Anthony on , , , , 04 Dec 2008 09:17 pm

Aidan's 2008 Preschool PhotoSo as you can see in the previous post, we bought prints of the pictures taken of Aidan at his preschool.

I’m of two minds about this, but mostly I’m not happy about it.

First, pricing of the prints is a scam. Let me back up a bit. *First* you get to see the final product. No proof, no selection of poses, they just hand you the whole package of prints, fully printed, full package (8×10, some 5x7s, multiple 4x6s, many wallets + full class shot). At the classroom. You cannot take them home, you cannot show them to a spouse. Instead, you get a peek at the whole package and they hand you an order form.

The form shows that for a single sheet of prints, the cost was $20. For two sheets, the cost was $32. For 3 sheets, $48. The whole package (already printed mind you) was $50 and contained 5 sheets + the class photo. So, they pretty much guarantee that everyone will go for the $50 package, since at a minimum you want the class photo plus two sheets, and if you’re doling out $48, why not $50.

Hello, what? These prices are crazy. To not be able to consider a proof is unconsciencable. To preprint a full package and dangle it in front of you is high-pressure sales.

And then there’s the copyright issue.

We did not sign a contract. We did not sign a photo release. The school invited this photographer into the class to take pictures of the children.

Who has the copyright?

The photographer claims that he does, and has stamped everything with copyright notices. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a commissioned photography of my child and nobody has the right to use the image of my child except me (unless I explicitly grant permission). Further, I have the right to do with what I will with the image, although I will grant that I probably should attribute the photograph (but of course I have no idea who the actual photographer is).  As such, I have no problem scanning the print and posting it to this blog. As such, I do have a problem with the idea that the photographer can do whatever they like with this image. Fortunately the photography company recognizes some of these issues and included a notice with the prints that if you did not want images of your child to be used elsewhere you could call the company and specifically direct them not to. Which Gwen promptly did at my request. It turned out that it meant they would use none of the photos from the entire class as a result. I expect fan mail.

Copyright assignment for commissioned photography is a contentious subject.  See for example.

And you know what else? It’s not even a good picture! I mean, the pose is great but the processing of the photo is awful! His hair colour is actually might lighter than the picture shows, and the colour range is awful. It should be properly balanced, sharpened, and the saturation punched up a bit.

I only seem to remember school pictures in elementary school. Great, only another 7 years of this to grumble about for Aidan. Oh yeah, Quinlan’s 3 years behind. 10 years I guess.

What do you think? Is it all just a racket?

Anthony on , 09 Sep 2008 10:14 am

Aidan attends his first day of preschool a little later today. Here’s some pics of his outfit. He looks so grown-up!

Anthony on , , , , , 06 Aug 2008 10:04 pm

This past weekend has been interesting in terms of seeing Aidan interact with technology.  First, while chatting with Grandma, she was getting him to move the mouse to various places on her face (her nose, her head, etc).  Now, I had never seen Aidan try to do this before — and he was doing it with very little problem.  Adding to the level of difficulty is that he was using a trackball !

The next day I was sitting on the sofa with my Eee and he crawled up on my lap.  On a whim, I tried to find some Flash game for him to play (since that’s where kids games seem to have gone) and found the incredible companion site to one of Aidan’s favourite shows (and ours):  Peep and the Big Wide World.  That site has a number of different games, some of which were easy for Aidan, some of which were harder.  His favourite game was one where you made Quack jump on one of three tubes of paint (each of a different colour) to squirt paint onto a fence.  The goal was to combine the primary colours to match the colour on the card that Chirp was holding up.  Aidan’s favourite part of the game was making Quack jump on a nearby hose, which causes water to go everywhere, cleaning up the fence and soaking Chirp in the process.  And, as any fan of the show knows, Chirp hates water.

That time, Aidan was using the touchpad on the little Eee.

*I* can’t use the trackpad reliably well.  Although I suspect it has something to do with the size of the pad compared to the size of my hands. :)

After a blog post from Kerry, I started in earnest looking for a real video game appropriate for Aidan.  I was originally thinking about the DS, what with it supposedly being a kid’s game system.  But then I was picking through the racks at the Superstore and saw some Wii games that might be appropriate too.  After picking some up … and putting them back, I headed home to do some research.

Video games for the pre-school crowd are just not *there*, you know?

But consistently one stood out, and on Monday Aidan and I wandered up to Toys R Us and purchased “Diego Safari Rescue” for the Wii.

I’ll write a real review of this soon, but suffice it to say that it’s gone over quite well.  And … Aidan’s conquered this control system too.

I continue to be astonished at what a different life Aidan is having (and will have) compared to what Gwen & I have had.