Lori Carey Photography

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I'm Mobile

 Airstream Flying Cloud travel trailer parked near Wiley's Well in the Sonoran Desert, California.  License this Image

My blog is now formatted for reading on mobile devices. You can scan this QR Code with your phone to bookmark my site -

I also recently changed the feed for my blog, so if you subscribed longer than a month ago please re-subscribe as I will not be supporting the old feed. If the feed is titled Lori Carey Photography - Searching For the Light, you have the current subscription.

I am also trying out CommentLuv from Intense Debate on my site to see how I like it. When you leave a comment here on my blog, CommentLuv will offer a selection of your latest blog posts or tweets that you can include at the bottom of your comment. A little luv for me, a little luv for you. <3

Friday, February 18, 2011

Staying in the Know

Abstract sunset photo showing a beautiful transition from day to night

Yesterday's post got me thinking that here I am with an MBA and 20+ years in the global corporate world (and much of that at the executive level) - stuff like tax laws and legal issues are second nature to me and I have a good comfort level with it. I try hard to stay on top of things because I understand how important it is. If I can miss something like a change in disclosure requirements, how on earth do people with little background in the business world and little experience with legal and tax issues keep up or even know where to look?

It's not enough to keep up with the craft, the technology, the marketing and the trends. The moment you agree to take money in exchange for shooting photos, sell a print or license an image for publication (or start a blog!) you become subject to a myriad of laws - tax laws, trade laws, contract laws, intellectual property laws... and as the old saying goes, "Ignorance is no excuse".

Participating in on-line forums for photographers isn't enough; although sometimes people will post a heads up when an issue affects photographers, most photographers aren't qualified to give advice on these topics and there is a LOT of incorrect and bad advice given out. I can't tell you often I see things like on-line debates around the confusion between the right to TAKE a photo and the right to PUBLISH a photo and especially how that applies to model releases. And laws may differ from state to state; what applies in New York does not necessarily apply in California or Idaho. At best you should hope for links to expert sources and do your own research.

Consulting your own accountant or attorney is usually the best answer when you have a question, but if they don't know enough about your business and you don't have them on retainer they are probably not going to give you a call to let you know that you are affected by a new law that was just enacted (hands up if you got a call from your attorney about the new FTC rule requiring disclosure from bloggers).

I find that blogs by respected experts are one good way to keep up. For example, Carolyn Wright's blog PhotoAttorney is a great way to stay up to date on intellectual property issues. If you blog, find a blogger or two who have a good reputation in the field of blogging. I have a list of websites on various topics that I try to visit on a regular (weekly) basis to see what's going on (and obviously wasn't paying enough attention to the sites about blogging!)

Twitter is a fantastic source for current, relevant info. But even if you have hashtag searches set up in TweetDeck or a similar tool for topics of interest the amount of information can be overwhelming. Twitter always make me feel that if I turn my back for a day or two I'm going to miss something important. I need to shut down TweetDeck regularly or I find that I can (and do) spend hours clicking links and reading cool stuff. And there is a lot of junk and repetition. Finding a way to sort through the massive amount of information to find the gems is the key to making Twitter work for me. And if you're doing all the talking and not listening it won't help you at all in this regard.

Recently I've been paying a lot of attention to two sites that aggregate the daily top posts and tweets related to the field of photography - The Dan Bailey Photo Daily and The #togs Daily. I like that they highlight top stories in several categories and make it easier to find articles of interest.

How do you make sure that you are always in the know? Do you have any tips to share?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Disclosure Policy

Old wooden signpost on a trail in the Mojave Desert

As of December 1, 2009 the FTC started requiring bloggers to disclose any compensation they received related to their blog, and quite frankly I missed the announcement. A casual remark in an article in a photography magazine prompted me to do some research, and because I have affiliate links and have received forms of compensation from third-party companies as a result of information posted in my blog, I am required to disclose that to my readers.

I now have a link in my side-bar to my
Disclosure Policy
which states:

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me, Lori Carey. Every post and page is my own creation unless I state otherwise in the post.

When I review or endorse a product or service, it is something that I personally own and use that I think may be of interest to other photographers and adventurers. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

From time to time I have been asked to beta test a new version of a product. If the Non-Disclosure Agreement allows me to blog about my experience with the product I will only do so if I am permitted to be 100% honest in my review - good and bad. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own - no one pays for me for a favorable review. If I am compensated in any way I will disclose that in my post, and any compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog.

I have a couple affiliate links on my site. I am an Amazon Affiliate member and I have linked to a few trail guides that I recommend. These are my favorite trail books in my personal library. If you purchase any product at Amazon through the link on my site I receive a (very) small percentage of the sale...usually not even enough for a cup of coffee... but any monies received are used to help offset the cost of running this site. There is no mark-up, you pay the same price you'd pay if you went directly to amazon.com. If you've found information on my blog that has helped you and you want a great way to say thanks, next time you plan to purchase from Amazon you can click on my affiliate link and help support my site.

I also have an affiliate relationship with All Things Jeep. They have some really neat Jeep-related and logo'd products. As with Amazon, if you purchase anything from them through the link on my site there is no additional mark-up to you and I receive a tiny percentage of the sale.

My website is hosted by SmugMug and from time to time I may recommend them or I may write a how-to post. I've been a Pro member with them for four years and if there is every anything wrong with my site it's probably entirely my fault because I have a bad habit of always needing to play with things. During the four years I have been with SmugMug I have received two camera straps and a couple stickers and you'll see those straps on my cameras. These were not given to me in return for saying great things about SmugMug, they are available to all SmugMug members (and they are very comfy, so if you are with SmugMug make sure to get yours!). If you use my Discount Code to give them a try you receive a $5 discount and I receive a $10 discount off my renewal, but in all honestly they usually have a better discount offer available.

I have developed many personal relationships with people as a result of the information I share on my blog. I value those relationships greatly and take great pride that people trust and seek out my opinion. If you ever have any concerns or questions about information I have posted please feel free to Contact Me.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Twilight Phenomena

Minotaur Rocket Streak - Minotaur rocket with streak payload launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on September 22, 2005.  This is a classic example of the Twilight Effect, which occurs when the ice crystals catch the light of the sun which has already set and is below the horizon.

No, not vampires!

Shortly after I moved to California we were having dinner one evening when I looked out the window and saw the most amazing sight in the evening sky. I had no idea what it was so I did what any photographer would go - grabbed my camera and started bracketing like crazy, then ran to the computer to find out what it was.

It didn't take long to find the news about the spectacular twilight launch of a Minotaur rocket from Vandenberg Airforce Base. The twilight phenomenon shown in my image can occur when a launch takes place approximately 30-60 minutes before sunrise or after sunset when the sun is still below the horizon. Ice crystals in the contrail - unburned fuel particles and water drops that freeze in the less-dense upper atmosphere - reflect high altitude sunlight and produce a rainbow of colors, and high altitude winds can twist the exhaust plume creating a corkscrew effect. The result is a breath-taking sight that can be visible for hundreds of miles. Although Vandenberg AFB is located on the California coast about 140 northwest of the Los Angeles the contrail in my image above was seen as far away as Nevada, Utah and Arizona.

The twilight phenomenon is relatively rare since it has to do with the timing of the launch and the weather. The sky in the area must be clear and dark and the sun must be below the horizon. As the missile rises out of the darkness the twilight effect may occur. Out of over 1,800 missile launches since 1958 at Vandenberg, only a very small number have resulted in the amazing light show.

Tomorrow morning early risers in SoCal may have the opportunity to see and view another launch that may result in the twilight effect. Vandenberg is scheduled to launch a Minotaur 1 rocket carrying a national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office on 5 February at 4:26am.

Don't be discouraged if you don't live near Vandenberg. I'm approximately 200 miles south in coastal south Orange county and most launches, including day time launches, are clearly visible from my backyard in the WNW sky. I took the photo above from my backyard.

The twilight effect for pre-dawn launches is usually more subtle than for evening launches, but if you're interested in heading out in the wee hours for the possibility of seeing and photographing what could be a truly breathtaking sight, Brian Webb's Space Archive site is my bible for Vandenberg launches. It has a wealth of information, including a page devoted to photographing launches, and up-to-the minute Vandenberg launch information. Get on his mailing list if you want to know about future launches, it is a great resource.

Luck is when preparation meets opportunity! My alarm will be set. If we're fortunate enough to have another amazing twilight effect and you get photos, feel free to link to them in the comment section.