July 30th, 2012

Things I've Learned About Photo Use

I know perfectly well how copyright works. This is part of why I don't post very many photos and the ones I post are almost entirely ones I just took myself. Recently, I was fiddling around with profile pics and did something I just don't ever do: I lifted a photo from a friend's timeline, cropped it, and used it as an FB profile pic. To be clear: my FB is locked down really, really thoroughly. I'm not actually sure that qualifies as publishing, but I have over a hundred friends so presumably it does.

Anyway. I _also_ posted a snarky status that this was me living dangerously. Of course, with that sense of humor so typical of the Elder Gods, was then handed this by The Universe, h/t Nate at The Digital Reader, h/t Jane at Dear Author:

http://www.roniloren.com/blog/2012/7/20/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-for-using-pics-on-your-blog.html

Included in the comments section of Jane Litte's Dear Author post (http://dearauthor.com/features/letters-of-opinion/the-principle-of-fair-use-and-image-usage-for-bloggers) were instructions for figuring out where else a photo was being used: drag and drop the image over at images.google.com and it will find you exact matches AND visually similar photos (wow, it's pretty clever, too. Cool.). Here is how you can legally get the photo underlying the photo + caption which I clipped (and have since removed):

http://depositphotos.com/3846873/stock-photo-Baby-Elephant-Running.html

If I signed up there for the free trial, I could get that and more for absolutely free. If I paid, I could get all kinds of stuff. Heck, they'll give you more free stuff if you are a blogger, use their images, and link back to them.

There are plenty of other places that sell pictures.

So, first off: I'm really sorry, Duncan Noakes, who took the really cute picture and certainly should be able to make money off of taking super cool pictures like that. Second, a big shout out to depositphotos.com, which I am sure is a really great service and maybe I'll even sign up and try using professional photos occasionally.

And finally, if it's that easy to track down pictures, and someone is actually bothering to prosecute, well, perhaps randomly sharing cute photos is closer to living dangerously than I had realized when I was snarking about a userpic.

Product Review: Aquagoggles Prescription Goggles

I got the kids swimming lessons and, as a side effect, I get a half hour to do laps while they are in their lesson. I can't see without my glasses (-4.5, both eyes, and some astigmatism, too), so I often just wear my glasses in the pool (lake, ocean, etc.). My regular glasses (see current userpic) are Flexon by Marchon and I buy them with the curly ear pieces so I'm not in great danger of losing them. They are also mostly indestructible. However, I get a crick in my neck from keeping my head mostly out of the water.

When it became clear this wasn't one of those one-and-done activities but rather a new routine, I decided it was time to find some prescription goggles. I was hoping for ones that would let me have a different prescription in each eye, since the astigmatism is fairly different between my eyes and when you buy something like goggles, the adjustment is to the diopter to compensate. Swimoutlet.com's goggles do not appear to be available with a different prescription for each eye. However, http://www.aquagoggles.com/ offers them. They ship from Canada, so you'll not only see the approximately $30 charge for the goggles plus shipping but likely also a charge for converting currency (nominal for me -- YMMV).

I've only used them once; I'll update if things change. They fit well. The case is nice -- my glasses fit nicely in it when I have the goggles on. I can see fantastically well with the goggles on. They didn't fog or leak. They remained comfortable for the half hour I had them on.

It's hard to convey just how exciting this is: I'm used to really unpleasant vision/swim experience compromises in the water. I have no idea why I didn't do this years ago; I was operating under the assumption this would be a lot more expensive and difficult than it turned out to be. If you swim, and you are really nearsighted, you ought to get a pair (they do farsighted, too).