Stay off those train tracks!



The photo ain’t worth it: Believe it or not, people *die* every year from purposely standing in front of an onrushing train.
…Okay, they were just posing for a photo — on a train track.
On which a train arrived. At full speed.

As The Online Photographer reported earlier this year, “on January 18th, in Auburn, Washington State, a 42-year-old Las Vegas man was struck and killed by an Amtrak Cascades passenger train traveling from Portland to Seattle. What was he doing on the tracks? You guessed it — posing for his girlfriend, who was taking pictures of him.”

• In 2012, TOP reports, a 52-year-old California high school photography teacher was killed on the train tracks. “She was photographing one train approaching her and was struck by another coming the other way. She must have assumed that the horns and ground vibration she heard were coming from the train in front of her, not another one behind her.”

More than 900 people were injured or killed while trespassing on railroad property in the U.S. just last year alone, according to Federal Railroad Administration statistics.

Now the Union Pacific Railroad is officially “urging professional photographers to refrain from taking photographs of sports teams, high school seniors, wedding parties and other subjects on or near train tracks or trestles.”

“You never know when a train will come along,” says Union Pacific’s director of public safety, and so “we want to remind photographers that walking on or near railroad tracks is extremely dangerous.”

Want to safely and legally access a site? Look here.

Flying cameras get FAA approval

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The Federal Aviation Administration is now permitting the use of camera-equipped drones on movie sets. It’s hopefully a first step in lightening regulations on all pros and hobbyists who want to shoot stills or video from their quadcopter.

The Consumer Electronics Association says the FAA decision “is an important milestone as the agency develops rules to allow unmanned aircraft to operate safely in U.S. airspace. We support the FAA’s action and related guidance that provides a model for other private businesses seeking approval to operate drones in populated areas under controlled environments.”

The devices are used in aerial coverage for sports and real estate, assistance in search and rescue and disaster relief missions, and “providing novel new camera angles to capture professional and personal video footage,” the CEA adds.  “The sky is the limit.”

CEA forecasts the global market for consumer drones will approach $300 million by 2018 (just under a million units).

PMA friends pause for a picture at photokina

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I just came across this shot of some very familiar faces, and I thought I’d share it with you. This was taken a few days ago at the AAA Imaging booth at photokina. Pictured left to right are Mike Wodushek, Neil Cohen, John Segall, Chris Noterman and Bob Noterman.

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UPDATED: Lucidiom files for Chapter 11; Customers and licenses secure with Photo Finale


lucidiomThe rumors have been flying, and today our friends at Photo Counter were first with the news: Lucidiom has entered a Chapter 11 (voluntary administration) bankruptcy process. As reported in Photo Counter:

According to Photo Finale, [what  had initially been a Chapter 7 (involuntary liquidation) bankruptcy filing] has now moved to a Chapter 11 process:Photo Finale

‘We can confirm for you…that Lucidiom Inc. has passed into a Chapter 11 process under U.S. law, and not a Chapter 7 Involuntary Petition,’ said Michael A. Clayton-Gale, a director of Lucidiom.

‘The Chapter 7 was overturned on presentation in due process as required under the deadlines for response by the company directors.

‘Lucidiom Inc has had a formal process in place since last year to support Photo Finale Inc, which now markets, distributes, and supports the old Lucidiom customer base as well as developing the software to new levels,’ he said.

As we at PMA Newsline reported earlier this week, Photo Finale, which was incorporated a year ago and is run by CEO Steve Giordano Jr. and other former Lucidiom leadership, owns all Lucidiom licenses and customer contracts. Giordano Jr. said:

“Photo Finale Inc. has supported and operated all Lucidiom customers as transferred, with no outward change or interruption to service, for the past year. For customers and retailers, it has been business as usual and all license agreements remain in place.  Photo Finale Inc. is an employee-owned, debt-free company with a strong, smart team who will continue to support all our customers and to develop great new software.  I see a bright future for our industry; more pictures available for printing than ever before gives us all great opportunities.”

Read more in Photo Counter here, and read the other article in PMA Newsline here. [Note: Giordano Jr. clarified an error in the Photo Counter report: "Photo Finale shares no directors or employees with Lucidiom.  Michael Clayton Gale is not a director of Photo Finale, only of Lucidiom," he said.]

Photo Finale Inc. announces changes, plans for Lucidiom software


Photo FinaleIf you recognize many of the names among of the leadership of Photo Finale Inc., there’s a good reason for that: we know them from Lucidiom. Now, Photo Finale, which incorporated in September 2013, is announcing visible changes to the company and brand and plans for continued development of Lucidiom software — but no interruptions or changes for dealers or consumers, according to Steve Giordano, Jr., CEO, Photo Finale Inc.  lucidiom

“Last year, after much deliberation, a select group of Lucidiom staff decided to license the Lucidiom code and take a major step toward modernization.  Photo Finale Inc. was formed.  Under a perpetual agreement, we licensed all of Lucidiom’s software, acquired the customer contracts, and took that leap at modernization of support and development,” says Giordano.

“Since the purchase of Trevoli Inc. in 2005, we have worked to make the Photo Finale software the basis for a cloud-connected retail platform.  And, it became clear that in order to meet the challenges of a radically-changing photofinishing market, our company needed to change the way we developed software, hired staff, and conducted our business,” explains Giordano.

Most importantly, says Giordano, introducing Photo Finale Inc. has caused no major changes for dealers or consumers:  “Photo Finale Inc. has supported and operated all Lucidiom customers as transferred, with no outward change or interruption to service, for the past year,” says Giordano. “For customers and retailers it has been business as usual and all license agreements remain in place.  Photo Finale Inc. is an employee-owned, debt-free company with a strong, smart team who will continue to support all our customers and to develop great new software.  I see a bright future for our industry; more pictures available for printing than ever before gives us all great opportunities.”

Photo Finale continues its transition from a provider of in-store photofinishing solutions to an enterprise-class online imaging business solution.  Since licensing the Lucidiom code last year, Photo Finale Inc. has built a complete mobile web interface, increased native app development and introduced the largest APM kiosk software update in six years.

Photo Finale’s new address is 7927 Jones Branch Dr, Ste 1150, Tysons Corner, Virginia 22102, US.  The phone number is 703-564-3400.  Photo Finale’s website ( will redirect to the Lucidiom website until a new one is in place.

MMIE 573: Join this campaign

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mmie 573 AMcCurry Marketing Idea Exchange #573 – September 23, 2014

Mom and apple pie. Gotta love ‘em both (although mom’s lemon pie is to die for, and her raspberry pie . . . sorry . . . back to the subject at hand). A number of industry groups have come together to create a pretty much ready-to-go marketing campaign for you, with free marketing materials, to make young mothers more aware of the benefits of getting (more) involved in taking family pictures.

That means not only printing more photos and creating photo products, but also investing in cameras and accessories.

The theme of the campaign is “Life Is Crazy: Hold on to the Highlights.”

The graphics are eye-catching, as well they should be, and the digital toolkit includes art files for posters, web ads, images for your site, and more. Higher res materials also are available.

There’s space in the artwork for your store logo.

Also part of the kit is staff education materials to ensure everyone is on message.

The campaign is the brainchild of a consortium of US photo industry companies and groups, including PMDA, CEA, and Innovations In Photo Imaging (IIPI), with support from PMA, which recognized sales in certain categories are declining, and most consumers wish they could take better pictures and make tangible printed products.

So, by aiming at Gen X and Y moms, the expectation is . . . you guessed it . . . increased sales, because children and family are “strong drivers” for investment in all things photographic. On top of that, these mums have the disposable income.

This “life is crazy” theme is an interesting one. The IIPI says the theme “taps mom’s feeling that life is racing by. The campaign reminds them that they need to stop, enjoy, capture, and hold on to the wonderful (crazy) moments of their lives (their children’s lives).

In addition to the artwork, the digital kit includes some limited content to educate these moms about what they need to take better photos, and do more with them – print and make photo products.

There’s a strong social media component to the campaign, as might be expected.

Delightfully, the toolkit lets you extend the concept to other audiences – “life is cool” and “life is amazing” are just two of the suggestions.

Interested? Contact Karly Davis at the Consumer Electronics Association.

So what’s your idea?

• Got a promotion that worked? An idea generated by a staffer? Something that’s exciting and/or motivating the crew? Doing something that’s bringing customers in, got customers buzzing, got them buying? Tell us.

• We’d appreciate getting pictures to help illustrate the ideas.

• Send your ideas to

• Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer; we’ll be happy to tidy things up for you.

• The archived editions of the McCurry Marketing Ideas Exchange contain more than 1,000 marketing ideas as a resource for you:

Adobe acquires imaging developer Aviary

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The leading imaging software company has taken in one of the most successful startups of recent years: Adobe acquired Aviary, and “together we will build and connect the next generation of creative applications, “Aviary says.

Adobe says Aviary has “an exceptional team and technology platform, as well as expertise serving a robust developer ecosystem.”

Privately held Aviary notes its more than 100 million downloads of its photo-editing apps, as well as its free SDK offered to third-party developers. “This allows us to extend our technology and creative tools not only to Aviary app users, but to users of thousands of other creative mobile apps that today are used by millions of people to edit billions of images each month.”

Also of interest: Aviary says its headquarters in New York City “is very close to the offices of Behance, the creative community that joined Adobe 18 months ago – and that is now a cornerstone of Adobe’s Creative Cloud offering.”

Up next: the companies “will continue to support and enhance Aviary’s SDK as part of Adobe’s broader Creative SDK offering. While ensuring no interruption to Aviary’s developer community, or their apps’ users, we plan to add additional components and services for developers to incorporate – such as the ability to save creations to Creative Cloud in Adobe file formats, access Photoshop technology, and connect creativity across devices using the Creative SDK.”

Texas court strikes down ‘improper photography’ statute



Yes, a kind of picture-taking was against the law in Texas…
“Improper photography” had been defined as arousing photography taken without consent. Yes, it was perhaps primarily first meant to simply stop peeping toms and such scofflaws. But vague wording meant enforcement could have overreached, and it could have been a dangerous precedent. Thankfully it’s been struck down.

Part of the Court’s reasoning:
“A statute is likely to be found overbroad if the criminal prohibition it creates is of “alarming breadth.” Such is the case with the current statute, the breadth of which has been accurately characterized as “breathtaking.” The statutory provision at issue is extremely broad, applying to any non-consensual photograph, occurring anywhere, as long as the actor has an intent to arouse or gratify sexual desire. This statute could easily be applied to an entertainment reporter who takes a photograph of an attractive celebrity on a public street. But the statute operates unconstitutionally even if applied to someone who takes purely public photographs of another for personal reasons with the requisite intent.”

The full story is here — written by the law professor who co-wrote the legal brief in the court case.

Plenty of Picture Products & News #4

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It’s a busy week in the photography biz. Here’s a fourth round-up of news and products covered around the Web.

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• ProCam 2 shows off Iphone manual camera controls

• Case carries APS-C sensor, f/2 lens to iPhone

• Canon tours Pixma Pro printers

• Adobe Revenue Forecast Misses, Shares Slip

• Sony reports losses in mobile


Patent on double-sided photo paper to be auctioned

Royal Marketing reports a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has stripped ownership of a U.S. patent for double-sided photo paper from China Lucky Film Corporation.

It’s the latest event in the unfolding saga that “culminated” with a judgment against China Lucky in April 2009 “which China Lucky refuses to pay,” Royal Marketing adds.

At the base of the struggle: Royal says it “purchased and re-sold in the United States several hundreds of thousands of dollars of the photo paper they manufactured — paper not appropriate for sale in the U.S.”

A court-appointed Receiver will auction the patent to pay the 2009 judgment.