After reading a few comments by an upset photographer who was infuriated at a painter for recreating his image, my first though was, no big deal, the landscape isn’t going anywhere. Before reading these comments, I had also given permission to a friend of a friend (who I’ve never met) to recreated some of my own images as their own paintings. For personal and non commercial practices, it’s harmless and flattering.
But when does it cross the fair use line because after the first few paintings, it became complicated when a local print lab requested permission to print the files from my website. While this still doesn’t bother me in theory, and feel free to print web files at home, I decided to decline permission to a professional print lab.
Today’s Image – Damen
But what if the tables are turned? Photographers copy photographers all the time. Long before I owned a camera and for lack of better terms, Bert Monroy has been a long time hero of mine and the reason I started using Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. Bert is a digital painter who creates realistic digital paintings with more details than most printers can handle. In my copycat mindset, the last time I was in Chicago, I made an effort to take the blue line out to the Daemon stop to experience one of Berts paintings in person. This painting completed in 2006 made photoshop news around the world for the shear volume of numbers. 120 inches long, 1.7GB when flattened, 11 months and 2,000 hours to create, 15,000 photoshop layers, 500 alpha channels and 250,000 paths. It was incredible.
However, while sitting there at the station, I took my own photo. Whether it was to compare later or simply to say “I was here”, the complete composition of the image I made that day was the direct result of Bert’s interpretation of the scene. I’ll never hide this fact but is that copyright infringement?
An interesting debate.