Thursday, November 15, 2007

When your photographs are violated...

There is little story I want to share that will explain why I’ve put blogging on hold lately. Oh, I so want to read blogs and post comments but until things settle down, I can’t. The office job I have is beating me up lately and making me hit the sack at 9:30 p.m. It might be a week before I can relax and read again.

Before I tell my story, look at the newest gift to myself from Wild Birds Unlimited.



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Eagle Optics is sweet. It fits in my pocket and is perfect for the backyard. Next on my list is the big pair!



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Again, another Goldfinch, holding on against the cold north winds that are howling through our region today.


In August, I was asked to photograph and follow the police cadets during their semester of training for a slide show presentation at graduation in early December. I’ve taken several hundred photos of the group, including their first formation and training in martial arts, classroom, search and rescue, traffic stops, crime scene, public speaking, driver training, hazmat, tear gas, physical fitness, crowd control, and every day routine (I missed the firing range…darn!). My photos show them growing as a team, as well as on a personal level. My heart was in this and I’m so proud of what I can show.

The other part of the agreement was that our applied forensics program developer would create a slide show using my photographs. He loves PowerPoint. OK. I’m spending hours in the evening, lovingly, choosing about one hundred of my best photos that show group action, personal grief, and triumph. All of my photos show each cadet growing into the police officer they will become.

What has the PowerPoint lover done? I saw his work in progress today. His intention is to make it entertaining with animated inserts on my photographs of bombs exploding, stop watches ticking, and other horrid and hilarious stuff he grabbed from the internet that distort my images. He also added his own photographs of dummies with gunshot wounds, blood splatters, and the boring campus instead of filling it with mine that tells a great story. It’s supposed to be all about the cadets! NO! NOT FUNNY! THEIR FAMILIES AND CLOSE FRIENDS DON’T WANT FUNNY! Sorry to yell...

Graduation is a gift. It’s a ceremony deserving of reverence and calm dignity with appropriate music – not the theme song from “Cops"…Bad Boys, Bad Boys. I’ll be damned.



Baby Food Nightmare
Look at that face. That was me today after I got back to my office. He is unintentionally raping my photos. Next semester, he’s out of the deal because he obviously doesn’t get it.

God, give me strength to take care of this with diplomacy and tact because I don't want to insult him or hurt his feelings. He is a wonderful man but I need to make it right. The cadets are expecting more from me.

30 comments:

Carol said...

Mary, that's terrible! I hope you find a way to stop him before he ruins the graduation. Maybe you should take back ALL of your photographs, make your own slideshow, burn it on to CD's and give one to each cadet as gift/memento for their achievement.

Mary said...

Carol, what you suggested is already in my plans...but I need to let him know it :o/

mon@rch said...

Regarding the guy with your photos! Sorry to laugh but as soon as you said bombs, etc.. I lost it! But a good rule is that if you want it done right, you must do it yourself! Glad you are keeping us updated on how things are going! We do miss you!!

LauraHinNJ said...

Oh tell him Mary - tactfully or not! You've got good sense; clearly he doesn't!

Jean said...

Why do people do that? Just leave well enough alone!Go get 'em, Mary.

Ruth said...

It is a macho thing to find violence and gruesome images entertaining. I would be appalled to see that kind of presentation at a graduation ceremony. Good luck!
btw...the Gerber Picante image is funny.

Liza Lee Miller said...

Oooo, my jealousy is rampant -- pink binocs! Be still my greedy heart!

Q said...

Dear Mary,
This man does need to know his power point presentation would be in poor taste. I am sure your photos are wonderful. Families, friends and grads would enjoy seeing a respectful slide show! You tell him. You are gracious and you would be helping him from making a fool of himself and your school!
Oh, pink binocs. They are charming. Nice strap too!
Did you get any of the rain?
Stay warm.
Sherry

Pete said...

got to tell him, its not about him its the cadets.

btw you will notice a big difference using the big bins.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

How dreadfully disappointing!!! You should definitely tell the fellow of your thoughts. Don't hold that in.

Love the pink bins. They will be easy to find when you leave them out in the garden like I often do. The bigger bins will be most helpful.

Jayne said...

Oh my Mary. I think I'd just have to pull him aside and tell him that as humorous as he made it, that was not the spirit that you wanted to covey and ask him if he'd redo it to make it reflect the milestone and very serious occasion it is. There is time for humor later, and this is not the time.

RuthieJ said...

Geez Mare, What a dork! That's SO unprofessional! Especially since you've shown us what these cadets go through in their classes. I agree with Carol's suggestion.

P.S. I have those same binoculars -- in YELLOW! They're good little binocs that I keep by my basement window to spot anything interesting in the backyard while I'm downstairs doing laundry

dguzman said...

SWEET BINS!

OH NO! Sweet Mary--forget tact; just tell him he's crazy! When I read that he was the forensic guy, I was embarrassed to be a future forensic scientist!

Definitely take him aside and tell him this is supposed to be a solemn occasion, and the cadets and their families deserve respect for what they've gone through. Bombs and bloody dummies and "Whatchoo gonna do when they come for you"--that's maybe for the last day of their training, when everyone's giggly and happy that it's almost over. Graduation ceremonies should be "ceremonial," not stupid. Can't you just see those cadets' moms cringing at his "presentation?"

KGMom said...

Jeez--who picked him for the job?
Not funny in the least--in incredibly poor taste. Yada yada yada--others have said it better than I can.
Take a photo of him and show it exploding--then see if he thinks that is funny.

nikkipolani said...

Mary, that is a horible use of your thoughtful photos. I loved the story you told with just the exerpt of the set. Hope you are able to resolve it with this man.

Annie in Austin said...

Jeepers what a doofus, Mary. I like Carol's suggestion, too, even though it's more work for you.

In Hollywood you'd be demanding your name be taken off the adulterated product and it would be an Allen Smithee situation.

I hope you find some way to fix this. Your photos should be the real presentation with his version as the GAG REEL!!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Susan Gets Native said...

I I W M R N (If I Was Mary Right Now)

Mr. Applied Forensic Dipstick, you need to pull your head out of your ass. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD. You are not a funny man. You are a dick. The only kind of taste you have is in your mouth. Erase everything you have done to my photos or you will be tasting blood when I whack you in the mouth with these cute pink binoculars.

Mary said...

Susan, you make me laugh out loud.

UPDATE: Sgt. (head of program) was not happy with the news and will ask for a preview of the ppt on Monday.

NatureWoman said...

Sounds like the Sgt. will take care of the weenie messing with your photos. I so don't get why people mess with powerpoint like that. I like my presentations straight on. Keep us informed, Mary.

nina said...

I would think that as the "artist", you could not allow your photos to be used in this way without your permission.
Regardless of the fact that his additions are tasteless--if he has altered your composition, you should be able to deny that use.
What a waste of all your efforts. He obviously doesn't appreciate your ability.

Sandy said...

Sounds like what movie companies do with a good book!

Mary, I'll bet your husband doesn't borrow your binoculars. What that on purpose??

Mary said...

Sandy, you mean PINK? HA! No, they were red in the store... He doesn't bird watch, no worries.

Peg Silloway said...

Mary, if the Sgt. has any sense he'll make it right. Has he seen your photos at all? Might not hurt to show him your classy shots before he sees the PPT so he can see what the forensic fool has done to them. Sheesh! And next time the Sgt. will know to make his directions more specific and have everyone agree on the plan up front.

Jorja's Nanna said...

This man has hurt and insulted you, and you are worried about doing the same to him? Hello! He is so insensitive he wouldn't notice if you blew him up.
Tell him straight Mary, then do what Carol suggests and make your own.

Cathy said...

Oh my God. Clueless. Clueless. Clueless. God protect us and ours (photos, included) from the clueless.

Elaine said...

Kind of makes you want to put your name on each and every one of your pics so that they can't be violated, doesn't it?
You have been relegated to researcher and he is using your stuff for his glorification.
Now the question is, do you want your name on the project?
Chin up, Mary. This too shall pass.

Mary said...

Mary I would be so cross as well.Love the glasses

Susan said...

Love the pink binocs! Sometimes I work with "the boys" at Habitat for Humanity & they never borrow my tools, because they're all pink.

smilnsigh said...

He is NOT a wonderful man! He is raping your photos. Crap on the 'unintentionally' part. They are your photos.

I certainly hope you do not worry about diplomacy and tact, in stopping this. Nor should you worry about insulting/hurting his feelings. Just STOP the project! With vigor. If you don't, you may be in for a lot more troubles, with the families.

Yuck-o to this *wonderful* man. Yuck-o is hardly what I want to say.

Mari-Nanci

Chris said...

I agree with many of the other comments, Mary. I would try to have a discreet word with this man. If the mothers of cadets will see it I imagine it will cause some upset. Do your own powerpoint, I'm sure it will be brilliant :-)