Photo5 & Fair Go

I didn’t get shortlisted for the Canon Photo5 contest. Oh well, never mind, better luck next year. You can see the shortlisted entries here:

Canon Photo5 2009 shortlist

Last night on Fair Go they had an item about photo copyright and talked about a woman who claimed to have found her photo plastered all over the Internet after having it printed as on canvas (implying without actually saying that the un-named company published the image onto a website somewhere). The show showed the image on a number of websites including one site where another person claimed to have taken the shot.

This is being discussed in one of the Flickr groups I frequent and people were pointing out that maybe the photo was taken by the person on the website. I looked at this, clicked a few links and have decided that he did take the photo. What this means for the Fair Go claims I’m not sure, but I’ve written them an email which I submitted last night (and various others have submitted comments to the Fair Go forum on the TVNZ website here: Fair Go forum). Here’s my message:


It may be that others comment on your story last night about copyright and photography. In particular I'd like to comment on the case of the stolen photo and its appearance on American websites.

The story stated that Greta Ashton had one photo printed on canvas and then it started appearing online. You also said Greta took the photo two years ago.

Looking online at the site that you flashed on screen and doing some simple name searches it looks like the photo was in fact taken by the photographer who has claimed it is his, rather than Greta Ashton. Additionally, the photo has been online for more than three years, taken in February 2002.

Is this a case of mistaken photo identity? If you look some other sites by the American photographer Dan Bush here:

1 - Dan's portfolio:
2 - Dan's Website:

You will see a number of his photos, he looks like a talented man. The 2nd link gives the story of how he took the photo and, significantly, shows a number of other photos from the same location, and a map section showing the location on Google maps. The location is certainlty not in New Zealand. More information on the photo can be found by examining the EXIF information embedded in the photo which includes the following information:

Model - NIKON D70
FocalLength - 10.50 mm
DateTimeOriginal - 2006:02:02 17:21:46

EXIF information CAN be modified but this all looks farely accurate for the photo. What camera does Greta claim to have used and what time does she say the photo was taken?

Personally I think there should be a follow-up story digging a little deeper. I have had photos taken and used without my permission in the past. I'd hate for someone to be accused of theft when they haven't done anything wrong, especially when they are in another country and don't have the chance to defend themselves.

Kind Regards,

Brendon Doran

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One thought on “Photo5 & Fair Go

  1. Thank you for your unbiased candor!

    I, too, came to that same conclusion – particularly difficult to dispute, as evidenced by the plethora of additional photographs taken of the tree from a variety of angles and aspects.. which clearly indicate Mr. Bush’s presence “on-site”…

    I do believe, however, that you must’ve meant “February 2006” when you referenced the EXIF information above when mentioning in the third paragraph “Additionally, the photo has been online for more than three years, taken in February 2002.”???

    To create the specific “halo” effect in the subject photograph, the use of a fisheye lens would have been imperative: From the sound of her narrative and discourse in the news studio’s footage, one would conclude that Ms. Ashton appears to have taken her picture “casually” – with a rudimentary, consumer-grade camera… not something that one would expect to be equipped with such sophisticated accessories…

    Again, thank you for the courage to “stand up” for someone absent the arena, and therefore unable to defend himself!

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