Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Through my Flickr account, I received the following request:
  • "My name is Mayumi from Healing World Co., Ltd. which is an independent music label in Japan. We're currently creating a series of promotional movies for our artist, TOSHI with a lot of nice pictures from over the world. We would like to use your photo "Strolling In Budapest" if possible"...
This is the picture (to the right):

Here's the part which I found of interest:
  • ..."It would also be very nice if you could allow us to use it without giving you a credit, not showing your name on the movie"...
It is fairly standard if you're not going to buy a photographer's shot, then you at least will traditionally ask for permission and tell people who took it. The alternative is basically cheating the system and working it completely for free. Here's more:
So, I was curious to see what calibre artist Toshi might be and started some research based on his MySpace profile.

On first glance, it's a little hard to decipher since some of his MySpace material is in Japanese, but this is what we can determine. His music is Pop (you can hear that, kind of like Josh Groban), he plays concerts in Tokyo, he has CDs, his music is on iTunes (in Japan at least). Here he is on YouTube.

There are more clues from his biography which describes him as a "legendary" vocalist who has given more than 2500 concerts, has "steady and honest activities", and has created "big sensations". Toshi says, “I have seen so many people shed tears to hear my songs for as long as 8 years, and I sincerely feel that is such a blessing and a great pleasure for me.”

The biography later relates that after splitting from the band that made him legendary and going solo, they had reunion concerts at the Tokyo Dome in March 2008. The Tokyo Dome is a 55,000 seat stadium where the Yomiuri Giants play in Japan. Hmmm.... I am concluding that Toshi may be a major artist.

I further find that Toshi has 6786 MySpace friends. Looking up Britney Spears for comparison, we see that she has 505,795 friends on her space. Well, I guess he's not in her league.

At any rate, I decided to allow the picture to be used without credits (or money) out of curiosity and because he seemed to have a good heart. I did ask to have a link to the video when done.

And, in the end, he does appear to be trying to cheat the system, but since his bio says he is a "healing artist"it will be my contribution to the good of society.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Breaking for Snow

I was holed up in my office building while the snow fell. I knew it was coming down, but I couldn't see it as I was working deep in the windowless bowels of the building. In the vicinity of lunch time, I got a chance to get out and observe even though my time was short.

Taking pictures of people in the snow is not easy. Flakes end up on your lens, it's hard to move and it's cold. Fortunately, my building has an extended roof which allowed me to swing around the outside without getting too wet. Each perspective had its own aura, different then the usual Manhattan mix. Three of the four sides of the building produced subjects.

Looking east.

Looking south.

Looking west.

North was a bust.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Digital Picture Frame broken

My digital picture frame died today. I had it on my desk, and watched it flip through hundreds of my pictures over time. This was not a high quality frame. My shots that look so nice elsewhere, looked crappy here. Plus this frame did not maintain the aspect ratio, it typically made people look fat as it expanded their girth to match the width of the frame.

I had noticed that I had to constantly change the contrast and tweak the brightness settings. This was done in one degree increments in tedious steps. There was no way to easily compare the settings looked on an actual picture. Little did I know, these adjustments were the beginning of the slow death of the digital device as there came to be a scattered flickering which became quite annoying.

It's just as well that it broke, I really need to get a wireless picture frame. Most of the newer model frames have a built-in wi-fi chip that allows photos to be downloaded from the web. As a matter of fact, a company started by a former boss of mine,, is making a business of this. You can manage a feed from the web of various photographic or news channels. This is similar to how feeds are provided within some elevators in high rises.

I was asked to provide a channel for the launch last year for people around the globe to download my pictures to their own frames. Now there are somewhere around 70 people subscribing to the "Photographer - John Fraissinet" channel. However, my old, now broken, digital frame can't get it, since that frame is not on the web.

FrameChannel is banking on the holidays to sell a lot of the frames this year. They sell advertising that is embedded into the content they provide. Right now, 1% of all the content are downloads of my photos. I'm not quite sure how it is displayed (outside of the preview on the site) but it's a cool concept. They do embed ads somewhere along the line, and if they are ever profitable I would get a cut. So, I think its time to get a wireless frame.