The Next Photo Shoot January 14 2014, 0 Comments

January. I sit with my calendar in front of me and an endless list of places to photograph. I look at the pile. The pile is a group of projects that I have been working on, some projects requiring time and attention for years. I try to calculate how much time I need this month to get my taxes to the accountant, how much printing time I need for an upcoming competition and art show on the east coast. As I do these things, I think on a comment I have heard from my art friends for years, “This stuff kills my creativity.” I want to groan.

Even eight weeks after my return from Cuba, I mentally walk the streets of Havana in the quiet early hours when one has time to be still, the time before the sun peaks over the horizon and the world once again invades our lives. I think about my return there. I wonder when that will be. I wonder how such a place could grab hold of me so completely.

I relish the time in which I wait, sometimes for hours, for the light to reveal the lines I now seek to photograph. I live to do this work surrendering myself to know no time or day, just the images slowly showing themselves to me as if to share a secret. The light changing form from moment to moment enticing me to chase it, capture it. Slowly a timeline emerges… Show on the east coast, early spring. Late spring, Valley of Fire and Death Valley. By late summer, long term project #1…finish first draft. Dropping into an entirely different culture and losing myself completely in my work, early fall.

What is Copyright? September 13 2013, 0 Comments

According to the dictionary, COPYRIGHT is: “The exclusive right to make copies, license, and otherwise exploit a literary, musical or artistic work, whether printed, audio, video, etc. works granted by law on or after January 1, 1978, are protected for the lifetime of the author or creator and for a period of fifty years after his or her death.”

It is true that as soon as you write a story, paint a painting, compose a song, or press the stutter button on your camera, that work of art belongs to you and only you. It applies to software someone has created, or blueprints, etc…

More than a decade ago when people started to download music without paying for it, several major music companies began suing individuals and rightly so. Copying, reproducing, scanning or in any other way using another person's work without permission is stealing. Plan and simple. The comment I have heard through the years is “Oh what does it hurt?” Let me explain…

First, what you are taking isn’t yours. Secondly, you keep the artist from making a living. Truly. I have had to retire images because I could no longer keep up with the ways in which some of the images were being stolen. It has cost me thousands in income. And no I can’t afford to lose income. People who steal other peoples work degrade the work itself. It’s like saying, “Yes, I want your art but I shouldn’t have to pay for it.” Really? When you go to work does your boss want you to be productive but then say that he /she shouldn’t have to pay you?? Try eating that for dinner!

I always hope that artists take the time to register their work, whatever art form it is, with the Federal Copyright Office. This ensures a couple of things. First, your work is on file as YOUR work. Secondly, it allows you to sue for damages. If someone uses your work without permission, even on a Facebook page, you can sue them and will probably get a judgment by the court. However, work that has been filed with the Federal Copyright Office allows you to sue for damages.

For example, if a person uses your work on their own website without permission, and makes $500,000 as a result, you can sue them based on what they earned as a result of using your work without permission. This holds true for someone who uses your image without permission for the simplest of things such as an invitation. If it is copied and distributed say, 100 times, you can receive damages for each time it was distributed. In short, 100 times.

Violating copyright is serious. Many believe that they cannot be sued if they use something they don’t make money off of. WRONG! Just ask the folks that were fined $10,000 per download when they stole music in those early days of illegal downloading!

For more information on Federal Copyright procedures, go to: