Adobe – just the facts

Read this any way you wish:
I have a technical support issue with the Adobe CSx Master Suite which I paid hundreds of dollars for.
I’ve been transferred 9 times.
I’ve been asked for my Customer ID 9 times.
I’ve been asked for my Phone Number 9 times.
I’ve been asked for my e-mail address 9 times.
I’ve been asked what the issue is 9 times.
I’ve asked for managers 3 times.  I’ve been argued with 3 times.   Talked to a manger 1 time.
I’ve heard “I’m sorry.” 100+ times
I’ve been on my cell phone for almost 2 hours (there go my minutes).
What customer service?
Problem still not solved.
Asked for a call back from a higher tier tech support.
Waiting …. I hope they call.

My wish is that Adobe Corporate would review their technical support system and improve it.

In the meantime, I have loaded Adobe 7.0…. which does not have a problem…. just so I can scrape through the important graphics work I have to do.

My wish is that Adobe Corporate would review their technical support system and improve it.
Whoops!  Did I say that already?
Yes, because:
My wish is that Adobe Corporate would review their technical support system and improve it.

I would repeat this 9 times, but that would be annoying!!!!

UPDATE:  Called back by 6 and now it’s fixed.  It took the tier 2 guy less than 4 minutes to fix the problem….
My wish is that Adobe Corporate would review their technical support system and improve it.


Photojournalism – Peter Turnley: Moments of the Human Condition

December 6, 2009
Peter Turnley: Moments of the Human Condition – 1972-2009: Photographs by a Renowned International Photojournalist

I’m not usually a crier, but the passion and heart that Peter Turnley puts into his photographs and the way he explains the very Human moments when photographs were taken had me choking back the tears.  When I walked into the room, I saw a middle-aged man, jeans, basic jacket and shoulder length blond hair and glasses.  Not assuming.  Reading this book by its cover certainly would have been deceiving. 

It was the basic famous photographer’s lecture, to start off with.  He reviewed how he started in the business and who inspired him and showed some pictures from his earlier work.  The work was good….community based stuff during the civil rights era.  I laugh that I even have the nerve to judge.   This man’s work has graced the cover of Newsweek Magazine 43 times!  Truthfully, I didn’t know who he was before I walked into the room.  I do now and his work and heartfelt passion and experiences are indelibly marked in my photographers experience. 

He noted that he had never spoken for a full two-hour lecture and diligently checked his watch every so often to be sure that he was talking long enough.  Luckily for his captivated audience, he was forced to share some stories of danger and human moments that occured while capturing some the worlds best photographs.  He has visited more than 90 countries and has photographed uncountable political figures such as Obama, Gorbatchev, Yeltsin, Putin, Mandela, Arafat, Schroeder, Chirac, Clinton, Reagan, Bush Sr, Lady Diana, and Pope Jean Paul.  He has dead bodies and crying faces in his photographs, power, fallen power and devistation.  He was one of the very few photographers to capture the scene right after 9/11 and told us the story of how he was in Boston when the towers were hit and then he immediately felt that he had to travel to Manhattan to photograph.   The story was particuarly touching when he told us of a phone call from his twin brother’s girlfriend saying that the brother grabbed his own camera equipment and dashed off to the World Trade Center to photograph and that she hadn’t heard from him since.  Peter thought he may have lost his twin that day.  Later we find that, being one of perhaps three photographers to make it into the restricted area, he was walking out after a long morning of photographing and saw a group of photographers waiting to get in … among them… his brother.  That was only one of the touching tales.

What strikes me often when sitting through lectures of truly accomplished photographers is that they often will go back and try to find the people in their photographs…. years later.  Peter had several stories of finding people and of people finding him.  It seems as if much of the satisfaction is to, someday, learn what the people in the photographs were thinking at the time the shot was taken.  Once the story is known, some of the pieces of the mystery of the Human Condition can then the put in their proper place.

I was very pleased I attended this lecture.  I will attend again, if get the chance.  Peter gives photography workshops all over the world.  So, I’ll have to pay attention to catch him.  Here is his info, if you’re interested. 



I’m Alive When I Photograph with Antonin Kratochvil

I’m Alive When I Photograph with Antonin Kratochvil, Sponsored by Canon Speaker: Antonin Kratochvil

Amazing seminar by Antonin.  He certainly IS alive!  This delightful Frenchman has travelled the world as a photojournalist for greats such at Time Magazine, The New York Times, Fortune Magazine, Vanity Faire and many others.  He has some of the most touching and horrific photographs that I’ve seen ranging from Aids in Zimbabwe to despair on Wall Street.  Antonin has captured so much.  View his work at:  http://www.antoninkratochvil.com/ . 

I really can’t remember laughing so much during a seminar before.  This man was a total delight!  He takes a real interest in people and travels the world a lot, often returning to the places he has photographed to find the people in the photographs and see what they’re doing now, or if they are still alive.  Many are not.   He has many books, one on the human condition.  He is one of the only photographers to have the rare opportunity and permission to photograph Venezuelan prisons. 

On the lighter side of things, he has photographed numerous celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Rod Steiger, William Defoe, David Bowie, Liv Tyler and countless others.  Funny though, he can hardly remember any of their names…. celebrity doesn’t impress him. 

He doesn’t shoot film anymore, but actually prefers digital after a period in his life, he tells us, where he thought that digitial had ruined his life, his career.  “I thought I was a dinosaur…. not anymore,”  he told us.  After looking at digital another way, he saw how powerful of a tool it could be and now loves working only in digital. 

He has been arrested for taking photographs and spoke of often being eyed with suspicion, noting one occassion when the secret service told him he took photographs in a different ways than other people and so he was “….being watched.”   He explained that he takes picutres differently because he is a professional photographer.  He was also arrested by homeland security on that occassion.  It was very interesting to hear of his run-ins with authorities in this country or that…. simply for taking a photograph. 

He also spoke of being an embedded photographer in Iraq and his method for getting photographs to the newspaper he worked for.  On the technical side, he uses the Canon 5D and a 2.8 mm lens.  When he wants to blend in better, he uses a point and shoot, the G10 or G11. 

He teaches for Maine Media Workshops and told us that his students often come with 70 lbs of equipment to which he tells them “Hey, you’re not a Marine!” and says that he doesn’t like to carry a lot of equipment when he photographs, preferring to be light and have movement.   That was our last bit of laughter for the day. 

Do I recommend him?  YES!  Great stories and, best of all, a good time!


A Week in the Life of a Professional Photographer, with David Wells

If there was ever a guy who deserved some free publicity, it’s this guy!  David H. Wells.  Kudos to B&H Photo for bringing him in to speak.   After countless seminars, you’d think there wasn’t anything left to learn….. The entire seminar was FILLED with topics that were covered in such completeness that I didn’t want to miss a word of what he was saying.  

He started with “If you could corner a photographer in a bar and ask him anything you wanted to ask him, what would it be?”  According to David, it should be 1. What was your career path?  How did you get where you are now? and 2. What is your workflow?

Of course, we all know “Don’t do anything unless you first have it in writing.”  However, David laid it out for us.  He told us story after story (Not including the names, of course) of how people/companies tried not to pay him or did something stupid that would have cost him a ton of money had he not taken the time to cover his butt…. and this guy covers his butt. 

He spoke about photographers who were advocating not to give publications “All rights” to your photographs and instead advocated for giving 1st time use rights because giving up all of your rights makes the companies want to get all rights all the time from photographers and this will work to kill the industry.

He has done a lot of grant work and has surprisingly received the grant money from nonphotography organizations.  He created a niche for himself and then obtained research grants.  He is a master of finding ways to get paid for his craft.  He made sure to note that getting paid from actual stock houses may take years because of the nature of that business and that he submits 400 to 600 pictures on a regular  basis, always keeping an accurate paper trail.

His other advice…. hire an accountant that works with other photographers.   And, for $35 per year you can register your photos with the Library of Congress….who knew?  Interesting stuff, really and has a lifetime of stories to tell…

Would I recommend him as a speaker?  Absolutely YES!!!  He goes in the BEST SPEAKERS I’VE EVER HEARD category.  Would I pay to take one of his classes…..cheap me????? Yes, even I would shell out the cash for him….  His seminar was two hours of fun, no nonsense, applicable pure value.  He was relaxed, funny and very personable.

Topics covered were:

• Estimating assignment and usage fees
• Resources for pricing, negotiating skills, and the various strategies of signed estimates
• Image usage licenses and contracts
• Self-promotion marketing
• Copyright law
• Model or property releases and what kind to use
• Taxes and what you need to know for sound financial practices
• Resources for keeping updated on pricing, evolving business practices, trends,and technology
• The basics of running a stock photography business from finding agencies to license images to licensing images yourself
• Fine art galleries and corporate art dealers who sell photographs as art prints

David’s work can be viewed at www.davidhwells.com.  David has launched an educational website for photographers called The Wells Point www.thewellspoint.com .  David H. Wells (www.davidhwells.com) is a free-lance documentary photographer affiliated with Aurora Photos (www.auroraphotos.com). He specializes in intercultural communications and the use of light and shadow to enhance visual narratives. Portfolios of his work have appeared in American Photography Four, Camera and Darkroom, Communication Arts Photography Annual, Graphics: The Human Condition, Photo District News, Photo Magazine, Photographers International and Zoom.


Captured by a Moment in Time – BBC Photography Archives

BBC Photo Archives  http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/photoblog/2009/10/ 

Nostalgia.  I don’t know about you, but I could sit in photo archives for days, buried in old photographs and still be giddy with delight at the end of each day.  That’s where my love of photography begins.  Some photographer captured a moment in time and then that moment in time captured me.  My addiction or problem is that, it captures me over and over again…. the moment, that is.  It’s a different moment each time, but nonetheless, I’m captured…..hypnotic. 

I really went off the cliff when I started doing photo restoration.  The simple action of restoring the proper levels, again, opens up an entire new world…. a world that is now gone…. that still has hidden secrets for me to find. 

Once I found an old picture of a house in an old farm town (again, I was at the library in the archives).  The picture was entirely washed out.  What the hell, I said to myself.  So I scanned it and started with fixing the levels.  My heart started to beat a bit faster as a little girl, pushing a carriage and holding a stick hobby horse emerged from in front of the house.  She was looking out at the cameraman…. and now at me….. from the past.    It was my find of the day!

The last one of my pictures that brought me that wonderment was of an old building in New York City.  It’s near the New York Times building, but has a real charm to it.  This picture I took, myself.  I didn’t intend on finding anything.    I unloaded my Nikon and opened Adobe Bridge.  The first thing I always do is a quick slideshow to see what I might have captured through my camera lens that day.  Then there is was…. that curious feeling.  As the picture flipped, I had to stop and look closer.  What was that dirt all over the building?  Interrupting my slideshow, I open Adobe Photoshop and start fixing levels and bending curves, pushing midtones to their very limits to see what was hidden.  It ended up to be an old advertisement for a travel company.  I was satisfied to be able to see a bit of the past, buried in the middle of modernization. 

If you’ve never ventured into the archives, give it a try.  Or, pull out some of your old family photographs and see if you can find something charming or telling looking back out at you. 

Also, check out that BBC blog and if you have any mezmorizing photography moments, let me know.


Digitize Me! – Tip of the day.

A common mistake in terminology often used by beginning videographers is the use of the word “digitize.”   So, here is a simple definition.

to digitize – to convert analog signal to digital signal. 

So, if you are converting analog signal to digital signal then the word digitize is correct.  However, the word is still hanging on from the days when we were transitioning from linear to nonlinear editing systems.  Putting an analog video tape into a machine in order to convert the footage into digitized form in order to edit by computer is the act of digitizing.


Professional Photos …Ahhhh…. on your iPhone?

Ya know, everybody’s got a gimmick!   Chase Jarvis says he’s a commercial photographer who is taking pictures with an iPhone.  Of course, he’s writen a book and started an online community for everyone’s iPhone pictures.

Ok, so I’m curious.  USA Today promo’d his book and even printed his web page for the nation to see.  So, Chase has got something going for him.  Or maybe, he’s just got friends in high places.  So I click………. expecting to find some odd picture of grandma sitting in wonderment over this new iPhone gadget, or pictures of the guy’s dog and kids.    Instead, I’m greated with a crazy picture of some upside-down guy with a desert backdrop….an action shot acting in first of a series of flash images.

And I’m impressed.  The guy, or team rather, has something going for it….. a vision ….. a look.    Check it out.  Watch the videos too.   They are creative as well!