Ok my friends. Last weeks post was about putting good quality images online. Honestly I think the final message of that post is most important. “Quality Images” for Photographers means we wish our work to be seen in its best representation.
That will always be a high quality fine art print! However, just like in the film days, not every one of our images deserves to be printed large and hanging upon a wall.
Some of our images tell a story. Some of them are used for marketing, and sometimes we post those images to social networking sites.
When doing so, we have a lot money, time, and effort in our quest for our imagery,… in addition to our heart and soul! We are picky! This is what drives us to improve! This is a very good thing. So we want our online representation to be good.
Good Images Are Stolen Every Single Day!
When ever I mention things like this to amateur Photographers, their first response is “Oh, I just do this for a hobby”… or the worst response, “I would be honored if someone used one of my images in their publication!”
We are honored as well! Even more so when we cash the check for a proper amount representing industry standards!
That last example makes those of us that do this for our living really cringe! I mean the amateur Photographer constantly looks to us for guidance and instruction. Many of those “amateur” Photographers have become quite good with their Photography!
Once they are good; to simply let their work to be used for free, completely destroys the entire profession of Photography. Those Photographers are actually harming the very instructors they look up to!
Why would someone pay a Professional Photographer when they can get a pretty good amateurs work for free, or a very low price? Please understand… Publications do not make their money from their content. They make their money from the advertising! The content is simply to gain readership to sell the advertising. (Television too)
If they get the content for free? Or really cheap? They make LOTS more money! I even know of people that pay $50.00 for high resolution images on stock photo sites, with full commercial rights, and then print those images in large sizes to sell for thousands of dollars!
Those people are very good at marketing. Most Photographers are not. This is a whole ‘nuther topic for another post. However! I do think this practice really sucks. The Photographer thinks, “yay! I sold an Image!” But has little idea that the actual value of that image is thousands more.
Ok Enough Background – Here’s How To Find The Thief
Yes! It’s pretty simple to find your stolen images. At least the ones stolen and used online.
The image above was composed by me at Factory Butte Utah. Posted to show well online at 2048 pixels on the long side… when displayed upon a Mac 5K monitor, this allows a screen shot to be captured that is 16.67 x 33.59 inches at 72 dpi.
What does that mean? At 300 dpi it becomes a 4″ x 8″ image. Do I need to tell you how large we used to blow up a 24mm x 36mm piece of film? There are even better software interpolation programs out there now. My watermark on the bottom right? Yup, programs to get rid of that as well.
So yes, I protect my work with the United States Copyright office. But online…”Man the internet is huge Garrett! How do I find my images online?” Google to the rescue!
Below Is A Screen Shot Of Googles Search By Image Function
Click on the Images Button…Circled in red above, you will wind up at the shot below
Then if you click on the camera button I have circled in red above you will wind up at the shot below…
Simply drag and drop your image into the window and see what comes up. I do this periodically, but it does take time! Also the Google tool will find any image with pieces of the image in it. I searched the image below…
And received this result…
As you can see because “mother earth” is a transparent overlay it keyed on the Joshua Tree in its search. My Composition of Thors Well produced the results below… with my shot showing up on my website, and then the results of all things Thors Well.
If you look right below the two large images showing results of the topic, the top left image is mine. If you click on it then Google takes you right to the image on my website… right below my image it says “see exact matches” with a link. Yes, those of you optically challenged? This is why I advocate a 27″ monitor and wearing your glasses!
Click on that link and it shows the results below with the exact image and web addresses of where it’s being used…
In this case those are all my websites, but you can see how powerful this search can be! The Google Search Function is just one solution. There are others!
Ok So Now What?
Simply understand when online the images stolen most often could be grabbed by someone in order to use it to advertise something. Your images of Las Vegas could be good candidates. I searched one of my images of the Mirage and came up with thousands of hits.
Some of those hits looked a lot like my image cropped without my logo. It’s pretty easy to copy a night image of the Mirage. It’s more difficult to come up with my exact editing process. If they crop out some element of my image and state it’s their own, then it can be a process to delve into this.
This is one reason I always state that somehow your image needs to set itself apart. There are a lot of pretty images out there now a days. But if you have a truly stellar image that sets itself apart? That image needs to be protected! Next weeks topic will be how to get paid for the theft you find.
Thanks For Being Here!
I’m still taking an interest list for those that would be interested in a Lake Tahoe PhotoSafari, February 12th to the 16th. I’m planning this now. I’m going! Who might wish to join? I will close this list on Saturday the 27th at 6:00 pm. Time is a wastin’ to make arrangements my friends.
There is still time to sign up for my 52 week online class. Explanations of this are available by clicking the link below.
I’m still taking sign-ups for the free WPPI Contest Judging and image review. I have quite a number signed up already! Come join us!