Sometimes my photos from my real camera end up on my phone. When that happens they automagically get uploaded to Google Photos. After that Google Photos “Assistant” combs through them, and on occasion suggests possible animated GIFs.
I thought these were fun- a few trains and cranes from my last stock photo day in San Jose.
In researching a client’s stock photo needs, I remembered a few photos from years ago. They are looking for weird western photos and a trip to southern California came to mind.
In both cases, I used props, something I seldom do with stock photography.
Back in 2010, (btw, it’s weird to say that, like shouldn’t we be on a moon colony for the last 10 years already?!) I had a gig down in Orange County. I drove down for that gig and had some time to travel around, including meet some friends on the way back in Beaumont.
My fun Orange County stock photos were taken at the (newish then?) Great County Park. I seem to recall having read something about a balloon ride on a giant orange balloon. What a cool idea! Especially in a city called “Orange” after all!
When I got there I found a nice tidy new park. But the balloon ride was shut down due to high winds. Bummer, I thought, it was soooo clear. Turns out they had a farmers’ market day at the park and I put 2 and 2 together. Wouldn’t it be fun to put a real orange in the foreground with the giant orange balloon in the background? I’m sure there’s a word for this sort of thing.
Later on my trip on my visit to friends at Beaumont I made a side trip to Cabazon. They have these life sized dinosaurs off the highway. I think this was originally a touristic distraction meant to get people to pull off the highway on their way to Palm Springs.
But if I remember correctly at some point it got bought out by some religious nuts who try and brainwash kids and dissuade them from science and learning evolution. In any case they make for some fun photos on their own. But I also bought a few little dinosaurs in the gift shop as props and once again placed them in the foreground with the full sized dinos in the back.
Following up with an infringement case (image of mine above was stolen), my lawyer asked me if I had authorized another website to use that same photo. Nope, I have yet to license this photo to anybody though I’ve found it used on a couple dozen websites. A few minutes later he sent me an e-mail saying the photo was “hotlinked” allowing the infringer to display my image on his site by simply redirecting the image from my site without even copying it. Turns out under present copyright law, that’s not illegal.
My lawyer did have some good advice. Why not replace the image, used on a blog with something creative? I started by trying to find a vintage photo (well out of copyright) of somebody’s behind and overlaying the text “don’t be an ass and steal my photo.” However in the short time I looked you can imagine what a search for ass of the internet turned up. I also briefly toyed with the idea of putting a notice like “image of the Prophet Mohammed has been removed from this site.” However as irked as I am by this image theft, I don’t want anybody killed.
So I started with something simple. I took the original image and overlayed the text “do not steal”. Keep in mind that any change I make to the photo they are “stealing” instantly appears on their page. A few days later I had time to really play around. I found that the site is based in Nigeria, so why not have a little fun with that? So I scaled back the main image and overlayed the text “Nigerian Football Sucks!” over top.
Not wanting to steal anybody else’s images, I thought of what I had in my library that might work to further embarrass this infringer. I took an old photo I took in Jena, Germany of a dingy back street with a bunch of Trabants and overlayed the text “Google’s Latest Self Driving Cars.”
For the last few days, we’ve been dog sitting a lovely dog named Lulu for some friends. Hmmmm…. That gives me the opportunity for a nice closeup of a poop photo I can place into their website. So I got a nice doggie poo closeup and put the infringer’s domain atop in big red lettering.
So what’s next? Submit your ideas…..until they get wise to what I’m up to I plan to have a little more fun!