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Photographer attribution

When someone posts a painting and informs us that they have done the
painting from a public domain image is it appropriate to praise them on
the composition or elements of the image. I would think not.

It seems to me that in that case we should only be talking about the
quality of the painting. Technical drawing and painting stuff. Color,
Value and brush work. 

It also seems to me that the photographer should get
attribution. Most of the 'free' stuff is on a creative commons license.
Usually part of the CC license is attribution.

Related to this. If someone posts a painting from another source and does
not attribute it or inform us that it is not their material how should
it be treated?

This is serious. We should not say that it's more 
important to just keep painting.

How would you feel if your work was appropriated and published under 
someone else's name?


  • edited March 1
    I agree, @KingstonFineArt. It's important to

    1. state whether a photo is our own or not and
    2. to acknowledge the source of our reference photos (if known) if they are not our own photos.

    As has often been said here, it's best to take our own photos if possible because that way we learn how to compose a picture. And composition is half the art of painting IMHO.  :)
  • How do you handle using a photo and rearranging the composition, values, color saturation etc?
  • I handle it in my image editors - Affinity Photo and GIMP. With these I can rearrange the composition, values, color saturation etc,  no problem. If you're asking whether it is ok to do this with someone else's photo as a way of avoiding copyright infringement then the answer is complicated. Just altering a photo a bit will not keep you out of trouble. Unless it's in the public domain and/or the owner has given permission to use it, you would need to make it pretty much unrecognizable. Best to use your own photos.  :) 
  • @Kodiakwood
    TassieGuy is right. Many 'Public domain' images are made through the Creative Commons License. Often that requiring attribution when published. Not always. posting here in a public forum could be considered publishing.

    Here's an exercise that might help. Make 3 or 4 ink jet prints of the photo. Cut them up with scissors and shift the composition to your liking. Please use some method to keep the process focused. Tape it together and scan it. No fancy computer stuff. Start sketching from that. Do a couple of versions. Look at them from 8 feet away.
    Could be fun.
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