Monday, March 31, 2008

Free paper and Vegas to the Winner

The Moab paper company is cosponsoring a new contest with Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI.) It’s a cool concept. They send you the paper to try out for entry into the contest. Better yet, it’s free to submit. Better still, the winner gets three nights in Vegas. So, click on the Just Print It link and get your free sample. Sphere: Related Content

Save Tara Hill

Tara Hill is an archeological site of great significance under threat of roadway development in County Meath, Ireland. The hill, translated as Hill of the Kings, was once the seat of the High King of Ireland and is noted for its earthworks structures and monoliths. As a person with Celtic heritage as well as having an anthropology degree to boot, I'm outraged that the Prime Minister and other government officials continue to support the extension of the M3 motorway through the Tara-Skryne Valley despite overwhelming popular opinion against the project. 

Preserving heritage sites like these is terribly important so that our children can connect with the past in more ways than a just a photograph. Please review the links below to read about the issue and click here to join me in signing the petition to save Tara Hill. 

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beware of Dog .... copyrights

Found this story while surfing this morning. Good for a laugh. Beware the French Quarter for more than pick pockets!

My office is a few blocks from the French Quarter and I either drive through the Quarter or right along side it when I go to work. On weekends I sometimes go to my office early in the morning and stop in the French Quarter on the way just to walk around and take a few shots. The lighting is usually nice in the morning and the place isn't congested with tourists.

Last Sturday morning I was wandering around the flea market area where vendors were setting up their stands. I had a couple of shots left on a roll, so to finish off the roll I took a couple of snaps of a puppy that a guy had left tied to police barricade on the street. The guy came over and aggressively asked if I had taken a picture of his dog. I asked him, "What if I did?" The guy went postal, ranting about owning the copyright to any pictures of his dog, and started giving me a rash of sh*t. I calmly stood my ground and told him that in a public place such as on a public street it's okay to take pictures of just about anything. Apparently he thought I was a tourist because he noticed the Yankees cap I was wearing and made some disparaging remarks about me being from New York. I didn't say anything. Sometimes street performers, shoe shine guys and other Quarter characters try to hustle tourists to give them money if they take their pictures, so I thought maybe this guy just wanted money. But he kept it up and was becoming more and nore aggressive. I was still just standing there changing my film. When he said I was lucky that he didn't break my camera I suggested that we call a policeman over and that he would settle it. Then the guy backed off and sulked away.

Fast forward to this morning. On my way to the office I stopped in the Quarter and walked around a little with my camera. I was walking on a narrow sidewalk when a guy came out of a little convenience store just as I was passing by. We almost bumped into each, we both said "excuse me", and stood there face to face. It was the same guy from last Staurday. I saw him look up at the NY logo on my Yankees cap and he recognized me from last Saturday. He asked "Are you really from New York?" I said "No, I from here."

Without acknowledging anything that had happened before he said, "You ought to come to the Barkus parade this afternoon... I'm getting married." The Krewe of Barkus is a Mardi Gras dog parade. Before the parade starts at Congo Square there is dog costume contest and it's like a festival, with food and drinks and such. My wife and I try to go every year. It is very funny and we usually meet a lot of nice people there.

Anyway, I told the guy that I try to go to Barkus every year. He said "Yea, but I only get married every five or ten years... and my dog is going to be my best man."

Just to be sure it was the same guy I asked "Are you the same guy who gave me all that sh*t last week about taking a picture of your dog?" He laughed and said yes, he was... then he added that he had looked up the law and that I was right, that I could take pictures of his dog on a public street.

So I assured him I would be there at Barkus and would take pictures of his wedding and we left as good buddies. Crazy, huh?

Thanks Dennis!

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Dam Beavers

This is an actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries regarding a pond on his property. It was sent by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania. 

SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; LycomingCounty 

Dear Mr. DeVries: 

It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced parcel of property.  You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:   

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond.   

A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued.  Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.  

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations.  We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel.  All restoration work shall be completed  
no later than January 31, 2006.  
Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff.  Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated enforcement action..  

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter.  Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.  


David L. Price 
District Representative and Water Management Division. 

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries: 

Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County  

Dear Mr. Price, 

Your certified letter dated 12/17/02 has been handed to me to respond to.  I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, Trout Run, Pennsylvania.  

A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of constructingand maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet stream of my Spring Pond.  While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of natures building materials "debris."  

I would like to challenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose. 
 I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their dam work ethic.

These are the beavers/contractors you are seeking. As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity. 

My first dam question to you is: 

(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers, or 

(2) do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said dam request?   

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued.  

(Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.) 

I have several concerns.  My first concern is, aren't the beavers entitled to legal representation?  The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to provide them with a dam lawyer.  The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect.  In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling them dam names.  

If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.  

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream.  They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond.  If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources (Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).  

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until 1/31/2006? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them. 

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real environmental quality, health, problem in the area.  It is the bears! 
 Bears are actually defecating in our woods.  I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step!  The bears are not careful where they dump!  

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office. 



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Online Gallery at

Here's another online gallery format that's free right now. You can upload five images and set pricing at no cost currently. Check them out here. Sphere: Related Content

Bow Down

If you are looking out there for a blog to mimic in order to make yours better, look no further than I don't think I've seen one better. So, I give it my special bow down salute. Sphere: Related Content

Animated Me

Meez 3D avatar avatars games
If you like this kind of thing, go to and create yourself. You can easily add it to your blog or MySpace page.
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

You win some, you lose some

Today was particularly interesting. I received word that I was accepted into the Urban Ambience Exhibition at the Watson Studio Gallery in Texas and didn't get into the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art Top 40 Juried Competition.  The above image was selected out of three that I submitted from my Spheres Portfolio to Watson. View all the selected images for the show here: Related Content


A new image added to my Spheres Portfolio. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fine Art Originals

Here's your chance to upload up to ten images alongside a group of talented artists representing various medias for FREE. It's a great opportunity to get linked up and feed back to your own personal site. Get in while they are allowing the larger upload capacity. When I first joined up about two years ago, you were only able to upload two at no charge. I haven't received annoying email from them as one might expect either. 

A word of caution: choose your images carefully. I had two images up that readily popped up on the first page when searching for my name from this site. Foolishly, I changed them to keep things fresh and had to wait several months for them to get back into the Google loop. So make sure what you are putting up are images you are happy to have representing your work for some time or only use five to start with and give yourself some time to add later on. I am displaying a portfolio with a consistent theme myself which might be a good idea to help create your identity versus a grouping or random images. 

Again, one of the easier methods to funnel searchers to your personal site and move up the Google urchin line is to have links from other sites. Don't pass this up!

Check them out here.
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Increasing blog traffic

I've been reviewing some of the methods of getting more folks to my site, and it seems like joining blog directories is a good method. I will follow up in a week or two with results from the various directory sites. Until then, if you are interested in trying it yourself click on any of the small banners under the BLOG GROUPS heading at the bottom of the right sidebar. The directions are easy in each case. I haven't included any that seem shady or overly complicated so the work is half done for you already. As you can see, they don't take up much space on the blog at all. If you are having trouble with adding the html code, let me know and I'll try and help you out.  Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cherry Blossom

Spring is finally arriving here in Oklahoma and with it new blossoms and my pollen allergies. I shot this the other day in my front yard wishing I could attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. It is quite the amazing event.  Sphere: Related Content

LACDA Competition deadline extended

Missed the deadline? You have two more days now to enter. The deadline was extended through Monday, March 24th. 

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Juried Book Contest

That's right, it's a juried photography book show. Designed to promote photography books that are self-published, this is a unique opportunity to get your long term project recognized. Concepts are considered so don't feel like it has to be an already finished work. Categories include general and thematic. Thirty-five dollars to enter each book. Grand prize is twenty-five thousand dollars cash money to finish or start your project. Check them out at Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 21, 2008

From the big to the small, I post them all

The Mary Selby Gardens in Sarasota, Fl is hosting their 28th Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition. Check out the application here.

If you are ever in their neighborhood, it's worth the stop but don't forget your macro lens.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Urban Ambience Contest at Watson Studio Gallery

Here's a great chance if you shoot urban landscapes like I do. Came across this one late in the game so act quickly, deadline March 21st. Ten bills for each entry or twenty five for three. Check their website here.

Good luck!
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Amazing Opportunity If You Want To Publish A Book

Working on a long term project that you'd like to see published as a book? Check this link here. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

PhotoLife ongoing contests

PhotoLife Magazine has a few ongoing contests to check out. This year's crop includes:
Reflections - deadline May 16
View from the Porch - deadline July 11
Night Shots - deadline September 12
Seascapes and Tide Pools - deadline November 21

Check out their contest link here.

Filed under ongoing.
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Black and White Magazine Contest

B&W Magazine has their single image contest up and running for 2008. They have yet to update their website with the contest information so you'll have to check it out in their latest issue. Sneaky, click here for their website.

They also run an annual portfolio contest in the Fall of each year.
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Monday, March 17, 2008

Artist's Deduction Bill

Support your rights to get fair market value when you donate your work to charities. Read more about it here. Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Center for Fine Art Photography

We'll list this under ongoing contests. The Center for Fine Art Photography runs several calls for entry throughout the year. Check it out here.

They also run some quality workshops and have an interesting membership program. You get a free subscription to Camera Arts Magazine and can contribute to the member's gallery area, among other things. As they are affiliated with Camera Arts, I would suppose that membership might get your work considered for publication in the magazine more readily than not although I have no proof of that. Membership will run you $57.oo so if you are in the habit of paying newsstand price, it would be a bargain. 
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Monday, March 10, 2008

Ongoing Contest Opportunity

This is a great opportunity to submit and get published without spending a dime. Submissions are taken quarterly.

Check out this link here. 
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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Running Contest Update Segment

As I am entering contests like crazy to try and get some exposure, I will be keeping a running list of them should anyone else be interested. Links will be removed after deadlines have passed to keep the information current and a contest bank will be created for reference purposes as links come down. Sphere: Related Content

1st Group Show

The above shot is my first image to be shown in a gallery. It will be part of a group show in South Orange, NJ at the Pierro Gallery. The theme for the show is Is it Possible to Make a Photograph of New Jersey Regardless of Where You Are in the World. I shot this in Pueblo, Colorado in a public park in 2006. Of course, I am really excited to be a part of it.
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