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PDN March cover photo is an imitation, photographer says


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Photographer Rodney Smith is accusing popular photography magazine, Photo District News, of using an imitation of one of his photos on the publication’s cover.

Photo District News is a well-known photography-related publication. The most recent issue of the magazine was released in March and it focuses on photographer Cade Martin and his ads for Starbucks and Tazo Tea.

pdn-march-cover-photo PDN March cover photo is an imitation, photographer says Exposure

PDN March cover photo. Credits: Cade Martin / PDN.

Photographer claims that the PDN March cover photo is an “imitation”

Another photographer, Rodney Smith, is accusing PDN and Martin for using an “imitation” on the magazine’s cover. PDN should have known better and it should have not applauded this “second-rate” work, added Smith.

Not too many people made the connection between Smith’s and Martin’s photos, but Smith is deeply upset by the fact that originality is no longer a priority for important publications, such as PDN.

Smith added that a lot of people have a strong desire to imitate, but real artists should look into their souls and create something that has not been done before. He realizes that this is difficult, as creating original artwork may be “difficult and painful”.

rodney-smith-original-photo PDN March cover photo is an imitation, photographer says Exposure

PDN cover photo’s source of inspiration. Credits: Rodney Smith.

PDN says there is no such thing as photos which do not resemble past works

However, the story is different in the eyes of the magazine. As expected, PDN released a statement to defend itself against the allegations. The declaration says that Smith contacted PDN through email, so releasing a public statement has been the right thing to do.

Moreover, the magazine’s post explains that photography is no longer 100% original and that people will always see similarities between photos. PDN says that it is “nearly impossible” to come up with new photos without alluding to something which has been done in the past.

The publication added that its readers are constantly sending photos which look similar to the ones posted on PDN’s cover. However, this is all part of a natural process, as suggested by the Supreme Court, which said that people have the right to “build freely” upon the other people’s notions and views.

cade-martin-rodney-smith-comparison PDN March cover photo is an imitation, photographer says Exposure

Side-by-side comparison between Cade Smith’s cover photo for PDN and Rodney Smith’s alleged original image.

No legal threats for the time being

Rodney Smith has not issued a threat to PDN, meaning that he would not pursue legal action against the publication.

On the other hand, Cade Martin declined to comment on Smith’s assertion, but admitted that he received eulogy for his PDN March cover photo.

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