Photographers have to be aware of possible misuse of their images. Nowadays there is a growing threat of image rights grabs , mainly from competitions organised by magazines and book publishers.The scenario is straightforward. A photo competiton is announced with the winner getting published in a book or magazine. However if you read the small print a different story emerges. Chris Barton wrote on his blog about a Great British Life competition . The small print reveals “”By submitting any material to Archant, You automatically grant Archant the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, edit, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such material (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any rights that may exist in such content.”The BBC , Sky and other television companies have done a similar thing with their requests to viewers for their pictures of news events. If you send them a picture you are also giving them the right to publish it wherever they want without any payment .
HDR photography is great way of getting a new perspective on what you can do with your own images . There are many ways of creating HDR photos , including Photomatix and and Photoshop . Photomatix is still the best tool for making HDR pictures as far as I am concerned . I used it to make my first HDR screensaver . I have just started trying out HDR PhotoStudio2 from Unified Color. The basic interface has a limited number of options compared to Photomatix .Unified Color has announced that HDR PhotoStudio, its High Dynamic Range software package formerly available only on the Windows platform, is now available for the Mac. The software is compatible with Intel systems running Leopard and Snow Leopard and requires at least a 2.5GHz dual core system with 2GB of RAM (4GB is recommended). HDR PhotoStudio gives photographers control over the colors within an image, a tool set that helps them address the effects of merging multiple exposures, and an improved workflow, the company says.
“In response to requests from photographers, we are excited to introduce HDR PhotoStudio to the Mac faithful,” said Alfred Zee, CEO of Unified Color Technologies. “With HDR PhotoStudio, Mac users can finally produce full-color HDR images that they envision, without concern that their dynamic range or colors will be clipped or shifted by applications constrained by traditional narrow gamut color models. With our technology, photographers can unlock the full color spectrum while preserving a realistic look and feel to their images.” HDR PhotoStudio’s 32-bit floating-point technology and Beyond RGB color space is designed to accurately depict and edit all the colors the human visual system can recognize. While the current evolution of HDR photography has often been characterized by oversaturated and unnatural-looking images, the makers of HDR PhotoStudio say their software enables photographers to provide a more true-to-life look for their HDR images. “Most other offerings are forced to reduce image quality to bring an HDR photo into a color range it can manage, often losing image data and clipping the full scope of colors in the process. While the current evolution of HDR photography has been dominated by oversaturated and unnatural-looking images, mainly due to these software limitations, HDR PhotoStudio enables photographers to unlock their complete photographic vision,” the company explained. The program’s tools aim to address some common difficulties in HDR photography. These include a halo reduction slider to fight the haloing problem of HDR images; a patented HDR noise reduction technique; the Veiling Glare adjustment designed to cut down on image haze from compounding lens glare; a Color Tone Equalizer which allows simultaneous management of saturation in six basic color channels; and a customizable recipe button to save macros. HDR PhotoStudio supports Unified Color’s native BEF file format which enables efficient HDR image compression, so photographers can easily manage and archive the large files, according to the company. The package includes a BEF-converting Photoshop plug-in, which enables the final HDR image to be applied to a Photoshop project. The program also supports RAW files from all the major camera manufacturers as well as TIFF, JPEG, BMP, and OpenEXR formats.
Available for immediate download via the company’s Web site, the Mac version of HDR PhotoStudio is being offered for an introductory price of $100 throughout the month of February. After that, the price goes up to its regular $150.
The controversial Braveheart statue at the Wallace Monument in Stirling has been returned to sculptor Tom Church. The William Wallace statue has divided opinion equally between those who love it and those who hate it . Historians were outraged because of its remarkable resemblance to a certain actor Mel Gibson , star of the Braveheart film. That was taking historical inaccuracies to a whole new level. However tourists visiting the Monument loved having their picture taken beside it . The 13 foot statue was 12 tonnes and carved out of gold sandstone . A new visitor centre is being built where it stood in the car park at the foot of the Monument.Church said he had been inspired to create the statue, which took him five months to carve, after watching the 1997 film. Church said: “I know the purists didn’t think too much of it but the tourists absolutely loved it. I believe it’s rightful home is at the Wallace Monument. It was the ideal place for it. I think they were maybe a bit angry that some people just wanted their picture taken with the statue and didn’t bother going into the monument.”
So what has the Braveheart phenomenon done for Scotland ? I think it has had a great effect on tourism in Scotland. The film has encouraged lots of new visitors to come over here. Beyond that it has also played well with the SNP and supporters of Independence because it is just an epic , albeit inaccurate , film which appeals to the emotions of anyone who wants freedom for their own country . The picture of the statue featured here is available as a poster from Castle Pictures.
If you want to build your own castle and the local planning laws prevent it , what do you do ? Well, you could do what a farmer did – he built his castle and hid it for 4 years behind straw bales . Robert Fidler (sic) thought he could not be prosecuted after 4 years for breaking the planning law . Unfortunately a High Court judge took a different view and told him to demolish it .
A High Court judge ruled that Robert Fidler, 60, who sneakily built the luxury home – complete with ramparts and a cannon – deceived the local planning authority and was not entitled to benefit from the deception.
Mr Fidler, 60, from Surrey in southwest England, hoped to get another chance at gaining planning permission to keep his dream home.
He moved into the massive castle with his wife Linda and their son Harry in 2002 and successfully hid it from local authorities for four years by stacking up straw bales.
He took away the bales in May 2006 because he thought that after four years, his new home was immune from planning enforcement controls.
But the local council issued a notice in March 2007 requiring that it be demolished on the grounds that the building was erected without planning permission.
A government planning inspector rejected Mr Fidler’s appeal in May 2008, saying the removal of the straw bale camouflage constituted part of the building works.
The inspector said Mr Fidler could not rely on the four-year immunity period and must demolish the building.
The court considered whether the removal of the hay bales and tarpaulin was, in the eyes of the law, part of the ongoing building operation.
Ruling that it was, judge Sir Thayne Forbes said: “In my view, the inspector’s findings of fact make it abundantly clear that the erection (and) removal of the straw bales was an integral … part of the building operations that were intended to deceive the local planning authority and to achieve by deception lawful status for a dwelling built in breach of planning control.”[poll id=”1”] Continue reading The secret castle , the farmer and the judge