Lightstalking!

This article really inspires me. It’s full of critical information every photographer should know. Check it out and bookmark it!!!

Lightstalking

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A Trip to Hyannis Massaschussetts

The better half and I took a weekend trip to Hyannis this past weekend for a deep sea fishing trip. Didn’t catch any fish, but I did snag some nice shots of the area.

Outside Hyannis Harbor in Nantucket Sound

Craigsville Beach waves

Buoys in the harbor

a little perspective

Inner Harbor

Nice sculpture!

Panorama of the Outer Harbor

Seashell on Craigsville Beach

Skyscape on the way back

Amazing sunset over Hyannis

More sunset

Legally speaking-a word about taking photos in public

A recent incident brought to mind the legalities of taking pictures in public. It is a subject that is getting more and more attention for a variety of reasons. Earlier today, while attending a local fair, I was snapping pictures of various scenes. While walking past a man with his daughter in a stroller, I had my camera out and was checking the focus. He evidently thought I took a picture of his daughter and got very confrontational. Being a polite photographer and not wishing to escalate anything, I showed him the last picture taken, which was not one of his daughter. End of confrontation.

But it got me thinking about how to handle situations like this in the future. Legally speaking, no one has a right to privacy while in a public place, such as a park, or a public street. And I could have been an asshole and taken the picture any way, but it would have resulted in an altercation, and would that really have been worth a photograph? When taking pictures in public, especially of children, it’s always polite to ask first, and if the parent or subject says no, say thanks and walk away. It’s also wise to use common sense when shooting in public. Going alone to a play ground and taking pictures of children without the parent’s permission is an invitation to trouble from the police, as well as irate parents. It’s just not worth the legal hassle even if you have the law on your side.

There are a number of places on the web to find the legal guidelines for shooting in public. There are a few links at the end of this article.

So the upshot is, to avoid hassles and harassment from people or law enforcement, either be discreet about shooting in public, or be upfront about it and talk to your potential subjects. If you approach people in an open and friendly manner it is also an opportunity to market yourself and your business, and possibly pick up some new customers. Introduce yourself, (it helps to have a business card or two handy), and tell them why you find them interesting and would like to take their picture. If they refuse, do not pester them. Simply smile, say OK, and walk away. Most people would not mind such an approach if it is in a friendly manner, and they think you are a professional photographer, not just some creep with a camera. Continue to talk to them while shooting them and after ward. You might be able to market some additional work to them after you show them the photos on your camera. Always leave on friendly terms, leave your business card with them and say thank you!

Again, if someone objects, keep your wits about you, be polite, and do not escalate the situation if you can avoid it. But stand your ground if you are in the right as well. This is a freedom of speech issue that has been trampled upon quite a bit in this age of paranoia about pedophiles and terrorists. In the links below is a downloadable PDF of a photographers rights, and it is a good idea to carry a few copies with you when shooting. They come in handy to explain your actions to law enforcement. No guarantees that they will read it of course! And be ready to defend yourself if you are hassled by someone for shooting in public. This could come from someone not even involved in the shot. If a bystander decides to be a busybody and interfere with your shooting, you do not have to back down or explain yourself. Defend your right to shoot. The law and the courts are on your side if you are not shooting where someone has an expectation of privacy, such as shooting into someone’s window, or in a restroom.

In the end, use good judgement, be polite and as discreet as possible when shooting in public and you should be OK. But also be on your guard and aware of the situation at all times.

Happy shooting!

Links:
http://content.photojojo.com/tips/legal-rights-of-photographers/
http://www.legalandrew.com/2007/10/11/photo-law-your-right-to-take-pictures-in-public/
http://www.photosecrets.com/photography-law.html
http://www.photographybay.com/photography-laws/
http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm (download the PDF of your rights and carry it with you always!)

Fishing at Round Lake New York

One of my favorite fishing spots around here is Round Lake. Round Lake is a shallow bowl of a lake in the village of Round Lake. At it’s deepest, it is about 20 feet and that is near the eastern shore, accessible only by boat. There are plenty of fishing spots on the western shore, near Route 9, and there is a public boat launch there too. It is pretty shallow in this area, but there are lots of weed beds and lily pads which provide perfect cover for the bass and sunfish which inhabit this lake. It’s the perfect lake to just pull over onto the shoulder, haul out your gear from the trunk, and start fishing. The only downside is a lot of highway noise from Route 9. But as you can see below, the lake is quite beautiful. My wife and I lost count of how many bluegill and pumpkinseeds we hauled out of the lilypads. We even caught a few small bass. It’s not the kind of spot that has a lot of huge fish, at least not in the area we were fishing, but if you have a boat, and can venture out to the deeper areas, who knows? It’s the perfect place for a carefree evening of catching (as my wife likes to call it) instead of fishing!!

Wifey doing her thing. She barely got her worm in the water before she had a fish on it!!
As you can see, it is quite scenic.
We were able to watch a family of geese on parade.

Saratoga Polo

My wife was asked to write a blog about the polo matches here in Saratoga by SaratogaLife. I tagged along to take some pictures to illustrate the blog. I had never been to a polo match before. In short, I was just simply blown away by the whole thing. Now I know why they call it the Sport of Kings! In Saratoga, you can get really close to the action if you avoid the grandstand and go to the back of the field. As you can see in the photos, we were really close to it all! I was using a zoom, but it was a short one. I had to hand hold the camera, since the action was so fast that a tripod would not have been practical. It was a slightly overcast day, so there was not a lot of contrast. But I think the photos turned out pretty well. Mostly due to the subject matter 🙂

The players were amazing, but even more amazing were the ponies themselves. They were so well trained, and started and stopped on a dime. As you can see, they are beautiful animals, and from what I understand, quite an investment. Due to the speed of the action, I got to practice my panning shots. My little Nikon lens was up to the task. I was using my automatic mode, which meant I could simply hold the shutter down and blaze away. There was literally no time to mess with aperture or f stops. If I had tried to use my manual focus lenses I would have been screwed and would not have gotten very many good shots.
The passion of the players was impressive as well. You can tell these guys (there were no women that I saw-sorry ladies!) really put their hearts into this. It is so much more than a sport to them. Take a look a the face of the rider below.
Needless to say, I am hooked! I plan on going back every year. I suggest you look up your local polo club, if you have one in your area, and attend a match. I think you will be as amazed as I was!
For more information, check out http://www.saratogapolo.com/