Download Squad: Quick Media Converter

This program looks awesome, and it’s comforting to know that both Download Squad and Lifehacker vouch for it. Check out the details; it might just replace MediaCoder for me…

quick-media-converter

Quick Media Converter is a Windows utility that will let you convert practically any audio or video file from one format to another. MPEG to H.264? No problem. WAV to OGG? Sure, why not.
Now let’s get something out of the way here. Quick Media Converter is basically just a fancy front end for the open source, command line FFmpeg media encoder. But it’s a really useful front end. The utility offers you two interfaces: an easy mode and an expert mode. In easy mode, you can choose from a number of predefiined formats. So just select the media files you want to convert, and click the Audio, Quicktime, WMV, DiVX, Xbox, PS3, or Wii button to create a file optimized for your system of choice.
In Expert mode, you have much more control over the code choices and settings. For example, in easy mode, there’s no way to convert a FLAC file to OGG. But you can do that in expert mode.

(via Quick Media Converter converts media… quickly)

More Model Release Info…

Model Release

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A model release, known in similar contexts as a liability waiver, is a legal document typically signed by the subject of a photograph granting permission to publish the photograph in one form or another. The legal rights of the signatories in reference to the material is thereafter subject to the allowances and restrictions stated in the release, and also possibly in exchange for compensation paid to the photographed.

Publishing an identifiable photo of a person without a model release signed by that person can result in civil liability for whoever publishes the photograph.

Note that the photographer is typically not the publisher of the photograph, but sells the photograph to someone else to publish. Liability rests solely with the publisher, except under special conditions. It is typical for the photographer to obtain the model release because he is merely present at the time and can get it, but also because it gives him more opportunity to sell the photograph later to a party who wishes to publish it. Unless a photo is actually published, the need (or use) of a model release is undefined. And, since some forms of publication do not require a model release (e.g., news articles), the existence (or non-existence) of a release is irrelevant.

Note that the issue of model release forms and liability waivers is a legal area related to privacy and is separate from copyright. Also, the need for model releases pertains to public use of the photos: i.e., publishing them, commercially or not. The act of taking a photo of someone in a public setting without a model release, or of viewing or non-commercially showing such a photo in private, generally does not create legal exposure, at least in the United States.

The legal issues surrounding model releases are complex and vary by jurisdiction. Although the risk to photographers is virtually nil (so long as proper disclosures of the existence of a release, and its content is made to whoever licenses the photo for publication), the business need for having releases rises substantially if the main source of income from the photographer’s work lies within industries that would require them (such as advertising). In short, photo journalists never need to obtain model releases for images they shoot for (or sell to) news or qualified editorial publications.

Photographers who also publish images need releases to protect themselves, but there is a distinction between making an image available for sale (even via a website), which is not considered publication in a form that would require a release, and the use of the same image to promote a product or service in a way that would require a release.

Regardless of legal issues, taking someone’s picture without his/her permission may be considered impolite and may provoke a hostile response, so the photographer should take such matters into consideration and ask permission if appropriate.

(from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model_release)

Dan Heller Photography: Model Release Primer

This looks like some excellent information about model releases, which will probably come in handy for any of you photographers out there who are planning on shooting portraits for groups such as “100 Strangers” on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/groups/100strangers/)…

Before we begin, let’s test your basic understanding of when a photo needs to have a model release:

  1. Do I need a release for a photo I took of someone in a public place?
  2. Should I get a release even if the person in the photo is unrecognizable?
  3. Does profiting from the sale of a picture trigger the need for a release?
  4. I’m going to put on a public display. Is a release required?
  5. What if the person is dead?
  6. Do I need a release if the subject is naked?
  7. I have tons of pictures of my ex-girlfriend. Can she sue me if I sold them?
  8. I own a portrait studio. Do I need clients to sign releases?
  9. I took a lot of pictures as a hobby, and now I want to sell them. Do I need releases for all my pictures of people?

To score your knowledge, give yourself one point for each item you answered “Yes,” and two points for each item you answered “No.” In fact, make it three points. Now, total up all your points. If your score is above zero, you have a lot to learn about model releases.

Yes, none of these questions have an answer at all, and no, these were not trick questions. These are the most common questions I get from people just like you. The reason the questions have no answer is because none indicate a use for the image in question. Unless and until there is a specific use for a photo, there is no answer. In fact, it doesn’t even make sense to ask the question in the first place. So, if you have already shot pictures, or you are about to shoot them, and you’re concerned about whether you need a release for the pictures you shoot, the answer starts out no. However, if you plan to license the pictures to someone for publication, then a release may be necessary.

And here is where the wonderful world of Grey opens up to you. Is the image to be used in an advertisement? Or, is the image to be used in conjunction with an article in a magazine or newspaper? Understanding the difference between images used commercially or in editorial contexts is only the beginning. And while many people clearly understand that those differences exist, it’s the over-simplification of them that gives a false perception on what you actually need to do. There is a tizzy of what-if’s and exceptions that go to the very core of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. And once you go there, Whoa Nelly! You’re in for some serious, eye-glazingly boring, sleepy time.

To save you from that, I’m going to try to characterize this stuff in ways that are fun, simple, and will make you a millionaire.

Ok, maybe not. But it’ll be easier to understand. The reason why any of this is discussed to the degree that it is, is rooted in one of the most perpetuated fears about photography: that the photographer can get sued unless he gets a signed model release from the people (or properties) he photographs. The source of this anxiety is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the law: they think photographer’s are the ones who are responsible because they take the photo and sell it to someone. But that’s actually not where the real concern is. To address that, let’s ask the most basic question, “who is ultimately responsible for a photo being released?”

(continued via Dan Heller Photography – Model Release Primer)

dPS: 10 Really Useful Flickr Greasemonkey Userscripts

All of these are excellent scripts, and many of them are available in the Better Flickr extension from Gina Trapani at Lifehacker, but my favorite by far is the Flickr Follow Comments plugin which makes that atrocity of a page into something sane and manageable.

Flickr, are you listening? The “Comments You’ve Made” page sucks hard. (Otherwise, I love Flickr to death, and everything else is somewhere in the range of pretty good to awesome.) 🙂

flickr-userscripts-1

This post on Useful Flickr Userscripts has been submitted by Martin Gommel. You can see his work at his is a Flickr account and his blog KWERFELDEIN.

Userscripts are add-ons for the Firefox web browser, which dynamically enhance the communication and visualization of certain websites.

To be able to use these scripts you need to have installed greasemonkey on Firefox – this enables and manages the userscripts. If you have greasemonkey in Firefox you can install and use these userscripts instantly.

(via 10 Really Useful Flickr Greasemonkey Userscripts)

Photojojo: DIY Flash Diffuser

I posted a related link back in March (Pop-up Flash), but I just recently tried it out and found it to be so useful that it was worth reposting:

DSC_7795

Harsh, unflattering flash got you down? Grab an old roll of film and make it all better.

Follow Flickr user natuurplaat’s lead, and turn an old film canister into a flash diffuser! A few strategic cuts make it easy to slip the canister onto your pop-up flash, and voila! Soft, beautiful lighting.

Keep reading and we’ll show you how to make your very own little piece of genius.

(continued via Photojojo: Film Canister Flash Diffuser)