Podcast Episode 20 – The Ice Man Goeth

In this week’s episode of The Circle of Confusion, the professional photography podcast, Neil and Roger discuss Pinterest, a college course in iPhone photography, an experiment to see if a total novice can be turned into a professional photographer in a week, the case of Jonathan Kent vs The Daily Telegraph, and how blogging could add to professional photographers’ revenue streams.

Peter does nothing.

Not. A. Sausage.

Newbie to pro in a week

Digital Rev TV tried to take a novice photographer and train him up for a week with the intention of passing him off as a professional. They failed. But the resulting video shows that there is more to photography than just pointing and shooting.

Jonathan Kent

Although we refer to Jonathan as a photographer in the podcast, he is primarily a writer, broadcaster and journalist. Sorry about that slip.

In a nutshell, The Daily Telegraph, a UK national daily paper, used one of Jonathan’s photographs without his consent. He protested. The newspaper got grumpy and sent him quite a dismissive letter.

In it, The Daily Telegraph‘s picture editor, Matthew Fearn writes (among other things):

“Clearly it is open to the copyright owner to adopt the position that we have “violated” their copyright. The legal position in cases of breach of copyright is generally that the publisher is required to pay double the industry rate to take account of any ‘flagrancy’ of the breach. Inevitably the outcome is that publishers tend not to use pictures from such copyright owners in future.

“We readily appreciate that the commercial rates available for online picture licences are depressingly low. We have no wish to make life difficult for photographers – our business depends heavily on them – which is why you were immediately offered £200 for a single use of your picture. This was eight times the industry rate. Since we have now used it a second time (albeit only very briefly) we are prepared to increase this offer to £400 in full and final settlement. We note that you are taking legal advice and it therefore seems reasonable to keep this offer open for a period of 24 hours.”

In response, Jonathan penned a parody from the perspective of someone who has taken a stranger’s car.

It is a gem of writing.

Excerpts from Jonathan’s letter read:

“[...] Normally when I borrow someone’s car for a couple of hours I slip them fifty quid.  I know it’s not a lot but what with the number of city boys what can afford Astons these days they’re two-a-penny and it’s easy to find one who never gets out of Canary Wharf and could use a little cash to buy a bit of Charlie to make lunchtime pass faster.

“So in view of the misunderstanding I’ll make it a hundred.  Mind you, the rule of thumb is that if someone kicks up and demands extra wonga I don’t rent their car again, so you’re doing yourself out of the opportunity to earn the odd fifty quid in future.

“Now what with you having roped in yer lawyer and all, perhaps I can go to £200, but there’ll be bad blood between us.  [...]  I’ll give you 24 hours or I’ll blow it all down Annabel’s.”

You can read the whole story, and the complete letters, over on Jonathan’s blog here: Land of Oak and Iron.

Ansel Adams

You don’t need to be alive to celebrate you birthday. It helps, but it isn’t essential. If you made your mark on the world, plenty of people will celebrate in your absence.

This week Ansel Adams would have been 110 years old.

Neil is a huge fan and has all of Ansel’s books. He would love to own a print – in case you were wondering what he might like for his own birthday. This one would be nice: Clearing Winter Storm.

Alternatively, you could buy a print from Neil. That would also cheer him up. How about this one?

Doo Lough Pass Road

Doo Lough Pass Road © Neil McShane

Make money blogging

We also discuss how you can earn money from your photography by becoming a publisher.

Roger is currently running a year-long experiment to see whether he can turn his interest in food into a revenue stream based partly on his photography.

He recently launched Cork Foodie and you can follow the experiment on his regular photo blog, where he’ll have updates on what he is doing and how much money he is making from the experiment. You can read the first installment here: The Online Income Experiment – Launch.

Ice cave

Meanwhile, Peter is in Iceland location scouting for an upcoming workshop and photographing the Northern Lights. Not sure he’s going to have much luck with that at this location:

Ice Cave Iceland

© Peter Cox 2012

Blatant plug for our wares

Don’t forget, you can purchase the first episode of our landscape photography video series Dynamic Range for just €9.95, and as a bonus, the pilot episode is just €4.95! You’ll receive the download link via email as soon as you’ve completed the purchase.



Filed under Podcasts

3 Responses to Podcast Episode 20 – The Ice Man Goeth

  1. Hello guys!
    Great episode, really enjoyed it.
    One comment:
    - Pinterest: I have only been using it for a week or so… I think it could be a great advertising tool! Let’s say that I like one of Neil’s image a lot, and I “pin” it onto my Photos that I like pinboard… anyone that sees my pin, and I believe it is open to anyone, can simply click on the picture and it will take them directly to the source of the image. If the source is Neil’s website, well, why not! Possible sell! It would be free advertising for Neil the way I see it.
    Feel free to check mine to see what I mean at http://pinterest.com/javierleite

  2. @Javier – Thanks so much for taking the time to listen and for commenting too. We really appreciate it.

    You make some good points about Pinterest. Were we too harsh?

    Maybe something to revisit in our next episode.


  3. Hello Roger,
    You were not too harsh, not harsh at all, at least it did not sound harsh to me.

    As I said, I think it could be an useful tool…
    When a photographer creates a website, or uses other online tools, to showcase his work, whether to sell it or not, one assumes that the main goal is to get the work seen by as many people as possible…
    Blocking your website from Pinterest would be tantamount to saying that one does not want free advertising… something like “I want to show/sell my pictures, but I don’t want anyone to see them away from my website”…

    Let us know your thoughts when you get the time to check it more in detail…