ColetteB….

not exactly work in progress…

Day 4 – Using unsplash.com stock images (and photo prompts for writing)

Image courtesy of the originator via unsplash.com (We had an old typewriter when i was a child and I was allowed to play typing on it - it didn't need much paper as the keys were so difficult especially for a child!

Image courtesy of the originator via unsplash.com
(We had an old typewriter when i was a child and I was allowed to play typing on it from quite young  – it didn’t need much paper as the keys were so difficult especially for a child!)

Although today’s writing101 assignment brief suggested using a photo prompt to generate writing, the purpose of my post’s today were not creative-writing focussed. My efforts so far this week leave me needing to limit my cognitive exertions for one. More importantly, wishing to take part in the global awareness of suicide/suicide prevention in however small a way resulted in my feeling that would be better to have a single post for the day on two of my blogs where it seemed appropriate and fitting with previous content. I don’t feel like posting to the other two blogs during the same day. I want today’s posts to stand alone for this day. Tomorrow’s another day and hopefully more days beyond to make as many posts as I’m able – not that I have any plans for excess posting but each day as it happens…

So, today, I was focussed on writing for specific purpose within the limitations of respectful blog action appropriate to the cause. Hopefully I achieved that objective.

I don’t usually use stock images because (a) it can take such a long time (b) I have a lot of images I can usually dip into and use of my own creation and (c) if I don’t I can knock something up that’ll do. I prefer my own stuff because I’m sure of my right to use and publish it.

I enjoyed my visits to unsplash however and the images available have an edge. Also, as there’s not hundreds of results in a search and lots of similar images it appears really quite tempting. I guess it’s fairly new because searching by keyword there are plenty of subjects not returning results – either because they’re not available or because they’ve not been tagged with that keyword. 

There are many potential photo prompts for creative writing. I’m postponing that part of the assignment for another time during the course. 

There would be plenty to potentially write using the picture I selected for today’s post, but I can use it again as it’s downloaded to my computer as per usage instructions.

One of the things I wonder about that is what might be embedded within that file. Another thing I noticed is that some of the photos appear ‘contrived’ or digitally enhanced in a way that removes authenticity of the photographic image. I find some to be unconvincing, such as this one:

Courtesy of the originator, via unsplash.com

Courtesy of the originator, via unsplash.com

On the surface, the photo above is a beautiful image – and I could be wrong entirely with my assertion in my previous remark. However, it appears to me as though the silhouette of the hands has been obtained otherwise than the presented image suggests and applied to another edited image as a layer. (I’m not an expert and don’t use fancy imaging software but had a few tries with an early photoshop programme a number of years ago so I understand the basic theory of such application.) It could even have been achieved using projections of image and a light source from the other side of a screen. There are probably a few ways it could be achieved.

Unfortunately,discovering an image is ‘contrived’ leads me to think if I wanted such image I’d draw it somehow in no time at all, rather than rely on  such a stock image. Of course, for the purpose of using as a writing prompt, that would seem daft – but to publish the writing I would probably find or create an image of my own, perhaps not even the same subject and maybe sketch an outline and reference the prompt image rather than include.

I guess I’m awkward. I also realise that i don’t need to attribute these images but feel I still should and still make clear that they’re unaltered (or if alteration was made to make that clear). It’s completely un-necessary but it’s in my blood to attribute or accredit any source that’s not my own original work. As I do create a lot of my own images or use my own photos I feel it’s important to be clear when a picture isn’t one of my own and is borrowed from elsewhere.

I had thought about using that image above in my post for today. It reflects the hands in the I.A.S.P. banner.but then seemed completely inappropriate and so I found something else I prefer for that post.

The image i chose for my post today also appears to be digitally enhanced and looks quite painterly. i don’t ever so like such effect as it appears to me ‘plasticised’. I prefer warts and all, the raw photograph if a digital image, minimal intervention and even low-tech image application. Maybe it’s my age and the dinosaur in me.

I even wonder if CREW and unsplash.com is a happiness engineering project / experiment from WordPress. It’s arrived ‘on the scene seemingly ‘out of the blue’ during writing101. I’m probably wrong and do wonder some daft things with no reason at all.

However, I know for sure that user images uploaded to the media gallery in your blog can be marked up for ‘appropriation’ and re-appear elsewhere as an edited image. That’s fair enough given service user terms and agreement. I’m also comfortable with what I believe to be an ethical organisation. I’m fully aware of such issue with anything I create here whether text or image. I don’t afford other online facilities the disadvantage of my DIY or make-shift content in the same way I do here. This is like home, a safe, comfortable place. I’m rambling off topic again. Again, not writing quite to a photo prompt, but still, I am writing.

Courtesy of the originator, via unsplash.com

Courtesy of the originator, via unsplash.com

Above is another picture I considered selecting for my suicide awareness post. However, I was looking at a picture on a screen on my old monitor and pute that will allow a minimum brightness setting that won’t hurt my eyes so much within a short time. Some images are ok to look at like that but others are impossible. I think this was one that I saw completely differently because I couldn’t see the inscription and in full light the picture isn’t as appropriate as the dark screen version I thought I saw. Maybe there was a similar one that appeared in silhouette. I really don’t have eye tolereance to go hunting about too much, though I did search for ‘cross’ in case I missed it. I also thought I saw ‘help us tag photos’ or something like that, but I can’t remember where or how or if it was one of those disappearing pop-up messages that sometimes occur.

I also played a bit with keywords earlier today looking for things like ‘candle’ (result one Christmas table setting type pic and one cathedral type interior – nothing at all for Diwali by the way). I was briefly disappointed there wasn’t more from the keyword search, but then why, when I was lighting a candle and have a camera to take a picture! It always seems much easier and quicker and less pain to create something than to find something online to use. Howwever, unsplash.com is a service Iwould return to and consider using images from – with at least basic source attribution as per personal preference.

There were some suicide-thought-provoking photos I could have used today- legs and feet of a ‘figure’ (or dummy/mannequin) dangling over the edge of a skyscraper – but that seemed really bad taste to use that. Also, again, it appeared an edited, enhanced image that may have been seperate layers from different raw photo files. I can understand why!

Another was what appeared to be the silhouette of someone jumping against the background of sky and rugged mountain landscape – it may not have appeared the same in full light as I saw it on dark-screen, I think. Anyway, yet again, it seemed a slightly bad taste image to select for suicide awareness. There were flowers and things that might have been inoffensive enough but my selections have to somehow weave into the texture and meaning of what and how I do things for myself. I’m selfish like that and never mind my reader who’d like a nice rose and can go find one anywhere. Not that I won’t ever use the image of a rose perhaps and even maybe a stock image such as those I saw today at unsplash. It’s the first stock image site I enjoyed using – perhaps because of it’s unique edge, ease of use and accessibility – maybe because it looks quite like a WordPress platform – most of all because it wasn’t overwhelming.

I’ll share here two final unsplash.com images that might have been suitable for my post and purpose today. As by now the source of these images should be clear, l’ll allow myself to break the habit of applying individual captions to clearly attribute the source.

I'm not down about not using a photo prompt for writing - in some ways I have.

I’m not down about not using a photo prompt for writing – in some ways I have still met the brief and also challenged myself in making posts in a different way, for specific purpose and selected stock images to do so. 

This photo above could also be used as a posture health and safety reminder for blogging addiction purposes and ICT workers / admin staff – I’m fine, I’m standing at my laptop and about to take a walk (not far, but screen break and fresh air at my doorway time.) Perhaps the final pic below could too …

THE END...

THE END…

a

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