Saturday, June 23, 2007

Things lost and found

Something lost: the night blooming cereus I have been photographing died last January, a victim of several consecutive nights with subfreezing temperatures. That can happen here in Southern California, particularly because I live in an inland valley that is subject to cold air drainage at night. In addition, the spiky cereus I have posted about perished, as did three Bougainvilleas and a few other assorted plants. One surprise: the guava tree survived, despite having been planted in probably the coldest part of the yard (against a block wall, facing the mountains, where cold air would collect).

Something found, quite accidentally: I was Googling for Epiphyllum oxypetalum cuttings last night so I can start over (*sigh*) and saw one of my pictures served up on Google Images... but attributed to someone else's site. My photo was deliberately if clumsily altered to remove my copyright notice. The image below zooms in on the lower left corner of the purloined and original images, and the red circle indicates where the erasure occurred. I boosted the shadows in Photoshop to help shed light on the dirty deed.

I frequently receive requests to use my pictures -- in books, newsletters, paintings, etc. -- and as of at this writing have always granted permission. Some correspondents have been stunned to discover I don't charge for using my photos other than to request a sample of the work using my picture and a recognition of my copyright. I have gained much from this wonderful web of ours and am happy to share what I have in return, but also understand that a copyright undefended is a copyright lost. (Besides, I'm an academic; what do I know about money?) In my opinion, this is the nicest rendition to date of one of my images.

[This page was edited on June 8, 2008, after receiving an apology from the individual who defaced my picture. The exchange between us is in the comments of this post.]


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