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#362474 Underwater 3D Photometry - Second World War era Valentine Tank

Posted by decosnapper on 21 June 2015 - 12:08 AM

Something I have been working on for a while now is underwater 3D photometry.


The subject are a pair of WW2 era Valentine Tanks. Used extensively by the allies, these are duplex drive (DD) variants designed for amphibious landings. These examples were lost during Exercise Smash in 1944, a training exercise leading up to D-Day. A further 5 tanks were lost and sadly six of their crew drowned. 


The models are derived from around 700 individual frames, all shot on one dive:-


Firstly, the intact example:-




Secondly, the damaged example:-




The tanks are annotated to highlight a few of their features.

#354946 Flickr selling Creative Commons photos?

Posted by decosnapper on 03 December 2014 - 12:08 PM

Yeah, but it will probably come as no surprise to find my views less than positive...


As far as I can tell, Flickr are using the Creative Commons CC-ND-CA-BY material for commercial gain via print sales, with no revenue share being handed back to the creator. That's the nutshell...here's a longer view.


Creative Commons has at its heart a series of tags that allow photographers (amongst others) certain use rights without asking permission first. So by tagging the image CC-BY-NC-ND means anyone can use an image as long as:-


BY - there is a byline or credit. 

NC - non-commercial.

ND - no derivatives


The credit bit is basically an assertion of moral rights. Generally these need to be asserted, and I charge double for anyone not crediting my work, but nevertheless BY makes it clear. Non-commercial is interesting as I charge for pretty much every single use with only prints (tangible objects/physical goods) generally being given away...bloggers, twitter users, corporations, charities - basically the rest of the world who functions with money - pays. Many who think their use is free fail to remember they are paid a salary, their employer has overheads with everything from the cost of the building to the tea/coffee fund etc, yet there is 'no budget for images' whilst at the same time issuing shareholder dividends...I digress...Finally the no derivatives means no on may alter the work as it stands.


As I understand it (feel free to chip in if you use CC... been a long time since I looked at it...) you cannot revoke a CC license. Its a one-way street and once published as such, there is no going back. So what I hear you cry? Well how about you find the Anti-Nazi/Nazi League using your images under CC and as your moral values are not aligned yet your name is associated you want it removed and them to stop using the image? No matter how much you object and find it objectionable there is nothing you can do.


So Flickr are using the work of their members and quite within the terms. The members are wondering why...and I am wondering why no one didn't see this coming? It is, after all, the new way of making money; free content and no sharing of the dosh. And no, there is nothing anyone can do - which is pretty much why I chose to give CC a very wide berth a long time ago.


Hope this helps?

#354330 Facebook thoughts

Posted by decosnapper on 14 November 2014 - 01:57 AM



​Since when does posting on social media amount to "giving work away?" I don't think I did.

The terms of social media use give broad use rights to the publisher and others. This can mean simple sharing amongst others or for full-blown commercial advertising. That's part of the deal. You get to showcase your work and in exchange give away very broad rights indeed. 




I should point out that if your costs of obtaining a great image are exceeding that image's earning potential in the market...... That is also capitalism.

Well yes, capitalism has indeed. Funny thing is I have never seen other photographers as direct competition really...and actively welcome competition as it raises all of our collective abilities...But my main point is those who espouse capitalism and derive significant profits or benefits have decided to put the cost of overheads for things like website content at zero. Or to put it another way those who publish my work have unilaterally set the fee at precisely nothing without asking me, even when there is a huge spoiler of a watermark running through the image that visibly asserts my rights and my phone number is embedded in the meta data...its just ignored. I really am at a loss to understand this...equally I am at a loss to understand why anyone would pay for stuff they can just help themselves to when there are no apparent or obvious consequences - that is until I show up and ask them to do the decent thing and pay only to be told "we don't pay for images..." and then the process of asserting ones rights commences...


This is not capitalism, its theft. This is not a definition of a functioning market between willing buyer and seller. This is what I mean by not being able to compete with free.




I am also not suggesting that anyone should allow people to use images for free. However art and picture editors will increasingly look at social media as a source for obtaining images as supposed to the "old way" of sourcing images which was contacting people that they knew. Perhaps reductions in image sales volumes is due to people not engaging with this process? 


Always made more sales by knowing who would most likely use the image before I created it, rather than using a scattergun approach. But even when I used social media to push my work, the volume of infringements did not slow down, nor did anyone make contact asking to use before publication. It became apparent that I was adding more material to a conveyer belt that eventually ended in infringing publication.




What I am suggesting is that we should use Facebook and other media creatively as advertising outlets for our images. 

It can be a great tool. Its just not worked for me. I'm taking a very long view on the image market and right now I am actively choosing not to participate in the electronic world. That does not mean I have stopped creating, nor does it mean I have stopped selling my work, its just not online. 




Your court case raised around £1400. I have been lucky enough to have made considerably more than that on single image sales where the purchasers originally found the images on Facebook! And I didn't need to go to court! Sure there is some unlicensed use, but the licensed use more than recompenses me for this.

Couple of points;


Luck is like hope - its great when an unforeseen sale happens but I don't see hope/luck as good strategy for business. When creating an image I usually have an end publication or use in mind. It is, if you like, stacking the odds of a successful outcome rather than relying on the chance of someone finding the image.



As for the court case, don't look at the headline figure. The judge "only" awarded £350 for two months online use - or £175 per month. The rest was further damages for ignoring a watermark and first british serial rights. The balance was costs. I was happy with the original valuation for what was quite a low traffic site and for the additional damages. I would have rather sold the rights, but that didn't happen and once published the infringer took away any chance of selling an exclusive license.


And whilst selling an image for a lot more than the court case achieved might seem like a good deal, without knowing the use rights that were sold its pretty much impossible to make any form of sensible comparison. Like I said, don't always take the headline figure at face value.


And sometimes its worth going to court to assert your rights, to stand up for fellow creators and help set guidelines as to why ignoring a watermark is a bad thing. I really wish other creators would stand up for themselves and in doing so help others, but I do recognise its a personal decision.


Finally I will add this; I have been known to refuse very lucrative use rights because the intended purpose of publication was not in keeping with my own values, or was misrepresentative of the subject in question. This right - the right to say "no, not at any price" is often overlooked by the masses - until something goes wrong that is. But by then its too late...right now I have an uncredited image doing the rounds, acting as a non-attributed advert you might say. Of the 3000 or so infringing uses there are political agendas, religious bias and other disagreeable uses I would not allow at any price. And all of this from an image someone else decided to share on my behalf...

#344929 Underwater Photography Challenge

Posted by decosnapper on 24 March 2014 - 01:35 AM

Hi Decosnapper or should I say Hi Simon, I haven't heard from you for a few months, well not since you last asked to come diving with us at Studland to take pictures of seahorses to sell (I seem to remember you wanted to help promote the work of the trust), even though you knew we do not allow flash or light under licensing conditions. Funny how you were happy to accept my 'opinion' when you wanted to come and get a dive, interesting that.



Are you sure you have the right 'Simon'? Apart from helping me ID some Hippocampus I photographed in Bulgaria's Black Sea last year, I can't recall being in touch with yourself for a very, very long time indeed?


As already stated, I have precisely no interest in photographing seahorses in the UK and have have nothing to lose or gain by a lifting or imposition of a ban on the use of flash. Equally, I cannot see there is nothing wrong with questioning the opinion of others who hold a particular view. Reason and debate is just part of a functioning democracy. 

#341060 BBC Natural History Request

Posted by decosnapper on 24 December 2013 - 01:06 PM

Places like this help hold the line...credit to the OP for a) asking and b) declining to give away and devalue.


Merry Christmas everyone.

#340964 Your Favourite/Best Image of 2013

Posted by decosnapper on 22 December 2013 - 12:43 AM

Apologies for really breaking the rules here...elsewhere I have been doing a 12 Days of Christmas meets Advent Calendar posting, revealing a new door each day...so rather than make Wetpixelers sit through the 12 doors again, I'm showing the first and last calendars. Here goes:-




And now for all the doors opened:-




1. The model Ivory Flame. Shot in a swimming pool.

2. Sunset over Brough Sound, Orkney.

3. Westland Wessex XS122 in NDAC, UK.

4. Alvis Stalwart in NDAC

5. Aquaman Cometh. Vobster Quay, UK. An image from this shoot now graces the front cover of this month's Canadian Diver magazine.

6. SMS Coln. Scapa Flow, Orkney.

7. Underwater iPhone with bubbles. Vobster Quay, UK.

8. HMS Scylla. Cornwall, UK.

9. Forward guns, SMS Karlsruhe. Scapa Flow, Orkney.

10. Bows of HMS Scylla. Cornwall, UK.

11. Ivory Flame again.

12. Fellow photographer Tony 'Goose' Neal. Tattoo based on an image by Alex Mustard. Inking of the tattoo by Kirsty Peake.


Just 36 dives this year. Would have been more, but a broken collarbone kept me out of the water for a bit...



#340098 Agency vs agency

Posted by decosnapper on 30 November 2013 - 12:47 AM

I have withdrawn all my work from stock libraries. The business - at the moment - is working on a race to the bottom whereby each competitor appears to be cutting fees in an effort to maintain market share. The business model does not work in the creator's favour. Here's why:-


1 x image sale at $1000 = $1000

Terms are 50% so agency make $500 and photographer gets $500


Now consider the 'secure market share' option:-


100 x image sales at $10 = $1000

Same terms so agency makes $500 and the photographers get $5


There is no incentive whatsoever for an agency to maintain fees as long as volume sales rise...


The best agent is yourself. Sell direct and sell high. If you have stock of clownfish images then maybe its time to shoot something else...if you have something unique and in need then cut out the agency, pick the phone up and negotiate the best terms for yourself.

#339790 Morel v AFP & Getty

Posted by decosnapper on 23 November 2013 - 12:44 AM

The jury has found AFP and Getty guilty of wilful infringement of Daniel Morel's images, awarding maximum damages. Full story here:-



#338750 Stitching images

Posted by decosnapper on 28 October 2013 - 11:41 PM

Try Hugin Bob. I used it to stitch some of a mosaic together.

#337865 Strobe "Shutter speed"

Posted by decosnapper on 07 October 2013 - 12:40 PM

Remember the camera has limitations; the shutter will only sync up to 1/250th of a second (or thereabouts). The camera won't (shouldn't at least) allow you to select a shutter speed in excess of what the mechanical curtain can cope with.

#331092 An open apology

Posted by decosnapper on 09 May 2013 - 01:55 AM

The UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has published a pdf that claims to "bust" the myths around this legislation. It seems that in order to use an orphan work, the prospective user will have to obtain a license to do so, and the process involved in doing this will be both complicated and more expensive than going direct to the owner in the first place. Full details are on the IPO's site:



The IPO are beyond useless. The IPO is staffed by career civil servants with career plans, pensions, paid sick and paid holidays. They will lose precisely nothing if the changes go ahead, and have a skid mark across their career if it fails...there is a vested interest in seeing everyone agree with their thinking. But they have consistently ignored photographer's concerns and this is just the latest attempt to placate the masses.


From Stop43 page, a considered view from the creators of the images the IPO consider fair game:-

The IPO says..

"There have been several reports and commentaries in the media incorrectly claiming that new Orphan Works provisions in the ERR Act will remove the automatic right to copyright for owners of photos posted online."

"In fact:"

"1. The powers will not remove copyright for photographs or any other works subject to copyright.
2. They will not allow anyone to use a copyright work without permission and free of charge."

... To correct the IPO... Except in a very few narrowly defined exceptions, Photographers work is currently AUTOMATICALLY protected under copyright legalisation and agreed by international statue. However, this Act will mean that unattributable works can now be supposedly exploited to benefit the economy, in a state sponsored scheme that could see them redistributed and used, without the author's permission or ability to negotiate their own payment with the user, or consideration of the author's moral rights (e.g. the right to withdraw permission for usage). These are rights which are currently protected under copyright.

... When the IPO refer to "permission", it is not the creator's or rights holder's "permission" they are referring to. Permissions currently protected in the Berne convention as 'the exclusive right of authorizing the reproduction of [their] works, in any manner or form' The "permission" they are referring to is that given by someone, or a body, as yet unknown and undefined unconnected with the author or rights holder. What qualification do they have to grant such permissions? Who's interests are they acting in? How will they judge the rate to be charged? What gives them the right to skew the free market in their or other's interest? No one knows. However, on the basis that the IPO and HMG have ignored every recommendation made to them by photographer's organisations during the consultation process, we have no faith they will be acting in our interests.

"A licence will be needed to use a work as an "orphan". This requires an applicant to undertake a diligent search for the copyright holder, which the Government appointed independent authorising body will have to verify, and then pay a fair price for the licence."

... No workable system of a diligent search has ever been tested and shown to work, let alone accepted any creators. The attempt at a definition recently made by the EU falls woefully short. Yet such a search is the cornerstone of this new Act. Without it the system fails, because a "diligent search" is what defines an Orphan, and it is the failure of that search which then classifies an image (or other work) as an Orphan. It is therefore in the interests of this scheme, and any would be exploiters, to design a search system that fails. Otherwise there would be no point in this legislation! Alternatively if we adopted the Canadian methodology where a board makes the decision, then there would only be a handful of licences granted per year . That won't happen because the promised economic gains of the scheme would be reduced to all but zero, having already been cut by 97% (!) from Hargreave's ludicrous assertions. 

... And of course we have already covered the issue of "fair price"! Who's decides what is fair? The buyer or the seller? Certainly such a system would never be expected to consider that any value could be attributed to the authorship. By definition it can't! A "Gursky" photo sells for millions, but an "orphaned Gursky" would have no value worthy of the creator. So what happens when an image is de-ophaned? If Bailey found an orphaned image of his being used under this scheme, would he be able to negotiate his normal rate? No.

"The Act itself contains a number of protections for photographers and other creators, described in the document below. In addition, the detailed rules are being developed with representatives of the photography sectors and other stakeholders. You will also have the opportunity to have your say on the draft Rules in a public consultation."

... We have been told many times that we will have our say over the past year. We and nearly every photography organisation has taken part in the consultation process. But virtually every objection or suggestion from us has been ignored. On that evidence it is extremely unlikely that having a "say" will have any meaningful impact on the scope of the Act and we will simply be included to legitimise due process.

... The IPO have no intention of protecting photographer's IP. Their aim is to see it exploited without considering what we would like to do with our property.


More here:- https://www.facebook.com/Stop43

#330579 An open apology

Posted by decosnapper on 30 April 2013 - 05:14 AM

As we are signed up to align with EU copyright law and to EU human rights I can't see how the UK can take this forward into actual practice without legal challenge. What a waste of money and parliamentary time. Will we see another 'U' turn I wonder? Lets hope so.


A coalition of creators (ITN, Getty, Pathe News plus others) have delivered a Letter Before Claim to the Minister responsible, threatening a Judicial Review...I would like to see this action proceed.

#325878 Scuba Diving Mag photocomp - grabs rights forever - be careful

Posted by decosnapper on 08 February 2013 - 09:48 AM

I'm starting to think we should -with other photogaphy organization/community- write down a "perfect competition rules" associated to a label.

Something like this perhaps:-


Its worth checking the Artists Bill-of-Rights site to see if the competition you are thinking of entering is listed on the Rights-On or Rights-Off list before considering entry.

Of course, when contacted organisers often say 'But its not our intention..." but that's not what the terms say. After all, why would a rights grab term exist, but to do exactly that? If they don't need the rights, the term can be changed...Treat the terms & conditions as absolute. That is what the legals will treat as absolute.

#325738 giving my first ever photo presentation...need sage advice...

Posted by decosnapper on 06 February 2013 - 05:22 AM

1. Never use flashy transitions between slides. They look (and are) gimmicky.
2. Use srgb colourspace.
3. Edit tightly. If the image is an also-ran or similar, ditch it. If the image adds nothing to the presentation, ditch it. Be ruthless.
4. Edit tightly (again) and only select the finest examples of your craft. Only display second best to explain where things went wrong and how the image could be improved.
5. Get the audience engaged and seek feedback.
6. If presenting to an audience makes you nervous, look at the back wall of the room and pretend its your mates you are talking to.
7. Have fun! An engaging presenter should have an infectious enthusiasm for the subject.

Good luck!

#323309 free images in reverse

Posted by decosnapper on 26 December 2012 - 10:10 AM

For the very few 'promotion' type freebies I have allowed to be used, I think precisely zero additional income can be attributed to the decision to give work away in this manner.

Its an activity that strokes the ego of the photographer. The higher profile the magazine, the more the ego is stroked...but never beyond that. In my experience at least. My ego likes a positive bank balance.