Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Exercise is no longer a bad word

biking in seattle, getting in shape
This has got to be one of the more productive years of my life! Did aliens take over my body? I have made goals that I'm actually achieving, had a very productive summer, started work back at school with a bang, and have been biking my own socks off.

For years I hated exercise. I enjoy hiking every now and then because I get to see beautiful things and breathe clean air; plus it doesn't feel like exercise! But the monotony of going to a gym or hopping around to dreaded workout videos doesn't work for me. Blah!

Last summer I watched my first city bike race up close and personal. Wow, to be able to ride like that. Amazing.  

I've had thoughts of doing something BIG, like a marathon (not likely w/ my knee) or a mud run (somewhat possible) or the STP (2 day bike ride from Seattle to Portland - 205 miles). My dad did the STP 5 times. Wow. My brother even joined him one year. It seems so far off for me, but is something I want to do.

The bike I bought 5 years ago has been collecting spider webs and rust out on the deck. I had "planned" on cleaning it up and riding all summer, so that when I went back to my regular work schedule I would already be in the habit. Each time I saw my bike out of the corner of my eye, I would shamefully look away. 

Then one day in mid-August I would have it no more. I asked my husband to grab his air compressor, give my flat tires some life, wipe off the dusty seat and get me off my duff and start riding.

bike riding for exercise
I have to admit, I was a little afraid I wouldn't be able to ride without looking like a freak show. Many years ago, I hopped on a bike at my parents house, pushed my feet firmly in the shoe clips, began peddling and proceeded to dump over in the bushes. Wah, wah.

But as of today, I have logged about 90 miles since August 14th and am going strong! I never knew I was going to love it as much as I do. Remember what it felt like to ride down the street with the wind blowing across your face as a kid? It's like that. Only better, when you know you're getting healthier with each pedal.

I knew I would kick myself for not starting this a long time ago, but sometimes you just have to start where you are.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Protect your Online Photos: 4 Easy Steps

How to make a copyright on your photos to protect them
{image: Protect your online photos}
I had the unfortunate reminder a couple weeks ago, that images floating around the blogosphere can be stolen and claimed as someone else's if you're not careful. Not only had someone stolen my images, but was also claiming she had made what was in the photo. Double slap.

When confronted, the thief said she found my photo on Google and used it since my "name wasn't on it". The image clearly referenced my blog, but didn't have my name on the image. It still obviously wasn't her picture or her work, but I will be smarter from now on and leave a digital fingerprint so thick not even an experienced thief will want to mess with my photos! Take that!

There are several ways to protect your online photos by leaving your own digital fingerprint all over them.

Here's how:

How to Protect your Blog & Online Images

1. Put a copyright watermark on your photos.

The first, most visible way to protect your online images is to put a copyright notice directly on your image. You can do this by popping your photo into Photoshop or an online photo editing site and slapping a copyright directly on your photo.

You can add a watermark across your image or add text to the bottom. Being an avid user of Photoshop, I happen to know that text can easily be erased if it's at the bottom. It's harder to erase when it's written over at least part of the image and even harder to erase when it's across your entire image. It comes down to what you're comfortable with, since it does impact your image to some degree.

how to protect your blog images with a watermark
{Put a watermark on your photos © ShannonSorensen}

2. Add your Copyright to the Title of your Blog Photo

Have you ever hovered your mouse over an online image, and a text box pops up with a little description of the photo? This is an easy way to incorporate your copyright onto your photo without impacting the image itself.

While editing your post in blogger, click the image and a bar will pop up.
Then click Properties.

Protect your online pictures by adding titles with copyright
{Add titles to your photos to protect your pictures © ShannonSorensen}

An Image Properties box will pop up, giving you the option of adding Title Text to your image (alt text is something different.). Add a short description + your copyright.

Add digital fingerprint to your images with title tags
{Add extra protection to your online photos with Title tags © ShannonSorensen} 

Now when anyone hovers over your image, the text box will pop up, giving more information about your photo, along with your copyright. When your mouse is not on the image, the text box goes away (same for my pinterest pin button).

How to prevent your online pictures from being stolen
{Prevent online images from being stolen by adding a title tag with your copyright © ShannonSorensen}

3. Add your Copyright to the Caption under your Blog Image

A caption is the text that shows up below your image. It's a chance to give readers a little more information about your photo, and another place to add your copyright.

Simply click on your image in blogger edit mode, and the bar will pop up (below).
Click on Add Caption.

Show ownership of your online pictures by adding a caption with copyright
{Add a caption like this to identify your copyright © ShannonSorensen}

Add a description of your image and include your copyright.

How to prevent having your online photos stolen
{Take ownership of your photos with copyright protection © ShannonSorensen}

4. Add your Copyright to your Image File Name

This may be the least effective way, but it still leaves your digital print on your image. When you save your photo to your computer, before adding it to blogger, add a short copyright to the end of your file name: chevron-pillow-ssorensendesigns.jpg. You want it at the end so it won't interfere with seo.

Although image file names can easily be altered once you've uploaded your picture to the internet, and sometimes sites encrypt the title anyway, it doesn't hurt to slap your copyright on the file name.

You've worked hard to take great photos and make quality products. Don't let someone rip off your talents and hard work without a fight! Protect your images online by adding your copyright in these 4 easy steps, giving thieves a reason to look for stolen images elsewhere.

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