Where did your picture come from?

Sofia Hassen has a point. The eagle-eyed among you might have spotted that the British wildlife photographer left a comment here earlier: “Don’t forget to credit photos and videos by others on your blog”. I was mortified to note that the feature on which she had commented didn’t have any attributions at all.

It’s something I’ve become more keenly aware of over the months, since I’m so pro-copyright when it comes to music but have been woefully neglectful when it comes to the pics I use on this site. I’m sure many of us are the same – we need a photo for a post, we’re in a hurry, and just nab something from Google without thinking where it comes from. For the past few months, I’ve been attributing images using the mouseover because the layout isn’t really conducive to actual captions: hover over the image for a second and you can see a brief description, the name of the author and where I found it. It’s not the best way of handling things, but it’s better than nowt.

Prompted to think a little more carefully, I realised that though I had dilligently credited the “tiny gypsy” picture by Shana Rae I used a couple of days back, I hadn’t checked to see whether I could use the image. As it turns out, the $5 usage fee was less of a problem for me than the 7-day turnaround on the usage request, so I nixed the pic and replaced it with a public domain image from WikiCommons. I don’t like it as much as the Florabella Collections pic, but that’s why Ms Rae is charging money for its usage. She’s got to eat, hasn’t she? That and pay for the equipment she uses. It’s all fair, so I feel a bit bad about being unfair to her by swiping her pic without permission.

Wikipedia is a quick, easy way of finding free, useable images without treading on any toes, but even that leads to some pretty interesting complexities.  Continue reading