Archive for July, 2012
Competition is getting fierce between photo-sharing networking sites. There is no room for complacency (goodbye Flickr) and it certainly is survival of the fittest. Perhaps one of the best parts of g+ coming out with its simple but oh-soooo-sweet photo sharing interface is that it, naturally, has raised the bar and other social sharing sites are stepping up to the plate. Facebook certainly sees the future of photos being an integral part of all communication and is investing a lot of its resources into making a better environment for the image obsessed. I have been lucky enough to be a part of the beta testing group and believe me, they are listening and improving fast. This week Facebook takes big steps forward launching the new user-friendly Photos layout. The new design (which will start appearing in profiles and pages over the next few weeks) introduces a photo presentation with several improved features in an easy to navigate format.
- Users can hover over an image to comment, like or highlight a photo without ever leaving the initial page.
- Photo Stats are now visible when you place the cursor over an image. This allows for users to interact with their photo stats or easily untag an image.
- Google + Users will feel comfortable with the similar-style photo layout.
Larger Photo Size:
- Images will no longer appear as small thumbnails!
- New image size allows users to scan through tagged and shared photos in a continuous timeline style.
- When images are clicked on they expand to the full size of the screen, allowing viewer the capability to scroll through hassle-free.
Photos Layout :
- The square layout now utilize the screen-space more efficiently and minimizes sidebar white space.
- Three new tabs at the top of the screen filter- shared photos, tagged photos and albums you’ve created.
- The new and improved larger square arrangement creates a mosaic style within all of your tabs.
Highlight Star :
- The highlight star enlarges the size of the photos and arranges the rest in a fashion which is more visually flattering.
- The highlight tool shows friends and followers which images are most important to you.
Only bummers is that there is no way to re-position your square album images like you can in timeline. Hopefully this will be a feature they roll out in the near future. I also wish that the photo view was able to shine sin ads (one can hope….).
Interested in learning more?
Are you looking for an easier way to get models to sign a release? Many photographers feel they need to use highly detailed, complex model releases. While this is often the case, particularly if you are contributor to a stock agency, hyper detailed releases are certainly not essential in all situations. Often, a much simpler release is not only easier for the model to quickly read and sign (therefore, making it more likely for the model to comply), in many cases it may even do a better job of protecting your rights.
Comprensive, detailed release language can often work against you. When I initially got started as a photographer I used standard ASMP releases – seems safe, right? WRONG.
One of the first lines of the standard ASMP release read “…and for other good and valuable consideration herein acknowledged as received, I hereby grant the following rights and permissions to,..” This was just one of the phrases (amidst a bunch of other legal mumbo jumbo) that I failed to understand. So, what does “consideration” mean?:
Consideration is the compensation that you give to the model or property owner. Consideration can be of any value and may actually be only nominal in nature, for example, a single dollar. Therefore, if you are not compensating your model with real consideration (money not a “thank you”) then a release with a compensation clause is not valid.
Yikes, I am so glad I went through the trouble to get all those invalid releases….
Damn. Another lesson learned the hard way.
At the end of the day, a simple release often better protects a photographer more than something unwieldy and obtuse. Hyper-specificity narrows the scope in such a way that a court can rule against the photographer. For instance, if a model release indicates that these pictures can be used for a “book, journal, magazine, pamphlet, newspaper, or other printed document” it comes at the exclusion of every kind of publication not included in the list—like a fine-arts print or Internet publication. Avoid this misstep by instead employing broad terms, such as “for any purpose, including publication.”
So how did I learn all this? An indispensible figure in my self-education has been Bert Krages, one of America’s foremost photography copyright lawyers and author of Legal Handbook for Photographers. His interpretations of often-complicated legal documents have been invaluable to me. What’s more, I was lucky enough to have his expert counsel throughout the development of Top Model Release.
In his book, amongst many other valuable lessons, he outlines good release practices including offering us photographers templates for a simple, clear, to the point model releases:
Sample Adult Model Release:
I consent to be photographed on __________ (date) by _______________ (Photographer). I further authorize that the photographs may be published for any purpose and in any form.
If you are a user of Top Model Release copy and paste the below text into a custom release form creating “Simple Adult” and “Simple Minor” template forms.
I, as the model identified by the information herein, consent to be photographed in accordance with the shoot dates and other information indicated on this form. I future authorize that the photographs may be published for any purpose and in any form.
I, as the parent or legal guardian of the minor identified by the information herein, consent to photography of the minor in accordance with the shoot dates and other information indicated on this form. I future authorize that the photographs may be published for any purpose and in any form.
In summary: there is a time and place for simple vs more complex model releases. Make an educated decision on the type of release that best fits the situation and if you do use a more advanced release, make sure you understand the language.
Melbourne based photographer Shannon McGrath trained in fine arts and photography at RMIT University. She has honed her practice over the last 12 years, concentrating on architecture and interior design with a growing interest in furniture, lighting and industrial design.
Shannon has some great tips for shooting architecture:
Don’t miss a chance to watch or listen to your favorite photographers – download the TWiT Photo podcast on iTunes for free :)
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TWiT Photo viewer ratings are the highest on record since the show’s debut, but our sales team has nonetheless been challenged to secure sufficient advertising. It has, in many ways, been an unusually tough sell: TWiT sponsors tend to be heavily tech-oriented; and our show, focused on the Art of Photography, is outside of this realm. My magnanimous and gifted co-host Leo Laporte and I have persevered for the past year; but, at this juncture, have decided to move-forward in search of new horizons.
Potentially one of the saddest aspects of this transition is the thought of loosing connection with the incredible community of TWiT Photo fans, whose support and critical feedback have been instrumental in the program’s evolution and popular success. I can’t thank you all enough for your generosity and encouragement over the past year–the experience of cultivating meaningful, substantive dialogue about the art of photography has been, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of the most transformational aspects of my career. I would like to extend especial gratitude to Leo, who has been an incredible teacher and role model, as well as the tireless and gracious TWiT CEO Lisa Kentzell. Thank you both for this wild, lovely, and rewarding ride. I am always up for a sequel.
I believe that the true measure of success isn’t how well you succeed–heck, anybody can carry themselves with grace and dignity when they’re winning the gold medal–but how you draw upon setbacks as an entry-point for inventing new opportunity. I don’t think the joy ever has to stop, but that sometimes it might take-on a new form. In this case, the dissolution of TWiT Photo has paved the road for Photography Unfiltered. Together, we have built-up a powerful community, and this is what always prevails.
This August will mark the premiere of my very-own show, Photography Unfiltered. Interviews with the world’s leading photographers will still be at the heart of the program, but we will take it a step further. Based on your input, Photography Unfiltered will focus even more on technique, solid how-tos, practical take-aways, as well as solidifying community connection through program participation.
I am also thrilled to announce that TWiT’s very own gaffer, Ryan Marsh, will be joining me as a co-host. Ryan Marsh is an accomplished Lighting Designer who has been a key member of the Lighting Department on shows such as House, America’s Next Top Model, CSI: NY, Numbers and Bones. He has also lit commercials and music videos for MTV and VH1 and talent such as Seal, Heidi Klume, Prince, and Snoop Dogg, and is a member of the Hollywood Film Lighting Union.
Ryan is an unabashed gear enthusiast who got his start in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley before carving his own unique path that ultimately led him into film production. He loves photography and is obsessed with generators, power systems and lighting.
Scott Kelby is a photographer who needs no introduction, so you can imagine how unbelievably stoked I was to read his post titled, “We are switching Model Release Apps Starting Today!” Scott is a world-famous photographic educator, and I’ve heard he writes books now and then too ;), but more importantly he’s an incredible photographer. To hear that he is not only using the app himself, but also switching his entire team over is quite the honor.
The best part about his review is that Scott gets it. He wrote, “…this new app is tailor-made for us. Love the features, the UI, the simplicity, the total customization capability and the organization.”
As a photographer myself I designed this app to not only improve my own personal workflow, but other photographers too, so I’m thrilled to read reviews like Scott’s. It means I’ve succeeded in helping other photographers and that is why I made the app in the first place.
How about you? Have you tried Top Model Release yet? It’s available in the App Store for your iPhone now – with free universal iPad upgrade coming soon. If you’ve given it a shot please let me know what you think in the comments, and if you haven’t bought it yet, please let me know if there are any questions I can answer about the app. Thanks so much for all your support!