It's a common thing for beginning artists to try and learn from those more accomplished by imitating their work. Some of it might even be hero worship. I have no problem with people trying to learn from others as far as technique, composition etc are concerned. However I do get a bit miffed when I see people continuing to copy the themes, styles, and work of others long after they have mastered the mechanics of the craft. Is it because they have no real "vision" themselves? Artists like Kenna, Weston, Barnbaum, HCB and others have recognizable styles. They developed their style as a means to transmit their message to viewers of their art. For the most part they did this independantly from others and it is for this reason that they are associated with certain styles of photography. Some of these artists I consider guiding lights, but I have long abandoned trying to clone them. It seems that after a new photo magazine is published we see a rash of "me too" photos by repeat offenders. Are these people devoid of any original feelings or interpretations of their world? Do they have the right to say "hey look at my art" or should their only claim be "see I can reproduce that guys (gals) ideas really well"? I am not talking about people shooting the same or similar subject matter but in a different way. I am refering to photographers who try the best they can to reproduce the feel, look and mood of anothers work. In my mind this is intellectual plagiarism. I welcome your comments and discussion.