Photo Video News Update August 28, 2016

Photo Video News Update August 28, 2016

I've discovered in recent weeks that the amount of photo video news, that is actually "news" has become a small percentage of news feeds.  So while I may not provide as many links as in the past, I'm trying really hard to confine them to news, or a link that I personally found interesting.  For those who have been following individual posts on Google +, the update is now consolidated into a website post with all the links in one place.

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Photo Video News Update August 5

Hey everyone,

I have been a bit lax with the news updates, so this post has many items.  

A very good article by a professional photographer  Dear Clients: Don’t Ask Photographers for a Reshoot of Good Photos

Composition Leveraging Lines Lines Reveal the Great Compositions in Famous Movies

Pretty cool video on how a shutter works Super Slow Motion Shows How an SLR Camera Shutter Works

Yahoo has been sold.  What does this mean for Flickr? Flickr ownership changes hands as Verizon acquires Yahoo

Excellent article for models, and for photographers seeking to hire models Models, Beware the Warning Signs of Creepy ‘Photographers’

Photographer sues Getty Images for $1B for selling her public domain images Photographer Suing Getty Images for $1 Billion

Some really great ideas 10 Photography Accessories You Can Buy at the Supermarket

Astropad is updated Astropad 2.0 brings better performance and increased compatibility

Making It Easier To Get Our Content

I wanted to thank the folks who have taken the time to write me suggesting that it would be cool if there was a way for readers and podcast listeners to get updated when new content was made available.

So as of right now, I've updated the site in a couple of ways to make that work more efficiently.  I've had RSS links in the sidebar, but I didn't know that sometimes they came up like ugly XML files.  Now they come up nice and clean using the Feedburner service from Google and this makes them really easy to add to your favourite RSS reader, which can of course be your browser.  I'm personally a big fan of Reeder 3 for the Mac, but there are lots of options.  What's important is that there are two RSS feeds for The Photo Video Guy.  One for the articles / blogs section and one for the podcast, so you can subscribe to either or both if you choose to do so.

RSS isn't the only way to ensure you get new content.  At the top of the blog and podcast pages there is now a form where you can sign up to receive an email whenever a new article or podcast goes live.  There are two separate lists, so you choose only what you want to receive an email about.  Your email address is NEVER shared with anyone, and you can unsubscribe at any time.  I am  following the requirements for email subscriptions so when you subscribe, you will receive an email requesting confirmation of your request before your email goes into the secure storage area.  

I hope that these enhancements will improve your enjoyment of The Photo Video Guy.

My Day With Peter Hurley

My Day With Peter Hurley

On March 24th, 2016 I got to spend the day with Peter Hurley.  Thousands of people have done so in classes and workshops, and I count myself as fortunate for having done so, but yesterday was different and special.  Peter was in Toronto to deliver his Illuminating the Face workshop presented by Henry's Learning Labs, and I had the honour and pleasure to both introduce Peter to the attendees and to help with the setup and assist him over the course of the day.  It was really quite amazing.

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The New Year's Revolution - 14 Tips to Be Better

Revolutionary?  Probably not, but at minimum evolutionary and at best game-changing.  Here are my 14 thoughts to help you make better photos and videos in 2014.

  1. Make only interesting images.  Challenge your eye to see before you press the shutter or start recording.  Ask yourself why you will make this image or clip.  What makes it interesting or special or unique?  Make a note of your rationale.  Treat yourself to a Hemingway-esque Moleskine notebook and write down what you are seeing.  Sound like a lot of work?  Yes, but you will become a better artist because you do so.
  2. Instead of spending money on more gear, go somewhere interesting.  For a day, a weekend, or longer.  Photographers and videographers routinely drop hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on new kit.  Use the money to take yourself somewhere where you will see different things and make interesting images or clips.
  3. Make a portfolio if you do not have one.  Use SmugMug or Squarespace or Wordpress or whatever tool you like but make a portfolio.  Restrict yourself to no more than twenty-four images.  Place only your best work.  You may not have two images of the same subject in your portfolio.  Never post "work in progress" or "just okay" shots on social media.  You lower your personal bar when you do.
  4. If you have a portfolio, it needs cleaning.  If there is anything more than two years old in it, it's housekeeping time.  Keep only your very best work in your portfolio and tighten up your themes.  Some pros advocate separate portfolios for different types of work to maintain continuity for the audience.  If you are selling work, or your own ability, this is very good advice.  If you shoot weddings, your wedding portfolio should be nothing but weddings.  If you also shoot full contact rugby, that's a completely separate portfolio.
  5. Whatever editing tool you use, learn the speed key to delete images.  Import everything since you cannot tell if an image or clip is worth keeping by looking at the LCD on the camera display, but after the import is done, the first job is vicious deletion.  If you went out to shoot the Caledon badlands and came home with 300+ images, you have no reason to keep them all.  In fact if you are keeping many more than 40, you are building the editing rod for your own back.  Most pros plan for a keep ratio of between 6% and 10%.  If you are retaining more than this, you're probably not being honest with yourself.  Shaky footage goes in the can.  So do any pictures of people where the eyes aren't sharp.  Sports images where you cannot see the player's eyes are not keepers.  Bad exposure, bad white balance, bad audio tracks that are critical to the video track are all learning experiences.  You should learn from them and throw them away.  There's no prize for the size of your Lightroom library or Final Cut project bins.  Keep only the really good stuff and you won't end up wasting time on work that's mediocre.  There are plenty of people who are expert at mediocre and they are already posting enough for the rest of us.
  6. Last year, I said that before you specialize you need to become adept at most any kind of photography.  I stand by that statement, but there has to be something you prefer to shoot.  No one actually loves shooting everything.  This doesn't mean you cannot focus on skills development in a new space, but identify the things you love to shoot.  I am capable, and have earned income as a wedding photographer and as an assistant in wedding videos.  That doesn't mean I enjoy doing the work so it will never be a specialty because I don't like it.  As the great philosopher Carlin said, "you got to wanna".  What's your specialty?  I know that Rick Sammon says "I specialize in everything".  Neither you nor I is Rick Sammon.  Pick your shot.
  7. Learn your gear.  I meet lots of really nice people with a good eye who come away unhappy because they didn't get the image that they saw in their mind's eye.  They saw the image but did not know how to use their tools to capture it.  Vendor's produce manuals to be read.  If you haven't read your manual since you got your camera / lens / flash whatever, you're missing something.  Read it again.  Read it until you know the device inside out, and then practice changing settings without looking and without referring to the documentation.  Only then does the tool not get in the way of the work being done.
  8. Get a mentor.  None of us know everything.  I go to classes, take workshops and watch a lot of video training.  I also ask people I respect for guidance.  I've been at this 35+ years.  If photography or videography is still relatively new to you, or if you've hit the creative wall, get yourself a mentor to help you along.  I offer eight week mentoring programs at a very fair price.  For the first time, the programs can be delivered using Google Hangouts, not just live in person.  So do others.  But be demanding.  "I want to get better" is not sufficiently demanding.  Contact me at to learn more about my mentor program.
  9. Get a critique.  Your friends and family, and everyone on Flickr and sadly Google+ will trip over themselves to tell you how great your stuff is.  No offence, but all of it is not  great.  Get a critique from someone who genuinely wants to help you, not just destroy your hopes and dreams like many of the "judges" in photo contests.  A professional critique is not an emotional experience, and you will likely find you learn exactly the undefinable thing you didn't like about the shot.  I do critiques for people.  In the past they were only ever live.  I am now offering critiques using web tools.  A professional critique asks you as many questions as perspectives are shared.  This is how you tell the pros from the amateurs.  Contact me at to learn more about arranging a critique.
  10. Learn composition.  Whether you are shooting a film or stills, composition is all.  Everytime I hear somebody say "rules are made to be broken" it usually ends up meaning that they never learned the rules in the first place.  True 90% of the time.  Learn and apply the rules.  The worst thing that happens from learning composition is that you get better images and better footage.
  11. Learn about lighting.  Photography and videography are 100% about light.  It's not the gear, it's not the model, it's not even the subject.  It's all about light.   Great light can make a staid, boring subject interesting.  Crappy light can make the most incredible subject flat and lifeless.  A great landscape filled with atmospheric haze is a crappy image.  A beautiful dancer filmed in bad light is a bad film.
  12. If you shoot video, become an expert on audio.  Nothing destroys your cinematic masterpiece faster than bad audio.  Good audio is very hard, you have to match the spatial layout of the video footage and still ensure that your actors are heard properly and have proper nuance.  Not everything is a head's up product pitch.  Learn about equalization and filtration, about compressors and dynamic range management.  Great sound keeps great video great.  Lousy sound destroys your video work.
  13. Get out and shoot.  Looking at your kit does nothing.  Until about ten years ago, I was a very serious competitive shooter (the other kind of shooting).  To hold my skills I had to shoot at minimum 200 serious practice rounds a week.  To improve, I had to push to 500 rounds and at least one, sometimes two competitions a week.  It was incredibly demanding and a lot of fun.  There were ladies and gentlemen much better than I.  They made it look easy.  What I learned from everyone I took classes from is that repetition is the mother of skill.  If you aren't making images or clips constantly, you aren't likely to grow.  As Einstein said, "if you aren't failing, you aren't learning".
  14. Print your work or burn your films to media.  For a still photographer, there is nothing like holding a big print of your own work.  It's incredible.  For a filmmaker, putting your work on a Bluray or DVD and showing it to friends and family on the biggest screen you can connect to is absolutely awesome.  It's transformational.  One of our friends in the local club, who is, in my opinion, a brilliant wildlife photographer, only just started printing.  He practiced and learned and moved to large canvas images.  Literally in weeks, he went from being a respected web poster to a seller of his incredible images as prints for people's homes.

Most of all, have fun!  Yes, a person dedicated to his or her craft can turn it into a revenue generating tool.  Not to be harsh, but I have seen too many folks who really loved image or filmmaking pack it in or become jaded after turning it into a "job".  Never forget the magical feeling you had when you first decided to get better.  Cheers!

An Open Letter To Canon Asking For Professionalism

Yes, this is directed to Canon, but if you are a Pro or using Pro level gear from other manufacturers, feel free to change the name and model numbers because it applies to you too.

Dear Canon,

Why do you insist on treating those people who spend the money on your Professional or near-Professional equipment with such disgusting disrespect?

I am a Canon Professional Services member.  I own a 1D Mk IV (expensive), a 1Dx (expensive) and a C300 EF (even more expensive).  If I want wireless connectivity, I can spend $849 retail for a chip in a hunk of plastic to do slow WiFi for file transfer.  If I had gone to a 5D Mark III, I would get the privilege of paying over $1,100 for WiFi connectivity.

Considering that your entry line of point and shoot cameras as well as multiple of your non-Professional grade cameras have built-in WiFi, how can you even consider justifying the Highway Robbery of the prices charged for WiFi for your Professional level gear.  Don't tell me it's about the quality.  Your expensive products perform no more better than the Bob's Wifi I can buy for $24.99 for the laptop at the local computer store.  In fact they have lower performance and poorer user interface.

It's thievery pure and simple.  You charge Pros more for less because some turd in Marketing decided that the market would bear it.  Find that idiot and fire him or her or the entire committee that made this stupid decision.  Immediately drop the price of wireless to under $100 and do your highest paying clients a service instead of a disservice.

We use your pro level gear.  We spend more on a single lens than your average customer spends on three cameras.  We upgrade more often and your reputation gets enhanced because of the quality and commitment we put into our work.  Please stop screwing us on the accessory front.

You don't need to prove you can treat pro level users as badly as Nikon does.  They charge $899 for the WiFi adapter for the D4.  They also charge $70 for the same capability adapter for their consumer lineup.  Just because one major Japanese manufacturer screws their customers doesn't mean you have to as well.

I challenge Canon to DO THE RIGHT THING.  I have no optimism that you will, but I'm throwing the challenge in front of you regardless.  I DARE YOU TO RESPOND.


Ross Chevalier

The Photo Video Guy

Recommended : The Grid October 17, 2013

I'm all over the place regarding The Grid.  Sometimes an episode is just fawning dreck, sometimes they just destroy aspiring photographers, and then there are the other times, in fairness - the majority, where they just hit it out of the park. If you've stopped doing HDR because seeing HDRs often makes your eyes hurt, tune in to Episode 117.  The segment on How Not to Hate HDR is extremely well done and worth watching.  Like many people, I have sinned in HDR and produced some truly nauseating offences, including halos, black clouds, HDR where it shouldn't be, HDRs in the worst kind of light and other crap.  I don't publish them, because they suck.  But there are photographers who think HDR is the cure for a lousy image.  The list of things not to do, or to do only when you are absolutely sure is very helpful.  They also show some decent HDRs from RC Concepcion that show how you can sometimes break the rules and get a nice image.  HDR processing is highly subjective, but in this case, I have to say that the list presented is an excellent set of guidelines to leverage.

The first part of the episode deals with the recent plagiarism scandal regarding Jasmine Starr and others.  Scott's presentation is balanced and reasonable and worth a listen.  Because a photographer screws up (and the people involved, screwed up big) does not immediately mean that the individual is a failure as a photographer, or is an evil entity.  They were stupid.  Evisceration is a bit over the top.

Watch the grid on the web at

Announcing ThePhotoVideoGuy Q&A

I'm now ready to initiate a new offering for readers and listeners called somewhat unimaginatively, ThePhotoVideoGuy Q&A.  I've been a photographer for quite some time and find myself asked questions about "how to do" pretty frequently.  So if you have a question send an email to  I will answer your questions on the site and perhaps on the podcast. There is no cost for this offering.

Need Vitriol? Admit subscribing to Creative Cloud

I was seriously disappointed when so many people started ripping Scott Kelby for trying to explain Creative Cloud.  He didn't tell anyone to subscribe, he was trying to explain what he saw.  I have a very good sense of what he felt like now. I announced yesterday on Google Plus that I had received an offer from Adobe targeted at CS6 Master Collection licensees and that following a phone conversation with Adobe, I decided to subscribe.  For me, the annual fee is less than half of what I have consistently paid for upgrades over the various iterations of Master Collection and even before that when Macromind and Adobe were different companies. 

Today, I am stupid, Darth Vader, a sellout, a transacter of souls, easily fooled by people with clipboards, a drinker of Koolaid and an abandoner of principles.  Like Mr. Kelby, I did not tell anyone to subscribe, but I did relate that I had chosen to, because I have been vocal on why I don't like leased software in the past.

I still don't like leased software.  I still own CS6 Master Collection and if my experiment with Creative Cloud doesn't work out, I still can use CS6 in perpetuity.  Would I prefer it if Adobe treated the Master Collection as they have Lightroom 5, that is to make it available as a subscription AND as a perpetual license, buyer decides?  Absolutely.  They didn't.  Sometimes business makes decisions we don't like and we can follow or not, our choice.

I was pleased that Adobe reduced the subscription cost to a price/value ratio that is acceptable to me.  Many are saying Adobe flinched and is in the process of caving in.  Maybe so.  There has certainly been a lot of negative flashback at Adobe for their decision but the data shows that over 1M customers have subscribed to Creative Cloud.  I assure you, if the price/value ratio was not acceptable to me, I wouldn't have done it, and time will tell whether it's a good buy.  The net is that I get to use all of Creative Cloud for one year for about the same cost as a one year membership to the Professional Photographers of America, a membership I have maintained for some time.  I can assure you that I will get more value from Creative Cloud in terms of tools and revenue, but that doesn't make the PPA membership useless.

Having spent more than fifteen years of my life working for software companies, I understand the piracy challenge all too well so I discount some of the complaining about Creative Cloud because it makes it harder for people to steal software.  Some complainers still have a principle argument against Adobe and despite their insults, I still support their arguments.  In the end my data is my data, and as I use tools to get to finished product, and after analysis have determined that I go back and revisit a work to enter the edit process midstream later occurs nearly never.  A finished photograph or a finished video are for me at least, finished.  In some ways it's like renting a tool from Home Depot.  Even when the tool is gone, I still have the cabinet I built with the tool.

I would definitely prefer if Adobe offered a license choice for Master Collection CC.  If they change their mind, I will likely go that route.  In the interim, I will try the components in Creative Cloud and make ongoing business decisions from there.   For those who care to heap insults on me for my decision, whatever.  You are entitled to your opinion, but in this case it's my money, my work, I don't tell anyone else to follow me.

20 for 2013 Photography Predictions

I like to let the other guys get their predictions out of the way first, so by the time you get to mine you're either a) completely cynical or b) looking for some honest non-vendor serving opinion. Whatever works for you :)

In no particular order...

  1. Instagram will continue to be very popular despite its complete flaunting of privacy and intellectual property because a) lots of people only take pictures to share and get compliments and b) lots of people like to take okay pictures and make them look old and crappy and call it art.
  2. The Point and Shoot camera market is dead.  The manufacturers know this and are hoping that you don't.  Mobile devices are now well beyond "good enough" for snapshots and the point and shoots have such tiny sensors that they can never achieve the image quality that a DSLM or DSLR can deliver.  P&S will continue to sell in vertical markets such as for those who don't have / want a smart mobile device, those who want a pocket camera solely for snapshots to share electronically or as 4x6 prints, for element protection, and for serious photographers looking to capture ideas for serious photographs.  But overall volume will plummet.
  3. Crossover cameras will continue to drag.  Nikon's Android experiment failed to launch.  The coming not really Polaroid, Polaroid won't be a huge success.  Android is a very powerful OS, perhaps overkill for a camera, and creates a lot of security risks because it is so hackable.
  4. DSLM cameras will be successful when they focus faster and more accurately particularly in low light.  Manufacturers will be working on improving power efficiency because right now, none of these devices are particularly battery friendly, certainly insufficient for a busy photo day.
  5. There will be more super high megapixel cameras this year.  Not because photographers actually NEED more megapixels but because manufacturers liked the success that they had in the last megapixel race.
  6. Printing will continue to be a small part of the photographic experience as tablet and web delivered portfolios replace prints more frequently.  The contrast to this will be those who pursue photography for personal joy who discover how wonderful a physical print is.
  7. Despite drops in wireless costs, and the increasing availability of very low cost WiFi interfaces, manufacturers will not drop the astronomical prices of their WiFi adapters for their high end cameras, preferring to rip off those customers who must have WiFi connectivity.
  8. WiFi will become a de-facto standard on all cameras, much like video.  And, much like video, while many will ask for it, complexity and inconsistency will make adoption very low.
  9. We will see an influx of next generation prime lenses to take advantage of the high quality, high megapixel density sensors appearing in mid to high end cameras.  Many of the primes in the market have been around for over ten years and won't deliver on the capabilities of the sensors.
  10. Medium and large format digital sensors will continue to act as a synonym for Highway Robbery.
  11. While most all cameras will have video, adoption of video will continue to be slow, albeit not as slow as in the past few years as accessory vendors stop dropping acid before setting ludicrous prices on milled aluminum gewgaws.
  12. As cool lighting continues to evolve, expect more powerful CFL bulbs to fit the existing enclosures to push more light and reduce issues with slow shutter speeds.
  13. Google+ will continue its march to become the de-facto social media outlet for photographers.  Despite changes at Yahoo, Flickr will not gain it's prior position and serious photographers will be jumping off Facebook and its properties through the year.  Twitter is already over.
  14. Manufacturers other than Sony will embrace the concept of "in app purchase" to add services at a surcharge to their camera.  Sony already have a slew of features for the NEX-6 that are not included with the camera but can be purchased as electronic downloads.  It's a practice that works and it is direct incremental revenue that completely bypasses the reseller channel.
  15. Individual photography stores will become more dependent on manufacturer funded rebate programs in lieu of internal "specials" as margins on gear erode and the last margins from photofinishing dry up.
  16. Photofinishing (the developing and printing of traditional film) will continue to disappear with the service becoming hard to find anywhere by the end of the year.  Even micro labs cost a lot money to run so prices will increase and turnaround times will also increase.
  17. Manufacturers will go with smaller production runs of models, shortening product lifecycles so they can get new gear out sooner, without having a glut of outdated gear on shelves.  An example of this problem held up the North American release of the Nikon D5200.  Expect lifecycle maximums of 24 months for DSLRs, sub 12 months for Point and Shoots.
  18. Memory card manufacturers will continue to release higher performance read/write capabilities on their cards, resulting in customer issues when their older cameras cannot use the newer cards.  This has already happened with Lexar's 800x and 1000x cards.
  19. Shorter lifecycles in products and rush to market will create an increase in electronic related failures in new products, particularly in the lower end making extended warranties on bodies a bit more viable, but falling prices will discourage buyers who come to see the devices as "disposable"
  20. Demographic differences will continue to fracture the feature delivery resulting in devices that only appeal to a certain demographic, creating model glut and customer confusion over too many models that are "almost" identical.

Ok that's it for now.  Speak soon.


What Canon's new MAP pricing policy means to you

As mentioned in the Episode 39 of the podcast, Canon is implementing a MAP pricing policy.  Most of us know of MSRP or Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price.  It's suggested because to make it a requirement would be determined to be price fixing.  Resellers tend to stick pretty close to MSRP in their advertised prices, especially on Accessories because it keeps the margin very high and if everyone does it, discounting on these items becomes rare. MAP is Minimum Advertised Price.  This is a completely different game.  Basically MAP is a vehicle by which the manufacturer does set the lowest advertised price for their products by any authorized reseller.  Reseller authorization grants the reseller access to purchase the products for resale, MSRP provides a suggested selling price and MAP defines the lowest price that a product can be advertised for.

The theory is that MAP eliminates what social engineers (and I say those words with all the venom I can) call dog eat dog competition.  It's also a way for a vendor to cancel reseller authorization if MAP is not followed.  MAP does not prevent a reseller from selling below MAP, it simply holds an axe over their necks if they advertise a lower price.  In Canon's case we saw the prices rise on many items concurrent with the advent of their MAP policy. I'd say I was surprised but Canon is simply following the same tune as others before them.

What this means to you is that if you are an educated buyer who has done his or her research you will not be able to price shop the way you have in the past as all resellers will be held to the minimum advertised price.  There is a popular theorem that MAP reduces grey marketing, but this is spurious as warranty and serial number management make grey markets a caveat emptor entity already.  It's not price fixing, but it's close.

So how will you get a lower price than MAP allows?  Resellers work with manufacturers to prepare bundles that are reseller unique that have approved pricing thresholds.  These bundles are not generically available, and so makes comparison shopping more difficult.  It's an obfuscation scheme at best.

So how to deal with this buyer hostile model?  Choose your reseller based on your needs.  If you like the idea of a photographic centric reseller that will help you after you have made your purchase, and that provides additional service that you value, be they training programs, extended warranties and knowledgeable staff, then deal with that reseller and negotiate your own purchase to the best of your ability.  Price match policies become useless when every reseller must hold advertising at a certain level, so the differentiation becomes the reseller added value.  If you don't care about that, or think that it is fair to buy from a jobber or warehouse/big box store and then go waste the time of photographic professionals to whom you have brought only questions and no business that it your choice, although I do not see how this helps those resellers with a service orientation stay in business.

Who does MAP help?  It helps the manufacturer that implements it and the reseller that complains of price competition and who has no value to offer to buyers beyond a low price.  It doesn't help the buyer and that may cause you, if you are a thinking person, to be suspicious of any manufacturer that uses MAP as a stick.  No responsible reseller is going to sell below their burdened cost and their necessary profitability to keep the doors open.  MAP is the closest thing to price fixing a manufacturer has and is only spun as a "value" to those foolish enough to believe that they can have their lunch and eat it too.

Lightroom 4.1 Available

FULL DISCLOSURE:  I am an unabashed champion of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.  I generate personal revenue from training people on Lightroom.  Readers should expect me to be enthusiastic about Lightroom. Now that the mumbo-jumbo is out of the way, I wanted to let all the members know that Adobe released Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 today.  Existing Lightroom 4 users will be prompted to install the update.  In addition to bug fixes and other enhancements it adds support for a number of new cameras including the Canon 1Dx, Fuji X-Pro 1, the 5D mark III, the Nikon D4, the Nikon D800 and D800e, the Leica M Monochrom, the Leica X2 as well as lens profiles for the new Sigma lenses for micro four-thirds.

At its new retail price of $149, imho there is no more feature rich and powerful image management and editing software on the market.  Photoshop CS6 is certainly a powerful tool, but even Adobe says it is a designer's tool first and a photographer's tool second with Lightroom being their flagship tool for photographers.  Even Apple Aperture evangelist, professional photographer and noted curmudgeon Scott Bourne is switching to Lightroom.

It's available in lots of places, online and in retail stores and comes to run on both Windows and Mac OS X.

If your photo editing software is older, or you don't have a catalog management system for your photographs and would like a great one with an integrated editor, you cannot lose with Lightroom.

Why Google Drive may NOT be where you want to store your images

Regular readers know that I am a very strong advocate of your work remaining yours.  I've been fairly critical of web services that through their End User License Agreement require you to give all your rights away to your own property.  While I know that there are workarounds for some photo sharing sites (use only small low quality thumbnails), in general I only recommend sites that protect your intellectual property and most times there is a fee involved. Recently the folks at Google opened a new service called Google Drive.  Ostensibly it looks like it competes with Dropbox and to a lesser extent with Microsoft's SkyDrive.  I am not snubbing SkyDrive, it's only that Dropbox is the 800 pound gorilla at the moment.  I like Dropbox.  One of the many reasons I like Dropbox is that their EULA specifies that what is mine is mine and that I can have everything on their myriad servers encrypted.  I pay for the privilege of lots of reliable cloud storage.

Google Drive provides an initial 5GB of storage for free.  A decent offer to be sure but if you care about your intellectual property, don't just click through the "by clicking here you agree to the license agreement that is really long and hard to read and located at this other place..." because when you click ok, you grant Google irrevocable rights forever to anything you put on Google Drive.  That might be just fine with you, particularly if you buy into the argument that Google has a zillion customers and won't have the time to look at and redistribute your stuff.  If it's not fine with you and you still want to use Google Drive for something then DON'T put your photos or videos or screenplays or anything you want to remain private up there.

The latin phrase Caveat Emptor has existed for centuries for very good reason.  And as Robert Heinlein said very clearly over 50 years ago, TANSTAFFL.

(There ain't no such thing as a free lunch)

I definitely credit Google for making the service available and also for having an understandable if a bit lengthy EULA.  They are far from the worst offenders and consistently let you know up front their intent.  I have read an article that says they do this in their EULAs because people can email things from their account and since there is no way to know how many hops an attachment will take and where it will be stored en route, they have to do this.  That email and attachments are stored (and are retrievable at any time) in myriad waypoints is factually correct, but the EULA makes no explicit commentary on this point, and is much wider ranging.  Google has a business to run and are very clear that they could use anything you put on their services to foster that business.  You do have freedom of choice.  To say as the other writer did that the EULA exists to handle the risks created by unencrypted email is akin to using a 10 gauge shotgun to hunt sparrows.  It's a spurious argument.  Google is a business and provides services that someone has to pay for.  If you aren't paying for them, someone else is.

If you don't like this reality, don't participate.  That's your choice.