Wednesday, 23 March 2011

It's that time of year?

Odd that my last post was in December, and it was called "Goodbye 2010." I didn't mean for the "goodbye" part to become semi-true or all-encompassing. Honest, I didn't mean to disappear.

In fact, I didn't notice until just now. I haven't even thought about writing a blog post lately. I probably forgot I had a blog. Who reads blogs anymore? People just want their constant feed of 140-character-or-less sound bytes which are ever-so-friendly to the increasingly short American attention span.

Also, when did dubstep get so popular? I mean, I don't do any drugs or anything, and I really enjoy listening to it as well. Is this a new or recent thing? Because, frankly, I'd not heard of it until maybe January or so.

I still take pictures. No, really, I do. I have a ton lying around waiting to be processed or uploaded. Many are family photos with an artistic touch to them - my youngest two siblings are figure skaters, which is an art form in itself - and then there are the loads of snow pictures from home and a bunch from the ice storm we had here in PA a few months back.

Also, I hope people got a chance to see 2010 - The Year in Photos. This is something I've done for two years now and which I hope to make a tradition; I collate what I believe to be the best photos I've taken all year and put them in an album. Usually, they have something to do with me personally, but often they include my friends and family. Sometimes they're pieces I've shared on some website or in an exhibit and am trying to sell.

That's another thing. I still have no job, because I'm at college. I'm applying for one soon, for the summer, but as of now I have no income and boy do I need it. Knowing that people like looking at my photos is great. Knowing that people might even want them hanging in their homes or offices or something is even better.

Usually, I say that I pursue my multitude of hobbies for my own edification. And usually, that works out just fine for me. But really, without any outside motivation, I quickly lose interest. There comes a point when I feel like I've exhausted the possibilities at present, and I move on to something else. It's all part of being introverted and introspective. I do a lot of little things because they add up after awhile and make me me. I love computers because I love what they can do and what I can make them do. I love photography because it's a form of visual art I feel I can actually "do". I love playing and (re)mixing music because often, people other than me find my songs to be "good."

But all this requires at least some degree of outside influence or motivation. If someone says he'll pay me to restore an old photograph, I'll be more than happy to set aside some time in my otherwise-hectic day and do that for him in a timely and efficient manner. If someone wants to buy one of my prints, I'll go out of my way to get it to her.

If no one wants me to restore photos, I won't do it, because I have other things to do. If no one wants to buy my prints, I'll stop making them. There's no point in taking lots of photos if no one is going to buy them, or even if there's no proof that people look at them!

That's why I'm making a few changes in my modus operandi. For one, I am going to watermark every one of my photos. Also, I will stop using the Creative Commons license I've been using. Now, no one may link to my photos or have them on their site without my permission. No one may make derivative works without my permission.

Obviously there are exceptions to this. If there are copyrighted items in my photos then legally I can't claim to own the photo itself in its entirety. This is something many people fail to realize. One that comes to mind is "Vices" and "Vices II," which contain (among others) the trademarked names Dr. Pepper, Anheuser-Busch, Marlboro, and Camel. I doubt anyone would buy those prints, though; they're just kinda funny and a bit worrisome to people who don't know me (stop worrying, you).

It's not hard to get permission to use my work in something, either. It's just polite to ask, you know? I'll likely take it as a compliment if you want to put one of my photos on your website or something like that. And since I do a lot of digital art, I can't think of a good reason to suppress those works. Especially once one considers that a lot of my digital works contain stock images. Similarly, a lot of the music I make uses at least a few royalty-free samples, although I tend to modify them extensively.

That all seems a bit...incoherent. Would it be better to just beg for money?

For those of you who don't know, I am at college in central Pennsylvania. I am 18 years old. I live with my family when I'm not at school. I do not live in Brooklyn. I own neither a fixed-gear bicycle nor a Holga. I don't like Pabst Blue Ribbon or Camel Turkish Gold(s). I can't grow an ironic mountain-man beard. I don't hang out in Starbucks. I can't afford Starbucks. Starbucks can't afford Starbucks.

I'm taking an economics class.

When someone has a problem with their computer or one of its components, all they need to do is call or e-mail me directly. But when I have such an issue, and can't fix it myself, I need to spend hours lost in a literal web of dead ends and vague/incorrect links and instructions written in broken English. You try searching a website hosted in Taiwan for an address, phone number, or e-mail in America. It is not easy and not a particularly great way to spend a Wednesday afternoon.

If you can think of a good way to spend a Wednesday afternoon, just go do it. It's almost over, for crying out loud.