Photographers Rights

27 09 2010


Photographers Rights

1. You can make a photograph of anything and anyone on any public property, except where a specific law prohibits it.

i.e. streets, sidewalks, town squares, parks, government buildings open to the public, and public libraries.

2. You may shoot on private property if it is open to the public, but you are obligated to stop if the owner requests it.

i.e. malls, retail stores, restaurants, banks, and office building lobbies.

3. Private property owners can prevent photography ON their property, but not photography OF their property from a public location.

4. Anyone can be photographed without consent when they are in a public place unless there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

i.e. private homes, restrooms, dressing rooms, medical facilities, and phone booths.

5. Despite common misconceptions, the following subjects are almost always permissible:

* accidents, fire scenes, criminal activities
* children, celebrities, law enforcement officers
* bridges, infrastructure, transportation facilities
* residential, commercial, and industrial buildings

6. Security is rarely an acceptable reason for restricting photography. Photographing from a public place cannot infringe on trade secrets, nor is it terrorist activity.

7. Private parties cannot detain you against your will unless a serious crime was committed in their presence. Those that do so may be subject to criminal and civil charges.

8. It is a crime for someone to threaten injury, detention, confiscation, or arrest because you are making photographs.

9. You are not obligated to provide your identity or reason for photographing unless questioned by a law enforcement officer and state law requires it.

10. Private parties have no right to confiscate your equipment without a court order. Even law enforcement officers must obtain one unless making an arrest. No one can force you to delete photos you have made.

These are general guidelines regarding the right to make photos and should not be interpreted as legal advice. If you need legal help, please contact a lawyer.


How to Drive Your Camera

16 09 2010

You adjust your camera the same way you drive a car. It sounds lame, but it’s very true.

You see where you are relative to the road and traffic, and adjust accordingly. It’s easy. Today I run all my cameras in Automatic, and adjust as needed to get the shots I want.

Every camera, regardless of how advanced and automatic, still requires occasional tweaking to get the best technical results just as your car requires constant steering to stay in lane. Take your hands off the wheel and you crash; ignore your camera’s tweaks and you get crappy pictures.

Better cameras require less frequent attention, but no camera can figure out what you’re trying to do all by itself all of the time, regardless of how automated it is.

Let me explain what does what, and you’ll be on your way to better photos.

Brakes and Throttle: Exposure

Exposure, how much light hits the picture, is like the brakes and throttle.

When we drive, we know how fast we’re going and we use the brakes and throttle to get us to the speed we need. It’s easy.

Setting the exposure is as easy. Today it’s usually called Exposure Compensation in camera instruction books and labeled “+/-” on the camera or in its menus.

All you do is look at your LCD (or film at the lab), and make your next shot lighter or darker as needed. That’s all there is to this; it’s simple!

This process needs to become as natural as riding the throttle to keep your desired speed up and down hills. It should become second nature so you shouldn’t have to think about it.

It is tougher with film, because you have to wait longer to see the results before you can apply them. It is exactly the same process, just with a longer delay in the loop. See also Modern Exposure.

Steering: White Balance

Steering is like setting white balance. It’s how much left or right (red or blue) you need to keep you where you need to be. Turning a corner, a big change, is like changing from Daylight to Tungsten. Small changes, like keeping yourself in the same lane, are the same as WB trims. WB trims are what gets you perfect color, and the big steps are what gets you close.

We use the same reiterative process of looking at the results and making changes for the next shot. It’s the same as adjusting the wheel as you drift out of lane.

If your shot is too red or blue, reset the WB and try again. See my white balance page for examples and explanations of which way to turn the dials.

Finer Tuning

Most cameras have many more controls for setting color saturation, contrast and more. It’s critical to play with these, too. They are usually hidden in menus with weird names.

I love wild color, so I typically crank my Nikons up to the max and my Canons up to +3 saturation. I detail what I use for each camera in their respective reviews.

Even if I usually set my cameras one way for what I usually shoot, when I shoot something different, I may change these settings, too.

Successive Approximation and Reiteration

It is critical to see what you have, and make changes as you go.

No camera is always dead-on. When I rate cameras, important to me is how often they get it right, but none does it perfectly all the time.

Many cameras constantly overexpose. No big deal; for these cameras I know to leave the exposure compensation set to -2/3 as a starting point.

It’s the same for color balance (white balance). Some cameras and films are warmer (oranger) or cooler (bluer) than I prefer, so I always set them a certain way when I start shooting.

The more you shoot, the more your experience will tell you where to leave the settings to start.


It is critical to be intimate with your camera, film or digital. Time and experience will enlighten you with how to set the camera for different situations even before you shoot them, since you’ve shot them before and remembered.

If you use only one camera it’s much easier to know how to set it intuitively in every condition. This is more critical with film, where you can’t instantly see how the camera’s meter responds.

Only idiots and hobbyists try to shoot with a zillion kinds of camera. This means they’re starting from scratch every time they pick a different one from their collection. It drives me crazy reviewing all the cameras I do, since it makes it difficult to know any of them in depth. Luckily with digital it’s easy to get back up to speed, but with film cameras this can be death.

Don’t be silly. The best photographers have one old camera they’ve used for years, and know it in their sleep. More important then what kind of camera you have is how well you know it.

Virtuoso musicians can get their sound on any instrument because they hear what they’re doing as they play. In photography it’s the same thing, but since we don’t have instant feedback it takes us a little longer to accustom ourselves to a new camera.

Setting the Destination: Good Photos

There is no absolute “good.” Photography is art, so whatever looks good to you is good. Know what you want, and go for it. If you don’t know what you like, have fun, and do more of what looks good to you. That’s how my style developed. Just like a mescaline-crazed fruit fly, I’m attracted to crazy colors, so I do more of them. Don’t follow anyone else, do what turns you on.

As I tried different films, digital camera settings and techniques, I liked some better or worse than others. I kept doing more of what looked good to me. It’s easy, but you need to know how and when to make changes. You also need to stick with one thing at a time to learn it. If you’re changing more than one thing at a time it makes it hard to discover anything.

When I started, I was afraid to take any setting off its default. Today, even on automatic, it’s normal under some odd conditions for me to have to dial in up to two full stops of exposure compensation, and under normal conditions to use +/- 2/3 of a stop. Don’t be gentle if your camera needs a good smack to get what you want out of it. I was too chicken as a kid to use any exposure compensation and often got crappy pictures.

Getting a technically great photo is trivial if you follow the instructions above.

Making a genuinely great photo is difficult, since you have to be in the right place at the right time and apply a whole lot more.

For instance, even with GPS navigation and Mercedes Radar-controlled cruise control that sees cars in front of you and can stop and start your car and go up to 125 MPH automatically, you still need to tell your car where you want to go.

Even these systems still can’t even keep your car in lane. Cameras are just like cars, but much more advanced, and even they can’t find a good picture all by themselves.

You still need to set the destination for your car just as you need to see the picture first for your camera. Setting the destination for a trip is like seeing a good photo as you’re walking around. It can’t be automated as the technical issues are today.

Chase Jarvis Testing New Nikon Baby-D7000

15 09 2010

you amaze with this new baby?

for more info and spec pls visit here! and pls leave your comment!

How To Create Photoshop Actions

7 09 2010

Photoshop actions are the best — they save time and make you more productive during post-processing. They can be used to speed up repetitive tasks, make quick work of time consuming edits, and give you a little creative inspiration.

I’ll be going through the basic steps of creating actions and give you some examples of how they can be used. I’m going to rely on my regular readers to fill in any gaps that I might miss, and discuss the Photoshop actions they typically use. So let’s get to it — open up Photoshop and follow along!


Before you can do anything, you need to have the right tools in front of you. Make sure that your actions palette is activated and visible. It typically shows up as a tab on the history palette, but this may vary depending on your workspace.

If your actions palette is nowhere to be found, you can activate it under the “Window” menu. Once you do this, you should see a palette similar to the one in this photo. If you don’t have any actions defined yet, you’ll probably just see the “Default Actions” set.

Sets are a way to group actions as you see fit. To create a new set, pull down the palette menu and click “New Set…”. Give your new set a descriptive name. Also note that when you import and export actions, it’s the whole set rather than a single action.


OK, you’ve got some sequence of events you want to record and you’re ready to start the action. As an example, I’ll walk through my “Flickr Horizontal” action that I mentioned in the teaser post.

Before we can begin recording the action, we’ll need to create the action. Pull down the action menu and click on “New Action…”. Give it a name and a keyboard shortcut if you want. Now we have a new empty action that we can record to.


To begin recording the action, simply select your action in the palette and click on the “Record” icon in the lower action menu or select “Start Recording” from the pull-down menu. Once you click this button, every event you perform will be recorded. This includes menu items, adjustments, layer selections, and any of the Photoshop tools.

There’s no need to hurry through your sequence of events, because the action is not time based. If you’re not doing something to the image, it won’t be recorded. So take your time and get it right.


Now do whatever it is that you wanted to do. Perform all the tasks, clicks, option settings, and image adjustments that you want included in your action.

If you mess something up or if you accidentally skip a step — don’t worry. After recording the action you can go back and edit the steps, add steps, and re-record steps.

For my “Flickr Horizontal” action, here are the steps I take:

  • Save (optional)
    Since I’m creating an action that eventually closes the file, it might be a good idea to quickly save the original prior to running the rest of the action. I don’t include this step in my action because of long save times for large files, but I could lose information if I forget to save prior to running the action.
  • Flatten Image
    Since I’ll be resizing the image, I flatten everything to create a single composite layer. This prevents all of my adjustment layers and whatnot from being scaled separately.
  • Image Size
    I prefer to keep my Flickr photos at 800 pixels on the long edge, so I’ll type in “800″ in the appropriate dialog field.
  • Convert to Profile
    I work in Adobe RGB, so I need to convert everything to sRGB for the web.
  • Convert Mode
    I also work in 16-bit mode, and JPEGs don’t support this. So I switch to 8-bit.
  • Save As
    I didn’t like the results from the “Save for Web” option, so I just use a “Save As” now. Here, I specify that the image should be saved in a “Flickr Upload” folder located on my desktop. I don’t rename the image, so it retains its original name. I also save at a quality of 12 since there are no limits on storage space with Flickr.
  • Close
    After I save the image, I have no need for it so I close it out.

Some of these events are specific to my personal preferences and my computer’s file structure, so if you’re following along with my example you’ll need to adjust a few values.


So once you’re done with the sequence, its time to stop the action. Just press the “Stop” button at the bottom of the action palette and Photoshop will stop recording.

For some actions, this is the end of the road. But many of my actions are set to require input from the user at specific points along the way.


An action with no stop dialogs will run through the sequence of events without stopping or asking for anything. So if you have a step that requires some human input or uses a setting that must be adjusted for each photo, you must tell the action that this is the case. To do this, simply click on the box next to the step and you’ll see the icon appear.

When this box is active on a given step in the action, Photoshop will present you with the dialog box pre-filled as specified by the action. You’ll then have a chance to make adjustments to anything in that dialog before moving on. Once you hit “OK” for that dialog, the action continues as it normally would.

In the example of my “Flickr Horizontal” action, I don’t set any stops for the dialogs. I can do this because each time I use it I want to produce the same results. For my other actions such as “LAB Sharpening”, “LAB Saturation”, or “High Pass Sharpen” (as shown in the image above), I set stop points to adjust certain settings that vary between photos.


Inserting a menu item (via the pull-down menu) is similar to recording the action, but it forces a dialog that can’t be toggled off. When the action arrives at that menu item, you MUST interact with it to continue. These menu items also have no preset values like the recorded actions do, so you’ll get whatever shows up by default.

I personally don’t use menu items very often, but they can be useful for certain situations. If you record an action and you find that the presets from the action item are causing more work for you, delete that step and insert a menu item.


I usually don’t get my actions right the first time around unless they’re extremely simple. I find that if I run a few different Photoshop files through the action, I usually uncover some mistakes or find the need to insert additional steps to ensure the action runs smoothly. If you find a mistake with one of your steps, just select that step and “Record Again” (via the pull-down menu). Or if you want to re-order some steps, just drag them up or down the list until they land where you want them.

I’ve also noted a few quirks about running actions, such as error messages that can occur if something is not possible to complete. Or the fact that working with multiple files, renaming layers, and selecting layers are cumbersome tasks with actions because Photoshop is looking for specific file names or layer names each time the action is run.

For complex actions, what you’ll end up with are a few extra steps that ensure a robust action that can handle many different files. But hey, it’s an action — who cares?


So… I think that covers the basics of how to create an action in Photoshop. If I missed something or if I didn’t explain something well enough, let me know and we can follow-up in the comments.

These action things are great, but what can you do with them? It can be hard to think of those repetitive tasks when you’re not performing them, so I’ll share a few of my action needs. I would say that my actions are grouped into three main categories: administrative tasks, specific tasks, and creative boosts. Here are a few of the actions in my arsenal.


These are things that will drive you nuts because they’re no fun at all. Like every time you want to save a JPEG or TIFF file. Or every time you want to downsize for Flickr or email. I use actions to speed up the process and prevent me from making mistakes.

  • Resizing and saving for specific destinations
  • Basic adjustment layer setups
  • Converting color space and bit depth


Actions are good for little items that consist of a few steps. By using an action, it not only bypasses the need to click on menus or type keyboard shortcuts, but it also allows you to set default values that you commonly use.


These are more of starting points than anything. I use actions for this type of stuff so I can quickly evaluate if a certain technique has any potential with the photo. Often, I’ll not only run a few b/w conversions, but I’ll also run most photos through at least 3 or 4 other creative techniques in Photoshop and take snapshots of the initial results. This allows me to decide which direction I’m going and I don’t have to waste a lot of time getting there.

So all you Photoshop gurus out there, pipe up and give us more examples of what can be done with these things. What are some of your most useful actions that you couldn’t live without?