Rant Warning: Instagram and Facebook – they’re all evil and stealing my photos!

Intagram Devil

“Everything has to be free, and no you’re not allowed to make money off me in any way whatsoever!” Collectively we have become a whiny, spoiled community of hypocritical leeches expecting other people to do stuff for us, but without offering anything of our own (money or otherwise) in return.

We all knew it was coming, not exactly what, when or how, but that something bad was going to happen to our beloved Instagram once the Internet’s dark lord, Facebook, bought them last Spring. There was an uproar this morning when popular photo-sharing site Instagram announced changes to their terms of service that meant it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification.

Being a photographer who works for a camera gear website, my Facebook news feed was flooded with people utterly disgusted with the change and I’d like to address that. As creative professionals, we love to bitch about how people expect us to work for free, but we also don’t hesitate for a second to chastise someone else when they try to make a little money.

Instagram is a free app, so is Facebook. Don’t like how they use your information? Stop using their service. Do you have any idea how many man hours it takes to build and maintain something like that little free app on your phone? How many talented developers (who are also creators, artists of their medium) it took to create that thing that make your life easier, lets you connect with friends and family and helps you generate more business? I can almost guarantee that each of these photographers on my feed have had at least dozens of business leads through social media channels, and that’s money in their pockets. Money they would not have if it weren’t for the hard work of the people at Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and the hundreds of other marketing tools out there.

So when these companies try to find some way to monetize their product, everyone throws a hissy fit and calls foul. We are a generation of digital entitlement. The generation that pirates music, movies, software and anything else we can get our grubby little hands on. “I should be able to use your thing for free, because it’s not hurting anyone, but the big evil faceless corporations”. We only give a hoot when it’s our work that gets exploited. We do it all the time, “I should be able to use your song on my slideshow without paying a licencing fee, but you’re not allowed to use my photos because they’re mine!” It’s the same complaint every time and I’m sick of it. Not that I agree with the new terms of use policy, I’m just sick of people complaining, without taking action. They go on using the app, but with a chip on the shoulder. They’ll post status updates to the tune of “deleting Instagram,” “killing Instagram,” “goodbye Instagram” But in reality they go right on using the product. Why? Because it’s a useful product. Well then don’t you think the creators should be compensated for making it? It’s been said a gabillion times before, if you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product.

At the end of the day, the new changes won’t affect 99.9 percent of users. Your poorly framed, over-exposed snapshot of your omelet cooking skills won’t be featured in any cooking magazines. But please, please, please if you really think the new changes are unfair, switch services and use any one of these 11 Instagram alternatives, I’m sure the dip in users will prompt Instagram to reconsider and adjust accordingly, but the reality is there will be no noticeable change in usage and we’re all going to have to deal with it. Btw, if anyone is still with me, here’s what the update really means.

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Photo Challenge: Christmas

Our photo challenges are back, and just in time for the holidays. This weeks photo challenge is Christmas.

Photo by hjjanisch

Photo by hjjanisch

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Have a Very Bokeh Christmas, photo by Brandon Warren

The next photo challenge is: Christmas

Please send your photo submission to Photo@snapsort.com, along with your name, and a short description of the photo by the end of the day Thursday, December 27. 

Guidelines:

  • The photo should be taken by you
  • You may interpret the theme in any way you would like
  • You agree to allow us to share your image on our Blog and Facebook wall
  • You retain all rights to the photo
  • Please only submit one photo for this challenge
  • Please include a short description of your photo, along with your name
  • Email your photo to Photo@Snapsort.com
  • Be creative and have fun
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Save $700 on the Nikon D600

Nikon D600The Nikon D600 is currently selling on Amazon for $1996.95, which is a $700 savings. The package comes with a 24-85mm  f/3.5-4.5G ED VR Lens, 32 GB SD card, a camera backpack, free shipping, $100 gift card for Class on Demand and 2% back. B&H Photo has a similar deal, but it comes with a Lowepro bag, SanDisk 32GB SDHC card, a monopod and a spare battery.

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Storm Chasing

tornado

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This photo was taken by storm chaser Parrish Ruiz de Velasco. In the gallery above you can see the intense photos leading up to this shot. Here’s a description from the photographer:

It was like any other spring day in North Texas — hot, humid and the weather was ripe for a classic Midwest storm. Within hours, 13 confirmed tornadoes touched down across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. My adventure began approximately 15 miles south from where the photo was ultimately taken. I turned my flashers on and pulled over to shoot pictures of the ominous clouds that were painted in front of me. Within seconds the sky spit out an incredible twister. I didn’t have a clear view and seeing half a tornado wasn’t good enough. I followed emergency vehicles, took back roads and, before I knew it, I was in the tornado’s direct path with a perfect view from the ground up. By day’s end, I took more than 250 photos. My entire adventure and additional images can be seen here.

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10 Great Gifts for the Photographer on Your List

Gifts for Photographers

1. Digital Photo Frame
There’s nothing quite like seeing prints of your photographs for the first time, but sometimes you just need another way to show off your images without having to frame them all. This frame looks like it could hang with the rest of the photos and is a great alternative for someone who is constantly shooting.

2. 500px Plus/Awesome Account
The rapidly growing online photography community, 500px, helps photographers showcase their work while connecting with others and finding inspiration. Give your favourite shutterbug the gift of unlimited uploads and sign them up for an upgraded account.

3. Into Focus Lens Mug
Photographers eat, sleep, and breathe their craft. Now they can drink it too. This lens mug is a fun gift for the truly obsessed cameraperson.

4. SD Card
A commonly overlooked but no-brainer gift, an SD card is a great way to support your image enthusiast’s work. You will never hear anyone complain about having too much image storage and this 32g SanDisk card should do the trick.

5. Camera Keychain
A cute trinket, this keychain accessory is a fun way for someone to show off their obsession without having to wear a camera around their neck. It even makes a shutter sound and has an LED “flash”!

6. GorillaPod
For the photographer who loves to get that crazy angle or hates carrying around a full tripod, JOBY’s GorillaPod is a lifesaver. Sturdy enough to support an SLR with a zoom lens, the GorillaPod’s three legs can be wrapped around almost anything, creating the potential for truly unique perspectives.

7. 100 Ideas That Changed Photography
Creating can be tough, especially in a bustling industry. It is inevitable that, like all artists, a photographer will find themselves in a rut one day.  This book explains 100 concepts that changed photography over the years, giving new inspiration from the origins of the craft.

8. 50mm f/1.8 Lens
Whether they’re shooting Canon, Nikon, or anything else, this lens is a must for any photographer. The low aperture capabilities are essential to creating captivating portraits with blown-out backgrounds and highlighting key focal points. Check out the Nikon lens or the Canon lens.

9. Right Angle Mirror Spy Lens
For the photographer who isn’t quite comfortable approaching strangers or drawing their attention, this super spy lens is super handy. While the photographer aims the lens at one subject, it is actually taking a picture of whatever is 90 degrees to the left or right.

10. 4 Piece Filter Set
Of the many add-ons a photographer can use to create a specific look, filters are one of the easiest and most cost effective. This set contains the four most commonly used filters a photographer could want.

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