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jams

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About jams

  • Rank
    Sea Nettle

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Profile Information

  • Location
    Vancouver BC / Around S.E. Asia

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Canon EOS 5D, Sea & Sea DX5000g
  • Camera Housing
    Seacam
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    IKE DS 125, S & S YS90 Auto
  • Accessories
    ULCS arms
  1. Thanks for the comments guys. For the record Craig, this was not in Canada. I wish it had been, because I could probably enjoy an extended holiday on the result of whatever action I took! Sadly this was in Asia, the names and locations having been purposely left vague so as to avoid any legal issues from bad press. I have a friend here who is a renowned photographer in his own right and he has similarly advised me to sit and have a friendly chat with the writer, for all the same reasons. This will be my next step. He feels that it is unlikely I'll get anywhere with the publishers depending on what they were told by the writer about the photos... Will let you know how this develops. Jams. PS. My friend also got on me about the need for contracts to define terms even for free usage. The point is now well-taken and the lesson has been learned!
  2. Hi all I have just stumbled into a situation of probably my own creation, but I would love some input and advice on what to do about it now, if anything. About a year ago, I showed a friend of mine some of my photos. He liked them and asked if he might use a few of them in some brochures and flyers for his business. I said yes because he's a good friend and his business promotes a nearby island where I used to live and work and may do so again. So, his general promotion of the place is in my best interest. A few months later, he told me he had shown the photos to one of the business owners on the island and that they'd be interested in using some in their brochure. I told them that of course they could, but they'd have to pay me for the usage as it was not in our best interest, only theirs. They declined and used someone else's free shots. C'est la vie. (I relate this to show you all that I am not into habitually giving away my work.) Six months ago, a local freelance journalist wrote an article on the island for one of our local magazines. He happened to come to my promotional friend for info. While there, he saw some of my photos and asked my friend if he could use them with the article. My friend asked me if it was OK and I agreed to let the writer use them for free as it was just a local mag and again was publicising the whole island. The article was published in the magazine using 3 of my shots (1x 1/4 page, 1x 1/2 page and 1x full page - a little bigger than I expected) in a 4 page article, not center page spread, nor cover shot. Sadly, the credit they gave me (my email address) was mispelled... oh well. Now here is the issue: a couple of months ago, my friend came to me and told me that the writer was recycling the article in a national airline's inflight magazine, would I mind him using the shots again as they were just recycling the article wholesale? No excuse, but I have a lot going on right now and I just said yes after a very brief hesitation where I wondered if I was doing the right thing. Anyway, I said yes. So imagine my surprise when I finally saw the magazine a couple of weeks ago - one of my photos was on the cover! And the article was center page spread! Wow! After the initial excitement died down, I started to think "Hang on, they just got themselves a free cover shot which they didn't ask me about." They had still used 3 shots, but they were 3 different shots to the original article (my friend may have mentioned using other shots when I said "Yes" above, I don't remember). Also, I realized they had not only cropped the shot on the cover, but they'd photoshopped the background right out, making it look kinda odd. On further exploration I find they have also used the shots broadly over the inflight mag's website. The magazine and website are changed each month. Now, I realize that from now on I have to make double sure of what's going on and insist on the proper paperwork before it all happens, but it seems to me a bit like they've taken the mickey with my generosity here. I have never had any communication directly with the magazine about their publishing my photos nor have I signed or been asked to sign any contracts pertaining to their use. I did meet the writer once briefly at a social event late one evening and he complimented me on the photos. I honestly don't remember if we discussed using them in the second article or not, but I'm sure I would have remembered if I was told they were going to go on the cover and on the website. Other than this, the writer and I have never had any communication - he has always had my friend pass on his requests. The other little nugget I have just discovered: the two magazines are linked by the media companies that publish them - one is a regional division of the other. So I guess I'm asking your advice on what I should do about it? I'd love to get paid for the work, of course, but this isn't really about the money - it's about encouraging publishing companies to do what is right and fair and having them ask proper permissions before publishing and manipulating your images. It might be worth noting that I don't live in the US, UK, Europe, Australia or Singapore so the idea of running to court might not be so applicable here. Please let me know what you think.... Jams.
  3. Another example of a good question beginning a long and interesting thread.... As a photographer, I agree with the idea that if a guide or someone in the group finds something, take a few pics carefully at your turn, then step back and let others in. As I'm also an instructor, I always try to take my pictures in an 'as obviously eco-friendly' fashion as I can, hoping others will follow the example! If I find something outside of the group, then I'll also photo a bit longer till I'm happy, then share my find with others. I do think this is a fair system. As a operator/manager/guide, dealing with guests whose skills are less than perfect is a tough juggling act. We understand that in a mixed group in situations like that above, the more skilled and environmentally-aware divers are going to be upset. However, everybody has paid the same money to be on the dive and presuming they are all certified divers on a fun dive, then no-one has asked to be taught how to dive. From our point of view, as much as we might want to take the cameras out of these guys hands and tell them they have to learn how to dive properly before we give it back, we just can't. All we can do is as politely as possible remind them of the delicacy of the underwater life that they're whacking with their fins and ask them to remember that other guests would like the chance to take some pictures too next time. Unfortunately, to many people even this gentle, polite nudge can and is often taken as some kind of affront to their prowess/manhood/whatever. It is sadly common that the kind of people who disrespect the ocean are the kind to flare up fast in this situation, often leading to name-calling, demands for refunds and bad-mouthing of the operator: "Don't dive there, they don't let you dive how you want..." etc, etc. Understandably, most operators don't want to start any incident that could ultimately affect business but definitely DO want to say something, and will. It just is often caged in such very softly-softly language to avoid confrontation that the message often gets lost or ignored. In many ways, as a participant in the group who wasn't able to get a shot because of their behaviour, you actually have a more 'legitimate' and 'acceptable' right, in their minds, to say something to them that they might hear better coming from 'a peer'. You can tell them that as a similar fee paying customer, you have as much right to see the pygmy seahorse as they do and next time would they mind letting you in? Whereas often in their opinion, the operator is only there to service their needs and how dare we criticize their ability in the water...? Jams
  4. Thanks Paul. I thought it wasn't a stupid question to ask! I guess I'll leave that RainX in the closet for now and stick with the fairy liquid... Although, here's a thinker: aren't most lens cleaning solutions alcohol based? Won't they therefore do the same kind of damage? Or is it the silicone that rainX leaves behind that's the problem? Any thoughts? James.
  5. Hi Gang, thanks for the posts so far... Frogfish - excuse my naiveness, but wasn't sure if the optical coating was on the inside or the outside of the dome (or on both). I kinda figured that an anti-reflective coating would be stopping reflections from within, but when we're dealing with a $1000+ piece of kit, I though it better to ask the question... Can any of the pros out there help us with this? Steve, James, Eric, etc...? I know some of you guys use the Seacam coated ports - any tips for us little guys so we don't ruin our kit? Thanks again, Jams
  6. Running a 5D in a Seacam housing and I want to take better O/U shots (you know, the ones without a field of blurry spots on the top half!). Had a friend bring me a bottle of RainX from the States, but read the label before applying (so sensible) and got scared by the warnings as I have the optical coating on my superdome. So, I'm wondering if it's safe to use it, or is it gonna melt off my optical coating? Anyone tried this or can give me advice? TIA, Jams.
  7. (Eric, etc - sorry if I posted this in the wrong place... ) Hey Everyone, Come take a look! I finally have a number of my photos up on the web. This is a friend's site for promoting the Gili Islands in Lombok, Indonesia, but all the underwater pics in the photo gallery are my work. http://www.gili-paradise.com/photo-gallery.php (Underwater pics start on page 4 of the gallery. The site is still being tweaked, so if you have any troubles, please try again later...) I hope you enjoy them and I look forward to hearing any comments or critiques you may have. All but 3 of the pictures were taken with my new Canon 5D in a Seacam housing. Thanks for your time. James.
  8. My 2 cents: (on- and slightly off- topic) I purchased an EOS 5D from Singapore back in June and with it the 100mm Macro USM and the 17-40 USM lenses. Recently I went on a trip up an active volcano in Java and stupidly changed lenses a couple of times in the dusty air (I can't afford 2 bodies). When I got back, I cleaned off all the equipment outside and in, and went and took a bunch of photos at a local ceremony. After about 100 shots, with the 17-40 lens still attached to the body, it suddenly stopped communicating with the body and I got error '00' codes showing up and a failure to lock focus. No such problems with the 100mm. I tried cleaning all the contacts, but this didn't seem to have much effect. Luckily, I was going back to Singapore that week and ran everything straight to the Canon office there for a pro service and cleaning. Service was fantastic, they did it all in less than a day for me (I was only in town for 36hrs) and I paid only a nominal fee for the express service. I haven't had any problems with it since. They didn't tell me that anything specifically bad had happened to the lens, so I can only presume they cleaned it in a way I wasn't able to. Bottom line, I guess (as they didn't charge me for a service - it was under warranty) is that if you treat your equipment well and clean the things you can safely clean and the equipment still doesn't work as it's supposed to, then it becomes the manufacturer's problem, so take it in for a repair/service. In this day and age, when our equipment is so internally complicated and delicate a regular servicing is worth it's weight in gold/missed shots. And I must say again that I was very impressed with Canon's service, especially as I was the one who'd put the camera in jeopardy and so I was expecting them to be difficult about it. Sorry about the slight wander off-topic... Jams.
  9. Hi Alex, I'm probably not telling you anything you don't know already, but I thought I'd put my 2p in... I recently started to look at selling my images and a pro photographer friend of mine pointed me to the following resources as tools for helping you calculate what fees to charge, depending on usage: www.hindsightltd.com - Photo Price Guide software www.fotoquote.com - fotoBiz and fotoQuote software *** Buyer Beware *** - I have no affiliation to either of these companies, and I cannot recommend one product over the other, as I haven't actually tried them yet, but I thought I'd put it out there to help the community at large. Hope this helps, Jams.
  10. Hi All, Also a Mac user. Had the same prob with my DX5000g. Graphic Converter does work to open and resave the TIFFs with no problems. Don't know about PCs, sorry. My 2 cents... Jams.
  11. Hi Zambo, I have had a dx5000g for about a year now and pretty much know it's ins and outs (I think!). I don't remember the manual being that bad, but I don't think there's another version out there. What are you having trouble with? Give us some specifics about want you want it to do and we'll try to help you out... Jams
  12. Hi everyone, My name is James and I'm and Canadian living in Bali. Used to be a dive instructor, but it didn't give me enough time in the water with my camera, so I quit! (Now, of course, I don't get to dive as often. Win some, lose some.) Been a background member for a little while, tinkering away with my little Sea&Sea Dx5000, but recently splashed on the Canon 5D and as soon as I can get a housing for it, will hopefully have some decent shots for you all to dissect! Looking forward to being a more active member of the community, dodgy internet connections notwithstanding. See you around...
  13. Just wanted to thank you guys for your comments - although I would have hoped a few more folks might reply too... (must remember to cross post next time!) Just to let you know that I ended up going for the sea&sea dx5000g, which I managed to get for a steal from a local supplier. Will be getting in the water with it in the coming weeks and I'll let folks here and in other groups know how it performs. Hopefully, I'll be able to post a few of the photos, too! (local net connections allowing..) James.
  14. Hello everyone, It's been a very entertaining, informative and unfortunately frustrating time for me over the last 3 weeks as I've been busy researching digital UW cameras and reading posts here and at digitaldiver and reviews whereever I could find them... Having started off with the Canon S60 in mind (as recommended by a local camera shop), I have now changed my mind more times than I have eaten this week and spent countless late nights cross-eyed at my computer trying to get a more definitive answer. So I am now doing what I should have done 2 weeks ago - signing on and asking... I seem to have narrowed my selections down to the Canon S70, the Fuji F810 or the Sea&Sea Dx5000g. Let me explain my situation and needs... I am currently working as a dive instructor in Indonesia, but would like to supplement my income by offering a tag-along-for-the-day photo service to students and fun divers alike. So my main concerns for a camera would be portability (hence a compact model), picture quality (do I even need to say that?), fast response times to catch those one-off moments both UW and on land and the ability to take a day's worth of shots preferably without opening the housing 3 times to change batteries/cards. I would also like it to be compact enough to take out of an evening with groups and not have to have it hanging around my neck. As far as my photo skills go: on land I use a Nikon F65 (35mm) SLR which I am slowly becoming adept with, and UW I have been using a S&S mx5 film P+S and again starting to get consistently better results (great results when using a friends dx3100!) All the cameras have some ability to function in manual mode, which I would like to be able to develop my abilities, all are quite compact and all are 5MP+ (enough for my needs, I feel?). However, here are my concerns: S70 - chosen over the s60 due to improved reviews re: focus and shutter lag times, but still slow in that respect, also more expensive... However, picture quality seems best of bunch. F810 - mixed reviews on pic quality, poor battery life, expensive xd cards, but cheap option and many comments around touting it as possible oly 5050 replacement... dx5000g - not many reviews to go by, but mixed re pic quality again! super fast focus/shutter time and good battery life. Made by specifically UW company, with 55m housing... As it goes, I'm leaning in the direction of the S&S 5000g, as a stable package that would easily take a strobe later in life, built by a reputable UW housing company. But the lack of feedback and reviews from current users worries me... Along with any recommendations or advice you may have, can anyone tell me of a decent dealer in Vancouver, Canada where I am this week, or of one in or near to Bali, Indonesia, where I am based? Sorry for the long post, gang. Thanks for reading it though. Hope to hear from someone soon! James.
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