Sunday, October 25, 2009

Use of a Flickr photo for online guide -- what do you think?

My "selected" photo of Fort Worden State Park

The funny thing is, I'm not that crazy about this photo anyway: I certainly could have done without all of the cars in the foreground!

But nevertheless, this photo somehow got noticed by an online map/guide system called Schmap. And a few weeks ago, I got an email notification that one of my Flickr photos had been chosen as a finalist for inclusion in "the newly released ninth edition of our Schmap Seattle Guide."

The email clearly asked for my permission to eventually use the photo in the guide; the terms were clearly explained. Without much thought, and fully knowing that Schmap was a professional venture, I answered positively.

Well, today I found out that my photo "has been selected for inclusion" in the guide, and it is visible here online, and I can even see here what it looks like on Schmap's iPhone version.

And now I must admit I feel a little funny about the whole thing.

Don't get me wrong: Schmap was totally up-front and did everything right. Despite the slightly inflated language, they never presented their venture as some sort of veiled contest; everything was explicitly laid out in due form, and I did indeed give them permission to use my photo.

But should I have?

The question is not "my photo" as such. My thought is not that "maybe they should have paid me for it" -- I'm far from a professional photographer. But I am wondering if maybe they should have paid someone else for it -- or for something better.

What do you think? With so many photos floating around on Flickr, is this just the wave of the future and no big deal? Or by surrendering my rights to this modest photo, did I somehow contribute to undermining the work of professional photographers?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

General update, sans photo

I don't have much inspiration for a photo-related post this weekend, so I thought I would just do a quick update on some of my news.

1. My globe-trotting daughter got in, at the last minute, on a one-week school exchange trip to Ireland. French schools are big on orgnizing trips to other European countries, and my girls have taken a total of five so far: Scotland, England, Ireland, Spain and Germany. She had a great time but today is homework catch-up day, which is the downside of going on a trip where the whole class is not involved.

2. I was in Paris for work on Tuesday and Wednesday and since I had the rare occasion to spend the night, I took the chance to finally meet up with Leesa from News from France! We were definitely not in blogging mode as we took no pictures of food or each other -- I didn't even have my camera with me as it meant extra weight to drag around in Paris. But we had a great evening together and I thank Leesa and Alex for their hospitality.

3. I may be blogging here less, but I am as active as ever online. Spurred on by some summer reading, I am doing a lot more work on my English classes and discovering all sorts of new materials and even a whole new way to teach that I am experimenting with, at least partially.

4. This year I finally signed up as a student at the Rodez Ecole de Musique, and I am taking harpsichord lessons. It is a fun new challenge but is also keeping me busy, busy, busy.

5. Finally, I don't want to go into any medical detail on this, but my dear father has been very ill and hospitalized and/or in acute care since about the beginning of September -- shortly after we left the USA. We have hopes he can come home in a few weeks. The general upshot is progress, but very slow progress. Please give him a thought.

So you can see, readers, that life is very full at the moment. I know I haven't been faithfully commenting on a lot of your blogs, but I very much appreciate those of you who take the time to comment here.

Bon dimanche à tous!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A new angle on Rodez

Rodez se réveille

Even though I drove my eldest daughter to her high school on the outskirts of Rodez every morning for two years, and I've driven myself to my job in Rodez's new business district for many more, I've never really gotten a feel for downtown Rodez in the early morning.

I love how the few open shops stand out as the sun rises

Now that my eldest daughter has an apartment in the hyper-centre, and my youngest goes to a high school that is also right in town, I'm led at times to come into town quite early, around 7:15 or so.

It's a different Rodez, one with many free parking spaces, subtile shades of light -- and residents! Living outside of town, I usually thought of downtown more as a place to shop and not so much a place to live.

Sure, I saw that above every shop were apartments, but the notion of people living up there was abstract -- after all, when I was in town these town center inhabitants always mixed in with the crowd.

Now I see them scurrying about: employees rushing to catch the shuttle bus to go to work in Bourran, where I work, and schoolkids hulking their huge backpacks through the pedestrian district. On Mondays and Fridays, when the internes (boarders) arrive and leave, a number of students are also dragging suitcases.

Looking up from where I park on early-morning apartment runs

This year is a different life, and Rodez has become a different world to me.