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07/24/2015 02:49:48 PM · #1
I'm moving this from another thread, because it is off topic there.

Originally posted by RyanW:

regarding "ripping off" an idea; as a "learning site", recreating certain images is helpful in skills building.
having Gyaban or Samantha recreate an image someone else did in expert might not be much of a learning exercise, but someone like myself, or jgirl (to pick known "trying to improve on skills" photographers) trying to emulate a shot to figure out how it was done in a "real world" or "particular type of editing" sense is not as much about plagiarising the work as it would be about building up another facet to draw upon, and using a milestone as the marker.
sometimes something that looks so simple, or even to many people IS so simple, can be difficult for another to do, or to understand without going through the same steps; but once done, can be used in individually creative exercises at a later point.

I, personally, feel that too many people are used to the same old images from the same old people, and seeing the same old thing again and again is negatively affecting the perception of the image.

I'd like to do a waterdrop image, or series even; they look fun to mess with. does that mean that if I put one in you're going to look and say "oh, that's just (User) phoning it in, 5"? For many, yes, and then when I check my score I wonder why so many people low voted it, I assume it's because what I produced isn't up to par (lets step outside the box and assume that in this example what I produced is up to par for the sake of the discussion). Is that going to encourage me to do more drops in an effort to perfect it? likely not for me, personally, I don't like to make the same mistake twice, so I'm going to leave that water drop stuff alone, when if you knew it wasn't (user) and was someone learning to do this technique, your 5 might've been a 7, and it might've actually encouraged me to work on refining the skill with a positive attitude to it.

So, to hear people talk about plagiarising images on the site makes me think people have it at a base level of thought that everybody here is (or should be) on a perfectly equal level in terms of competency and therefore have no need to bother with stuff like "benchmarking for the sake of learning", or "trying to see if a different style works with how they like to shoot or their equipment".

I'll keep that in mind the next time I see a soft focus or blurred image; this is someone trying to copy Don, or jmritz, and i'll score them accordingly for daring to plagiarize another photographer's work. :p


This is a good (if verbose) explanation of why there is no outrage over plagiarized images. However, just because plagiarism is allowed, doesn't mean it should be rewarded by high scores. What you are arguing here is that creativity should not be a factor when voting, in order to motivate people to learn skills.

You want the challenges to be about skill, and not creativity. I want the challenges to be about rewarding the best photos. A good photo requires skill in the service of vision, not merely skill.

If you only reward one small part of photography (what you consider skills), you create a narrow path with limited results. I will give a high score to a photo that moves me, even if I don't understand why, and a low score to a photo that does nothing for me, even if I don't understand why. In this approach, I don't pretend to know everything, and therefore give a more honest vote, open to more possibilities of making a good photo.

07/24/2015 02:57:49 PM · #2
Let's put it this way; you look at an image and your initial impression is "oooh, nice exposure, focus, and color. Very appealing to my eye." Maybe in 6 or 7 range based on those criteria alone. Being something unique - a perspective, subject, or idea that seems to be above and beyond most others in the challenge - bumps it to a higher number, right? Same goes for an image you might normally score low based on technicals; a creative take or unique captured moment could push it much higher (for me, anyway).

Well, what if it isn't very unique at all? Still a 6 or 7. Just not going to get that extra bump.

It was still worth the photographer submitting, for sure.
Sorry to pick on anyone - these are clearly good images that I'm hoping we agree are not original ideas =) so to me the extra credit for the setup is limited.
I'm a snob I guess ;)
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1124256.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1124312.jpg

(moved comment from other thread)
07/24/2015 03:01:41 PM · #3
Originally posted by posthumous:



You want the challenges to be about skill, and not creativity. I want the challenges to be about rewarding the best photos. A good photo requires skill in the service of vision, not merely skill.



Artistry Vs. Craftsmanship.

If you do not value creativity or art as much as technique, than you will go for the "glossy wow manipulated copied" photos. It is not the average person's fault, that is how they sell cameras and lenses and software.

ETA: the problem I see with the voting and general mindset of the site, as noted in threads and photo comments, is that the member voters/ can be jaded at times, and seek a "wow" factor shot, one that they could not have taken- rather than a "normal" or ordinary shot- although it may be superb. The world wants twirling ballet couples and outrageous landscapes strewn with ferro-fluid in hdr, it seems.

Message edited by author 2015-07-24 15:05:01.
07/24/2015 03:02:32 PM · #4
Thanks for playing, tate. I would be harsher than you, but that's a subjective decision and thus irrelevant. We're both taking creativity into account.

I'm used to poetry sites, where this sort of thing is considered practically criminal. Then again, we also don't "vote" on poems. Every time I start to get worked up about something like this, I remember that the whole idea of assigning a number to a piece of art is absurd... and suddenly I feel like I'm the problem, and I should just go back to not caring about scores.
07/24/2015 03:14:43 PM · #5
Technically a photo can be perfect but if it doesn't touch me on an emotional level then it does nothing for me, if it is technically brilliant but is one of a trillion that's revisiting the same old idea over and over again then it actually repulses me. If an image is technically flawed but emotionally it touches me then the technicals are not taken into consideration at all. Photography is about feeling and nothing to do about recreating a technically perfect scene over and over again ad infinitum.
07/24/2015 03:33:02 PM · #6
Originally posted by posthumous:


This is a good (if verbose) explanation of why there is no outrage over plagiarized images. However, just because plagiarism is allowed, doesn't mean it should be rewarded by high scores. What you are arguing here is that creativity should not be a factor when voting, in order to motivate people to learn skills.

You want the challenges to be about skill, and not creativity. I want the challenges to be about rewarding the best photos. A good photo requires skill in the service of vision, not merely skill.

If you only reward one small part of photography (what you consider skills), you create a narrow path with limited results. I will give a high score to a photo that moves me, even if I don't understand why, and a low score to a photo that does nothing for me, even if I don't understand why. In this approach, I don't pretend to know everything, and therefore give a more honest vote, open to more possibilities of making a good photo.


man, I've deleted and retyped about 5 different things here. I do believe that limiting to strictly technical or artistic is handicapping/stifling yourself unnecessarily; but that equally is translatable to the other side of the screen as well. A water drop may not move you; fine, it could be the color, the shape, the focus, anything really, but it's not entirely fair to hold individual images to double standards by judging them not just against the others in the challenge, but to everything else on that line that has ever been done. Look at the flower challenge we just had - did you judge Lydia's entry vs a different image of a flower in a pond? If no, why not if you're going to claim you can do it with other types of images?

Anyways, i'm done for now, I'll come back to this when i'm more level-headed feeling, and less likely to ramble and be incoherent.
07/24/2015 04:34:21 PM · #7
Can someone tell me why so many people use google searches, or other web searches for "inspiration"? When I first realized people did this, I was a little shocked...maybe not shocked, perhaps vaguely appalled. When the first thing someone wants to do when a challenge is announced, or for just basic inspiration, is to go search the internet for what other people have done, I want to know why? Is this the whole art vs. craft sort of argument? Learning site or not, I think this kinda sucks. This is not creativity. This is just lazy. Even outside of DPC I know of several people who do this, constantly, and get told over and over how creative they are. Isn't that a bit like cheating?

All that being said, I like a photo that makes me feel something...anything. I like pretty things too. My pretty is probably different than your pretty. It's all so subjective! But basically copying someone else's idea...bleh. I know it's hard to be completely original, but damn...I had no idea so many relied on the internet for inspiration. Guess I'm kind of naive about that, but when I took up my camera so long ago, I couldn't use the internet for inspiration, I had to use my own head, what I learned in school and life in general. Open you eyes and just see.

I went off on a sort of tangent Don, but I'm glad you brought this up. It's been bugging me for a long long time.
07/24/2015 05:10:33 PM · #8
Originally posted by RKT:

Can someone tell me why so many people use google searches, or other web searches for "inspiration"? When I first realized people did this, I was a little shocked...maybe not shocked, perhaps vaguely appalled. When the first thing someone wants to do when a challenge is announced, or for just basic inspiration, is to go search the internet for what other people have done, I want to know why? Is this the whole art vs. craft sort of argument? Learning site or not, I think this kinda sucks. This is not creativity. This is just lazy. Even outside of DPC I know of several people who do this, constantly, and get told over and over how creative they are. Isn't that a bit like cheating?

All that being said, I like a photo that makes me feel something...anything. I like pretty things too. My pretty is probably different than your pretty. It's all so subjective! But basically copying someone else's idea...bleh. I know it's hard to be completely original, but damn...I had no idea so many relied on the internet for inspiration. Guess I'm kind of naive about that, but when I took up my camera so long ago, I couldn't use the internet for inspiration, I had to use my own head, what I learned in school and life in general. Open you eyes and just see.

I went off on a sort of tangent Don, but I'm glad you brought this up. It's been bugging me for a long long time.


You call out what you learned in school. Wasn't that written by someone else, created by someone else, something you took onboard and used it as inspiration for your own ideas? What's the difference between that and looking at other peoples creativity online and using that for inspiration.

There is a huge difference between inspiration and outright plagiarism, but you speak of inspiration and I have been inspired by many photographers, either famous, on the web or otherwise. Does that mean if I take that inspiration and go out and shoot a photo of my own in the hope that it might be as good as them that you are "appalled" as a result?
07/24/2015 05:37:37 PM · #9
I have no problem with people recreating something that they've seen. I don't consider it copying or plagiarism and I wouldn't automatically vote it down. However, as a voter do I get bored and how bored I am by an image does get factored into how I vote.
07/24/2015 05:46:10 PM · #10
Originally posted by Covert_Oddity:

Originally posted by RKT:

Can someone tell me why so many people use google searches, or other web searches for "inspiration"? When I first realized people did this, I was a little shocked...maybe not shocked, perhaps vaguely appalled. When the first thing someone wants to do when a challenge is announced, or for just basic inspiration, is to go search the internet for what other people have done, I want to know why? Is this the whole art vs. craft sort of argument? Learning site or not, I think this kinda sucks. This is not creativity. This is just lazy. Even outside of DPC I know of several people who do this, constantly, and get told over and over how creative they are. Isn't that a bit like cheating?

All that being said, I like a photo that makes me feel something...anything. I like pretty things too. My pretty is probably different than your pretty. It's all so subjective! But basically copying someone else's idea...bleh. I know it's hard to be completely original, but damn...I had no idea so many relied on the internet for inspiration. Guess I'm kind of naive about that, but when I took up my camera so long ago, I couldn't use the internet for inspiration, I had to use my own head, what I learned in school and life in general. Open you eyes and just see.

I went off on a sort of tangent Don, but I'm glad you brought this up. It's been bugging me for a long long time.


You call out what you learned in school. Wasn't that written by someone else, created by someone else, something you took onboard and used it as inspiration for your own ideas? What's the difference between that and looking at other peoples creativity online and using that for inspiration.

There is a huge difference between inspiration and outright plagiarism, but you speak of inspiration and I have been inspired by many photographers, either famous, on the web or otherwise. Does that mean if I take that inspiration and go out and shoot a photo of my own in the hope that it might be as good as them that you are "appalled" as a result?


There's a difference between "inspiration" and influence. Of course I'm influenced by all my life experience, education, etc. I didn't say I wasn't. Directly copying current stuff someone googles or sees on other photo sites just kind of sucks...my opinion, sorry if it offends. I'm not talking "ideas" here like water drops etc...but near to direct copying of images and very unique ideas. I'll expand on this later. The cars and cruise night are calling my name.
07/24/2015 06:53:23 PM · #11
Originally posted by RKT:

Can someone tell me why so many people use google searches.......... When the first thing someone wants to do ...is to go search the internet for what other people have done, I want to know why?


Ok, here is MY reason:

I see a challenge topic/description. Sometimes I draw a blank, other times I have an idea. Occasionally, I've had an idea that I really, really liked only to realize (after googling some images), that I just managed to re-invent the wheel!

When I google images, it is mostly to prevent me from "copying" and forcing me to try and come up with something that is at least a LITTLE bit different to all the others I see.
07/24/2015 07:08:22 PM · #12
Originally posted by RKT:

Can someone tell me why so many people use google searches, or other web searches for "inspiration"?

Well, I've never done this, with the possible exception of the case of an "In The Style Of ..." challenge which practically requires it ...
07/24/2015 07:25:33 PM · #13
LOLOL I had the idea for Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1160530.jpg and went to work to shoot it. I was SURE it had been done before - many times and much better than I could. But I didn't have any other ideas, so I did it. Took a very long time, too. I didn't dare Google it. I didn't want to find out I'd "copied" it. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer and I did a search. I turned up one drawing with drinks on the side of a peaked roof but nothing else, so I breathed a sigh of relief, submitted, and enjoyed the week :)

Originally posted by Beetle:

Originally posted by RKT:

Can someone tell me why so many people use google searches.......... When the first thing someone wants to do ...is to go search the internet for what other people have done, I want to know why?


Ok, here is MY reason:

I see a challenge topic/description. Sometimes I draw a blank, other times I have an idea. Occasionally, I've had an idea that I really, really liked only to realize (after googling some images), that I just managed to re-invent the wheel!

When I google images, it is mostly to prevent me from "copying" and forcing me to try and come up with something that is at least a LITTLE bit different to all the others I see.
07/24/2015 08:11:02 PM · #14
Originally posted by RyanW:

... Look at the flower challenge we just had - did you judge Lydia's entry vs a different image of a flower in a pond? If no, why not if you're going to claim you can do it with other types of images? ...


Personally, I thought Lydia's flower image was totally brilliant, had never EVER seen a waterlily in that sort of scene before... nothing even close had ever been shot in the history of mankind... and now I've come to the conclusion that Lydia is a GENIUS because she shot a flower like that in that scene... right there where it grew.

I'm kidding, of course... (sort of... *grin*)

But, really folks... I don't even like it that we have to have TITLES because... they have NOTHING to do with photography and this is an... uhhh.... photography site. Not a creative writing site.

I totally see what you're saying... I agree that the coffee owls shows that they used the same idea that another person had.

BUT... they both shot it with a totally different look. I don't even care if they arranged the beans themselves or hired it out. It's a photography site.

Clearly, the one that scored higher was the one folks liked better... as an image... than the one that scored lower (forgive me, sweet Janine! You're an amazing artist and I love you!)... and so... the photography was judged. Not the idea... or the creation of the subject to be photographed.

I admit that I sometimes start at Google images... to get my creative juices flowing on the topics that I don't have any idea for what to shoot.

It starts my creativity and sends me off to other areas where I would not have gone without a "jumpstart".

I suspect that musicians do it... (they're sued for the same melody... or close to it... quite often)... and poets do it... there are only "so many" ways that words and notes and pixels can be arranged.

I know it's a really, really LARGE number of ways... but...

Look at photos of anything... a waterlily... the Eiffel Tower... anything... and you will see many photos that look "plagiarized" that were totally original to the people who took them.

In the end, this is still a photography site and ... as has been recently proven by one of our own... we should be able to shoot the same scene for almost any challenge... and be judged ON THE PHOTOGRAPHY... not the originalness of the subject... IN MY OPINION.

I'm in a "live and let live" state of mind right now.

Ask me again tomorrow. *grin*

Carry on...

:D



07/24/2015 08:37:52 PM · #15
In my defense - I always look for and at other peoples work for inspiration. Maybe for a Challenge maybe someplace where I'm going to visit, possibly an upcoming engagement session. I'm NOT going to get an identical image, sometimes very close but I wouldn't have even known about that place (image) had I not googled it first.

i.e.

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1100073.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1148370.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1136315.jpg Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1118341.jpg

some are iconic others are just photographed over and over.

I always look at previous challenges (and I will not apologize for it) both for inspiration and direction. I use all kinds of searches, Flickr, Google...so on and so forth. I look for lighting, composition (what worked best), subject.

As to my Owl above mentioned (and no, no one has hurt my feelings here so breath easier). I had seen that quite a few months before the Coffee Challenge on Pinterest (and yes, I have a photography board there with all kinds of ideas...ideas for photo sessions, be they infants, engagement, toddler...ideas for trips...bucket list - all kinds of photo's) I pined that Owl picture and thought with glee..."what a great idea for a Coffee Challenge". I did my best to come close to the interpretation but I missed my mark...couldn't get the eyes to look right...tried and tried...hmmmm learned something there too. Was totally shocked that someone else ([user]P_A_U_L[/user]) had done the exact same set up...oh, well. Much better than mine I'll admit (how did you get the eyes right Paul???)

I'm NOT worried that I'm using someone's idea...I'm glad that they inspired me to 1) find their location 2) capture a decent version of it 3) have something beautiful to hang on my walls. If I even thought for a moment that I had an original idea....pffffftttttt....they've all been hatched n re-hatched over and over and over again...

07/24/2015 08:38:17 PM · #16
Originally posted by RyanW:

Originally posted by posthumous:


This is a good (if verbose) explanation of why there is no outrage over plagiarized images. However, just because plagiarism is allowed, doesn't mean it should be rewarded by high scores. What you are arguing here is that creativity should not be a factor when voting, in order to motivate people to learn skills.

You want the challenges to be about skill, and not creativity. I want the challenges to be about rewarding the best photos. A good photo requires skill in the service of vision, not merely skill.

If you only reward one small part of photography (what you consider skills), you create a narrow path with limited results. I will give a high score to a photo that moves me, even if I don't understand why, and a low score to a photo that does nothing for me, even if I don't understand why. In this approach, I don't pretend to know everything, and therefore give a more honest vote, open to more possibilities of making a good photo.


man, I've deleted and retyped about 5 different things here. I do believe that limiting to strictly technical or artistic is handicapping/stifling yourself unnecessarily; but that equally is translatable to the other side of the screen as well. A water drop may not move you; fine, it could be the color, the shape, the focus, anything really, but it's not entirely fair to hold individual images to double standards by judging them not just against the others in the challenge, but to everything else on that line that has ever been done. Look at the flower challenge we just had - did you judge Lydia's entry vs a different image of a flower in a pond? If no, why not if you're going to claim you can do it with other types of images?

Anyways, i'm done for now, I'll come back to this when i'm more level-headed feeling, and less likely to ramble and be incoherent.


I compare every photo to every other photo, and everything else I've ever seen, every time I vote. No double standard there.

I include technical skill in my vote. You include creativity in your vote. We just balance it differently. You have a certain agenda, the increase of skill, that colors your voting. I do not have that agenda. Any agendas I have I push down into my subconscious and try to vote based on my honest response to the image.

07/24/2015 08:44:36 PM · #17
Originally posted by Lydia:

BUT... they both shot it with a totally different look. I don't even care if they arranged the beans themselves or hired it out. It's a photography site.


we can agree to disagree. your thinking is logically sound. You think photography is pointing a camera at something, snapping a picture, and then editing it afterward. I think photography is one of the arts. So we proceed from different assumptions and reach different conclusions.
07/24/2015 08:51:18 PM · #18
What if ... we plagarize ourselves "draw inspiration" from our own previous work?
May, 2011 Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_954634.jpg    July, 2015 Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1159955.jpg
07/24/2015 08:55:28 PM · #19
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by Lydia:

BUT... they both shot it with a totally different look. I don't even care if they arranged the beans themselves or hired it out. It's a photography site.


we can agree to disagree. your thinking is logically sound. You think photography is pointing a camera at something, snapping a picture, and then editing it afterward. I think photography is one of the arts. So we proceed from different assumptions and reach different conclusions.


Ah the two worlds collide. Commercial and (vs) Fine Art. I was just reading an article yesterday, on how certain well known commercial photogs make the jump successfully while other don't. While some who want to make in the Fine Art world find they must live in the commercial world to make ends meet and then only in their golden years are allowed entry. It's a topic that is being discussed in the industry for a while now and will continue. I'm just glad photography is slowly making it into the world of general fine art. You see The Met and MoMa (in NYC) exhibiting a lot more photography now than in the near past.
07/24/2015 10:06:00 PM · #20
I google everything!
07/24/2015 10:07:47 PM · #21
Originally posted by pixelpig:

I google everything!


I knew I like you!!!
07/24/2015 10:19:22 PM · #22
Originally posted by Ja-9:

...

I always look at previous challenges (and I will not apologize for it) both for inspiration and direction. I use all kinds of searches, Flickr, Google...so on and so forth. I look for lighting, composition (what worked best), subject.

...

I'm NOT worried that I'm using someone's idea...I'm glad that they inspired me to 1) find their location 2) capture a decent version of it 3) have something beautiful to hang on my walls. If I even thought for a moment that I had an original idea....pffffftttttt....they've all been hatched n re-hatched over and over and over again...


I agree! My point... EXACTLY!

All hatched and re-hatched... over and over...

Well... except for my photo of a waterlily in a pond.

THAT was... BRILLIANT... and original. :D *rolleyes*



Message edited by author 2015-07-24 22:23:53.
07/24/2015 10:29:26 PM · #23
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by Lydia:

BUT... they both shot it with a totally different look. I don't even care if they arranged the beans themselves or hired it out. It's a photography site.


we can agree to disagree. your thinking is logically sound. You think photography is pointing a camera at something, snapping a picture, and then editing it afterward. I think photography is one of the arts. So we proceed from different assumptions and reach different conclusions.


I agree with our disagreement. *grin*

Some authors write romance novels to buy groceries... and they're still authors... just as much as the ones who are alcoholics writing... classics.

They're both novels. And they have their markets...

They're both sold in the same book store... and in the same yard sale... years later.

I think we take ourselves too seriously sometimes... as if we're Super Photographer or... some other hero.

It's just a photo... in either of our cases.

Some will like it... others will hate it.

Some won't even look at it.

I'm okay with all of it.

I'm happy just to shoot. :D

And edit. :D

07/24/2015 11:47:29 PM · #24
A perfectly performed scale or arpeggio is boring for me to hear, yet an unskilled performance of a beautiful musical piece distracts me from its beauty. True art, for me, requires both creativity and skill. Some (if not most) of us have more of one than the other. Instead of arguing which is more important, perhaps we can learn to realize that both are important. Then, we can concentrate our efforts on improving our own shortcomings, and we can become even better photographers.
07/25/2015 01:49:59 AM · #25
Interesting thread. I am on this site to improve my photography skills and not too concerned about producing original art so when that does happen it is a bonus. I often will have a look on Google images or Flickr for inspiration for challenges. The act of attempting to replicate a photo someone else has taken can often be a real challenge requiring learning new skills so I consider that a success in fulfilling my goals for this site. This tends to be the case only with studio type shots. The vast majority of my entries are shoe horns - how else am I going to enter so many cow and sheep photos.

I do take my hat off to those people that strive to enter completely original ideas for the challenges. Some of us are not so creative and would struggle to do this even if they wanted to.

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