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My first photography e-book is now published!

Below The Surface Around Camiguin Island

Below The Surface Around Camiguin Island, photo e-book with underwater photography

A photography e-book with 184 pages of stunning underwater photography.

It’ll be yours to page through for the ridiculously low price of € 3,75 and you can order it by clicking on the “Add to Bag” button on the right side.
The order process is super-easy, and super-fast. You can pay via PayPal or with credit card. After payment you’ll be sent a confirmation mail with a link from where you can download the e-book (pdf, appr. 25Mb in size).

(and of course, feel free to share it with everyone you know and don’t know! 😉 ).

A week and a half or so ago I was contacted by UK new agency Caters News with the request to give them some background information on one of my images, because they wanted to do a story on it. If you’ve been reading this blog, you may recognize the picture:

Siberian tiger leaping out of the water of a shallow pond

D200, ISO100, 1/1000 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 70-200mm

I of course happily obliged and I got to read the copy and with some changes (I did really tell them that tigers love water, but they haven’t changed the header of the article) I okay-ed it. A day or so later I got a mail from the contact person saying that probably it would take a week or maybe still a few before it was published on their website, because there was still another article running involving tiger(s). No problem for me.
It was a nice surprise to find a Google alert on my name (yeah, I have those) in the Daily Mail. It appeared that the agency had offered the article to several news papers and the Daily Mail was the first one to take it on. You can read all about it here!

I’ve got some stuff published before, but never this prominent in such a big paper, so I was quite excited.
You can imagine my increase in excitement when, that same evening, I got a mail from the Times, that they were also interested in doing a piece with the picture.
And you can imagine my excitement went sky-high, when the next day I got a mail from the agency telling me that the images were also published in the printed editions of – next to the Times – the Telegraph, the Mirror, and the Record.

Good stuff going on!
So jumping on the band-wagon, you can now order your own canvas print for on your wall.
Check out www.arnoenzerink.com for details!

Dang! I feel sorry for myself…

Last week I attended a seminar at Epson. Very interesting, but the content of that seminar isn’t the point right now. As a by the way (a very by the way by the way) buying a new camera body came up and I heard only half of the story, except for the price.
Being Dutch (yeah, I know!) that got stuck like a little splinter in my brain.

So… Little background info: I’m in the market for a new camera body. Or rather, an extra, because I don’t have a spare. So I was looking to replace my D200 with a D700 body as a main camera.

The D700 (body only) goes for around $3,000. That’s an average price. The splinter which was pushing in my brain had a price tag of €1.280, which is about $1,650.
So I googled D700 and 1280. Lo and behold… A website came up advertising for a Nikon D700. For €1.280. Wow!

Very tempting, very tempting. However, since I’m not the type of person to blindly trust anything good the moment I see it, I looked around for a bit. The site itself looks very professional and very reliable, advertising with the AMEX, VISA, Mastercard and the PayPal logo.
I asked a friend who has lived in those parts of the woods for awhile to put out some flags. My better half has a couple of colleagues who come from those areas and she would ask them.
That all came up empty. No one’d heard of the place.
In the mean time the price went down from €1.280 to €1.120.
I decided to go for it. Just order it. I’d be insured through my credit card company, so this was all covered.
Added a D700 body to my shopping cart and went for check-out.
But then… Hmmm…
Where is the credit card payment option? Only Western Union, MoneyGram or bank transfer?
And PayPal payment option grayed out, because it’s only for VIP customers?
Hmmmm…

*alarm bells*

So I wrote the good people an email.

Dear Sir, Madam,

I was going to order the D700 body from your store.
Seeing all the symbols at the bottom of your website, I assumed I would be able to pay by credit card, but when I got to the payment part, there’s no option for paying by credit card.

How does this work exactly?

Looking forward to your response.

It took them only 1,5 hours to reply (considering the time difference I thought that was quite good). The answer was… well… polite but dubious:

Dear Arno.
Thanks for your enquiry,
For the strict chinese foreign exchange system, the company can not accept payment directly by foreign credit card. You can pay via bank transfer or westernunion by your Mastercard. We are sorry for the inconvenice.
Hope you a gald shipping.
Best regards

(typos are copied as-is)
I mean… Because of the strict Chinese foreign Exchange system, they can’t accept payment directly from foreign credit cards? I don’t know really how the system works in China, but this sounds like a very lame excuse.

Anyway… It was late and I decided to go sleep on it, and maybe go down town the next day to check from Western Union if a payment could be insured somehow.
But the next day (yeah, I know… should’ve done it first thing) I decided to google the name of this shop. And WHAM… Long list of “is this a scam?”, “can we trust this?”, “anyone any experience with this shop?” came up.
A lot of good points in a lot of threads in the search results.
Chinese site with only English and no Chinese?
No credit card payments possible and only money wiring?
Domain name of the shop was registered only in mid-March, which is kind of weird. This shop claims copyright on their website for their stuff from 2005-2009. Wouldn’t an electronics shop in today’s digital era have a website up and running longer than mid-March 2009?
So all in all…
Very dubious, very dodgy. Needless to say that I’m going to check elsewhere. Probably have to pay a bit more, but be sure to get it instead of being out a bag full of money.

As goes the saying:

If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is