4: 31-Oct-2016

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Ok – so finally a couple of musings.
First up, a few inspiring web pages highlighting great photos
  • A great set of images from a fireman in Florida (alliteration accidental) – love the colour, the form and the simplicity
  • Speaking of colour – this series of images from the Siena International Photography Awards is a feast of colour and form
  • Now if you don’t like colour, how about Infra-red? Former member Jack Dascombe liked to dabble in this, and Keith Seidel (of Edwardstown and the SAPF Judge Coordinator) has a specially modified camera for the job (no IR filter). This article in Resource Magazine shows you the work of one photographer
  • You all know I’ve got a taste for night and street photography. The question is how can you get the best lighting for both foreground and background? Well, like fill flash in portraits, you can fill here too – as this article in PetaPixel describes. But the difference is that you are painting with light sources (That might be an idea for a workshop……). Those that saw the Trent Park exhibition last year may recall his light painting of his mother’s gum tree – and there is one on the back of this years calendar from Huw

Finally, a bit of a discussion point. You have probably heard and talked about photographing other peoples art, plagiarising other artists etc. Last night I came across an article in Resource Magazine again about photographer Tommy Clarke using a different point of view – aerial photography.

Now that’s newish – but when I saw the images I did a double take. I’d seen some of these before at an SAPF presentation in August from West Australian photographer Tony Hewitt. Compare them – some are almost identical. So several questions arise from this in my mind.
First up, it’s probably ok to emulate someone else’s work – that is often how we learn. As amateurs we will often do just that. So don’t stop that just because it might be someone else’s work – that is also how we learn and improve and it’s good for an amateur to develop new tricks. Eventually we create our own.
The second issue is if we are trying to obtain financial gain from that work.If that’s the case then should due credit and acknowledgement be given? It’s a bit hard when it’s a creative endeavour – but maybe.
As a scientist, my papers, presentations etc always acknowledge the source if I didn’t do the work myself. It also allows those attending my lectures and reading my work to view the original material for accuracy (many review papers misinterpret the content).
If you compare the images, they are almost but not quite identical – differences in angle and light
Perhaps it’s just the article in Resource Magazine not checking with Clarke about his sources of inspiration. Clarke was in Australia for some time and he may have seen Hewitt’s work which inspired him. Or maybe the pilot of the aircraft advertised the location.
It may also be that they have reached the same point independently – that often happens. There a many examples of that in art and science.

Consider the infamous Apple/Samsung patent battle over the iPhone/Galaxy shape and “swipe to unlock” – that shows how silly litigation can get. The patent wars continue in the US….

A little bit of basic research suggests that Hewitt took his images first (I found a few from the time he won the 2013 AIPP Photographer of the Year) – though I may be wrong.
Is there an intellectual property issue here? Should there be attribution? Does it actually matter?
Am I being too pedantic? See what you think – I’m not judging either of them – just making an observation about prior art and the grey areas they cover.

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