These images were done for my photo group that I talked about a few weeks ago. The subject was coins. The question for the day is, “Do you think it is OK to copy photos you find on the internet?”
After getting my photo removed from one submission because the moderator thought there was not enough bark in a unique photo, I made sure the coins were plentiful.
Talking with a friend of mine brought up an issue I have been noticing more and more. If you want to shoot a nice image others will ooh and ah over, just copy ones you see published.
I like these discussions with my creative friends because they always seem to go in different directions. My friend sees this as no problem, but I don’t agree.
I purposefully submit on the first day to the photo group so as not to be influenced by other photographers’ work. Not to unintentionally steal any idea. He would wait to make sure to best the other entries, but “That is not what this discussion is about,” I say. “It is about copying.”
“Copying does not matter because the internet encourages imitation, not creativity anyway,” he says seriously. “Huh?” is my reaction.
“Skill has to be learned over time, so how is copying fair?” I counter. He snaps back that “You can’t rip off skill.” Yes he got me there, but he is still off the point. Copying does not necessarily mean one needs to be highly skilled.
I guess I have to be philosophical about copying. I discussed this subject before in a four-part series on creativity. I do understand the part copying plays in learning a craft, but those copying for the sake of getting a memorable image, well that is just not cool in my book. What do you think?
If one sees a beautiful or unique shot, is inspired by the composition and subject matter, tries to faithfully replicate it – is that being inspired or outright stealing an idea? My friend and I had differing opinions. His view is if it is good, it will be copied. Does copying exactly equal inspired?
I shot all these images before we were to post them, but was sure there would be photos like above and below. There was both since each setup is not too original.
I wanted to make my submission a bit different from what others might do, so I thought on the matter until I came up with a WAY to be different. My friend did like my submitted photo.
There is an advantage to taking photos of wildlife. It is hard to copy exactly when you have a subject you can’t ask them to look a certain way, show up at a prescribed time, do something cool and memorable, or move to where the light is ideal. Just not something easy to duplicate. One reason why I like wildlife images, it is the uncertainty.
I’ll have another post on a discussion this friend and I had about wildlife photography too. Of course there was another intellectual disagreement.
Another friend asked me how I got the coins to stand, like seen in the image above posted previously. I am happy to share with you as I did tell her.
The coins standing do so by a kneaded eraser, used for drafting. It is kinda like malleable clay. I went on to explain the falling ones too. It is fishing line attached to each coin. See the coin swing above?
The malleable eraser holds the fishing line like putty to the back of each coin.
I guess if one does not want their work copied, then just don’t post it is the moral to this story. A few of my recent posts have had very unique photos. I like to inspire creativity but not outright copying. What prompted this post was you guessed it, an exact copy of a very unique photo setup of mine was copied. And not by this photo group either…
So, what do you think on copying what you find on the internet?
The subject for the photo group is Winter Macro in a few weeks, I will have that for sure… How about an image from Too Much Snow in Buffalo? Check it out and let me know what you think? I will do a post on some of my options to get your opinion.
And next post for you gardeners chafing at the bit with primroses dancing in your head, needing a bit of Springtime – a post on blossoms on the windowsill. Well not all of them anyway in Shiver Me Timbers, You are Not a Houseplant – What’s UP? See what I grow indoors.