In the Wind

Machines pale in comparison.


“If man were meant to fly he’d have wings.” That’s what they said at the dawn of air travel. I wonder what they’d say about this helicopter that doesn’t have wings.

Once upon a time when I actually worked for a living at a photo agency, I helped to create an archive called, “Big-Little,” for lack of a much better name.  Generally, the pictures in that file contained a little, tiny man-made subjects contrasted against the bigness of nature.  Just like this picture.

Once upon a time this picture would have sold well. It speaks to the grandness of nature, the freedom of flight and man’s place in nature. Now, the picture industry is about dead.

There are actually online portals — not to be confused with a  real photo agency — that photographers upload their work to in hopes of getting “found.” The owners of the portal give the work away for free. The picture user doesn’t have to credit the photographer and — get this — if the user modifies the picture in any way, that modified picture is the user’s picture. The user is free to use it, license it, for sell it outright.

How does that work? The photographer earns nothing. If the user decides not to credit him or her, the photographer stands no chance of getting “found.” Oh sure, the user knows who the photographer is, but the world doesn’t. By the way, WordPress is encouraging bloggers to use one of these portals.

While image libraries have been racing to the bottom for more than a decade, these portals just about kill whatever is left. I’m not ranting or complaining. It’s just the facts, ma’am,

Luckily, I have other revenue streams and I think that I can create a couple more. How positive is that? That’s my word. Positive.

The picture. I heard the beating blades of the helicopter. I located it in the sky and waited for it to come into my view. There was no luck involved. I know a thing or two about helicopters. Anybody can do this. Set yourself up and wait. When whatever you want to photograph passes through the scene that you want to capture, press the button. You don’t have to machine gun it. I made just three frames.

That was enough.

Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

4 thoughts on “In the Wind

  1. I worked in research and the conversation at the university was always about how to protect intellectual property. There were so many way to breach ethics and one of my professor friends actually quit teaching because she was so worn out dealing with the way students could plagiarize and get away with it. In the art world, it really does boggle my mind. That you can take someone else’s product, modify it, and then claim it as your own and not even credit the original artist, speaks to how we are quickly circling the drain, in my opinion. We’ll survive as people, but what kind of people. I think sometimes I understand why we aren’t intended to live forever. My grandchildren will likely accept these standards as norms, and not feel at all diminished by them, while I’m mourning some of those losses.

    I wish you’d been able to capture the flight of the Stealth Bomber that flew over our house after leaving the Rose Bowl on Wednesday. It went right over my house, but I wasn’t quick enough to get the photo. There’s nothing that says happy new year like a stealth bomber flyover. LOL! But I must admit it’s something to see.


    1. I work very hard to fight this… I’m the regional president of ASMP — American Society of Media Photographers — copyright is something we educate and fight for. There is something called The Case Act, which makes monetary recovery easier. It is blocked the Senate by one Democratic senator from Oregon. I don’t think if it passes it won’t help.

      I doubt that I would be quick enough to make that picture. I was looking at something else when I heard the unmistakable sound of rotors beating the air. Not as loud as my version, but still…

      Little did you know that bomber would be appropriate…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is just so much that is upside down. I just hope more of us don’t fall into a state of apathy, simply by emotional exhaustion. We’re all going to have to find new strength, I think!

        Liked by 1 person

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