Facebook *DOES* care for your photography rights!

As a photographer I have been using Facebook extensively to connect to friends, share photos and even create my official Facebook page for my Wedding and Travel Photography business. I have always adhered to some basic rules when posting photos so that I can be on the safe side, namely I watermark lightly with my name and I always post at low resolution.

It goes without saying that I don’t care if someone shares my photos, re-posts them as is etc. That’s the point of social media after all isn’t it? For those oblivious to mention the source, I don’t care that much as the watermark does its job of reminding them!

However, some smart-guys do not know that even worse than reckless copying, is the modification of original photos and especially the removal of watermarks without prior permission of the photographer! If you want to know why, please read this…

So I came across a Facebook page entitled Syros-Συρος that had some of my photos re-posted without references etc. but no problem! No issues for me as long as they are respected as “complete” works. I didn’t care for the lack of reference. But then, judging by the number of “Likes” that my Ermoupolis photo (shown above) collected, the anonymous administrator goes forward, crops the photo, removes the watermark and makes it his Page profile photo! Oh really?

Now, that made me furious. I left a message but in vain! They did not care to answer. I reported the issue to Facebook, by using their copyright infringement reporting tools, highlighting all aspects of the issue. To my positive surprise, Facebook reacted within almost eight (yes 8!!!) hours and took the profile photo down, leaving him with a question mark instead, as profile photo.

For me, that is an exceptional case for showcasing that Social Media (and Facebook of course) can indeed be platforms for safe sharing of your works, as long as you do take your own precautionary measures. Kudos Facebook for your prompt reactions and thanks for caring for our photography!

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Athens | The Little Great City

You know that I always admire talented people and their art! This post is to highlight the art of Emmanouil Papadopoulos, entitled “Athens | The Little Great City“. A magnificent work that (presumably!) uses a tilt-and-shift lens, time lapse techniques and uniform color correction to highlight the city I live in: Athens, Greece.

The end result is magnificent! Everything looks like a miniature toy, thanks to the shallow depth-of-field of the tilt-n-shift lens…

Thank you Emmanouil… And Kudos! Rare talent! You have me watching this again and again….

(if video isn’t playing please go directly here at youtube to watch)

Make your own “Google” search story! I tried my hand at mine :-)

I am sure you have watched and enjoyed the Google viral video about “Parisian Love“. Now, Google and youtube offer you an ultra easy-to-use online tool to help you create your own “Google search” videos in a few minutes!

All you have to do is make up your own story as a sequence of  “Google searches” and then define what kind of results you want (typical search, maps, images etc.). You can preview the short clip, then select the music and voila! Of course it aims at promoting Google capabilities more than you, but hey! it’s fun!

As a Greek photographer I have made my own 30″ Google Search video to promote my Greece photos! What do you think? 🙂

Photo backup! Save your precious memories…

It’s amazing how many photos are being shot these days, thanks to the digital age! It is also amazing that few of them will ever find the way to a print and thus will remain in the hard disks or the social networking sites that we use, like Facebook

However, I would like to predict that in the years to come we will be experiencing the first painful losses of photos, due to the lack of proper backup and storage practices… 

Most people give attention to their photos up until they see them on screen! However, few of them take proper measures to store them or back them up to prevent loss.

Well, I had made my own backup plan but then I found in one of my favorite blogs, Epic Edit Weblog, a complete guide to photo backups written by Brian Auer.

The guide is offered for free, both as a series of articles and also as a free e-book that you can download as pdf (2.5MB).

It covers things like… What it is a photo backup and how much it will cost you, how disaster strikes, what are your options and how you should approach your backup strategy… all in very simple terms!

I would strongly suggest that you read this excellent guide, and that you seriously consider that memories are not saved just by clicking the camera shutter, but also by making sure that you preserve your digital content for ever! The first might be the camera’s duty…  The second however, is your duty!

“Faith” – Stories behind photos #6

 This Clarisses photo was shot at chapel in Ano Syros (Syros island, Greece) in summer 2008.

I found a small chapel and entered. No people were inside. There were just two nuns, hidden behind a wooden barrier and unseen. Two nuns, one playing the organ and one singing a chant with a glorious voice, praying alone inside. 

You could not see them but they were there, singing gloriously.

They had no audience, but they put their best for their faith. I stayed there for about 20 mins in awe, waiting to see any of them behind the barrier.

I kept waiting for a glimpse that could really depict the glory of the chant and of the moment. At the right moment I managed to capture this glimpse of their devotion.

Hope you like its symbolism…

PS: Ines, a “digital” friend was kind enough to e-mail me some further details on Clarisses. 

Ines wrote: “these nuns are called “Clarisses” (in UK “Poor Clare”) and as you can understand they are what we say in greek “eglistes kalogries”. They don’t go out and they make a great work for the poors. That’s what I know about them, (as I have roots from Syros) and I have also been told from relatives that they are very kind and their voice is something else!”

Indeed Ines, their voice was something else! Thank you!

“Can photography change the world?” Hosted in Digital Photographer magazine..

Digital Photographer issue 75 UK’s fastest growing photo magazine “Digital Photographer” (issue 75), raised the issue “Can Photography change the world?“.

 

I was honoured to have my views hosted at the specific magazine issue, on the historic role of Photography.

 

As I was explaining….

 

 

 

 

“I could write thousands of words for the significant role of photography in shaping the history of mankind… but then I think I cannot! 

It’s a medium of only 160-170 years in age yet it has achieved what no other means has achieved for thousands of years: 
– to inform but also to manipulate, 
– to educate but also to support political propaganda, 
– to record the “cheesy smiles” at people’s gatherings throughout time but also to record the true struggles of life at the streets, 
– to record reality but also to “fake” events. 

It’s all that and even more. Of course one could argue that every other medium which could capture a picture could do that, be it photography, cinematography or even a painting… 

But there are actually two things which truly make photography a unique medium changing the world….. 

The first is the power of the millisecond

The ignored and unimportant millisecond which goes unnoticed and is squeezed relentlessly in everyday life, suddenly exposes its power through photography. This “unimportant millisecond” gets in all of a sudden a meaning of its own, and proves that so many marvelous things are happening during this tiny slice of time.

A glimpse between two people, a move, an interaction between strangers, a gesture, things which go unnoticed but are part of our lives, things which never become the center of our interest are put in full exposure…. 

Thanks to photography, we suddenly understand there is probably an added dimension, squeezed and lost between the hectic struggle of everyday life. And what happens in this dimension could probably influence attitudes, people and history more than other things… 

That’s why Dorothea Langue said: 

“This benefit of seeing… 
can come only if you pause a while, 
extricate yourself from the maddening mob of quick impressions, 
ceaselessly battering our lives, 
and look thoughtfully at a quiet image… 
The viewer (photographer) must be willing to pause, 
to look again, to meditate…” 

The second and equally important thing, which truly makes photography a medium shaping the world, is its unique ability to depict the true soul of people

I wonder which other medium, other than photography, could capture this flick of time with the anxiety of the mother in a bombardment running for cover with her daughter, like this classic photo of Robert Capa: 

capa0181

…or this soul-capturing photo of Dorothea Langue: 

d_lang602

These two unique characteristics of photography, have undoubtably made photography one of the most peculiar yet most powerful forces of change, since the mid 1800’s… “

What do you think?

A thank-you to unknown Actors that enliven my “stages” – Stories behind photos #5

Yannis Larios Photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think I owe a “thank-you” note, to all unknown Actors that enliven my photography “stages”. Like this lady, in my photo!

I have been walking around in Paroikia, Paros  at the golden hour, when I reached this vista point overlooking the sea, camera always on shoulder. I had the priviledge of overlooking the entrance to the harbour. I could spot things from high above. I previsualised a picture, but it was still early in time. This would have to wait to materialise…

But until then? Nothing around… I hated to do the stereotypical empty horizons. There was no way that the eye would wander around exploring the sea and then find nothing to “rest” upon. Admittedly, no balance. No story. Thus, no photo opportunity.

Could something save me? Yes! the virtue of patience and the urge to seek…

I had the stage set, lights on (and the golden ones!), but no actors, no script. And suddenly…. Little stories forming themselves. It was time for the evening ship to come to Paros island. It was the same time that I had arrived in the island some days ago. I had spotted this large sun-disc while onboard and wanted to see this again. So I was there for a reason…. But a different story unfolded…

As the ship was becoming visible in the horizon, I “asked” for a story of return. A story of a Penelope. Such stories need not be imaginative, cause they are real. As this lady was also real! Walking leisurely, wearing her iPod earphones she noticed the ship, the hour, the colours. She probably also liked “my” stage… And then she entered, deciding to play the “Actor”. She never talked to me. I never asked her anything. She just took the most convenient position…. For her, to enjoy the view. For me to re-compose the scene.

I now had a story! I tried several views. Some higher above, some from the side. But in the end, I decided that the Actor had already made the choice for herself…. There was almost nothing for me to do, than compose the scene, and then click.

Penelope, was the title I gave to the photo. Cause this lady, took the role for herself. Never talked. But the story was written by her. I now had a photo opportunity!