Tag Archives: library

Enter the eBook

I used to have thousands of books, my house had a bedroom that was effectively a library. Then I moved from the UK to Brazil and I had to give away hundreds and hundreds of them just because they were too expensive to ship.

I still kept a fair number though, and I enjoy visiting book stores and purchasing and reading real books.

But I just bought a Kindle and started downloading some books to it. Why?

There is a very practical problem living overseas. The bookstores in São Paulo carry very few books in English, and the ones that are sold are from the best-seller list – not exactly what I might purchase. I have gone to Amazon and eBay and purchased books and paid for them to be posted, but when I recently bought a new hardback, which was about £25 for the book and postage, I thought seriously about how much easier this would all be with a Kindle.

I can get a book in seconds, I can pick any book I want, and even recently published books are available for just a few pounds. Many classics are available entirely free.

So the first authors I downloaded were John Wyndham, Julian Barnes, and Oscar Wilde… I’m sure that I will keep on buying regular books now and then, when I really want the physical artefact, but the experience of wanting a book then having it in seconds does change the process of acquiring books.

I’d never wait until I got to a record store to buy an album any more, so why wait to buy a book?

Kindling

Creative Commons

If you take a look at my Flickr page right now, there are over 10,500 photographs. I’ve also got about 1,000 ready to be uploaded – I just haven’t had enough time to get them all tagged. Almost all my photos are uploaded and tagged with a description of the content and then licensed as Creative Commons – meaning they are free for anyone to use provided I get credited as the photographer.

I just had an email from the Museum of London telling me that they are setting up an exhibition that will be there for the next ten years and they are planning to use one of my photos – this one.

That’s just the latest use of my photos.They have featured in magazines in the USA, Japan, and across Europe. My Rothko photo has been used by many artists and art academics. My Ajanta photos from India have ended up in a very detailed academic book on the subject of cave carvings.

I am forever finding my own photos on blogs and in Wikipedia. I once noticed a photo in Wikipedia that looked familiar and found – after a bit of digging to find the credit – that it was my own.

I enjoy seeing my photos being used all over the world by people for all kinds of reasons and I’ve no problem with people using them for purposes that may even be profitable for them – so long as I get credited. I once found someone selling coasters and bags on eBay featuring pictures of dogs – one of the dogs was my own pet and these products were all using my photos! When I contacted the seller asking where they got the photos, I was told to sling my hook… when I showed them my Flickr account, they removed their products and slunk away tail between legs.

I’m just a snapper. I’m only capturing images using a camera-phone, but I might upgrade soon to a decent camera. There are many photographers populating these repositories of stock photos and doing it in a more professional way than I am – what does that mean for the future of the *paid* stock photo library?
Rothko - Black on Maroon