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Roger Cicala Posits A Photo Consumer's Bill Of Rights

There's no doubt, we at Roberts love Mr. Roger Cicala and his no-nonsense, well-informed, unnervingly reasonable approach to the sort of aspects of digital photography that often lead to gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair and flat-out misinformation on the darkside forums. And if you don't also follow his wonderful blog you've probably not seen his new Photogaphy Consumer's Bill Of Rights. And that's a pity, and one you should go and rememdy.

We're providing the link below. How easy is that?


Novus Select Multimedia Workshop - DSLR Filmmaking For Photographers.

Dialed in for working still photographers and the skilled amateurs looking to step up into the biz, the Novus Select Multimedia Workshop (previously the Aura Multimedia Workshop in Boulder, Colorado) is available in two flavors.

101 - a seminar on "the fundamental issues facing still photographers moving in to video and dSLR filmmaking." This will go from 8am Saturday August 10th through 6pm Sunday August 11th.

201 - The seminar as well as a hands-on workshop running from Monday 08/12 through Thursday 08/15. Head on over to Photography At The Summit for the full scoop and registration details. Video after the break.

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Roberts Wins Best Of Indianapolis Award

Hear that? That's the sound of those little New Year's noisemakers fwee-ing out. Why? Because, it turns out Roberts has won an award for best photo shop in Indianapolis! And, we get to show off this shiny, shiny virtual trinket to prove it:


Pretty, innit? We received it from the Indianapolis Reward Program, who are:

 an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Indianapolis area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

But really, we're just happy to have so many of you wonderful folks around to help. Insert something here about you guys being the real prize, and we'll call it about right, yeah?


Rich Clarkson and Associates Aurora Multimedia and Filmmaking Workshop

There's still space available at the Rich Clarkson and Associates Aurora Multimedia and Filmmaking workshop and you can attend for $1100 tuition (not inclusive of your travel and rooming). Attendance has the advantage of a superlative instruction in many technical aspects of DSLR filmmaking. You'll also get some overview of where multi-media content production is going in our tablet, smartphone, and continuously connected world.

The workshop will be held at the ATLAS facility at the University of Colorado in Boulder Colorado and will run from May 29th to June 1st.

Roberts will be there in spirit, embodied by our own Jody Grober with gear from manufacturer sponsors Manfrotto (Manfrotto, Avenger, Gitzo, and more) and the MAC Group (Mamiya, PocketWizard, Sekonic, Tenba, Induro, Cinevate and more) - most of which will be at special show pricing.

Follow the source link for a list of presenters and more complete information about the event and registration.



The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Sets Forth American Photographer's Rights

If you own a camera, live in America, and take pictures of more than your friends and family smiling in front of tourist spots, you're probably already aware of a lingering environment of hostility towards professional photography gear in public in our post-9-11 society. And, while there have been many useful guides to what your rights still are, none have been from an organization with the history and clout of the ACLU. Until now, anyway. So, stop wasting time here when you could be hitting the link below and reading over their write-up. Print out a copy. Keep it in your camera bag. And take to heart the parts where they remind you to be polite, nothing makes photographer's look worse in the eyes of nervous law enforcement than behaving like entitled, belligerent sacks. Know your rights, stick to them, but do it with manners, composure, and respect. It'll keep you out of a great deal of trouble, usually.


New Start-up Site Helps Find Stolen Cameras

Are you a photographer? We figure it's safe to assume if you're reading this blog you are, or at least want to be. And if you're a photographer, you probably at least have an idle fear of your camera getting lost or stolen. And it's because of that fact that you should check out this new site, Stolen Camera Finder.

This site, the result of some awesome work by a guy named Matt Burns, has a pretty simple driving idea. Every digital camera made has a serial number, and it sticks that number in the EXIF of every picture it takes. What the site does is upload one of your pictures, find the serial number, then checks its database to see where pictures with that serial are posted. Right now it mostly checks Flickr, but there's also a Chrome extension that'll sit in the background and scrape EXIF from pages as you browse to help boost the database. If you've misplaced your camera, you can use that database to see if pictures from it are being posted anywhere and go from there. Neat, right?

I think so, anyway. I've already installed the Chrome extension here at the office so I can do my part to helping out, and I'll be installing it at home tonight.

To try the site (keep in mind it's brand new, it'll take a while and your support for the database to become extensive), go here:

To skip straight to installing the extension, go here:


A Problem of Warranty

So, there's been a frankly disturbing trend we've been noticing lately, and that's that people seem to be assuming that we, the end-dealer, are responsible for covering limited manufacturer warranties. Which really just isn't the case. Don't get us wrong, we're really concerned about making sure you get something that works. Roberts has its own two week return policy to protect you. If it's dead on arrival or just not what you wanted, we've got you covered for the first two weeks. Under certain circumstances, we can extend that.

But, what happens three months later when something goes wrong? Well, your manufacturer warranty kicks in. Almost everything you buy from Roberts is backed by the people who made it. The catch is, they're the ones backing it. We'd love to help you more, but, if something goes wrong with your stuff, it's the manufacturer who's covering it, not Roberts. And so long as you're within warranty, they'll gladly fix initial defects in your device. They'd love to, it's not their intention to have sent you a faulty product. But, it's gotta be them that does it, our hands are tied. We'll gladly help you find out who you need to contact, or where you need to send a product. We'll even help with warranty disputes sometimes. What we can't do, after the initial two weeks, is be the warranty provider.

So, we'd like to offer some advice about protecting your purchase:

  1. Keep your receipt. Whether for us or the manufacturer, this is important. Increasingly often, the warranty cards aren't needed. Your receipt is your warranty, respect it as such.
  2. Don't fill out any paperwork or warranty cards for the first 14 days. We can only take products back if they're in the condition you got them in, if you've filled out the paperwork, you might be stuck having to go through the manufacturer from the get-go.
  3. Take your equipment out and test it. Maybe you won't need to use it for another month, but by then it'll be too late for us to help. Take it out, check it over, look for missing accessories and bits. Fire a few shots. Run a few tests. You'd be surprised how many return problems result from people just waiting too long to check what they've received out.
  4. After the Roberts 14 day purchase protection, check your warranty cards. Some manufacturers require that you register your product within a certain period, or at all. Some will offer you free warranty extensions if you register. This is important to know, so, once our protection period ends, please make sure to check what the manufacturer wants from you. If you need our help, it will always be easier to get you help on a product that's properly registered with the manufacturer and which has all the paperwork. Please keep track of that.

If you follow those 4 steps, it should be easy to make sure your purchase is protected. And it'll help us get the service you need. Which is what we all want.


Indianapolis Museum Of Art Updates Shooting Policies

Per their blog, the Indianapolis Museum of Art will be enforcing its new shooting policy starting Tuesday March 1st. What's changed? If you're shooting for your personal use (including Flickr and Facebook, but not commercial stuff like making money), not much. There'll be some pieces you can't photograph, but they'll be clearly marked. If you're a commercial photographer, however, you'll now need a permit for all IMA locations, no exceptions. Partly this is to reduce business and schedule conflicts as people fight over shooting there, partly it's to help with copyrights. Among other things, they remind you that famous Robert Indiana "LOVE" sculpture out front is art, and under copyright at that. They have to pay to include it in images, and by the law so do you. Also, they don't want you climbing about on it, which should be more common sense than should need a policy, but given every tourist photo I've ever seen of it, apparently not.

For all you commercial (wedding, portrait, etc) shooters, their fee schedule appears to be quite reasonable, and $50 will cover you for a day, or you can buy a year's pass for all of $250.

For more information on the policies and how to get a permit, see the links below.