Join 3,418 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Noah Grey
July 7, 2002 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Noah Grey has returned. The photographer shares his amazing eye for capturing an image. Emotion, shadow and light...
posted by yonderboy (82 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
i HATE when people use javascript to disable right-clicking. not only does it not stop anyone from "stealing" your files, it turns off about 15 pieces of browser functionality that have nothing to do with "file stealing." ugh.
posted by chrisege at 10:03 AM on July 7, 2002


I agree with chrisege. It is by far one of the most annoying things on the internet. More so than popup ads. Ick.
posted by ncurley at 10:16 AM on July 7, 2002


...now back to the photos...
posted by yonderboy at 10:23 AM on July 7, 2002


Umm, and this is any more important or noteworthy than this, or this, or this, or... well, you get the point...
posted by yarf at 10:25 AM on July 7, 2002


Proxomitron gets rid of all your right-click and ad woes.
posted by geoff. at 10:27 AM on July 7, 2002


The featured prints are wonderful. It's hard to believe he shot these with a digital camera. The prices are reasonable too. I might even pick up a print of this.

(btw, I could right-click just fine in mozilla 1.1)
posted by mathowie at 10:52 AM on July 7, 2002


i HATE when people use javascript to disable right-clicking.

Use Mozilla. No right-click disabling there :-)
posted by wackybrit at 11:09 AM on July 7, 2002


He did all that with a Nikion Coolpix 990? Dang. That makes it even harder to blame my camera for my crappy photos...

But it is quite inspirational. Slowly but surely I will become a half-decent amateur photographer. I've got plenty of time...
posted by whatnotever at 11:14 AM on July 7, 2002


Um, I thought we weren't going to use Metafilter to issue announcements about people's personal sites?

That said, those photos are stunning.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2002


In defense of right-click disabling:

Most developers know (and I have no doubt that Noah Grey is one of them) that right-clicking is only one of multiple ways to get hold of a specific image.

(on the same token, there are multiple ways to achieve any of the functionalities that are included in the context menu such as print or refresh, etc.)

however, disabling right-click removes the best-known method and will deter the vast majority of casual image savers.

for those who are determined enough to use other methods of grabbing the images, the right-click will still be the first tried, and the copyright notice will at least serve as additional notice that the copyright owner would not approve of what they may be intending to do (and would have avery legal right to sue you for infringement if that is the intention).

as for getting your feathers ruffled because you don't have access to the context menu, do you really begrudge noah grey the right to attempt to protect his work in every way he can?
posted by o2b at 11:29 AM on July 7, 2002


Some of those photos are simply stunning. Amazing, even. Bravo, Noah.
posted by gummi at 11:48 AM on July 7, 2002


disabling right-click removes the best-known method and will deter the vast majority of casual image savers.

I'm not sure about deterring the vast majority -- almost verybody knows how to work around that in about three seconds

The man of course has every right to try to protect his work
posted by matteo at 11:50 AM on July 7, 2002


By the way, since we're talking about photography, check out this work by a guy from Belgium (English text)
Apparently he sneaks into abandoned places like old factories and industrial places and old hospitals and takes pictures there (with a Leica -- this for the MeFi photo equipment buffs)
My favorite: Le Valdor (Frankenstein's hospital)
Much scarier than the movie Session 9
posted by matteo at 12:00 PM on July 7, 2002


The front page also breaks in my Mozilla. It looks like he's using javascript for the band of grey, and it doesn't show up. His photos are good. His coding is annoying.
posted by jragon at 12:02 PM on July 7, 2002


...do you really begrudge noah grey the right to attempt to protect his work in every way he can?

Yes. If someone wants to grab a copy of your image, they will do so whether you disable right-clicking or not. I've never heard of a single person, adamant about using an image, being dissuaded from finding another means. In fact, here's a tutorial for the novice thief:

1. Disable Javascript in your browser. This can usually be accomplished through the 'Advanced' section of your browser preferences. If they can't execute Javascript, they can't disable the functionality of your browser.

2. File -> Save As. In Internet Explorer 5.x and higher, Mozilla, and likely other browsers, you can save a page directly to your hard drive and the images will be downloaded and placed into a folder in the same directory.

3. Use your favorite image editing software to take a screen capture of the image, provided the image isn't larger than the size of your screen. If it is, you can take two or more captures and piece the sections together.

4. Pull the image out of your browser cache.

5. Use a browser that provides useful functionality, like Mozilla's complete disregard for Javascript that prevents right-clicking, or Internet Explorer's hovering image menu, which allows you to save images without right-clicking.

If someone voluntarily posts content to the Internet, they do so with the explicit knowledge that someone, somewhere will use it against their will. This is one of the great caveats of online publishing. (Note, too, that every method to control data from copyright infringement has been circumvented a dozen ways, often within weeks of said technology's release.)

I am in no way excusing thievery; in fact, I've actively crusaded against it for years (and have been fairly successful, long before the advent of weblogs.) 1,2,3 At the same time, however, attempting to arbitrarily limit the browser functionality of anyone who visits your site is wholly ineffective as a theft deterrent and serves merely to irritate legitimate visitors.
posted by Danelope at 12:06 PM on July 7, 2002


also launched recently, and in a similar vein - secrethree.com
posted by sawks at 12:12 PM on July 7, 2002


decorative.
posted by muckster at 12:12 PM on July 7, 2002


Noah's site is more than just 'another personal site' whose relaunch, heaven forfend, we should refrain from announcing on pure, pristine Metafilter. His print store alone is worth the link, I think. (I own 3 of his prints, so far.) Just another tuppence.
posted by Medley at 12:39 PM on July 7, 2002


How come the site was pulled from this??
posted by johnny7 at 12:39 PM on July 7, 2002


If I recall correctly, he asked for it to be pulled -- doesn't believe in awards or something like that.
posted by Medley at 1:04 PM on July 7, 2002


How quickly so many noticed that the right click was disabled! One can only assume that they noticed while trying to steal the images...?
posted by crunchland at 1:16 PM on July 7, 2002


for those who are determined enough to use other methods of grabbing the images, the right-click will still be the first tried, and the copyright notice will at least serve as additional notice that the copyright owner would not approve of what they may be intending to do (and would have avery legal right to sue you for infringement if that is the intention).

Fuck you! If you don't want me to have the picture, then KEEP it out of MY browser cache. And keep it off the web, that'll work. If get a newspaper nothing prevents me from cutting out and saving a picture.
posted by HTuttle at 1:28 PM on July 7, 2002


Noah asked to be removed from the contest both years he was listed.


As for being linked in a post here, he was the author of Greymatter, which until Movable Type came along, was pretty much considered one of the power user blog tools. He has a certain amount of (grudgingly acknowledged) fame and a large following. I'd say his return is worth being noted. While maybe, universally, this isn't as big an event as Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez croaking, why not?
Beyond that, it seems that the place has been repurposed more towards presenting his photography rather than as a personal site that happens to have pictures. While Yonderboy might be to blame for presenting the post as being an announcement of another blogger's triumphant return, why not just take it as an artist's site found, which others might not have known about? The place has been inactive long enough that I'm sure a lot of people have stopped looking.
posted by Su at 1:28 PM on July 7, 2002


Or having had it pointed out, were irresistibly drawn to checking for themselves, like picking at a scab?
posted by Fat Buddha at 1:30 PM on July 7, 2002


Really easy way to beat 99% of right-click disabling JavaScript:

1) Hold down the left mouse button
2) Hold down the right bouse button
3) Release the left mouse button
4) Release the right mouse button

For the most part you should get the right mouse button menu. Most developers don't check for the left mouse button, and it works most of the time, in my experience

(From TechTV, a while back)
posted by SweetJesus at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2002


How quickly so many noticed that the right click was disabled! One can only assume that they noticed while trying to steal the images...?

Right-click, open link in new window. Or right-click and hit the back button. I do it all the time. Surely I am not the only person. When I can't right-click, I simply add a site to the hosts file and never see it again. Pop-up ads do not even begin to annoy me as much as no-right-click scripts. *shrugs*
posted by bargle at 1:35 PM on July 7, 2002


Is Noah Jewish?
posted by hobbes at 1:50 PM on July 7, 2002


is it really that hard to respect someone's wishes not to have his very personal work stolen?

jesus. have a little respect, guys. if having my right click disabled is the price i have to pay for looking at some fucking great photography, i will happily pay it. maybe this "everything on the internet is free and mine" thing has gone a little too far when people are saying "if i can't steal it, don't even put it on the web".
posted by pikachulolita at 1:59 PM on July 7, 2002


It's hard to believe he shot these with a digital camera.

I don't find it entirely surprising that this sentiment still exists, since digital cameras have really only been close to on-par with film for a couple years... but I feel it's worth pointing out that a 3 megapixel image is capable of producing a sharper, higher-resolution image than 35mm. That is, of course, dependent on the quality of the camera's optics, metering, and the skill of the photographer.

but my point is, digital cameras are just as capable of prducing high quality creative output, given the right photographer. In fact, you've probably seen plenty of digital photos without even realzing it.

Anyway, I couldn't tell if Noah's pictures are good or not, because when I went to view the gallery in a new window, it told me I couldn't do that. If someone is going to assume that enough of their visitors are thieves that it warrants alienating the non-thieving visitors, that's their business. just don't expect mine.
posted by chrisege at 2:02 PM on July 7, 2002


to get a new browser window in windows: shift-click on a link.

there are just as many alternatives to the legit uses of the right-click as there are for getting around the copyright protection attempts.
posted by o2b at 2:15 PM on July 7, 2002


HTuttle: Since you have no email in your profile, I must respond to you here. My apologies to all for the noise.

>> If get a newspaper nothing prevents me from cutting [it] out and saving a picture.

Do you really think that if there was a cost-effective method to keep you from doing it they wouldn't? The business of intellectual properties contributes trillions upon trillions of dollars to the world economy.

Besides, the quality of a picture in a newspaper or magazine (due to printing or paper qualities) precludes most of them from being appropriate for secondary uses, such as reprinting in other commercial endeavors.

Images on the web of the quality of Noah Grey's are of sufficiently high quality that any moderately qualified web developer could open them in Photoshop and re-purpose them for other web endeavors.

This has been said to death, but just because you can take the images, doesn't mean you should, and doesn't make it right. They belong to Noah Grey. He has every right to proclaim his copyright ownership in whatever way he sees fit.

And while there are alternatives to the context menu's functions, users who depend on it will simply not partake of the site's offerings, as chrisege demonstrated. This is their choice.

>> Fuck you!

I love respectful debate. Fuck you too.
posted by o2b at 2:35 PM on July 7, 2002


pikachulolita: maybe this "everything on the internet is free and mine" thing has gone a little too far when people are saying "if i can't steal it, don't even put it on the web".

o2b: there are just as many alternatives to the legit uses of the right-click as there are for getting around the copyright protection attempts.

Irrelevant, and irrelevant. I don't believe Noah's work belongs to me any more than I believe my work belongs to anyone else. The fact remains, however, that browsers are programmed to function in a certain manner, and disabling major portions of that functionality for the sake of protecting something that is completely unprotectable once online is both a bad design decision and a presumptuous one.

Given the outrage against opening links in new browser windows, sites that automatically resize browser windows, and so on, this would seem to warrant the same logical conclusion.
posted by Danelope at 2:54 PM on July 7, 2002


You know people don't seem to be arguing the same thing here.

On the one side, I see people saying - this kind of script doesn't protect your images, but it does negatively impact my browsing experience. I don't like it.

On the other side, I see people saying - hey, he has a right to protect his images from theft.

For myself, I come down with the folks in the first camp. The second group "may" be right, but to extend it to a real world analogy it would be like a store deciding they had too many people shoplifting. Their solution, to have somebody come in and install a series of chain-link fences with big "Don't Steal" signs that you have to climb over. The fences don't prevent theft. It just makes it a pain to go into the store.

Is it the store's right to put up fences? I suppose, but it's a pretty silly thing to do at the best and damned annoying at the worst.
posted by willnot at 2:56 PM on July 7, 2002


I stole all of Noah Grey's images with wget. Not really, I just like plugging OS software.
posted by Eamon at 3:30 PM on July 7, 2002


And keep it off the web, that'll work.

So the only way to prevent people from stealing artwork on the web is to not publish it in the first place, depriving everyone from the benefits in order to deprive you from the ability to steal it?

Is it the store's right to put up fences? I suppose, but it's a pretty silly thing to do at the best and damned annoying at the worst.

Your analogy is faulty. Disabling the right mouse button doesn't prevent you from viewing the images. It doesn't put a barrier in your way from using the site in the intended way. All it prevents you from doing - and it's been shown here that it doesn't do that good a job of it - is inhibit you from stealing the contents.

One would hope that you have enough morals to respect the artists' work, but in the age of Kazaa and Cory Doctorow, apparently that's just too much to hope for.
posted by crunchland at 3:52 PM on July 7, 2002


Sweet Lord.

A link to an excellent set of photographs from someone who has contributed immeasurably to the weblogging community and you people start bitching and brawling.

Great link from yonderboy, but some of the rest of you could fuck up a cup of coffee, I swear. To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield, "Last night I went to a fight and Metafilter broke out."
posted by jonmc at 4:08 PM on July 7, 2002


Gorgeous, gorgeous photos and a perfect reminder about the return of a fascinating 'net personality. Thanks, yonderboy. And thanks to Danelope and others who spread the word about easy ways to get around intrusive disabling of browser functionality.
posted by mediareport at 4:17 PM on July 7, 2002


crunchland - it doesn't just prevent somebody from saving the image. It prevents you from using the right click button to go back. It prevents you from using the right click to open links in a new window. Are there other ways to do this? Yes of course - just as there are other ways to to save images. But, if you typically use the right click to do these things, then disabling it is exactly what my analogy describes. It is a barrier. I can get over that barrier with some effort, but requiring that I do that is exactly like asking me to climb over a fence to browse the items in your store.
posted by willnot at 4:18 PM on July 7, 2002


I'm not so sure what everybody is talking about when they say "stealing." If I wanted to save one of these images on my hard drive so I could use them as wallpaper or admire their flawless beauty at my own leisure, would that constitute stealing? How is that so different from always leaving a browser window open? What's wrong about emailing the pictures to my sister so she can admire their timeless artistry? How is that different from sending her the URL? If I put the picture on my site, duely credited, is that theft? As long as I don't make any money off of them, how is copying them in order to make them available to others different from what Noah does by putting them online in the first place: they're always available for viewing. They're out there anyway. Are the Google cache and the Wayback Machine stealing from Noah? I fail to understand how copying of an image file that's published on the Internet equals stealing.

Guess that's why I'm not a copyright lawyer.
posted by muckster at 4:19 PM on July 7, 2002


Isn't there some sort of corrollary to that law about invoking Nazis in a discussion that involves bitching about some minor soft-/hard-ware or coding-related, non-topic-related issue that then proceeds to absolutely overshadow what's really – theoretically – being talked about?

Well, there should be.
posted by Su at 4:20 PM on July 7, 2002


MetaFilter: Come for the links, run screaming from the discussion.
posted by Mick at 4:24 PM on July 7, 2002


The man is trying to make a living as a photographer. That is no easy task. It was hard in the pre-web days, when my father was making his bones as a professional shutterbug. Nowadays, with high quality printing, there is very little impediment to theft of an artist's work.

If you doubt Noah's motivations, or feel that he is not a generous soul, I would urge you to read the archives of his blog. Learn a little about the man before you focus derision on him for making a small attempt to safeguard the fruits of his art. I think you'll find that he possesses an uncommon kindness of spirit, and that he views this tiny measure of protection as a necessary evil. If it really bugs you, remember that he could have stamped big, ugly watermarks on all of the pictures.

As for the photography itself, I think it's absolutely lovely.
posted by Optamystic at 4:24 PM on July 7, 2002


Or: What jonmc said.
posted by Optamystic at 4:25 PM on July 7, 2002


muckster: stealing is too strong a word for using photos as backgrounds, emailing, etc. but mr. grey has come out and said that he doesn't want people using his flag picture as a background (post 9-11), at least, and i would assume the same thing would apply to his other images.

i don't think stealing is the issue so much -- but as the artist, he still has the prerogative to control how and where his work is used. disabling right click is a pretty strong indicator that he doesn't really want it leaving his site. while it may not be stealing, or illegal in any way, to save the image to your hard drive, he obviously doesn't want you to.

word up to optamystic and jonmc. i am so incredibly happy that noah grey is back. i especially love the series photographs (in bloom is absolutely stunning).
posted by pikachulolita at 5:10 PM on July 7, 2002


Okay, so a friend of mine is a very talented writer and writes great book reviews... He's been away for awhile, but recently came back and started updating his site again. He makes a commission off of his book reviews by referring readers to Amazon.com to buy the book. The reviews are often times more entertaining than the books themselves!

I've got another friend who sells Pez dispensers he custom paints on his site. He's been on vacation for the past week, but recently came home and painted a few new Pez dispensers. Is it okay to post his link too?

I'm just trying to understand where the line is here... We post "A-list" blogger links (constantly, to the point where it's now an in-joke about what excuse will be made to mention the next Meg or a Zeldman "piece"...), but how about any artist who's trying to hawk his work online? Are they all worthy??
posted by yarf at 5:20 PM on July 7, 2002


You have a friend who makes custom painted Pez dispensers, and you haven't linked it? Dear God, man! What are you waiting for?
posted by Optamystic at 5:24 PM on July 7, 2002


Fair enough, pikachulolita. I always respect the artist's wishes (not that I'd want to steal these -- they're too easy on the eyes for my taste). But I'd like to suggest that essentially, Noah put these images up as advertising for his prints, and as such, he should be interested in them travelling far and wide. If I were him, I might offer my pix, watermarked with name and URL, to anybody who wants them, provided they don't make a profit. It seems more generous, and I bet it would work for him in the long run.
posted by muckster at 5:29 PM on July 7, 2002


Yarf: A discussion site. We're here to discuss. The initial link was referring to Noah's artwork. What's the big deal?

As for linking to "'A-list' blogger links," perhaps it's because they observe the community and comment upon it. Their comments warrant discussion. We're webloggers with access to a discussion site, thus we link and discuss. I happen to think that a Meg or Zeldman or Ev piece has a distinctly different point of view than your average blogger. So we discuss it. It's the purpose of Metafilter in the first place... to discuss.

As for Noah disabling the right-click properties on his site: Good for him. Perhaps if he was designing a corporate website where usability issues were important, than maybe the detractors would have a point. It's his personal site. He obviously feels it necessary to disable the functionality of right-clicking for the protection of his images. This is the third or fourth iteration of his site to do so... anyone who has read him for awhile knows this.
posted by Psionic_Tim at 5:43 PM on July 7, 2002


In its previous version, NG even offered a choice of stunning desktop images, all free. I couldn't find them in the current site, though.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:19 PM on July 7, 2002


OH MY GOD ARE YOU SO LAZY THAT YOU CAN'T FIND SOME OTHER WAY TO GO BACK TO THE PREVIOUS PAGE??? JESUS!! IT'S JUST RIGHT CLICK DISABLE IT'S NOT LIKE HE CAME TO YOUR HOME AND RIPPED THE BUTTONS OUT OF YOUR MOUSE!!

sorry about the outburst...

I just think this debate is intensely ... stupid! It's just a little javascript that keeps some people from stealing his work. Noah's site is beautiful. Can't you just appreciate something and not pick at the little things that bug you?
posted by misscolleen at 6:58 PM on July 7, 2002


o2b, Opt,

Why doesn't Noah just post lower-res images to prevent people from reproducting 'em for serious uses? muckster's idea 'bout watermarking the pics makes more sense, and would also refer people back to his page.

However, I s'pose that if Noah did post 'em at a lower-res, or watermarked 'em, it'd detract from the "original intent of the artist" and all that jazz.

Can I plug a friend's photos while we're looking at pretty pictures?
posted by hobbes at 7:15 PM on July 7, 2002


Noah Gray has some pleasant pictures. Hope he finds success. As good as a lot of the commercial work out there.

I used to be a semi-professional photographer (read: failed as a pro), and plan to return to it sometime. In practice, anything on the web is more trouble than it's worth to protect (in my opinion only). "Fine art" photographers sell prints - and web resolutions make worse than crappy prints. Commercial photographers sell rights of usage to other commercial entities for printed or electronic media - both of which demand orders of magnitude higher source resolution than a photo on a website.

Better to give your web resolutions away for the price of a credit and some good-will and consider it a marketing expense like any other promotional piece.

I always thought Philip Greenspun's approach to copyright was pretty sensible.
posted by normy at 7:24 PM on July 7, 2002


Moving away from the discussion, browsed through Noah's gallery and liked a lot of stuff there. I remember just briefly going over the site a long time ago (recommended by the same friend above), but the photos didn't make too much of an impression.

They're splendid, love the blue in this one, looks so surreal.
posted by hobbes at 7:27 PM on July 7, 2002


Although not completely in line with my tastes, the compositional quality of the photos looks really great. I am being increasingly nudged over to the benefits of digital photography. I had never seen this work before, so thanks for the link yonderboy.

If anyone wants a primer on the application of the four factors of fair-use in copyright law contact me privately.
posted by anathema at 7:29 PM on July 7, 2002


Quite simply, Noah Grey is able to express personal triumph through his art. It's all there to discover, you can view through his photography, read about it in his blog archives or experience it by using his software.

Yarf, where's the line at on this? I wouldn't know because it's so far from the reasons I made the post it I wouldn't bother discussing it here. Maybe you'll find your answer on MetaTalk. I found it worthy by discovering a bit of who Noah Grey was while visiting his site over several months and then missing it during his hiatus.

I was hoping that this thread would be about the photography. I honestly didn't notice the right-click limitation. There are always sites that do that sort of thing, and others that don't.
posted by yonderboy at 7:38 PM on July 7, 2002


Re: Joel's work...fan-tabulous! Groovy composition and framing...great colors and movement. I like his landscapes the best I think.

Re: the right-click thing...good for him.

Once upon a time, when I had a bunch of art displayed on one of my sites, I found almost all of it displayed on other people's sites, with my signature cut out of the image and them taking credit for my work. (Including stuff which was hanging in galleries and art shows and poster prints that I was trying to sell.) I tried the right click thing, then put everything in flash, then eventually gave up putting stuff on the web because I couldn't find a way to display stuff that showed the quality of the work, without having the work ripped off. Putting lo-res versions out just made the work itself look like crap.

If someone had wanted a .bmp file for a desktop, they could have sent me an email and asked for one.

But eventually, it just turned out that web display didn't generate nearly the sales that galleries and art show displays did, and it did generate huge amounts of hate mail from people who were pissed that they couldn't just download the images...so I just took the majority of it offline.

(Mind you, none of it was "ART"...and I'm embarrassed by a good percentage of it now. heh.)
posted by dejah420 at 7:50 PM on July 7, 2002









Here's where a few of those pictures came from.... Wonder if we'll get some updated ones, since the floods..... New Braunfels got hit pretty hard, which is where canyon lake is.... And Fredricksburg, to a lesser extent, also got flooded.
posted by Espoo2 at 8:08 PM on July 7, 2002


Nice link, I really enjoyed the quality (although I dragged and dropped them onto the desktop to take a closer look...I'm showing my support and buying the nifty mousepad).
posted by samsara at 8:53 PM on July 7, 2002


It's hard to believe he shot these with a digital camera.

Y'all need to spend some time hanging out at Digital Photo Contest. I find that site pretty inspirational. Some of those people are just amazing; in particular, watch for the work of a guy named Charlie Brown.

Nikons are the bomb, as well. I like the Canon I use now well enough, but really, the Nikons are just in a league of their own. Nikon digital images have a certain indefinable "look" that other digital cameras just don't produce.

Keep in mind that many of the images on Noah's site have been enhanced in some way using Photoshop. There are a number of pretty easy things you can do to really improve the look of your photographs. One of the simplest is to do a gaussian blur of 10-20 pixels, then do a fade to about 50% opacity with a mode of Soft Light. Twiddle with the opacity a bit. This works very well with outdoor shots, and water in particular, and also on portraits -- Noah uses it extensively (in fact I learned it by looking at his images).

I also have a Digital Velvia Photoshop action (bought it from this guy) which can work wonders for improving your colors without exaggerating them too much.
posted by kindall at 9:03 PM on July 7, 2002


One would hope that you have enough morals to respect the artists' work, but in the age of Kazaa and Cory Doctorow, apparently that's just too much to hope for.

Yeah, that damn Cory Doctorow. I heard he doesn't even respect his own books.
posted by anildash at 9:04 PM on July 7, 2002


axis of evil! axis of evil!
posted by centrs at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2002


I meant no disrespect for Cory. I just meant that he's sort of the banner bearer for "information wants to be free" and all that...
posted by crunchland at 10:12 PM on July 7, 2002


The photos are beautiful and I was surprised that they look that great from a digital, but I just can't bring myself to buy a serious hi-res digital camera because they all look like cheap toys. Until they can make affordable digitals that don't look exactly like $25 Vivitars from the racks of Target, I'll stick to my trusty Ricoh KR-5 Super. All-manual, pinhole and needle is where it's at, baby.
posted by ttrendel at 10:35 PM on July 7, 2002


The photos are beautiful and I was surprised that they look that great from a digital, but I just can't bring myself to buy a serious hi-res digital camera because they all look like cheap toys. Until they can make affordable digitals that don't look exactly like $25 Vivitars from the racks of Target, I'll stick to my trusty Ricoh KR-5 Super. All-manual, pinhole and needle is where it's at, baby.
posted by ttrendel at 10:36 PM on July 7, 2002


damn. sorry.
posted by ttrendel at 10:36 PM on July 7, 2002


i can't believe the posters here who messed with the functionality of my browser, disabling and limiting my ability to read things that aren't dumb.

sorry, i had to say it, however badly-constructed the sentence might've been. on that note, i never really felt that noah intended his right-click to completely stop anyone from stealing images. hell, he's a programmer, so i'm sure he does. in fact, he's probably addressed it before, and i just don't remember when/where. i thought of it more as a reminder that conveyed, "this is my work. i'd greatly appreciate it if you didn't steal it. and if you did read this, but stole some pictures anyway, you're an even bigger asshole... asshole. just so you know..."

It's hard to believe he shot these with a digital camera.

noah can do some amazing things with a camera. one of the best photoshop matches i've seen was the unoffial one he had with jimformation (i think?)... great stuff, if anyone wants to take the time to find it. some of his work inspired me to go out and take more pictures, and even mess around with infrared photography.

We post "A-list" blogger links

he doesn't really seem like an a-lister... i never really heard him talking too much about other bloggers (a-listers especially) or even the internet, too much. yeah, he gave us greymatter (which i've used for over a year now, which might discredit this whole post, given my bias.), but other than that, he doesn't really seem too involved with the blogging world. he's gotten a lot of respect from people, which could mostly be attributed to the fact that he's a genuinely nice guy, but he doesn't get traffic like some of the other supposed a-listers.. hell, tycho's blog probably gets more sessions ten times over than noah's, yet he doesn't get called out for being an a-lister either..

and i'm rambling again... i should've just summed it up by saying i'm glad too see him back.
posted by lotsofno at 11:46 PM on July 7, 2002


Yes, he has addressed the usefulness(or lack thereof) of the right-click script in the past, and also in the FAQ, first under Site Questions, for those who may have been so irritated by it that they didn't bother going past the first page.
For the curious, here's the Photoshop tennis match.
posted by Su at 1:12 AM on July 8, 2002


mr. grey has come out and said that he doesn't want people using his flag picture as a background (post 9-11), at least, and i would assume the same thing would apply to his other images.

i don't think stealing is the issue so much -- but as the artist, he still has the prerogative to control how and where his work is used


I'm not sure about this. What if I buy one of his prints, scan it in, and use that as a background image? I'd be perfectly entitled under law, but would this constitute moral turpitude of some kind? What if an artist doesn't want me to look at a painting under certain lighting conditions, or whilst intoxicated? I'd argue she should not sell it, if it's that important. I like Noah's photographs, but not exclusively on his terms, and that's something that will remain beyond his control, should he choose to keep making them available. This applies whether or not I pay for the privilege of viewing them.

Additionally, in my opinion, those people complaining about the direction the thread has taken should report back when they've managed to hold an open conversation with a room full of people for more than three minutes, without some kind of topic drift. It's as natural as the dew forming on morning grass. I don't think anyone is aiming particularly at Noah, and I can't personally recall the subject coming up on another thread. If a website gets linked for discussion ... guess what occurs?
posted by walrus at 5:01 AM on July 8, 2002


walrus: What if I buy one of his prints, scan it in, and use that as a background image?

Technically, (notwithstanding possible fair use) doing this is not within the law. What you have purchased is the print itself, not the right to make a copy of the print. In copyright this is related to something called the "first sale doctrine." Enforcement is the real issue, which the big players are obviously working on. The fact is that by using a scanned image of the print for a background, you would be cutting into a legitimate market of the copyright owner. This is the fourth fair-use factor which courts have really been focusing on for at least ten years now.

Htuttle: If get a newspaper nothing prevents me from cutting out and saving a picture.

What you are talking about here is not copying. This case is generally most often cited to illustrate the first sale doctrine.
posted by anathema at 6:46 AM on July 8, 2002


Kindall: Nikons are the bomb, as well. I like the Canon I use now well enough, but really, the Nikons are just in a league of their own. Nikon digital images have a certain indefinable "look" that other digital cameras just don't produce.

I think you're confusing the contributions of technology and talent. A perfect camera would be completely transparent; empowering the photographer to create images however they pleased but introducing no distinct elements to the picture that would mark it as being the product of said camera. Indeed, i think any photographer would loudly insult you for attributing the "look" of their pictures to the particular camera(s) they use. There are numerous manufacturers producing high quality products, and each photographer should select the system that best suits his/her needs.

On another note: I'm sure every mefi'er could name another online photographer just as worthy of mr. Grey of a FPP. I hereby nominate daniel bayer (photo.net member) and melissa lyttle
posted by astirling at 7:35 AM on July 8, 2002


but the photos didn't make too much of an impression.

i agree with you. none of the pictures has an extraordinary theme, they are just stills of everyday life, nothing new that we are not able to watch everyday. the value of the images is the way in he discovers the internal beauty of everyday life.
if he took the images with a coolpix, he surely manipulate them in photoshop, probably just brightness, saturation, etc. but that's almost a fact.
i'm still able to download the images making an opt+click, javascript is enabled in my browser, is this because i'm a mac user?
posted by trismegisto at 7:50 AM on July 8, 2002


If you doubt Noah's motivations, or feel that he is not a generous soul, I would urge you to read the archives of his blog.

Yeah, that's great advice. See how the person represents themself, and take their word for it. See Kaycee.

As for me, everytime I went to the old Grey blog, I saw a whole bunch of whining from him and an enormous amount of sycophantic "We love you Noah! Cheer up XOXOXOXO" responses. The blog, like the pictures, seem to suggest one thing to me: overrated.
posted by norm at 8:17 AM on July 8, 2002


pearls before swine.
posted by crunchland at 9:02 AM on July 8, 2002


I use right-click, Back all the time. I hate the right-click JavaScript because it's never limited to images. Most people, Grey included, disable right-clicking on the whole page. Give me back the right-click on the non-picture portion of the page and I can live with the annoyance on the pictures.

Those are some amazing digital photos, but considering Grey's programming expertise, I'm halfway glad to see him raked over the coals for using such a ham-handed method to offer limited protection to his images.
posted by rcade at 11:00 AM on July 8, 2002


Thanks for the info, anathema. Not that I've ever done that ... I like to use my partners artwork for desktop wallpaper, as it goes. Anyway, my previous comment should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, since I was labouring under a misapprehension.
posted by walrus at 1:56 PM on July 8, 2002


MetaTalk
posted by muckster at 4:31 PM on July 8, 2002


pearls before swine

coal to newcastle
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:17 PM on July 8, 2002


While not all of Noah's pictures are works of art, there are several that I saw when I looked through his site that stand out as being more than just pleasant calendar-ready trivialities, and I think they're worth examining.

Among the ones I looked at, here are some of my favorites worth studying:

The first one, called Butterfly Wing, is a detail study of a butterfly wing, shot using a flash and macro lens. What I find interesting about this shot is not only the variation of tone in the greenish highlights but also the texture of the lower part of the wing, which reminds me of burlap. When I focus on that section, the image flickers in scale, and makes me think that rather than a close-up study of a butterfly wing, it turns into a large piece of cloth, and the greenish highlights could be colored beads.

The next one, called Leaf is another close-up study, which again plays with scale. It reminds me of looking out an airplane window over farmland. While the orange dots scattered across the image are somewhat distracting, I enjoy the emphasis of the shadow of the main stems of the leaf, and the subtle color variation on it.

Fly is another in the close-up series -- despite the disgusting subject matter, the photographer has created a glamour shot of an ordinary housefly. The technique normally used to entice you to buy big-ticket items, the photographer has played made a witty confusion. I particularly like the muted tones, highlighted with the rust red orange of the eyes, and I think the detail of the hairs on the back of the fly are fascinating in a car-wreck sort of way. I also like the blue-green prismatic effect on the wings.. I think I would have preferred if the base the fly is sitting on had no texture - I probably would have either made sure the surface was perfectly clean before I placed the specimen on there, or I would have cleaned it up in Photoshop afterwards --, I do like the way it blurs off into a smoky gray in the distance. Unfortunately, that effect also causes the distant edge of the fly's wing to also go blurry, which is distracting.

Stream, Breckenridge Park is a black and white study of fluid motion. The photographer decided to go with a slow shutter speed, causing the water to blur and reveal the motion. The image has an ethereal quality and the darker areas remind me of a long, dark flowing locks of hair.

Field In Morning Fog is a black & white landscape. I find the bare tree limbs of the tree on the right somewhat distracting, but I enjoy the subtle gradations of tone of the silhouettes of the trees as the go into the distance.

David, Canyon Lake Field is landscape with a surreal red/orange light quality. Although the composition is a little disquieting -- I think I would have framed the image with so that the left edge of the tree branches were contained inside the image frame and given the same space the branches on the right were given -- the disquiet possibly adds to the narrative of the picture. I also like the way the texture and color of the grass in the foreground is echoed in the wisps of the clouds in the sky.

Stream, Canyon Lake Hydroelectric Plant is a black and white nature study. I think what grabs me most about this image is the luxurious texture of the water - it seems thick, like pudding - as it envelopes the gnarled tree trunks. I would have liked to see more detail in shadow area of the tree in the foreground though.

Mask, Market Square, Downtown is eerie. It looks like a sleeping face, but the color is off-putting. The image also has a surreal quality to it. I can feel the texture with my eyes. The decision to use a short focal length and shallow depth of field, causing the greenish hair to go blurry was probably a good decision, as was the decision to pretty much fill the frame and cut out most of the background color.

Downtown, Tower View, Evening is a black and white cityscape, and is a study of shapes, mostly squares and rectangles. The use of the telephoto lens, flattening and compressing the true depth of the image, accentuates the repetition of shapes of the buildings. My eye plays around on the repetitive squares and rectangles caught in the shapes of the windows, especially in the upper right and lower right corners of the frame, as well as the interplay between the black and white windows in those same buildings, which is interrupted by horizontal lines which bring my eye back to the center of the frame. I appreciate the compositional flow of this image, despite the sharp crisp and static lines. I also like the subtle black vignette around the edges of the frame, as well dark wells of shadow that intersperse the foreground.

I find Tower Lobby, Night to be interesting mostly because of the repetition of the curves, as well as the tonal quality of the reflections in the angled windows in the center of the image and in the curved ceiling in the upper right, and how the pinpricks of lights in the distant landscape counterpoint those tones. I do wish there were more detail in the large triangular black area, which takes up most of the image.

David is an intriguing portrait that reminds me of Annie Liebovitz's work. It uses available light and is both hard focused and soft at the same time. I think I would have liked to see something that differentiated the tone at the top of his head and the background shadow. As it is, the top if his head gets lost. Otherwise, I like to tonal quality of the image, especially the drapes of the shirt. And I like the how the reddish pink complexion plays off the bright white of the undershirt in the center of the image.

Of course, these are just my opinions. Not everyone is willing to devote this kind of time to really look at the pictures. It's so easy to click - click - click from image to image. You could gulp down a fine wine, too.

I guess my ultimate point is that it's really incredibly easy to find fault in the artistic work of others when you can't be bothered to take the time to really look, nor have any idea what it takes to make a good photo.. Just compare these pictures to the ones from the last roll of film you had developed.

Maybe my eyes are more educated to appreciating some of the details I saw. I'm willing to bet Noah saw the same things I did when he selected his photos.

But everyone has two eyes, and can see. And the phrase "I may not know art, but I know what I like" pretty well applies here. Lots of people wouldn't dream of eating escargot, either. Personally, I think they have no idea what they're missing.
posted by crunchland at 10:51 PM on July 8, 2002


Noah is a fabulous photographer. And he has every right to protect his work. If you had honored his wishes in the first place, you wouldn't have discovered right click was disabled.

As much as I hate Flash, it's good at keeping people from stealing your work. That's what I would recommend in his case, but that's just me. I think it's a way better alternative than nasty javascript. However, if someone wants a photo bad enough, they will find a way to steal it.
posted by catatonic at 7:12 AM on July 9, 2002


David is an intriguing portrait that reminds me of Annie Liebovitz's work
I hope Leibovitz -- not one of my favorites either but extremely effective in her 1970's Rolling Stone 35mm b/w work -- is not on MeFi or she'll sue your ass for this comment
posted by matteo at 7:42 AM on July 9, 2002


And he has every right to protect his work. If you had honored his wishes in the first place, you wouldn't have discovered right click was disabled.

For crying out loud -- a dozen messages in this thread describe ways you could right-click without trying to do anything with his photos. I hit right-click, Back all the time, as I said in a message you evidently skipped, and it has nothing to do with saving photos locally.
posted by rcade at 8:04 AM on July 9, 2002


I hope Leibovitz -- [...] -- is not on MeFi or she'll sue your ass for this comment

Wishful thinking? I don't see any grounds, but a tempting thought, nonetheless... I could say that Oasis remind me of the Beatles, but I doubt McCartney et al would be able to stop laughing for long enough to call their lawyers ;-)
posted by walrus at 7:08 AM on July 11, 2002


« Older Pamplona is on again.Guess who seems to have won r...  |  To be a great photographer, Ga... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments