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Author Topic: A Wave of People  (Read 3335 times)
Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« on: March 02, 2011, 07:23:53 AM »
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Hi all,

Took this image a year last January. Entered it into the Sony world photo contest this year under the "People" category and it got absolutely no where, but what the heck. I like it even though everyone I have shown it to seems to thinks it's a bit creepy and yes I admit, it is probably not something you would want to hang on your wall.

Do you know where I took the image? I am sure quite a few of you have visited this place and will be able to identify the location.

Photobloke
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2011, 07:42:55 AM »
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Is this an image of a wall of photos not taken by yourself? If so, I would assume that you don't own the rights to those photos. It should be obvious that taking a photo of someone else's photo doesn't make it yours. No wonder it went nowhere in Sony's contest.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2011, 04:21:58 PM »
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Is this an image of a wall of photos not taken by yourself? If so, I would assume that you don't own the rights to those photos. It should be obvious that taking a photo of someone else's photo doesn't make it yours. No wonder it went nowhere in Sony's contest.

Please cut me some slack here, I was aiming for interpretation rather than replication and thought that might be apparent in the way I had shot the image. I am after all only an amateur photographer, trying my best to learn what works and what doesn't work and fair enough, in your opinion and for this image, I may have got it wrong. Perhaps if I had caught someone walking past the display instead of just trying to show the static wall of images in what I thought was a totally different perspective, then that would have been OK.

But even after saying all that, I still think the image leans more towards interpretation than replication.

Photobloke
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tom b
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2011, 05:07:10 PM »
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Not too much difference in intent to the Walker Evans picture studio I looked at lately at MOMA Sydney.

The copy of the image is here:

http://www.alinari.it/mostre/walkerevans/5.jpg

Cheers,

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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2011, 05:16:13 PM »
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Not too much difference in intent to the Walker Evans picture studio I looked at lately at MOMA Sydney.

Thanks for that Smiley

Photobloke
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2011, 05:22:38 PM »
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But even after saying all that, I still think the image leans more towards interpretation than replication.

Photobloke

I don't know what your aspirations are around photography. But if you're going to be submitting things like this to photo contests or, heaven forbid, selling them, then you need to be aware of what the law says about the copyright of images. If you photograph another image that is not in the public domain (and these are almost certainly not) and in the process of doing so you alter or "interpret" the original image, your action does not give you any rights to that image within your photograph without the permission of the rights holder.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 05:32:33 PM by popnfresh » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2011, 05:29:25 PM »
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Not too much difference in intent to the Walker Evans picture studio I looked at lately at MOMA Sydney.

The copy of the image is here:

http://www.alinari.it/mostre/walkerevans/5.jpg
Oh, I disagree. I think there's a big difference. I'd be willing to wager that the photos in the Evans picture were in the public domain when he shot that. And I'd also be willing to bet that the photos in photobloke's shot were taken by professional photographers who have either retained the rights to those pictures or sold them to a stock agency that in turn owns the rights and leases them out for royalty fees. photobloke may have the best of intentions, but that's really irrelevant here.
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Michael West
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 05:33:20 PM »
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the juxtaposition of the sign in the window of the linked image,....is the tone...of that particular photograph. the intent was quite clear to me.

Im not certain what the intent of photographing a group of photographs without any "grounding" such as the juxtaposition of the large collection of small photographs and the Sign,... might be
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« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2011, 05:43:47 PM »
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the juxtaposition of the sign in the window of the linked image,....is the tone...of that particular photograph. the intent was quite clear to me.

Im not certain what the intent of photographing a group of photographs without any "grounding" such as the juxtaposition of the large collection of small photographs and the Sign,... might be
I agree. It's an important distinction. Evans' is a photograph of a shop window. photobloke's is a photograph of photographs.
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Dave (Isle of Skye)
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2011, 06:00:03 PM »
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I agree. It's an important distinction. Evans' is a photograph of a shop window. photobloke's is a photograph of photographs.

It is a photograph taken at a long standing display on Ellis Island - it is a totally open and public display and if I remember correctly, representative of the immigrant mug shots taken of the people as they came to live in America by government officials. There was no copyright notices anywhere and it was (and still is I assume) placed in public area for all people and tourists to see and photograph and which indeed is what the people/tourists were doing and expected to do when I took the shot. In fact there was a security person guiding people through the room to do exactly that, which I did but what I thought was in a different way.

So I think your argument and assumption regarding the public domain aspect of the images, is therefore I believe a null point.

Photobloke
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 06:16:38 PM »
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... Evans' is a photograph of a shop window. photobloke's is a photograph of photographs.

Gee, popnfresh, relax. What's up with this self-appointed copyright police!?

You are basically saying that if photobloke found a piece of glass and put it in front of those photographs it would then be art and o.k.?

It is one thing to take a photograph of a photograph (i.e., basically make a photocopy), and completely different to to take a photo of a bunch of photographs, publicly arranged with a certain purpose and meaning. That arrangement, purpose and meaning then become a subject of the new photograph, not photocopying them.
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Slobodan

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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 06:26:37 PM »
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Gee, popnfresh, relax. What's up with this self-appointed copyright police!?
Relax yourself, Slobodan. I didn't write the law. And if you don't know what the law says about photo copyright, maybe you should bone up. photobloke is submitting someone else's work to photo contests as if it was his own. That's a big no-no. I'm doing him a favor here.
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 06:31:42 PM »
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It is one thing to take a photograph of a photograph (i.e., basically make a photocopy), and completely different to to take a photo of a bunch of photographs, publicly arranged with a certain purpose and meaning. That arrangement, purpose and meaning then become a subject of the new photograph, not photocopying them.
Actually, the law says it isn't different. You don't own someone else's photograph because you've altered it. Go look it up.
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RSL
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« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2011, 06:42:11 PM »
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Let's be clear about the difference between taking the photograph and publishing the photograph. Since the Ellis Island display is in a public place where everyone's allowed to go, Bloke has every right to shoot his photograph. But publishing it could be a different matter.

On the other hand, even if the pictures he included in his picture are copyrighted he's probably off the hook unless they were registered with the copyright office. To cause Bloke a problem the copyright holder probably would have to show monetary damage by Bloke's publication of his picture. Furthermore, unless some of the pictures were added after Ellis Island closed in 1954, the copyrights probably have expired. That's a guess. I'd have to go back into the copyright info on some of my early pictures to be sure, but copyright laws were very different back in those days.

But as a photographer Bloke needs to be careful and learn something about copyright laws. Pop's right: you can get badly burned by publishing copyrighted material, even inadvertently. There's an interesting article in that vein in the current Digital Photo Pro mag. By the way, the idea that the absence of a copyright notice sets you free is a holdover from earlier times when the notice was essential. Not true any more.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2011, 07:00:34 PM »
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... Evans' is a photograph of a shop window. photobloke's is a photograph of photographs.

A shop window with hundreds of recognizable photographs. How's that different from photobloke's? Because of the piece of glass with the words "studio" on it?

How about "desaparecidos"? Google the term for images but here is an example. Or another.
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Slobodan

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feppe
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2011, 07:05:02 PM »
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Furthermore, unless some of the pictures were added after Ellis Island closed in 1954, the copyrights probably have expired. That's a guess.

Copyright is effectively perpetual in the US. I guarantee there will be another act to extend this.
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2011, 07:08:55 PM »
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A shop window with hundreds of recognizable photographs. How's that different from photobloke's? Because of the piece of glass with the words "studio" on it?

The primary reason is that the photos in Evans' picture were not copyrighted. Prior to 1978 in order for a photograph to be covered by copyright each individual photograph would have to be registered with the copyright office and a fee paid for each one. A portrait studio back then would not have had the reason nor the resources to do it. After 1978 all photographs are automatically covered by a general copyright. No registration needed.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2011, 07:29:47 PM »
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The primary reason is that the photos in Evans' picture were not copyrighted. Prior to 1978 in order for a photograph to be covered by copyright each individual photograph would have to be registered with the copyright office and a fee paid for each one. A portrait studio back then would not have had the reason nor the resources to do it. After 1978 all photographs are automatically covered by a general copyright. No registration needed.


And how's that different for Ellis Island photos made apparently before 1954?

"... For works produced between January 1, 1923 and March 1, 1989, copyright notice is required...Any American works that did not have formal registration or notice fell into the Public Domain if registration was not made in a timely fashion..." (Wikipedia)

And even if it were copyrighted, I suspect that photobloke's photo would fall under a fair use doctrine.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2011, 07:32:41 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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tom b
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2011, 08:09:28 PM »
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Of course there's Richard Prince, fancy paying a million dollars for a photograph of a billboard showing someone else's photograph.

more here:

http://nymag.com/nymetro/arts/art/11815/

Cheers,

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k bennett
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« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2011, 08:17:12 PM »
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IANAL but I suspect this work would be considered transformative and thus fair use. If the originals were shot by U.S. government workers, then they are in the public domain anyway.

With that out of the way, I have to say I don't see a lot in the photo, as there is little to give any context. The wall of portraits by itself is not compelling. Knowing that they are immigrant photos is interesting, but I have to read a caption to understand this. I'm perfectly happy with photos that have little context or information if they are compelling in some other way.
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