Archive for September 2009

 
 

Stock Photography

A couple weeks back, I applied to four different on-line microstock photographic websites. Two of the four denied my application, citing an abundance of the kind of work I was peddling. The other two accepted me.

One of those two is iStockPhoto, and this weekend they formally accepted my first picture submission. So, now, if you want to buy an image I created for use on your website or your company’s brochure or website or some such thing, you can get it for as low as $1 at iStockPhoto.

I don’t plan on retiring with this. The photographer, generally speaking, get a small percentage of each sale, and the successful ones are those who devote tons of time to stock photography and have thousands of images posted. I guess this is more of an egoboost thing for me, but if it nets me a few bucks to spend on a new hard drive to back up all my pics, it’ll be worth it. Even then, it’ll take months, if not years.

The Craziness of Being the Music Industry

Wow:

Music publishers: iTunes not paying fair share

Songwriters, composers, and music publishers are making preparations to one day collect performance fees from Apple and other e-tailers for not just traditional music downloads but for downloads of films and TV shows as well. Those downloads contain music after all.

These groups even want compensation for iTunes’ 30-second song samples.

You play a thirty second clip to see if it’s the song you want to buy, and the music industry feels it’s owed money. How’s THAT for entitlement?

(Via DaringFireball)

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

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p>Man, I haven’t done one of these posts in an awfully long time.  Welcome back:

Avril Lavigne and Sum 41 Husband Split

Pop-punk rocker Avril Lavigne and Sum 41 husband Deryck Whibley are separating but on good terms.

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p>Avril will next be seen on “American Idol” as a guest judge at one of the audition stops, and might consider putting out a record for a change someday, too. You never know. . .

The Jay Leno Show

I forced myself to watch the first five minutes of the debut of tonight’s “The Jay Leno Show,” before giving up without laughing. OK, that’s a lie. The “Cash for Clunkers” line made me laugh, though the dollar amount he made up for the gag oversold the joke a tad. See? Even when Leno has a good line, he steps over it. Some quick thoughts:

  • So, what, this “The Cheaters” thing is an actual reality show? Is that one of those daytime things they sell to stay at home moms that I’ll never see?
  • Watching Jay shakes all those hands at the show open, I kept thinking, “Swine Flu Alert!” Seriously, would you want to shake all those random hands without have a quart of hand sanitizer in your pockets? (You know, those pockets Leno thrusts his hands into after every sentence…)
  • Leno at least knows when the joke is bad and isn’t going to work. He always looks over to his sidekick for a cheap laugh. He gets it, but it’s the only one.
  • I couldn’t even wait around for the inevitable Kanye apology.  Not that it matters, that guy is a punk who deserves to be derided and hated till the end of days.  I wonder if his apology will be auto tuned?

This is the savior of network television?  The networks are doomed.

The Fourth Judge

Ellen?   Don’t get me wrong; she was an entertaining distraction for an episode of “So You Think You Can Dance?” over the summer, but by the end of the two hours, the joke was getting a little thin.   Now, we’re seriously supposed to accept her as a judge of musical talent? Let’s put aside the jokes about the other judges for the moment, as they’ve at least made careers in the music industry.   I’m guessing “Idol” decided to go for something completely different and unexpected.  They wanted to be a little more lighthearted and entertaining.  They wanted someone to build up their biggest demographic — the stay-at-home mothers of the tweens who vote like fiends every week for the show.  Ellen fits that part, at least.   But — the fourth judge?  They should have just done away with it.  Leave it at three judges.  Let the show go quicker.  Let the judges talk a bit more perhaps.  How often did the show run over this last season?  It got so bad at one point that they only left half the judges talk after each performance.  Why not keep the breathing room offered by only three judges?  Let them explain themselves better.   Kara got on my nerves by the end of the season, but at least she had some musical background to draw on, and is fairly talented in that department.  Have you heard her version of this year’s “Idol” song?  It’s pretty good.  It wasn’t right for Kris Allen, but it’s a catchy enough ditty when sung the way she did it.   Ellen?  I’ll give it a shot, but consider my expectations very very low. I’m more looking forward to the parade of guest judges they had at the auditions…  

Random Thoughts

  • Apologies if you’re still blocked from the website.  The malware injection issue has been taken care of.  It infected two scripts that don’t even appear on the blog, and haven’t for years.  I guess the bad guys just picked random old script names and happened across one from the archives.  
  • I’d give up the copyright to my life’s work (past AND present) for $24 million dollars.  Are we supposed to feel sad for Annie Leibovitz?  
  • Dear Mac developers: I have a good screenshot capturing program already. Hell, I have three.  Go be more productive elsewhere.  Thanks!  
  • Dammit, people, if you’re going to use Facebook, at least learn to write consistently in either the first person OR the third person. Not BOTH in the same update!  

New iPods Are Coming

Isn’t it amazing how the thought of new iPods causes us to yawn now? For years, this September announcement was an exciting thing. You never know what was coming next: size, price point, color, form factor. Nowadays, who cares? We’re already committed to our iPhones as Apple Geeks, and the rest of the world already has enough iPods that a new one isn’t all that exciting. It’ll be nice to see a camera in the iPod Touch, but that’s hardly a shocking announcement.

Are we expecting too much from Apple? Does EVERY event have to announce an iPhone to get excitement surrounding it? That hardly seems fair.

I don’t know what we’ll see for sure this year, but I’ll say this: If it’s Facebook/Twitter integration for iTunes, then I’m staying off those sites for a few days. You’re going to know what EVERYONE is listening to for a few days, because everyone will want to test it out and let the rest of the world know what “random” (i.e. pre-selected to make them sound cool, not necessarily something that they like) track they’re listening to Right This Very Minute.

That Beatles Rock Band game looks cool, though, doesn’t it?

Dear Santa: Canon 7D

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good boy this year, I’d like to think.  I’ve been a most kind, patient, and loving father.

And I’m concerned that December 25th is a very very busy day for you.  So I’ll make you a deal: Come that night for my daughter, but stop here later this month for me.  Because, like I said before, I’m a deserving kinda guy.  I’ve been good, and isn’t that all that counts?

My daughter deserves to have her memories protected. Videos, pictures, etc. should only be of the highest quality.  Even if they happen in a relatively dark room, they ought to be stored for eternity in a format that allows for low noise, frozen action, and instant video.

My daughter needs her father to have a new Canon 7D, announced today from those wonderful people in Japan.

Honestly, I ask this not for myself, but for her.  Think of the children.

Dual DIGIC processors, 8 frames per second, high ISO shooting, three different HD video modes. . .  It’s a crop format sensor, so all my lenses will work on it. It’s a work of art as much as it is the ultimate picture-taking machine.  It’s the kind of camera that Scott Bourne might have not switched to Nikon for a year and a half back.  But that’s water under the bridge now.

Today, I ask you for this:

Canon 7D

Granted, it’s $1900 or so. I should probably spend that money on a new computer.  But look at that thing!  Isn’t it gorgeous?

Just drop it off as soon as you can, and you can skip my present in December.  Thanks!

Your fan,

Augie

P.S.  Failing that, I’ll take a winning lottery ticket or a rich patron of the photographic arts.  Either way, get back to me, OK?

R.E.M. Goes Live Again

A series of concerts from 2007 working towards their “Accelerate” album is now coming to CD.

Quoting Rolling Stone:

“. . . the highlights from the five shows will be featured on the upcoming double-disc set Live at the Olympia, due out October 27th. “In addition to the 39 tracks from the show, a deluxe version of Olympia will feature concert and backstage footage from French director Vincent Moon.”

Sounds good to me!