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The eyes of a Wolf always see straight into your soul ...

...You can't hide the truth from them


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Please visit the main site - www.wolf-photography.com

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Are you helping to kill Photography as a profession?

Do you take photographs and give them away for free by posting them onto websites and social networking sites?

Do you enter competitions that state that once the image has been submitted, the organisers are free to use the image as they please by assuming rights to it or through some form of collective licensing?  You won't know unless you read the small print.

Are you a keen photographer or photography student that attends events and hands the images from the day over to the organiser in exchange for free entrance or the promise of paid work in the future?

Are you a business that wants good quality, creative images but refuse to pay for them?

Are you a new presence on the photography scene and looking to get yourself 'known' and allowing businesses to use your images for free?

Are you a photography student that allows your academic facility use of your images without being consulted on your Intellectual Property rights?

If you are identified in any of the above groups, not only are you killing the profession of photography but you're also taking bread off the table of people trying to earn an honest crust.

If you want to get into photography as a profession:
Learn about your Intellectual Property rights.
Never give your images away for free, sell prints or license the images for publications and/or web usage.
Only enter photography competitions that respect your Intellectual Property rights (see ABoR).
As a Photography Student be aware that your images are covered by copyright as soon as you create them and no one can use them without YOUR permission - including your educational establishments.

If you're not interested in photography as a profession and just like the kudos:
Please stop killing photography as a profession by flooding websites with free imagesIf you're not interested in earning money for yourself,  use the image to generate funds for your favourite charity, educational fund for your children, holiday funds for a trip around the world or a chastitly belt for your Aunt Flo ... just please stop destroying photography as a profession?

RespectIP is a free resource provided by Wolf Photography.  Its purpose is to enable photographers and other creatives to learn the basics about their Intellectual Property rights and to provide some practical guides and forms that are necessary in some areas of photography (eg draft licence and model/property release forms).  There is also a section on how to protect your images online and a safe and easy way to promote your images on your own website with a view to selling them as prints or making them available for viewing in order to secure licensing contracts.

Keep your work protected, keep the profession alive and know your Intellectual Property rights.

Happy Sunday.

PS If you're worried about your images being used elsewhere on Facebook, go to 'Account Settings' and click on 'Facebook Adverts' - Where it says 'If we allow this in the future, show my information to' - Select 'No one'.  Also set your images so that they can only be seen by 'Friends' and not 'Public'.



Saturday, 23 June 2012

Exhibition: Living with PTSD ...

Background
I’m a British Armed Forces Veteran.  I was ignorant of the fact that I had contracted Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during the course of my duties at the age of nineteen in 1983.  I wasn’t screened for PTSD when I left the Armed Forces in 1985.

It was another twelve years before a diagnosis was made, following a serious Road Traffic Accident that I was lucky to survive.  I can only describe that twelve year period as ‘Hell’.

PTSD can be very debilitating and I was eventually retired on ill health in 2006.  I have worked on three things since then:

  • My Photography
  • My Poetry
  • Raising awareness of PTSD in Veterans

I’ve been taking photographs with an SLR camera since 1981.  It was my way of relaxing when I was off duty in the Royal Air Force.  In 2006 I realised just how much of an important coping mechanism photography is for me.

It gives my life purpose and helps me to be able to leave the confines of my home and venture out alone to places in different areas and other countries.

This exhibition uses poetry to show the contrast between the pain and torment that I experience with PTSD and the powerful healing medicine of nature through photography. 

Photography became my therapy and enabled me to connect with the Earth in a very deep way.  I’ve been lucky enough to see some wonderful sights.

  

Purpose
To demonstrate the use of creative therapies as a coping mechanism for PTSD.

To educate disabled artists about their Intellectual Property rights.

To raise awareness of the condition, PTSD, so that people can recognise the symptoms and seek appropriate help.



Method 
To exhibit 13 prints and 13 poems.
To hold three workshops during the course of the exhibition:

  • For Veterans and people related to or in relationships with Veterans to explore the issues from both their perspectives in an open forum.

  • For disabled artists to learn how to promote their photography on the internet without falling prey to people/companies that don’t respect their Intellectual Property rights.

  • For trainee or practising counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, GPs and support/customer services staff.  Covering issues such as setting up a ‘Veteran friendly’ interview environment and how to deal with Veterans displaying verbal or physical aggression.

To provide signposting for people seeking support or treatment related to PTSD through leaflets etc.



Venue
Leicester People’s Photographic Gallery
2 Wellington Street, Leicester LE1 6HL


Dates
The exhibition will go up on 4th November 2013 and be taken down on 2nd December 2013.  The exhibition will be open for public viewing  from 5th November to 30th November 2013 inclusive.


Fundraising for the exhibition
The main source of funding will be through the sale of photographic prints and from my poetry books.  If you would like to help support my aims, please purchase my books and prints.  

The books are:


The prints are in 5 categories:

A Percentage of any profits will be donated to Combat Stress to be used by the Occupational Therapy department to enable other Veterans to use some form of Art as a therapeutic coping mechanism for living with PTSD.
I hope that you'll support my project and tell other people about it through Facebook, Twitter etc and email.

I need your help, so please get involved.

Periodic updates will be posted here on Blogger, Facebook and Twitter

Regards

Villayat 'SnowMoon Wolf' Sunkmanitu






Friday, 22 June 2012

Gadgeticulous ...

Do you like gadgets on your blog or website? I love 'em!  Okay it isn't cool to plaster them all over your website as it can end up looking tacky rather than professional ... but you can fart around on your blog to your heart's content.

I go through phases of using certain things and dropping them - it's just a way of putting something else on other than your own content that people might find interesting or amusing.  Some are there for verification, so only need to be there temporarily.  Others serve a purpose and have a permanent presence.

So, I'm going to tell you about the things I use as you may find them useful yourself.

'Google Translate' might not give a 100% effective translation in all languages because of the different styles of grammar in all the languages it supports ... but it gives other people from other countries an idea of what you're writing about.  It'd be interesting to hear if it's ever provided a translation that was way off and ended up supplying a translation that was the opposite of the intended message and caused offence.  You can get it here.

'Follow by email'.  Does it work?  Does anyone ever use it?  Who knows?!  It doesn't take my more than a few seconds to setup though and is one of the modular options provided by 'Blogger', so go look at 'Design' in your blogger settings and you'll see it there.

'Search this blog' could be useful if you've been blogging a while and people want to search through past entries for something specific.  Again, it's one of the modules on Blogger.

'Blog Archive' is a must.  It's handy for me to see what I've been doing as well.  I have a short term memory problem and there's nothing worse than repetition.  You'll find in the Blogger modules.

'Followers' is an interesting module and a potential source of networking that's supplied in Blogger.

If you have followers then I feel it's necessary to have the 'About me' module from Blogger, so you can tell people about yourself.

People will also want to know what blogs you follow.  I tend to use this as a networking tool AND as an SEO tool.  It's important to follow blogs you like and show mutual support ... but it's also important to follow bloggers that also write frequently (at least once a week).  You'll find this under blogger's modules.

HTML/JavaScript is a very useful module.  You can add just about any gadget off the web with this.  I've used it to setup links for my Facebook Pages relelvant to work and work related projects and Twitter.  I've also setup the blog on an app in Facebook called 'Networked Blogs'.  If you set it up correctly, you just update your blog and it will automatically submit the article to your Facebook and Twitter pages for you.

I love the Moon!  It took me a long time of self exploration (not the under the sheets kind) to find out that I had a pattern that relates to the moon.  So it's handy for me to know the Moon's phases in relation to the Earth.  Having it on my blog means I can check it out anytime and know where She is.

I used to have 'Flag Counter' on my website and I might put it back up again as I LOVE seeing what people from which countries are interacting with my website and blog.  I remember it becoming a bit of a pain for some reason but it might be ok now.

'Blog Archive' is a must.  It's handy for me to see what I've been doing as well.  I have a short term memory problem and there's nothing worse than repetition (just testing if you're awake!).

Last but not least is the 'Networked Blogs' verification box which can be removed once your blog is confirmed by 6 people.

There's so much out there to play with  ... enjoy!

Wolf


Do you ignore friends that are having a hard time with a mental health condition?

I guess we all do it at some time, dependent on how close a friend the other person is and what our energy levels are like at the time.

I prefer the honest approach of 'I'm sorry but I can't deal with this right now.  I'm a bit pre-occupied with my own issues.'  There's nothing wrong in saying this.  It's honest but it doesn't say 'I'm cutting my ties with you'.

The other side of the coin is that there are people that will break communications with you through fear based on stigma.  If that's the case, are they the sort of friend that you needed in the first place?

Friendships require trust and effort, the same as any kind of relationship.  They don't grow on trees.  No one rubbed a lamp to make one appear.

Every now and then I recognise that a friend or acquaintance is in need of some help and support.  I can't give much as I have to balance my own energy and cope with my issues.  I'd never turn my back on them though.

If you know friends that have such issues and are at a low ebb, please, don't ever abandon or ignore them.  Be realistic with your own resources ... but remember that you called them a friend for a reason and they might need your help right now.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Waterstones and profit margins ...

The Way of the Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran has been released and is visibile on Waterstone's website.  You can buy the title from them either in-store or from their website but there will be a delay while the title is printed and shipped to them ... and then to you.

I was having a discussion with one of their managers today with a view to them stocking the title in the stores that sold the first volume (Words of a Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran).  Unfortunately, they won't because there is only a 25% discount on the title and they want 50-60%.  Having explained that this is not a profit making venture and that aims of the project are to facilitate an exhibition and raise more awareness of what PTSD does to Veterans had no effect on the decision.  Waterstones have a profit margin policy that they adhere to.  I feel that if I had the same conversation with Amazon today, I probably would have heard the same thing.

The printing and distribution contract was setup with Lightning Source; their minimum discount level for titles to be advertised via their data feed is 20% for the USA and 25% for all other places.  If you go below that level of discount, your title won't be advertised.

So, it comes down to Social Networking and 'word of mouth'.  If you'd like to support my work and help this project by purchasing a copy of the title.  Please buy it from my website if you can ... if you can't pay through Paypal, please try your highstreet or local book store (including Waterstones) and they will order the title in for you.

All the best

Wolf

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Veterans, relationships and PTSD ...

Relationships in the modern world have evolved into something that I sometimes don't recognise.  I remember when honesty was important and people valued loyalty and honour.

Isolation is a big part of living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  In my experience, the more people know about you, the more they seem to store for use against you at a later date, particularly in friendships and relationships.  So the natural defence position is to distance yourself from people that would seek to do me harm on an emotional front.

In order to cope with myself, I had to venture into the darkness of my soul and face my demons; demons borne of necessity, injustice and survival ... and I had to learn to control them and not let them control me.  I'm not always able to manage it ... but I do my best.  I am as vulnerable as I am strong.  Yet I try to live my life and contribute something towards society.  One area that I still have problems with is when someone tries to hurt me emotionally.  My natural defence is to close my heart off and protect it.  It can take a couple of days for the steel shutters to come back down.  Someone recently got very upset with this defence mechanism and thought I was pulling away my positive feelings towards her.

Not many people would choose to become involved with someone that has a mental health condition, let alone one that can make a person react violently to any perceived physical threat or danger.  The danger radar is permanently on and so we react as if we were still on duty, all those years ago.

There are emotional risks too for both parties but they're compounded when you meet someone that doesn't take responsibility for their shortcomings on their own emotional front.  Confidences exchanged in the security of a relationship can become weapons that are sharper than knives and cut your heart on a spiritual level.

I met such a woman two months ago and while I would never name her, I do feel that the circumstances need exploring because it might help you to avoid similar circumstances in the future.

We became very close quite quickly and we didn't live far apart, so we spent quite a bit of time together.  At first she was very honest and said that this was her pattern - she runs whenever she's faced with the thing her heart seeks.  As soon as she got too close to me on an emotional level, she started to subconciously sabotage the relationship and then put the blame for things going wrong at my feet.  This isn't the first time this has happened and you can be as honest as you want with  someone about your life but if your truth isn't respected and counted as valuable, then your truth is a weapon waiting to be used against you.  Unfortunately this behaviour is particularly true of people that don't work on their own issues but spend their lives trying to 'cure' others.

Working on yourself requires courage, facing your demons requires strength and taking a chance to find your heart's desire requires a commitment to your 'self' ... that commitment being that you will continue working on your own issues and that you won't hit a loved one over the head with your baggage.  The baggage handling role is a two-way street and in order for any successful relationship with a sufferer with PTSD there must be an understanding of the condition and an agreed upon mode of behaviour.  Once the basics are in place, you can get on with the good times and hopefully, cope well with the slightly turbulent times, should any arise.

In my experience, the people to watch out for are the one's that use phrases like, 'I feel like I'm walking on egg shells around you' or they suddenly start to critique things you do.  A definite association to avoid is anyone that is reticent to introduce you to their friends and acquaintances.  If you're in a mutually respectful friendship or relationship, that shouldn't be the case.   You should be able to recognise each other's patterns in  time and be honest with each other at times that you need solo space.  It's better to take a breather than end something prematurely that had the potential to become something special.

I'm writing from the perspective of myself ... an open soul that's continually working on himself. So please, don't dump your crap at my door.  I don't mind working with you on your stuff, if you have the courage to do so.  Just don't do what the 'healer' tried to do to me?

If you've been hurt by a previous lover or friend, let the pain go - write about it, sing about it, even rant about it - but only for long enough to get the emotional release out of your system.  I used to talk to the Ocean about my pain - it worked for me ... I felt she heard and understood me.  When you've released the pain, find the courage to forgive them and move on ready to try again with an open heart.

Wolf

SnowMoon Wolf's Guide to Self-Publishing is now live!

The title is available through Amazon and you can find out more information from my website.

The pricing is minimal and the tips included are worth it.  The title's aimed at people that have some knowledge of how to create word documents and a basic knowledge of html.

All the best

Wolf

Monday, 11 June 2012

Enabling other writers ...

Do you have a book inside you waiting to burst out?

I've been feeling that way for a while now ... and now I'm two books down the road.  And you know something?  It feels good!  I feel like I'm contributing something again ... something unique.  Poetry's not everyone's thing but I'm not a traditional poet.  My style's my own, sometimes raw, sometime's subtle.  It get's the message out though.

If you have any sort of mental health problem, I recommend trying it as a way of getting your feelings out.  Sometimes there's no one there to talk to and I can just be sat there bubbling over and drowning in my own crap...and then the pen starts writing.  It's like it's writing without awareness.  The words just flow and they act as a conduit for my emotional turmoil.

It's not always turmoil though.  Sometimes I write about love, mainly unrequited, sometimes about that space that exists for other emotions during other activities in my life.

So my third book is for those of you that have a book inside them and want to write it...or those of you that have written something but haven't found a publisher yet.  My advice is simple - publish it yourself!



There are so many ways forward, Amazon Kindle, Ebooks on Waterstones, and distribution channels with companies like Lightning Source.

Don't let your words fester, get your message out there, whatever it may be.

SnowMoon Wolf's guide to Self-Publishing will be released in a day or two with lots of tips and tricks with regard to writing your title, publishing it and publicising it.  It's based on two years of experience in the Self -Publishing game and you might find it useful.  The price tag will be $1 or £1 (the distributor taxes Ebooks though), dependent on where you are.  It'll be useful to writers based anywhere in the world that use the English language.

Why the Wolf on the cover?  Some tribal people from North America  believe that the Wolf is a Pathfinder, Protector and Teacher.

SnowMoon Wolf's Guide to Self-Publishing will be available on Amazon and Waterstones.  I'll post more details when the final checks are made and everything's green for go.

Have a good night,

Wolf

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Translator application added!

For those of you who wish to read this blog in other languages, a translation app has been added to the blog (top right).  Simply select the language that you would like to read the blog in.

Regards

Wolf

Social Networking ...

Those of you that are interested in raising your profile with regards to your work or art may be interested in a Facebook app called 'Networked Blogs' (type their name in the search bar in Facebook).  Access the application and set it up to automatically link your 'Blogger' entries to Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Give it a go and see if it helps spread the word about your work.

Regards

Wolf

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Paperback version of 'The Way of the Wolf - Poetry of a Veteran' went live today!

With the ISBN: 9780956488527, the title went live on paperback today and is available from various countries.


If you're interested in buying a copy and having a peek into the soul of a wolf, google the ISBN and the title and see where you can get it from.  50 signed copies will be available from my website.


I'll post more information as news becomes available.


The first review is up on Waterstones.

More news to follow.

Regards

Wolf



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