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  1. #1

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    What if two photographers.....

    I am having an ethical dilemma.

    I got an idea from some henna designs one of my students had on her hands. It instantly hit me that I could reproduce them in paper, back light them and shoot them as abstracts. I have been working on this for a few weeks and then a buddy of mine pointed out this guy's work.

    http://www.photo.net/photodb/member-...61&include=all

    Now what? I am going to keep up with the project because I think the shots will look really cool. I am bummed that it is not as original as I thought. The concern I have is where do I draw the line. DO I let what this guy control whether I light something in a specific way. Where does the line of plagerism get crossed in photography? I don't want to cross it.

    I am kind of curious what you folks would do if this happened to you.
    Last edited by mark; 12-06-2004 at 01:33 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: forgot the link
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #2

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    Mark, his work smacks of PS - digital manipulation to me (please correct me if I am wrong). I prefer the uniqueness of a handmade (from start to finish) print. In other words, continue with your project and show how original your idea is when done the analog way. Good luck!
    Francesco

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francesco
    Mark, his work smacks of PS - digital manipulation to me (please correct me if I am wrong). I prefer the uniqueness of a handmade (from start to finish) print. In other words, continue with your project and show how original your idea is when done the analog way. Good luck!
    He is shooting with a digital camera but as far as I can tell there are a lot of plain old straight shots.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  4. #4
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    Now what? I am going to keep up with the project because I think the shots will look really cool. I am bummed that it is not as original as I thought. The concern I have is where do I draw the line. DO I let what this guy control whether I light something in a specific way. Where does the line of plagerism get crossed in photography?
    I would continue the project. An idea doesn't have to be original to make it worth photographing; otherwise, I better not take any photos of Diamond Head. As long as you are using his images to setup your shoot; it's only plagerism if you try to pass his work off as yours.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  5. #5

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    Mark I see no problem with using back lighting as many photographers over the years have done this using a light box, especially with macro shots.

    If the design is original to a known henna artist it might be polite to mention the artist ie "Henna Abstract #01 original design (or inspired) by joe blogg" as with photographs of tattoos.

    As for the project go for it after all very few ideas are 100% original in art and the important thing is how you interpret and shoot the designs for your own pictures. As Robert says as long as you don't try to pass off his work as your own it's not plagiarism.

  6. #6
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Personally, I think originality is much overrated (but then, I would)...

    Seriously, it is a pain when you realise someone got there first - especially if his ideas are very close to those you had independently, but there is nothing new under the sun. If we were exclude ourselves from making images where we have seen similar images before, an awful lot of cameras are going to spend an awful lot of time sitting in bags. Ever shot a lighthouse, a landscape, a seascape (complete with foreground rocks and a long exposure to blur the waves (or a fast shutter speed to freeze the waves as they crash over the aforementioned rocks), ever shot a flower, other still-life?

    Although initialy the patterns are striking, I find they have no subtlety, and quickly become trite. Like the dog walking on its hind legs: a neat trick, but ultimately, so what? Apart from the pattern, what is he trying to say? I submit m'Lud, nothing. So, we have pretty patterns. Jolly good. Well done. Thank you. Next please.

    An image based on traditional patterns, now that could be a different kettle of... whatever it is you put in kettles... tea? Not fish surely? - Really? Oh... how odd...


    Good luck! Bob.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    As long as you are using his images to setup your shoot.
    I am not even sure I know how to do that. Not that I would want to.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  8. #8

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    Your idea may not be as original as you thought, but that doesn't mean your photos will not be original. Forget the other guy. Forget what he's done. Do not allow yourself to be influenced. Reassess your original idea and see what you can do with it. The idea is free for everyone to use - it's only plagarism if you are intentionally copying his exact works.

  9. #9
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    So, you're not the first. OK. If that were the case, we should have no more photographs of Yosemite. But now to the real point.

    You started the project. Finish it. The learning exercise here is that you were inspired, established a goal and completed it. That is more important than the image. Completing work on a consistent basis will make you deal with the totality of a project rather than just making some pictures.

    Don't think about it, just do it. Off with you now, finish the work.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

    www.joelipkaphoto.com

    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

  10. #10
    Jim Moore's Avatar
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    His photos are not the first of that type that I have seen. I friend of mine sent me a link to another photographers work like this about a year ago. I can't remember who it was though.
    "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...Wayne Gretzky

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