Who owns the copyright to photographs?

Because of a strange, non-intuitive, and little-known quirk of the law, while everything employees do on the job is owned by their employer, the result is different in the case of independent contractors. Independent contractors own the copyright to any copyrightable works that they create, even though someone else is paying them.

This is known to HR departments and employment lawyers, so any business with the least amount of sophistication will require any independent contractor to sign an agreement signing away all of those intellectual property rights to the employer (technically the client).

However, an unsophisticated client, such as a consumer hiring a photographer, does not know about this, so we often come across the case where a consumer (such as a woman who hired someone to photograph her wedding) is outraged when she discovers that her photographer won’t give her the digital files that she thought she had paid for and was entitled to.

If I were hiring a photographer, I would be sure to give the photographer a contract stating that I own all rights to the digital files, and anyone who refused to sign I would tell to screw off.

I would think that photographers who value their customer relationships would give their customers those files, including the intellectual property rights, even when the customer isn’t wise enough to insist on that beforehand, but it seems like a lot of professional photographers don’t agree with that because they feel like they make greater profit from the pricing model that leaves the customer feeling like they were ripped off.

Olympus E-P5 shutter shock at 1/320 second

1/320 sec
100% crop 1/320 sec
1/200 second
100% crop 1/200 second

The menu says that when you set the anti-shock to “0 seconds” that causes the camera to use electronic first-curtain shutter (EFCS) for speeds of 1/320 second or less.

However, I often (not all of the time, but often enough that I’ve noticed the pattern) have images ruined by shutter shock when the picture is taken at 1/320 second. For example, the 100% crop shown above was taken at 1/320 second.

I have a theory that someone mistranslated from the Japanese, and that the Japanese menu has the correct instructions, that EFCS is used for speeds of LESS THAN (but not including) 1/320 second.

Anyway, it’s very annoying that this happens. I don’t think I’m pixel peeping either, the image looked unsharp even when I was looking at it scaled down to fit on my monitor. I hope this is something that Olympus fixed on its newer cameras.

Kit lens photography

M.Zuiko 14-42mm IIR @21mm f/7.1

After my previous post where I advised people to show that they are skilled photographers by using a cheap camera with a kit lens (because any bozo can take good pictures with a ten-thousand-dollar camera), I took out my kit lens and took this photo.

Physically, I love how small and light the Olympus 14-42mm IIR is compared to the much larger and heavier 12-40mm f/2.8 “PRO” lens. It doesn’t bother me at all that the lens is made from plastic and not metal.

But then when I peeped at the pixels, and while the sharpness was pretty good, I was disappointed to see a lot more fringing than I see with any of my other more expensive Olympus lenses. But still better than using an iPhone.

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History lesson: the tower with the clock is the Met Life Tower, which was the tallest building in the world from 1909 to 1913 when the Woolworth Building surpassed it.

The benefits of Leica TL

Blogger Tiffany Lea writes about the benefits of buying a Leica TL:

I bought this fantastic camera while I was in Geneva a couple of months ago and it hasn’t left my hand since! While at the store, I was luckily able to completely personalize the design – cool right! I got to choose the color, the color of the cover, the cover itself etc.

That level of old-fashioned in-store service is one of the benefits of buying Leica. If you went to Best Buy (or whatever equivalent Big Box store is in Switzerland) and bought a Canon, they’d just hand you a box.

Aperture Magazine and really expensive watches.

On the back cover of most issues of Aperture Magazine is an ad for really expensive watches. By really expensive, I mean watches that cost more than $10,000. So someone thinks that the kind of people who read Aperture have $10,000 or more to spend on a watch.

That certainly can’t apply to professional photographers, which is a low-paid profession. Most professional photographers are lucky if they can afford $10,000 for a used car.