TWiP #190 – The Furious Five

This week on TWiP:  Public outcry causes a photographer to drop a copyright lawsuit, Tamron & Nikon readying built-in Image Stabilizers in their Tele-extenders?, Steve Simon joins in “randomly” and an interview on photo sharing sites with PurePhoto CEO, John Ellis.

Hosts: Frederick Van Johnson, Nicole Young, Ron Brinkmann, Joseph Linaschke, Steve Simon


Public Outcry Causes Photographer to Drop Copyright Lawsuit
Photographer Jon Wolf decided to drop a lawsuit he filed against several media outlets after a photograph he made of Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim of the tragic shootings in Tuscon, was used without his consent. When news of the story broke, it was revealed that Wolf had rushed to register his images and approached the family the day after the shootings to get their consent to license the image. Although he claimed he was going to donate the proceeds from the lawsuit to a charity in her honor, public outcry and pressure quickly forced him to drop the lawsuit.

In general the panel agrees that it was incredibly insensitive given the situation. It's really a question of legality vs. morality. While he may have been within his legal rights, morally everyone agreed that this wasn't the right thing to do. Ron brings up the point that in most cases the photographer retains the rights to the images which most clients typically don't understand. Ron wonders whether clients should own the rights to the photos? Joseph doesn't think that they should but that if the photographer agrees to sell their rights that is up to them. If the photographer doesn't get a model release from their client then they cannot use their likeness for commercial purposes.

Joseph recommends having that conversation with the client up front so they are aware of who owns the rights to the photographs. Nicole doesn't think she would ever give up her copyright because that would limit her ability to use her images in the future. If she was ever going to give up her copyright then the client would have to pay a lot extra for it.

Steve Simon joins the fray and adds that he hasn't really run into any issues with licensing his photographs and hasn't run into too many people using his images without his permission. His biggest piece of advice for photographers is to register their copyright with the copyright office. You can do it in one submission for $35 and that secures your copyright and guarantees that you can go after someone for money if they use your images without permission. In the US this can be done by visiting There is also great information on the ASMP website and the Editorial Photographer's website.

Nikon and Tamron Patent Teleconverters with built-in image stabilizers
Back in early 2000, both Nikon and Tamron filed patents for tele-converters with built-in image stabilization so rumors are flying that these are coming soon. Steve thinks having a teleconverter with built-in VR makes sense if you have a lens that doesn't have VR.

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This week, Frederick sits down with John Ellis. John is the CEO of In this discussion, John talks about the state of Flickr, SmugMug, and the overall state of the photosharing industry. He also introduces his new offering –


Question #1

Wayback asks: I'd like to gain some experience shooting models, and rather than imposing on my friends, I'd like to do shoots with professional models on a time-for-pics or time-for-CD basis.  While I understand about standard model releases, it's not clear how TF shoots work in that regard. So I assume both the photographer and the model would expect to be able to use the pictures in their portfolios, on their websites, at Model Mayhem, and in other career-promoting uses without getting any further permission or making a payment.  But if by chance the photographer had the opportunity to sell the pics, would he be obligated to pay the model something? Also, I assume the model would NOT be entitled to do anything with the pics beyond the promotional uses, but would that also include any editing of the pics?  And is she obligated to give attribution to the photographer for all uses?

Nicole – I would have them sign model release . There's no right/wrong way, the terms are up to you and what you both agree to. I pretty much only do TFCD w/ signed release for iStock. I allow my models to use them for portfolio use and not for commercial purposes.

Question #2

Glenn writes: How do you properly expose using a flash? I just can't figure it out. If I'm inside and want to use flash, how do I properly expose? I set my flash (Canon 580 EXII) to ETTL mode, but obviously the cameras meter doesn't account for the flash when taking a reading. So, if I am in Av mode and set an aperture of something like f/8 it wants to set a shutter speed of something really long and therefore the pictures will come out blurry. When I take the picture, sure enough it still takes a long exposure. If I set to Tv mode and set the shutter to 1/250 (sync speed), it sets the aperture to f/2.8 and blinks. When I take a picture, it exposes ok but what if I don't want to use f/2.8? I guess I still have a lot to learn about using flash. Incidentally it does the same exact thing using my 7D's popup flash. I MUST be doing something wrong!

Joseph – when it comes to flash photography, I either go into program mode if I'm in a rush but if I have time, I find it's better and easier to go into full manual mode and let the flash do it's thing in automatic.

Frederick – be sure to check out Syl Arena's book called ‘The Speedliter's Handbook‘ which is the ultimate resource for understanding the Canon Speedliting system.

Steve – I use the Nikon CLS system but the one downside to it is that it's an infrared line of sight firing so it's not as reliable as using a radio device like a Pocket Wizard.

Ron – Another good resource if you want to learn more about how the E-TTL system works is

Question #3

Listener thomasblampied writes:  A few months ago, I was approached by a Canadian railway magazine who wanted to use some of my shots.  I agreed and payment was to be in the form of a free copy of the publication.  I have recently learned that my photos were used, credited in someone else's name and I have not received a copy of the magazine.  Is this a case of live and learn, or should I follow this up with the editor? Photography is very much a hobby for me with shots published from time to time. What can I do?

Ron: I would definitely follow-up with them. A lot of these smaller magazines are often a bit disorganized but chances are that they will do a correction for you.


Nicole – Photoshop World in Orlando Florida

Ron – SythCam for the iPhone

Joseph – MacBook Air & Air Display

Steve – Joseph's eBook called Fifteen Tips for File Management in Aperture 3

Frederick –


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Producer: Suzanne Llewellyn

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Intro Music by Scott Cannizzaro


  1. In the episode today someone said you had to have a model release for an editorial use of wedding photos. This isn’t correct.

    You do not have to have a model release to use a wedding in an editorial piece. You may need one for the cover of the magazine, but if inside it is not required.

    It probably would be good to have one and let folks know you are doing this.

  2. Gidday all

    First time “replier”. Love the show.

    Regarding your discussion of copyright, and bearing in mind this is a global podcast: you really need to throw in the phrase “in the USA” occasionally.

    Much of what you said doesn’t apply to Australian law. I guess many other variations of law apply in many other jurisdictions.

    Keep up the great work.

    Shane in Canberra

  3. Hey guys – great show as always. Love the “impromptu” appearance of Steve!
    I have to say, I always love the content, but on this show the biggest take away is Joseph’s pic – Air Display – WOW! I can’t wait to get my iPad on March 25 (I’m in the UK) to put that app on there! Does anyone know if you can use it with Aperture to put the Hud on the iPad and edit on the macbook screen in full screen mode?

  4. Now that Flickr has teamed with Getty Images. If you put your photo on Flickr and have it registered with Getty Images, do you still need to get it copy written? Doesn’t Getty Images handle that for you?