It's been a great and quite long run here, but it's time to close this particular blog down.
That's largely a formality, now.When it's been pretty much a year between posts, it's time to acknowledge that some things just don't fit neatly into your life anymore.
I posted my first blog entry here on January 25, 2007, and over the last nine years, things have been, let's say, interesting.
There are some good reasons for these changes, not the least of them being related to the subject of the logo that's at the start of this post.
From April 2014, the online home of the BitDepth column migrated from this website to TechNewsTT, an expansion of my original idea, now some 20 years old, to write about personal technology in Trinidad and Tobago.
The project is coming along well, but it's still just me and the pace of posts has been hectic since it was established.
I've had some very good months with it, and I'm hoping to be able to turn it into something that at the very least, pays for itself eventually, but it's still very much a venture in its personal investment stages.
By August of 2015 my total visitor count over at TechNews TT for this year surpassed all of 2014, so there is definitely a growth trajectory that needs to be fed if things are going to keep improving.
So I've had to rationalize. The weekly e-mail version of the column hasn't been possible for almost a year now, and I need to simplify things very dramatically to make stuff fit into the time I have available..
To that end, I'll be maintaining the BitDepth archive that I've established here, but I won't be posting anything new to those pages.
I will be posting writing that's not about technology or photography to the page on this website that's dedicated to that, and I'll be rethinking that page to suit that project.
Otherwise, this website will be undergoing a steady evolution into a product that's more specifically designed to support my photography business.
Apart from more regular updates of images, I'll also be getting back to more blogging about photography, with a more specific focus on what it means to be a professional photographer of a certain age and experience in Trinidad and Tobago.
If you've been a reader of this blog, I appreciate your being part of my online audience. I hope these adjustments will make for greater clarity in accessing my work and more useful discussions arising from the perspectives I bring to both photography and technology reporting.
Thanks for reading and I hope you'll stick around for all that comes next.
Moving forward, that website will be the focus of all my BitDepth postings, though the archive here will remain the definitive collection of the column for anyone trying to find past installments.
Have a look at it to see what I've been up to, particularly if you have a serious interest in technology developments in Trinidad and Tobago.
It's early days yet and many changes will come over time as I develop the project.
Here's my very first piece of mail from Google. Oddly enough, the all-digital company insists on sending a hard copy card to a physical address to verify a business listing on its service.
Naturally, that document doesn't have the savvy of Google search, so it quickly ran afoul of the expertise of TTPost, who sent it off on a tour of El Socorro before finally bringing it home.
View this and many other intriguing slides on Wednesday August 14.
On Wednesday I'll be giving a talk about my career experiences in photography and with all the related engagements I've had along the way at Antony Scully's new photography space, Studio 30.
There will be a vidcast of the presentation, as with all my other talks, but you don't get to ask me difficult questions in person that way.
You'll find the space here…
30A Warren St., Woodbrook
(Opposite St. Theresa's Church - Cor. De Verteuil & Warren Sts)
Refreshments after the session.
As someone who personally had a Muslimeen gun pointed at his head on July 27, 1990 while in pursuit of my duties as the first Picture Editor of the Guardian, I've got to say that watching Yasin Abu Bakr and his cronies stroll along the streets of Port of Spain escorted by the police, I felt a real annoyance and resentment.
But then, that's what we fought for back then. Whether it was manning a large gun in response to the insurrection or publishing a newspaper from a building frequently peppered by gunfire, the only civil response to terrorism is ultimately the practice of constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, which include those that allow us to gather and represent our points of view, as unwelcome as they may be.
So Yasin Abu Bakr applies to the Police Commissioner for permission to march in the city, not only gets permission, but a protective escort. You may see affront. I see a success for democracy and free speech. We win.
Some other words on the subject...
A story for the Guardian in 2010 looking back on the coup attempt on its 20th anniversary.
A blog note from 2008, recalling the insurrection.
An editorial leader I wrote for the Guardian that year.
My review of Raoul Pantin's book on the coup attempt, Days of Wrath, written for the May 2008 edition of the Caribbean Review of Books.
"You know what," she asked one evening, "we should get married."
"Yeah," I said, "when, in a week?"
I didn't want a whole drawn out thing. Donna's father Bobby, a gloweringly serious man, didn't seem overly enthusiastic. We weren't after all, exactly asking to get married, though the formalities were observed for the most part. I like to think that he came around after a bit. I certainly always liked him.
As it turned out, we needed two weeks to do organize the getting married things that need to get done. It would take years for two strong-willed people to get used to the idea of not just living in the same space, but growing to understand the rather-pronounced edges of two well-developed personalities. It remains a work in progress.
The photograph on this page was one of two gestures by professional colleagues when I told them I was getting married. Marlon Rouse, then the chief photographer at the Guardian, insisted on photographing the humble event while Noel Norton insisted on doing a formal engagement photograph, hustling us off to the Savannah.
Norts then proceeded to make a monochrome print from his color negatives and it's a photo, the only one with me in it to ever get this treatment, that still sits in our living room.
It's been a remarkable time sweetie, thanks for never letting me be anything less than my best.
Here's a backstory on my history with panoramic images and the Great Fete experience in particular.
The competition attracts quite a few entrants, growing from 2740 images entered in 2010 to 3,586 in 2011. Statistics for 2012 participants are still to be posted to the website for the competition.
Here's a glimpse of the exhibit by my first semester class for 2012, Introduction to Photography, at UWI's Film School.
Now the web denizen steps out from behind her nom de plume with a self-published book, Across from Lapeyrouse, which she describes as "chock full of the carnival culture, commess and some steamy bacchanal."
The book will be launched in Trinidad and Tobago in a print edition in late March, but it's available as an e-book online on Amazon Canada here and for UK buyers, here.
Order an autographed print edition from the author here.
BitDepth 818, on his passing, is here.
Here's a story I wrote about him in 1999 for the Guardian's Sunday Magazine and another I wrote in 2005 on the occasion of his honorary doctorate from UTT.
A rememberance of his wife and lifelong business partner, Mary, is here.
Hollywood takes such liberties...
So that's what "primordial tar from Trinidad" does. I'm really going to have to watch myself if I ever visit the Pitch Lake then. As it turns out, pretty much everything even midly curious is fair game on Warehouse 13, so fair's fair, I suppose.
I am reliably informed that I wasn't the only person to puzzle over photographs and video that they hadn't remembered licensing to the otherwise commendable effort at launching an online cultural museum.
Here's the thing, if an image, or a video, or a story or any other intellectual property is still owned by its creator, whether or nor it's being actively exploited, the right to make use of that work remains with its creator until a license is negotiated for its use. If you don't do that, you're stealing people's work and it really doesn't matter how noble the cause that you espouse.
So let's get this clear. That photo of Mungal Patasar that you're using in your exhibit must be licensed from me. You have no rights to it and you are stealing it, plain and simple. It isn't even that hard to find out who shot it. You could just ask Mungal, who has had a long relationship with your Ministry.
It isn't as if you're the only people to steal this photo, but don't feel good just because National Geographic did too. A Ministry of Culture and Multiculturalism should begin by having respect for the people actually creating the culture they purport to represent, shouldn't it?
Of course, this might just be a pipe dream. I've seen what you've done with your scans of Jeffrey Chock's photos of a Nrityanjali Dance Theatre. Since all old grayscale negatives need hands on retouching, it's particularly appalling that you felt comfortable posting images of the dancers performing in the snow of technical slackness.
We had a little exchange of e-mails about it and I gave my blessing for its use that time. Now the photo has showed up again, the identifying copyright information cropped out of it in an advertisement for shows being held as part of the Emancipation celebrations by the Emancipation Support Committee.
This is, in a word, kind of shitty.
Millions of dollars are being spent on this event. People are being flown in to perform. Hundreds of yards of African material are being ironed even as I write this.
Nobody, apparently, has the time to engage in a simple matter of rights clearances for images being used in a television advertisement?
The ad is one of those hastily thrown together things that makes use of clips and stills obviously gathered from myriad sources. It's one of the wonders of our modern age that a Google search can find so much material so quickly and another that almost anyone can create a broadcast quality clip out of it all.
But this sort of nastiness, outright theft of someone else's property with no regard for their rights to the material, will continue until two things happen.
One. The people who commission advertising of all kinds recognise their liability when copyrights are infringed and insist on rights clearances for the material being used in their promotions.
Two. When performers get their acts together and commission photography for publicity use that they can legitimately allow the producers of advertising materials to access when it's time to include their images in this sort of broadcast.
Someone, somewhere, grabbed this photo, originally shot for the online magazine, Outlish, stripped the identifying watermarks from it and made use of it. I don't care how short your deadlines are, nor does any court of law. You clear the works with the rights owner or you don't use the material.
Emancipation Support Committee, I demand to be liberated from this kind of oppression of my civil right to exploit the rewards associated with my hard work. Until then, you stole my photo.
This is Britt Peemoller, last seen on this blog with her eyes unattractively closed. She part of a team at Porter-Novelli working with Microsoft who facilitate my reporting on events that the company hosts from time to time.
This was taken at Microsoft's offices in New York after the launch of Office 365, reporting on which will be posted after it appears in this week's Business Guardian.
Quite apart from Britt's significant organisational skills and patient charm, she's my bi-lingual hookup when things drift into Espanol.
I really should learn some more Spanish, but as long as Porter Novelli keeps sending charming ladies like this to whisper in my ear during events, I probably won't learn a word.