I'm a little frustrated with the latest piece I've done...not because it didn't turn out the way it was supposed to, but because of the main image I chose to use. You see, I was browsing through one of flickr's vintage photo sharing groups and came across this absolutely stunning image. There was no info included with the image itself and it appeared to be from the mid-1800s. It wasn't a typical Victorian studio photo...the girls were posed in a way that was not the "norm" for the time. That right there should have sent red flags up, but I was blissfully unaware because I was in love with the photo. Well, I ended up using it in this piece, but all the while had a sinking feeling that this photo was somehow special. I finished the piece and only then did I resign myself to do some research. Of course a quick google search provided the answer...the photo was taken by Lewis Carroll in 1863! It (and others by Carroll) are very well known because of the poses were unconventional for the day.
Original photo by Lewis Carroll
So now I'm torn. I typically use photographs that were found at flea markets, antique stores, etc. Is it okay to use this photo? Are there copyright issues around it? It does look lovely hanging on my wall and will probably stay there. But I'm wondering about copyright when it pertains to a famous photographer. Even if the photo is over 100 years old, is it okay to use?
The moral of the story is this: Do not be blinded by a beautiful image...always do your research BEFORE you create art with it.