Part 1 – The Wrong Way to Find Them
The images I use on my posts are half the story. Tonight I’m taking you behind the scenes. I didn’t know back when I wrote my first blog in November of 2016 that you have to be careful where you get your images.
Do you remember the Great American Eclipse? It happened on August 21, 2017. I wrote a post about it. Back then I used Bing to find images. That’s where I looked as a teacher, then as a new writer. I loved my images . . . until I got caught.
It seems like sometime in March of 2018 I got a letter from a group of lawyers.YIKES! I opened it up and saw . . . one of the images from my eclipse post. DOUBLE YIKES!!
This isn’t that image. The original was way better! It featured the Trump family – Donald, Melania, and Barron. They were standing on a White House balcony, wearing the special eclipse glasses to see the event safely. The photo was copyrighted to a French source.
I live in Wapakoneta, Ohio. I couldn’t believe someone in France could find me! It was actually a legal team with a great search engine. They stated in simple legal terms what I needed to do to clean this up.
I’m a retired teacher, and I don’t make money on my blog. I thought I was immune, but I’d been warned about this by writing friends. I looked at the letter again. I knew I’d done something wrong, and this time I couldn’t ignore it. So I called the number, confessed, and asked for mercy.
The legal team asked for two things. 1 – I had to pull down the image from my blog. That was easy. 2 – I had to pay a fine. That was harder. BUT, I confessed my error, and my fine was cut in half. Thank goodness!
I spent part of a year dreading the mailbox because I could have had more fines. I took a chance – I didn’t change the other images on my blog, but I would have if I’d gotten another legal letter, or two.
But, I did learn from my mistake. I only use public domain pictures or my own now. I advise you to do the same, but it’s your choice. You’re allowed to learn from your mistakes, but it’s not fun. Not at all!
Part 2- My Biggest Source of Pictures – Look What I Found, With a Little Searching
Have you heard of Pixabay? If you haven’t, you need to check it out! Every picture is public domain, and that means they’re all FREE! I gave myself a research project for this section. I did a post about my mother, the bird lover. She named a few of the birds she’d seen. But about a week later, she wrote out a full list of her winter birds, with a brief description. I found all of their pictures on Pixabay, except one.
You can google Pixabay, or use this link: https://pixabay.com/
Here’s my link for my mother’s post if you’d like to read it: http://www.rindabeach.com/blog/my-mother-the-bird-lover
I couldn’t remember when I wrote it so I checked my Pinterest Boards. If you have research to do, you can check it too. Here’s the link: https://www.pinterest.com/rindabeach/boards/
Part 3 – Where do You Look When Your Image isn’t on Pixabay
When I couldn’t find the Red Ruby Hummingbird, I googled it. Then I went down the list until I found the Wikipedia link.
My first problem, the bird doesn’t exist, but, there is a Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. I clicked the link and found this image on Wikipedia. It’s Public Domain and FREE!
Sometimes Wikipedia asks you to attribute the source, and sometimes they don’t. This one did:
By Steve Maslowski - Cropped from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Digital Library System, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48297
Article Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby-throated_hummingbird#:~:text=The%20ruby-throated%20hummingbird%20is%20migratory%2C%20spending%20most%20of,Panama%20or%20Mexico%20to%20the%20eastern%20United%20States.
Remember those first 4 birds from Pixabay? One is in that first picture. It looks ruby red to me so I wondered if it could be my mother’s bird.
My source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rufous_hummingbird
Part 4 – Where I Get Pictures of Me, or My Lake?
These pictures were taken by my sister-in-law two years ago when she came to the lake. The first one is the view from our dock. I know! Gorgeous!It became the background for many of the illustrations in LAKE FUN FOR YOU AND ME.
The second one’s our house and dock. I love to stay here. It’s gorgeous, and so peaceful! It’s my favorite place to write. I bet you could too! It’s easy to be inspired with this kind of view.
Both photos were digitally manipulated to look like illustrations. That’s what makes LAKE FUN so special!
Some pictures I take myself. They’re of the things happening around me that I want to share with you. These two found their way into my first book, NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM. I needed them for the back matter. Their job is to help you build your own wind tunnel.
BTW – if you know someone who has to do a science fair project, this is a great one. I googled and found this wind tunnel on Instructables.com. Goalie Guy made the original one for his 7th grade science project.
I asked to use his photos, but I didn’t need them. I’m a writer so I wound up editing his project to make it simpler. To say thank you for his help, I sent him a copy of NEIL as a gift. I discovered that Goalie Guy graduated from college last year. This year he was busy on the job designing and building robots. WOW!
Part 5 – OOPS! I Forgot a Source
I write a book review for every post you see. I try to pick a book that matches the post. Where do I find the covers? Amazon!
I haven’t had to worry about copyright. Tomorrow I’ll write and post my review for BORN TO FLY on My Reads. I’ll also copy and paste it onto Amazon. Then I submit it for acceptance.
I’ve never had one rejected, but maybe they accept them all. I usually get an email the next morning telling me that my review was accepted and posted.
PS- If I can’t give a book 4 or 5 stars on Amazon, I won’t review it. I can only think of one book from My Reads that had a 4. I only picked it because it fit the post. Every other book has gotten a 5. That’s because I keep a reading journal. It has 295 picture books and 110 chapter books, for now.
PPS- I started the journal in 2011 because of something I heard from a panel of agents. They said if they’re interested in you, they’ll ask what you’re reading. I knew I’d never remember titles or authors so I started the journal. It’s helped me with My Reads. Maybe someday it’ll help me find an agent for my writing.
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When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!