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My thoughts on using photo manipulation

See here for a recent heated discussion RE photoshoping of google images.

I try to think in terms of how I would feel if someone used one of my photoshop-free images, tweaked it and put it back up as their own.

Personally I would be wrapped and honoured if someone used my work to create something new, but I would just feel used if they didn’t really make anything new out of it and slapped a filter or two on it and then called it their own.

It’s a matter of how much time and energy I put into creating the image against how little time and energy the modifier put in. I’d feel a bit ripped off.

I think it’s good manners to ask for permission to use someone’s work, however I strongly believe the orignial artist has an obligation to set their terms before the modifying artist begins doing their thing. It’s a matter for the two artists to decide upon.

For example, if someone said “I’m learning how to use photoshop, do you mind if I muck around with your photos” I’d say go ahead. But then I’d also feel oblidged to discuss whether they want to onsell the finished product and give a sense of what I would be happy and unhappy with.

I am very very open to collaborating and sharing of work but I do think people have to give credit where credit is due and not take advantage of the hard work of somebody else.

It is difficult to actually set a strict guideline or rule on this because it poses questions such as “How changed is changed enough” which can only be answered by the individual.

I hope these reasons shed some light on my headspace. I would play with someones image and display it and say “look at what I learned how to do” but I would credit the original artists and I would not sell the new piece without permission.

The example above was based on what I would do if the artist was an unknown and I was using a google image- in that case, yet again I would display my talents and say ‘check this out’ but without permission I would not sell it.

I do not use photoshop and if I did learn how to use it I doubt I would sell my photoshoped work. I am almost certainly in the minority when I say this- but I see photo editing as one form of art and photo taking as another. Often the 2 cross paths but I can also see them as mutually exclusive talents. I don’t particularly want to be known as a creative and talented photo editor or manipulator so I wouldn’t sell edited work even if it were 100% my own. But that’s just me.

Journal Comments

  • Jo O'Brien
  • davoid
  • Jo O'Brien