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Re: [teacherartexchange] copying from photographs


From: Jeff Pridie (jeffpridie_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 05 2008 - 16:49:00 PST


This topic was brought up several times in my
Educational Technology classes. Use of copywritten
photos vs. public domain vs. personal photos.
Copywrite is an important aspect of photography. The
photograph is the photographers artwork, just as
copying a painting, written material it is a legal
issue. We as teachers need to treat this just as we
teach students not to lie, cheat, or steal.

Training students to find legal public domain photos
online vs. copywritten ones is not that hard to do.

Suggesting to students to take their own photos and
use them for their compositions is also a
recommendation. In the day of digital cameras and
instant prints this process works so well.

Yes, working from real life is much better and
probably gives students a better understanding of
changing a three dimensional object to a two
dimensional space. Using a photo tends to train studs
to move from only a two dimensional plane to another
two dimensional plane interpreting what the true 3D
space was like.

Giving students choice is another option giving a
higher degree of points to original photos vs.
copywritten ones. Higher degree of points to those
that create from on site observations.

I do agree teaching students not to infringe on Artist
works (photographs) and claim them as their own ideas
is a lesson well learned.

Jeff (Minnesota)

> I have recently encountered a disagreement with my
> fellow art teacher (also department head). She
> liberally employs the practice of copying
> photographs in her classes, from using reference
> photos for a 1 pt perspective drawing to making an
> exact drawing of a photograph using the grid method.
> I believe that there are copyright issues involved
> here. Even if this type of copying is allowed for
> student work I don't think it is advisable to
> promote a habit that is not accepted later in life
> when these students are out of school. I also think
> that using a photograph constricts originality and
> creativity. Furthermore, I feel the decisions of
> composition, value range and how to effectively
> represent 3D space have already been decided by the
> photographer who took the original picture. I
> believe that it is more helpful to students to learn
> to draw from life. I am wondering what the views of
> other art teachers are on this matter. I'm also
> wondering if anyone knows of any research or
> published arguements on the subject that represent
> either side.
> Connect and share in new ways with Windows Live.
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