August 26, 2013

Creating My Own Stock Photos and Cartoons

When I began illustrating blog posts and other writings I used clip art. It was usually easy to find good free clip art and to give attribution to its website.  I eventually began to illustrate my writings with photos. Creative Commons has been very helpful with finding good photos that I can legally use and for which I can provide appropriate attribution.

I have used photos in my teaching for many years. When I taught geometry I used photos taken by my husband of local architecture, construction, and other examples of mathematics in the world around us. When I discovered a home near us that was basically a geodesic dome, we introduced ourselves to the owners and asked if we could take photos of their house for my classroom. They were very gracious and allowed us to do so.

In the last couple years I have begun to create my own "stock photos." I usually have a camera with me--either a point-and-shoot camera or a smartphone camera.  A couple of times I have tried to participate in one of the challenges to shoot and post one photo each day for a year. I haven't made it through a whole year yet. But as I thought about those challenges recently, I decided that in addition to helping you become a better photographer they also help you to develop your own collection of photos to use. Shortly after I came to that conclusion I read the same idea in one of the blogs that I follow. I'm sorry that I don't remember the name of that blogger. I would give him/her credit for coming up with that same idea I did!


In addition to normal photos I have been experimenting this summer with two apps, Halftone and ToonCamera. One gives a comic strip appearance to photos and the other, a cartoon effect. And this past week I played with Tagxedo, a word cloud browser application that has some nice features.

I still use Creative Commons and the occasional clip art websites, but I do enjoy using my own photos when possible and needing to state only "used with permission of Jo Schiffbauer."  :) 

Writing clip art:
Construction photo: CompuJeramey / CC BY 2.0
Muck farm photo: Used with permission of Jo Schiffbauer /
CC BY-NC 3.0
Blue (cat) enjoying Springtime: Halftone photo used with permission of Jo Schiffbauer /
CC BY-NC 3.0
Shrimp photo: ToonCamera photo used with permission of Jo Schiffbauer /
CC BY-NC 3.0
Cat PLN photo: Tagxedo word cloud used with permission of Jo Schiffbauer /
CC BY-NC 3.0

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