QSL Card and Derivative Work

August 26, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

My first hobbies of amateur radio and chemistry were probably due to my propensity to take apart my sisters' transistor radios and then wanting to completely destroy any evidence.  Eventually photography replaced chemistry and those around me are now much safer.  My hobbies of RF electronics and photography often take me in vastly different directions but occasionally the two intersect.  So it was when it came to making a QSL card for my wife.

WEFCorshamG2UVWEFCorshamG2UV

QSL?  Q codes were developed circa 1909 for commercial radiotelegraph and later adopted by amateur radio operators.  QSL means 'acknowledge receipt of transmission.'  QSL cards such as this one dated 1925 from Bill Corsham, G2UV, became popular as a written confirmation of contact between two amateur radio stations.

Most of the paper cards have now been replaced with electronic confirmations.  While this is far more efficient it supplants the personal nature of the hobby.  Perhaps it's just me but an acknowledgment entry in a logbook database is not the same as receiving a card in the mail.  Since there are far fewer QSL cards being mailed, my thought is that Cheryl's card needs to reflect something personal about her.  Here is where my two interests finally cross.

Cheryl on Ojala with Mattie in saddleCheryl on Ojala with Mattie in saddle(c) Jim Edmondson 940-648-3343

 

Cheryl has always been more comfortable on a horse than I am, or ever will be.  Her trail buddies are equally relaxed and accustom to "brush popping" across the LBJ Grasslands on deer or cow paths.  Her QSL card needed to reflect a love of horseback riding across the prairie that we are blessed to live near. I have a photo of her returning to ride camp before an event, very relaxed on her horse with dog in hand but I needed a way to make it look more personal. Lone OakLone OakLBJ Grasslands Unit 4, Summer 2010

As you might imagine QSL cards are not a growth area of graphic design. Finding a graphic designer is difficult, finding an artist so qualified is dang near impossible.  Or so I thought.  While looking for QSL card printers I happened across the site of Jeff Murray K1NSS, dashtoons.com.  I sent the image file to him and after a few revisions, including changing the background, the result was a card that reflected Cheryl and her trail buddies at home on the trail.

 

KD5TTE QSLKD5TTE QSL

 

While her card while new and unique it is based on two copyrighted photographs.  Since I took the photos there was no problem.  But what if I had used an image taken by someone else, would I need permission?  Absolutely!  It does not matter if the photo was purchased as a print or an image file, derivative work require the release from the photographer.

At Optical Harmonics we will normally release image files for derivative work under a few simple of conditions.
    The subject (or parent) of the photo is requesting the release.
    The resulting work is for personal use and not for sale.
    The image print or file has, or will be, been purchased from the photo gallery.
    A photo of the resultant is sent to us so we can enjoy it too.
If requested by the artist we may also release a high resolution version of the file for their use.  It's a simple process so be sure you ask before using an Optical Harmonics image.

If you ever find yourself in need of amateur radio related graphics I highly recommend that you contact Jeff, K1NSS and discuss the project.


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