Images Tell Stories
For many reasons, photography and visual storytelling is one of my passions. I started playing with inexpensive cameras when I was in college, and become slightly obsessed with recording my adventures when I worked abroad for eight years. During my teaching years in Micronesia, Colombia, and Saudi Arabia, I traveled in the local regions. I knew that I had to take those opportunities as they came, because one day I would return to live in the U.S. and my life would change again. So I traveled throughout Micronesia, went to China, Hong Kong, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Turkey, Thailand, UK, Scotland, France, Monaco, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, and drove through Belgium and Luxembourg. During those years, I amassed a large collection of photographs and negatives. Just during the ten weeks I spent in Australia and New Zealand, I shot 75 rolls of film, so you can imagine the size of the collection and the processing expense. Sadly a good portion of the negatives were lost during overseas moves, but I still have some.
Road Trip 2016
Fast forward to the summer of 2016 and our epic family road trip across the United States. In 23 days, I shot over 9,000 photos. I was a little astounded when I saw that number in Lightroom, but also giddy because I had all of the photos. As we drove our way from California to Virginia, we visited several National Parks and historic sites, and I photographed all along the way. Working through that many photos requires countless hours in front of my monitors tweaking images to show every possible detail.
As I was photographing the pueblo and ruins of the church in Pecos National Historical Park in New Mexico, I began to ponder how some of the photos that I had made could be useful for education. There are many sources for photos on the web, and some have Creative Commons licenses or are in the public domain, which means that teachers and students can use them in their school projects (sometimes with restrictions, it just depends on who owns the image and how they decide to license it). Often the best images are copyrighted, which leads to complications when using them in online education projects. At that moment while standing in a fantastic national park, I knew that I would share some of the photos from the trip for educational use.
Creative Commons Photos on Flickr
To make sharing the photos easy, I have started albums containing images for educational use on my Flickr account. So far I have four albums for education and will add others.
All photos in these albums will have a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. This means that students and teachers are free to use them for educational purposes, but they cannot be used in products that will be sold. There are other specifications to the license, just click the license image to learn more.
The rest of my images on Flickr are copyrighted.
The Virginia album will continue to grow substantially over the coming year. My MEd capstone project is going to involve using technology in fourth grade Virginia Studies, and I am planning to travel around the state to photograph buildings, geographic features, historic locations, and anything else that is relevant to Virginia history. I am very excited about this project, and I hope that teachers and students find it useful.[Disclosure: All blog posts are written by Andrea. Blog posts are neither sponsored nor endorsed by the respective companies of any service, hardware, or software mentioned. This blog earns a small commission through display ads.]