Category: Photography

It’s the end of the year, and that means it’s time to copyright your photography. Every time I do this, I forget how it is done, and I have to look it up. Here is what I did this year.

PhotoShelter has a good guide on how to use the US Copyright Office’s online “ECO” system:

Sure, it’s old, but I still works. However, it is unclear about two issues: how do you handle a large group of images at once, and what can you submit in a single copyright submission.

As far as I can tell, you can upload a year’s worth of your unpublished images in one go, and you can upload a year’s worth of published images, but you can’t mix published and unpublished in a submission.

And, while I submitted only once this year, those of you who are a busier will want to submit more often! That’s when the record keeping — a collection in Lightroom, for example, and metadata taggin — becomes important so you don’t double-submit, or fail to submit, photos.

Unpublished Photos

I gathered all my significant unpublished images, added my name to the metadata if it was missing, and exported them from Lightroom to fit 600×600 pixels, JPG 65. I compressed them into a “zip” file (on the Mac, that’s in the Finder menu File:Compress). Your file must be under 500MB, and mine was. Those small JPG’s are about 55 kb each.

My zip file, containing the small JPG files, is named “2016 Copyrighted”. I will hold onto it — it’s less than 500MB — just in case I need it some day.

After entering all the registration info and paying my $55, I was able to upload the zip file of photos to the copyright office.

Published Photos

I did the same with my published photos, having gathered them together into one group. I chose the date of the first publication of the first image in the set as the publication date. I think I can do this because of Peter Krogh’s notes and other commentators.

Then, I made a collection in Lightroom called “Copyrighted 2016” and added them to that collection. And, I marked their metadata as “Copyrighted.” That way, I know I’ve submitted them, and I don’t try to do it a second time (which apparently can be bad if a lawyer finds out).


Your yearly submission is going to cost at least $110, because each submission (of a group of pictures) costs $55.

PhotoShelter & Pixsy

Finally, I uploaded all my copyrighted images to a special gallery on PhotoShelter (in a small size). This way, I can use Pixsy ( to automatically scour the internet to discover violations of my registered photos!


Wondering whether there is a market for iPad books? Well, there sure are a lot of iPads out there, bought by people with extra money to spend, who are always looking for another $5 treat.

Rik Myslewski in San Francisco just wrote an article about predicted iPad sales, which I found here. With almost 30 million sold by June, he predicts another 20 million sales to come. That’s a lot of potential customers to buy your book.


“As of Apple’s last fiscal quarter, which ended in June, 28.7 million iPads had flown off the shelves in the year and a quarter that they had been on sale. And if history is any guide, we’re going to see another iPad sales surge: during the holiday quarter of 2010, Apple sold 7.3 million iPads, a nearly 75 per cent bump up from 2010’s third calendar quarter sales of 4.2 million.

“Now, we’re not saying that this holiday quarter will see an equally ludicrous leap – after all, in 2010 the iPad was rampaging through early adopters like a voracious virus – but just for giggles, let’s say that those 20 million Foxconn iPads get sold this quarter, and that the 2010 holiday-buying bump-up repeats itself: that’d mean that 35 million iPads would be found under Christmas trees, Hanukkah bushes, and Kwanzaa candles this year.

“Ain’t gonna happen, of course – but 21.9 million? Sounds doable.”

I’m using my Leica M lenses on my new Olympus E-P2, and I’ve discovered they are generating a lot more “grain” than the m-Zukio 17mm lens that came with the camera. I’ve seen it in all conditions, with different lenses (Leica and Hexanon).
While the image is nice and sharp, with some good detail, you can see “grain” in the sky and flat areas.

Image shot with Leica 28mm lens.

Now, look at an image show with the same camera but using the m-Zukio 17mm lens that came with the camera.
This is the center of an image shot with the m-Zukio lens.
Notice the sky, in particular. It’s quite smooth, especially in comparison to the Leica lens image.
Now, I have also shot side-by-side comparisons, and I can tell you the same effect is happening there, so this isn’t about differing conditions. Also, I only shoot RAW files, so this isn’t a post-processing issue. It could be related to something the camera is doing when it creates the RAW file — I think the E-P2 compensates for lens distortions — but my real suspicion is that the light is hitting the sensor at steeper angles in the Leica lenses. Really, that’s all I can think of.
Ideas, anyone?

How do you shoot a story about events long gone by? Usually, you document the current impact of those events. You show the people and places as they are now, the scars of past trauma.  Ken Foley in his garage You also look for environmental images to illustrate concepts: some subjects in my current project have bad, bad dreams. This little girl, a relative of Antoine Goff, is perfect dream demon in this shot:

Little Girl
What if, instead, you do wish to talk about tales gone by? I’m going to try photographing scenes, as Kratochvil did about Abu Ghraib. As a photographer, perhaps it’s legit to make comments about what I know, what I read, as well as recording actual events. Toward that end, I’ve purchased a fancy toy gun and contacted actors via Now, the question is…will it work? Or will this experiment just look like, well, cheap shots? 

Exhumation at Hillah

I can’t help wondering how a different photographer, perhaps James Nachtwey, would have shot this particular image. I haven’t seen any other versions of this scene which see the menace of the back-hoe and the scurrying ant-like people. Would he have come closer, shown more interest in the man with the mask? To me, the man was simply one of many people, not the representative of the scene. The machine is the star of this picture, the monster in the middle.


Someone like Kratochvil would have come closer, I think:


Earlier Kratochvil (circa Broken Dreams) might not have tilted the image, but he might have put that big, blurred, frightened face in front.

Just a thought about the different ways one might capture the same scene.


Questions? Comments? Write me.


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© Copyright 2014 David I. Gross