As a follow-up to my previous post on borrowing a camera from a fellow photographer and the copyright issues that ensue, I offer the following.
On the Worldesigns Photo February tour of Costa Rica we did a little scouting and found this delicious sunset on the NW Pacific Coast. It was our last night in the country and I realized that I didn’t have a single photograph of myself in Costa Rica. Along with my DSLR mounted on the tripod, I was shooting on Manual with my Canon G10 to get the sunset exposed properly. I realized that all I had to do was pop on my flash (at the appropriate –1 1/3 stop setting) and I would be able to properly expose yours truly in front of a spectacular sunset. The only problem was my arms were too short to shoot it.
I asked a fellow photographer if she would mind using my camera-already preset – to snap a quick photo of me against the sunset. She agreed and I handed her my camera. Then, she pressed the shutter and handed the camera back to me so I could check the shot.
Photo Credit: Laurie Hernandez – Worldesigns Photo
I now have a nice vacation snapshot of me in one of my favorite places. Unlike the previous article, if you look closely, you will see that the copyright notice on the photo didn’t change. Why? One reason, my camera automatically inserts a copyright notice-so does my software. Why didn’t I change it?
Unlike my first scenario in the article: Hand Me Your Camera, Quickly!, this wasn’t a case of someone borrowing a piece of gear to get their own shot. It wasn’t a case of mistaken identity and using the wrong camera. It was a case of a person being asked (contracted if you will) to take a photo-for-hire – in this case, for the consideration of friendship. But, with out her helping hand, the picture would have been for naught. That is why she gets the photo credit. Who owns the actual copyright? No clue.
Now, I am no copyright expert and am not even pretending to give legal advise here. I just wanted to point out the subtle distinctions of copyright applicability in a variety of situations where you may not be using your own equipment to take a shot or someone else may be using your equipment on your behalf.
Rikk Flohr © 2010