Archive for February, 2013

Staying out of trouble by legally reusing photographs

Posted by on Wednesday, 27 February, 2013

You may have seen the recent story about how DKNY got in some hot water for using a photographer’s images without permission. While most of us will never be working with high-budget marketing groups, if we’re blogging and adding images to those posts to improve the draw we still need to worry if we have the right to use those images.

As in my prior blog posts here, in which I discuss the “Social stewardship of sharing” and more recently “On citing sources“, I’ve discussed why crediting is important from a social karma perspective. Today I’d like to share with you How to find images to use and provide credit to the originator as dictated by licensing so you won’t find yourselves in the same predicament as DKNY.

Many people think that if an image is available on the internet that it is fair game to reuse. That is simply not the case. In fact *most* images on the internet are not freely available, and especially so for commercial use. So how CAN you find images freely available to reuse on your blog for either personal or even commercial purposes? Great question! Thus far I’ve found three very useful tools:




If you’ve been reading our posts on Notes from Rational Support for a bit, you’ll likely have noticed our typical image crediting at the bottom when we use images not owned by IBM. Kelly tipped me off ages ago to using the Creative Commons attribution pool / search feature on to find fun and interesting images to accompany our blog posts there, and as the Creative Commons license specifies, we add the attribution credit to all images we use from this pool by setting a line at the end of the post noting “image credit: (cc) Some Rights Reserved  by <username linked to account>” It is a simple but effective method to help ensure proper image use as well as highlight the individuals who have graciously allowed use of their work.


What it all comes down to:

  • Use images! Visuals make your content more interesting, and also provide for richer posts on other social channels.
  • Use Creative Commons  search to filter by usage rights and find images which fit your usage needs.
  • If you don’t know the explicit rights, don’t use the image.
  • Credit the image owners, even if it isn’t required by the license: It’s just the right thing to do.


Crediting isn’t just nice, it is necessary to meet license requirements. Rather than simply take-take-take, we are able to borrow and then use our social currency to show direct appreciation to those whom have graciously shared their images for use via  Creative Commons licensing. Acknowledgement as a thank you takes so little time, but really means so much especially when the legal ramifications can be so costly… in today’s world of copyright and intellectual property thievery, it is important to stand up as a good internet citizen, to credit and show appreciation for those people who allow us use of their content to share-and-share-alike, and especially to be mindful of when we can’t use images and ensure that they don’t accidentally make it in to publication.

A photo-blog of our trip to Victoria, B.C.

Posted by on Friday, 22 February, 2013

We had opportunity last week to head up to Vancouver Island, B.C. for a brief get-away. We took the week off, drove up to Port Angeles on Monday, caught the early morning ferry to the island on Tuesday, and returned on the late ferry Friday afternoon; these are some of the shots from Monday evening to Friday around 5pm. Thankfully we had a long weekend to rest up from vacation… I always forget how tiring travel can be.

You’ll note some apparent duplicate shots. I’ve left these in as they show some differences in angle, exposure, cropping, and processing settings which make them different enough that I’ve not yet decided which ones will make it into my portfolio…. if you think any of these should be added to my portfolio/print sales site, please let me know as I value any and all feedback!




Using RSS and Email to prevent future embarrassment

Posted by on Wednesday, 6 February, 2013


We’ve all seen it: the Facebook post purporting that onions cure every illness, or that asking your friends to make changes on the network will keep your posts private and invisible to all the “baddies” out there.

By this point I’m sure we know that’s all hogwash, but every day there are more and more urban myths that find life, or renewed life (like the Back to the Future post that pops up every other month) because people share without fact checking first. I’m sure some of you have seen my quick reaction to point out a article either clarifying or refuting this claim or that…. perhaps you’ve even wondered how it is I am so quick to know? Well, friends, here’s my secret weapon: RSS and immediate email notification.

Using the What’s New RSS feed from, I can see every new or updated article that comes out of Snopes, right when they post it. Mind you I don’t necessarily read all articles, but this puts the topic information in my head so I know where to retrieve the details if I see it pop up later.

But just using RSS means I need to constantly watch my RSS reader for updates, which is a bit of a pain at times. So I added an email notification to the equation using, so now I get an email notice whenever Snopes adds a new article. Here’s the recipe I created to do this, but you can create your own if you prefer to get notices via text, tweets, or a cadre of other various channels!

This results in a nice simple email notice like this, which pops into my inbox about once a day at their normal rate of article posting:


So now you know my secret weapon in the fight against promoting false content and preventing my own embarrassment, but better yet, now you too can help dispel myth and rumour faster than a speeding… well you know 😉