Recently, I was served up a plate of irony-flavoured humble pie which had me looking quite the hypocrite. These are the five steps which occurred which you may take note of in order to avoid the same situation.
Step 1: Make a frivolous post on facebook about how you think someone else may have directly copied your composition in an image. Poke plenty of fun at the vanishingly small possibility that the so called copycat may have done it purely by chance.
(See facebook status update from September 28)
Step 2: Post an image with a story indicating just how awesomely innovative and original you were in achieving ‘your’ shot from a commonly shot location. The description as follows :
“This is the classic view of Mount Cook from Peter’s Lookout about 30km from the national park. On this morning, I was hoping to capture some car trails in one composition but there were no cars driving by at this hour! I had taken my desired composition from the centre of the road but knew that it would be too dangerous to be taking light trail images from that position. I moved everything to a traffic island in the slip lane and set the camera up for 1 minute exposure time lapse sequences. Then, it was a question of synching with my watch so that I could drive by at the right speed (which ended up being 60km/h) to maximise my lights in the frame but end up just out frame at either end. In the end, I was lucky to get this on the first go and took many more frames with changing light as the clear dawn approached. I hope you like this result which is a blend of three images (one without the cars, one with the car approaching , one with the car departing)”
2b :Post the image on multiple social media platforms with the same caption too.
Step 3: Have it pointed out that someone else has potentially shot the same scene in the same way! Even the title of the image is almost the same! Even the description of how it was shot was almost the same!!! Start feeling like a hippo.
Step 4: Look at the image in question and realise that a) it looks like you’ve pretty much ripped off the concept and execution from that person b) at some stage you’ve even liked and faved the image on 500px so you must have seen it before or done it during a button clicking frenzy ….c) realise that the image in question is from a high profile shooter , none other than Elia Locardi! d) you are now possibly the biggest, fattest hippo that might be found in the southern hemisphere.
Step 5: Contact Elia in embarrassment but fortunately, Elia is a complete and utter champion about the whole incident and it’s all water under the bridge. Big fat hippo deflated, phew!
So here’s my take on the theme of ‘comp stomping’. With the number of images online being displayed these days, photographers with a high profile can almost expect that some of their photographs containing unique compositions and locations will be attempted by others. While in many cases, the act is a direct attempt to copy, in many instances stars will simply align and two (or more ) photographers may well spot the same composition from a same scene and record the scene in a similar fashion. In this instance, it was pretty much a freak occurrence since I had only arrived at this spot after a preferred location failed. I started shooting here without any preconceived ideas but when shooting the scene as a light trail scene entered the equation, I subsequently noted almost the same obstacles as Elia which needed to be overcome in the same manner! So if you ever suspect a comp-stomp moment, perhaps take the chance to reflect upon whether it may be by chance and what it would gain to ‘call out’ the alleged copycat even if you think it was an attempt to recreate ‘your’ photograph. Remember, there is no copyright on composition and you should probably have enough faith in your ability that the scene was impactful enough for people to even attempt a repeat. If you’re on the other side, perhaps a little credit to the photographer with the original idea might not hurt . Big thanks to Elia for being such a pro about this and to the person who pointed out Elia’s shot who would probably rather remain anonymous in this context! I am now back to being skinny 60kg me rather than a two tonne hypocrite.
Another image from that morning : (which by the way , was inspired by an old Kah Kit Yoong shot!)
We’re about to head off to New Zealand for 2 weeks and haven’t really gone through the events of our last trip.
Here’s a sample of what we got up to
Day 1 :On the road by 8am , arrived at Halls Gap at 1630 and grey conditions meant an early night to start off with. Dylan consigned to couch with coughing fits. Everyone else with vague low grade fevers from child care and school bugs.
Day 2: Morning attempt at Reid’s lookout . Greyed out so I headed to Boroka lookout where there was at least some light above the mist!
Day 2: Mid morning : A short walk with the kids to Silverband falls where there was some nice mist
Day 2: Early afternoon: Raining and a quick walk to Splitters falls from Wonderland. No light in the evening so we stayed in.
Day 3: Early morning walk in the dark to the Pinnacles. Got lost for a little while before witnessing some awesome light! A trip back through the little ‘Grand Canyon’ on the way down.
Day 3: Mid morning : Family trip to Mackenzie falls which was crawling with long weekend tourists. Time to get creative!
Day 3: Afternoon : Mistaken route to Mount William resulted in a detour to the base of the mountain. Great light, too rushed to get anything good!
Day 4: All day driving to the snow . 0800-1900 including some crawling through blowing snow and whiteout conditions.
Day 5: Dawn foray to witness ongoing whiteout conditions. No images
Day 5: Daytime adventures on the Dinner Plain toboggan slopes and some drive by attempts photography with screaming Jaime not liking the cold.
Day 5: Evening : Weather finally begins to clear but cleared too much! Finally, we see Mount Feathertop
Day 6: Predawn drive to Mt Buffalo delayed by whiteout coming down Mt Hotham where it was powdery. Clear view of the Cathedral . Quick stop by Eurobin creek .
Day 6: Afternoon trip back down to Mt Buffalo where we wanted to take the kids outdoors since the weather was good. Lady’s bath falls and the Castle were all we could fit in. Long drive back and a late night for the kids
Day 7: Marianne ventures out for a dawn shoot of Feathertop. More daytime action on the Dinner Plain toboggan slopes. Afternoon foray to Carmichael Falls. Stayed in for a clear sunset
Day 8 : Clear predawn for some astro photography. Both of us had shot dawn in the area so after shooting stars and moonrise, went back to sleep in preparation for long drive to the Ocean Road.
Day 8 : Travel all day from 0800-1830. Along the way, some amazing mist at Smoko.
Day 9: Predawn stars visible from our accommodation but overcast at Gibson’s Steps. Attempted night selfies, tried to find a different take of the apostles for dawn.
Day 9: Waterfalls during the day! Hopetoun Falls shoot cut short by Jaime horizontal tantrum. Lunch at the Nouri-shed before tackling Beauchamp falls with Marianne doing the photography.
Day 9: Evening : Dash to Gibsons steps as Charlotte wanted to collect shells. Marianne shoots Gibsons steps from the beach for the first time (previous trip she was 37 weeks pregnant and stayed on the platform).
Day 10: Morning : Lost filter holder at Loch Ard Gorge
Day 10 : Drive to Apollo Bay to wander around and for lunch after a visit to Carisbrook falls. Kids getting grumpy as we arrived at Marinner’s falls carpark and track is officially closed. I dashed off on a 40 minute mission and snap like crazy , drive back sweaty with kids complaining of stinky daddy. Chocolate Factory next!
Day 10: Sunset shot at Wreck Beach which ended up being one of those ‘unsets’
Day 11: Stayed in preparing for relatively shorter drive to Robe. Heavy rain all the way!
Day 11: Evening. Quick wander out to the Obelisk to refamiliarise myself with the area and boom, a ribbon of light!
Day 12: Dawn: Super light threatened pre dawn but fizzled out. Tide was uncomfortably high.
Day 12 Day: Various wanderings around town but mainly rested .
Day 12 Evening : Afternoon shoot at the Obelisk before attempting to find a different area to shoot for future visits.
Day 13: Dawn: Attempted milky way shoot at the Obelisk obscured by clouds. Dawn looked like a fizzer and then exploded!
Day 13: Day : End of trip and our illnesses all cleared up before returning in the middle of winter with vengeance a week after return! Oh and a rainbow to farewell us from the road ! Bring on New Zealand!!!! 24 hours to go now before we potentially leave for a trip healthy for the first time we can remember.