Where shutterbugs unite to share their wisdom, skills and resources
From Pikkie Wolmarans:
MY PUBLIC APOLOGY
I AM EXTREMELY SORRY FOR ACTING STUPID AND TEACHING YOU ALL WRONG!
My open letter to everyone with a camera anywhere
I am sorry photographers, I am sorry Mr Buurman
I am sixty one years old, have been taking photos for 50 odd years since I was 11 and studied and publicly commented on thousands of digital images in the past few years; I also wrote and published numerous articles on photography…I brought together an online forum of more than 1100 South African enthusiasts and share whatever I thought that I knew with them on an almost daily basis…
But I only thought I knew the essentials of photography!
I naïvely believed, advocated and taught the concept that every photo was unique and non-repeatable simply because every photographer of note, including the old masters said so; I should have known better…
If I have only considered the possibility that somewhere out there somebody with a camera could just maybe take EXACTLY the same photo than someone else, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble and shame.
But I didn’t.
The best I can do now is to humbly apologise to the photographic fraternity as a whole and also specifically to Mr Evert Buurman (BLC LL.B (Pret)) manager of a publishing firm; member of the editorial panel and sponsor of the esteemed Afrikaans arts journal “Pomp 12.” I sincerely regret it that I explicitly accused him of not taking the photo of the snowy Outeniqua Mountain that was published with the title “Outeniqua Sneeu” on page 463 of “Pomp 12” (2012 edition) under Mr Buurman’s name.
I admit that I based my accusation on the fact that Mr Buurman’s photo in Pomp was EXACTLY the same as a photo taken by one of our Camerazzi members and entered into our Winter 11 photo contest with the title “Outeniqua Koue” as can be seen HERE
I was also blinded by the fact that I personally negotiated with the author of the said photo the rights to publish and delivered it electronicallly to the publishers.
I really totally overlooked the obvious, that Mr Buurman could have taken the EXACT same photo as he pointed out in an email to me and I quote: “Ek het presiese dieselfde foto geneem” and further:
“…en was ek daar toe dit so gesneeu het. Sneeu op die berge by George is redelik seldsaam en sou ek seer sekerlik onthou het as ek nie daar was nie.”
en verder: “Dit was my foot (sic) finish en klaar.”
I regret that I simply ignored the possibilty that that Mr Buurman could have taken the EXACT same photo and submit it to the exact same publication and I accused him of not taking the published photo.
On establishing that Mr Buurman’s photo in “Pomp” was indeed pixel for pixel the same as the one that I sent to the then publisher, and after getting some independent expert opinions that confirmed the two photos are EXACTLY the same, I just took it for granted that he did not take the published photo – how shortsighted of me!
I really wanted to apologise to Mr Buurman himself, but after expressing his dismay with my attitude, accusing me of conducting a witch hunt (“heksejag”), telling me what to do “…kan jy gaan doppies blaas” and warning me of some legal action with a difficult Latin name, he closed the communications channel with: “En spaar jou asem – geen verdere e-posse van jou sal gelees word nie.”
This unfortunately deprived me of the opportunity to personally apologise, and thus left me no option but to follow the alternative route of issuing this public apology.
I also want to categorically state that I intended no harm whatsoever to “Pomp” or its publishing company – on the contrary: It is a great artistic publication and reading through it is a life-enriching experience. I would urge anyone with a feeling for contemporary art in all its facets to get yourselves a copy (I got mine at R258 from Exclusive Books.) For us photographers, the book contains some great photo features, including a 10-page spread on the Camerazzi with 12 brilliant photos contributed by our members and selected for the little photographic lessons we could learn from each one!
And now that we have established that it also contains the first ever known example of a photograph by another photographer that EXACTLY matches that of one of our members, I urge you again to get a copy as the discovery of that being possible, is ground-breaking and set to change some basic beliefs that we had about photography; having the potential of rendering copy right issues obsolete for if you see a photo of a scene that you like – you could just go and take your own that EXACTLY matches it.
The photograph shown here is for comparative purposes only; It is published with permission from the author, Tersia Marais from Mossel Bay. It is NOT Mr Buurman’s photo as published in “Pomp 12” and the COMPLETE SIMILARITY has already been explained by him re: “Ek het presiese dieselfde foto geneem…”