Tuesday, February 16, 2010

[A] Calling out to the Copying Machine down the hall

A number of photographer friends have come to me recently with similar gripes that they know of photographers who seemed to be copying their work, that similarities were far too great to just be accidental.

When the photographer being copied has quite a bit of fame and clout in the industry, it's easy to "look the other way" and just take the imitation as flattery.  But, when the tables are turned and you happen to be the emerging photographer robbed of your idea by a photographer who is internationally renowned, it's heartbreaking.

PDNPulse just published an interesting article today on the topic, exploring the similarities between photographers Sze Tsung Leong and David Burdeny:


Dahshur, Egypt. From "Horizons" by Sze Tsung Leong, 2007.


Bent Pyramid. From "Sacred & Secular," David Burdeny, 2009.

**UPDATE (3:25 p.m.) Just received this e-mail from a reader:
I agree, it is heartbreaking. There are a number of other images that Burdeny has stolen from this photographer. You've posted the Pyramid images and although they are very similar have a look at this one I've attached...identical. I would post this one on your blog.  Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention:

Without much opinion or commentary, iheartphotograph also recently posted work by photographer Aneta Grzeszkowska's "remake" of Cindy Sherman's famous "Untitled Film Stills."

From "Untitled Film Stills," Aneta Grzeszkowska, 2010.

Untitled Film Still #14, 1978. From "Untitled Film Stills," Metro Picture Gallery and Cindy Sherman.

Perhaps it is true that most ideas have been done already, but that doesn't mean that successors shouldn't be obligated to bring something fresh to the table.

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