The Plagiarist

I live on largest Island in England, the Isle of Wight. It's not a huge Island. There's about 140 thousand people who live here.

As a photographer, there's very few photographic locations I have not been to on the Isle of Wight - so I expect people to shoot almost the same landscape as me, and vice-versa.

Sometimes though, after I post a photo to Flickr, or Facebook. I will see the same shot from a another photographer, appear a few days later, taken from the same location, and at roughly the same time of day.

These are not shots I've taken at the well known sites. It's the more obscure ones, off the beaten track.

I can only blame myself, as most of the time I will post the location - with GPS coordinates.

Does it annoy me, well it depends on the situation. For example: if it's Flickr and the person does not comment, or fave your photo. Or even, maybe post a comment saying there going to take the same shot themselves. Yes, it does annoy me.

Mostly, they will post their photo, taken with exactly the same POV (point of view) as my photo. Often a few days later, without giving away the location of the shot, in the Title, Caption, or by using GPS coordinates. In short, they won't share with others how or where they took the shot.

I'm not talking about shots taken at well know locations, like the one below of the 'Needles' below. This photo below hardly represents an original POV.

The Needles, Isle of Wight, England, United Kingdom - March 31, 2016. One of the most iconic places on the south coast of England.

The bottom line is Social Media is about sharing your knowledge with others. We all like praise, just be a little more transparent when you post photo's, i.e. acknowledge others.

That's the Plagiarists dealt with.

White Liars

I've been using Photoshop for about 22 years. I am Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop, and I can spot a fake a mile off.

By fake I mean people that try and pass off a photo as reality. When in fact it's often a very bad composition in Photoshop. Fake moons, and the use of smoke brushes to simulate cloud, seems to be a common one. The other common one is the use of lightning brushes, to simulate electric storms.

Here's a shot with a fake moon I knocked up in Photoshop. I don't think it would fool many people, except your Aunty Barbara. I would certainly make it clear it wasn't reality, if I posted it online.

Incidentally, the moon was created using a 'Moon' brush, and stamping the brush once on a layer, then playing around with opacity and blend modes.

Fake Super Moon

Fake Super Moon at St. Catherine's Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Wight, England.

Unfortunately, some of these photographers are full time, and they have to resort to over saturated landscapes with a simulated moon, sun, clouds, or lightning. You could say it's artistic licence. But, if the narrative implies it's totally natural, and even claims to be at a location at a certain time, when they weren't - it's disingenuous,

Unfortunately, I will always post a comment, countering any nonsense.

Usually the friends of the liar, as well as the liar themselves, will start on me, saying I don't understand photography etc. I will keep the discourse going, but the comments usually stop coming, when they realise I'm going to expose the perpetrator as a fraud.

I must reiterate, I'm not against artistic licence, far from it. But, If you mock up landscape shot, using images sourced from Search Engines without credit, and with a narrative suggesting the mock-up was reality - I feel obliged to say something.

You know who you are!