Guy Tal • Where Credit is Due

When the work of great artists is being reproduced, those artists always are credited by the person who makes the reproduction. However, does this happen when it comes to photography?

During a recent discussion about the value of originality in photography, a fellow photographer asked about a situation in which an original image is ‘trumped’ by another photographer, suggesting that the value of the original composition may be diminished if someone else managed a technically superior version of it.

This highlights several issues facing photographic artists when it comes to recognition of their creative efforts. The first is an apparent division among photographers, who consider “getting the shot” a primarily technical or competitive challenge, rather than a creative one; and those who seek meaningful expression as the main goal for their work, rather than technical qualities.

Put in a different perspective, if someone produced an expertly rendered copy of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ and added a trace of the arc of the Milky Way to the sky, would anyone suggest that ...

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I am a full-time photographer, writer, and naturalist living and working in the Colorado Plateau – a scenic and diverse desert region of the western United States spanning an area larger than most countries and states.

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