Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Mother's Day; Cameras; Copyright, Watermarks, and Phishing; Beautiful Spring Days


Happy Tuesday, My Lovelies!

I hope all of you enjoyed Mother's Day, whether you are a mom or not.  I have many dynamic friends who aren't moms, but they are fantastic aunts, sisters, and mentors.  

I recently celebrated another birthday in early May, and because it's usually during exam week here in Alabama, many of my friends wanted to delay celebrating my birthday.  I lot of college students are moving out of dorms, etc, so I'm still celebrating this week!  :D

I want to thank many of my readers for your sweet emails, birthday cards, and prezzies, especially the Traveling Totes gals.  Y'all are all so kind and thoughtful!  I feel so loved....





I received the Five Days of Mom Mother's Day Advent Box from Once Upon a Book Club.  The hot pink booklet has adorable stories in it, one for each of the five days.  Each story corresponds to a gift for that day....Thanks, Shanley Belle!

I will write a review of the book and the box as a whole later!


I have been trying out cameras for my birthday.  So far I have not found what I really want.  The main reason I want it is for photographing my oil paintings.  I was reading an online forum for painters, and most of them no longer use their DSLR cameras: The mostly use iPhone 8X or better, mainly because the cameras are so accurate now, and the apps help editing them (like SnapSeed).  

Please: If you have any experience with cameras and would like to share your knowledge, leave a comment or email me.  I'm painting up a storm these days, and I'd like to sell my daily paintings, but I need good images or they won't sell.

As y'all know, I am not the best photographer, and I've never had good equipment.  I would like for the images on my blog to improve, but keep in mind that isn't my top priority.

While reading about cameras on an artists' forum, I also read about a few scams.  One in particular caught my attention:  Wallpart.  I will not provide a link here because I'm not quite sure what to think about it.  If you want to visit them, do so at your own risk.  Basically, Wallpart can steal any of your images from your blog or website and sell your copyrighted images via poster form.  They've been around for a long time, but I'm just now learning about them.  Their address is an incomplete Australian address, their posters are printed and shipped from China, and the IP address was registered by a Russian.  I have read that the site is actually a phishing site, and its main goal is to steal information from photographers and artists.  

Hmmmm.....I'm not quite sure I buy this.  If I were a Russian mobster and wanted to steal information from a group of people, I don't think I'd choose struggling artists or photographers.....or bloggers.  I do want to share that I did search the site.  Many of my photos from my blog are on there.  And so are yours.  Every single blog friend of mine has photos on this site.  

BTW I also learned from artists who've had their work stolen is this: Watermarks do not help, either.  Watermarks can be removed via photoshop and other photo editing apps.  Also, disabling right click doesn't help because predators can take screenshots of art and photography.  

I'll be the first to admit that I love many of the photos y'all have shared over the years, and I think prints of your photos would look beautiful in anyone's home (especially mine).  However, I think the whole set-up is weird.  

I do not make money from my blog.  I do not make money from my art.  I took art classes for ten years, and I have invested in thousands of dollars of art supplies.  I will have to sell a lot of art to make-up for what I've spend on this hobby.  But still, I didn't like it when the Bleacher Report used a photo without my consent, and didn't even credit my blog.  

What are your thoughts?  Have you heard of Wallpart?  Do you know of any other sites that steal from bloggers and other creatives?  I would love to read your thoughts on this topic below.


I have been enjoying this beautiful spring we're having here in Central Alabama, although we've had our share of rainy days, too.  We eat alfresco every chance we get!  I did see a lovely article in my inbox of an outdoor book club or literary tea party.  It's from Cottages and Bungalows Magazine (printed in the May/June edition), and I guess I'll start reading and supporting it it since Romantic Homes is no more.  I don't want this magazine to go away, too!


Here is the link for the article, and they even have a fun quiz and other adorable ideas for your tea party.  Better yet, pick-up the May-June edition at your local bookstore or newsagent!




I also wanted to let y'all know that I've given-up on The Sketchy Reader Book Club.  Clearly my readers don't want that.  I get it. 

If you would like to comment on what you'd like to read about on my blog, let me know!  But I must warn you that it must be stuff that I'm already doing in my life (reading, art, gardening, tablescapes, decor, cooking, baking, etc).  I blog about my family life, and I DO NOT plan my life around my blog anymore.  If anything, I do want to be authentic which is not easy for me because I tend to be more reserved and stoic compared to most bloggers I've met.  Any feedback will be appreciated!


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill





12 comments:

  1. Steve gets art scams periodically and he has become savvy enough to know when an inquiry is fake.

    He has contracts with a winery, our local visitors bureau and a few other companies. Each of the businesses have taken other images that they do not have permission to use. Each was anxious to clear up the problem. It was usually done by a new employee who didn't understand that they could only use certain images.

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  2. Happy Birthday and glad to hear you had a good Mom's day. That box is adorable with all the fun treats. I have the I phone X and it takes the best pictures. I know I need to learn more about all the features on my phone camera but for the most part it takes beautiful pictures. They say the new I phones have a better camera than most expensive professional ones. With me just playing with my blog and needing pics for there I do not have an expensive camera and now just use my I phone. Sometimes I do not think it is the camera but how it transfer's on your computer and what photo enhancing you use. I just use Pic Monkey because it is free. A lot of people wanting really good pictures use Light Box etc. Good luck in whatever camera you chose.
    Happy New Week.
    Kris

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  3. Stoic. That's usually me. I guess that I will skip clicking over to there. Someone stole a photo of mine on Instagram, after the idiot had the nerve to follow me. I asked him to remove it, because he didn't credit me. He also changed the color slightly. It was mine, because the same auto in same spot. Of course he didn't. I asked my daughter if I should report him, and she said don't bother. They don't do anything. I think it can't happen so easily anymore, because I think it might link back, but I am not sure. I guess that's the risk we take by using social media. If we are not making money, nor have the resources to do anything, there is nothing we can do. xoox Su

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  4. Happy Birthday! The internet has become the wild west of copyright infringement and I fear it's just getting worse. I'm with Su, I don't report things unless they've been taken by a company. I'd spend my whole day chasing down photo theft, but of course it makes me sad to see it happen. As far as a camera goes, when I started blogging my husband bought me a Nikon 3200D for my birthday. That was 6 years ago, so it's probably a relic by now, but I still love it. I do use an iPhone (8plus or x) to take some pictures, but there really is a difference in the quality of the photos. I hope you find something you like. :)

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  5. I'm sure your family all enjoy celebrating your birthday with you anytime and I love how you make it a week long celebration, I need to remember this! Unfortunately I think all bloggers are subject to having articles and photos stolen, I have. It certainly isn't fair after we do all the work and someone takes credit for it. The reason you stated is why I don't bother to mark my photos. It's so easy to do away with the watermark. I love what you blog about, your lovely photos of everyday life have been beautiful. I hope you will continue with that and your recipes. I always enjoy your book reviews as well. I'm Loveling our weather too!

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  6. RJ, I don't have anything to add to what we know is outright thievery in the world of blogging, stealing content and photos, but I am glad to hear you are choosing to stay in the community. Being true to ourselves is the most important thing, and it's great that you're exploring photography as it relates to your oil painting. I look forward to reading your reviews. I have been away from my blog for months now, but have intentions to get back to it, simply for my own benefit of journaling life and happenings and our new lifestyle. I think there are many who can relate to our various subjects of life interests, even if they don't comment. I found that out through a group I'm part of on Facebook - comments from a couple people who've never left a comment on the blog. So glad your spring has been joyful. Btw, I subscribe to C&B and honestly feel it's surpassed RH in its content for a few years now (mostly due to Jickie Torres as editor).

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  7. Well, first of all, Happy Birthday! I believe in celebrating as long as anyone will, so have at it! I love your pretty gifties and it sounds lovely to have it all extended. Mom's Day, too!

    I think we all live in copyright limbo in this digital age. I think the worst part is the no-credit, just rampant thievery. And that's why I don't do watermarks, either. It takes a lot of time and then someone can just remove it. I have never taken anyone to task. Certainly if it was for a company, I would consider it. A former professional blogger friend ended up dealing with companies that used her work on a calendar without pay, credit or even permission and it took forever and wasn't at all satisfactory in ending. I don't even know how to go about FINDING all the people who might use my stuff. It's pretty much a losing battle. If I knew of someone using it, however, I might try to contact to ask to take it down or credit me. But first you have to find the beast.

    Because I'm not really taking photos to sell or overly market my work (except on the blog) I just use my Canon SX170 digital pocket camera. It generally gets very good photos, good enough for that sort of thing, it fits in my purse or pocket and I'm happy with it, enlarges well up to 8x10 and some even poster size. Usually any softness is operator error as I shoot fast! I put everything through Picassa (or PicMonkey) for "clean up" (usually brightening, shadows, straightening or cropping). I suspect if I was really marketing the photos as large photos, murals, etc., I would look toward a better set up. But for blogging, family photos, picture books, etc., it works OK for me.

    An interesting discussion. I'm enjoying reading the comments, too!

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  8. It really is hard to get everyone on board for a book club. I wanted to take part but then kept missing the discussion! Thanks for trying my friend. I would like to know more about your art and see examples of what you're doing...or done in the past. Interesting about that website that steals! Bad website! Enjoy your day! Hugs!

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  9. And Happy Birthday hugs coming your way! May is special for celebrations in our family too! Makes me happy! Have a FUN week!

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  10. You should celebrate the whole month RJ, May is turning out to be so gorgeous this year! I have a good friend who had a baby on your birthday and I told him that I had a good friend born on May 2 who was not only beautiful, but talented, smart, and had a heart of gold, so it must truly be a special day! I know we all deal with the threat of theft, you gotta just say Bless their poor desperate heart, and not let it bog you down! I would love to see more of your paintings on your blog, and always love your recipes, tablescapes and projects. Blog what you love and you will always shine through!
    Jenna

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  11. Hello Friend,
    Happy Birthday!

    Don't you dare stop blogging. I always enjoy your posts. Art, Gardening, Life and of course BOOKS!
    Good luck with the camera review. Keep us posted on what you decide.

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  12. Happy belated Birthday! I have a cannon camera, but I don't use it much, usually my phone is my go to.
    big hugs to you.

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