Archive for June, 2009

Flickr Games

Posted in FLICKR with tags , on June 22, 2009 by cliffmichaels

Here’s a new Flickr game. Let’s call it “Tag Chain!” Here’s how it works: pick a word and search the number of photos in Flickr with that word as a tag. Then add another word, and another. Keep going until you run out of photos. Your score is the number of tags you string together before adding the one that returns zero photos. Let’s try it!

I said in the post below I like girls, so I’ll take that as my first tag —

7,770,229 hits.

OK, now I add the word “pretty” to “girl” as tags and…..

347,766 hits. Hmm, must be a lot of photos of ugly girls on Flickr. Now we add “blonde”

14,799 hits. Starting to get a little thin. How about….  naked?

577 hits.

Damn! Thought sure that tag would do better. Shoes???

6 hits. Mouth?

3 hits. Still (barely) in the game.  Hair?

1 hit!!! Eyes???


Final Score:   7 (girl pretty blonde naked shoes mouth hair)

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Playing Favorites

Posted in FLICKR, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , on June 21, 2009 by cliffmichaels

I don’t favorite that many photographs on Flickr. I fave only about one in a hundred images I click on. I’m rather promiscuous when it comes to giving out stars, strawberries, gramaphones, poker chips and smiley faces, but I’m a tight fisted miser with favorites.

Here’s the first photo I faved on Flickr. Coyote, who took that historic image, is still on Flickr. I admit I’m a true cat lover. Here’s another cat favorite, and another. and another,  and one more… For the rest of you, here’s a dog, and a horse, and a gorilla. Oh, a bird.. Turtle

I also like girls. A self-portrait by Romanlily was my first girl fave. Brian Weed served up this sizzling image disproving the old adage about girls who wear glasses. This image by Agnieszka still haunts me. For those of you who happen to like girls, check this, and this, and this, and, finally, (R rated) this. Heck, one more.

Some favorites are more dear than others. For shear mind blowing bravura, its hard to beat one little girl, this magnificent landscape, shot of snow in Iran by Ali Shokri (stay safe my friend),  glorious seascape, vivid blue floral image,  bug eye shot,  forest of cranes, and, finally, these marvelous boats. Oh, and here’s a true masterpiece

Here’s the most recent image I’ve favorited. Below is my image favorited the most by others.

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I’d Rather Be Lucky…

Posted in photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY with tags , , on June 11, 2009 by cliffmichaels

I left the house just before six Saturday morning with a vague idea of heading south and ending up at Bald River Falls in Monroe County (Tennessee). I drove through the pre-sunrise light down Highway 411 till I came to state highway 360 and turned east. Within minutes I found a decent vantage point to photograph the sunrise over the lake.

I spent the next hour and a half meandering south and east down 360, stopping every so often to shoot. For most of those shots I gave a fair degree of thought to composition and exposure. “Hmm, do I want the tree line here or there? Hmm. Should I put the horizon at the top third or the bottom?” I felt faintly proud of myself  and just a bit smug that I was consciously thinking about how to get first rate, “arty”, shots.

Near the end of my sojourn down 360 I realized I  was behind schedule. If I was late getting to Bald River Falls there would be too much light to get decent slow water shots.  I sped up. The effect of my speed was what I call the “Damn I Missed It” effect. This occurs when you are driving forty or more miles an hour  down a country highway with at least one car on your tail and you notice, too late, a marvelous river, landscape, old barn, pond or tree off to your right. You can’t stomp on the brakes because of  the car behind you; and you can’t find a turn around and come back because you are already late.

So there I was, speeding through the rising mist on 360, with the sun directly behind the car when I saw a funny looking tree in a roadside meadow with a backdrop of mist curtained trees. I was afraid to stop for fear of what might be flying down the highway behind me. So I grabbed the camera, lowered the driver’s side window, pointed the camera at the tree and snapped off three or four shots. “Probably a waste of time,” I thought as I speeded back up. “God knows how the camera was set,” I lamented…

Well, those hurried shots produced what may well be the best shot of the day…  Luck.  Absolute luck. What do you think?

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A Word on Copyright

Posted in FLICKR, photographers with tags , on June 3, 2009 by cliffmichaels

Imagine you were visiting someone’s home and you noticed every piece of furniture or decoration had a tag reading, “property of —-, do not remove!” You ask your host why the tags and he responds, “if I didn’t have those tags people might think it was OK to just take my stuff!”

Of course you don’t have to tag your belongings to make it clear no one may legally take anything without your consent. Anyone who does take any of your stuff without your permission is guilty of theft and may well end up in jail. The thief could not defend himself by claiming nothing said he couldn’t take what he did.

I notice so many photos on Flickr with stern copyright warnings.  These warnings are unnecessary. Anything you post to Flickr is protected by copyright law. Unlike the old days, it is not necessary to post the copyright symbol or any statement the image is copyrighted. Other than Flickr, no one has any right to use you Flickr images without your consent (unless you grant a creative commons license). 

While legally powerful, copyright law is actually mostly impotent  to prevent the unauthorized use of your image. I recently found an image of mine on a Japanese web site (not speaking Japanese, I had no idea why my photo was there!) What was I going to do — hire a lawyer in Tokyo? As a practical matter it was virtually impossible to take any action. 

I only sell a handful of images a year. Since I don’t make my living taking or selling photographs I take a rather laid back attitude toward my photos being stolen. If I do find one on another site I will complain and demand my photo be removed, but I don’t usually follow up on my threat. It’s just too much trouble. It would be about the same as trying to get the police to find and prosecute the person who stole my ten dollar hat.

If I was a professional photographer trying to sell my work I would not post on Flickr at all. I would only make my inventory available through a licensing authority (stock company). Let that company police my work and handle the business details (just as BMI and ASCAP do for musicians and composers). 

All too often, I’m afraid, posting an image on Flickr is like leaving you car parked downtown at night with the keys in the ignition: a sign on the door reading, “don’t take my car,” would do little good…

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