West Highland Flora
Use of Photos
All the photos on this site are copyright and have the name of the photographer beneath them. The majority of the photos were taken by me (Carl Farmer) but there are many by other people. None of the photos may be used without specific permission.
Photos by other people
If you are interested in using photos from the site that were taken by anyone other than myself, please let me know and I will forward your request to the person concerned. Or if there is a weblink below the photographer's name you can try contacting them yourself if you prefer. Either way, I do not take a commission from any resulting sale.
Photos by Carl Farmer
The rest of the notes on this page apply to photos taken by me.
I do not earn any money from this site, or from any activity involving nature and wildlife, apart from the occasional sale of photos. I have to earn my living by other means, and work on the site in my spare time.
I charge a fee for use of photos to anyone who wishes to use them in a project for which they, or the organisation that they work for, is receiving any payment, whether that payment is in the form of profit, wage, grant or any other kind of income. I have had some criticism for this attitude in the past from so-called "non-profit" bodies, but I don't accept that their complaints are justified. If you are receiving money from work that involves the use of my photos, then I should get a share of that money in return for the work and the expenditure that I have put into creating the photos. It is an expensive activity involving costs such as camera equipment, travel expenses, indentification books and so on. I am living on a low income in low quality rented accommodation and have no capital to speak of. For much of the time when I was taking these pictures I didn't even have a car. Obviously I'm glad to have the opportunity to help the environmental cause with my pictures, but that doesn't negate the fact that if money is changing hands then some of it should go to the photographer.
An entirely different form of use is when someone has a hobby site like mine, for which they are not getting any income (other than the possible sale of their own pictures) and wants to use my pictures to fill the gaps in their site. For instance a species may be rare in their area and they may not have a picture of it but I may have one. Many people have generously allowed me to use their photos free of charge on my own site in this way, and I in turn am normally happy to allow my pictures to be used free in the same way. But always ask first.
Where to draw the line?
The above two paragraphs represent two different principles which occasionally threaten to come into collision with unfortunate results. The second paragraph represents the original free file-sharing and information-sharing spirit of the internet with which I very much identify. That is the spirit in which this website was first conceived. I feel part of a worldwide internet community who are working together to build up a wildlife identification knowledge base for their mutual benefit and for the benefit of anyone who wants to help preserve the natural environment against the many threats which it faces. I have made many valuable friendships within this community and I hope to make many more. The community is characterised by the generous, free and open-hearted exchange of information and expertise. Within this community it would be a blunder of the worst kind to ask for money for the use of resources such as photos.
On the other hand, the "Professional use" paragraph represents the self-evident (I hope) principle that if a photo is used in a project which has a budget then part of that budget should go to the photographer.
If I get an email where I feel confused as to which of these principles are applicable, then if I ask for money I risk being made to feel mercenary and if I don't ask for money then I risk being a complete mug once again and letting someone else profit from my toil. That is why I have written this page. I hope it is now clear what the position is.
Please be fair. If you are paid or funded to do work connected with the natural world then you are in a privileged position from my viewpoint. I would like to be in that position too. Selling rights to photos is a start. It enables me to spend more time on work such as this site and less time on work that I find meaningless.
You are welcome to link directly to any page on this site, but not directly to individual photos. In other words, your link url should end in .htm and not .jpg. If in doubt please ask.