Some Time to Com-Plane

OK, so here’s the rest of my airplane photos! I’ll start with what ended up being my favorite one, but I’m also going to throw a little whining into the commentary that has nothing to do with airplanes:

june9

Even though I failed to get the entire plane in the frame, this was my favorite shot from Saturday. I think the sky really makes this one. It was pretty cloudy, so in some shots the sky was flat and white, but there’s some nice drama to the clouds in this one.

june8

I’m never as interested in the far-away shots, but lots of people do take them and upload them so I thought I’d process a few and see how they fared. My poor little airplane pics do not generate much interest on Flickr, but I’ve noticed the photographers I follow who upload nothing but plane photos don’t get many comments either. I guess there’s not too much to say about them really. It’s a pretty narrow interest, so you either care or you don’t. Having said that, let’s upload more photos none of you care about!

june10

Another JetBlue! I actually took some time last night to upload some plane shots to my Getty Images page, as well as several other shots that do not require model releases. I have 19 for sale through my account right now, and have only ever sold one; it looks like I can upload as many as 50 each week so I really need to make it more of a habit to do that. My goal is to update my model release this week and submit some more portraits too, but they are such a pain to fill out. Still, the one shot I sold was a portrait, and it was my portraits that initially got Getty interested in my work, so yeah, I should get on that.

june11
More private planes

There’s nothing really stopping me from  filling out model releases right now anyway; in fact, I am feeling rather bored the last few days and it’s bumming me out. I think it’s because we are doing so much work to the house that involves a LOT of sitting around waiting for people to show up, which makes me anxious and restless. It seems like every day there’s some new appointment I’m sitting around waiting on, if not having to rush out and fulfill. Lots of doctor stuff too, and in fact, I need to call my GP back and tell him the steroid treatment was a fail because as soon as I was done with it the arm started hurting again. But then that’s yet ANOTHER appointment for me to kill time over. Bleh.

june12
Oh look – another Southwest!

Another big frustration right now is the carpet installation. Last week Doug and I went to the showroom that did our last install, took home some samples, picked the carpet we wanted, went back to the showroom, signed a contract, and wrote a down payment check. Then a few hours later, while I was out shooting planes, the salesman called me and said he was ‘concerned’ about a few of the measurements and wanted to come by the house that evening to double-check them. I was busy at the time, so I just said fine as he claimed he was trying to ‘save us some money’ if possible. He came by later that day, re-measured, reassured us everything looked good, then left. Then Monday afternoon he called me on my cell to inform me that the original measurements (the ones that were used to install carpet last time without any problems) were completely wrong, and had in fact left out our entire master bedroom, so our total cost was actually ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE than the quote on our contract. Sigh.

june13
I do like this one, even though it’s a little private number

We demanded to see the original measurements as well as the ‘new’ ones that included the ‘missing’ bedroom, and the salesjerk promised to scan and email all that to us by the end of the day. Of course, we received nothing. So now we get to call him back tomorrow and fight with him to get what we are rightfully owed, which is carpet for the house at the price given to us on the damned contract. I don’t know why things always have to get so nasty when it comes to dealing with home repairs; we try to be upfront with people and pay our fair share without demanding unrealistic discounts or accommodations. But no matter what we do, some snake tries to cheat us out of more. I don’t get it, and I swear customer service in this regard is getting worse every year. There was a time when, IF a salesperson made such a huge mistake as to mis-measure an entire house (and that’s a big if as I think the guy is just trying to swindle us) he would have honored the original quote he gave us because the mistake was his, not ours.  But no longer. Now everything is a fight and if you as a customer aren’t willing to get ugly, you get ripped off. So, ugly it will be. Sigh. And we’ll probably have to cancel the down payment check to this showroom and start all over somewhere else. Now you know why our current carpet is in the state it’s in. Every time we try to get it replaced this is the sort of dishonest dealings we have to navigate, and I get angry and disgusted and give up.

So I’m in a bit of a funk right now, because I’m usually so mellow and satisfied with my summer vacations and that isn’t how this one is turning out – but it is what it is, and just I’m rambling. Enjoy the plane pics people! Or don’t, whatever…

12 thoughts on “Some Time to Com-Plane

  1. Well let’s start with the planes. Except for the first one which isn’t framed correctly, I love them all, especially the smaller ones. For all I know you didn’t frame the first one because that was your intention.
    We did re-carpet our complete home two years ago. After dealing with independent carpet stores and getting wide variances in price and measurements, we went to Lowes and found they had carpets ranging in price from inexpensive to expensive high quality goods. The positive side, you pay for the estimate that is ultimately applied to the purchase price, but one measured they stand behind it, right or wrong.
    The price was very competitive and they did an excellent job.

    • When I first started the airplane shots I was obsessed with getting them smack into the middle of the frame. But in looking around, I see a lot of nice shots where the framing is off, not all the plane is in the shot, etc. So now I’m a little more open to the idea of creative framing, although it does seem a little “off” to me still. The planes fly in at an odd angle past the observation area at Hobby so getting them all in the frame and perfectly in profile is actually kinda tricky, too.

      We may check them out – i seem to recall trying to deal with either Lowe’s or Home Depot the last time we re-carpeted and they were a hot mess to deal with, BUT that was a long time ago and may have either changed, or just been poor management at that one store. I hate comparison shopping and just want to get this crap done, but I dunno – something about the way this guy handled this feels wrong to me. Like I said, I keep smelling ‘rat’ here…a few people have told me this sort of thing is normal and I should just pay it and get it over with, but I can’t shake the feeling that he’s being shady!

  2. Personally, I would ask for my deposit back and not deal with that vendor. Now that you know what you want to pay, you simply find the company that will meet your price. There are plenty out there. We have had good experiences with both Home Depot and Sears. What Geoffrey does, based on his experience as a re-developer/restorationist/urban planner of large capital projects, is walk around with the technician or salesman (better to request a technician) and take measurements together, write them on the vendor’s form and both Geoffrey and the rep initial each room’s measurements.

    As for the shots, I like the Southwest the best. Isn’t this off center issue part of that ‘rule of thirds’ which can be broken, but sometimes helps. I have given up understanding why some people get lots of hits on a certain photo and others, not. Some people get thousands of hits, without being Explored, on what I consider to be mediocre work. I may not be an expert, but I know what is excellent when I see it. I also see very pedestrian shots being Explored. Who knows why.

    • Well Explore is a secret algorithm by Flickr’s system that changes constantly, it supposedly has something to do with the number of views to favorites to comments that a photo gets within a certain period of time after initial upload. I think the same rule applies to comments to an extent – people who dedicate themselves to commenting on a ton of other people’s photos will get the reciprocal comments on theirs. So part of getting a lot of comments is commitment to commenting on the work of others. I am not up for all of that, but I do notice that even among my own followers I don’t get a lot of comments on the airplanes. It’s fine, because like I said I get that it’s just not that interesting to most people as opposed to my portrait stuff, but it is noticeable too.

      As far as carpet I looked the company up on Angie’s List this morning and lo and behold and they have a lot of negative reviews for just this sort of upcharging, as well as shoddy work. I’m also now remembering that the last time we had them do carpet and tile, and AFTER the tile was totally installed they informed us that we had to apply the sealant to the grout ourselves, and I was pissed. I felt that for all we paid we could have been informed before the fact that oh, by the way, we don’t COMPLETELY finish the floors, you have to do some work yourself. Anyway I hope they haven’t already cashed our check and ordered the carpet because if they have we may be stuck with them; if they haven’t I am also leaning towards telling them to shove it and looking elsewhere. I found some places on Angie’s with way better reviews than this company.

      • Yeah, personally, I couldn’t care less about Explore. I am sure I upload at the wrong time anyway. I use Flickr for the fun of it, not much else. As for the carpet people, if they haven’t cashed the check (which of course the bank can tell you), you just cancel the check. They can do nothing about it. Also, you can use commercial vendors (the ones the big General Contractor’s use), simply by establishing a company name and issuing a Purchase Order. We save money on supplies and services that way.

  3. Sorry to hear about your contractor problems. I always pay by credit card as gives you the option to easily cancel/dispute any transaction. And if I run into any problems that seem unscrupulous I cancel right then and move on. I also tell them that if they don’t show up on time then don’t bother to ever show up. I’ve been really lucky in having found a few contractors that were outstanding. I even gave one a bonus for doing outstanding work and even doing more than required! I never use any of those so called “….. Lists” as they seem to be scams where contractors pay their way to good ratings. I do research and ask for samples of previous work and that I want to contact some of their customers. If they hesitate then I move on. There is no carpet in my house but lots of carpets for the cat and the dog. They need something to get traction on when they take off playing with each other or chasing the squirrels that peek in the doors!

    It’s funny about the planes, I think your photography skills are becoming extraordinary but I am quite adverse to flying. I would probably have to be put into suspended animation to get on a plane again or something like that. On the other hand, if I could afford a helicopter, I’d buy one in a heartbeat!

    • Angie’s List is pretty reputable as far as such things go. We’re going to try another seller tomorrow, we never could get a decent answer from this first place about why the price jumped so much so we canceled the check. I hate to have to assume they are all out to rob us, but it seems like all they really are!

      I’m not a huge fan of flying, just because planes are so crowded unless you fly first class and airports are too hectic. The flying part I am fine with. Mostly I just have a thing about photographing them and watching them land! It’s just so impressive. 🙂

  4. Yeah for Getty. They know “good stuff”. The “market” huge- finds your exceptionalism. Carpets-carpets, have you looked into new wood floors ? With these you can change the room with just
    rugs as often as you wish !! (Cost no object !!) Plane shots all very enjoyable.

    • We checked into replacing the carpet with wood or laminate but it was too much work and money for a house we are only going to be in for maybe another five years. Our next house we are going to make sure it has tile or wood floors at least in the main parts of the house!

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