The key here is “noncommercial.” I work for a nonprofit and I like helping nonprofits. I’m happy to allow an underfunded organization to use my photos in their blogs or newsletters. But if someone uses my photos in the pursuit of profit (i.e. Mashable), than I require a piece of the action.
The photo has been removed. I received this response from the author via Twitter:
Kenny Harrelson collects and customizes Hot Wheels diecast cars and shoots with vintage film cameras. He’s an author and musician. Harrelson is also colorblind.
“This Arizona Border Patrol car was customized from a Hot Wheels Sheriff Patrol car. It was drilled, paint stripped, 2 coats of gloss white and the custom decals I created and applied,” Harrelson says in the photo caption on Flickr. He based the custom decals on border patrol cars he’d seen while living in Arizona. “I support the Border Patrol as they fight the tough fight.”
What’s even more impressive about the photo is the technique he uses to shoot diecast cars in scenes like this. Harrelson explains that the photo is indeed one single photograph without the use of Photoshop. The background is a printed photograph formatted to 1:64 Hot Wheels scale. The photo wraps under the car and up behind to form the scene. He then lights and shoots the final image. The effect is seamless and stunning.
As my nephews become young men, their passion for soccer only increases. Just two years ago, they were playing on small patches of grass in a neighborhood park. Now, they’ve graduated to the harsh dirt fields of the local school league.
The rolling hills above Tijuana’s sprawling suburbs define the physical landscape of a city not often thought of for its geology. The highest peak, Cerro Colorado (Red Hill), stands about 500 meters (1,640 ft) above sea level. The western edge of the summit is marked in white with the phrase “Jesucristo es el Señor” (Jesus Christ is Lord). Local radio and television stations broadcast from antennas on top of hill. A dirt trail carved out by maintenance trucks runs up from the eastern edge of its base in the neighborhood El Florido. People use the trail to hike to the top. In addition to the panoramic view, there are a couple small caves along the sides of the peak.
Here are a few photos and a video from a recent trip up Cerro Colorado:
I’ve taken my camera with me to vote for the last several elections resulting in both good and bad experiences. When San Diego used touch-screen machines for the first time, I was able to get a shot using my digital SLR. On another election day, I was stopped and aggressively questioned by a poll worker for trying to take a cellphone photo.
Here’s the problem. The legality of cameras inside polling places isn’t black and white; the laws vary state by state. Plus, some poll workers have only received basic training and will apply their own judgement. The Citizen Media Law Project suggests four things to avoid getting yourself into trouble: follow the rules, be discreet, don’t interfere with voters or the process, respect the buffer zone.
In California, election codes aren’t particularly clear. They prohibit recording within 100 feet of anyone entering or exiting the polling place with the intent to dissuade others from voting. This is where the above guidelines come in; stay low-key and they’ll likely leave you alone. I spoke with the San Diego County Registrar of Voters and they said photography and video will be allowed up to 25 feet away.
While inside the polling area, California Elections Code says you must be in the process of voting (i.e. not using a camera), are limited to 10 minutes, and can’t show your vote to others (i.e. not documenting your vote). While it doesn’t specifically state “no cameras allowed,” legal precedent hasn’t cleared up the specifics. Government officials err on the side of caution. The California Secretary of State’s office says it has “historically taken the position that use of cameras or video equipment at polling places is prohibited, though there may be circumstances where election officials could permit such use.” When I spoke to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, they said they won’t allow cameras inside the polling place except for credentialed journalists.
From a certain angle, this all seems very oppressive. This is a free country and I should have the right to video my vote, right? Yes, but other voters should also have the right not to be surveilled while voting. Poll workers are commissioned to protect the vote and can kick you out, even calling the police if you cause enough of a disturbance. This can all be avoided by sticking to the suggestions mentioned above. Pay attention and be careful not to record other people unwillingly.
Publish Your Photos and Videos on Election Day
YouTube and PBS have partnered with Video Your Vote to gather first-hand accounts on election day. They’ve arranged the videos on a map to note voter intimidation and other problems at the polls.
The New York Times’ Polling Place Photo Project collects images to create “an archive of photographs that captures the richness and complexity of voting in America.”
Video The Vote is a watchdog group organizing people to document voter suppression and other problems.