Thursday, August 24, 2006


I am a photographer and since I have more time & photos than money I give a lot of my work free to organizations I like to support. The donated work is copyrighted with a release for the organization to use it in their own publications/publicity but reserving all other rights. Yesterday I got a copy of a local weekly paper in the mail and discovered one of my photos on the cover of a supplement that was enclosed. The photo (above) had been submitted with a press release some months before, the paper had evidently retained it in their files and reused it.

When I contacted the paper, the editor claimed that he was unaware that the photo was copyrighted and that most people "are glad if we run their photo a second time". Well, the photo did have the copyright information in the EXIF data and I probably would have been happy to allow them to reuse it IF they had asked and IF they had given me credit. They did neither. Nor did they reference it to the organization I had granted use of the photo. They just used it for their own purposes. I suppose I should be flattered that they chose it as a cover shot but I'd like their respect too. At least enough to ask and give me credit if not pay me for it.

Follow-up: It was a case of sloppy, unprofessional work by the paper's editors. They tried to pass it off as "well, we had no reason to think it was copyrighted" and a plea of how tough it is to be an editor "we have to go over 300-400 photos per week". Yeah, right. I feel so sorry for you getting paid a regular salary to publish other people's work while paying them nothing.

Anyway they have agreed to print an "Opps!' and give me credit for the photo. I'll drop it there. Newspapers don't pay worth crap anyway. I did newspaper photography in college and quit when I figured out I was making 40 cents/hour by the time I took out my expenses.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Women in Religion (Irony Revisited)

It seems that the Catholics heirarchy aren't the only misogynists. The 1st Baptist church in Watertown, NY has booted a Sunday School teacher of 53 years on the basis that the Bible prohibits women from teaching men. The irony here is that my mother was a member of that very same church when she lived in Watertown. She later spent over 25 years as a Christian minister (Methodist), serving 10 churches in 4 parishes across the North Country.

Aside from the irony I can only observe that Mr. LeBouef (I can't bring myself to dignify someone that ignorant of his religion with the title "Reverend") needs to study the history of the Bible and his religion. For starters both 1st and 2nd Timothy (the source Mr. LeBoeuf quotes for his dismissal of Mrs. Lambert) are believed by many scholars to be later forgeries, attributed to Paul by their authors in order to lend authority to what they were saying. The content of those epistles, particularly in regard to the status of women, is in conflict with other writings of Paul that are of undisputed Pauline authorship. Add to that the facts that women have always been the backbone of most Christian churches plus the observations in my prior note (Daily Dose of Irony) and I find the level of bigotry by Mr. LeBoeuf to be incomprehensible.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Marcy Dam

As I approached the dam
the planks of the deck steamed,
last night's rain evaporating in the sun,
creating a swirl of mist
around the feet of hikers
standing on the top of the dam.

As I drew closer I realized that
those standing on the dam
were unaware that they were standing
ankle deep in a cloud of flowing vapor.
From their position, without backlighting,
it was invisible.

How many times in life
do we stand in the midst of wonders,
great or small, unaware...
because of the limits
of our point of view.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Forty Years

Today is our 40th anniversary. I joked to my wife that we got married on a shoestring and after 40 years we've worked up to a bootlace. Back then I drove to the wedding on a charged tank of gas with 30 cents in my pocket. This evening we celebrated by eating out. I paid with a credit card. Some things haven't changed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Daily Dose of Irony

There is plenty of irony in the world and I got my daily dose early today. I woke up with the sun and decided to read for a while before starting my chores. I've been reading PETER, PAUL & MARY MAGDALENE by Bart Ehrman and I was reading the section on Mary Magdalene.

There is precious little known with any certainty about Mary Magdalene. She is mentioned only 13 times in the New Testament and 6 of those are "parallel" (same story, different source) plus a few more mentions outside the accepted gospels. Despite the rumor (or should I say slander) started by Pope Gregory five centuries later, there is no evidence that she was a prostitute to be found in any of the sources. There is one thing however that is probably historically accurate. That is that Mary Magdaline was present at the crucifixion and was the one (though possibly accompanied by other women but no men) who discovered the empty tomb and reported the resurrection to the apostles. The author accepts this as accurate because her presence is recorded by every one of the sources, even those that are independent (i.e. not using one another as a source).

Prof. Erhman notes that she was arguably the first Christian in the sense that we mean the word today because she was the first to understand the meaning of the event. Prior to that event, the followers of Jesus were simply followers of a reformist Jewish teacher. It was the resurrection that set Christianity apart from the other sects and religions of the day and Mary Magdalene was the first to bear the "good news" or gospel of that event to the apostles, all of whom had gone into hiding after Jesus' arrest.

So where is the irony? As I was reading this I had the radio playing the news and there was a story about the women who have said they had been ordained as Catholic priests. The Catholic church has declared them heretics and threatens to excommunicate them. It seems that despite the fact that the most important point of faith upon which Christianity was built was first declared by a woman rather than any of the male apostles, the Catholic heirarchy still believes no woman is worthy of the role of priest. One wonders whether, without Mary Magdalene, these church leaders would even have a religion to rule over. Without Mary's news of the resurrection, Jesus might have been considered by history as just another wisdom teacher and his life would have been a footnote, rather than a major force.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Escaping close to home

Because gas is getting so dear I decided to escape to the woods close to home on the Tooley Pond Rd. yesterday. One advantage to living North of the Adirondacks is that the woods aren't far away. The Tooley Pond Rd. runs through a tract of state conservation land and follows the South Branch of the Grasse River. There are a series of waterfalls along the river. I visited 3, one I hadn't been to before and 2 that I had been to. I took my cameras and spent between 1 and 2 hours at each. This photo is of the smaller falls at Twin Falls. The larger falls is not as picturesque. After a day in the woods my atitude was greatly improved.

Friday, August 11, 2006

D- in Blogging

I guess I'm not much of a blogger. I haven't posted anything since April. I haven't even opened the site since then. I'm not sure today is a good day to be posting either. I'm bummed out. I'd like to go wandering in the mountains but this morning's paper had a photo of a gas pump that had $3.85 for regular. At that price I'm not sure I want to drive into town much less to the mountains. The oil companies are taking all the fun out of being retired. :-(