Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => User Critiques => Topic started by: couleur on May 07, 2007, 01:09:15 PM

Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: couleur on May 07, 2007, 01:09:15 PM
I shot this a few weeks ago. It was during the afternoon, and it was also about to rain infect. Is there anything I could do to make it better?

(http://ic3.deviantart.com/files/f/2007/121/7/4/Emerald_Empire_by_couleur.jpg)
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 07, 2007, 02:14:38 PM
Technically, it looks OK.

The upper corners are too dark.  There is a white halo around parts of the building.  There is some flair in the upper center that doesn't seem to add value.

The copyright and name don't add anything to the image.  There are plenty of images of this building.  It may be that your image isn't significantly different enough from some of those to earn a copyright.  MAybe you don't own a coyright.  While the image could get stolen, would you really be harmrf?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on May 09, 2007, 02:18:36 PM
The sky looks completely unnatural; the burning-in of the upper-left corner in particular is very artificial-looking and overdone. For such things, use a light brush, not a sledgehammer.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: couleur on May 10, 2007, 01:42:49 PM
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Technically, it looks OK.

The upper corners are too dark.  There is a white halo around parts of the building.  There is some flair in the upper center that doesn't seem to add value.

The copyright and name don't add anything to the image.  There are plenty of images of this building.  It may be that your image isn't significantly different enough from some of those to earn a copyright.  MAybe you don't own a coyright.  While the image could get stolen, would you really be harmrf?
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=116191\")

[a href=\"http://couleur.deviantart.com]http://couleur.deviantart.com[/url]
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 10, 2007, 01:55:32 PM
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http://couleur.deviantart.com (http://couleur.deviantart.com)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116813\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Too subtle for me.  I don't understand your coment.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on May 11, 2007, 09:13:35 AM
He's simply trying to defend his credibility as an artist by displaying his page at the deviant art web site.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ed Foster, Jr. on May 11, 2007, 09:28:36 AM
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http://couleur.deviantart.com (http://couleur.deviantart.com)
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couleur,
Thanks for the link to some of your work.  At such a young age, you have a lot going for you - keep pushing forward, continue learning and working on your style.  Your vision and eye are quite good.

Best of Luck,
Ed
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: englishm on May 11, 2007, 10:06:08 AM
The quality of the light on the towers, owing to the fairly strong under-exposure lends an other worldly effect to the image, and the edge burn enhances the threatening feel of the impending rain.  I like this image.  I can see it being used in a corporate annual report, for example.

I don't think "natural" is necessarly an important goal in this or any photograph.  Jonathan is applying his own aesthetic ideal to Xiong's image, which is fine, and perfectly valid for Jonathan.  It may not be for Xiong.  I agree that the corner burn may be a bit overdone, but that is easily fixed.  However, I wouldn't eliminate it completely... I like the mood it creates, but I'd like to see some more detail in the upper corners.

As to copyright, every image is copyright by its creator the moment the shutter is released.  There is no need for the image to be "unique".   In any case it's hard to image another image taken from this vantage point and point of view being precisely the same as another image, in the quality  and direction of the light and the quality of the sky.  Think about how many images of the Eiffel Tower you have seen taken with a wide-angle lens looking up through the trees at the north west footing!  Each of those slightly different images is copyright by its creator.  So, Lim Wan Xiong definately owns a copyright in this image.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 11, 2007, 10:33:36 AM
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As to copyright, every image is copyright by its creator the moment the shutter is released.  There is no need for the image to be "unique".   In any case it's hard to image another image taken from this vantage point and point of view being precisely the same as another image, in the quality  and direction of the light and the quality of the sky.  Think about how many images of the Eiffel Tower you have seen taken with a wide-angle lens looking up through the trees at the north west footing!  Each of those slightly different images is copyright by its creator.  So, Lim Wan Xiong definately owns a copyright in this image.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116953\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am not a patent/copyright lawyer/expert.  But the Berne Convention and U.S. law require that a work have some original creativity to be copyrighted.  Whether this image is original enough is of course the raw material for debate.

I cannot copyright a novel by changing the name of the main character from Bill to Bob.  There was a recent decision where a photographer made an image of actors dressed and postioned like another artists staute.  The photographer was found to have violated the copyright of the sculptor as I recall.

The building may already be copyrighted.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 11, 2007, 10:42:57 AM
I like it also. The image has strength. The composition and style is appropriate for the subject which is symbolic of Malaysia's attempt to industrialise and become a modern state.

The darkness adds to the strength and imparts a serious and sombre mood. If this was the intention, then the image is a success.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: englishm on May 11, 2007, 11:44:12 AM
>>require that a work have some original creativity to be copyrighted<<

You are correct, although the test is not usually applied as rigorously as you suggest.   There is a marked difference between re-interpreting and out right copying.  Xiong holds copyright in this particular image, of that there is no doubt.

He may be prevented from using it for much other than personal enjoyment, for as you also point out he probably doesn't have a property release from the owners of the tower.  Whether or not they would choose to enforce their property rights, or whether the architects and designers would choose to enforce their copyrights in the designs is another matter.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 11, 2007, 12:09:03 PM
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>>require that a work have some original creativity to be copyrighted<<

You are correct, although the test is not usually applied as rigorously as you suggest.   There is a marked difference between re-interpreting and out right copying.  Xiong holds copyright in this particular image, of that there is no doubt.

He may be prevented from using it for much other than personal enjoyment, for as you also point out he probably doesn't have a property release from the owners of the tower.  Whether or not they would choose to enforce their property rights, or whether the architects and designers would choose to enforce their copyrights in the designs is another matter.
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That this photographer owns a copyright to this image, I can agree with that.  My point is; so what?  The line between re-interprting and copying may be finer than you might expect.  Who would have thought a photo of some people dressed and arranged would equal copying a statue?  I guess that is what juries are for.  Also keep in mind that winning may be more than its worth.

[/B]If the image has no value other than "personal enjoyment," then is there any harm (less personal enjoyment) to this photographer if the image is used without his permission?  (I would think such use might actually enhance his personal enjoyment by knowing dome one likes it well enough to use it.)  If no, then who cares whether he "owns" the copyright of thid image or not.  Then is the "I own the copyright" info on the image really adding more value than is detracted by it's presence?

Whether you like the image or not, I don't think it has much market value.  If it does have a big market value, then it is much more likely this photographer would hear fro, other photographers, the building's owner and/or its architech.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: couleur on May 11, 2007, 12:12:38 PM
Okay guys, since some people don't trust whether I hold the original work. I will post a small resolution without the copyright. It's okay, I know how it feels being ripped.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: couleur on May 11, 2007, 12:23:46 PM
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The sky looks completely unnatural; the burning-in of the upper-left corner in particular is very artificial-looking and overdone. For such things, use a light brush, not a sledgehammer.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I have to agree with that point. This photo was originally shot out with low contrast due to glare. So I push the levels up to increase the contrast. Here's a fresh version I shot a few weeks before.

(http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/1055/1111an8.jpg)
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 11, 2007, 01:07:30 PM
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I have to agree with that point. This photo was originally shot out with low contrast due to glare. So I push the levels up to increase the contrast. Here's a fresh version I shot a few weeks before.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116986\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Two points.  First, with respect to a previous post, it is not a matter of trusting who owns the copyright.  I don't care because I have no intention of ever buying this image for any use.  My comment was simply that the copyright and signature didn't add any real value to image, especially since you may or may not own the copyright.  If every one knows you own the copyright to THIS image, then who cares if it is so marked?  If the purpose is to make the image less marketable, then any watermark would work, even a red x.  It is just my opinion watermarks rarely if ever make an image look better.

My point wasn't how did the corners get that way, but that to me they were too dark.  Even if there was a pile of old tires on fire next door and the black smoke was moving in.  Why the corners are dark doesn't matter, but are they dark.  If you love them, fine.  If everyone but me loves them, fine.

As for darkening corners, there was (is) at least one well known photographer/printer who burned all corners.  His theory was a perfectly eenly lit gray card would appear to have light corners, even though it doesn't,  Because photography is a visual art, I would agree the corners need some burning if the photographer wants the corners to look even.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: jjj on May 11, 2007, 07:04:37 PM
The first two comments regarding the image posted I found a little strange, daft irrelevent comments about copyright worthiness and not looking natural.
Silly nit picking. The image looks like a good commercial or advertising image to me. Who cares if it looks 'natural'? Bill Brandt's work wasn't exactly natural, so does that make him a bad photographer?
The more 'correct' image Couleur posted in response may be 'better' exposed, but is bland and snapshot like, [EDIT - just looked at a larger version, it's much nicer when you can see more detail] whereas the original is strong and dynamic. And however good the picture, you will always get people carping about how they don't like it. It's just personal taste. And the reasons why Jonathan doesn't like it, are exactly why I and it appears others do like it.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 11, 2007, 07:18:56 PM
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... you will always get people carping about how they don't like it. It's just personal taste. And the reasons why Jonathan doesn't like it, are exactly why I and it appears others do like it.
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Or carping about how they like it.  If you like it, are you right thinking?  And if you don't, just carping?

If you think the image is improved by the copyright thingy, that's fine.  Stick one on any image you want.  I just think it is not attractive or needed.

It is just personal taste.  And yours is no better than anyone else's.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: jjj on May 11, 2007, 08:34:24 PM
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Or carping about how they like it.  If you like it, are you right thinking?  And if you don't, just carping?
If you are beng positive, then by definition you aren't carping. The carping was not whether one didn't like it, but the inane comments about 'correct' exposure and being worthy of copyright.

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If you think the image is improved by the copyright thingy, that's fine.  Stick one on any image you want.  I just think it is not attractive or needed.
Duh! I don't think anyone expects a copyright mark to improve an image aesthetically. As it's deliberately meant to have the opposite effect. Besides it's about the only effective way to prevent images online, being stolen. Which does happen.  As for whether it's not worth nicking, the highest price ever paid for an image on Alamy is not an image one would think would be paid for at all, let alone a very large sum. The stupid remarks were regarding the worthiness of copyright, not how attractive the the mark made the image, which if you had read my post properly you would have realised.

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It is just personal taste.  And yours is no better than anyone else's.
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Did I say mine was better? Oh no no I didn't. I just observed we have differing tastes.  
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: couleur on May 13, 2007, 04:23:58 AM
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Whether you like the image or not, I don't think it has much market value.  If it does have a big market value, then it is much more likely this photographer would hear fro, other photographers, the building's owner and/or its architech.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116981\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Howiesmith, with full respect ,I never said I was a full time photographer in dealing with the selling prints. And I don't work for people either. This isn't a commission work or a paid job.

Photography is my passion, and this is my hobby. It doesn't need to have market value. It's just what I do that makes me happy keeps me going on.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 13, 2007, 10:56:26 AM
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Or carping about how they like it.  If you like it, are you right thinking?  And if you don't, just carping?

If you think the image is improved by the copyright thingy, that's fine.  Stick one on any image you want.  I just think it is not attractive or needed.

It is just personal taste.  And yours is no better than anyone else's.
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Howie, let's see some of your work so that we might understand where you are coming from, and decide how much weight to give to your comments.

Thanks.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: DarkPenguin on May 13, 2007, 11:05:25 AM
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Howie, let's see some of your work so that we might understand where you are coming from, and decide how much weight to give to your comments.

Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117271\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Is that like viewing "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" in order to decide if Roger Ebert can review movies?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 13, 2007, 12:55:04 PM
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Is that like viewing "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" in order to decide if Roger Ebert can review movies?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117277\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No, its not like that.  As a site for photographers to share information and help each other, it seems a basic prerequisite should be for people to show some images they have made so that comments have context.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 13, 2007, 02:30:35 PM
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Howie, let's see some of your work so that we might understand where you are coming from, and decide how much weight to give to your comments.

Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117271\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I seriously doubt you must see one of my images to better understand where I am coming from or whether my comment that the I think the corners are too dark has any validity.  Just look at the corners, read the comment, and then decide for yourself what you think.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 13, 2007, 02:45:44 PM
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Is that like viewing "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" in order to decide if Roger Ebert can review movies?
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I think it is more like having to see one of Roger Ebert's own movies before you can decide whether he knows enough about movies to give you his opinion.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: DarkPenguin on May 13, 2007, 03:39:39 PM
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I think it is more like having to see one of Roger Ebert's own movies before you can decide whether he knows enough about movies to give you his opinion.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117327\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

"Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is such a movie.  May Russ Meyers rest in peace.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 13, 2007, 08:47:20 PM
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"Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is such a movie.  May Russ Meyers rest in peace.
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Yes, and its out there, with his name on it (as writer or whatever it was).
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: BernardLanguillier on May 14, 2007, 02:54:20 AM
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I shot this a few weeks ago. It was during the afternoon, and it was also about to rain infect. Is there anything I could do to make it better?

(http://ic3.deviantart.com/files/f/2007/121/7/4/Emerald_Empire_by_couleur.jpg)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=116175\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I personnally like the image, except for 2 small details:

1. The white contrast edge on the left tower is distrating,
2. The sky on the right is darkened a bit too much, and because of this there isn't enough separation with the right tower.

Regards,
Bernard
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 14, 2007, 07:58:47 AM
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Howie, let's see some of your work so that we might understand where you are coming from, and decide how much weight to give to your comments.

Thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117271\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
One of the dumbest comments I have ever seen.  Why do you need to see one of my images to know whether you think the corners are too dark?  Just look and decide for yourself.  I don't even need to own a camera to think the corners are too dark.  

I think the sky looks strange in Starry Night.  Do I have to show you a painting before I can think?  Just dumb.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 14, 2007, 10:00:35 AM
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One of the dumbest comments I have ever seen.  Why do you need to see one of my images to know whether you think the corners are too dark?  Just look and decide for yourself.  I don't even need to own a camera to think the corners are too dark. 

I think the sky looks strange in Starry Night.  Do I have to show you a painting before I can think?  Just dumb.
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Its not that Howie, its that your comments usually strike me as condescending.  But now I know you are only a critic.  Was trying to be civil and you break out words like "dumb".  That's smart.  Great comment.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 14, 2007, 11:27:31 AM
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... your comments usually strike me as condescending.
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Why not just say what you mean?  So even I can understand what you meam.

++++++++++++++++++++++

To address Mr. Godman's opinion about not being civil. I want to change dumb to absurd and dumbest to most absurd.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on May 14, 2007, 04:33:09 PM
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The first two comments regarding the image posted I found a little strange, daft irrelevent comments about copyright worthiness and not looking natural.
Silly nit picking. The image looks like a good commercial or advertising image to me. Who cares if it looks 'natural'?

You're kind of missing the point of this forum, which is to present work and solicit opinions about it, with the idea of altering improving one's work technically and artistically. In my opinion, and that of several other respondents, the burning-in of the sky is overdone. If you want to disagree with that assessment, fine, but that doesn't make our opinion daft, strange, or irrelevant. It's not like God died and made you the ultimate arbiter of photographic artistic merit; have a bit of respect for dissenting opinion. There's a lot of experience in these forums.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 15, 2007, 12:58:14 AM
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One of the dumbest comments I have ever seen.  Why do you need to see one of my images to know whether you think the corners are too dark?  Just look and decide for yourself.  I don't even need to own a camera to think the corners are too dark. 

I think the sky looks strange in Starry Night.  Do I have to show you a painting before I can think?  Just dumb.
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I tend to agree with Howard here. You don't need to have produced a successful movie to be a film critic. You don't need to have written a successful novel to be a literary critic and you don't need to have composed a successful symphony to be a music critic.

What's at issue here is revenge. You've hurt my feelings and trashed my photo so I want to see one of your photos so I can trash it.

Having said that, many viewers might not be aware that the Petronus Towers is a political hot potato. It was constructed under the Mahatir regime as a symbol of Malaysia's readyness to be a fully developed country by 2020. At the time, it claimed to be the tallest building in the world.

This photo from Couleur could be regarded as a political statement. The excessively dark coners could represent the bottomless pit of white elephant construction, corruption and waste of resources, designed primarily to impress.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Robert Roaldi on May 15, 2007, 08:02:02 AM
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I tend to agree with Howard here. You don't need to have produced a successful movie to be a film critic. You don't need to have written a successful novel to be a literary critic and you don't need to have composed a successful symphony to be a music critic.

This is not untrue so far as it goes. But not all criticism is of equal value. The poster may have simply been trying to establish credentials to judge the validity of the opinions expressed. Since this is an open web forum, it's difficult, in general, to know who's talking. Asking for examples of Howie's own work may not be the best way to establish that of course. Being a good (or bad) photographer does not make one a good (or bad) critic or a good (or bad) teacher.

Howie does make a good point in that so long as one sticks to the notion "judge each argument on its own merit". A reader could then take his comments at face value (e.g., skies too dark) and make use of them (or not) at one own's discretion. This point of view seems perfectly valid. (For example, I regarded the opinion about the skies as a perfectly valid remark to make, but the comment about the copyright notice was beside the point and unnecessary, so I discounted it.)



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What's at issue here is revenge. You've hurt my feelings and trashed my photo so I want to see one of your photos so I can trash it.

This may have been the motivation but I didn't honestly read that in that poster's remarks.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 15, 2007, 08:22:54 AM
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This is not untrue so far as it goes. But not all criticism is of equal value. The poster may have simply been trying to establish credentials to judge the validity of the opinions expressed. Since this is an open web forum, it's difficult, in general, to know who's talking. Asking for examples of Howie's own work may not be the best way to establish that of course. Being a good (or bad) photographer does not make one a good (or bad) critic or a good (or bad) teacher.
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Well, that's exactly the point I was making. Supposing Howard were to display his best photo, perhaps a fluke that had won an award; the only really good photo he had taken in 40 years of photography.

Would that make perhaps a totally invalid criticism from Howard suddenly valid and meaningful? I think not.

My view is, accept the criticism gratefully, if it makes sense. Take it on board. If it doesn't make sense, argue like hell. Do not accept it.

By the way, that which is not untrue is true.  
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Robert Roaldi on May 15, 2007, 09:03:36 AM
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Would that make perhaps a totally invalid criticism from Howard suddenly valid and meaningful? I think not.

In general I agree, but it seems to me that there is a "validity" continuum between "invalid" and "valid". I would regard an opinion of my photo by MR to be more important than my mother's (who naturally loves everything I do).

I read the earlier poster's comments as a (problematic) way of establishing Howie's critical credentials. I assumed that he did this to help him gauge the importance of the critique.

Can we live without the critic's bio? Of course. But knowing something about your critics (e.g., Roger Ebert's long body of work) does affect how much importance one is going to attach to the criticism. As I wrote in my earlier post, not all opinions are of equal worth.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 15, 2007, 10:01:56 AM
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In general I agree, but it seems to me that there is a "validity" continuum between "invalid" and "valid". I would regard an opinion of my photo by MR to be more important than my mother's (who naturally loves everything I do).

I read the earlier poster's comments as a (problematic) way of establishing Howie's critical credentials. I assumed that he did this to help him gauge the importance of the critique.

Can we live without the critic's bio? Of course. But knowing something about your critics (e.g., Roger Ebert's long body of work) does affect how much importance one is going to attach to the criticism. As I wrote in my earlier post, not all opinions are of equal worth.
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I think the point is missed completely.  I didn't pass any artistic judgement, kile MR or Roger Ebert might.  I didn't say it was a "good movie."  I merely made some statements that could be seen; the corners are too datk, there is a white halo, some flair, etc.  And yes, the copyright.  The photographer and any other viewer can see these very same things if they look, and they can decide for themsleves whether my comments are valid.  I was merely assuming, apparently incorrectly, that one does not need Roger Ebert to tell them whether they like a particular movie or not.  "I like it because Ebert liked it."  Or "The corners aren't dark because MR didn't say they were."  Maybe I was expecting too much for some folks to think for themselves.

OK, I post an image.  It is my one and only good image.  Everybody who owns a camera has one image that proves thay are the next Adams.  Or maybe I just steal one.  (I have often thought it would be fun to post Moonrise and watch it get trashed.  Or maybe it is just a random sample from thousands of perfect images I have made.  But it is good, very good.  

Suddenly, I am credible?  I say the image has made no difference.  That perfect table top I show proves the sky is too dark?  Absurd.

Or my posted image is bad.  Suddenly I can't see a black sky or a white halo?

Simply put, if you can see and think for yourself, you don't need a sample of my work for you to decide for yourself whether the black sky is too dark or not.  You look, you see, and you decide for yourself.  If MR suddenly chimes in with teh sky is too dark, is it?  If the image is revealed as an original MR, is it suddenly "Wow, the best thing I have seen."?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 15, 2007, 10:18:05 AM
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As I wrote in my earlier post, not all opinions are of equal worth.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117666\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Now that's a very contentious issue, Robert, applying a 'worth' scale to an opinion. Maybe we should get Bill Janes on this job with some variation of the 'Subjective Quality Factor', SQF   .

Let's face it, when it comes to art, anything goes. You either like it or you don't. It's either meaningful or it isn't. You either think it's a good investment or not, and if you are a critic you think it might be improved by this adjustment or that.

Perhaps we're into a consensus of opinion here. If a photo sells well, there's a dollar vote that says it's good.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 15, 2007, 10:24:40 AM
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Simply put, if you can see and think for yourself, you don't need a sample of my work for you to decide for yourself whether the black sky is too dark or not.  You look, you see, and you decide for yourself.  If MR suddenly chimes in with teh sky is too dark, is it?  If the image is revealed as an original MR, is it suddenly "Wow, the best thing I have seen."?
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You might have missed the symbolism of this photo, Howie.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 15, 2007, 10:36:56 AM
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You might have missed the symbolism of this photo, Howie.
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I probably did.  I still think the sky is too dark.  You apparently see something I don't, so the sky isn't too dark.  It's just right.  Or maybe not dark enough.

You look, you see, you decide for yourself.  You didn't need a sample of my work to do that.  Did you?  Of course not, because you don't have a sample.  How did you do it?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 15, 2007, 10:44:17 AM
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You look, you see, you decide for yourself.  You didn't need a sample of my work to do that.  Did you?  Of course not, because you don't have a sample.  How did you do it?
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I think for myself and if you make an unjustified comment on any of my works, I'll let you know, okay?  
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 15, 2007, 11:12:09 AM
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... if you make an unjustified comment on any of my works, I'll let you know, okay? 
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Sure, but I won't make any comments.

But how can you say my opinion is unjustified, unless I say something like the sky is too dark, and there is no sky.  Otherwise, aren't you saying your opinion is somehow better than mine?

+++++++++++++++

I suppose I may miss some "symbolism" you think is there.  Like the Towers.  It is my opinion photos should stand on there own.  No explanations.  Afterall, you may not always be there to straighten out the viewer or the viewer may not read a caption.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 15, 2007, 08:36:09 PM
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But how can you say my opinion is unjustified, unless I say something like the sky is too dark, and there is no sky.  Otherwise, aren't you saying your opinion is somehow better than mine?
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Maybe I am... at least better for me in the circumstances where my opinion is different. Are you advocating a position where all opinions are equal?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 15, 2007, 09:28:35 PM
Hello everyone-

If this was a site full of doctors giving medical advice, wouldn't it be expected that some credentials be presented?  At least something?  What I love about this site is the free exchange of information.  I feel this would be an even higher quality exchange if the anonymity were removed.

Also, I'm sure I could have brought this up in a much better way, but I was a bit tired of reading posts that seemed rude, and I fell victim to a quick and not very thought out post.  It was not solely about the one dark corner comment.  

Further, I don't think the photographer intended for the image to be only a record of a building.  Maybe if he was hired to shoot the towers for an encyclopedia, his point of view, time of day etc., would have been different.

Legal issues came up somewhere along the way.  If a particular poster is versed in legal issues of Kuala Lumpur, it would be nice if that was reinforced by nowing where the person lives, profession, and past experience.

Is this unreasonable?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: BernardLanguillier on May 15, 2007, 10:43:47 PM
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If this was a site full of doctors giving medical advice, wouldn't it be expected that some credentials be presented?  At least something?  What I love about this site is the free exchange of information.  I feel this would be an even higher quality exchange if the anonymity were removed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117794\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I fully agree with you. Avatars are one of the plague of web forums.

As far as critiquing goes, there are 2 different things here:

1. Try to help someone improve. Providing critiques on someone else's work is a very difficult task to handle. The key is probably not to try to make somebody else's work match our own, but to provide advice that can let a person grow along the path he/she has chosen.

2. Sharing one's own feelinga about an image. That is also useful as it gives some visibility about how other perceive an image. This can help assessing the potential for sales for instance.

It is totally obvious to me though that an artist can produce high quality work even if it pleases very few viewers. In other words, even if a piece doesn't sell, it doesn't mean that it is not a valid artistic statment within the path chosen by a given artist.

Regards,
Bernard
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 16, 2007, 12:37:49 AM
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If this was a site full of doctors giving medical advice, wouldn't it be expected that some credentials be presented?  At least something?  What I love about this site is the free exchange of information.  I feel this would be an even higher quality exchange if the anonymity were removed.
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Last time I checked, this is not a website for doctors offering medical advice, nor did I give anyone any medical advice.  I said I thought the corners were too dark, not take a few deep breaths and I will remove your tonsels.  I didn't even offer instructions for the DIYer on how to remove their appendix with a bottle of Scotch and a razor blade.

Most websites do not require any type of credibilty to offer advice.  You get what you get and you, the read, can do whatever you want to do with it.  What are the necessary and minimum creds for offering the corners are too dark?

I have never posted an anonymous post.  My name is Howard Smith, not all that hard to figure out from my login name of howiesmith.  But then you have no idea if that is my name or not, do you.  Any more than I know if your name really is James Godman.  No need to prove it because I have long ago stopped caring, if I ever did.  And I am not about to post a copy of my passport.

I have never even hinted that I am a legal expert.  In fact, if you took time to read this thread, you would see that I have provided a disclamer to being a patent/copyright lawyer.  I am fluent in English, can't prove that, do I can read.  I do not have an MFA from a prestegius university.  Never claimed I do, so I can't, of course, prove I don't.  That you will just have to take on faith.

OK. I give up.  The corners are perfect.  The white halo is perfect.  The lens flair is perfect.  Except the copyright might not be located properly or might not be big enough.  If I wanted to steal this image, I might just crop it out.  No. I think it is both attractive and perfect.  A nice effort.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 16, 2007, 02:54:17 AM
Howard,
I've just gone back to the beginning of the thread to see what all the fuss is about.

This is what you wrote.

Quote
Technically, it looks OK.

The upper corners are too dark. There is a white halo around parts of the building. There is some flair in the upper center that doesn't seem to add value.

The copyright and name don't add anything to the image. There are plenty of images of this building. It may be that your image isn't significantly different enough from some of those to earn a copyright. MAybe you don't own a coyright. While the image could get stolen, would you really be harmrf?

The first paragraph is a reasonable comment. The corners probably are a little too dark. There is a halo along the left tower. These are technical details that could be fixed, although these comments from you look a little odd in relation to your opening sentence, 'Technically, it looks okay', so one might wonder, if it looks okay technically, why have you made some technical criticisms.

But your second paragraph is just mean spirited. You are effectively trashing the guy's image. You are implying that it might be so common place it's not worth copyrighting.

I find the image is powerful and taken from an interesting perspective.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 16, 2007, 03:03:02 AM
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If this was a site full of doctors giving medical advice, wouldn't it be expected that some credentials be presented?  At least something?  What I love about this site is the free exchange of information.  I feel this would be an even higher quality exchange if the anonymity were removed.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=117794\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

James,
I agree with Howard on this issue. Art is in a different category to life threatening situations where the utmost competence is required.

This is entertainment, isn't it?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 16, 2007, 03:33:12 AM
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James,
I agree with Howard on this issue. Art is in a different category to life threatening situations where the utmost competence is required.

This is entertainment, isn't it?
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That's cool Ray, and thanks for pointing out and clarifying why I initially got a bit pissed off.

Oh, and you mean this thread is entertainment, right?  Absolutely!  If you mean photography in general, then yes, but I also make a living at it.  I'm very lucky to be doing so.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 16, 2007, 03:35:50 AM
...and please don't tell my clients that the utmost competence is not required.  Okay?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 16, 2007, 10:03:33 AM
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The copyright and name don't add anything to the image.  There are plenty of images of this building.  It may be that your image isn't significantly different enough from some of those to earn a copyright.  MAybe you don't own a coyright.  While the image could get stolen, would you really be harmrf?

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Ray, I think I said the image may not be original enough to be copyrighted and that maybe someone else already owns the copyright.

I did NOT say the image isn't worth a copyright.

+++++++++++++++

Some additional info.   U.S. copyright law is explicit about making what is called a derivative work -- a work based or derived from another already copyrighted work -- is the exclusive province of the owner of the original copyright. This is true even though the new work is a highly creative work.  So this image of the Petronas Towers may, may violate copyright law.  Did I say may violate?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: couleur on May 20, 2007, 11:29:28 AM
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Ray, I think I said the image may not be original enough to be copyrighted and that maybe someone else already owns the copyright.

I did NOT say the image isn't worth a copyright.

+++++++++++++++

Some additional info.   U.S. copyright law is explicit about making what is called a derivative work -- a work based or derived from another already copyrighted work -- is the exclusive province of the owner of the original copyright. This is true even though the new work is a highly creative work.  So this image of the Petronas Towers may, may violate copyright law.  Did I say may violate?
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So when I use a digital camera to shoot Ferrari's in a motor show and display them online with my copyright imprint on it. Ferrari has the right to sue me for it?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 20, 2007, 06:58:40 PM
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So when I use a digital camera to shoot Ferrari's in a motor show and display them online with my copyright imprint on it. Ferrari has the right to sue me for it?
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I imagine that copyright laws will vary significantly from country to country. I find it difficult to believe that it would ever be the case that a scene of a much photographed subject cannot be copyrighted simply because someone before you has taken a similar shot. There are always going to be some differences in every shot of the same scene.

Whilst it's likely that other people before you have taken a similar shot of the Petronus Twin Towers showing a similar perspective, it's virtually impossible that features such as the sky would be identical and perhaps unlikely that the image would be as dark and contrasty as yours.

However, who knows what's likely in the US.  America is probably the most litigious country in the world. I imagine if anyone in America had taken a shot similar to yours, in respect of dramatic perspective, threatening sky and sombre mood, and had copyrighted it first, he/she might well take you to court, and if you were both wealthy enough, you could spend millions of dollars on lawyers fees slugging it out. The prosecution would claim that you had seen the plaintiff's work first and deliberately tried to model your shot on it, in as much detail as possible. You as defendant would claim that you had drawn inspiration for your shot from a multitude of earlier works from famous photographers and painters, examples of which would be exhibited in the court as evidence, and that any similarity (with regard to artisitc intent) between the plaintiff's work and yours was pure coincidence.

Photographing a Ferrari, or any branded product, might be a completely different situation, if the branded product is the main subject and the brand name is clearly visible. Did Andy Warhol have copyright on his almost photographic paintings of Cambell's tins of soup?
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 22, 2007, 02:05:27 PM
I cut/pasted this from a website for a service that registers copyrights for you for a fee.

"The United States has copyright treaties with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, each country respects the copyrights of the others. Currently, a U.S. copyright is honoured in 190 countries around the world."

I have no idea about which these 190 countries are or whether they honor copyrights between themselves.

+++++++++++++++++++

A resonable estimate is there are 194 countries in the world today.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 22, 2007, 11:23:40 PM
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I cut/pasted this from a website for a service that registers copyrights for you for a fee.

"The United States has copyright treaties with most countries throughout the world, and as a result of these agreements, each country respects the copyrights of the others. Currently, a U.S. copyright is honoured in 190 countries around the world."

I have no idea about which these 190 countries are or whether they honor copyrights between themselves.

+++++++++++++++++++

A resonable estimate is there are 194 countries in the world today.
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Howard,
You're kidding me. Right? The agreements might be in place, but the reality is quite different. The governments of underdeveloped countries are not motivated towards prosecuting their own impoverished citizens in order to help fill the pockets of people in the West who are perceived as being already considerably more wealthy.

But we are getting off the track. Do most photographers actually register the copyright of their photos? This might be an important point I have overlooked. Are you saying, I do not have a copyright on any of my images unless I have gone to the trouble and expense of registering such a copyright?

Incidentally, when I recently visited the 'Project Gutenberg' site where huge amounts of out-of-copyright literature is available for free download, there's always a warning to the effect that, whilst the material might be out of copyright in the US, it may not be so in your own country.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 23, 2007, 10:17:34 AM
It is my understamding, and you need to verify this for yourself, that I do not need to register a copyright on my photographs.  A copyright happens when the photograph is taken.

My only point, and you need to verify this for yourself, is I cannot copyright something that is already copyrighted.

I cannot speak for anyone else, what may be true in your country, and certainly not what you imagine is true.

As for my last post, I was not kidding.  I actually did cut/paste that item.  The text cut/pasted is not mine, just as I said.  I really do think there are about 194 countries in the world (no kidding).

A copyright in the US may be honored in country A, and I have no opinion or idea whether a copyright in country A will be honored anywhere, even in country A.

+++++++++++++++

It is also my understanding, and you will need to verify this for yourself and the country of your interest, that prosecuting copyright infringement is a civil, not criminal, matter and not prosecuted by the government.  You have to take care of your own copyright and defend yourself.  It is also my opinion, and yours may be different, that the impoverished of third world countries rarely try to make money by stealing copyrighted photos.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 23, 2007, 04:56:01 PM
I'm not a lawyer, but just to clear things up a bit, it is my undertanding that in the United States, the infringed work must be registered in order to bring a case against the offending party.  Further, one's case is strengthened if the work was registered prior to the infringement, and the plaintiff is more likely to be awarded statutory damages.  However, one may also register after an infringement.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 23, 2007, 05:08:33 PM
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It is my understamding, and you need to verify this for yourself, that I do not need to register a copyright on my photographs.  A copyright happens when the photograph is taken.

My only point, and you need to verify this for yourself, is I cannot copyright something that is already copyrighted.

What are you trying to say, Howard? I don't need to register a copyright on my photos and I cannot copyright something that is already copyrighted. The two statements might be true but the circumstances are different. I don't see how the second statement could apply to Couleur's photo. He's got a copyright by virtue of the fact he's taken the photo.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 23, 2007, 05:15:17 PM
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What are you trying to say, Howard? I don't need to register a copyright on my photos and I cannot copyright something that is already copyrighted. The two statements might be true but the circumstances are different. I don't see how the second statement could apply to Couleur's photo. He's got a copyright by virtue of the fact he's taken the photo.
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I said exactly what I was trying to say.  "... you need to verify this for yourself... "
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: bdkphoto on May 23, 2007, 05:54:47 PM
If you are actually interested in copyright  (for the US) and how it applies to photography, there are some great resources at www.asmp.org, www.editorialphoto.com and of course the Library of Congress where you actually register the images.  

If you transact business with your photography it is essential to register the images with the LOC to afford yourself the ability to go to court if there is an infringement. See James Godman's post, he is correct.


Registration is simply part of doing business, and is the best way to protect your work if you place any value on it.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 23, 2007, 06:55:03 PM
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If you transact business with your photography it is essential to register the images with the LOC to afford yourself the ability to go to court if there is an infringement. See James Godman's post, he is correct.
Registration is simply part of doing business, and is the best way to protect your work if you place any value on it.
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Okay! Now we're getting somewhere. Regarding Couleur's situation, a professional photographer with business interests to protect might already have registered a copyright on a very similar image of the Petronus Twin Towers.

If Couleur were to also try to register his copyright, the copyright might not be accepted because it is too similar to one already copyrighted. Presumably there are employees in the copyright office who are making some sort of artistic judgement on such issues. Didn't know this sort of thing happened. Seems a very expensive process to me.

I take it that Howard is not saying that anyone who takes a photo and tries to profit from it is putting himself/herself at risk of being sued because it is coincidentally very similar to one which has been registered in the copyrights office.

Are there any precedents for such a situation where a photographer has innocently taken a shot of a well known public attraction, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Eiffel Tower etc, and subsequently been taken to court by another photographer on the grounds that the other photographer took a very similar, almost identical shot from the same position and angle first?

Seems a bit farcical to me.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: bdkphoto on May 23, 2007, 07:40:33 PM
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Okay! Now we're getting somewhere. Regarding Couleur's situation, a professional photographer with business interests to protect might already have registered a copyright on a very similar image of the Petronus Twin Towers.

If Couleur were to also try to register his copyright, the copyright might not be accepted because it is too similar to one already copyrighted. Presumably there are employees in the copyright office who are making some sort of artistic judgement on such issues. Didn't know this sort of thing happened. Seems a very expensive process to me.

I take it that Howard is not saying that anyone who takes a photo and tries to profit from it is putting himself/herself at risk of being sued because it is coincidentally very similar to one which has been registered in the copyrights office.

Are there any precedents for such a situation where a photographer has innocently taken a shot of a well known public attraction, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Eiffel Tower etc, and subsequently been taken to court by another photographer on the grounds that the other photographer took a very similar, almost identical shot from the same position and angle first?

Seems a bit farcical to me.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a] (http://index.php?act=findpost&pid=119280\")


AFAIK the LOC does not check images against one another.  Visit the links and read. There are a lot of interesting cases of infringment, and rather than making up all these hypotheticals, read about some of the real cases and how and why they were resolved. There have been many cases where similar images have been litigated. Here's a recent story.  [a href=\"http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003581213]http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/arti...t_id=1003581213[/url] If this ad was created in the US there would be a compelling case for infringment.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: James Godman on May 23, 2007, 08:04:39 PM
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Presumably there are employees in the copyright office who are making some sort of artistic judgement on such issues. Didn't know this sort of thing happened. Seems a very expensive process to me.
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I'm fairly sure nobody is making aesthetic judgements at the copyright office.  This judgement would  be determined by a judge, armed with the registration information like date etc., in case of a conflict.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: howiesmith on May 23, 2007, 09:19:32 PM
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I take it that Howard is not saying that anyone who takes a photo and tries to profit from it is putting himself/herself at risk of being sued because it is coincidentally very similar to one which has been registered in the copyrights office.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=119280\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You need to verify this for yourself.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 23, 2007, 10:20:35 PM
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There have been many cases where similar images have been litigated. Here's a recent story.  http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/arti...t_id=1003581213 (http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/newswire/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003581213) If this ad was created in the US there would be a compelling case for infringment.
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I'm not sure there would be. The article makes the point that crying children and photographic styles are not a matter of copyright in the US.

However, in studio situations where various creative props and backgrounds are deliberately created for a particular effect, including say a particular hat and dress and color scheme so it becomes obvious that one photo is a deliberate copy of another, I can appreciate that there could be a case for infringement of copyright.

That is not the same situation with shots of public places which are as they are. I find it absurd that anyone could have a copyright on a particular perspective of the Twin Towers, or a perspective plus a time of day.
Title: Petronas Twin Towers
Post by: Ray on May 23, 2007, 10:24:25 PM
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You need to verify this for yourself.
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I have no such need Howard since I'm not in the business of trying to make exact copies of other artists' work, but I am nevertheless influenced by all sorts of styles.