27 April 2014

[art] My Photos Get Around, Tom Peterson Edition

Casting ones art upon the waters is a dicey (as in, 'throw of the') proposition.

One hopes that the exposure gets one the good kind of notoriety, perhaps the notice that encourages people to support you, either with money or, at the very least, encouragement. And, just like the roll of the notional dice, it's a random thing.

Latterly, I've found this photo:

… the Tom Peterson's that was, out in the wild. Two places.

First, and most flattering, is this:

Which is in the Tom Peterson's Facebook channel and refers to a BuzzFeed listicle here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/portlandia/16-surefire-signs-you-grew-up-in-portland.

It illustrates point number nine:

It's not only flattering that someone thought my photo was nifty enough to illustrate, but that it did the job it was supposed to do. Also, being chosen to illustrate a Buzzfeed listicle, I think, equals achievement unlocked in some way. So what if I'm an amateur? Every photo I take, I think composition. Every one. If there was any artistic technique anyone should learn before doing any sort of art, it's composition. Randomness isn't a sin, mind … but if you're making any sort of visual impact, you're not only taking a picture, you're orchestrating a scene.

Take pictures that way and even your snapshots become memorable.

Another place I found is a blog entry. Disappointingly, I was not credited. Now, I know by putting the photo out on the intarwebz, I take this risk; depending upon the kindness of strangers. Fools' errand these days, to be sure, but if we don't share, we wind up having a very dull world. In September, 2012, a blog called Noticing SW Portland, which is fortunate to have been linked to by OregonLive according to the About section, commented on getting free tomatoes from a friend with the post Tom and Tomatoes, in as much as free IS a very good price, an idea I am pretty much down with. The illustration to evoke Tom?

Yepper. That's mine. Renamed, too.

For what it's worth, I'm not going to run this woman down and hassle her about it; I did post it to Flickr with a CC-BY-SA license, meaning anyone can have it, remix it even for commercial purposes, as long as they credited me for it. Because of this, I've changed the licensing to CC-BY-ND-SA, reducing the rights I'm releasing … no more commercial re-use, and no more redistribution if you remix it.

Now, I'm aware of the legal status of the CC licenses. I use them as a notice; it's easier to affix a Creative Commons license with my approximate desires than it is to endlessly tell people how I feel about it. CC isn't hard to parse and its something everyone should be aware of.

So, by posting to Flickr and affixing the CC-BY-SA, I made my intentions clear. Buzzfeed recognized that; a local blogger did not.

If she does happen by this post, though, I do ask one thing; just credit the photo, and we're square.

Even though I may be seen as an amateur by the world, my photos are not free for the taking. They might be free for the asking. At least you can ask. Terms can always be negotiable. 

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