While I wait for Spring to fully arrive at the markets I am satisfying the deep sweet cravings with chocolate … and coffee. It’s an intense but exquisite pairing that one can very easily get addicted to. Doesn’t addiction come is so many forms?
I have to admit that there are times when I let myself get hooked onto a novel idea, element or feature and I will spend a good deal of time discovering and indulging into it. It keeps me constantly on my toes and I feel that some good comes out of the many addictions I have had in the past.
Photography would be one, food the other and putting it together I do not have to tell you where it led me. These past few weeks have been wonderfully busy for me in all sorts of ways. A few great photo jobs, features and articles in some German magazines and working on the contents of a few upcoming workshops and on other projects has kept me engaged. While this is all food for my photography addiction, I am missing my addiction of voyeurism!
I love browsing the internet going from blog to website, reading articles and getting caught up in beautiful images and leaving a comment here or there on things that move me. I love watching what material the Big Net produces.
One site I truly love is Pinterest: it feeds my addiction of ogling at all things gorgeous and I love collecting these beautiful things on my own boards. Shoes, stunning locations, exquisite kitchens, my schoolgirl crushes, words of inspiration - you name it - a pin and it is on my board! I love opening these boards for inspiration for whatever project I am working on. My fitness board motivates me to train sensibly, my color palettes board allows me to pair innovative color schemes while I style my food shot and my food photography board inspires me with new ideas. So, I use Pinterest as a style board, mood board or inspiration board. What makes Pinterest pretty neat is that like all social sharing sites you can share allowing you to collect more ideas and connect with like minded (or pinned) folk.
BUT …. and there is a big but … Pinterest has a very, at best described as, a grey area at how they address their terms and copyright issues. Currently there is a lot of blazing media coverage about Pinterest, causing many people to delete their Pinterest boards or accounts because the general thought is, it is illegal or plain wrong to be posting/pinning other people’s stuff.
As a photographer, I was on the verge of deleting my boards too. I am against copyright infringement and plagiarism and my first reaction was not to have any part of it. But then, the more I read the more I began to think about how things are evolving in our world. We exchange news, thoughts, emotions, provocations through smart phones, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, You Tube, many of us invite voyeurism into our own living rooms to be a part of what we do and be a part of who we are.
Pinterest is just another social sharing site that invites you to share your favorite things for the world to see. So far so good. How do I feel about my images being pinned all over Pinterest? I had mixed feelings about this (and to a certain extent still do). For starters, I have always marked my images with the URL of either my blog or portfolio - it is something I advise everyone to do. In the past I had to deal with copyright issues, where my watermark was literally cropped and added to websites or leading newspapers printing my images without permission. Both these cases were, in my opinion, copyright infringement with intent.
Don’t get me wrong - Pinterest does have a copyright problem and they really have to correct the way they operate and they need to change the way users are using Pinterest. One of the biggest issues that Pinterest needs to address is the way that Pinterest makes copies of the images people pin without creating a link to the original source. What happens is that it actually makes a copy of the image and while the copy does link back to the source from which the image was pinned it is not always the original source of the respective image. As copyright obviously prohibits making copies, this creates a big issue for Pinterest.
Pinterest is new territory and I think it’s hard to know how one should proceed. “Is Pinterest legal?” is the big question and after all the things I have read, I think the answer is - no one knows for sure. Fact is, Pinterest needs to hear what users are asking and make modifications to many aspects of their service - it is a great service, which can be made better if a lot of the issues on hand were addressed. I do know they are - they implemented a 500 character limit after a few mails sent by users, including myself, requesting this feature. Another feature I would love to see is creating private boards, where things I collect are reserved for me and I decide when and if I want to share.
I have made a few decisions about the way I plan to use Pinterest in the future. Until they make the required amendments I am throttling the use of Pinterest:
- I am not deleting my Pinterest account. At this point I would like to see how Pinterest reacts to all the media and how they change. So, I will stick around for now.
- I am going through a lot of my pins and will be deleting those photography based images of food, travel etc. and anything that does not come from the original source. In the past I have made the effort and many of the food images credit the photographer but I have not always been consistent. I will be going back to those and deleting them.
- If I do pin photographs it will be from sites that explicitly have the “Pin it” button. It seems reasonable to me that if someone has added this button on their posts or blogs they are OK with people pinning.
- I am discontinuing the usage of the “repin” function. I will check each pin and pin directly from the original source. The extra few clicks are worth it.
- Instead I am using the “Like” function more and more as an intermediate “storage space” and point of reference.
- The things I do pin I will add a nice teaser to encourage a click through to the original source where they will find a lot more details on the original post.
- I am saving items I really like on my Evernote account. Two different tools, I know, but Evernote allows me to collect content without the copyright issues.
- I also reserve the right to change my mind - as Pinterest is making an effort to change a few aspects and features I will be watching and will react accordingly. For now this is the status quo.
I won’t be able to tackle these points immediately but have already started “cleaning up” my boards. It’ll take some time but I’d like to continue to use Pinterest further, hopefully in the future not quite in the suppressed manner as I am planning to do, because let’s be honest, who wants to indulge in an addiction half-heartedly?
There is certainly nothing half-hearted about my dessert for you today. After all the thinking and re-thinking about what is correct and what is not, I needed something to boost my spirits, something I knew would be perfect for my chocolate and coffee addiction. No holding back and no throttling, although maybe it should be marked as illegal - it’s too darned good!
It’s decadently sticky and moist on the inside and intensely chocolaty. The subtle flavors of coffee highlights the sponge pudding giving it a brilliant boost. We enjoyed the sponge pudding still warm with scoops of dulche de leche ice cream and fresh raspberries. It’s quick and easy to make and great to make with kids.
Over on the Plate to Page website we’ve got a fantastic new example of the type of assignments participants work on during our 2.5 days workshop. A piece from Olivia Vasallo and Alexandra Asnaghi, two fabulously feisty Mediterranean ladies who attended our Tuscany 2011 Workshop. The assignment was to write and photograph for an article titled "Eating in Tuscany" in the style of a high-end foodie magazine such as Saveur. Hope you enjoy the read!
From the 3rd to 4th April I will be Nasimi Beach, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai for a 2-day Workshop, focusing exclusively on food photography and styling. If you are in the area maybe you would like to join us there. You’ll find more details on the Workshop Website.
More chocolate decadence from WFLH:
|Morello Cherry Chocolate and Cognac Teacakes||Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse, Honey Roasted Peaches and Fresh Raspberries||Light Mousse au Chocolat with Baileys Crème Caramel|
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First