Lee Sacrey Photography – Lee's Chatter

Mainly Photography but a little of everything at times

Two weeks ago I was a cheater, now you think I steal! What gives?

with one comment


Well, the start of winter has arrived here in Yellowknife. It had to happen sooner or later. We did have a great fall season. I took some picture yesterday just to show the change here in 1 week. This is one of them. Again, it was picked by Dale. Taken for her actually. She said as I was leaving the small red berries with nice green leaves would be a nice contrast on the freshly fallen snow with the fall leaves still showing. She’s right again.

Two weeks ago I was a cheater, now you think I steal! What gives?

I will admit that I find photographers to be an interesting group. A few weeks back I even said they were strange. Well, there is something else that continually gets my attention. Photographers, at least at this place in time, seem to have a need to share what they, see, know and how they do what they do. What other profession do you see such a sharing of information? That brings me to this weeks title.

Two weeks ago I discussed processing and the fact that someone I knew called me a cheater due to the fact that I do some editing on my computer. This week it has gotten worse. I have been told I might be stealing as well. Here is why. As an amateur photographer I like to absorb as much knowledge as I can from others – those much better at the craft than I, those at the same level or even those starting out often have things to get your attention. I believe that is a part of what makes us better, along with taking more and more photographs. Occasionally I share what I have learned with others and I want to continue that sharing. I want to share so much that I often go out and photograph with others and I have started a photography club at a local high school. While out, we talk about what we are seeing and how we are shooting what we see. I have learned quite a bit in this past year. I have read six instructional type books, looked through four books of photographs just to see how others compose their pictures. I have also looked at countless magazine articles and online documents and looked at as much exif data as I could on photographs I like. I have attended and/or organized five photo workshops. Most importantly I have taken on average 100 photographs a week.

So, with all this new knowledge, which was learned from others, what can I share. It is a good question. If I attend a workshop which teaches the use of filters (which I have), can I than tell someone who didn’t attend what I have learned. I think I can. However, I think it may depend on how the information is shared. If I take what I have learned and apply it to my photography and later show and explain it to others what I have learned and show them what I do, I don’t believe I have done anything wrong. On the other hand, if I take the handouts, cd’s or the lesson slides from that workshop and distribute them to people who didn’t attend, I have done wrong. I my opinion that would be no different than copying information directly from a book and passing it on to others.

Workshop instruction to a great number of photographers is a source of income. It helps them make a living which assist them in the ability to go out and take the photographs, that are sold as prints, and to magazines. If we give away the information or lesson just as we received it I think it is no different than plagiarizing that book or coping that cd. I think we can easily share our knowledge and information but, don’t pass off someone else things as your own. When you learn from others and from workshops and are sharing your knowledge later, remember to encourage those people to attend the workshop if they have the opportunity. Suggest they pick up a copy of that great instructional book you have read.

Shared knowledge is a powerful thing. Stolen knowledge is powerful as well, it just does damage to others. Lets all learn what we can from where we can, lets just be careful in how we do it. With this weeks chatter nearly complete, let me give you a list of my current top five favorite photographers and if I have stolen from them (which I hope I have not) I am truly sorry. Check out their work and if you want to learn more attend a workshop – I highly recommend it.

My current Top Five (it is a moving target and continues to changes)

  1. Darwin Wiggett
  2. Marc Adamus
  3. Galen Rowell
  4. Guy Tal
  5. Tim Fitzharris

Thanks for reading come back next week.

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Written by leesacrey

October 11, 2009 at 12:00 PM

One Response

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  1. I would really like to have a copy of this one. Really nice!

    loretta beck

    June 3, 2010 at 4:52 PM


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