It’s Time to Choose…

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Yesterday I shared some thoughts on the quagmire of problems we face as photographers – copyright and small business issues run the gamut, and it’s not an easy decision.  I’ve made my decision though and am heading to the voting booth today to cast my ballot.  Neither candidate really represents me, but I do have to make a decision on who I think is better suited to address the myriad of issues we face in the coming years.

Regardless of your thoughts about politics in general (my wife can’t stand politics period), or if you lean to the left or the right, getting out and voting is the only way we can make sure that the officials know we still care, and that they’d better be respectful of that.  We are the ones that put them in office, and we have the power to remove them from office if they don’t respect our goals as a society.

Make sure you vote today – now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure those who are elected know that they must represent us!  If anything, it helps to know that after today, the ads, campaigns, and such can stop for at least a little bit.  It’ll be back to the usual rhetoric! 🙂

Decision 2012….

Copyright

I am in a bit of a pickle.  As a creative, one of the things that concerns me is copyright.  Over the years we have seen it take a beating – people taking liberties with it, rights grabs from big corporations, yada yada yada.  It makes you like big companies (a.k.a. concervatives) less because of how much of a beating respect for copyright takes.  For instance, take a look at the recent case from Apple – they are being sued by a photographer because they used her image beyond the scope of the licensing they purchased.  The full story is here.  She was smart though – her work was registered, and she had gone through an agency to represent her, and when usage went beyond the scope, she is fighitng to protect her copyright.  Yay for her, boo for Apple.  So that means I should shy away from the Romney platform, right?  (Big business and all…)

On the flip side, as a photographer, I am also a small business owner.  This means that I take deductions on my taxes for using part of my house.  I take partial deductions on the mortgage, utilities, internet, phone, and car.  Heck, I even am entitled to take deductions on equipment (depreciation and all that).  It’s just good business sense.  The money I save from that has found its way into a retirement fund (a pittance really, but still – I’ve invested in the stock market).

So, in that vein, the conservative platform usually will try to reward investors by limiting capital gains taxes, while the other side of the aisle tends to prefer to tax those profits I’ve made on investments.  Call me crazy, but I don’t think I should have to pay taxes on my investments.  After all, I’ve paid taxes on my income.  I then take that income and invest it, why should I be taxed again because I happened to make a smart investment that made money?  I don’t think so.  So, that means I should shy away from the Democratic platform then, right?

It’s really an odd position to be in, because I don’t really identify with either party – either Republican or Democrat.  I consider myself more of a libertarian – conservative on fiscal issues, liberal on social issues.  Neither party really represents me.  Has anyone ever thought of how many people fit into this niche?  One where your interests really aren’t represented by either party?  I am thinking now about anyone who identifies as either an Independent, Libertarian, Tea Party, Green Party, or any other party not represented in the coming election.  Who are we supposed to vote for?  After all – we need to vote, right?  it’s our civic duty!  What if neither party really has our interests at heart?  Don’t vote?  That’s a tough pill to swallow.

In my mind, if we don’t participate, we really don’t have a right to complain, and I’ve got some complaining to do!  That means I have to vote!  But who gets the nod?

It’s definitely a quagmire and there’s obviously a lot more to it than that, but when you look at it from the perspective of a photographer – there are points that make me lean toward Obama, and others that make me lean back toward Romney.  I keep hearing that it’s a critical election, so this time more than ever, my vote may count (I live in a swing state).  I’d love to hear others thoughts on this.  Very few photographers talk politics, and it’s probably worth discussing.  You don’t necessarily have to tell me who you are going to vote for – but what issues are big on your mind these days?  Raising cost of living?  Taxes?  Copyright?  Gas prices?  There’s a lot to consider, and I know the presidency doesn’t really control all of it, but something tells me this election will matter more, and I want to make the right decision.

Help me decide who to vote for in 2012…

Have you made a decision on who to vote for tomorrow?

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Cameras at Ten Paces…

If you think about it, cameras often share terminology with them…we go out to “shoot”.  We aim, we fire, and our shutter release is often analogous to a trigger not only in what it does, but in the proper technique (slow and steady as you exhale).  So, when I read recently about a camera holster, it kind of made sense.  The entire system seems kind of cool, and they claim it’s designed for “even the heaviest of professional grade camera gear”.  In a line of work where gear is often just off-the-charts expensive, I was surprised to find the Spider Holster system in its entirety happily priced at just a tad bit over $100 ($109.99 plus shipping).

They’ve got some interesting videos and product shots on YouTube and their website, so it might be something worth considering if you are interested in eschewing the traditional camera bags, shoulder straps, neck straps, and other more typical carrying scenarios.  What I liked is that it takes the pin that attaches it to your belt and moves it off center so you can easily and comfortably rotate between shooting in portrait or landscape mode.  It also looks cool that the setup allows for use of just a regular belt that you would normally already have (although they do recommend that you use their belt for the heavier gear…)  Here’s a few of their product demos embedded here…

It does have almost a cowboy look and feel to it, and for the street photographer or serious photo walker it could be very useful, regardless of whether you feel like John Wayne or Dirty Harry.  Consider it a lightweight approach also if you are out scouting new locations to shoot.  Another feature that I like is that it also seems pretty able to keep your gear from falling from looking at the other videos of people running with the belt, going up and down stairs, and even snowboarding with it.

All in all, it seems kinda cool, and I’d say it’d be something to look into  as the summer months approach if you want to be “light and mobile”.  (This would have been very handy when in White Pocket, AZ).  Their company website is at www.spiderholster.com if you are interested in learning more about them.  The only question that really remains to be asked on this gear is:

Do ya feel lucky?

(Okay, lame, but it just had to be said!  Happy shooting and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!)