Hey! That’s my photo!!

A few months ago I was made aware of a school that had pulled one of my images from a clients website and then used it on their website with a press release. I won’t mention names, but let’s say it was a school that could afford to have purchased a usage license.

When I saw the unauthorized use, I wasn’t surprised that it had happened. In my experience, people tend to think if something was published online, it is in the public domain. Not true. The author owns the copyright. This means that if someone, even the subject of the photograph, wants to use the image in any other way they must receive permission from the original author of
the photograph. Plain and simple.

In this case, the image was registered with the US Copyright office. All I really wanted was for the school to admit they had done something wrong and apologize. And that is what I expected when I emailed the communications department. The email that I sent basically asked how they had received the image as well as permission to use the image. If they didn’t have permission or a license for the use I’d be happy to sell them a license to use the image on their site.

I assumed they’d get back to me, play dumb, apologize and remove the image. So, I wait. And wait. And wait.

Two days later I see that my image has been removed from their site, but no response from their communications director. So, I then sent another email which thanked them for removing the image, and also asking where I should send the invoice for the “unauthorized” 9 months of use on their site. Yes. It was on their site for 9 months before it was brought to my attention.

Again. I wait. No response. Four days later I email the communications director saying I would appreciate a response.

Wait another three days. Finally, the communications director gets back to me. Tells me where to send the invoice, but no apology. No excuses. Nothing.

So, I invoiced them $100 for 9 months of use on their website and added another $50 for unauthorized use.
Could I have pursued more? Probably. Would it have been worth it? Probably not.
Fact is that the image really doesn’t have much value other then to the people that pilfered it for reuse. It’s an image that was published with a story on one of the school’s athletic teams. The reality is that the players in the image won’t be moving on to a big college, so the value of the imagery as far as reuse is somewhat limited. The reasoning behind charging the rate that I did was to make a point that people can not pilfer a copyrighted work without paying for it.

Funny thing is that if the school had just asked if they could use it, I probably would have said yes and gave it to them as a non-profit contribution.

I am still waiting for the apology.

Cooper Digs Snow

On Sunday, Cooper had a field day in the snow. This little dude loves, loves, loves playing in the snow. His biggest bit of fun is when he gets to play “snowballs”. For that, I make a nice sized snowball and throw it. he chases and tries to catch it in the air. He then proceeds to eat the dean thing. If he can’t catch it, he will bury his head into the snow until he comes up with it. Not just any bit of snow, but he will find the snowball that I threw his way.
Very cool smart little doggie.

My Pic On Pierre’s Christmas Card….Finally!!

After 30 years, I finally have had one of my images on my old friend Pierre‘s Christmas Card. The image, which shows Rodney, Pancake and Pierre on Rittenhouse Square during a live broadcast celebrating WMMR‘s 47th birthday at the station’s old home on Rittenhouse Square April 29, 2015 in the Wellington Building. Pierre's Christmas Card with my image from Rittenhouse Square

It was a nice Christmas present from something that I just went and shot for fun.

I Am The “Image Hostage” and “The Hustler”

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 9.40.56 AM
I probably tweeted about this a while ago, but now I am finally getting around to posting a link to one of the interviews I did with Elaina Ransford last summer about some of my nightmare business experiences as a photographer. One of the worst, which was a three day shoot in NYC, was mentioned in The Freelancer by Contenly. Contently makes software to empower publishers, creatives and readers.

Speaking of Contently. Check this out, especially if you’re a freelancer. It’s a quiz for the freelance. Well, it’s actually geared towards a writer, but it may help you figure out which kind of freelancer you are if you don’t already know.
I’m “The Hustler.”
http://contently.net/2015/02/02/play/quiz-type-freelancer/

Here’s another article I was quoted in a while back from the New York Times about wedding photography.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 9.40.46 AM

Video Still On Page One

Well, I finally did it. A1 of todays newspaper featured one of my images. That’s happened before, many times over, but never from a video that I had photographed. One of the problems with shooting video and stills is that eventually, you come upon a situation where you’ll have to decide on video or stills. Inevitably, you’ll be shooting video and a moment pops that makes great video as well as stills. Last night I was shooting video as well as stills as patrons at the Iron Abbey in Horsham, Pennsylvania watched the USA vs. Ghana World Cup soccer (or football if you feel that way) match. One minute into the match the USA teams scored. The crowd in the bar went wild. At the time, I was shooting video. I’m thinking, this is some great video. I’ll get some stills next time something interesting happens. And…..nothing. For a while. As the clock ticks, I worry about meeting my deadline since I still had another assignment and video to edit from earlier in the day. After about 45 minutes waiting for something to happen, I though that I’d better go edit the pix and get them in. In essence, I gave up due to deadline restrictions. Previously, I had a conversation with one of the editors about the necessity of doing video first and if I had to I could pull a frame from the video and use it as a still image. If you shoot fast enough, it is possible to do. Once that thought entered my head, I had a plan. Pull the best moment from video and use that as a still image to go along with the other still images from the event. Those were mostly of people waiting with baited breath for another goal that the USA team scored about 80 minutes into the game.

Upon editing the stills, I whittle them down to the best 3 images, but am lacking that “moment” when the USA team scored. I needed one more with jubilation. I open up Adobe Premiere Pro and load the raw video into the program. While looking at the video, I see the sequence where fans went crazy after a goal. I think, “That’s what I need!!”

Now how do I pull it? Google search: http://www.adobepress.com/articles/article.asp?p=1661113&seqNum=4 Yeah!! Now I know how to do it. Thanks Adobe Press! Export the video. Place the image into the folder with the other edits. Then caption in Photo Mechanic. Now opened in Adobe Photoshop… and praying that it will look good. It was shot at 3200 ISO so I was worrying about grain. It actually looked OK. Tweaked it a bit in Photoshop. Had to resize it a bit, but all in all, I was happy with the result. I’d do it again if I had to. Did it work? Yes. Is it acceptable? Yes. Am I looking forward to pulling a still from a video again? No. A still image is a still image, a video is a video.

Here’s the final image and video.

Can you spot the still?

Ring Flash Pocket Wizards

My old friend Jon was selling a bunch of Pocket Wizards. Went over today and
picked up all of them. Then proceeded to play with them the rest of the day.
For those who don’t know what Pocket Wizards do, they are remote triggers
for flash or cameras which enable the photographer to not be tethered to a cable.
I most always trip over my own stinking cable, so this is a great thing. No more
tripping and knocking things over.

HARTSVILLE, PA - MARCH 28:  Artwork is seen through a ring flaw head March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HARTSVILLE, PA – MARCH 28: Artwork is seen through a ring flash head March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HARTSVILLE, PA - MARCH 28:  Pocket Wizards are seen through a ring on a table March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HARTSVILLE, PA – MARCH 28: Pocket Wizards are seen through a ring on a table March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

From the studio at Wilmington University today. We were shooting in the studio and
this is a demo to show or remind students how the lights should be placed.

NEW CASTLE, DE - MARCH 28:  Lights are set in the studio for a shoot March 28, 2014 at Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

NEW CASTLE, DE – MARCH 28: Lights are set in the studio for a shoot March 28, 2014 at Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

Had to throw this in of a recovering Cooper. Looks much better today.

HARTSVILLE, PA - MARCH 28:  Cooper the cocker spaniel is recovering from a boo boo March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

HARTSVILLE, PA – MARCH 28: Cooper the cocker spaniel is recovering from a boo boo March 28, 2014 in Hartsville, Pennsylvania. (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Cain Images) (William Thomas Cain)

Making one black and white image a day for a year using my old Nikon D1 and a 17mm lens.

Family Portrait Photography Shoots

Over the course of a few days last week I had a few photo shoots.
Here’s some of the images.
Click the links to see the galleries.


Das Family Portrait Photo Session Newtown, Pennsylvania Photographer

Can you tell if this was lit by natural or artificial light?

Allot of times photography is about finding the light. Sure a good subject helps, but the right light can make an image pop. That was the case when I photographed the Das family in Tyler State Park in newtown, Pennsylvana recently. For the first 10-15 minutes of the shoot I walked around with the couple placing them in various nooks and crannies of the park until I found the perfect spot. My goal was to make the couple look as though I had lit them with studio strobes. I believe that’s what I achieved in the image below.

Full gallery @ http://cainimages.photoshelter.com/gallery/Das/G0000.9.LAJ7sVEs

I Don’t Like Pictures of People Crying

In almost every photography class or lecture I show students images from my portfolio. It contains a bit of news, sports, entertainment and feature photos. This is shown to prove that I’m not some kind of lunatic and I actually do know how to make a picture that captures a moment that tells a story. Last night, I taught a basic photography class at one of my workshops (Cain Images Photographic Workshops). Everyone seemed to get what I was speaking about and learned how to use their cameras better in manual settings. After the class, a woman pulled me aside. And here I was thinking she was going to thank me for the class. But, no. She whispers, “You know when photographers take pictures of people crying. I don’t like that. It’s invading their privacy.” I’m pretty sure she was referring to this image.

Mourners Remember Well-Known Trauma Surgeon Killed In Iraq

My response was, “Do you think we like making those kinds of pictures? See the full post