Boy and Dog

Posted on Oct 17, 2015 in photography

A boy and his dog stop to watch the slowing sunset as it rest over WindanSea Beach.  These are the dog days of summers end.


You are a Ghost

Posted on Oct 16, 2015 in photography

I saw this quote and it perked me up.


Your Purpose

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 in photography


El Nino October

Posted on Oct 14, 2015 in photography


Baneara means bathtub in Spanish and that is what the ocean feels like here.  It is close to 76 degrees which is about what you would expect for Hawaii, except we thousands of miles away here in San Diego.  In any case the days are hot, the nights are long and the waters are warm in San Diego this October.

The Instax 210 – Cure for the Tiny Instant Photo

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 in photography

instax-fuji-wideI just bought the Instax 210 (Fuji’s Wide Angle Instant Camera) on special at Amazon for $100 and it came with 3 packs of film.  I learned about the camera from a 4 year old kid – Hawkeye Huey.  I saw his extraordinary work and wondered how he shot it and then I saw his camera.  It’s funny.  You can learn new things from anyone – even a 4 year old kid if you pay attention.

Well, I have been testing this camera this afternoon and I must say I am not disappointed.

Here are some reasons why I really like this instant camera

#1 – Big Prints

The number 1 reason I love this camera are the big prints.  They are twice the size of the original Fuji Instax prints, and about the same size of the Poloroid.  Tiny prints were always my pet peeve with the original camera but Fuji solved that with this extra wide camera.

The prints are 2x the size of the regular Instax cameras.


#2 Film Price is Reasonable

I have been using the Impossible Project Instant Film for 3 years and while I love it, I swear it is super expensive.   I pay about $3 an exposure plus the cost of shipping.  Like I said, I love it but I can get Fuji film for about $1.25 an exposure and I do not pay any shipping through Amazon.  The price makes it a clear cut winner.

Impossible Project is beautiful film, but I will save it for special occassions like when I want to peer through a tennis racket.


 #3 Selfie Mode (That’s right it is cool)

Fuji provides a little extension with a mirror that can be clipped on to the lens with a mirror so you can get a close up perfect selfie.  You can turn the camera around and take a shot of you and your friends and get everyone in the picture.


#4 Picture Quality is Great

Instant cameras can give really crappy pictures sometimes but I have been really surprised at the contrast, tone and colors in the Instax 200. I would have to say quality is great for a cheaper instant camera and well worth the price tag.

Picture quality is great, facial quality I cannot vouch for.


 #5 – Simple Controls

Fuji put some good effort into the design of this camera making the controls fairly easy to use.  It took me about 3 minutes to figure out all the bells and whistles on this camera and there are basically 3.  You can control the focal distance (between .9 and 3m), the lighting (brighter, normal, darker) and turn the flash on and off.  Really what more do you need? Not much. But if there was one thing that might be nice is ability to control focus.  In any case most of the pictures I took were in focus.

My Final Conclusion – 5 Stars

I give this camera 5 stars and a french kiss, the highest rating of any instant camera.


Seagull Pond

Posted on Oct 3, 2015 in photography


Photography ID Theft – When Someone Takes Your Entire Photographic Identity.

Posted on Sep 26, 2015 in photography


I work in fraud management.  I help banks and companies prevent fraud such as identity theft where someone steals their customers information, poses as them and then proceeds to sack their credit cards and bank accounts for everything in them.

But recently I have run into an altogether new problem – Photography Identity Theft and the victim appears to be me.  The person using my photos didn’t just take one or two photos, but literally thousands of my pictures and tons of my blog post and posted them all on his own site.

I am not going to mention the Guys Name But here is a blurred picture of him.

Here is his blurred picture.  I found it on his Facebook Page which was choked full of many of my photos that he was claiming to be his own.  Most of the stuff on his Facebook page was recently deleted, perhaps there are other photographers going after him too.

picture of this guy2

To make a long story short,  I wrote him a nice message on the site advising that he could pay $50 a piece for the pictures, or remove them from the site.  He removed the pictures, that were on this site – The Original Site, but then promptly posted them over to another site thinking I would not notice – The New Site.   And not only that but he continued to steal pictures and put them on his Facebook page.

Anyway, I took screen shots of everything to inventory all the pictures and blogs he plagiarized.  You can’t trust someone that sneaky to ever tell the truth or be honest so I have proof of everything he took.

1) Many of my Blog Posts Were Plagerized Word for Word (minus some key details)

I have over 1000 photography blog post in the last 4 years.  This guy combed through them daily and updated his own blog with my original pictures but also my writing word for word.  Well, he did change a few things.  He was careful to remove pictures of myself or my wife and to remove any mention of my name from the post.  He also changed dates (often to dates prior when I posted the blogs to make it appear that he posted them before me).

The shot below was a blog I wrote for PetaPixel that he plagerized word for word and put on his own blog.

A post I wrote for PetaPixel 2 years ago appears under his site with a date last week. 


2) The Guy Downloaded and Appropriated Entire Galleries

The guy likes San Diego.  That is for certain.  I can tell in the pictures that he choose and the blog post.  But I was shocked to see entire galleries that I had created and uploaded for years posted to this guys site.  There appeared to be thousands of my pictures across various galleries he decided to appropriate for his own site.


3)  He Posted Tons of My Pictures on his Facebook Page

Even after I told him to stop taking my pictures he still took pictures and posted them to his Facebook page.    When I pulled up his Facebook page tonight, he had posted 2 new pictures.

This post of my pictures on his Facebook page from 2 hours earlier. Shocking.


4)  It wasn’t only my pictures he was stealing. But other photographers as well.

Through simple image searches on google, I was able to find many other pictures on his Facebook and personal site that appear to have been lifted from other photographers too.  This is an awesome picture taking by Joshua Kelsey of Outline Images. You can find the original on this site – Outline Images but that didn’t stop him from posting the image with the outline images watermark somehow mysteriously missing from the photo.

outlineimageOr this photo by Larry Marshall from Carlsbad.  It’s beautiful, and this guy posted to his own Facebook page.


Or this picture he took of mine.  Someone ask him, “Did you take this”?  I think they were suspicious of this guy too.


5)  Apparently he is planning to walk from the South Pole to the North Pole

His website indicates that he will be taking the “Longest Man Haul Journey in History” which sounds impressive.  I just question why somebody with such lofty goals and such drive and determination would be too lazy to pull out their camera and take some of their own pictures.  Surely he must have more important things to do.


6)  He Tried to Hide his Tracks after I sent him this Letter.

I tried to send him a friendly note to get him to stop.  Rather than reply to me to explain himself.  He just took the pictures down and put them on another site.  Now that is sneaky.  The only way I can think to get this guy to stop is to call him out on it  publicly so he doesn’t think he can keep his charade going.

I sent him this note.  He took the pictures down and moved them to a new site to avoid detection.

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 9.17.01 PM

7) He apparently quit Facebook because he doesn’t want “Zuckerburg Using His Content”

I think it is particularly ironic that he wrote a blog called, ‘Why I am retiring from Facebook” which of course was plagiarized completely from this site – the original article.   Notice any similarities between that and what he posted on his site – the plagiarized article?  Anway, the reason he points out that he is quitting Facebook is that he doesn’t want “Zuckerburg using his content”.  Well thats ironic isn’t it?


What is this Guys Motivation?

When I first discovered this a few weeks ago I was initially shocked and a bit upset.  But I spent a week thinking about it and figured there had to be a reason for someone to steal pictures so blatantly.  He wasn’t trying to make money or sell the pictures.  It didn’t look like he had a photography business and was trying to pad his portfolio.

Those are the two main reasons people usually do this.  After a lot of thought I finally figured out that he just wanted people to think he took pictures all over San Diego and traveled a lot.

I found a few kickstarter projects he was working on to generate money for his walking trip from the South Pole to the North Pole and I think maybe he wanted to show that he was a guy that traveled to a bunch of different places.

Since I had pictures of a bunch of different places that I traveled to it became a good source for him.

What Have I Learned?

I have a pretty liberal policy with photography. I rarely charge anyone for a picture and if I do all the money goes to my cause – Orphans in Vietnam.  Because of that I don’t really protect my pictures enough by putting big watermarks to prevent re-use of them without my permission or knowledge.

But 99.9% of people in the world are trustworthy and I always want them to be able to view my pictures without any watermarks.  It’s just those few bad apples in the bunch that take advantage and can’t be trusted.

Why do I consider this Photographic Identity Theft?

Stealing a picture here or there is annoying and I would rarely get upset.  When someone takes entire galleries of your work. When they take your blogs word for word and then make them their own.  When they repeatedly present your work as their own on their Facebook page. When they remove watermarks from pictures and all signs that the picture belongs to someone else.

In all these cases they are more than stealing a photo, they are stealing your online profile.  And in this digital age, when someone steals your online profile, your work, they are stealing your photographic identity.

And this creates all the confusion that real life identity theft creates.  For example, if Google sees my content posted on his site with a date 1 year earlier, they will assume that is the original article and return that in search results.

If someone wants sees a picture and they want to buy it, they might contact him.  This takes money directly from the kids that get money when I sell my photos – orphans in Vietnam.

And finally, I have to deal with all of the hassle of getting this guy to remove my stuff.  And he doesn’t seem easily convinced.  This could take a long time for me to unravel this guy from my stuff.

Photographic Identity Theft is a part of the new digital world.  It’s a price we need to pay for having our work easily shared to all.

But at the same time we need to protect ourselves and our work from lazy or greedy people that don’t want to do the hard work of going out there and taking pictures.

Seagull’s Aren’t Theives

Posted on Sep 26, 2015 in photography

How is it stealing, if you are feeding them?  Fight for seagulls rights.