I am contemplating not post any more of my pictures on tumblr or slapping a big fat watermark smack in the middle of my photographs if they are going on the web. Why should I have to do that or contemplate doing that?
In the past few days I have come across the work of some photographers I know who do great work, as well as work of my own, that have been altered to exclude the watermark. I simply don’t understand why people do this sort of thing. If the watermark bothers you then don’t post the picture. When you do that I am inclined to believe you are trying to pass someone elses’ work off as your own or some other sinister motive. If it’s in colour, that’s the way the photographer intended it. Converting it to Black and White shows nothing but contempt for the photographer no matter what you may think. People who claim to appreciate art or beauty who do this sort of thing really do not.
I visited one tumblr site today and the blogger posted a photo taken by a photographer (without accreditation or sourcing) whose work I know very well and respect a lot. It is a beautiful image. The image has been cropped to exclude his watermark which in turn destroys the balance of the photo. The worst bit it that the blogger captioned it “a brilliant piece of work” or words to that effect. If that’s the blogger’s opinion then why tamper with the image. It is idiotic and shows a lack of respect. There was work from at least five photographers I know on this person’s tumblr with all the watermarks cropped out.
Just because images can be found on the web doesn’t mean they have to be treated with contempt - especially when you have a disclaimer on your page saying none of the pictures belongs to you unless indicated otherwise.
This would be like taking part of a musician’s recording, altering it, and using it in a way not intended by the original artist and not giving proper credit. Oh wait a sec…
Collectively we’ve lost appreciation and respect for creative works, especially as technology makes it easier for amateurs to participate.
On one hand, every artist has to learn to deal with this sort of thing. The better your work, the more people are going to want to use it, alter it, share it for free, etc. Most often the problem isn’t that hundreds of people are stealing your work, it’s that they’re not.
On the other hand, the public needs to understand that not everything is created with a plug-in or filter, but with a honed sense of artistry, purpose, hard work, and talent.
Welp, a legitimate reason not to buy Tom’s. Reading the info it sounds like Tom’s work is largely faith based. I tend to see this as problematic because it draws a very very fine line between what he’s doing to missionary work aka imposing your religion on poor communities of color.
Not to mention the way they’re taking away business from local shoe makers.