Saturday, April 28, 2012


(reprinted with permission from Marc Calderwood of the Idalia Road Marketplace newsletter)

I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.
- Michael Jordan 
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

- Winston Churchill 

The Key
That's right, I put up two quotes this month. Those of you who have noticed this will receive a FREE Vendors Notes next month. Why all the fuss? Well for the one thing I'm the editor, and I can give away FREE things if I want. Secondly, I've learned that the more I write the word FREE in caps the more you'll be attracted to this article. FREE, FREE, FREE ... see.

But, back to our monthly quotes. I like everything there is about success. I like the thought that such diverse people as Winston Churchill, an unwavering champion of the Twentieth Century, to Michael Jordan, a champion who turned sport into art have nearly the same thing to say about success. With one difference. Churchill's point is that the key to success is the element of enthusiasm.  I can only think of one reason Jordan didn't mention this key ... he lives it.

How do we live our lives with enthusiasm and carry that as a key to our success when there seems to be so many out-of-our-control factors? Well, the first rule is to understand we are only in control of ourselves. There will always be a swirling maelstrom of circumstances, that's just life. But, here are some ways to anchor and to maintain your enthusiasm within the storm.

1. Be Passionate - No matter what your job, if it's not your passion, then find something to do in the off-hours that you're passionate about.
2. Be Grateful - Whenever you feel like your having a real bad time, it's time to go serve dinner down at the homeless shelter.
3. Be Positive - Nothing kills enthusiasm faster than negative thoughts. Kill them before they stop you from being successful.
4. Be Proud - Talk to everyone about what it is you do. Their feedback will generate enthusiasm in you.
6. Be Creative - Who cares if your new hobby looks once again like a fifth-grade stick man. Create!  

Originally, an enthusiast was a person possessed by a god. Over the eons it has changed to mean a person  who is an "enthusiasts" one who is adventurous, constantly busy with many activities with all the energy and enthusiasm of the Puer Aeternus (Peter Pan Complex). To my mind it's one and the same. To become successful we must become possessed with enthusiasm ... and we should ... after all, God could have just as easily and enthusiastically created another seven billion rocks.

Marc, FREE

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Photography sites and metadata

Article by Tim Anderson of Red Dogs News (reprinted with permission)

Just when you thought you might be safe, along comes another story to shoot holes in your confidence. What am I talking about? I am talking about reputable(?) newspapers. Wait! Does that term really mean anything? Can newspapers be trusted with your images?
In the February 10, 2012 issue of the British Journal of Photography, there was a feature story in The Daily Telegraph’s online edition, Mail Online, about copyright infringement by that publication.
“Photographer Jonathan Kent first contacted BJP on Wednesday 08 February when he found that his image of Mary-Ann Ochota, a Channel 4 broadcaster, had been used by Mail Online without permission. After being alerted of the copyright infringement by its picture desk, a senior figure at the Mail swiftly moved to compensate Kent.”
It seems, however, that the same image was used again, without the required permission. The Telegraph came back with the response that, “…picture desks around the country are not always required to seek permission before publishing images.” Needless to say this is a very sticky situation that needs to be addressed professional, and actually quite simply: metadata. Compensation recovery and satisfaction is still ongoing in this case.
With most photo-editing software there is an ability to label your image with metadata. You can input a wide variety of information that will solidify your ability to protect your images. You can see from the Photoshop CS5 “File Info” example (below) how easy and efficient it would be.

File Info: Photoshop CS5
The Telegraph maintained that the photographer had no copyright data attached to the image that was used, therefore, they “felt” that the image may well have dropped into the public domain.
Many site providers also allow for inputting data to be attached to images. My provider, PhotoShelter, offers a well laid out, almost all-inclusive metadata section for each image on my site, and you can also fill in certain parts and that data will be automatically inserted into each image’s data form. Along with each picture, you can insert a wealth of data that will enable your image to be identified, and (hopefully) deter would-be thieves. With a Photoshelter site (below) you can also allow/disallow right click copying, add watermarks, etc.
Image and Meta Data from Photoshelter
In a book I recently received, “Get Your Photography on the Web,” author RC Concepcion writes, ” I know metadata doesn’t sound like a very sexy thing to talk about, but it’s absolutely essential when you are posting your images online. More and more, companies are taking to the Internet to find the images that they need instead of going to the big stock houses. Taking a couple of seconds to put some vital information in there will make all the difference in getting you paid, should someone want to use your images.”
So, how do you handle your info? Do you at least place the basic contact/copyright information? I know I am as guilty as most of you in not doing this properly. After I decided to write this post, however, I have placed metadata info in one of my galleries on my personal Photoshelter site,

You can also subscribe to Tim's weekly issue of Red Dog news by signing up for it at his blog.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

How To Draw Shadows Made Simple and Easy

Math and art go hand in hand more than we ever think it does (such as, in perspective and drawing to scale). However, I never thought of approaching shadows in this manner. But, after viewing this incredible video that makes it easy, it makes total sense! If the shadows in your art are not consistent to each other in regards to the light source, it makes for an image that not only doesn't make sense (and the viewer won't know why), but awkward. But, HOW we approach this in order to be consistent, I suspect, is not all that organized. Watch this video (it's really short) and see how simple it is. You will love the mathematical approach even if you don't like math at all!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Internet Piracy, Copyright Theft and Plagerism

Another great article on how to (as best as possible) impede thievery of your images posted on the internet written by Jonathan Bailey, a blog author of PT Plagiarism Today. The name of his article is:

"Adding Copyright to Exif Automatically"

In the article, he discusses how most cameras (even the point and shoots) give you the ability to embed your information into each image file whenever you take a picture. He also talks about best practices and the downfalls (because nothing is ever perfect) of each.

So, if you are concerned about copyright infringement and how you can at least make better attempts to prevent your images being hijacked, do, by all means read his article

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Are Your Prices Too Low or Too High?

How do you price your artwork? Do you know if they are too low or too high? Pricing is a personal and sensitive issue. And, even though it is personal, HOW and WHAT you price work for not only affects your sales, but others in the same exhibit that you are in.

 (image courtesy of Paula Scott: Molokai Girl Studio)

Carolyn Edlund wrote a GREAT article on this (and I've read quite a few articles on pricing-this one seems to hit all the bases). The article appeared on the blog, "Artsy Shark-a site for Emerging Artists". I hope you follow the link to read the article as it is one of the best articles I've seen so far in regards to all the issues that should be considered in pricing your work.

And, by all means, please 'share' this article on your Face Book, Twitter, Google+, etc. by clicking on one (or as many as you like) social media buttons located at the end of this post).

We also welcome your comments! Dialogue is always good...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Greetings to RRAA From Nora Curran in London

Greetings from a hitherto warm and sunny London. My first Sunday in London and decided to take in a couple of galleries. David Hockney is on show at the Royal Academy and the Victoria and Albert Museum had a special show on Europe from the 17th to the 19th centuries. What a privilege to be here and take in all those wonderful opportunities this megalopolis has to offer. Sorry to hear about your snowfall. Keep the home fires burning!
The Dancing Brush

London Bus

V & A Poster

Poster outside the Victoria and Albert Museum in London
(Nora asked me to post this for her)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What's Up With Pinterest?

There have been MANY discussions via forums, blog articles, etc. in regards to Pinterest lately. Most of us are confused and apprehensive.

In this You Tube video, join Trey Ratcliff  along with Thomas Hawk, Denise Howell, Kalebra Kelby, Patrick Di Fruscia , and Jodi Ettenberg for a lively discussion all about Pinterest, Photographers, Copyright, Online Sharing, etc etc...

Extra stuff includes but is not limited to: Sharing New Photography, Embarrassing Photos of Trey as a Kid, Other Photographer Discoveries..

Each of these participants have written their own articles on Pinterest on their blogs:

Pinterest Links:

I will be posting even MORE articles from other sources in the near future, so this discussion here is just the beginning...stay tuned!

If you can't remember to check back on your own, but would like notifications sent to your email in box, simply sign for email subscription here on this blog (and that' all you will get-nothing more-no spam!).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

RRAA Community Outreach via After School Programs

Rio Rancho Art Association's (RRAA) outreach efforts include working with several of the Rio Rancho Elementary Schools. We go in in teams of two and teach and art project as part of their after school program. It is an amazing experience for us as artists to share with such enthusiastic students! These kindergarten and first graders loved the flower power project -- even the guys!!