I’m up to my eyeballs packing for what is turning out to be nearly three months of back-to-back travel, from polar regions to equatorial jungles, including both stills and video (not to mention audio), and it’s the packing challenge of a lifetime of packing challenges.
I’ll be posting regularly from the road, but in the meantime, even though my house looks like a second hand photo equipment and luggage store, I didn’t want to go longer than a week without a new post…
After my political musings, some readers pleaded for a return to good old photo how-to posts, and I was happy to oblige (really, that was just my audition to be Frank Rich’s replacement at the NY Times). I asked for suggestions and the first request was how to make a timelapse sequence.
Now this is a well-documented subject and rather than reinvent the wheel (I would, if it would help me figure out how to pack five bags of gear into three), I figured I would point you to the tutorial that I used to learn. It comes from one of the great young guns of multimedia, Zach Wise. Zach is a multimedia producer at the NY Times and he’s doing wonderful work there.
You will need to invest $30 in software (Quicktime Pro) to do it this way, but it’s super easy. Really, if I can do it, software-wise, you know it’s easy.
And finally, before I go, I wanted to give you heads up about yet another rights-grabbing travel photography contest, this time brought to you by rough folks at Rough Guides.
On the surface it doesn’t look too bad: you submit photos for their free World Photo app and if yours is chosen, you get a chance to win a free SLR (it’s a Canon, admittedly, but still, not bad:-)). What’s the beef? They’re not charging for the app.
Well, I would gladly have given up the smug satisfaction of always being right when I’m suspicious of publishers running photo competitions that are no more than ploys to get free photographs for use from unsuspecting amateurs, and I have to admit it was buried down pretty deep in the terms and conditions…but here it is, read it and weep, the magic phrase that gives them all the rights to use and re-license your photographs:
By submitting an entry, each entrant (or their parent/guardian on their behalf) grants to the Promoter a perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive licence to edit, publish, translate, modify, adapt, make available and distribute the entry throughout the world in any media now known or hereafter invented.
Now, let’s not be too cynical and try to look at the bright side. They are only asking for worldwide distribution….I’ve had contracts offered and seen contest terms where they want those rights “throughout the universe” (no, sadly, I’m not kidding).
And they do say they’ll “contact you” if they really love your photograph, but according to the rules, they don’t have to. And if they don’t intend to exercise those blanket rights, why require them and then bury them deep down in the fine print (because nobody ever reads that far down in the fine print and you can get away with almost anything, I guess. Just ask the Governor of Wisconsin)
Also, there’s some confusion as to deadlines (the contest begins in Dec. 2010 and ends in March 2010… so it’s either a typo, or it may be the first contest ever to be over before it began.), but unless you really enjoy having your rights run roughshod over, I’d avoid this Rough Guides contest.