Coalesce and Oppress

In the 10th Federalist Paper, James Madison throws down some solid arguments in favor of an "extensive republic" as opposed to a democracy. Let's dissect the differences between a republic and a democracy. For starters, in a republic, there is a delegation of the government to a smaller number of citizens elected by the rest. Another advantageous trait of a republic is its sheer magnitude. While this may initially seem to be a downfall, it actually makes it more difficult for a majority to coalesce and oppress the feeble voice of the minority(s). In other words, an extensive republic doesn't allow for a tyranny of the majority. In short, a republic controls and even limits the effects of factions better than a democracy.



Perhaps one of the most powerful abilities that photographs possess is to act as a catalyst for the memories of our mind. While I have not experienced this effect firsthand very often (since 90% of the time I am the one behind the camera creating the memories for people to enjoy), tonight I enjoyed reliving the happenings of yesterday by looking through the prom pictures of our group.

No matter how hard one tries to live in the present and to make the most of everything, eventually every experience is archived into the deep library of the mind. By looking at photographs of past significant events, a pungent yet pleasant nostalgic vignette can be resurrected. So remember to hire photographers like me to capture significant events in your life because even Bob Dylan knows that "the times are a-changin'."


Copyright Orphans

There are times when government really crosses the line. In fact, the government seems to do so on a regular basis. Take, for example, a law passed 2 weeks ago by the UK Parliament that legalized the use of 'orphaned' photographs. In other words, if the owner of the photo cannot be contacted, then the photo can be used for free and without the owner's consent. The implications of this law (called the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act) are large. As Oswald states in the article New UK Law Makes Robbery Legal, "this extraordinary change in the law drive a horse and cart through copyright protection."

I think that as more valuable and personal content is stored in the cloud, the concept of property rights and intellectual property will start to disseminate, and government will become increasingly Big Brother-esque.

On a positive note, this growing dilemma provides many opportunities for individuals with technological expertise to design software and/or technology that empowers artists by concreting their copyright ownership over their content, thus allowing them to publish their work fearlessly onto the web. Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom, for example, provides tools for photographers and graphic designers to safeguard their work from the claws of malicious corporations. Specifically, Lightroom enables its users to watermark their work and decide where to place it and the degree of opacity. A much more advanced feature that Lightroom provides is the ability to embed IPTC metadata into the digital photograph. Precautions such as this are becoming more and more essential for those of us who want to safely publish our work onto the internet.


Pulchritudinous Smoke

I've always been fascinated with taking pictures of smoke, fog, or any other type of vaporous gases. And yet I have never quite been able to put my finger on what it is about smoke vapors that appeals to me. Perhaps it is the evocative feeling of intrigue and mystery that one feels when surrounded by it. Driving through dense early morning fog is like ice-skating on a frozen lake. Aside from the crisp stroke of blades beneath ones feet, nothing else seems to be moving. The water droplets appear to be suspended in time and space, forming an ethereal atmosphere above, behind, beneath, and on either side of oneself.

The boy in the red coat is as frozen as the pixels in this photograph. Entangled in a veil, suspended in mid-air, immortalized by a backdrop of water vapor. One moment the boy seems to be running away from danger, but when one glances a second time at the image it seems to exude playfulness and ingenuity. Similarly, the nature of water, multifaceted as it is, is portrayed in this image as drama-inducing and as a harbinger of mystery.