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  1. Bruce Moreland
  2. General Discussion
  3. Tuesday, 29 May 2018
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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.

 

 

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Ken Johnson Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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So, my understanding is that the word "original" is intended to preclude our entering someone else's photo, which is a copyright issue. I don't think that the club needs to determine or enforce ownership until the original owner comes forward to complain the misrepresentation. The use of the original file number puzzles me, since I always change the file name that I enter to the title I have given the image. However, if I had to prove that the image was mine through the original file number, I could provide the "original" file. I don't recall any rule that prohibits post-production work that alters the "fidelity" of the image at the moment of capture. In fact, a number of judges have commented that the photographer could have photoshopped out distracting objects, I am assuming that post-production manipulation is part of the "original" image. So, what needs to be clarified is whether "original" refers to ownership of the image or "fidelity" to the original capture. Perhaps it should simply read: "Photographs must be the work of the entrant"
Comment
Oops, sorry for the misunderstanding, I left out an important part of the rule. I am not concerned about someone else stealing your photo and winning Photograph of the Year; I am concerned with you reentering the same photo in the next open Challenge and winning First Place a second time. The missing part of the rule goes "Once entered, an image may never be re-entered in another Photo Challenge competition. “Original” work is defined as (described above). Once submitted that file number cannot be re-submitted in a cropped or otherwise modified version." Hope this helps.
  1. Bruce Moreland
  2. 1 week ago
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Barbara Livieri Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Unfortunately, when you have any kind of competition you introduce the possibility of cheating. Maybe not in the most obvious ways, but in the ways of people pushing the boundaries. And that is unfortunate. Because not only do people have to be better at their photography, but they also have to be better at being deceptive.

I joined this club because of the competitions, not so much to compete, but to use the competition to push me into bringing my A game, always. But not only that, I did it to learn from not only the critiques of MY work, but also by the critiques of others' work. Yeah, its fun to get recognized for having the best photos, but it isn't the only thing. And it certainly isn't the main thing. Or it shouldn't be.

I feel people will always push the envelope, they will always find a loophole to jump through to give themselves an unfair advantage, or in other words, cheat; and I feel sorry for those people. For although they may win the competition, will their photos be any better in the long run?

Just my 2 cents worth.

Comment
Yes, people will always cheat (I mean 'test the limits'). But why help them? The file number rule is clearly flawed, so just remove it. If we could agree on a better rule that helps them understand what we are really trying to prevent, that would be a bonus. For example, I know the question about changing your image to black & white has come up more than once in club history. If we could come to an agreement as to whether that's acceptable or not, that would be a great help (for copyright purposes, it is my understanding that it would not be OK, but as I said earlier, we have not been bound by copyright considerations).

In the meantime, I think leaving it to common understanding would be better than giving the people a flawed definition that could actually be contrary to common sense. This is just my opinion. Coming to an understanding that would be helpful to the members is just an extra step I was hoping for.
  1. Bruce Moreland
  2. 1 week ago
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Frank Jimenez Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Deep thoughts, Bruce. Jeanette Beatty is working on the Photo Challenge rules. Please forward your thoughts to her.
Comment
No worries, Frank, I'll see that she gets all comments.



That reminds me, if anybody would like to say something anonymously, you can send your comments to me by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and I will make sure your thoughts are seen (less any profanity, etc.), even if you disagree with me. Please join in!
  1. Bruce Moreland
  2. 2 weeks ago
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