“Damn Nature, You Scary!”

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First off, I will say that I love snakes and I love birds of prey. So when we moved to south Florida, I was super excited to see so much wildlife in our backyard – pileated woodpeckers, swallowtail kites, black racer snakes, screech and great-horned owls… it’s been paradise!

We have two black racers that live on our yard – one in the front, one in the back (and I’m sure the above photo is a give-away as to how this story ends) – and I really valued them being in our yard! They’re very friendly and are great ecosystem managers. We also recently have been getting broad-winged hawks all over Ft. Myers, and we recently saw this young one hanging out on our daybed in the backyard. I was ecstatic to see such a beautiful raptor just chillin’ in our yard.

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Stealing photos or just clueless?

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Who is Chasing Snowflakes and why do they have my photo!?

I recently read a blog post about how to reverse search for your own images. This is incredibly useful to see if your photos are being used without your permission. In following all the steps, found here, you can quickly see where your photos are.

Nine times out of ten my photos were where they were supposed to be. But in a few instances I found my photos, with the watermark removed, being used on someone else’s page. This raises the question as to whether the image is being blatantly stolen or just used out of admiration.

Recently a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers – an amazing group who promotes conservation through the lens – had one of his images stolen. He found his image being sold by another “artist” who even had it hanging in his gallery. This is obviously an egregious violation of rights on many levels. And it happens with increasing regularity. There are websites dedicated to calling these thieves out all over the internet.

But then there are the people who like a photo so much they want to put it on their Facebook, or other social media account. Are these people stealing your photo? What do you do if the watermark is removed? Or are they just clueless?

I found a few of my images on people’s blogs. If the watermark had still been there, I would have had no problem with it. I would have been flattered that someone I didn’t know wanted to share my image with the world. But in removing my watermark, my ownership of that image was also removed.

In conclusion, if you find an image you truly love, by all means share it with the world, but give that photographer their due credit. Make sure you know where that photo comes from. Maybe you found it through someone who removed the watermark, but at least do some research and make sure you aren’t infringing on copyright law. In my case, I wrote a polite email asking them to either take down the photo, or use it with my watermark. No one wants to involve the courts, but as photographers we work hard for our craft and are due the recognition for our art.

Slogging through external photo websites

500px screen shot
500px screen shot

It seems like there are a million and one different ways to put your photos online. Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Photoshelter, Photobucket… it’s almost like an entirely new language. And that’s just brushing the surface.

For a number of years I had a Zenfolio account, they do photo hosting as well as allowing you to create private portfolios for clients (the main reason I signed up). They have some really beautiful examples of websites that members have created. But after about a year, I realized that I hadn’t been using the site at all (when I received a few emails saying my account was going to be deleted – eep!).

I’d recently read an article about alternatives to Flickr that got me perusing the internet for some other options. I’ve had a pro Flickr account for 6 years, and will always have one. But I’ve also had accounts (or at least free trials) for  Photobucket, SmugMug, Photoshelter, Zenfolio, and now 500px.

I’m still on the free trial for 500px, but so far it seems superior to all the other sites I’ve tried. It mirrors Flickr in that you can upload photos with the option to create sets to organize said photos. Also like Flickr, people can comment on your photo and make it a favorite. Where it deviates however, is that there is also the option to vote for and like a photo. Upon uploading my 1st few photos, within minutes the community had begun providing feedback on the images – which was a welcome and surprising event.

There is also the option to create private, password protected sets of photos. This is the exact reason that I had used Zenfolio. It’s a must for client photos, and 500px makes it insanely simple to create a private photo set. Another added bonus is that you can link your photos to a market – essentially a very easy way to sell your photos.

The only downside I can see to 500px is the lack of the ability to customize your page. You can write a bio, upload a profile photo, link to your numerous other pages, etc. But you can’t customize the background and other such things, like Zenfolio provides for. But that aside, it’s a wonderful photography community and really fits exactly what I was looking for. Feel free to check out my page. And good luck slogging through all the great photo hosting sites out there! Hope this has been helpful.

My 1st Photo

1st photo copy

I have an obsession with old photos – especially old family photos. So as I was digging through piles of photos, I found this one. I honestly remember taking this photo when I was about 6 or 7 years old. My dad called me outside to the pond and showed me this little frog hiding in the lily. I grabbed his film SLR (thinking back I don’t know if I’d trust a child with my camera around a body of water), laid on my stomach and took the shot.

I love it for its simplicity, and the fact that it’s the 1st photo I remember taking. I’ve since framed it and hung it in my office as a reminder of my long love of nature photography and for motivation to get out there and keep adding to my portfolio!

Digital Photography School Article

Reflections over the Sounds

Wow, it has been an insanely long time since I’ve posted anything on here! I’m super embarrassed and a little sad that I’ve definitely let this slip in the chaos of life.

Well, here’s a link to a post by Digital Photography School that I have a few photos in
By the way, DPS is an incredible site to learn so much about photography! Hopefully this will be my motivation to get this thing going again! I miss photography and writing about it!

Incognito Camera Bag: Kelly Moore’s B-Hobo

Kelly Moore’s B-Hobo

I will admit – I am obsessed with camera bags. I already have a borderline hoarding problem with purses (some girls like shoes, I like bags), that I gleefully relish! I’ve always loved camera bags – with all the little pockets, dividers, straps – I’m a firm believer that there is a perfect camera bag for everyone’s needs. The problem is settling on just 1 need. The more dynamic the bag, the better.

So I’ve started seeing these camera bags for women that look like purses. They’re fashionable and don’t scream, “I have a huge DSLR in here!” They also double as regular purses, so you can have the usual purse things that we lug around (wallet, phone, glasses, etc.), while still being able to fit a camera and a spare lens. They seemed perfect. Continue reading

Cigar Seller

Cigar Seller

Last month I went to Key West for the 1st time – pretty sad since I’m a Floridian, born and raised. It was gorgeous – I loved the history and the kitschyness of it all. The weather wasn’t that great, but it did afford us the opportunity to walk everywhere and do all the touristy things that a blazing sun wouldn’t have allowed us to do.

We found a Mexican restaurant on Duval (which actually had incredible conch fritters and Sangria!), and across the street was this little old cigar seller. He seemed like such a unique person – a face with a history in a tiny shop, selling hand-made cigars in Key West. He was fascinating and I’m sure had some great stories.

I’ve always loved street photography, but am wary about taking people’s pictures. I’ve held off on taking pictures of people out of cultural respect, as well as just not having the courage to go up and ask permission. For this shot, I did the whole, “I’m not taking a photo – just looking through the lens,” – I think I need to work on my craftiness skills. I guess it’s a pretty common conundrum with photographers – how to approach a person without being disrespectful in taking their photo – and something I hope to work on in the future. This ended up being one of my favorite photos from the trip.

First Gallery Exhibition on the 19th

Intrinsic Ideation: Evoking Cellular Memory

On May 19th, I’m going to be having a few photos in my 1st gallery show. I’m working with my super talented brother-in-law for a show entitled Intrinsic Ideation: Evoking Cellular Memory.

The show will take place on Saturday May 19th at 7-10pm, at The Studio@620 (620 1st Avenue South  St. Petersburg, FL).

Here’s the blurb for the show. Would love to see you all down there!

Carises Horn’s exhibition is an introspective exploration of Western 21st Century art. The showing questions the act of viewing modern art and inspects our subconscious mythologies in an attempt to awaken the viewer’s cellular memories.
This is Carises Horn’s first showing in St. Petersburg in over a year and features seven new works by the artist that “interpret the act of viewing.”

The exhibition also features photographer Alexis Meyer. Her photographs, taken from around the world, narrate the interconnection between humans and the natural world. In this exhibit, Alexis cautiously choreographs anthropocentrism and ecocentrism.

Both Carises Horn and Alexis Meyer’s exhibition aspires to evoke the sense of one’s own past and to give rise to a greater sense of seeing the world.

Refinding Photos

In anticipation of an upcoming art show, I decided to go back through the some 3,000 photos I shot on my last trip to Africa. Combing through that many photos can be ridiculous and when I 1st downloaded them after the trip, I did a quick run through and grabbed the ones I thought were the best. That still gave me 250 photos that I thought defined the trip.

But in looking for some new photos to show, I thought I should go back and dig through them again – with a year behind me, who knew what I might have passed over. And in all honesty, I couldn’t remember all the photos I had. It’s also a good exercise in reliving some great memories.

I was pleasantly surprised. I was able to find over 50 photos that I had neglected in my hard drive, that I thought (now) had some great potential. I focused on looking for photos that could be edited to be visually striking. When I first got back, I was looking for a more documentary style in the photos.  But now I was looking for ones I could edit.

I had always tried to stay away from editing my photos heavily – sticking with photojournalism standards to maintain the truest capture that I could. But now, I guess as I’ve evolved in my style, I’m starting to look at photos in both lights. I still like to have a collection of photos that are just as they were when shot, but I’m also just now starting to create a collection that takes these photos and adds to their dimensionality and depth.

But I digress… this all got me thinking about the thousands (maybe millions?) of photos that I’ve taken in my photographic life. If I was able to find so many after leaving them alone for awhile, how many have I mindlessly deleted? It’s hard when you have so many photos to go through; and I’ve read numerous articles that say you should delete all but your best photos. But as you evolve as a photographer, who’s to say that what didn’t make the cut the first time, might not be exactly what you’re looking for at a later date?

So in this enlightening experience, I’ve decided to keep my photos. While I might have skipped over a photo in doing a 1st selection, with a little time, maybe my mind will see what my subconscious decided was good when I first took the photo. I wish I had more of my old photos, but this is all  a learning experience. One that will constantly make you change your perception of what photos you take and how you edit your work.

Happy shooting (and editing)!!