On being out there

A short editorial (kind of short) and follow-up to my last post.

There’s been many, many, many discussions among photographers about protecting their photos from being copied or worse yet sold without permission.  And It is getting harder and harder to protect them. Case in point and to test, I downloaded an image from I Photo Central, remember this an international source for photo collecting/selling photos with pretty substantial price tags.  Sorry, I’m not posting the image  because it was only done as a test.  The image measured 622×800 pixels (8×11 inches), at 72 dpi.  Not bad as a small image and when resized to 300 dpi, it still looked pretty good, although it was an old photo to begin with and already had that antique-like quality.  The point is if I can do it (remember I’m no techy) anyone can . . . and do.

watermarkI love having venues to share my photography (and my thoughts).  I think the very basic nature of photography is for images to be seen and shared.   Would I be upset if someone used one of my images without giving me credit . . . you bet I would!   Do I perseverate over whether someone would use my image(s) without permission/credit . . . no, not to any great degree.  Lets be real,  forgery, copy cats and just plain stealing have been around long before the digital age. . . long before the photograph.  But there are some basic precautions one can take, such as posting low resolution, smaller size images, using a watermark, know how to set permissions, and just use commonsense on where you post.  There are resources out there on how to do all of these.  For example, I Googled “How to create a watermark in Photoshop CS5” and got 325,000 results in 0.42 seconds!  This should give you at least little peace of mind.  But if you’re still worried, Cole Thompson shared a cool tip on his blog on how to check Google and see if a photo is somewhere other than where you put it.  Thank you for sharing Cole.  Whew, I am just where I am supposed to be 🙂

And now for just an itsy-bitsy rant:  I mentioned in the Case of the Peony Buds, how I came across a website that looked like it “collected” photos.   The sharing of photos serves many purposes: it can be inspirational, educational, and as simple as adding a little extra enjoyment to that coffee break.  For example, I’m not sure I would have ever learned of Tom Baril or seen his beautiful floral images.  However, I am not a fan of personal websites dedicated to the “collecting” others’ photos (and I am discovering that there are a lot of these…even on flickr).  Yes, I see it is a way of sharing, but bottom line, it is very deceiving.  If you are going to have a photo website it should be to showcase your photos.  There are plenty of places within social media if you want to note a favorite photographer or send a little inspiration someone’s way or how about just sharing your thoughts and a link. . .    Anyway, I certainly understand that on occasion bloggers, myself included, like to reference a certain photographer or photo to make a point, share a tip, or just give back to the photo community, just remember to be courteous, check if it is okay, and most of all give the photographer the credit and accolades they deserve.

Okay that’s it for my editorials for a while, back next time with some long overdue photos.  I’ve been learning some new techniques and can’t wait to share . . .

Til next time,
Maria

The Case of the Peony Buds

5a438f8a59219736de84dcbd744c5452by Tom Baril(?), Peony Buds, 1997

Part I:

You never know where the trail might lead . . .   During a coffee break this morning, I popped on Pinterest and came across the image above.

But let me back up just a sec when it comes to posting/reposting images (on whatever social media site).  As a photographer, I do immensely enjoy sharing my images, but as that same photographer I would want … expect… credit for my image.  A while back, a fellow blogger (darn, I really wish I could remember the blogger who enlightened me on this – I’ll give a shout out if and when I do) posted about how so many images are just randomly posted on sites like Pinterest with no links, no credit, no nada.  Since reading that post, I’ve made it a practice to check every click, validate the image, to be sure credit is given where credit is due . . . or I move on.

Back to the image.  I clicked on it, which lead me to a kinda of strange website (not the one I was expecting as noted on the Pinterest board)  It looked to me someone’s website that looks like they “collect” others photos, just a gallery of images, no text to speak of, no real explanation why they were there.  Anyway, at least there was a link to the photographer, Tom Baril, the title and date.  So off I went.  This led to a site called I Photo Central.  Now I was at an international site dedicated to photography collecting and collectors (quite different from the site that got me here), curating for galleries, etc.   And then I noticed something familiar.  The curators for this photographer lived in my little town, in the neighborhood right next door to mine.  Small world.   This post now has a couple purposes:  1) to note how easy a photograph can lose its association to the photographer and 2) a note to myself regarding this local resource (one just never knows how such a resource can come into play when preparing an upcoming photography club meeting).

Part II:

As I started to put this post together, collecting the links, etc, I could not find the above photo in the actual collection by Tom Baril at I Photo Central. But it did give me a chance to scroll through other images by him.  An interesting collection from warm flowery images, like the one above, to hard edge industrial images.  It still bugged me though that I was not actually finding a reference to the above image, so I turned to Google.  Huh? I’m starting to feel like Alice (in wonderland) things are getting curiouser and couriouser.  The flower photographs from the I Photo Central site were there on his website, but no “Peony Buds.”   I also saw it in Google images, maybe this would take me to it.  Nope, just another selling site but here next to the Peony image it said “Tom Baril: Hibiscus, 1997” that apparently was sold.   I am no botanist but I know this is not a photo of a hibiscus. Maybe that is what happened to this image, it was sold and it’s reference with it.  So in all honesty, I am still really not 100% sure who this lovely peony photograph belongs to (a simple watermark sure would have saved me a lot of time and effort.)   Mr. Baril if you should happen to read this post, I would love to credit you for this lovely image.  And if nothing else, I have left a trail to your photos.

And so the trail goes cold as did my  cup of coffee.

Til next time,
Maria