Welcome to the blog for Steve Hinch Photography.
On this page you'll find photographic information on the places I've photographed recently as well as some technical information on the photographs themselves. I'll also post updates on what I've seen and experienced in Yellowstone and abroad, current wildlife sightings, and anything else of interest. Check back often for updates!
April 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment
On Monday I added a new, temporary, Featured Gallery to my website, Poland 2012. This gallery will feature images from my Spring 2012 trip to Poland. Over the course of this trip, from March to early May, I will have visited historic castles which were once home to Teutonic Knights and Polish nobles. I'll also visit the historic capital of Krakow and the present capital of Warsaw. Finally, my journey will finish with a visit to the Tatra Mountain region of Southern Poland in early May. I have opened the gallery with eight images and will be adding more images over the next several weeks during my travels. The image above was taken in the village of Reszel. This view is from the top of the tower in Zamek Reszel, or Reszel Castle. The view encompasses the red tile buildings of the historic "old town". It's easy to imagine this view hasn't changed much over time. Beyond the village, farm lands stretch out to the horizon while the cathedral dominates the view. So join me as I continue to explore Poland and check the new featured gallery often. It will only be up for short time, until August or September. The gallery can be found here www.stevehinchphotography.com/poland2012. As always, thanks for visiting!
April 11, 2012 • Leave a Comment
April's Photo of the Month was taken in April, 2011 late one afternoon in the Polish countryside. April means Spring in Poland and as the temperatures warm and the landscape turns green, migrating birds return for the summer, when they nest and raise their young. White Storks were written into legend, thanks to Hans Christian Anderson, as the bearer of human babies. This ancient legend pre-dates Anderson's writings in the 19th century, but it was because of his story titled "The Storks" that the legend came into popular knowledge. In reality, White Storks winter in Africa and then fly north into Europe during the Spring and stay until the Autumn when they return back to Africa. The species, while still numerous, once nested throughout Europe, but due to the industrialization of the 19th century, their numbers declined. They are now most numerous in Poland, Spain, and the Ukraine. Their huge nests, which can be 7 feet deep and 5 feet in diameter, can be found throughout Poland which has over 50,000 breeding pairs at last estimate. Having a stork nest on your property is considered a sign of good luck.
This image shows a mated pair at their nest. As we watched them, they decided to fly down to the meadow near where we were parked to feed. I was able to photograph them as the first bird took flight. It flew over us, landed in the meadow and began foraging when the second one soon joined it. I shot this with at 500mm handheld, braced against the car window for stability. The late day light and an ISO of 400 allowed for a fast shutter speed to stop the action. In the end, it was a cool way to end a day of photographing these amazing birds!
April 04, 2012 • Leave a Comment
I have, for the most part, finished the move of my website from the old site to this one. You'll currently find 16 wildlife galleries and 12 landscape galleries, with most having a minimum of 8 to 12 images. Many of these images will be familiar to those who know my work, though there are some new ones too, such as the image above taken this past October in Death Valley. New galleries include Bobcats, Water Life, and Maui. I'll continue to add new images as time permits and will also put together some "featured galleries" which will only be found for a limited time. The first featured gallery will begin shortly with images from Spring in Poland to be featured. Meanwhile, please feel free to view the galleries and leave comments, if you wish.
The image above was taken at Zabrisikie Point in Death Valley National Park shortly after sunrise. This strange eroded formation in the badlands surrounding Manly Beacon was fairly prominent and undoubtedly the subject of many photos. With the sun's rays striking the background ridges, I framed this shot to isolated the "eroded citadel" with the ridges positioned in the foreground to move and draw the viewer from right to left and then up into the image. A zoom lens allowed for me to compose the scene from a tripod at the overlook without moving around too much and I stopped down to f 16 to gain maximum depth of field, which determines how much of the scene is in focus. To see more images from Death Valley, check out my small gallery featuring some of my favorite at stevehinchphotography.com/deathvalley . Thanks for reading!
March 27, 2012 • 6 Comments
Which watermark do you prefer?
This is my second editorial in a series on which I’ve been working. The first, seen below, was titled “What is Photography?” and was posted on March 6th. Whereas that article focused on the ever-changing purpose of photography in today’s environment, this one deals with how photography is used on the internet. With so much being posted on the internet today, with social media sites such as Facebook, Google +, and Pinterest, everything seems fair game to share, post, borrow, or, in some instances, steal. Many users of social media sites don’t understand copyright law as it applies to the photographs they see on the internet. US Copyright Law states “copyright protection … subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of machine or device. Works of authorship include the following categories: … (5) Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works.” The law goes on to include photography as part of article (5). In simple terms, what does this mean? It means a photograph is the property of the person who took the photo and the law protects against any unauthorized copies of the photo from being made. It’s basically that simple. The copyright protection is also valid for a period of time after the death of the photographer. In reality, however, most people don’t care about how their photos are used. The exception of course, are the many professionals trying to make a living.
To illustrate the point of view of the professional, here is a very simple scenario. If a person walks into a bakery, takes a loaf of bread without paying for it and walks away, that person has stolen the bread. Most people would agree that stealing the bread is wrong and an offense has been made against the baker. The baker paid for the ingredients of the bread, took the time to mix and bake the bread, and he or she depends on the income earned from selling it. However, if someone uses a photograph that they do not own for a purpose where they gain something, whether it’s money, recognition, or publicity, then the effect is the same as the theft of the bread, in very simple terms. The person gained something from the work of another without compensating that photographer, who is the person who took the time and effort, and who beared the cost of creating the image in the first place. Most people don’t understand the similarity between these examples, or they simply don't care. To relate this a different way, we can look at what happened to Napster a few years ago.
The original Napster was sued by the MPAA because they were allowing free music downloads. Why did Napster get sued and ultimately put out of business? Their business was based on giving away music, which they did not own. This is the very definition of copyright infringement. Music, like photography, is protected by intellectual copyright law. Musicians create their own music, just as a photographer creates his or her own images. The musician sells their music through various outlets. Napster, a third party, took that music and gave it away for free, essentially taking money away from the musicians who created the music in the first place. There has been some speculation that the fate of Napster could befall Pinterest, as their terms of service (TOS) state they have the right to sell any images uploaded to their site. What’s more, if the user has photos posted that they do not own, then Pinterest’s TOS makes the user liable for any infringement, not Pinterest. While Pinterest may get sued, they will essential try to pass the infringement on to the user! I doubt Pinterest will go the way of Napster however simply because the music industry had a powerful organization in the MPAA protecting the copyright interests of musicians, whereas there is no organization protecting photographer’s interests.
What does all this mean? For the photographer, unfortunately, the issue of infringement is probably only going to get worse as time goes on. It’s up to each photographer to protect their work in whatever way they feel they need to do so. Hopefully through articles like this, the general public can become more aware of these kinds of issues and their effects. But for now, photographers have to make a decision whether they will post to the internet, if so where, and what they can do to minimize the negative impact of doing so. Personally, I share some work on Facebook, 500px, and on my website but would never use Pinterest and haven’t provided permission for anyone to do so. I don’t mind my photos being “shared” on Facebook or listed as favorites on 500px, as long as my watermark is in place. But I will protect my work when someone uses it to promote their own interests without first seeking the necessary permission. I always include a watermark as viewed in the above photo on the left. It's small, non-intrusive to the viewer, and doesn't take away from the viewing experience. It's also easy to remove by those who would steal. Removing the watermark doesn't remove the infringement, however. The image is still mine and still cannot be reproduced by law. I would hate to have to resort to the type of watermark on the right, but perhaps that's what will ultimately be necessary. I do believe it’s important for all photographers to protect their work from uses where we as photographers earned our income.
For those interested more in this topic, Dan Heller has a better written article on his blog that can be found by clicking here. Another interesting read with some good information can be found by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading!
March 20, 2012 • 9 Comments
Peekaboo Cub was recently selected as an Editor's Choice on 500px, providing a little more recognition for one of my personal favorite photos. According to 500px, only 0.03% of the images on their site are conferred with this recognition. I was fortunate enough to be the first person to photograph this little cub of the year in early May as it moved through the NPS corrals near Lake Village. At the time, it was the first cub of the year I had heard anyone seeing that summer. At the time, the snow was still covering most of the fence that keeps the horses in the corrals during the summer. As the sow and cub stayed in the area, I heard of the cub often climbing on the sow's back, probably to get out of the cold snow. I finally saw this behavior for myself when the two bears were seen in a meadow in front of Lake Lodge one morning. Unfortunately, the light was horrible and the photos were so-so. Finally, on May 26, I found myself in the right place at the right time. As I drove from Lake Village towards Fishing Bridge, I saw the sow and cub about 100 yards off the road. A huge crowd had formed and park rangers were keeping traffic moving. I found a place to park and joined the horde of photographers watching the two bears. As the bears moved closer, the rangers moved the crowds in order to give the bears space. I found myself in a great spot as the sow dug down in search of voles. As she lowered her head, the cub started it's ascent onto the sow's back. The light was good, the interaction was fantastic, and I was able to get the shot I wanted, and more! I was happy to have not only witnessed this behavior, but also to have photographed it. And I came away with one of my personal all time favorite photos!