Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Working with images

Blogging is about communicating. And communicating has mainly been done through words, but also through images… because “an image is worth a thousand words”.

Blogging is greatly enhanced by the use of images. And the use of images brings us to the concern about copyright. Although you cannot use any image you come across, there are sources of images which you can use, share and modify for different purposes. These enabling licenses are grouped under the term Creative Commons.

Here’s a short video explaining the basics of how Creative Commons works.

The second step is where to get these images from. You can use the Creative Commons Search engine to find them at http://search.creativecommons.org/ which performs a search in several image hosting sites and aggregators such as Flickr and Google Images. And you will probably find something interesting ready to be used.

Another interesting image search tool that works with Flickr images is called Tag Galaxy. It allows you to refine your search until you are satisfied and it then shows the results as a dynamic 3D sphere of images which you can turn to see them all. In this case, you will need to check the copyright license of each of the images you are interested in.

But finding the right image may not be enough. If the license allows it you can modify it. But how?

There are two options:

1- Modifying the image by using a photo editor to add certain effects to the image.

2- Selecting only a part of the image you have. An interesting tool to do screen captures of whole computer screens or parts of it is called Jing .

This is only a very brief introduction to the topic of working with images and there are many tools available to work with them. Remember that images bring a text alive!

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