According to our current Photo Challenge rules, "Photographs must be an original work of the entrant". What does that mean? The rules go on to say "'Original' work is defined as the photograph with the camera file number". While that rule is easy to understand (and enforce), the club would be better off without it. There is no relationship between a file name and the originality of its contents, so this rule just spells out the best way to cheat.
You may have already been warned by a photography judge or critic about having more than one subject in your photograph. If you had such a busy photograph, it might be entirely possible to crop two successful images out of it. That would not be allowed under our current rules. On the other hand, you probably already have on your computer two virtually identical images with consecutive file numbers because you forgot to change from rapid fire to single shot mode at one point. Under the current rules, it is perfectly fine to enter the second if the first did well in judging. Additional language has since been added to the rules to say 'you know what we mean, please don't cheat' (of course, I'm paraphrasing), but if the members know what you mean, it would be better to just scratch the definition from the rules and rely on common knowledge until we can come up with something better.
So what is an original, or more to the point, what would it take (how much would one need to change this) before it counts as something different? What if I make it monochrome? What if I crop out that distracting tree limb (or just make it disappear with Photoshop)? If I replace that tree with something nicer or replace my ex with someone more attractive (like my dog)? Would that do it? These are the question enquiring minds really want to know. Interestingly enough, these are the same type of questions that copyright attorneys have been asking or have been asked for decades. A few years ago Sandy Levy, a KCC member, gave a nice talk on this topic. Although we are under no obligation to follow the policies or practices of the copyright office, it might be helpful to have somebody address this subject for the club again.
In the meantime, what do you think? What would be considered common knowledge in this area? Better yet, how about some unconventional wisdom? No pressure. The floor is all yours.