So what’s been going on in August with my photography and on the site, and what else has kept me busy? Thoughts, lots and lots of thoughts… and infringements, and some photos of course.
Vision, Style and Portfolios
During exchanges with Joseph and Peter when we talked about portfolios and vision and style and consistency and whatnot it occurred to me that I have a lot of photos on my site that probably do not show much of my vision and style (anymore), but that I kept online here for the sake of nostalgia, or simply because they’re pretty pictures (yep, I happen to make those).
Joe mentioned an interesting exercise to evaluate one’s own style/portfolio, described in this article on PetaPixel. In particular, exercise number four is really interesting: “Pick five words that describe your favorite images” – so far I’ve found three words that fit (once I have them all I might write about them with more detail) and when I look at the photos on my site, an awful lot of them do not really fit. I do know that I have a crazy amount of images online for a portfolio site, so I’ve got some housekeeping to do. It’s a neverending story, and a painful process too, because I don’t want to lock away the pretty pictures. :)
I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to split things up further: only select images will appear here on the website, a more complete selection will – for now – go to my Fine Art America artist website (which I treat more like an archive from now on – I radically cut down the galleries there). For now, because I’m not sure if I should switch to a dedicated photo hosting company altogether. I’m not willing to pull the trigger yet and abandoned this WordPress powered website because I kinda like it.
I’ve begun to more actively hunt down and follow up on unlicensed usage of my images. A couple of DMCA take-down notices have been sent and my images have been removed from a couple of sites as a result. People who infringe on copyright don’t seem to react to emails usually, which is unfortunate because I’m sure a mutually beneficial agreement could be reached quite often.
But I’ve also had pleasant exchanges with people who were using my images on their private and non-commercial sites, and were very forthcoming and friendly in making things right. As a reminder, I’m generally fine with it when my images are used on strictly private and non-commercial sites, but I do expect proper credit and a working link back to my site (which is the sole reason why I watermark my images).
When a site contains ads though, or you’re offering services and/or products, it’s commercial usage. If you want to use one of my images on such a site, you’ll have to buy a license. My images help you make money, you pay me. Pretty simple. Just like you pay the mechanic to fix the car that you need to go to work.
A word of warning to everyone who is using Google Ads on their sites: you agreed to not infringe copyright when you signed up for Google Ads. If you do infringe copyright, Google will shut down your Ads account. The entire account. And I will report infringements to Google if you’re not reacting to my mails and/or your web hoster is out of reach.
For photographers who are interested in tracking usage of their images and what to do when they find an infringement, I recommend Michael Russell’s set of two blog posts: part one “Finding Copyright Infringements on the Web” and part two “I’ve Found A Copyright Infringement! Now What?”
New photos and galleries
Finally, on to the new photos: there are two new themed and rather specific galleries online, in case you missed the announcements in the blog: “Dunes” with a selection of the images from my outings to Algodones Dunes (obviously), and “Shrublands” with images from Southern California chaparral landscapes. Besides that, you surely saw the recent blog posts with new images, especially in the Small Sets category.
Other than that… the summer holidays have ended, and as a result the amount of people at San Diego’s coastal areas slowly becomes more tolerable again for photographers. The days are notably shorter already and it’s not that hot anymore. September is a beautiful month. I hope you’ll enjoy yours!