Can I use that picture? No. Well… I’m going to. Street photography and copyright infringement.

Film, Photography, Portraits, Street, Travel

An issue every photographer struggles with, sharing their work with the world while protecting intellectual property, has a new high-profile case.

Humans of New York, the blog of street photographer Brandon Stanton, is a hugely popular blog featuring posed and candid images of the many unique citizens in America’s most populous city. According to The Guardian, clothing company DKNY offered Stanton $15,000 to use 300 of his photos. Feeling $50 per photo was inadequate compensation from a wealthy company Stanton requested more, which DKNY denied.

A fan of Stanton later brought to his attention that DKNY had in fact used many of his images in a window advertisement in Bangkok. Taking a very admirable path, Stanton asked DKNY donate $100,000 to his local YMCA, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. In what was a simultaneous act-of-kindness and backhanded swipe, DKNY donated $25,000 in Stanton’s name.

So how do photographers, and artists as a whole, attempting to establish their name protect it at the same time? There’s no fool-proof way. Watermarks, finding websites that don’t allow downloading of images and small file sizes are all techniques.

Personally, I size my images small enough they wouldn’t make a decent print and hope people will at least ask if they want to use it. I have found out this isn’t an adequate approach.

The topic will only continue to brew confusion and controversy, as popular image-sharing software Instagram has recently been sued over inadequate protection of users photos.

Today I will share some of my street photography from Seattle.

© Robin Wood

Street1_small

I didn’t have much reaction time when I saw how the orange of the man’s shirt and child’s stroller complemented the orange accents on the posters.

Street3_small

Here I was simply interested in the smooth curvature of the drinking fountain and the bike-lane indicator in the street when a pedestrian came to quench his thirst. Again I had to quickly step back to get a more inclusive image before he continued on his way.

I dig his tall, white socks with black shoes.

Pre- and mid-yawn cat diptych

Alaska, Black & White, Film, Photography, Portraits

The title pretty much says it all. I was just shooting a few frames of my cat Carlos sitting in the sun when he opened wide for a yawn. The two frames were mere seconds apart. I feel it’s hard taking pictures of pets that are not simply snapshots. One way to change the aesthetic could be trying different gear, editing or processing techniques. Much of my aesthetic comes from shooting film. Another way is to turn it into a study with multiple images. In this case a study of a cat yawning. Of course I couldn’t have anticipated his sudden inhale, but also would’t have caught it had I not just taken the preceding picture. It could be argued only one picture is needed, but I think the combination of the two paints a more complete picture, allowing the viewer to get an idea of the cats appearance.

Spring, snow melt and cattle

Abstract, Alaska, Black & White, Film, Photography, Portraits

Record temperatures in Fairbanks means snow’s melting, fast. I’ve been photographing the farmer who is raising Black Angus cows some more. Here water drips off a fence highlighted by sun with a cow in the background. 100 speed film means not a lot of grain, but on 35MM it still comes standard, shallow depth of field just because I can.

Please click on the image to view full size.

Found: Love at the bottom of a martini glass

Abstract, Alaska, Arts, Black & White, Film, Photography

Went out for drinks after my show last Friday. I noticed a neat reflection being projected onto our table at Lavelle’s Bistro. It’s very rewarding after such a hectic week in a very crowded and noisy restaurant to notice the elegance of still life. In the low light shallow depth of field and grain come standard on the 35MM 400 ISO film.

Please click on the image to view full size.