I have watched a great show today called THE GRID which is a weekly show about photography.
Scott Kelby, CEO of Kelby ONE, animates this show with his colleague RC Conception and had the privilege and the honor to have Lindsay Adler as star guest.
Please check who they are by clicking the links.
This time the topic was ” INSPIRATION, WHEN IS IT COPYING OR CREATING ?”
That’s indeed a great topic. And there were a lot of things going on in this show. And many of these points are not only ruling for photography but for many others creative issues.
The show starts by having Lindsay showing 2 pictures : one she did and a remake done by anyone who posted it on the internet.
Here my thoughts about this :
As long as it is has nothing to do with business, I do not see any harm done.
Copying is a learning process. You learn technic that are obviously good with the purpose to use them later with other elements picked up somewhere else. This will define your style. No harm done.
Now, it’s time to define what makes a picture to be YOUR shot. Is it the light? Is it the make up? Is it the expression/connection with/of the model?, the dress? The all thing? Whose credit is this actually? Think twice ! The answer is not so easy to give as it appears at first glance.
I have already visited workshop to learn technic, and sometimes just to get inspired. The teacher had great ideas about posing and lighting and I did learn a lot and it helped me on my way to the next level. But my point is that, at the end of the day, my pics where better than his. Humm… He had the ideas, the light setups…
Is taking ideas and making something better out of it, is it inspiration, is it stealing or is it just finishing the realization of an idea of what the picture could/should have been?
Do we own our ideas? Take music. I guess we all know the song LET IT BE by the Beatles. (for the youngest of you guys, the Beatles was a band from the UK in the 60/70ies). Now go to spotify and enter the titel. Here are an extract of the hits:
Aretha Franklin, Bill Withers, Roberta Flake, Marcela Mangabeira, Thomas Godoj, Richard Eastwood, Peter Hofmann, Joshua Redman, Richard Clayderman, CM Carlson, Connie Talbot, Mike Massé, John Denver, Franco de Lago, Michael Hirte, James Last, Alan DeVito Orchestra, Space Music, Pi Ano, Leo Glanettos, Monty Alexander, Stanley Turrentine, David Costa, New Project Jazz Orchestra… Or try with “HEY JOE” which is by the way not written by Jimmy Hendrix or My Way which is actually a french song by Claude François.
But let’s push up the idea higher : Mozart was a genius. Now, if a guy would write nowadays music in Mozart’s style, would you say : “Hum, well, it’s nothing new.” ? Or if new pieces of Mozart were found today and if, in my example, they would exactly the same music that the ones composed by the new Mozart mentioned before, would you say “hey this is wow!” although this would be, in my example, the same music note for note?
Okay, enough for today, more to come…