Advice for the Power Hungry

Here’s a familiar scene. You’ve checked into your hotel and maybe it’s an expensive hotel, far more than you wanted to pay but it was the only choice so you were stuck, and you’re on your hands and knees with your head under the desk, desperately searching for another outlet.

Yes, the compleat digital traveler these days must be able to charge his or her iPod, iPhone, Kindle, multiple camera batteries, Audio Recorder, Laptop, video camera, curling iron…(hey, you think this beard looks so good without help?). And most hotels? While they may offer designer furniture, designer water, and designer pillows, most still give you one outlet under the desk, and one that never works (along with a non-functioning Ethernet port) built into the stylish base of the designer lamp on the desk.

The best and most customer friendly electrical setup I’ve ever encountered in an accommodation was not in a swanky hotel at all. It was at Chief’s Camp in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Admittedly, my room was just a tent, and they only had the  juice that they generated themselves, but tacked up on the wall right next to (and not under) the desk was a multi-outlet powerstrip that looked like this:



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Channeling your inner O. Winston Link…

Maybe it’s because I’ve spent half my adult life in hotel rooms, but I love to work close to home. It gives me a chance to play around with techniques I can take back out on the road, and if my wife Peggy has any say, to do something worthwhile. In that latter department, for the last few years she’s volunteered me to be a mentor for students from our high school working on their senior “culminating projects” in the area of photography. It’s fun to work with the kids, and I get a kick out of their enthusiasm.

My current student, Josh, is a great kid with boundless energy for the project (I’ve got him working on a multimedia slide show about the New Hope/Ivyland railroad. And just for good measure, I’m working on one myself, you know, like the rookie teacher who is one lesson ahead of the class in the textbook?) So I knew that when the cold December winds were blowing through the little railstation, but the train would be around at twilight, I could persuade Josh to come out and play with some SB 800 flash units in an attempt to channel our inner O. Winston Link.

Photo © Bob Krist


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Copyright, copywrong, copyleft

I’ve been trolling the Wall Street Journal these days. Not so much because I’m a masochist about my financial portfolio (but, wow, these are great days for masochists!), but because the august Journal interviewed me about travel photography for a feature they’re publishing next month (April 19th, they say. I’ll keep you posted). And I figured, any journal that has such good taste in travel photographers is worth a look:-).

Well, this article caught my attention.  It’s about the famous Manny/Fairey case. You know the one where the “artist” appropriated the Obama picture from the AP’s Manny Garcia, colorized it, called it his own, and proceeded to make tens of thousands of dollars selling it.  That’s Manny’s shot on the left on the next page… (more…)

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A photo contest with fair rules????

If you’ve been reading the fine print of the plethora of photo contests that have arisen lately, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that Somalia isn’t the only place experiencing modern day piracy. No, the rights grabs sunk deep in the fine print of most photo contest rules these days make the Somali pirates look like pikers and the bonus babies at AIG look like paragons of conscience. I’m amazed at what some contests ask for, just for entering (never mind winning), and also stunned that some of these contests are sponsored by allegedly photo-friendly organizations and publications (who really do know better, but don’t seem to care). I’ve got a whole column on the subject in an upcoming issue of Outdoor Photographer.

So it was with the usual world weary trepidation that I went to the website of Weibetech, makers of excellent harddrives that I use for backup, when they sent me a marketing email announcing a photo contest. I was expecting the usual “you grant us the rights to your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, as well as the copyright to this picture…” jargon, and instead read this:


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