New Lightroom 5 eBook available soon

I’ve been hard at work this spring on a new eBook covering some advanced Lightroom 5 workflows. The book is called Multi-Catalog Workflow with Lightroom 5. This multimedia book outlines how to create multi-catalog and multi-computer workflows with Lightroom 5. It provides a thorough exploration of the tools and methods that are useful in a multi-catalog workflow. It also shows you how to combine these techniques into purpose-driven workflows that solve real-world problems.

This ebook is a true multimedia hybrid, employing the techniques pioneered by my friend D J Clark. Video is used where it’s most appropriate – to demonstrate workflow sequences in action.  It is accompanied by text that provides context for the workflow, as well as a list of steps that you can refer to as you put the workflow into practice.

I’m publishing this eBook directly, The book will be available in PDF form so it can be played on a computer, and it will also come in ePub form for use on a tablet.

Release is expected in June 2013.

Okay so it took a little longer. It’s available now.

Ink, Paper and Diesel Fuel

Once upon a time, print media empires were built on a platform of ink, paper and diesel fuel. The most important prerequisite for a publisher was the ability to afford the cost of distribution.  On top of that platform, an editorial voice or service was built, along with an ecosystem of advertisers, and an audience of readers. Record companies added the cost of vinyl to the mix, and broadcasters added access to a government-licensed monopoly of the public airwaves.

Because the publishers controlled the means of production, they were the gatekeepers of media and, to some extent, of modern culture. They became the intermediaries between the creators and the public at large. Publishers built success by curating a voice or a point of view, leveraging their distribution abilities to make a coherent body of work. Few creators could afford to front the cost of distribution, even if they could manage to do the production themselves.

The high cost of distribution helped to create a controlled ecosystem for publishing. The value proposition for any media could be calculated using some factor of the cost of distribution. For many years, photographers charged on the basis of image size and print run – fees were tied directly to the cost of ink, paper and diesel fuel.  This set a valuation that people could understand and created a relatively stable market.

Disintermediation describes the what happens when the intermediary players are no longer needed. Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Hulu, Google and a few more have taken the middleman out of media and retail businesses. Disintermediation is clearly happening, and it’s measurable. You can compare audience size, money paid, number of paid performers, profit sharing of the technical partners and more. If you have some good information to work from, it’s possible to form a good picture of the actual progress in getting rid of the middleman.

ZenithOptimedia recently came out with a list of the 30 largest media companies, and Google is at the top of the list with media revenue of $37.9 Billion. And the vast majority of Google’s revenue in this space is tied to a model of Disintermediation, where the gatekeeper simply opens the door, and lets anyone walk through.  Of course, there are still a number of companies that remain on the list that do function in a more traditional manner, but they all are working to adapt to the new environment.

The gatekeepers have lost their oligarchy, and, yes, the barbarians are at the gate. Electronic distribution has taken the hard value factor out of the compensation equation for creators, leaving a zero in place in some instances. In other instances, the multiplier remains, but it is so much smaller than the cost of physical distribution, that it amounts to nearly zero.

Crowd-sourcing is not the only model, thankfully. There is still room for a voice or a point of view that is curated. Yes, you can listen to a computer-generated playlist on Pandora, but I still prefer the surprise and delight of listening to great DJs like Mark Wheat at the Current (a real over-the airwaves station, in addition to an internet station.) I don’t think we’re anywhere near the end of curation. Rather, we are in a new world of curation where it’s possible become an editorial voice, despite your inability to pay the cost of ink, paper and diesel fuel.

Leora Kornfeld is doing some really interesting reporting on this subject.  She’s a Reasearch Associate at Harvard, studying disintermediation. Her blog De-mass’d reports on the phenomenon, providing good research into the specifics of the media reach, money earned, and implications of the demassing of mass media.  If you want to really get a handle on Disintermediation, and how it is actually taking place, put her blog on your reading list.

DNG Verification in Lightroom 5

I’ve been looking forward to the day this can be announced since 2007. In Lightroom 5, there is now a one-click solution to verify an entire collection of DNG files. It’s a really simple idea, with pretty huge ramifications from a data management standpoint. Interestingly, it’s nearly absent from any Adobe marketing materials for LR 5.

Read all about it after the jump.

DNG Verification

Near the bottom of Lightroom 5′s Library menu, is an item that lets you validate an entire collection of DNG files with a single click. It’s right below the “Find Missing” command. These two tools, when used together, offer excellent verification workflow.

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Lightroom Workshop Feb 6, Evening Presentation Feb 5

I’m doing a Lightroom Workshop February 6 at my studio in Kensington, MD. This one is sponsored by ASMP, so it’s a little less expensive than my normal program, although it’s just as action-packed.

Here’s the sign-up.

Also, on the evening of February 5, I’m doing a shorter program at the CDIA in Georgetown.

Here’s where you sign up for that one.

lightroom2

Complete description after the jump
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Instagram Terms – Still Terrible

Instagram made a big deal of backpedaling through the PR storm it created with the proposed Terms of Service (TOS) changes. They claim to be really sorry, and that they have learned their lesson and will respect their users’ wishes better in the future.

After reading the amended terms of use scheduled to take effect January 19th, 2013, I’m unimpressed with the changes.  Some extra-crappy parts include:

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Instagram creates terrible new user agreement

 

I’m generally not alarmist about web rights boilerplate, since there is often a lot of ambiguity. Nothing ambiguous about this. (Item 2 in Rights, emphasis added.)

Some or all of the Service may be supported by advertising revenue. To help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions, you agree that a business or other entity may pay us to display your username, likeness, photos (along with any associated metadata), and/or actions you take, in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you.

Note that this includes minor children.

If you are under the age of eighteen (18), or under any other applicable age of majority, you represent that at least one of your parents or legal guardians has also agreed to this provision (and the use of your name, likeness, username, and/or photos (along with any associated metadata)) on your behalf.

Oh, and you agree to indemnify them in case of breach of privacy. (That means you agree to pay their legal team in the event one of your subjects sues for being included in a viagra advertisement).

(Item 4 in Rights)

You represent and warrant that: (i) you own the Content posted by you on or through the Service or otherwise have the right to grant the rights and licenses set forth in these Terms of Use; (ii) the posting and use of your Content on or through the Service does not violate, misappropriate or infringe on the rights of any third party, including, without limitation, privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademark and/or other intellectual property rights; (iii) you agree to pay for all royalties, fees, and any other monies owed by reason of Content you post on or through the Service; and (iv) you have the legal right and capacity to enter into these Terms of Use in your jurisdiction.

And this part in Indemnification:

You (and also any third party for whom you operate an account or activity on the Service) agree to defend (at Instagram’s request), indemnify and hold the Instagram Parties harmless from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including without limitation, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, arising out of or in any way connected with any of the following (including as a result of your direct activities on the Service or those conducted on your behalf): (i) your Content or your access to or use of the Service; (ii) your breach or alleged breach of these Terms of Use; (iii) your violation of any third-party right, including without limitation, any intellectual property right, publicity, confidentiality, property or privacy right; (iv) your violation of any laws, rules, regulations, codes, statutes, ordinances or orders of any governmental and quasi-governmental authorities, including, without limitation, all regulatory, administrative and legislative authorities; or (v) any misrepresentation made by you. You will cooperate as fully required by Instagram in the defense of any claim. Instagram reserves the right to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter subject to indemnification by you, and you will not in any event settle any claim without the prior written consent of Instagram.

Note that this language seems to grant a license to the actual photograph, and not just the copy uploaded to Instagram. If they could find a high-res version somewhere, they may have the rights to that also.

The only opt-out is to delete your account.

The changes take effect January 16, 2013.  So, what does one do?  Well, I don’t see much option except to delete the account.  And if your tween or teen child has an instagram account (and many of them do), you’ll want to think about blocking that.

Instagram claims the rights to any photos uploaded after January 16th in perpetuity, regardless of whether you delete your account later.

(Cnet article here.)

This is breathtakingly horrible.

DIGITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS