Monday, November 29, 2010

Photo Contests

This has been a pet peeve of mine for years. It seems innocent enough. You find out about a photo contest, find your best photos, then upload them. Along the way you select "Yes" or "Agree" to every checkbox you encounter, never bothering to read what you're agreeing to.

You may be lucky enough to win, and that's great. But let's say you don't win (like most people) - what have you just agreed to? As an example here's an excerpt from the Smithsonian Magazine's latest photo contest:

"By entering the contest, entrants grant the Smithsonian Institution a royalty-free, world-wide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to display, distribute, reproduce, and create derivative works of the entries, in whole or in part, in any media now existing or subsequently developed, for any educational, promotional, publicity, exhibition, archival, scholarly, and all other standard Smithsonian purposes. Any photograph reproduced will include a photographer credit as feasible. The Smithsonian Institution will not be required to pay any additional consideration or seek any additional approval in connection with such uses."

Sooooo ... for absolutely no compensation you are giving Smithsonian the right to use your image(s) in any way they want ... forever. Did I mention that you get not a dime from them for that right?

For some contests your entries are limited in size, which is a good thing because it limits the potential usefulness of your image by those running the contest. But the Smithsonian has no resolution requirement:

"Digital photographs should be taken at the highest resolution possible."

Oh, and maybe you're thinking they severely limit how many images you can enter. Nope:

"You may enter up to seven (7) photographs in each of the five categories with a total contest submission of thirty-five (35) photographs."

Thirty Five is a LOT of photographs. And you're just handing over hi-rez copies to a magazine to use any way it sees fit, forever, with no compensation.

Still interested in entering that contest? I'm not.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Feeney's Nursery

The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and for something new this year my work is included in a special item produced by a local landmark. Feeney's Nursery has created an "afghan" (aka a "throw" or blanket) with nine images of local Bucks County scenes, and one of my images is included. The image is a popular winter scene of Lake Afton in Yardley. They are selling it for only $59.99. As an added bonus the store is also selling copies of my prints.

Forgive the quality of the photos below, as I took them with my phone.


Site: Photography by Matt Schrier