Be careful out there.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - if you're posting your photographs on the web do not use high-resolution images.

The Wild West ... sorry, Web ... is full of cowboys and outlaws. Post a high resolution image and you have no idea where it may end up. You may even be in for a surprise, like the Smith family of Missouri.

For Christmas they had a photo taken by Gina Kelly, a professional photographer friend. The Smiths were so pleased with the result ...

(Copyright © Extraordinary Mommy)

... that that Danielle Smith posted it on her blog, and on Facebook, amongst other places.

A little while later a college friend e-mailed them from the Czech Republic. He'd seen their photo smiling out from an advertisement for the home-delivery service of Grazie, a grocery store in Prague ...

(Copyright © Extraordinary Mommy)

After she had recovered from her surprise, Danielle wrote:

I take FULL responsibillity for posting this picture with the incorrect resolution (read: too high) ... Now I know. And, for the record, I will not stop using pictures of my family on my site - I will however, change the format.

Right on!

Remember, if you post a high resolution image on the web you're asking for trouble. Make sure any images you put out there are small (absolute maximum 1000 pixels the longest side) and are in the form of a JPG file saved at medium to low resolution. At that level the photo will still look good on a monitor but will be quite useless for printing at any reasonable size.

And the guy who was mis-using the photograph? Mario Bertuccio, owner of the Grazie store in Prague, said he found the image on the internet and used it in good faith. He has promised to remove it and says he will e-mail an apology to the Smiths.

The true culprit in this tale of copyright theft will probably remain unknown. It could well be one of the many web outlaws who steal suitable photographs and sell them through stock agencies. There are a lot of them about and they're getting bolder.

If you're worried about the theft of any of your images, you can run a check on them by using Tin Eye. Through their excellent search engine (the Google of images) I have found a few of mine that were being misused and, for the most part, have got them removed with an apology.

Be careful out there.

No comments: