Sunday, March 28, 2010

Which is better?

I originally thought that this was the better of the two pictures of this fishing pier at Ferson Creek Park in St. Charles, Illinois.

Fishing Platform

I thought the ice was more interesting and the colors were warmer.

But as I flipped back and forth between the two pictures, I decided this one was better.

Fishing Platform

The color isn't as warm, and you don't see as much of the ice, but the lines really lead you into the picture. In the previous picture, the leading lines are a little more confused with the verticals, and they take you right out of the picture again. In this one, the diagonal runs from lower right and takes you to a clear terminus, right in the upper third of the picture. There are other lines, but they are clearly secondary to the main diagonal.

That's my take - what do you think.



Jim Frazier

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COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See www.jimfrazier.com for more information.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Where can I take pictures?

This question comes up a lot. Here is my summary. Take it for what it's worth (which means I'm not a lawyer).

Uh oh...I'm in trouble.You can pretty much take photographs of anything or anyone visible from a public place while you're in a public place. Public places typically include parks, roads, sidewalks, etc. But there are sometimes restrictions if you block access, create a safety problem, are engaged in taking pictures for commercial purposes (eg. parks may require a permit), you're trying to photograph classified facilities, etc.

Even if you're in a public place, you can never take photographs of people who have a reasonable expectation privacy. You can't, for example, take a picture of someone through a window when they're in their home. Even if you are shooting from the public sidewalk. Ditto for photographing someone entering their PIN at an ATM. You get the picture.

And even if you are in a public place, and they're not in private, don't be a jerk. Don't be intimidating, threatening, or unpleasant. If they ask you to stop, stop. The law may not require it, but remember that anyone can sue. Whether they win or not is a different thing. But do you really want to spend time with lawyers?

StarbucksIf you're on private property (in other words, not in a public place), the property owner can restrict your ability to take pictures on their property (eg. a building), but they cannot prevent you from photographing that building from public property. A manager at a Starbucks might ask you to not take pictures inside the store, but they can't stop you from stepping outside to the sidewalk and taking pictures of the building.

No one, other than a law officer making an arrest or executing a warrant or subpoena has the right or authority to confiscate your film, memory cards, camera, or equipment. They also can't make you erase any pictures either. If they're a security guard, they're not a law officer and have nothing even vaguely resembling that kind of authority.

If you get hassled, it's likely to be by a security guard or employee on a power trip. Get their name and number, and the name of their employer. They're probably very badly informed about your rights and their authority. It's a very good bet that you will not win the argument. And they might be right. There might be some little known law or regulation that says you can't take pictures inside a Post Office. Which, ironically, is NOT a public place.

If someone asks you what you're doing, that doesn't mean they're bad people. They just don't understand. They might be responding to a call from a concerned citizen and they have to ask questions. Maybe you're acting in a way that's "suspicious." So make yourself less suspicious by explaining it to them. Try to deal with these situations by seeing things from their perspective.

Finally, here are two important resources from Bert P Krages II. He's an attorney specializing in this stuff and has written a nice, one page summary that you can tuck in your camera bag called The Photographer's Right. I also strongly recommend his book, Legal Handbook for Photographers. It's got a lot more important information that you'll find useful.



Jim Frazier

Take one of my photography classes!
http://www.jimfrazier.com/photography-classes/index.htm

COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See www.jimfrazier.com for more information.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

More of Dave

More Dave

More Dave

from the WSCF portrait jam
www.flickr.com/groups/wscf/
March 7, 2010
Geneva, Illinois
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COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See JimFrazier.com for more information.

I now offer photography classes! http://www.jimfrazier.com/photography-classes/


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Nice Juicy Buds

Nice Juicy Buds

The sign on a nearby and similar tree said
European Horse Chestnut
Aesculus hippocastanum

But Cantigny has several varieties of Horse Chestnuts, so we'll just leave it at that.

Cantigny Park, Wheaton, Illinois
March 6, 2010
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Jim Frazier

Take one of my photography classes!
http://www.jimfrazier.com/photography-classes/index.htm

COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See www.jimfrazier.com for more information.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blue in Geneva

Blue in Geneva

Geneva, Illinois
February 2010
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COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See JimFrazier.com for more information.

I now offer photography classes! http://www.jimfrazier.com/photography-classes/


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yellow Leaves at the Arboretum

Yellow Leaves at the Arboretum

The West Suburban Chicago Flickrers met up at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois on Wednesday, October 21, 2009.

Here are more pictures from this meetup.

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COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See JimFrazier.com for more information.

I now offer photography classes! http://www.jimfrazier.com/photography-classes/


Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams is my all time photographic hero. He doesn't know it, but he's my mentor. I've read his stuff, and am always stunned anew by his photography. He made photographs that make my stomach hurt. And that is, most assuredly, a good thing.

Here are some links I've come across.

The Ansel Adams Gallery

What Adams Saw Through His Lens (NY Times)
A short discussion about Ansel and his connection with Yosemite.

What Adams Saw Through His Lens
(NY Times)
This shows nine of his pictures with audio commentary by his assistant from the 1970's.

Wikipedia entry

Some of Ansel's glorious pictures...

The Tetons and the Snake River

Leaf in Glacier National Park

Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California

Clearing Winter Storm

Aspens, Northern New Mexico

Moonrise, Hernandez New Mexico

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome

Georgia O'Keefe and Orville Cox

This particular site seems to have the most comprehensive selection of pictures, and the best scans. Someday, when I win the lottery, I'll buy a few originals, printed by Ansel himself.




COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See JimFrazier.com for more information.

I now offer photography classes! http://www.jimfrazier.com/photography-classes/


Monday, March 1, 2010

Unexpected Reflections

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I was taking some pictures of the pianist at our church. I saw this picture, was inspired by it and wanted to give the idea a try. But it didn't work out. There are a couple of major problems with this picture.

1. Note the glare on the front of the piano on the left side of the picture. Not only did I not notice it during the session, but the fingerprints? Who would have thought to bring a can of Pledge along with all of my camera equipment?

Moral: When working with highly reflective materials, be very careful about the reflections. People usually think of glass and metal. But we obviously should include polished wood as well.

2. I had envisioned the pianist being more silhouetted. By using a high shutter speed, there was no ambient light that would have lit him up on my side. But I forgot about the big white wall and curtain right behind me that acted as a big reflector for my flash.

Moral: If you're trying to control your lighting, watch for walls and other accidental reflectors.



Jim Frazier

Take one of my photography classes
http://www.jimfrazier.com/photography-classes/index.htm

COPYRIGHT 2010 by Jim Frazier All Rights Reserved. This may NOT be used for ANY reason without consent. See www.jimfrazier.com for more information.