August 2012

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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
Photos are important materials for the success of a travel blog because they give the readers a glimpse of the places we are featuring as travel bloggers. I am making this post because I have been a victim of content grabbers lately and if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will notice some changes of the photo watermarks and I will be discussing that later.

Well, I am not an authority in travel blogging and photography because I am just the mere "usual" blogger that can be found everywhere. I don't have a background about photography and/or travel blogging so I am not talking here as if I have a good or a successful blog or superb blogging skills. The fact is I am just an ordinary one.

But, now I just want to share my personal take about protecting your travel photos. Take note that these things you are going to read are not the standard rules in travel blogging. It is just my personal take but I hope it would help.

Lungog, Narvacan, Ilocos Sur
My new photo watermark as protection from content grabbers | Learn about this watermark with the discussion below.

As I have said, I have been a victim of content grabbers and one of the favorite things these people love copying in my blog are my photos. Well, they are not superb photos but they find them helpful in illustrating their own blogs too.

Putting Your Logo as Watermark

As you notice my blog, most of my photos have logos. Here I will be discussing the importance of logo for your brand as a travel blog.

Some may say that, "I don't need branding because I blog from the heart, with passion and sincerity." Yes, that might be the case for some but creating your own logo to intensify your brand would help.

Although some blogs succeed without having their own logo, it would have been nicer if they have at least made their own. Your blog logo represents your brand or your blog. Logo is like the flag of every nation and one look at it you know it is owned by this country and that country. (Note: Be consistent with your blog logo all throughout your blog and social media networks.)

For example, if you can see an embassy in other states with the Philippine flag, you'll know at first glance that the embassy is owned by the Philippines without asking for the staff inside.

A good example of photos with logo as a watermark is Flip Nomad. Looking at the photo with the Flip-logo you know it is owned  by Flip Nomad.

Photo courtesy of Flip Nomad | No copyright infringement intended, used only for illustration.

So that is the role of logo and putting it on your photo as one of the watermarks can help intensify your brand. The moment the content grabber uploads it, your regular readers will know it is yours that moment they encounter one. They could report it to you.

Take note, don't use a logo that is already very common. Use a logo that is easy to remember, with a maximum of two-color combination that retains easily in human's memory.

Putting Watermark at a Safe Place

Putting watermarks could be very annoying to some readers so it is impotant to place it in a proper way. Mostly, watermarks are placed at the corners to give emphasis at the photo itself and not the watermark.

But putting your watermarks at the corner has downside because a content grabber can still make a strategy to call your photo his own. I have this experience about a blogger and a known radio broadcaster who copied my photos. He pasted my photos in his blog without asking for permission and/or putting the right credits. Worse, he "cropped" the watermark placed at the corner thereby making the photo to appear as if owned by him. Check out the example below.

Above: The copied photo of mine 
(original form, with the watermark at the corner)
My cropped and copied photo as posted on that blog without any credits.

So the problem here is that although my photo was watermarked, it was not placed on the right section. So a content grabber can still make a way to call this photo his own. It was an insult that he did not even placed a credit, worse the watermark was cropped, Uhh!

So what to do? Notice the next photo below. I have intentionally occupied the top portion of the photo in a more extensive manner so that if someone copies and then crop it, it would no longer be substantial since a big portion of the photo is already removed so as a way, the copying party may ask you for the original copy or just paste it and retain the watermark. In that way, your ownership on that photo will be upheld.

How to protect your blog photos
Removing the huge portion of the watermark can make the photo to lose it's essence. But of course make sure that your watermark is not annoying making it to stand out leaving the real essence of the photo unnoticed.

If that would be the case, I would suggest Mervin's photos of Pinoy Adventurista. Mervin has placed the watermark at the middle of his photos in a lighter degree. 

how to protect your blog photos
Photo courtesy of Pinoy Adventurista | No copyright infringement intended, used only for illustration.

So for those who will grab his photos, there is no other way but to retain it or if they want the original file, they have to contact the owner which is Pinoy Adventurista.

Disabling Right-Click Button, is it Helpful?

Some travel bloggers disable the right click functionality for the pages of their blogs. That could be a clever idea especially if your audience is not well-versed with the use of computer. 

Then these computer geeks come and read. They can still make a remedy. So how? Taking a screenshot is a possibility. From that screenshot, they can simply crop it and only take the photo they want to grab and that is easy to do.

So I have to say that disabling the right-click functionality in your blog can not save your photos. Sometimes it can cause more problems since internet readers are impatient. If they are looking for the right information in your blog, they would use the right click functionality to open another link from your blog without leaving the current page they are reading for easier navigation. Disabling the right click functionality can interfere some readers in navigating and reading your blog making them unable to retain another page that can be read later on. 

Allowing readers to open another page via the right click functionality is like several YouTube Videos opened on various tabs while waiting for others to load which in the long run, all those videos will be watched later on.

Putting your Blog URL

I find putting your Blog URL a thing as important as putting your name and address in your ID. If you are lost and suddenly you had an accident and had an amnesia (for example), your ID can help the people around to send you where should you go.

Your blog URL serves as your ID. Although you might have a logo to represent your brand, it is equally important to send your readers in the proper destination and gather them in one virtual community that could be your blog, your facebook page or your YouTube Channel. Place the URL where you want to gather them and at the same time to receive traffic.

Look at Journeying Pinay's photo below. She places both her name and her blog URL as watermark. So if someone grabs that photo or is uploaded by any content grabber somewhere else, everyone will see the watermark and you might send them to your blog, Facebook page or YouTube Channel.

Photo by Journeying Pinay | No copyright infringement intended, used only for illustration.
So for the fans of your photos, you can just gather them in one place.

So there you have it. Protect your photos from content grabbers who call your photos as their own. These are some tactics we may apply to keep our ownership attached to those photos without driving your readers away from our blog.

So these are some tips I was thinking when I saw my photos to appear to some blogs without prior notice, credits and the crop & paste modus.

Remember that these are not absolute rules. You can still impose your own way in your blog because what is applicable to Pedro may not be applicable to Juan.

And take note that copying the contents of our blog is INEVITABLE. Whatever method or tweak we apply, they can still copy our photos. As bloggers, we can not prevent our photos to be copied, but we can be resilient from them. These methods will surely place a travel blog photo where it should belong.

So how about you, what is your take? Can you share some tips to protect your travel blog photos? (end)

This opinion-ated blog post is a personal interpretation of the author of this blog and does not mean that these are the new standards in travel blogging. The author is not a well-experienced or a veteran travel blogger. In fact, he only started to learn what blogging is all about last year so it depends on you if you believe in what he is talking about :p Rest assured, he writes this article from the heart after he found out that someone (I mean, a lot of them) is copying his blog contents without any credit that made him feel angered and inspired to write a post like this that he doesn't usually do.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"Pasagad dressing, is another form of art where a thing called Pasagad is being transformed into a wonderful piece."

What is pasagad? Pasagad is that thing that these carabaos usually pull at the field sometimes used to carry farm products. 

Ok, this time these so-called pasagad/s are not dirty because they serve as an attraction that coincide with another art festival called the Karbo Festival wherein Carabaos become living canvasses under one mother festival called Viva Vigan Festival of the Arts. It branched out to several sub-festivals so don't get confused.

Carabao Painting
This is not yet the pasagad just so you know :p It is still the carabao because I want a pleasing opening photo, if ever this one really looks pleasing :p

It happened in the middle of a historic street called Nueva Segovia. Along this street is a line of massive ancestral house-palace (turned to a college, then shopping center, irkkk), the Plaza Salcedo (the oldest of its kind north of Manila), the Arzobizpado Nueva Segovia, the only surviving 18th century archbishop palace in the Philippines, the Legion of Mary House (where some religious people stay) and a portion of the Vigan Cathedral.

Just a warning, I am running out of words to say and this post will be overdone with photos.

Pasagad Dressing
Now that's the pasagad. In case you don't know :p
Pasagad Dressing in Vigan
Look how cool lolo and lola are! Kagat dila si Lolo!
Karbo Festival Vigan
At may Plate number pa! Ayus!
Karbo Festival in Vigan
I forgot to say I'm against same-sex marriage :p
Riding on a "pulled" pasagad before the public.
And once again it is a pasagad parade, not a float parade :p
The shy-type Carabao. Hey! You're a star now!
Proud Farmer. Kudos Manong!

Pedicure: More Fun in the Philippines
A crowd of Carabaos. But some of them are not real carabaos, lol.
Then, there you have it! Just in case you want more photos aside from these photos here, visit my complete set for this event by clicking here and not there :p

Now, if overdoing a travel blog with non-professional casual blogger-type photos like this is a crime, then put me now to JAIL! But please before doing that don't forget to share and like this post to your networks to spread this blogging crime :)
This is the Part 1 of my VIVA Vigan Arts Series

Go to: Part 1 | Part 2  | Part 3 | Part 4

So what's next? Let's see the Parade of these colorful carabaos with their colorful pasagad. And look whose capturing below. Yes that's the fellow travel blogger EAZY Traveler who loves these carabaos that much.

This un-watermarked photo below serves as a teaser for the next post as the carabaos pass in front the majestic and historical Vigan Cathedral.

Map of Vigan
Vigan is located there. Just in case you don't know :) Hope to see you at our next post. I'm sure it will be another crime. Bye! :p

Some cool netizens liked, commented, and shared this.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"I am now here, personally encountering one of the footprints face to face and it feels good to see in person what is used to be a story that I only hear."

It was a very spontaneous adventure. Being unfamiliar with the town of Sudipen in La Union, the things I discovered are surprising. The quiet town has no exceptional tourist attractions to offer but it offers a big cut of history and folklore. Sudipen is the home for the historical Intake Dam which was built by the Japanese during World War II and one of the footprints of Angalo, a mythical giant.

Namaltugan, Sudipen, La Union
Trekking the Amburayan River in Search for the Giant Footprint of Angalo.

First, let's get familiar with Angalo. Angalo is a mythical giant hunter, and considered as a hero to some locals. The elders of the Ilocos Region believe that this giant once existed.

As told by the Ilocano myth, Angalo was continually searching for his wife Aran thereby roaming around the whole Ilocos Region leaving giant footprints.

In the Ilocano mythology, Angalo and Aran are believed to be the first couple to exist on Earth as in the case of Adam and Eve.

For some, especially for those who are not familiar with Angalo, this adventure won't capture their taste. But as of me, I was very excited when I learned that one of the footprints of Angalo is located here when I went at the Town Hall of Sudipen to visit their tourism office.

From different towns and different provinces up north, there are giant footprints and I promised myself to visit all these footprints and share it in this blog. To note, this is the first Angalo footprint I have discovered and I wonder how many footprints are there in all. Well, I think I have to explore more towns to document them.

The trail for trekking has given me some refreshment. It was a good forest with springs at some rocks. Some of the giant rocks along the way emit cold fresh spring water.

Thanks to a local resident who served as my guide. He was a tricycle driver and he unselfishly accompanied me to this area. The deal was 120 pesos as my fare. Not that bad.

The trek is about 15-20 minutes and at some parts, it will offer you a view of the Amburayan River, a mighty river originating from Kapangan, Benguet that streams down to La Union and Ilocos Sur.

Finally I have reached this part of the Amburayan River. It was a calm river, flowing in serenity with verdant mountains and hills nearby.

A part of this river is a big rock which is believed by the locals to be one of the footprints of Angalo scattered to several towns up north.

Notice the photo above. The huge stone is shaped like a footprint. The toes of the giant are also marked at the stone. I never thought that I will be able to see this in the town of Sudipen. It makes me love the Ilocano mythology more because now it is more than just hearing the stories from the elders. I am now here investigating about this mythology.

Now I am not just learning about this myth through the stories passed from generation to generation because I am now here, personally encountering one of the footprints face to face and it feels good to see in person what is used to be a story that I only hear.

More footprints to see and I am loving chasing after these landmarks of the Ilocano myth.

Map of  Sudipen, La Union courtesy of Wikipedia.

Check out the other Footprint (Related Posts)


Some cool netizens liked, commented, and shared this.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
"They were beautifully and colorfully painted and everyone has its shining moment"

They deserve a break I think. We (non-farmers) usually think of them as slaves in the field. But for the farmers, these carabaos are their heart and soul, a best friend that could be considered or even a family member to note. I have once witnessed a carabao painting and parade in Vigan via the annually celebrated Karbo Festival and it was absolutely a no-time-wasted event seeing those carabaos. I never thought that there is an art festival like this for another city up north the Philippines and I accidentally discovered it in Batac City in the province of Ilocos Norte.

Farmers festival batac

This event is still a part of festivity called the Farmer's Festival where the farmers of the city of Batac become the superstars of the day.

One of the busiest streets of Batac called Washington Street was closed to give way for the very special crowd-aggregator -- the carabaos. They are the main reason why the people of the city and of nearby towns gathered in big number.

They were beautifully and colorfully painted and everyone has its shining moment. All eyes to them, with cheers from the crowd, sight focused to them as they take the emptied street especially prepared for them.

Some animal rights activists and private individuals regard this form of art as violative to the animal rights and to balance things, I am now telling beforehand that this post was not made to promote this kind of art. I am just sharing it the way it was celebrated in Batac and majority of the people enjoyed it.

The Philippines is indeed a country where almost everything is "more fun." In Batac City, they have celebrated this event with full of fun!

So what is your stand about art festivals like this? Does it jeopardize animal rights?

Tags: Carabao Painting | Carabao Parade | Festivals in Batac | Festivals in Ilocos Norte | Festivals in the Philippines | Painted Carabaos

Batac #TownExploration Series

Batac, Ilocos Norte: Old Houses, New LessonsBatac City | Farmers Festival Caroza ParadeWorld Peace Center Batac | 15 Mins. at Marcos' Giant Indoor MosaicBatac City | DIY Itinerary: One-Day Walking Tour to 5 Historical SitesMarcos Museum and Mausoleum of Batac (Ilocos Norte)Batac Empanada | So What Makes it Special?Batac City, Ilocos Norte | A Parade of Colorfully Painted Carabaos

Map showing the Location of #Batac

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