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Steve Bower

Do you submit Composite Photos, Any Ethical Concerns

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Oleschwander,

I do the same thing.  I hope that's ethical. 

Sorry, if my questions have become a bit too theoretical, possibly ridiculous to some but after I retired (2007) and began selling my photographs for money, I struggled with some of these questions, just how far would I go to make a sale?  

Blame it on my age, upbringing or possibly my professional training (I was a trust officer, banker) but these were the kinds of questions I had to answer when I started "Stock".

Ridiculous, yea, maybe but as a trust officer handling your mother's account you would have been happy I was asking these questions.

Keep your thoughts coming!

 

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The way I see it is that photography is most of the time an illusion anyway. Even with editorial it is not always what you see.

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correct. My Only problem and not really a problem is replacing skies that you would NEVER.....EVER see in reality. i've been around the Planet and I've never seen in reality what some folks do and I've come Kinda close Just Playing around. NOT that theres anything wrong with it. Do what ya want. Your name is on it. it's just a question Of How far. But even If you go over the edge and WAY OVER the edge of reality thats another artform and im good with that. I like scifi. But If you can do that, I would seriously get Out of penny stock and start doing Matt Painting for a LOT of Money and Move to LA.. Unreal is very cool But I would think Limiting as true day to day stock.

I have a good friend that does Backgrounds and paints 20 ft x 30ft Backdrops for all the Big Sci fi Films.And amazing digital Outer space scenes. makes a fortune.If I could do that you better believe I would go for it.

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11 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

I was hoping there was going to some differing views about some aspect of my question but it's obvious that the majority (if not everyone) has little to no qualms about changing out a sky but where does that creative license end and when does it become intentional deception or even unethical? 

Hypothetical example:  A submitter clones out a very obnoxious element from a landscape (i.e. a sign, power lines a factory, a dump you name it).  The chamber of commerce for that area loves the image and uses it in their advertising.  You, the out of town or country visitor, plan your vacation to this area hoping to see unspoiled nature.  You leave more than just disappointed.  What's your position on this, is it OK, just business, deception ?

Again, as I've already confessed, I totally understand your position and routinely "enhance" my images BUT it took me a while and quite a little soul searching.    

I can see your point here and it is something I have often thought about while doing food photography. For me, and my personal take on my shooting, is if you can't eat it when you are done shooting it, its not food, its art. Wonderful looking stuff, sure, but it just ain't food to me (probably why I don't consider myself an artist here). However, the onus is on the end user to ensure that when they use a photos to represent something, it is up to them to be accurate, not us. I found that there is a market for "authentic" looking food that can be seen on a menu and actually look like what arrives at your table after you order. In your scenario above, it would be on that chamber of commerce to ensure they accurately represent themselves. You created art, they used it as something real. 

(Personal note - In this changing world, I have never, ever relied on the brochure photos of any place to decide where to go. There are enough google streetviews, travel shots and youtube videos for anyone to find out if the beach is always full of drunk kids, or the pool has a dump behind it, or anything else.) 

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8 hours ago, Steve Bower said:

Perry,

Excellent Point and great article and photo examples.  In my hypothetical, I would feel (and I expect that most would agree) that the buyer is the most culpable as his choice was an intentional attempt to deceive to make a lot of money. However, didn't the photographer make that image adjustment for the same reason (to make money), albeit on a much smaller scale?

In your hypothetical, I would expect that all would agree that the photographer did nothing wrong.   

Farbled,

As I stated above, I agree with your conclusion, at least in part, but didn't we as the photographer create "art" knowing that a true representation was unlikely to make us as much money as the "artistic version"?  Aren't we operating under the same logic as the "end user", for the same purpose (to make more money)?   Does the amount of money involved make us any less culpable? 

Just a thought, I could be wrong.

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I think it depends on the use, or, in the way you seem to be referring to, the way we describe our photos to our clients. Again, for me, realism sells. I do virtually nothing to my photos before submitting for a few reasons, one of which is that it isnt cost effective (for me time is a cost) and my clients like my authentic style. So for me it is the oppostie effect, my more artistic shots don't sell nearly as well.

If you feel you are misleading people, then how are you doing that if you don't know the end use? I think the agency license terms have something in there to indemnify you from any accurate representations (could be incorrect but I dont think so), so in these cases, I belive it is "buyer beware". If I want a beautiful wall poster for my living room, where it is retouched, new sky, dophins leaping around or whatever, how is that misleading? If you truly feel you are, add "retouched" to your keywords maybe? 

 

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Farbled,

My response was in answer to the Hypothetical example and would not be applicable to your leaping dolphin poster.

Your point regarding the photographer's lack of knowledge regarding the end use, is great and one I hadn't considered.

Your suggestion to add keywords or possibly changing the title to make the photographers "actions" more transparent is one we all might want to adopt, especially me given my position on this subject.

Thanks! 

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1 hour ago, farbled said:

I think it depends on the use, or, in the way you seem to be referring to, the way we describe our photos to our clients. Again, for me, realism sells. I do virtually nothing to my photos before submitting for a few reasons, one of which is that it isnt cost effective (for me time is a cost) and my clients like my authentic style. So for me it is the oppostie effect, my more artistic shots don't sell nearly as well.

If you feel you are misleading people, then how are you doing that if you don't know the end use? I think the agency license terms have something in there to indemnify you from any accurate representations (could be incorrect but I dont think so), so in these cases, I belive it is "buyer beware". If I want a beautiful wall poster for my living room, where it is retouched, new sky, dophins leaping around or whatever, how is that misleading? If you truly feel you are, add "retouched" to your keywords maybe? 

 

If you remember Dave was Preaching the same years ago. BTW he;s back to submitting again and keeping it real and Not some faddish  trendy food stuff. Dark shadows,Limp Vegis.One window Light on a old wooden Table pretending to be "Farm To Table" LOL The Magazines are almost done with that look.

Good Post man.

38 minutes ago, Steve Bower said:

 

 

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Paul, that's an interesting image, has it ever sold? The thing is, you aren't billing this as a specific place, just a beautiful scene. You didn't do anything wrong by creating it or posting it. However, if you named a specific place that this was supposed to be, i think that would be crossing the line. If someone would buy it and put it in a travel brochure, that would be wrong as well.

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