The Power of the Commons

Creative Commons Moon
[Creative Commons Moon]( by Jeffrey Beall

In the past two days, people have e-mailed me to ask if they could use photos of mine for:

  • A short-run calendar (Downtown Boston At Night)
  • An illusion as part of a mentalists’ stage show. (not sure why he wants to use this one, but he does)\
    In the past, people have asked to use my photos in:
  • a history textbook (it might have been a different one)
  • several websites
  • a cookbook (he wanted to use a couple of my beach pictures)
  • presentations
  • several news stories on Now Public\
    In every response I send, this is pretty much what I say:\
    bq. Of course you can use my photos in insert use here. All my photos are licensed under Creative Commons, so as long as you provide attribution and your work is also licensed under Creative Commons, then you’re free to use any of my photos however you want.\
    I’m surprised how many people that surprises, but I probably shouldn’t be. Creative Commons is a great tool for creative people to share their works while maintaining some control over how they’re used. I love that Flickr allows people to choose from several different licenses and displays it alongside every photo. They were a big influence on our choice to make all the stories on ficlets Creative Commons licensed as well.\
    Now, when people don’t want to release their work under the same license as my photos, we can talk. And, in the case of the calendar, I sold my first photo! They’re actually paying me to use that picture, which I think is crazy (awesome, that is). I’m not a professional by any stretch, and that picture was taken with my crappy old Kodak point and shoot. Honestly, I think they should use one of my aerial Boston shots, but whatever.\
    So, thank you, Creative Commons for giving me an easy way to license my content that encourages sharing, and thank you Flickr for giving me an easy way to share my photos. You’re awesome!

Dolphin Tour!

Two dolphins chase down a shrimp boat hoping for an easy meal.

My mom came down this weekend and we went on a dolphin tour (Captain Mike’s Dolphin Tour to be exact)! I don’t have time to tell the whole story now, but it was great. It was the perfect length – the boys were just starting to get antsy at the end of it and we saw lots of dolphins. The rest of the photos are here. I haven’t gone through all of them (we took a ton – I took 235 with the big camera, Max took almost fifty and Brian took a dozen or so), so I’ll probably add some more to the set this week.

Tybee Island Photo Safari

a series of brightly painted but rusting dinghies leaning against a wall.

I took the boys to Tybee Island today, nominally, to go a photo safari. I had my lovely Nikon D80. Max was sporting the Powershot and Brian had the backup Samsung. Of course, I knew we wouldn’t be taking pictures for long after they saw the water. I got a bunch of shots in, though, since I wasn’t going to near the water.\
Here are a couple of my other favorites from the set:

Brian running away from a wave

A funky outhouse.\
close up of palm leaves.\
A guy flying off his skimboard\
Bald guy with an epic head tattoo\
the tybee island pier

Bloggy Time

I feel like I should blog, even though I don’t have anything interesting to write. Sooooooooo, boring stuff it is!\
I made the best lasagna last night! And the worst brownies. They were fine when we had them about an hour and a half after taking them out of the oven but after they cooled, it was obvious they were severely undercooked. Boo.\
I am totally obsessed with my wood floors. Look how pretty they are. (This was taken the day after we had them installed, so things are still out of place.)


BUT! I totally have a love/hate relationship with my beautiful floors. First, there are probably over a hundred scratches and dents already. We’ve only had the floors for 4 months or so, waah. Second, after scrubbing the floors shiny, if you walk away and look back, you’ll see goopy smudges that were invisible before. Every angle shows different clean/dirty spots. Sigh. Third, even when I sweep and mop twice a day, they are never clean! Every piece of lint and fuzz shows up like a huge spotlight is trained on it. Boooooooo.\
Um, yea. That’s all I got. TTYL.

Spring is Springing


I took that with my lovely new camera the other day on my way out the door. Spring is here, and that means my allergies are going crazy.\
Things are crazy right now. I might get back to regular blogging (you know, more than once or twice a month) in the near future. Or not. I post much more often over on twitter, and semi-regularly on the ficlets blog (where I try to pretend I know something about writing).\
I’m working on an all-new blogging tool for this blog. I’m doing it for fun as a break from work, so don’t expect to see it anytime soon, but it’s been a lot of fun to play with. has been running Movable Type for almost six years, and actually hosts several blogs scattered over a couple of different domains. I like it and all, especially the static publishing that allows this site to be somewhat performant even when Dreamhost has database issues (which seems to happen more often than not, unfortunately).\
It’s Saturday afternoon, which means it’s time to go get the boys ready to head over to my parents’ house so Jen and I can go on a date. Hooray, date night!

The Two Best Photos I’ve Ever Taken

These aren’t great from a photography standpoint, but they tell a story that still makes me crack up.\
There were eight Americans in a row boat (rowed by a tiny Indian man) in a bird sanctuary. Our driver promised crocodiles. The guy rowing the boat lifted up his oars as we got close to a large (we guessed about 14 feet) and said “Watch this!” We drifted in towards this very large fellow sunning himself on the rock.\
The boat drifted closer and closer and eventually stopped with a thud against the croc’s rock. The croc wheeled his big head around, opened his mouth and hissed. Cliff was zoomed in all the way and thought it just looked like we were close the the gigantic angry crocodile.

Cliff holding a camera up to his face while staring down an open-mouthed crocodile.

When the croc hissed, Cliff lowered his camera, sprang back and screamed “*Oh dear, crocodile!!”

Cliff screaming 'Oh dear, a crocodile!' after taking the camera down from his face and realizing how close we were to the open-mouthed croc.

Still makes me giggle…