, 2005 and it is still receiving comments in November 2007, it is an issue that is not disappearing.
One of the main sites mentioned is photo.com (deliberately not linking to this site). If you are 'lucky' enough to get through to the finalist section of the competition, you will be invited to their gala for about $1000. You are also invited to order the 'coffee table' book with your photo in it for about $60. All this isn't bad, but the small print of the contract you sign you waive all rights to your image. In short, you should stay clear of this very expensive scam. Apparently, you will get your book eventually, but it may take years.
Some comments mention that bananabana.com is running the same type of scam with baby pictures.

There is mention of another scam involving stock photographs on a CD but I do not think this kind of scam catches as many people out if the comments are anything to go by.

In conclusion, if you are going to enter a competition, read all of the small print. If you have to pay to enter a photography competition, make sure it is as legitimate as possible; the Photoethnography article mentions that these competitions sometimes name the judges so you can research their credentials.

Thanks to Clockworkpink2 for linking to the original post.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Testing Windows Live Writer

Today I was told about Windows Live Writer. I am taking a look at this tool as a way to blog without having to use the blogger web interface (which is not the easiest to use). I was recommended this by Hoshisoto, who uses Live Writer as his main blog updating tool.

First impressions are that this is a pretty clean bit of software. The user interface looks as though it has been given a bit of thought. I haven't had a chance to check out all of the features, having just installed the software.

Flower Closeup

The main thing which will keep me using this is how easy photos are to insert and manipulate using the software (this being a photo blog and all that!).  
So far, I am impressed. It was easy insert the picture on the left and manipulate its position to enable the text to wrap around it. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful relationship? Watch this space!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Hoshisato - Travel and Photo Blog

Hoshisato is a friend and colleague who, like me, has a passion for photography. Actually, his knowledge and skills far exceed mine!

Hoshisato's pictures vary in style and subject, quite often due to experimenting with a new photo or processing technique. For example, panoramas feature quite prominently at the moment due to experimentation with PTGui and Photoshop. I particularly like this Southwark Bridge Panorama as it has quite a fish-eye look about it and draws the eye along the whole length of the bridge.

Panoramas aren't the only, or indeed main, style of Hoshisato's photos. Many of the photos on the blog are of the reportage genre; people going about their business unaware they are being watched and photographed. I am quite fond of this type of photography, although I don't generally take many photos in this style. I enjoy the natural poses which can only be captured when people are unaware they are being photographed. My favourite reportage photo from the Hoshisato blog is of a forklift driver in the Tsukiji fish market.

This photo is part of the Japan collection which contains many travel photos from a recent trip out there. The reason I enjoy this particular photo is that it gives a sense of urgency which one could imagine being the general atmosphere in a fish market where the freshness of the produce is everything. The choice of black and white seems natural for this type of scene. Colour would probably dilute the crispness and contrast which gives this photo its busy feel.

Finally, if you click on any of the images on the blog, you are taken through to Hoshisato's Webshots page. Here you will find many more photos which aren't on the blog. Go there or click on the link on the right for the main blog. Both are well worth an explore.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Twins By Antony Gormley

If you walk down Euston Road between Euston and Great Portland Street stations you will encounter the Twins by Antony Gormley.
These statues are positioned either side of a window which makes them look like one statue reflected in the mirror-like window of the building. It is only upon a closer and concentrated look that one notices that both statues are significantly different.

For a map of where the statue is located click on the picture.