Who’s image is it …. ?

Some thoughts I have been pondering over.

Copyright rules … you take an image then it’s yours … BUT I’ll throw out a couple of scenarios that have been buzzing round my head … food for discussion!

One scenario … probably splitting hairs here but say a group of bods are out on a photo shoot – one person is asked to give advice/guidance on how to go about taking a particular shot – how to compose the shot, what the correct settings would be, which angle is best etc … the person offering the advice doesn’t ‘take’ the shot. Who’s image is it? If this shot is entered in a competition & wins!

Another scenario … a person is given an image or asked to edit an image – the photographer gives no guidelines as to how the image is to be edited. Does this edited image then become the ‘editors’ property – what claim, if any, does the editor have over this final product? The original yes will always remain the property of the photographer but what of the edited version?

These edits purely come from the editors own thoughts & vision. He/she has followed their digital darkroom processes to make the image – the contrast, colour conversions, composition, effects etc are all the results of his/her own interpretation of how the image should best be portrayed!
If the photographer was happy with the final rendition of the image does it then become his/her property? I’m sure if he/she were unhappy with the result he/she would not wish to claim ownership!

Take this second scenario my thoughts are that the editor would have some – even 100% – claim to this final rendition as they have toiled in the digital darkroom for any number of hours to produce an acceptable product! – well presuming it is acceptable that is! It was not the editors idea not the editors vision not the editors conception that created the original image but certainly the editors ideas – his/her creativity that resulted in the final product!
If there were guidelines from the photographer – the owner – of the image as to how it should be edited would that change things – would there need to be some sort of agreement set out?

In my first scenario if I was the person offering the guidance I’d certainly feel happy/humbled that my guidance had inspired the photographer to take a photo good enough to be entered & win a competition!

And does this all matter! I’m not a professional photographer but are these thoughts that need to be considered if I ever do sell any of my images or if I edit other images can I sell them as mine?
Food for thought!!

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