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Ethical Considerations

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  • Ethical Considerations

    EVERYONE: It seems as though every new advance in technology is accompanied by abuses,as, the ethical"instruction manual",as it were, is generally not "shipped" with the technology in question. Digital retouching on a mass scale and avaliable to the general public is, I think, a good example. Brand new and just trying its wings.What are your thoughts on a code of ethics as regards the use of these powerful programs? Are there image manipulations which are "out of Bounds" or is all protected free expression? Is it a matter of personal choice or are there higher considerations to contemplate and use as guides? This is a serious subject, I think, and everyone from beginner to seasoned Pro should weigh in on it. A photo is a very powerful thing for good and for not so good uses. What is your take on this? Tom

  • #2
    I generally consider copyrighted material off limits but in a few cases were friends and family were concerned, I have crossed that line. I made no money on it and it's not something I would do for just anyone. I wouldn't want anyone to undercut me that way so I try not to do it to others. But you are right, where do we cross the line? It's a tough question.


    • #3
      we draw the line at money.

      that is obvious I would have thought. As long one is not trying to profit from an image, and gives credit to the original artist/photographer I don't see the issue. Blatant plagerism, where one intentionally steals an image in order to profit from is wrong and should be frowned upon. generally speaking, most artists allow use of their work as long as it is not used commercially, i.e. for making money. Most artists appreciate the extra awareness created by people using their work I would think.

      Common sense rules as always..

      just my 0.2cents ~Vp~


      • #4
        Well, there's absolute ethics (ie: law, copyright, privacy, etc.) and relative (or personal). You've all seen the hoops I jump through to stay within the law here. The personal ethics are trickier.

        I was recently emailed via my biz site by a hunter that wanted me to take a picture of him with a large animal he'd killed and remove a deep shadow and retouch out the antlers. I suspected something was up about the antlers, but mostly I was just repelled by the photo. I emailed him back with my apologies, refusing the job.

        He wrote a very long, calm letter telling me exactly how stupid I was and how dishonest my website was (since I didn't explicitly state "no murdered animal retouching" or something).

        Even if I was a big fan of hunting I'd have been hesitant about the antler thing, and would have needed that cleared up first.
        Learn by teaching
        Take responsibility for learning


        • #5
          I recently was asked what it would cost to take two pictures and combine them. It seems they were of a husband and wife who got along well enough to have two kids then, although never divorcing, kept out of each others way for the next 40 years. No pictures of them together were ever taken as they BOTH refused to be photographed together. One of their children now wants a picture of them together and both are still alive and adament about NO PICTURES. Currently I am sitting on the fence about this one. Any ideas? Tom


          • #6
            how 'bout the golden rule. really.


            • #7
              Well, if you know the opinion of the subjects, who technically own their likenesses, you'd probably be better off heeding that.

              That's a toughy, though.
              Learn by teaching
              Take responsibility for learning


              • #8
                I rather doubt I will be seeing the folks again as the price I quoted was predictably more than they were willing to pay, read that as anything over $5 = TOO HIGH. But I wanted some input anyhow. Ethics are a quagmire of emotion,legality and common sense with a healthy dollop of higher considerations thrown in, and to avoid getting tangled in that web I like to find out what others think and what their suggestions are. What helps one can certainly help all. Tom


                • #9
                  Well I just had to make one last stop at the forum before I head for cool Colorado.


                  I love the anything more than $5...we really are from the same type of area. Even down to the couple who avoided each other for 40 years...have a couple just like that here. I guess I would probably suggest to the kids that maybe using a picture fram that holds 2 pictures and put one of each parent in there might be the best route to go. They could have the background blurred and have them vingetted (sp?) and a matting put in and it would really dress it up. This is of course if it's a picture they have taken and have the negatives. If they don't have pictures of the parents they've taken then just putting them in the frame without retouching would still work. As I believe DJ said in another forum, everyone today is sue crazy and I do believe this to be very true. I stick with the rule of thumb that if they have no negative then they sign a release.


                  Good choice on the antler decision. Sounds like someone was trying for a Boone and Crockett rating which is the cream of the crop in the hunting world. I have a customer who not too long ago received a B&C rating on a buck he killed...but luckily it was his buck and the picture was definitely not manipulated.

                  The work we all do is a specialized type of thing that a few customers will try to use for their own not so legitimate purposes. Just one of those things in life I guess where we have to ask questions and then ask more questions and be extra careful.

                  See you all when I get back.


                  • #10
                    i wish you were stopping by one more one more time because i think yours is a beautiful and creative suggestion.

                    i'm in $5 country too, by the way. whatcha gonna do?


                    • #11
                      I suspect you hit it on the head about the Boone and Crockett Chris. For the small amount some folks want to pay it is tempting to give them a burned stick, some colored clay and tell them to draw a reproduction of their photo on the nearest cave wall. Tom


                      • #12
                        i had this sudden image of you standing on your porch, tearing your hair, beating your chest, yelling "philistines! philistines! philistines! i'm surrounded by philistines!"


                        • #13
                          make that bellowing


                          • #14
                            Okay -- everyone who is *not* in $5.00 or under territory, stand up. Did you hear me? Stand up! Where did everyone go?



                            • #15
                              I live in one of the ritziest towns in the US and $5 is just toooo much to spend. (OK not in it exactly more like in the outskirts of it) Now maybe if I had a French Designer Label on my work that would be different. Hey.... maybe I'm on to something here.


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