Archive for January, 2009

Jan 30 2009


By Vincent Versace

What amazes me is that there is this belief that the Arts must be one step above gluing macaroni to paper plates and that if you are an artist you don’t spend money. What is it that we are spending then?  SO I guess all the ink, paper, cameras, lighting equipment, software, computers, monitors are simply provided for free and artist in addition to not spending any money don’t pay taxes too.  WOW…..I guess it is something else that I have been giving the IRS all these years.

I know, know I should get a real Job, something with perhaps a windowless cubical. Because if you are an artist you are lazy and don’t really want to work. Let’s trade jobs for a month see if that belief holds true.  Let me be clear I have two words for the republicans that hold this belief. The first one begins with the consonant “F” the second is a vowel and you get to pick from either “O” or the sometimes vowel”Y”.

Below is the NEA response.

Information Regarding the Arts and Economic Stimulus

Victoria Hutter

January 29, 2009

There has been much public conversation recently regarding the role of the arts and culture industry in economic stimulus. Following is information that seeks to clarify this issue through two key points: that the arts and culture industry is a sector of the economy just like any other with workers who pay taxes, mortgages, rent and contribute in other ways to the economy; and that the National Endowment for the Arts is uniquely positioned to assist in job stimulation for that industry.

A statement on January 22 from then NEA Chairman Dana Gioia noted, “Arts organizations have been hit enormously hard by the current recession. They’ve seen their support drop from corporations, foundations, and municipalities. This infusion of funds will help sustain them, their staffs, and the artists they employ. We are hopeful that Congress and the new administration will support this important investment.”

The arts and culture sector

A recent study released by the National Governors Association titled Arts and the Economy: Using Arts and Culture to Stimulate State Economic Development states, “Arts and culture are important to state economies. Arts and culture-related industries, also known as creative industries, provide direct economic benefits to states and communities: They create jobs, attract investment, generate tax revenues, and stimulate local economies through tourism and consumer purchases.”

As noted in the NEA study Artists in the Workforce (May 2008), there are two million trained, entrepreneurial working artists across the country who are assets to their communities. Representing 1.4 percent of the U.S. labor force, artists constitute a sizeable class of workers — only slightly smaller than the total number of active-duty and reserve personnel in the U.S. military (2.2 million).

In addition to artists, there are many more arts administrators who manage arts institutions including office staff such as accountants and booking agents, production staff such as stage managers, and artistic staff such as ballet masters and artist managers.

According to research by Americans for the Arts, nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences generate $166.2 billion in economic activity every year, support 5.7 million jobs, and return nearly $30 billion in government revenue every year. Every $1 billion in spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences results in almost 70,000 full time jobs.

The National Endowment for the Arts

The NEA has in place processes to distribute federal funds quickly and effectively to organizations large and small in every Congressional district. The NEA’s grant-making process of applications, panels, and grants distributes money to arts and culture organizations in six to nine months both through state governments and directly to the organizations themselves.

A review of NEA grants for FY 2008 revealed that for every $10,000 of grant money, 162 artists benefited. This number does not include the arts administrators involved in these projects as mentioned above.

Of the 884 grants approved in the NEA’s October 2008 National Council on the Arts meeting, project costs totaled $403.8 million of which 22 percent was designated for salaries. Of the $53 million requested in those 884 grants, the NEA was able to fund more than $20 million or 38 percent.

The NEA has strong relationships with grantees and other institutions in the nonprofit arts field that can facilitate funds distribution. And finally, the projects the NEA supports aren’t subject to hearings or studies at the front end that might delay the start of a project and don’t put entitlements in place after a project is completed.

Examples from the arts and culture sector

Nonprofit arts organizations have been struck particularly hard in this economic downturn due to their reliance on both private and public, earned and donated monies to support their activities. Some examples of the impact of the economic crisis on arts organizations follow.

  • The Los Angeles Opera said today that it had laid off 17 employees, or approximately 17% of its staff. It has also mandated a pay cut for all employees, averaging 6% but with higher-paid staffers taking an 8% cut. (source: Los Angeles Times, 1/27/09)
  • The Milwaukee Shakespeare Theater Company, a high profile regional nonprofit theater closed down operations in October. (source: report from the field)
  • The Seattle Art Museum has cut back five percent of its staff and is facing a $3.8 million annual shortfall if it can’t find a new tenant for the space Washington Mutual had been leasing from it. (source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1/25/09)

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Jan 25 2009

Nikon D700 Firmware Update

Published by Vincent Versace under Cameras,Nikon,Software

Modifications enabled with A and B firmware Ver. 1.01

* When Custom Setting a4 Focus tracking with lock-on was set to Off in Continuous-servo AF, the lens drive moved gradually without achieving focus. This issue has been resolved.
* When the Speedlight SB-800 was mounted on the camera with flash mode set to Distance-priority manual (GN) mode, and then the exposure meters were reactivated or the camera was turned on, the distance information displayed on the SB-800 changed. This issue has been resolved.
* When the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 was mounted on the camera and an EN-EL3e battery inserted in the camera but no batteries inserted in the MB-D10, and SB-900 flash mode set to TTL auto flash mode, the flash mode changed to A mode when the exposure meters turned off or were reactivated, or the camera was turned off or on. This issue has been resolved.(This issue has also been resolved with SB-900 firmware Ver. 5.02.)
* An issue that, in extremely rare cases, resulted in noticeable black dots in images captured with Long exp. NR in the shooting menu set to On has been resolved.
* Manamah, displayed in the Time zone options for the World time item in the setup menu, has been changed to Manama.

Follow a link below to download:

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Jan 24 2009


By Vincent Versace

I am frequently asked who was my greatest influence in my photography, in in my youth it was my uncle CJ Elfont, but in my adult life it has to be Jay Maisel. No one has shown me more about light, gesture and color than Jay and no one is more responsible for pointing me in the direction of being taken by pictures rather than simply taking them than Jay.

Taking a class with Jay is not simply about taking it “to the next level” it’s about discovering a level of visual excellence in yourself that was only a hope and a secret dream of achieving. I am the visual artist I am today because of the times I have spent with Jay.

You can get the workshop schedule PDF at this link:

. Here’s the contact info (212) 431-5013 or send an e-mail

The Jay Maisel Workshop is a unique photography experience. Participants and breathing photography with Jay at his “home” – the historic 35,000 square foot former Germania bank building and the surrounding New York City neighborhoods of Manhattan’s lower east side. Enrollment is limited to (9) people on a first come, first serve basis. The cost is $5,000. All meals are included.

• March 16TH – 20TH, 2009 SPACE AVAILABLE
• April 13TH – 17TH, 2009 SPACE AVAILABLE
• May 18TH – 22nd, 2009 SPACE AVAILABLE
• June 15TH – 19TH, 2009 SPACE AVAILABLE

In the past I’ve gotten calls from people who wanted to know what the hell they’d be getting themselves into if they were to take my class. Fair enough, but if you want to know exactly what the class will be, that’s impossible because it’s a free form living thing that also depends on what YOU bring to the group dynamic. We will be in my environment, my city, my building. There are no rules. You will be sent out on assignments to shoot. There will be criticism of your work. You will be forced to look at my work (criticism of my work is optional). There will be demonstrations and endless talk designed to help you avoid the problems that plague you. You’ll be nagged into improving your images. There won’t be enough time to do all the shooting, editing, criticism, talking, and looking at my work that you’ll want to do. You will be overwhelmed. We will all eat together at different New York City neighborhood restaurants and talk about photography.

Everyone will be shooting digitally, but this course is not about using a computer to manipulate your images. It’s about how to look for, see, and evaluate your images. It is most certainly not about Photoshop, which we will not discuss. You will end up a better photographer, if not a better human being.


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Jan 20 2009


By Vincent Versace

Modifications enabled with upgrade of A and B firmware to v.2.01

  • Geodetic information is now displayed in ViewNX 1.2.0 or later and Capture NX 2 2.1.0 or later shooting information for images captured with the GPS Unit GP-1 mounted on the camera.
  • Autofocus-response performance in focus mode C (Continuous-servo AF mode) with relatively dark subjects has been increased.
  • When the AF-ON button is pressed, the monitor turns off and a focus point can now be selected using the multi selector.
  • Photo information displayed in full-frame playback has been modified as follows:
    • HI-, LO- has been changed to Hi, Lo
    • WARM TONE has been changed to WARM FILTER
    • COLOR CUSTOM has been changed to COLOR BALANCE
  • Manamah, displayed in the Time zone options for the World time item in the setup menu, has been changed to Manama.
  • An issue that, in extremely rare cases, resulted in noticeable black dots in images captured with Long exp. NR in the shooting menu set to On has been resolved.
  • When the Speedlight SB-800 was mounted on the camera with flash mode set to Distance-priority manual (GN) mode, and then the exposure meters were reactivated or the camera was turned on, the distance information displayed on the SB-800 changed.  This issue has been resolved.
  • An issue that, in some rare cases, caused images captured with the following lenses to be under-exposed, has been resolved.
    • AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED
    • AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED (5.0x)

Follow a link below to download:

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