Tuesday, August 28, 2007


My brother-in-law Glen won a district qualifier for the World Long Drive Championship. Now he gets to compete at the World Long Drive Event in Mesquite Nevada.

Good luck Glen, pick us up some barbecue sauce while you're down there!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Out of body experiences

Probably by now everyone has heard that scientists now claim that they can produce "out of body experiences " by using cameras . What a crock. When they can produce the same effect on a person who has been declared clinically dead or even on a person that is blindfolded then they'll be doing something that we'll have to look twice at.

School Shooting

We finished our first day of shooting at one of the local high schools. I ended up doing portraits for 170 kids or so over the course of the day. The 8th and 9th graders are now mostly done. There are a few stragglers mostly kids who are still on vacation with their parents, probably a few who just didn't show up, and of course there are those who have moved to new schools.

I have to say several things about these kids.

First is that lots of them are in a complete fog. For example when one kid was finished getting his photos done, he asked the photographer where to go next.

"Go over to the printers, pick your stuff up and then go to the stage to get your locker." Imagine the photographer pointing at a table with four printers on it. The kid heads over to the printers and just walks right by.

"WHOA! YOU'VE GONE TOO FAR" He walked right past the printers.

"You forgot to get your stuff from the printers" says the photographer.

"Where are the printers?" asks the kid

"You walked right past them, come back five steps, the printers are right there on that table." You've got to keep in mind that the only thing in the entire room are our shooting stations and this table with four printers on it.

Second. These kids dress like a bunch of retards. The so called, "Emo" kids, are the worst of all. Five years ago these kids would have been called been goths. Now it's a lot cooler to dress like a goth, but call yourself emotional. That's why they are so sad all the time. I think they are sad because they get their hair done at a dog wash and it (their hair) covers their eyes like a sheepdog that hasn't actually had a haircut in a long time. Then there is the emo boy's pants. Actually they're more likely the emo boy's little sister's pants. Now I never was one for wearing a pair of pants that only covers halfway up your ass crack and maybe I'm a little stuck in the mid 90's, but, REALLY TIGHT FLOOD PANTS THAT DON'T COVER YOUR BUM AND LOOK LIKE THEY BELONG TO YOUR LITTLE SISTER ARE STUPID.

Another thing for you emotional kids. The world is not out to get you. It doesn't care enough about what you do, to be out to get you. You are not a special little snowflake unique in all the world. In fact nothing you are feeling is actually different from what the other 6 billion people in this world felt when they were your age. The difference is you're more whiny.

After that rant, I just want to say that I had a great time doing the photos on Friday. It is really fun. I'm looking forward to the 10s, 11s and 12s, on Monday. The first day went very smoothly. If everything goes this well on Monday and Tuesday we are going to compress the number of days we shoot at that school next year.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Ethanol for fuel

There was an interesting article in the news tonight about the production of ethanol for fuel. They said that there is huge amounts of corn now growing in the state of Iowa that is slated to be made into alcohol for fuel. They also said that huge expensive ethanol factories are springing up everywhere. There are some reasons why this is all going to be a waste of time and money. The reasons are as follows. First of all the growing of corn requires fuel for the tractors and machinery. Some experts estimate that it will take more than a gallon of gasolene to produce one gallon of alcohol. Further more the price of corn has taken a steep climb and therefor the price of food has gone up. This looks like another fiasco. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mo and Steve

Last night I did some Photos for some friends of mine, Mo and Steve. We had a pretty good time, although we went out a little late and the sun was a little low in the sky to be just right.

I got a few really good shots that I'm sure they will be happy with. I really enjoyed the visit with them.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Simpsons Movie

I went to see the Simpsons movie today. I don't really know what to think. I didn't like it as much as I should have. I'm trying to figure out why. I suspect the main reason is that seeing it on the big screen was so much different than watching it on TV. I think there are several reasons.

With more money and time, they did more detailed animation. Sure it looked great, but it looked different.

I can't say for sure, but I'm pretty sure that the frame rate is different for tv than it is at the cinema. Those extra frames per second make a difference. Maybe I should say those extra frames per second make the program look different.

Widescreen format. I don't know why they would do this. It doesn't make sense that for 18 years or what ever to do a square shaped show then suddenly for the movie to make it widescreen. Lots of movies come out in a TV type format, why go to the extra animation expense. The strange aspect ratio threw me off.

Here's another thing. They made Schwarzenegger the president. Why the sudden change from Rainier Wolfcastle? It isn't as if we don't know Rainier is actually Arnold. I think they should have kept their regular characters.

All in all, I liked the movie, but I thought I would like it more. This movie is definitely a renter. Wait for the DVD, and get the one formatted to fit your tv.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Still Watching

I just watched the second episode of Flight of the Conchords. I'm just loving it.

The internet is just getting better and better. All sorts of new programs are suddenly available that I would have never seen before in a million years. Most of them are very good.

I recommend getting HBO or looking for Flight of the Conchords on youtube or some other website. Most of the clips on youtube are from their Comedy act, but there are also whole episodes of their show, split into three easily watchable parts.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Flight Of The Conchords - The Humans Are Dead

I just watched the first episode of a HBO show called Flight of the Conchords.

Flight of the Conchords follows the trials and tribulations of a two man, digi-folk band from New Zealand as they try to make a name for themselves in New York City.

This is a youtube clip of the two stars performing one of their songs. This clip is not from the show itself.

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Many photographers complain that microstock agencies are ruining the stock photography industry. That they are charging too little and replacing quality with quantity.

They argue that it is a bad thing that you can make 500 photographs with your digital camera for the cost of re-charging the battery. In the same breath they complain that people are charging less for a copy of the photo than it costs to make the photo. Obviously both cannot be true. I think that the real answer is that microstockers are charging less than it costs traditional stock photographers to make the photos.

On bit of accounting that I admit I and most microstockers overlook is the cost of the camera and lenses etc. Most microstock photographers are probably not including the price of their camera as a cost of making the photo. Even if they did, the cost of the camera would have to be divided between all the photos that they take, or at the very least submit to the agency. For me, from what I have submitted to istockphoto.com, each photo likely cost me around $10 in equipment expenses and maybe $2 each in my own time. I guess that means I have spent $12 per photo on average, to produce my portfolio. Over the last year and four months, I have made about $7 per photo selling them as stock.

That looks like a loss of $5 per photo on equipment, but here's the rub, the thing that the traditional stock shooters don't realize. Most microstock photographers had their camera before they started shooting for stock. The cost of their equipment is sunk. The money they spent is gone already. No matter what they do, that money is gone, they needed a camera to take pictures of the family and now they are using it for stock too. In the eyes of the microstocker, this is a $7 gain per photo.

I know how much I spent and realize that so far I am sitting at a $5 loss so far, but I have a spreadsheet that is predicting that I will break even at the end of November. If I shoot 250 more photos over the next year after that, my equipment cost will have dropped to $5 per photo meaning that suddenly the cost of my photos will have dropped to $7 but my profit per photo will have gone up significantly because on average it is likely the new photos will sell as well as the old photos and the old photos will continue to sell.

Another form of payment the microstockers get is hard to put a monetary value on. Many, many people love taking photos. Their friends enjoy modeling for them. They all love seeing the photos used. When a photo gets used it is an affirmation that you as a photographer are talented and that your friends as models are attractive. That is worth a lot. Self actualization, is worth big bucks to a lot of people. Heck, it is why I have the job I do, sure I would like to be making double what I am, but I love my job more than any other job I have ever had. I can't imagine a better job. I feel a lot the same about microstock. Over the last year and four months 2165 people have figuratively patted me on the back by purchasing my photos. That's almost 5 people per day, and it just keeps on rising.

Traditional shooters are moaning the death of stock as a viable career choice for photographers. What they don't mention is the high barrier to entry into the traditional rights managed stock photography agencies.

I looked into it several years ago, I can't remember what agency it was, Getty or Corbis, but they wanted potential photographers to submit a library of many thousands of photos and then, after a certain amount of time they would accept you or send you packing and by the way, don't apply again. Basically it was impossible for anyone except seasoned professionals with a huge libraries of photos to become contributing members of the company I looked at. Today I checked both of their websites and can't find a link on how to even apply anymore.

Now the barriers to entry to being a stock photographer are gone. Anyone can sign up at istockphoto.com. I've made almost $1600 since March 2006. $1300 of that came since the beginning of 2007. By the end of the year, all my camera gear will be paid off. Depending how hard I work making new stock photos, I will probably be able to buy a full set of studio lights as well. From only 240 photos so far.