Ca10(PO4)6(CO3)H2O). This inorganic formula has been one of the most controversial topics in recent history. It is called dentine, which is the main property of ivory. True ivory is only found in the tusks of elephants and mammoths. What does it cost? One hundred elephants are poached every day, and they are now an endangered species. Elephants are not the only animals being poached for ivory. As the elephant population drops, ivory poachers are looking to other animals to line their pockets. Rhinos, hippopotami, walruses, sperm whales, and hornbills are now victims of the ivory trade.
Many nations have already passed laws against the ivory trade, but how do we control the black market? Illegal sales bring in $1,500 per pound, with one pair of tusks having the ability to bring in $375,000. The first international ivory ban took place in 1989 and prices for ivory plummeted. Since then the ban has been a rocky process. In 1999 trade opened up to Japan and over six thousand elephants were poached for their ivory despite the fact there was over fifty tons of ivory tusks stocked around Africa from the ban a decade earlier. The trade with Japan stayed open for one year and then international trade was banned once again. Two years later China and Japan opened customs for ivory trades, and two years after that, tourist trade was allowed.
In 2011, a few African countries started taking matters into their own hands. Kenya and Gabon burned over nine tons of ivory combined. Inspired by this rebellion against the ivory trade, the United States and the Philippines destroyed their ivory stock piles, which then inspired other countries to destroy their stockpiles as well. Major restrictions were implemented on international ivory trade by 182 nations. Many countries in Africa started to destroy their stockpiles of ivory. It was looking positive for the elephant population.
The Eastern worlds doors were still open to the ivory market, and the demand was incredibly high since ivory traders were lacking buyers. How does the black market factor into this? China, in a major step towards protecting elephants, banned ivory trade at the end of 2017. It was found that Chinese businesses were smuggling illegal ivory into the legal market. All of the ivory carving factories and retailers shuttered at the end of the year.
Do all of the laws and bans really make a difference in the black market? Prices for ivory dropped from $2,100 a kilo to $500 a kilo. That’s a quarter of the cost, or in more dramatic terms, a four hundred percent depreciation. The black market has been struggling in recent years due to the strong bans from major countries and education on poaching to the masses. In the last five years there was a seventy percent increase in education in the ivory black market, and of that, ninety five percent supported a ban on sales.
We must continue to educate on the topic of ivory, even as these bans take place and the black market for ivory plummets. Elephants are not the only victims of the ivory trade, now that true ivory is banned by all major markets. Rhinos, hippopotami, walruses, sperm whales, hornbills all need protection as poachers look to them for their horns, beaks and teeth. Future years will hopefully show bans put in place on all ivory trades so that all of these animals may stay protected from extinction.
Those of you who have visited my site this morning probably noticed the new logo placed smack in the middle at the top, greeting all those who come to the site.
It's simple. It's easy to read. It's unique.
Why do I say it's unique? No one else will have the hummingbird symbol, considering I created it from the photograph Floating on Air, an image I shot in Alma, Wisconsin.
With a degree in Advertising and a concentration on the arts and photography, I knew I had it in me to create a logo that would represent what I wanted it to (photography with a focus on nature) in a subtle way, but it was a long creative journey to get there. My point in this blog post is to tell all of you logo designers out there, amateur, professional, whatever your ranking is, to not give up. The idea is in you, you just have to get all of the ideas you won't use out of your system first, which is exactly what I did, over and over again.
Those of you who have been following me for some time know that I have gone through a few logos over my time as a photographer.
My first logo was when I was RE Photography. Why did I ditch that name and logo? Just Google "RE Photography" and tell me what happens. Do it.
The name change came largely in part because of the lack of creativity with the name RE Photography. Clearly there's a lot of studios out there using the name, and I wanted a name that is unique to my business.
Spalderick Studios was born.
After a few years of sharing nature photography, I started booking weddings and senior portrait sessions. I knew a guy who started to DJ for weddings, so we came up with this wonderful idea that we could do package deals together. Need a DJ and a photographer? We'll hook you up.
With that, this logo was born, which was thus far our longest standing logo:
So why did we walk away from it? The guy stopped pursuing DJing. He still has all of his equipment and plays at home, but with a full time job, and then having plenty of things to occupy his time, he didn't feel the desire to pursue the road of being a DJ. With that information in mind, having headphones over a camera no longer made sense if Spalderick Studios was not going to offer music services anymore.
Now starts the long, tedious journey to the logo I have now.
It starts with a list, and some small doodles.
It may be running through your mind "What the hell" or "Why did she choose those animals?" and I could tell you the reasons why, but let's just say that this list ended up going nowhere.
Below are the drawings that followed the creation of this list.
Umm.... scary right? Looks like a black eye. TOTALLY NOT what I was going for.
One of my creative friends, Dawn, then suggested that I try putting an aperture in the middle so that it would communicate "photography" more strongly.
The cyclops moose was born. I obviously needed to head a different direction. I started drawing simplified animals over an aperture.
I'm thoroughly convinced that the one on the left was strongly influenced by Pokémon Go.
I didn't like these at all. They weren't communicating what I wanted them to, and they just were not at all the path that I had originally envisioned. Ensue frustration:
The top one was really a simplified owl with a partial aperture around it, but after my friend, Jared, pointed out that it looked like an anime character, I couldn't unsee it. Now you can't either, huh.
Jared's mention of how it looks like an anime character led to my humorous drawing of a girl with hair that is a partial aperture on the bottom, which I never was going to use for a logo, but did make for a good laugh.
Next just came the phase of "Just draw whatever the hell pops into your head". It's a fun phase, but usually not very successful, unless you hit a hot spot, which I did not.
Next came a slight breakthrough. Another idea that I thought I may stick with, but if you've ever done logo design, you know that if you aren't 100% happy with the idea, then it's not the design you want to stick with.
Clever, right? Using the aperture as a frame for a nature scene within it. Now, I have to tell you why all of these previous attempts didn't sit well with me.
Google "Photography Logos" and you will find that almost EVERYONE uses an aperture symbol. It's ridiculous how much it is used. I have this problem with using ideas that many others have used, so I decided I needed to walk away from the aperture. Completely. Bye, bye, aperture symbol that took me a few attempts to master. Bye, bye.
I moved on to something different. What if I kept the idea of landscape, but without the aperture?
I kind of liked it, but let's be honest. It was strongly influenced by something I had seen when I Googled "Photography Logos" and thus the idea was no longer pursued.
I decided to move on to trying to create a logo on my computer. I'm sure I'm not the only person on this planet who feels that you tend to think differently, artistically speaking, when you start creating digital art, versus pen on paper.
It's true. If you don't feel that way, good for you. You're probably more artistically inclined that I.
I walked away from the project. I went on my cruise, spent a few weeks prior to that just not thinking about it at all, which is sometimes the best thing you can do. Then, for whatever reason, it hit me. I went super simple, super sweet, and boom, I had it. Okay, maybe it wasn't that quick... there was this long process of choosing the fonts, but either way after I had the idea it took me less than 24 hours to finalize.
Voila! Le Logo. <3
I also decided to rename the business to Imbeccable Images. It's more catchy and more memorable.
When working with a model, you are in charge of the look, the feel, and the pose. It is no different for a self portrait.
You'll want to plan out what you are wearing and how to style yourself. Will you be applying make up? Styling your hair?
You'll also want to figure out what type of self portrait you are going for. A professional head shot? A humorous shot? An insight to your personality? How will you portray you in your self portrait?
How will you pose yourself? What angles look best for you, and how will you work your body to send the message you want to send?
Make sure all of the decisions you make are working towards you being successful in portraying yourself the way you want to, and make sure that all the decisions are helping you achieve the perception you want to achieve so that the same message is being sent to a majority of your viewers.
Know Your Nikon
Have you thought about how you are going to accomplish your self portrait?
What equipment will you be using? Will you need studio lighting to accomplish your vision? Will you need to set your camera up on a timer? Use a tripod?
Do you know, roughly, what settings you will need to use on your camera to make your vision come true?
Start setting up an area where you will be shooting your photograph and test the waters. Is what you are doing helping you get to your final image? If not, how are you going to adjust your settings, in camera and out of camera, to get to your final image?
It's best to think of these things ahead of time, that way when the time comes to shoot your image, you are completely prepared and stress-free.
Self portraits are often difficult for the person having to do one. We tend to be so picky about how we look and how we portray ourselves, that doing a self portrait becomes an ongoing struggle to correctly represent ourselves.
To help us get an idea on how to represent our own selves, let's look at some self portraits by the masters:
Photographer, visual artist, mother to four fur-babies, and travel enthusiast.