Decision 2012….


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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Is Photoshop Touch for Photos?

Photoshop Touch

As promised, today I am going to take a closer look at Photoshop Touch from the folks at Adobe.  Designed to give photographers on the go something for doing quick edits on their mobile devices (i.e. an iPad), Photoshop Touch is basically a light version of the full Photoshop application that sits on your desktop computer.

Since I will be putting together a more extensive article for Dave over at PhotographyBB, here I’ll just be doing a quick overview of the menus, what options you have for editing, and applying styles and effects to images.  Coming up in the magazine edition, I’ll also briefly discuss some of the features available for drawing and sketching your creative visions from scratch!

The Menus

Photoshop Touch has six main menu options from the top panel.  These serve to do things like crop photos, apply styles and effects, and to perform basic edits on things like white balance adjustments, add text, drop shadows, and other Photoshop-style functions.  Here’s a quick summary of each of the menus (courtesy of the real Photoshop and screen captures from my trusty iPad2)!

Upload to Creative Cloud
Launch Creative Cloud

Save to camera roll
Share to Facebook
Share to email
Send to printer

Add new Folder
Move projects

Duplicate project
Delete project

Connect to Facebook


Photoshop Touch

On my initial edits inside of Photoshop Touch, I can definitely see some stylizing effects that could be useful for the creative eye, typical of what you would expect to see in a “Lite” version of Photoshop.  What I am not seeing though, is very much in the way of photo edits…I don’t see an adjustment brush, and standard types of photo edits like red eye seem to be missing.  There is some potential there, including things like white balance adjustments, and perhaps with some detailed time in, I may ramp up the learning curve enough to make this a decent photo post production alternative for in the field…I don’t think it’s meant for that purpose.

This is more a lite version of Photoshop, rather than Lightroom.  It’s not really a photo manager, there’s no exposure adjustments that I can see intuitively available, nor are there things that I would expect to see in a photo editor like red eye, noise handling, dynamic range adjustments, etc.  These might be obtained through more detailed edits, but I don’t see Photoshop Touch as something for the field photographer.  It’s probably more of a detailed sketch pad for the graphic artist.

I realize here that I am probably creating more questions than answers, but felt that on a first look, it would be helpful to identify the apparent overall goal of the app.  Since it’s only $10 for the app, I am actually going to go ahead and give this a buy recommendation.  Given the features that it does have, I can see the occasional need or use for a photographer.  In the event you can also take advantage of the sketch features, so much the better.  Even if you only get use out of it 10 times in a year (that’s less than once a month), it’s worth the expense.  For the price, and all things considered, this is a pretty solid “lite” version of the full Photoshop.  It’s certainly no workflow solution, but definitely worth the time spent in it for occasional styling, edits, and quick touch ups when you are on the go.

So, if you own an iPad (and at a baseline entry price of $500) you can probably swing the $10 to go ahead with this app.  You can get it from the iTunes App store directly from your iPad, or download via your computer and sync up through that method if you prefer.  More to come from the Adobe front, as we look t Friday where I give another sneak peak into the beta release of Photoshop CS6 (in case you haven’t seen enough of Adobe apps yet! 🙂  )

What about others though?  Has anyone else downloaded this app and kicked the tires?  It’s kind of hard to justify kicking the tires on an app at $10, so not sure what others thoughts are, but if you’ve bought it to try it, share your thoughts here.  Got more questions about it?  Feel free to share those as well.  In the meantime, don’t forget to keep on shooting, and we’ll see you back here on Friday.

Editor Note:  Don’t forget, the March contest eds this Saturday, so if you’re not shooting yet, get it done soon for your chance to win a great book from Joe Farace, titled “Studio Lighting Anywhere”.