Image used with the generous permission of Sally Elford
So this post is a confession of sorts. When I first entered the online world of blogs I knew very little about copyright and rules around using images. I came up with the title for my blog, went to google images and found a picture of a magpie that I uploaded. This became the central motif of the blog. I didn't even think twice about it. I continued to use images in this way until a few months ago when I realised other people were crediting their images and that it wasn't as simple as going to google images and uploading any picture I liked!
Through blogs like Jason Renshaw's and others I noticed people were using Flickr as a legal way to find and use quality pictures. Then I realised there was something called creative commons that meant the picture could even be adapted - this began to have an impact on my materials design. It's been a little frustrating as it has severely limited what images I can now use in my classroom material. However, it is rewarding to know I'm going about it in the right way. Discovering beautiful ideas like ELT pics - set up by some probably equally frustrated teachers has also helped. Have a look at Sandy Millin's post here if you're intrested in the story. The new google image search filter is also great as it allows you to look for creative commons pictures only.
Anyway, back to my Magpie image. Whilst I've been able to go back and credit most of the other images in my blog, which luckily were almost entirely from Flickr, I had the horrifying realisation that the entire blog design was based around this gorgeous magpie picture. However, I had no idea how to find the original artist! Luckily using the other new google facility I dropped the image into google and it came up with this delightful website by an artist called Sally Elford. I highly recommend taking a look particularly at the print section :-)
Slightly terrified of possible lawsuits and huge fines I approached her through a friend and amazingly she has very, very kindly given me permission to continue using it. So, I guess this post is both a confession and a massive, massive thank you to both a hugely talented and very generous artist :-)
After all that I'm away now for a week with some friends so I wish everyone in the UK a great half term break and the rest of the world a great teaching week :-)))