Follow by Email

09 September 2011

**No more Mr Nice Guy - or Girl**

After finding so many infringements and getting responses such as "Oh, we didn't see a watermark and so thought it was free" or, the best "Sorry, cannot afford your fee as we only buy images at $1.00 to $3.00", I have decided to pass on the infringements to my US IP attorney and let her deal with it. I am also about to contact an old friend who is a partner of a law firm in Toronto to follow up on the mounting Canadian infringements. Many do not even respond to my emails but then remove the image without any sort of apology or acknowledgment that they have done the wrong thing. So it's No more Mr Nice Guy or Girl and the first they will hear about infringing my copyright will be an email or contact from my lawyers pursuing an infringement of copyright suit. Even when I sent them an email advising that "an apology or removal of the image is NOT an option" and requesting payment of my account, I still get the "Sorry, have removed image" and they think that is the end of it. But no more! I am also tired of sending DMCA notices to Facebook, Photobucket, Imageshack et al although FB is quick to remove the images from the offenders' sites. I am even debating adding bloggers to my list of infringers but they are still infringing my copyright and it should be a lesson to them all.

For those interested in having someone else do all the leg work, a company called
Imagerights has recently been formed - probably because of the new Google Image Search engine - a vacuum always gets filled!

It has been suggested by one of my fellow photographers, who read my blog, that it would be a good idea if an organisation could direct photographers to intellectual property lawyers to prosecute copyright infringement actions on behalf of the photographers as it is very difficult for togs to find overseas lawyers. So if anyone knows of such an organisation, please comment. Alternatively, if you know of good IP lawyers, please list them by Country and contact details. Do not publish their email addresses as I don't want them to be spammed. I suggest that you obtain permission from the law firms to publish their contact details. Let's get the ball rolling. Here is the legal bit "Photographers would have to carry out their own due diligence regarding the lawyer's/law firm's credentials published in this blog". Phew (pays to have a legal background for 30 years)!

United States: Carolyn Wright PhotoAttorney
United States: Leslie Burns BurnsTheAttorney
Australia: Sydney lawyer Peter Knight of Banki Haddock Fiora
Canada: Toronto Doug Deeth of Deeth Williams Wall
Germany: Dr Frank Marcus Doring of Jensen-Emmerich
UK: Mark Corran of Briffa


  1. Your image that I post in my blog has been removed.
    Sorry, i don't see the watermark and i neither want to use your image illegaly.
    continue the beautiful work you do!

  2. You'll find a short list of UK lawyers who specialise in IP and are willing to help photographers, at

    Guidance about UK copyright, how to assess and prepare a claim and approach an infringer, is at

    I'm the admin of the first site, and one of the moderators of EPUK. I would be very keen to work with photographers in other countries, such as yourself, to collate a big list of lawyers around the world as a shared resource.

  3. Thanks Tony. I have started another blog post listing IP lawyers to date.



After Topaz

Using Topaz Spicify, the image has been enhanced in both colour and "pop". This may be a tad OTT but when printed out, it looks rather good (even if I say so myself!!).

Elderly gents

Image enhancing filters

I have recently been experimenting with different filters for post processing images. Topaz has been one of them. Using the adjust filter, one can change rather dramatically an image which may (or may not) need enhancing. Purists argue that one should not enhance or change an image but in this era, we are bombarded with enhanced movies so it seems a natural progression to enhance still images. The pic directly above is the original image (shot RAW and converted using Adobe Camera RAW).

Rather boring shot of Sydney Harbour

I am going to show how a somewhat boring shot of Sydney Harbour (if there ever could be one!) can be turned into something a little more spectacular. Below is the original shot (shot in RAW format with my Canon 5D) and taken off the back of the Manly ferry.

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour
Rather boring shot of Sydney Harbour


Using Adobe Camera Raw ("ACR"), I converted the raw image with parameters: Blacks 7, brightness +31, Contrast +61, Clarity +77, Vibrance +7, Saturation 72 and a bit of Curves which brought me to the below image.



Flood filter conversion

I then produced a "reflection" using Flaming Pear flood filter. For those unfamiliar with this filter, it gives the image a perception of a reflection (poetical!) and I see it often in publications and I find myself examining ALL images with reflections to see if the photographer had used this very handy filter. I have details of the conversion if anyone is interested but to post it would be a tad boring. Flaming pair flood filters can be found here


Sydney Harbour reflection using flood filter

Sea of Hats

I was on my lunch hour when I was strolling around The Rocks area of Sydney when I saw a group of private schoolgirls on an excursion. As soon as I saw their hats, I knew that there was a good opportunity to get a good snap. As luck would have it, they started to cross the street to where I was standing. I knew in my head the image I was looking for and I had to be above them. With an enormous amount of good fortune, a ramp up to a shop in this old area of Sydney was a few metres away. I raced up the ramp and shot this image. It was taken with my Canon 70-200 f/4L at f/5.6 which gave me a shallow depth of field leaving the centre hat in sharp focus and the rest of the hats out of focus. I submitted this image in late 2005 to the Black and White Spider Awards and it won Outstanding Achievement - People and also won me the Photographer of the Year 2005 - amateur. It really is nice to get recognition of one's work and even though I am now a professional, it still gives me a warm feeling when I look at my certificate!

Sulphur crested cockatoo in flight

This is an image on which I have added a "flood" filter. It is quite effective and quite a nice shot in any event. Flood filters can be found here and they are worth every cent. There is always a debate regarding "Photoshopping" images but as long as one is honest about the origin and digital changes to the image, I think its legimate. The original image, taken in our garden, of the cockatoo actually landing on the lawn, had a piece of its left hand side wing missing so I "replaced" it in Photoshop CS4. Cockatoos actually dislike water and when they start attacking the timber balustrades on our verandah, all I have to do is get out the spray bottle and walk towards them. They are endearing creatures, very intelligent but are enormously destructive. They are very long lived (up to 80 years) so don't even think of buying one unless you plan to outlive it and put up with the high decibels of squawking! I really hate seeing them in cages and they must long to be free when they see a large flock passing by.

Surfing the storm

Late one afternoon, I was snapping at Avalon Beach, Sydney, when a storm approached. This did not stop a late surfer. This image is available as a print via my RedBubble site. Click on image which will take you to the print site.

Sydney Opera House abstract

An abstract look at the famous icon. It is very difficult to take any pics of the Opera House as everyone and their brother has done it before. For this particular image, I used Optikvervlabs filter.

Leopard seal

I took this shot of a leopard seal exhaling bubbles at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. This is, apparently, one of the few leopard seals in captivity. Apparently it was found injured awhile back and is happy in its huge enclosure at the Zoo along with its mate. Through a stock library, this image is to appear as a full page in a textbook.


A portrait of an elderly lady
This is one of my favourite images of Alice, an elderly aboriginal lady who sadly is now deceased. I would occasionally see her at Circular Quay in Sydney and she would often smile at me. I used a Dragan filter to bring out more texture to the image. I am often asked if I have ever been challenged when photographing candid subjects. Only on one occasion, I was asked not to take a photograph of a female street performer which was odd as that is where they often make their money. So, of course, I acceded to her wishes. Many buskers or street performers expect payment for taking their photograph and its something I always do as its their living, as taking photographs is mine. One of my most popular galleries on my website is one of Sydney Aborigines and I have many kind comments on my work. I did have one person, a Sydney academic, who actually called me a thief as she was under the erroneous impression that I was selling images of these colourful folk without payment which in fact is not true. I have model releases from many and I have made subsequent payments to them.

The smoker

The smoker
An elderly man puffs on a cigarette

Mudda Mudda

Mudda Mudda
My favourite subject
Mudda Mudda (aka Cedric) is an aboriginal busker who is often found at Circular Quay, in Sydney, accompanying other aboriginal buskers. He has such a great face and this image won me a UK award last year for traditional portraiture here