Your Own Work
First, let us start with the premise that we wish to have images of something - real life, imaginary life, whatever. How are we to get these images - find them, buy them, or make them.
Upon what medium will these images be made - stone walls of a cave, stretched animal hide, plaster wall, canvas, heavy paper or wooden board....or photographic paper of various sorts, or a phosphor-dot screen.
Note that when you use the first group of surfaces you have to do a great deal of work, but are at least possessor of the image when you are finished. You can defend the cave, inhabit the villa, or take the painting or drawing with you. In the case of the photographic print you can also do this, but you may find that the identical image can be held by many other people. In the last case noted - the computer screen - the entire world may have access to your image and should your storage system fail, it might be denied to you.
The production of the earlier images was hard work and had spotty results. For every Rembrandt there were millions of non-Rembrandts - but there was only one Rembrandt. As time went on and plate and film photography developed the means of production became easier and more people were Matthew Brady than just Matt himself. And everyone could own a piece of Matt.
Now everyone has an easy form of basic imaging that can be run from box to screen by the simplest of means....and with the advent of storage of the electrical signal somewhere else, the ownership and control of the image has just...evaporated. Oh, I know you can have watermarks and secret passwords and limited access and such but does anyone here really think that means that your photos that are on some distant server are really only yours? Yours and the Department of Homeland Security and the North Korean State Security Service and Apple and every pimply hacker from here to Hong Kong...
We've traded simplicity for property. We can do more but after we have done it we don't own it. In most cases we pay someone money to own us.
I am pondering this as I see the number of images that have swamped the world on shared-sites such as Flicker, Facebook, MyStuff, and PraiseMe. All out there for comment, all out there for theft, all out there...Oh, how I long to have enough bushels to hide those lights.
Please note: The sentiments expressed in this blog are the property of the writer and may in no way be read, approved, copied, or distributed by any known means of communication. Shut your eyes and look away. You may like me on Facebook but don't expect a card at Christmas.