so i have a question/rant for everyone. it's about drawing inspiration vs taking a shot that someone else may have taken at the same spot that's similar, etc if that makes any sense. this is kinda a long rant so sorry in advance haha.
i started shooting graffiti about 4 years ago. what got me into it was a lived with a writer at the time and i would go out with him and try to paint, but i sucked, so i decided to document graffiti instead as i always liked photography as a hobby and had kinda gotten burned out on shooting punk and hardcore bands.
so i got a camera and started documenting graffiti around where i live. at first i really sucked at it, but i took some classes learned more about my camera and started going out with other photographers i met through flickr and learning from them and drawing inspiration from one another. it was cool to see how different people shot the same thing you shot from a different angle, different exposure, etc.
so today it's nice out and i don't have anything to do so i decide to drive around and see what's new graffiti wise in my area. i drove up on some people painting a legal wall, so i stopped and get out of my car with my camera and go up to the dudes painting and say hey what's up i'm so and so from flickr because a lot of graffiti dudes i've run into know my flickr account or whatever.
so this one dude who's hanging out there turns to me and accuses me and my friend that i shoot with a lot of ripping off his photos. i'm like excuse me and he claims that we copy the exact photos he does blah blah blah. i try to explain that with graffiti in some spots you can only really shoot a piece or whatever a certain way and if you look on flickr there's like 10 people that will have the same photo, etc. dude doesn't wanna hear it. he basically keeps telling me i copy him and i need to get my own style, etc. i tell him i'm sorry if he feels that way and i'm def not trying to copy his style or whatever and that when i got into shooting graffiti i was inspired by him, etc but still dude was a huge prick about it and just walked away.
it's funny because i totally understand where he's coming from. graffiti can be competitive in the sense you see a spot and you haven't seen it on flickr yet and you wanna flick it and post it before 10 other people have or before the spot is gone.
i don't know i'm just pretty pissed as a photographer i'm def trying to be original with my photos and do my own thing. i don't think it's a bad thing to draw inspiration from someone else. the reason i got into shooting bands was because i saw glen e. friedman's photos and was blown away.
sorry for the rant. i'm just really pissed off about it right now. i'm a nice dude and it takes a lot to get me angry and that def did. and for anyone that cares you can look at my photos and dudes photos and let me know what you think...