You have to see what google is promoting today

Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

On the homepage of google, there is a link stating "Meet the artist who photographed the world without leaving home".

My first thought was "And they ask me why I drink"

Not only does this person have 50K followers and NY gallery show but is now promoted by the very same company from whom she is taking their images.




  • sarasphotossarasphotos Registered Users Posts: 3,773 Major grins

    I'm speechless. on several fronts. first of all thievery. and then it's supposed to be art? my oh my.

  • denisegoldbergdenisegoldberg Administrators Posts: 14,153 moderator

    How can Google promote this as art? I'm with Sara, definitely thievery.

  • RichardRichard Administrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,840 moderator
    edited October 25, 2017

    I had seen some of these images before, but I didn't know the back story, which makes it more interesting.

    I don't take as harsh a view of this as you guys do. While you can't exactly call her a photographer, IMO she does deserve credit as a curator, or photo editor. Seeing a good image among zillions of bad ones requires some of the same skills as seeing a good photo op in person. But then, who (or what) is the photographer? The car with a dozen cameras taking continual shots every two seconds? Certainly not the guy driving the car. So we have images without a photographer. Does that mean they're not photographs? Are they art? Well, I think if you had simply seen the images without knowing their origin, you would say, yes--some of them are striking images. It's probably only a matter of time before the Google Overlords come up with AI software that can scan through all those images and select what most of us would likely consider the good ones. Then there won't even be an editor. Will we still call it art? I don't have the answers to these questions, but I find them fascinating.

    This might be a good time to have the old Hide emoji.

  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    Over the years I've seen more than a few people making money off the work of others and it has bothered me to my core. Sure, this particular situation is kind of unique as there is no one photographer taking the images. I agree that she is choosing and editing these stolen images to a degree that wasn't intended by google, but in the end, they aren't her images to work with and that is what makes my brain hurt.

    Obviously google wasn't doing this for "photography" but the principle to me is the same. She took something that didn't belong to her and is using it to make a name for herself. That is just sad to me.

    I know all too well how hard it is for a person to make a living with a camera and to trivialize photography like this only makes it harder in my opinion. How many more people will follow in these footsteps now that google is promoting such an activity? How many others today think why bother owning a camera when you can simply take images off the internet and be praised as a "photographer"?


  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,524 moderator
    edited October 26, 2017

    Here is an older article, with more explanation of the process. MINIMALIST SNAPSHOTS OF THE WORLD BY ‘THE AGORAPHOBIC TRAVELLER’

    As Richard said, she isn't photographing the images, but they are not stolen images either. If Google is OK with her "acquisition" methodology and if they don't care about the image rights, I guess that we should also accept the technique and the "artist".

    I agree that this is unsettling for our collective craft and passion as photographers, but perhaps we can cut this person, Jacqui Kenny, some slack.

    The bigger problem is the test, "What if everyone ...?" I mean, the number of copycats will likely skyrocket.

    Apologies, Steve. I got distracted and a few hours passed before I finished the thought and posted. Didn't notice your post until now, but we really did arrive at pretty much the same conclusion independently.

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • Cygnus StudiosCygnus Studios Registered Users Posts: 2,294 Major grins

    In the article Ziggy linked, here are some telling quotes.

    "She was, as she puts it, just “playing around” on her computer and making snapshots of what she saw."

    She particularly likes photographing towns in deserts, coastal regions, or mining areas.

    In the future, she wants to exhibit the work, maybe in collaboration with a non-profit mental health organization. When she does, she wants the work to be on view in the countries she photographed

    I realize that google doesn't care and in fact supports her efforts to take their images and in turn use them for her own credit.

    Over the years "photography" and "photographer" are words that have become meaningless as the terms became broader. This lead to more people not caring about what it means to create an image with a camera.

    I've struggled a long time with the idea that anyone owning a camera gets to call themselves a photographer. (no offense meant to anyone and no need to start a debate, it's just my own personal struggle). In my mind owning a particular item doesn't make you something. I'm sure most people own hammers, but I don't see many people calling themselves carpenters. It is the same with the fact that I can install a toilet, but that doesn't make me a plumber.

    Anyway, not to get off track.

    My point is, that as more and more people don't care, the entire idea of photography/photographer becomes pointless.

    As these articles prove, now you don't even have to own a camera to be called a photographer.

    Maybe my views are just old fashioned or maybe I simply care too much about a profession that was too good to me for too long, or maybe I simply put too much thought into it. I don't know what the answer is, all I know is that it bugs me.


  • ziggy53ziggy53 Super Moderators Posts: 23,524 moderator
    edited October 28, 2017

    There are other methods of producing photographs which don't require even the use of a camera:

    • X-Ray and Gamma ray direct imaging.
    • Shadowgram photography
    • Schlieren photography (although I concede that most schlieren photography systems do include a traditional camera)
    • 3-D Flatbed Scanner imaging

    ... and these are just those which come to mind; I'm sure there are other systems.

    My point is, even though the above systems can produce photographs of subject matter which is generally captured using a conventional photographic system, ala a traditional film or digital camera, since the systems ultimately produce photographs might we also call the producers of the photographs "photographers"?

    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
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