Wednesday, May 11, 2016

On Being Megalomaniacally Magnanimous

Have been following a Facebook post of a friend regarding someone taking their personal work and reposting it. Apparently some comments added by others say that they have had work ‘misappropriated’ and even had the watermark removed.

When you hang out on photography related sites you hear a lot about this happening so it is something that I addressed to my own satisfaction long ago. I replied to the Facebook post this morning that I solved the problem by simply admiring my ‘friends’ good taste and accepting their compliment.

If someone uses my work it doesn’t diminish me in anyway so I see it as moot point whether it is someone that I know or not. I have to admit they have a remarkable eye for excellent photography and I never turn down a friend with a good photography eye—need all I can get.

There is a site that I have been posting to since 2002. Although I haven’t posted much since I started the blog I have 4600 photos there. A few years ago I received a portfolio comment from what I assume is a young man from another country. He was very complimentary of my work and mentioned that he had download almost all of my images but would be back shortly to download the remaining images. It didn’t bother me. It doesn’t bother me if he reposts my images as his—I trust that he won’t.

Many address this problem by watermarking or using large signatures. That would seem to work. But I have no intentions of disfiguring my photos.
As most who know me well understand that I am, as my first wife pointed out, a megalomaniac, although I prefer to think of it as being more quietly egomaniacal. I do think I’m pretty good at what I do. I frequently go through my stash of photographs and think to myself ‘damn you’re good, Woodard.’ Truthfully there are times when I amaze myself. I look at my older work and think to myself, ‘geeze, you thought you were good when you did this but you had no idea of how really, really good you were.’ However I also agree with (I believe it was) Ansel Adams who said that even at his level of talent you should only expect to turn out three to six really exceptional images in a years’ time. I say that, then I say, ‘Woodard, whoa! You’re doing that every week!!!’ Okay, I’m using hyperbole (but only slightly, my writing frequently requires a disclaimer as explanation or subterfuge, everwhat). Maybe simply sharing this degree of talent with someone who would wish to pass my work off as theirs simply adds to my almost god like magnanimity. I have done a good thing.

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