Downside of Posting A Photo Without Watermark, And Making It Available To Public

I was browsing my photo library and found again the picture that I believe was grabbed, by one facebook user, without my permission. This actually happened few months ago, but only my friends knew about it. I decided to write this blog so you’ll be aware of the downside of posting your own photo without watermark, and of course for all of us to be reminded of proper netiquette.

Ok, so let me share how things started. I posted some photos of our trip to Talisayen Cove, and it was set to public. I am very much aware that internet users have access to these photos and it was fine with me, because the main purpose why I allowed it to be viewed by public was to inspire and encourage them to include the place in their bucket list.

Again, i know that everybody has access to my downloaded photos, however, I never really expected that someone will have the nerve to just grab and edit it, and worse, use it for travel advertisement without caring to ask for my permission. Now, here’s the catch. The text inserted in the photo was not its real location.

This is the original, raw photo that I took:

This is the edited, grabbed photo. This place is Talisayen Cove and not Nagsasa Cove:

Few minutes after I made the post in my personal account, I saw this edited photo in a travel page that I also follow. It was used in advertising an island hopping tour package. I wanted to send a comment but decided not to because I still had to do some office work from home (well, i regret not telling the person).

From what happened, the photo grabber seemed to forget some netiquette:

1. Give Credit. Using other’s photo is ok but please have the decency to give credit if you cannot personally ask for the owner’s approval to grab a photo.

2. Do Not Mislead People. The photo grabber deceived other people by marking it with a wrong location. Apparently, he posted fake information when he made an offer for island hopping. Sharing photo with wrong location is like sharing fake news.

3. Have Sense of Professionalism. He was offering a tour but he doesn’t have any original photo of the location. He also didn’t consider reaching out to the owner of the photo that he grabbed. If he wanted to offer a great deal, then he should’ve visited the place himself first and take a good photo to share with  other travelers.

What have I learned from this experience?

1. Do not tolerate netizens’ wrongdoing. My photos do not have copyright symbol nor any watermark because I am totally ok if others want to share it (well, except of course for photos of myself). I just don’t like it being used to fool other people. As i have said, I regret not telling the person that I knew what he did. He could’ve deleted it immediately if he was informed.

2. Validate carefully the travel package offers. Do not be cozened by exciting photos and cheap rates. Avail travel package only from registered travel agencies, or better yet, plan a DIY trip.

Internet now occupies a huge part of our lives. It helps us in many ways so we should use it responsibly. Let’s not abuse the benefit we get from it.

Things to Consider When Traveling

I was thinking of the things that should be considered when traveling, and being one of the many who enjoys outdoor activities, I really know the importance of responsible traveling. We travel to collect memories. We travel to enjoy, but it doesn’t mean that we are permitted to do whatever we want to, especially if it harms our natural resources.

The idea of writing this started when I was browsing the internet and trying to get more tips on how I can be a more responsible traveler, then I saw Leave No Trace’s website and found the 7 Leave No Trace Principles:

I could say that they have given a complete guide to travelers. We must all learn to consider the stated principles in order for us to have a fun and safe journey.

I remember when we visited Talisayen Cove in Zambales last January 2017. My friends and I identified our travel needs as we all wanted to ensure that: 1. We will be having fun; 2. We will not be spending money like water; And 3. Mother nature is still protected.

These are the things that we have considered:

  • Know the place and its regulations.
  • Check the weather. Make sure it gets along with the plan, otherwise, have another option.
  • Prepare a checklist of the things that need to be brought (ex. emergency kit, medicine, clothes, personal hygiene kit, tent, canned goods, in case we ran out of food, etc.). We drafted our checklist in an excel file and noted the responsible person for each item.
  • Budget planning to avoid overspending (ex. gasoline, toll fee, entrance fee, boat fee, accommodation, etc.). We went on a DIY travel and stayed in the island overnight, so we also had our meals planned.
  • Know exactly where to go.
  • Hello, Waze! Having this app (or a map) is a must, especially for someone like me who has an average sense of direction.
  • Bring a tent but make sure to pitch it in a perfect and safe spot only.
  • Pack it in, pack it out. Bring own trash bag and properly dispose waste.
  • Leave alone whatever is seen. As the saying goes, leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos, kill nothing but time.
  • Give everyone the opportunity to have fun. Respect other visitors.

We spent more than a week arranging our trip and we all didn’t mind staying up late just to finalize everything. The result? All efforts were paid off because we achieved our goal as planned.