I had the pleasure of giving a slide presentation (What are "slide" presentations called nowadays anyway???) to a group of business leaders 10 days ago. My intention was to run a canned show with music, but they asked so many questions, that I shut the thing off, and went though the pics one at a time, and we talked about most of them. It became very apparent, very quickly, that these otherwise intelligent and successful people knew very little when it came to things "oceanic".
They knew virtually nothing of shark-finning, or that commercial fishing is utterly devastating for the most part, or that farmed fish create a whole new set of problems and on and on. They didn't understand how changing climate can have a major impact on our oceans.
I don't know about you folks, but about 99% of my good friends are active divers, so I had forgotten that my circle of friends doesn't represent the "Average Joe" when it comes to this sort of thing.
As photographers, we have a unique ability to show the public a side of our planet that most people will never see. As a direct result of that talk, 82 people know a bunch of stuff that they didn't before. That talk also led to two more talks on the calendar. I have decided to dramatically shorten my "pretty picture" component, and provide a little more emphasis on the talk/education part in the hopes of expanding a few more minds.
Having said all that, one guy, who runs a successful business came up to me after my presentation and challenged me on my comments about climate change. He had seen "a scientist" on TV and "the scientist" said that it was all BS. I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that he probably say the guy on "Faux News"!
Ok, so I guess maybe a educated only 81 out of 82, but that's ok I guess.
Some companies just "get it". You're now a loyal customer for life. You have told a pretty targeted audience about your experience, and this will undoubtedly result in more sales for them. But that probably wasn't their motivation for replacing the light. Good people, making great products tend to do the right thing...
Well, I am a two -time Aquatica owner, so I've spoken to Jean and visited him at their offices a few times and he was always very helpful. But you kind of expect that, because I am a customer. I think that's his job... to help customers.
But in the past year, friends who have been struggling with their imaging have come to me for advice or help. I can often assist, but on two occasions I was completely stumped about the problem that they were having. One guy even posted on here and no one could help.
So in each case, I sent a note to Jean to see if he had any bright ideas. I should mention that neither of these friends are Aquatica users. Both use Ikelite systems. But in both cases, Jean responded within minutes to my email with the solution to the problem. Then he followed up a bit later with some 12 page technical paper that he had written that covered the the topic and solution.
As tempted as I was to take credit for this brilliance, I passed this information along to my friends who were amazed and happy!
So I tip my cap to Jean. He's a credit to Aquatica and a fabulous resource to call on.
Which doesn't mean you can all send him your bizarre questions.
I just read this thread as I have similar situation, although not so "advanced". I have noticed three diveshops have started to use my wreck images to promote dive weekends and the like. The awkward thing is that in at least two cases, the shops are owned by guys I know well... I would almost call them friends... In reality, had they asked, I would absolutely have granted permission to use them. They have left my watermark, and in one case, credit was given. It's hard to get too upset, but it's just a bit annoying. I'm currently in discussions with a national magazine to run a few images to "decorate" an article, and I think that having some of the same images used on LDS Facebook pages and websites diminiishes their worth... or is that just me?
Obviously, I won't be suing, but I think I will send each a note, and perhaps make a somewhat tongue in cheek reference to compensation... Free air minimum!
Getting back to the OPs situation, I wonder if it might be worth investing a few dollars and have a lawyer send a "strongly worded letter". As much as one might like to give Capt. Lever the benefit of the doubt, it is clear though his actions that he was well-aware that he was stealing images and presumed that the photgrapher would be satisfied with an ego-boost as compensation. Perhaps Stewart knows one in the area, which would lend credibilty as well.
I should add that I was at a nice little eco-lodge place in Belize recently. They were fond of my photos and I offered to let them use them on their website. It was a sincere offer. This place runs on a shoestring budget, and the images on their site truly sucked. The gratefully accepted them, and credited generously. More to the point, I recently inquired about a return trip, and noticed a very significant discount on the quoted price... With a nice note about the photos. This is the best kind of compensation for an amateur like me... the non-taxable kind.
If companies realized how cheap some of us are, a token can go a long way. Want a picture? Give me free Nitrox. Want two, toss in a night. Goodwill only goes so far...