Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Off-topic, for the first time ever

To an Anonymous commenter

There was a comment left on here a couple of days ago that I deleted.  If that was yours, I want to explain that I did not delete it because of the point you made – which I actually think was a reasonable one deserving an answer – but because of the unpleasant and hostile way in which you phrased it.
You suggested that I am putting the name of this blog on every picture I find on the web.  I actually don’t think of that as what I’m doing when I put on them.  I’m putting that mark on captioned pictures, captioned by me.  When I do occasionally put up a picture without any caption, I don’t put the mark on it.

You see, this is not a photo-sharing blog.  Originally, I started it to publish my stories.  I still write stories – there are a few coming up soon, actually.  I soon started adding captioned images, which I think of as very very short stories, in effect (and as a matter of fact, recently I’ve been trying out a sort of hybrid – which could equally be called very long captions, or very short stories themed around a single picture).  These are all things that I created.

There are a lot of them. I have just collected all the stories published here into pdf files, because I thought they might work well as books*, and they total over a hundred pages.  And there are about a thousand captioned images so far.
A few months after I started, I saw a few of these captioned images appearing elsewhere – which is absolutely fine with me.  Sometimes they were attributed (most recently Pipinkos, for example, started reposting some that he had brilliantly translated into Spanish, and I’d like to thank him again for that).  But some were not attributed and while I don’t at all blame the reposters, it did annoy me a bit, especially when they attracted favourable comments from people assuming the reposter wrote them.

I do try quite hard to match up pictures and words.  I do think about and occasionally agonise over the words.  I don’t just put up every sexy picture I find, with whatever threatening phrase comes to mind scrawled across it.  I’m not suggesting for a second that this is a particularly worthy, or artistic activity but it is creative in its way, I am rather proud when I come up with a good one (as I think I do from time to time), and I like to be recognised for that.  Hence the mark.  I am not marking the pictures; my intention is to mark the caption.
There is also a practical reason.  I can see from site stats that I get traffic when one of my captioned pictures is posted elsewhere without attribution, presumably because someone typed in the name.  I like to have more traffic here (for purely psychological reasons, obviously there’s no money involved) and if it helps someone find the blog and they enjoy it, that’s good too.

I do realise there are some people who don’t much care for the captions and treat this site as a photo-sharing blog.  Again, that’s absolutely fine with me, and I hope you enjoy it.  But I don’t see how someone just looking for photos can complain about the unobtrusive contemplatingthedivine mark (I never put it where it will obscure the image; if I can I put it on the frame).  If you just want the photo and the caption is worthless to you, then I’ve already defaced the photo by writing the caption, right?  And if the caption isn’t worthless to you – well, then it’s not unreasonable for me to add the mark, right?  Either way, I can’t see that you could object to the mark.
Of course, I would always take down any image to which someone asserted rights, without question.
So….that’s how I would answer your sneering question, Anonymous.  I really don’t understand why, in your first ever communication with me, you couldn’t have made your point a bit more politely, but it was a fair point nonetheless.  It’s an answer that makes sense to me. 
(The rest of the post is addressed to my regular readers, rather than the uncivilised Mr A.)

…and yet, and yet…thinking about this, it does all make me a bit uneasy.  In retrospect I think perhaps I have been too blasé about attribution.  If I got a bit grumpy when I saw my unattributed work on another site, how would a photographer feel about seeing their own work, captioned by me, and unattributed here?  Worse, if a pro-domme has gone to the trouble of dressing up and posing or acting out a photoshoot, she’s done it in part because she hopes for more traffic to her site or for new clients.  Not very fair of me to use her lovely image, without even trying to identify her.

I do therefore intend to make more of an effort to attribute the images.  It’s not very practical to do much very quickly.  For one thing, I have a huge stock of downloaded photos and I don’t know the attribution (obviously I can recognise some).  I also have a large backlog of captioned photos – more than 300, all waiting to be posted…and I’ve even got blog posts queued up to mid-May through the magic of 'schedule' (what, you thought it was spontaneous?).  So this will be a gradual change. 

Also, in most cases I cannot attribute them because the places are find them are not the original creators.  Most are from Tumblr, for example, and although Tumblr has a neat system for attributing back, even the ‘original’ poster will rarely be the originator of the image, they’ll only be the first person to upload it to Tumblr.  OWK doesn’t have a Tumblr, after all.

But…butbutbut.  I will do my best.  As I create new captions, and download new photos, and put up new blog posts, I will attribute images if I can, and in particular if I can identify individual dommes I will do so. Famous actresses can probably look after themselves.

* (I'd like to find a way of getting them out there for download - Blogger doesn't accept PDF, any suggestions? Needs to be free, of course - I won't charge anything as all the stories are here on the blog anyway, but I don't particularly want to pay to hand out free stories!)


  1. Criticizing servitor without threatening imminent castration or at least comparing him unfavorably to a real man is just plain rude.

    1. I was going to write a funny comment supporting Servitor and his fantastic work, but I don't think I can follow that!

      Thanks for all your hard work on your creations, Servitor. I feel the same way you do about add the blog's url. For me, it's mainly about telling people where they can find more, if they so choose. I think you've done an admirable job crediting where pictures came from or who is in them in your comments. Certainly a better job than most captioners.

      Also, I would very much like to know how Ms Knightley and Ms Hathaway would react to being told by a lowly male that they could just look after themselves... ;)

    2. Not all Anonymous commenters are unpleasant! Some are kind, and very funny too! Thank you.

    3. Thank you too, TotalDiscord. Of course, I didn't mean that Mss Knightley and Hathaway couldn't look after me too, should they so choose...

  2. Hey Servitor,

    Google's reverse image search is your friend. I source a fair number of images from tumblr and I'd say reverse image search lets me attribute 80+% of them correctly.

    Sometimes it's not always a straightforward path. For example, for yesterdays post (dated April 10th) I had to go though 2 or 3 screens of G search results. That led me to an imagefap gallery with a color version of the image. It still didn't have a watermark but another image in the gallery from obviously the same sequence did. Altogether it was only 5 or so minutes to figure out.

    Other times you might only turn up other tumblr results, but some versions of the image will be less aggressively cropped and will still have the original watermark on them. The original version I found of my April 9th image was cropped to obscure the name of the creator, but via image search I found another tumblr with the unedited image that I ended up using.


    1. Thanks Paltego. I will certainly try that. It's your example of always being so careful to source images and properly describe who is in them, that gave me pause for thought, actually.

  3. Hi Servitor,
    I totally agree with you putting a little watermark on your captioned images. I have seen my own captioned images posted all over the web without attribution. Sometimes the poster even tries to pretend it is their own work. I know you have seen much the same with your captioned images. I put a lot of work into what I post. Every image has been modified from the original in some way, even if only to correct the colors. So, it got pretty discouraging to see people pass my work off as their own. So much so, that I stopped posting even though I have a rather large library of stuff just sitting in my computer. I applaud you for not getting as discouraged as I have.

    Ralph (Celibate Hubby)

    1. Thank you Ralph, that's very kind.

      I love your 'celibate hubby' blog and check it frequently... so if you do indeed have a lot more material, I would very much like to encourage you to start posting, as you have encouraged me. Purely for the entirely selfish reason that I'd very much like to see it of course - as would many others, I'm sure.