Strenuous hiking leads to debate over image hosting sites

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This past weekend I went on a hiking trip in the White Mountains. We did the Tripyramid Slides Loop, which according to the AMC White Mountain Guide is “one of the most challenging and scenic trips in the Whites.” The most challenging part was the “North Slide” on which we climbed 1,200 ft. in 0.5 mi. I basically felt like I was rock climbing as I used my hands quite a bit. After about halfway, the views were spectacular. It didn’t hurt that the foliage was in peak condition. (See the entire gallery here)

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I brought my camera along and grabbed some good shots. When I got home I was eager to post my photos. But, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have become somewhat wary recently of posting media on the internet. I really like the interface of Google’s PicasaWeb. I’ve been using it for about a year now to post photos. However, it was never really clear to me how my ownership of the photos was affected by my posting them on PicasaWeb. I decided yesterday to read the terms of use. I had a difficult time interpreting the legal language. It seemed confusing to me, like they were saying that I retain my rights but Google also now has the right to use my photos as they please. That didn’t really sound good to me. So I decided to look around a bit at other image hosting websites.

One of my fellow hikers on the trip posted his photos on his personal website. I like the interface a lot. I thought for a moment about building my own image viewing system. But, this would be a fairly involved project and I wanted to get my photos posted as soon as possible. I looked at a few wordpress plugins. Some of them looked pretty nice. But, there was still the question of where to actually store the photos. I guess I have a certain amount of space through wordpress.com, but I wasn’t sure what rights I would retain in storing files on their servers.

I read occasionally the blog of Thomas Hawk whose photography I admire. He is the CEO of zooomr.com. From what I’ve read about the site, it seems like members retain the rights to the photos that they post. I like the social aspect of the site so I came very close to posting my pictures here. However, in the Learn More page, they mention being able to change the licensing of photos to use, for example, the Creative Commons license. But, I could not figure out how to do this. After a few minutes of frustration, I went over to flickr.com. Here I was able to easily choose various forms of the Creative Commons license to associate with each photo. This seemed pretty good to me so I ended up posting my photos here.

I’m still not sure what the best thing to do is. I would greatly appreciate anyone’s thoughts on where the best places to post photos are and what I should consider in terms of copyrights or licensing.

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4 responses to “Strenuous hiking leads to debate over image hosting sites

  1. I am a diehard flickr fan, and although I’m not an expert on their licensing policies, I think that they’re pretty good. I don’t know how convincing that is, but there you go….

  2. Also, White Mountains: beautiful!

  3. Cool, thanks for the comments.

  4. Wow amazing pictures