Sunday, October 31, 2010

Making a commitment

OK, I have been telling myself for eons that I would be more serious about my blogging efforts and try to make more consistent entries. Today I signed up for:
National Blog Posting Month

What this means is that I need to have by derriere in gear and post some insightful comments about something every day for the entire month of November. This is a challenge, but it WILL happen.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Being a member brings responsibility

I believe that if you join an organization you have a responsibility to participate in its activities and governance. Many people join groups and never attend a meeting or participate in any activities - and then have plenty to say about how everything is always being done wrong.

Last Sunday I attended the annual general meeting of the New Brunswick Equestrian Association. I have been a member for more than 25 years and have, occasionally, been on the Board or held office, so I feel I have the right to make the following observations because I've done my bit.

There are over 1600 members at the moment. The association's bylaws require that a mere 20 members be present at an AGM to ratify the actions of the outgoing Board of Directors, accept reports and financial statements, and elect the members of the incoming Board. Sadly, there were only 17 current members in attendance including the existing executive.

Three guest speakers had been lined up and each gave excellent presentations. David Lynch, Animal Protection Officer with the SPCA, spoke emotionally about his work in helping to save abused and neglected equines. Sarah Connors talked about her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be the only Atlantic Canadian member of the national team attending the AQHA World Youth Cup event in Oklahoma. Equine Canada's CEO, Akaash Maharaj updated everyone on Equine Canada's activities, the performance of Team Canada at WEG, and how Equine Canada and the NBEA will work together to promote good horsemanship in a variety of ways.

Those who did not attend missed some excellent information and their opportunity to exercise their democratic rights as members of the association. Sadly, their organization now has to spend money to re-schedule the business portion of the meeting and try to generate more attendance. Also, regrettably, it was embarrassing to have guest speakers spend the time, effort and, in the case of Akaash, money in travel costs, to prepare presentations and attend the meeting with so few in attendance.

The existing Executive and Board have worked hard and given countless hours to the organization. Is it so much to expect the members, who benefit from all of the above, to show up and say thanks?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another eight weeks...

I can't believe that I allowed almost eight weeks to slide by before adding to my blog. Bad me!

On the up side, I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger with photo shoots, editing and fulfilling client orders - all of which are good things!

Here are just a couple of shots from the last two weeks:
Boomer, Geoff, Jill and Shady
Medea and Vromme
Some people wonder why I put this huge, "honkin'" logo in the middle of any images that I display on the web. It's there to let viewers know that I own the copyright to the image and that I, and I alone, have the right to display it on my website or in my website galleries.

When people purchase a photo shoot and buy images, they always have the option to purchase web-ready versions that they are free to use on their personal websites and social networking sites like Facebook. In that case, I prepare the image for them and remove the logo from the middle of the image. Sometimes I offer packages that include a couple of free web-ready images, in which case I include a smaller logo discretely placed in one of the corners. But if the large logo is in place in the middle of an image, you can be fairly sure it's been "borrowed" without my permission, and without compensation, from my website galleries.

All photographers these days are struggling with copyright issues because most people assume that, if something is visible on the web, it is free for the taking. Au contraire mes amis. Copying or downloading copyrighted images from someone's website is, in fact, theft. Many people link to, copy, or download images innocently, without realizing that they are violating the creator's copyright. Others just don't care.

So, what is the purpose of this rant? Basically I just want people to think about what they are doing and be aware. As a photographer I am glad that people like my images enough to want to display them on their Facebook pages and on their own websites. But, I would appreciate it if they would ask permission first or purchase the rights to do so. It's all about respecting copyright.