The birthday edition YAY, happy birthday to me. I will be breaking my sugar fast later on today and eating cake.
Good Morning Mud Slingers, how are you today? What have you been doing in your studios this week? Have you been plastering stuff all over the interwebs and have you worried that it will get pinched? Have you had whole pages of your blog, images included “scraped” and published onto a fake blog somewhere? Have you come across the darker side of the internet and been saddened that it isn’t all kittens and conversations?
Well you are not alone, this too has happened to me.
I first started Frogpondsrock back in 2007, the early posts of mine are terrible, full of ellipses and woeful sentence structure, but they tell a story so I leave them there and just ignore their existence.
I learned very early on that “scraping” was common. Advertising sites hosted offshore somewhere, would steal whole pages of content, images included, and bang them up onto their website. Some linked back to me, some didn’t but it was my words and images up there next to the virus laden flashing download now graphics.
At first it is a shock, I mean really, how rude. But basically there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it. I could waste time and energy tracking down their host and demanding a takedown that would probably not happen anyway and who has the energy for that? I certainly don’t.
So I chose to ignore the thieves of the internet and counted myself thankful that some of them linked back to my blog.
But because I choose to ignore the practice does not mean that I make it worthwhile for people to steal my stuff. I resize my images so that they look fabulous here on FPR but are next to useless if they are printed out.
I like large images, so I resize my images to 800 px on the longest side but really, 600 is plenty good enough for a blog post. You need to balance out the fact that you want people to look at your work, with making the image useless on paper.
I also do not waste time watermarking my images because I don’t like watermarks, they make a photo look messy and cluttered and distract my eye. Also watermarks are really easy to remove so to my mind that is a double waste of my time.
If you do not have a photo programme, Picasa is a good free one and I am sure there are many others. Ask your friends what they use, I use photoshop. Macs come with iPhoto already installed and so you don’t even have to do anything there at all.
A selection of the images I use on the blog are photos that I have shared on instagram first. Instagram automatically resizes the image to 640 x 640 and that makes it a nearly perfect size for a blog post. ( though it is too square for my aesthetic I like a landscape orientation)
This image was a quick snap for my records, taken with my camera and I resized it to 800 on the longest side. Normally I would then resize this again within the blog post so that it was easily viewable on any device but still large enough for a good look at the work if you click on the photo and open it up in a new window.
This next image is the same but resized to 600px
and this one is 400
600 is probably the best size to use as the image is small enough to be useless offline, it is small enough so that your blog loads quickly as large images really slow down the load time, but it is still large enough for people to view easily.
I hope that has helped a little bit but the rule of thumb that I follow in my online life is, if I put it onto the web I expect it to get pinched. I also work by the rule of not saying anything online that I wouldn’t want published on a billboard outside my place of work and as I work at home I do not want a billboard across the road flashing obscenities at me, unless I am really grumpy when in that case I will probably just nod at the billboard and say, “Kimmy you are a poet”.
Here is the image again, just how I like it best here.
The work featured in the photos is a woodfired platter by Lise Edwards, porcelain cups, rocks and bowl by Kim Foale, road kill quoll by Eve Howard and bird plate by Adriana Christianson.
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