Friday, 30 May 2014

Stock images - iphone

If you are a photographer you will be aware of stock agencies and the many changes that they have undergone in the last few years. This has never been a 'get rich quick' option for photographers and has become even less so with the advent of phone cameras, digital cameras and the fact that everyone is now capable of sourcing their images in places other than the traditional stock agencies.
A recent development from Alamy one of the larger stock agencies is the introduction of the app 'Stockimo'

This app is really easy to use and you can upload any image taken by an iPhone - the following notes may be of use:
  • Your photos will be rated by 3 people. An average score of between 2 - 4 means that your photo will automatically be accepted.
  • Be careful when answering the questions before uploading - any place or logo or anything that can be identified means you should answer 'Yes' to the question 'Is there any identifiable property in the image' - this means it can be used for editorial but not commercial purposes.
    For example the image above is one of the Gormley statues - and as such is recognisable property and can only be used for editorial purposes as a permission form would be needed for commercial purposes.
  • You do not receive feedback for images which are rejected but after a while you will get a 'feel' for what is acceptable - NB this is different to traditional stock images and from what I can work out - the more creative images work better! The image below, for example was given a '4'

  • You usually receive feedback the same day or within a couple of days (if it's the weekend)
  • You can follow Stockimo on Instagram and Twitter - a #grid of greatness is produced weekly so you can look at images and get inspiration.
It will probably not make me a fortune (if anything!) but it has made me more creative, I take more images with my phone now and edit using apps. You have nothing to lose by registering and certainly it will open your eyes to what can be created with your phone.

There are ideas for apps that you can use in the chapter on iphoneography in my book 'learning Through a lens'

Plan B

The best laid plans.... we went to Manchester for two days this week - supposedly because it is now Summer and I would have time - in the warm Summer evening - to sit with my tripod and take some reflections and night time shots at Media City.
It rained, it was windy, it rained, it was cold, it rained - you get the picture - which is more than I did! Inspired by a book I bought when sheltering from the rain in Waterstones, Paris in Colour (see link in sidebar), I decided to concentrate on colours and textures.

Having read this book again I've put together my own 'Red' collage

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Dementia Diaries 3

Every child deserves a dad like mine. He truly is and always has been the one constant in my life. Quiet, unassuming, hardworking fiercely proud Yorkshireman. He has supported me, cried with me and for me, seen me through the highs and lows of my life. Today, he is 80 and I am going to do everything I can to make sure he celebrates. We have organised a party for tomorrow night- he knows about it ( it is beyond my skill set to arrange it in secret with mum the way she is) and is ok with us doing this. 
Mum and dad have been married for 57 years and it would normally have been her doing this but in a rare afternoon of honesty she cried and said sorry but she knew she couldn't do it. Several times she asked how old dad was and then said ' I don't know how old I am' how sad to be able to realise you don't know something so fundamental. How do you react? I did what I always do and tried to make light of it 'well that's ok mum if you don't know just make up a number and be whatever age you want to be' she cheered up and moved on but it made me wonder how can you know that you don't know something and how frightening is that?
There are days when mum covers up her lack of understanding with anger and accusations - her default position when she is scared. Dad has endless patience but is looking thinner and worn down - he cries easily and looks totally defeated at times.
I now know that I have to make sure that everything I tell mum I repeat to dad. His birthday card and present were causing issues - she alternates between not knowing it's dad's birthday, to being angry and resentful that we are organising a party for him to crying that she hasn't bought him anything. I've bought him a present and card for her, wrapped and written them and placed them at the side of her chair several weeks ago in an attempt to calm her down. It obviously didn't work as that's me being logical and the brain of a dementia sufferer doesn't work like that.
Physically mum is deteriorating, less able ( or less willing) to move which is putting even more strain on dad on a day to day basis.
However, this weekend is about dad. Today I've 'rallied' the troops - we are going to dad's for a picnic lunch which we will take and tomorrow will be the best party we can give him. I remember often when I was younger people would say 'you're Jim's lass aren't you?' Do you know what I'm so proud that today I can say 'yes I'm Jim's lass' thank you dad I love you xxx

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Using images as stimulus material

I love it when I come across a link on the internet that sparks my imagination. I use Flipboard and on browsing this morning came across this link.
Bikes of burden
It was about a book called Bikes of Burden' by the photographer Hans Kemp and basically showed motorbikes in Vietnam laden with the most amazing array of goods from goldfish to hula hoops. 
Firstly this made me smile then it made me think - I could so use this in the classroom!
Before I explain how I might use it - let me explain why I've used the images below as examples and not ones from the book. It is so easy to copy and paste images on the Internet but without the photographer's permission this is breaking the law. There is however, a source of images which you are free to use if you follow certain guidelines.

If you are using images in the classroom then any of the 6 different licences is fine - so basically you can use any creative commons image - just to display -  in your work as long as you attribute it.
There is a lot more information in my book  Learning Through a Lens - available HERE

By using this search I found images to illustrate the idea of Bikes of Burden which are freely available

@Harold Hoyer Flickr

@Elliot Margolies Flickr

The two images above are by @Staffan Scherz Flickr

@Tristan Schmur Flickr

How could you use these in your classroom?
  • Simply as an image on the board as a discussion starter
  • Bring an old pushbike into school - how much can we transport? Look at problem solving, teamwork, Balance, weights, different materials and their changes, fastenings...
  • Safety laws in this country - compare lifestyles
  • The last photo is begging for a caption about optimism!
  • Which would be the most difficult cargo to transport?
  • Search for other images in the bikes of Burden series - they are amazing!

Hope these photos made you smile!

Monday, 5 May 2014

Little people

These 'little people' are great for classroom use. The tiny egg was found in the garden and made a sad but  intriguing prop. There is a whole chapter on how to use them in my book HERE