Stars and Stripes in Black and White

american flag black and white photo
Creative Commons License
Stars and Stripes in Black and White by Paul Ottaviano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

Basketball court. Forest Grove, OR USA. March 2018.

Nikon FE2 50mm. Ferrania P30 Panchro 80 ASA black and white film. Fiber darkroom print.


Mythical Sea Creature

abstract landscape photo Lincoln City, OR
Lincoln City, OR 
Creative Commons License
Mythical Sea Creature by Paul Ottaviano is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license or official digital copies may be available at


Some Rights Reserved

I have switched the copyright license for most of my published work, on my blog and website. It will be a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International.

This means that you’re free to share, remix, or use. But it must be non-commercial, attributed to me, and shared with the same license. Some of my official digital copies are available to download and share, from

Client work will remain All Rights Reserved, for the agreed to embargo on extra use.

My reason for this is simple. The world has changed. However, bad actors or patent trolls are, once again, being too aggressive with their IP rent-seeking. I’m looking at you Disney and more recently, Microsoft.

You can use centralized databases or emerging decentralized tech. But we all have the right to own our data and content, sharing or selling it however we choose. Copyright infringement – if we’re going to have IP laws at all – should at most be a civil matter, rather than criminal. Anything more, is barbaric.


Free PDF Copy: Against Intellectual Monopoly

Farewell to Newspace Center for Photography

Newspace Center for Photography in Portland, OR closed this week. For the local photography community, it’s a sudden and disappointing loss.

It was the only public darkroom between Olympia, WA and San Francisco. Their classes, while not inexpensive, were a mosaic of delights. Nowhere else in PDX do I know of a place where I can learn how to make a Digital-to-Darkroom Silver Platinum Print.

Their digital lab is something that can be had through many other printing services. But not for the same reasonable price. Nor is it hands-on, like it was at Newspace. My best large inkjet prints are ones that I made. Now that option is gone, unless I’m willing to invest a significant amount into a large inkjet printer.

The greatest thing about it was community. I loved being in the darkroom, with other film photographers. I bought my mother a senior membership, and after a long absence, she returned to photography. People I met in classes, were part of what made it enjoyable. Exposure to their work and ideas, was always a big reason to go.

All ages and skill levels were welcome. There was something for everybody. Kids, seniors, anyone. A friend of mine taught a class there for children who are sick with cancer. Newspace wasn’t only a photography facility, it was a community partner.

I was fortunate to have a print in the 2016 Member Show. It was a nice moment on opening night, seeing so many people happy to support local photographers. Had I known that Newspace would close now, I would have savored it even more.

But there was no sign of this coming. In hindsight, there did seem to be less and less use of Newspace facilities last year… at least when I was there. Word is less people were signing up for classes. Gentrification, rising costs-of-living, and traffic could’ve played a role in decreased attendance.

Combine this all with less funding and the changing nature of photography markets. Now it becomes understandable why it closed, albeit not easier to accept.

Newspace was an oasis for the dying art of film photography. Film still lives on in PDX at Blue Moon Camera & Machine, but no longer will I have access to a darkroom.

I was never interested in going back to analog full-time – my digital is way ahead of my film. But while businesses do close and obsolescence was part of the darkroom, I’m happy to have spent time in it. Too have that experience again, perhaps for the last time, was worth it to me.

To the Newspace staff and volunteers, thank you.

Blockchain and Photography

You’ve probably heard a lot about BitCoin and the Blockchain network. Besides the “digital currency”, it has also been phrased as “The Internet of Money” (Andreas Antonopoulos). This is a more apt description. It’s an open and decentralized network, that anyone can build upon. BitCoin is merely the first killer app, and the networks fuel.

Blockchain can also offer many other services, such as digital art verification. How is it different from the web you know?

Once verified on the blockchain, it’s verified as your creation forever. It’s safe, and hack proof. Attribution cannot be altered, unless you transfer full ownership of the copyright. And the blockchain would verify that transaction as authentic. This is the beauty of a distributed ledger.

While not an official registry with the U.S. Copyright Office, it will live forever, so long as there is a blockchain Internet. If a website goes down, it’s still verified as your art on the Blockchain.

By the way, if it’s a valuable piece, it’s still a good idea to register with the Copyright Office.

The amount that will come from blockchain tech in the coming years will be fantastic, and will do much to make the Internet a better place. So long as it’s a true distributed ledger (be aware of centralized apps slapping a Blockchain sticker on the box). Call it Internet 2.0, if you want.

With a service like, you can decide how many official digital editions there will be for your photograph or art. You can also decide how official owners of a digital edition may display it. Copyright will remain yours.

Yes, a wise guy could come along and screenshot the photo. But it would not be a verified digital edition. Tracking digital artwork and photography continues to improve. So, for example, if you find a wise guy while using Pixsy, you can quickly issue a take down request or submit a case (likely small claims) without prohibitive legal costs.

I expect more services for artists and photographers like to emerge, as blockchain grows in adoption. It gives artists control over their work and data, always a good thing. I think the U.S. Copyright Office and governments around the world can also learn a lot from this technology. It will greatly improve efficiency, and reduce costs to taxpayers.

Coin Telegraph has a good article about some of the blockchain services available to artists and photographers now.

My first blockchain verified photograph is on Warning, maybe NSFW and not for those made squeamish by pistols.