Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It doesn't help to have a political opinion if you don't express it. If you haven't dropped off your ballot, DO IT NOW.

I know this should be obvious, but, do not mail your ballot... way too late for that. A list of drop-off points are here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Family Passing...

As I get older, it is inevitable that the velocity of family loss will increase but it doesn't make reality any easier. In the last few weeks and months I have lost 3 members of the family. Each lived their lives on their own terms, for better or worse.

Jim – Uncle. My father's brother. Sailor. Pilot. Engineer. Father of four daughters. Patriarch of this Zivney Clan. He was the center on which our orbit wobbled. A life well spent.

Tabitha - 2nd cousin. Grand-daughter of Jim. Young. Beautiful. Talented. A collision of promise and excess. A life interrupted.

Howard – Uncle. My mother's brother. Childless. Reclusive. Alone. His doorstep was the outer edge of his universe. A life not lived, at all.

Oh. Jim, on this trip, you're not gonna need that sweater ..

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh, no... the Olive Garden of photography.

If there is one thing I enjoy more than photography, it's photographers. Regardless of their level of experience, different styles or photographic POV; they share an excitement and passion in what they do.

This morning I ran across an article in the on-line version of the Bend Bulletin.Franchising family photos. Bend couple is expanding on their boutique portraiture business“ I thought, “cool, a couple of young photographers have dialed-in the process and now they want to offer a franchise”.

Reading farther I realized neither of the owners were photographers . She has experience in marketing. He was a “paper planner” at the Bulletin. OK, well, maybe they are talented hobbyists that made the jump to Pro.

Nope. He is quoted in the article, “We’re not photographers or passionate about photography, but we are passionate about a family-run business”. That's a shocking statement. Suppose a restaurant owner is being interviewed and he states he has no interest in food or wine but always wanted to be a Restaurateur. That tells me the table will look pretty but what about the food?

I'm scrambling here, trying to find a silver lining, Let's try this: Good photographers are notoriously bad business people. Perhaps this couple are great on the business end and they looked long and hard for a good photographer to partner and leverage their strengths. This could work.

Nope, again. Reading the Franchise FAQ. the couple addresses the silly concern franchisees may have about studio experience. And I quote:
But, I'm not a photographer...
Not to worry, neither is our founder! Remember that with a franchise, you are buying a system. And, our model works quite well for business people with strong marketing, networking and/or sales skills. We'll teach you how to hire, train, and manage photographers (believe it or not, that's the easiest position in the studio to fill)

That's scary, but in a pinch you could hire part timers that have experience at the DMV...those folks take hundreds of portraits a day and you have the benefit of their advanced people skills. Filling the photographer position will be a piece of cake.

So if you don't have a passion for photography, but you do want to be in the business, here is your opportunity to be the Olive Garden of Studio Photography. Best of luck. No... really.

The article is here.

The franchise FAQ is here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Karma Kredits tumble..

By most measures I lead a very trouble free existance. House is paid for. No credit card debt. I run my life in a way that is fair to others and myself. I may have earned a few Karma Kredits along the way ...or not.

In the last 2 weeks:
My car was broken into and a couple of expensive items were stolen.

The stock photography company that licenses my pictures notified me that they will be closing their doors Oct 10th.

MER stock decided to take a dip, or rather, plunge into the financial toilet. This hurt. Alot.

And, on the subject of toilets, mine overflowed this morning flooding the bathroom and creeping under the hardwood floor in the hallway.

Did I mention that a seal on the spa heater failed and emptied the tub?

Except for the MER fiasco, all of these are small things. Fixable. Recoverable. An expensive inconvenience, not a life changing tragedy. The lesson here is the danger of comfort and failure to parse the details. Every one of the events could have been avoided weeks, no, months ago if I had been paying attention to the details.

Karma Kredits only work for those events out of your control. Lets hope.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

R.I.P. PhotoShelter

PhotoShelter announced today that they will be closing down their PhotoShelter Collection on October 10th. Very sad news. These were great folks with a great idea to support stock photography. Detail here.

Rachel Hulin will continue to blog here.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Reduced prices on the mountain...

Having lived and skied in Bend for the last 14 years, I developed a sore spot for Mt. Bachelor. Poor service and an attitude of disdain for locals has kept me off the mountain for the last 2 years.

from KOHD News:
"For the 08-09 season, unrestricted Adult season passes have been reduced from $929 to $799, while Adult Non-holiday passes, designed for the local rider, have been reduced from $749 to $669 making it the lowest priced adult pass, valid weekends, in 15 years. Most notably, Young Adult (ages 19-23) season passes have been reduced by 50 percent, from $699 to $349. For families, Teen passes are reduced from $399 to $249, and Youth (ages 6-12) reduced from $219 to $149. This pricing replaces and improves upon the previous multi-purchase family discount program, giving every family the opportunity to purchase exactly what they need at the lowest possible price. "

I'm still up in the air about tossing them my dollars. We've heard promises before, but I might.. just might.. give them the benefit of the doubt this season.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Compare. Contrast.

A 14 year old woman is similar to a 50 year old woman. The older has just refined her annoyances.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

David Hobby releases 8 DVD boxed set...

David Hobby, of Strobist fame, has released his new DVD boxed set. Get'em while he's got'em. I'm sure these will sell out in a ... flash.

Read more about the 8 DVD set (about 10 hours) at Strobist.com.

David is distributing through Midwest Photo Exchange (MPEX). Purchase here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Historical Error...

Historians will have you believe that ancient cultures sacrificed virgins to appease their gods. This is not true. In reality, someone's 13 year old daughter was being a pain in the ass and they decided to throw her into a volcano. Don't ask me why I know this.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

On the road ...again.

Two of my favorite people, Gary and Becky Spetzler are about to hit the road again. Gary is the virtual poster child for adult ADHD and Becky is the Queen of Calm. The original Odd Couple.

Read about their current adventure here: Daily Pill

Read about their previous travels aboard the Metomorphobus

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another new goody... Dual Flash Bracket Kit

In addition to the popular Wizard Brackets, I'm now manufacturing an adjustable Dual Flash Bracket. It will mount to your light stand, flash swivel or Super Clamp.

The kit also includes a cable splitter so that you can cable two flashes to one Pocket Wizard. A Wizard Bracket is also included in the kit.

This kit will sell for $49.90... $10 dollars less than any other dual flash bracket I've seen and they don't include the cable splitter or Wizard Bracket.

Shipping will begin Monday (01/21/2008)