CC Photos Augment My Own

Since my blog posts will be focused on ideas that I have tried, DIY projects I’ve either developed or done, etc. I will often have all the photos I need in my own library. If not, I am ready, willing and able to take my own. I am a decent–good photographer and use a digital SLR Nikon, with a couple of lenses. With that in mind, I do realize there will be the occasional need for an image I can’t shoot myself. In those cases, Flickr Creative Commons will prove to be a valuable resource.

I’ve been playing with my website a lot this weekend. I created a blog post that fits under my Green Garden category using photos I had on hand. It’s timely and I’ve already shared it with friends to see how the comments section works. It was so cool to get an email from WordPress letting me know I had one waiting for approval.

I’ve been agonizing over what to put on both my HOME and ABOUT pages. I didn’t want a blog post to be the first thing people see. I wrote up some text and figured out ways to illustrate it. For the Home page, I used the logo I had designed (in anticipation) last semester. Then I created a single image in Photoshop combining four photos that illustrated my four categories, along with some descriptive text.

Painted Bunting by Judge Rock CC-cropThe About page was a little tricker. I wanted it to be about me and my philosophy of imperfect sustainable living. I had a decent head shot to use for now;  I wanted one more photo to balance the page, but couldn’t find the right thing in my own library. That’s when I turned to Flickr and found a plethora of usable images in Creative Commons. I settled on this lovely shot by Judge Rock. It allowed for attributable use, and could be altered; I did crop it. It added some nice color to the page, and showed readers what a painted bunting looked like (it’s not a common bird). I’ll definitely check out Flickr more often when I need a generic shot.

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About Andrea Leigh Ptak

I am a graphic designer, editor and writer who specializes in publications. My 40-year career has included stints as Art Director at a small printing firm, Assistant Art Director at an advertising agency, and Production Manager at both a national advertising agency and a large national printing company. In 1980, I forged out on my own and never looked back. I owned and operated a successful full-service design studio in San Antonio, Texas, from 1980–1992. In 1993, I moved to Seattle, Washington. As the owner of Communicating Words & Images, I work with publication clients from the corporate and non-profit worlds. I also write a blog under the moniker: The Green Queen of Moderation—living an imperfectly sustainable life. The Green Queen shares tips and promotes ideas for sustainable living without going to extremes. Topics include the "re" words (recycling, repurposing, etc.), the green garden, green living, and simple gifts. My interests include gardening, photography, knitting, music of all kinds (I sing), theater, science fiction, and everything about the natural world. Two years ago, I received certification as a Master Urban Naturalist via The Audubon Society.

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