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Aviation Photographer Dely Among Missing After Airshow PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 15 August 2011 15:57

Frans Dely, South African aviation photographerSouth African aviation photographer Frans Dely is believed to be among the 12 people aboard two Piaggio P166 Albatross aircraft, which were flying in formation after leaving the Tzaneen Air Show in Tzaneen, Limpopo, South Africa.  The aircraft lost contact with air traffic control about 30 minutes after their departure.

Search and rescue effort are concentrating on rugged George’s Valley, between Polokwane and Tzaneen, accessible only by helicopter.

It is believed that one of the flights was being piloted by Brian Gruar. At this stage it is not known who piloted the second plane. In addition to Dely and the pilots, it's reported that the missing include Tess Spence and Louise Warden, who are married to pilots Dennis Spence and Glen Warden, and Linda Pierce, the fiancée of Aviation magazine editor Athol Franz.

Frans Dely is a personal friend of mine.  We met, sharing some refreshments and story telling at Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture in Oshkosh, WI in July 2010, during an informal gathering of International Society for Aviation Photography (ISAP) members, to which we both belong.  I last chatted with Frans in mid July.  He owns AvPix (avpix.co.za).

The aviation photography community is anxiously awaiting good news on the whereabouts of this world class photographer and the others involved.

Click here for downloadable copies of this image.

Last Updated on Monday, 15 August 2011 16:28
Amanda Younkin Franklin Succumbs to Airshow Injuries PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Saturday, 28 May 2011 10:20

Amanda and Kyle FranklinMay 27, 2011 - Late Friday evening, airshow star Amanda Younkin Franklin succumbed to the severe burns and internal injuries suffered in an airshow mishap March 12.  She was being treated at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX.

Amanda and her husband Kyle Franklin were performing their stunt flying and wingwalking act, "Pirated Skies," at Air Fiesta 2011 in Brownsville, TX.  During their performance, while Amanda was on the top wing, their plane's engine failed, forcing pilot Kyle to crash land in trees beside the runway.  Amanda returned to the cockpit before crashing.  Both were severely injured in the accident.  Kyle is recovering well from his injuries, and has been at Amanda's side daily during her ordeal.

Amanda was a graceful, talented, and beautiful performer in the air show circuit, and is sadly missed.  Both she and Kyle are members of airshow families.  Their fathers, Jimmy Franklin and Bobby Younkin died in a 2005 airshow collision in Saskatchewan, Canada.  Amanda's brother, Matt Younkin is an active performer in the airshow circuit.

More information is available in this AOPA Online article.

"That Brief Moment In Time" PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 02 November 2009 18:37

Henri Cartier-Bresson taught the photography world about "The Decisive Moment."  We aim to capture the peak of the action, frozen for all to see.  An exquisite example of a photo made at the decisive moment was made by St. Louis sports photographer Scott Rovak.  Scott captured a baseball flattened on the bat of slugger Albert Pujols.  He shares his thoughts on his bloghttp://fototalk.blogspot.com/2009/08/that-brief-moment-in-time.html


Last Updated on Thursday, 12 August 2010 23:32
Camera Repair Recommendation PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 02 November 2009 18:23

At a photo event this past summer, I had an accident.  An assembled DSLR camera body, battery grip, and zoom lens tumbled from my truck, falling about four feet onto pavement.  It made a sickening sound, followed by some sounds from me that are best not repeated!

Fortunately, a very knowledgeable friend pointed out that there was an expert camera repairman attending the event, and introduced us.  In the middle of a meadow, Berrie Smith examined my damaged gear.  He noted the obvious damage, then showed me that the flanges on the lens mount and body mount had bent, and explained that this will cause soft focusing on one side of the photo.  From this “field” examination, Berrie created an estimate for the repairs.  Based on the quality of the recommendation from my trusted friend, I had Berrie repair the equipment, and am very pleased.

I’ve since mentioned Berrie to other photographer friends, and have found that he’s widely known and respected.  So, I too am pleased to recommend him.  I hope you never need his services, but I suggest that you keep his number, just in case.

Berrie Smith Camera Repair
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Last Updated on Thursday, 12 August 2010 23:32
Farewell, Kodachome PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 22 June 2009 08:04

June 22, 2009 - While hardly a surprise, Kodak has announced the end of Kodachrome production.  While it's been many years since I shot a roll of Kodachrome, it was the color film I started with, and has a revered place in my heart.  I used a self-coined term "exploiting some Kodachrome" as a euphemism for a day of shooting.  Current supplies are expected to last until autumn.

Kodak Retires KODACHROME Film; Celebrates Life of Oldest Film Icon in its Portfolio

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2009 08:17
Nikon D5000, The Macro dSLR? PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Friday, 17 April 2009 22:15

Has Nikon introduced a dSLR for macro photography?  April 14, the company announced its new consumer D5000 dSLR.  Among its major selling points are 720p HD video recording, a 12 MP sensor, "Vari-angle" LCD monitor, and 19 Auto-exposure scene modes, at consumer-level pricing.

Yellow Grandiflora RoseWith a conventional optical viewfinder, the macro photographer finds himself contorted into odd positions trying to compose and focus while shooting low-to-the-ground flowers, moss, and bugs.  Right-angle finder attachments provide more convenience, but they often continue to put the photographer at odd angles, provide a dim image, and give a disconnected feeling, troubling to some photographers. Live View LCD screens on newer dSLRs help the situation.  The macro photographer can compose without being square-on to the optical viewfinder, since the LCD is usable over fairly wide angle of incidence.  But the LCD is fixed to the back of the camera, and the camera is low to the ground.  Since a millimeter's movement will throw a macro subject out of focus, temporarily tilting the camera for a more convenient view is out of the question.

The D5000's "Vari-angle" LCD monitor offers relief for the macro photographer's pain in the back.  It allows the macro photographer to twist the LCD for easy composing, focusing, and review.  Granted, some Olympus dSLRs and various digital point 'n' shoot cameras have similar LCDs that can be twisted to a more convenient viewing angle.  But this is the first dSLR that can also use existing Micro Nikkor lenses* and late model Speedlights.

Since the D5000 does not have a Depth of Field Preview button, it initially seems limited as a macro camera body.  However, dSLRs have the LCD, which provides instant feedback on depth of field, focus, and exposure immediately after taking a test shot.  Being able to immediately view a test shot relieves the lack of a Depth of Field Preview button, provided we get used to the workflow change.  Composing and initial focusing from a convenient angle is a welcome novelty.  But the clincher is not having to move the camera to clearly view a Depth of Field test shot, no matter the proximity of the camera to the ground!  Twisting the LCD is much more appealing than twisting our bodies as macro photographers have long needed to do.

Is the Nikon D500 the perfect macro dSLR?  No.  It does not include any mirror lock-up capability, important for eliminating the blur-inducing mirror slap at exposure.  The 230,000 dot LCD will not provide the crisp view that Nikon's higher end 920,000 dot LCDs provide.  On cameras that support both, Nikon disables Depth of Field Preview while in Live View, but this camera does not even have a DOF Preview button.  It does not have a flash Commander Mode, limiting the control over Nikon Speedlights offered by many higher-end Nikon dSLRs.  And as is the trend with recent consumer dSLRs, it uses the physically tiny SD memory cards, while prosumer and pro bodies use larger, easy to handle Compact Flash cards.  Many find that SD cards are clumsy with cold fingers, or in the heat of the moment, but the SD card format permits the creation of a smaller camera body.

My ideal macro dSLR would allow the use of existing Nikon lenses, auto-focusing lenses with or without an internal AF motor, would have a Vari-angle LCD, but with the high resolution screen such as that offered by the 9200,000 dot LCD used on the D300, D700, D3, and D3x, would support DOF Preview in Live View, and use CF memory cards for easy handling.  The technology all exists to provide this ideal macro dSLR.  Does Nikon product development have more in store for macro photographers?

The "Vari-angle" LCD screen on the D5000 is a big advance, making the D5000 a useful addition to the macro photographer's tool kit.

* AF-S and AF-I lenses will autofocus.  Older CPU lenses without an integral AF motor will not autofocus, a very minor limitation for macro work.  Additionally, non-CPU lenses will not provide metering - leaving histogram-checking for exposure guidance.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 August 2010 10:43
Facebook Retreats, But Is It Enough? PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 09:13

(February 18, 2009)  Facebook has retreated on its February 4 change in its Terms of Use (TOU), which were unfavorable to photographers.  They have reverted back to terms dated September 28, 2008.

There are big improvements, but serious questions remain.

While a user is still granting Facebook rights to his work, even for commercial purposes, the rights terminate when the user removes the content from his Facebook account.  "By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant, and you represent and warrant that you have the right to grant, to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing. You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the license granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content."

The indemnification terms are softened, but still present.  "You agree to indemnify and hold the Company, its subsidiaries and affiliates, and each of their directors, officers, agents, contractors, partners and employees, harmless from and against any loss, liability, claim, demand, damages, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorney's fees, arising out of or in connection with any User Content, any Third Party Applications, Software or Content you post or share on or through the Site (including through the Share Service), your use of the Service or the Site, your conduct in connection with the Service or the Site or with other users of the Service or the Site, or any violation of this Agreement or of any law or the rights of any third party." 

Do these terms still mean that if Facebook makes commercial use of a user-posted picture, and a recognizable person in the picture files a complaint, the user is liable?  It seems that Facebook is still attempting to transfer its responsibility as publisher to obtain permissions onto the Facebook user that originally posted in a non-commercial manner.

Carolyn E. Wright, PhotoAttorney.com blogs on January 11, 2009 about the terms, as reinstated today.  She also discusses the indemnity wording in the just retracted TOU on February 17, 2009.

While I applaud the TOU improvements, I'm still not pleased.  I am taking a cautious approach, and will not post any pictures of other people or property that may require a release. 

I am not an attorney, so please consult one if you have any questions.

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 April 2009 21:56
Photographers Cautious About Facebook Terms of Use PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Tuesday, 17 February 2009 15:50

New Facebook Terms of Use (TOU) (last revised February 4, 2009) are causing concern among photographers using the service.  It appears that Facebook users service grant Facebook the rights to use any photos they post on the service forever, even if they terminate their account.  These rights include commercial use.

Even more disturbing is that it's ordinarily the publisher that must secure a model or property release in order to use the image in a commercial manner.  However, Facebook's TOU appears to be transferring that responsibility onto the Facebook user that posts the photo.

Intellectual Property attorney Carolyn E. Wright highlights the concerning parts of the TOU in her February 16 and 17, 2009 blog on PhotoAttorney.com.

On February 16, 2009, New York Times published Facebook’s Users Ask Who Owns Information, by Brian Stelter.  (Thanks to Brooks Rainey Pearson for the link.)

I am not an attorney, so please consult one if you have any questions.  Personally, I'm am taking a cautious approach, and keeping my photos off Facebook.
Last Updated on Sunday, 05 April 2009 21:58

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