Evolution of an image

In July last 2017, I attended the Summertime Festival at Pyramid Parr Hall, Warrington. The aim was for a friend and I to watch Joanne Shaw Tylor, however there were four bands performing that night, the aforementioned JST, Bad Touch, Stevie Nimmo Trio and Xander & The Peace Pirates. I tried to get a photo pass but failed so took my compact Canon G5X. A great little camera that really performs well but is no match for the bigger sister and my favourite, the 1DX. Anyway as the camera does not have a detachable lens, it was deemed safe to take into the show. Afterall, it is only a compact, right! The show was a huge success and in a way I was hooked on live music again for the first time since my teens. Since then I’ve been to several different shows over the last year..

One image that I took at Parr Hall stood out to me as something that could be turned black & white. The image below, is not a brilliant image but one of my favourites and most viewed and liked images of the whole show. Featured is the lead singer/guitarist of Xander and the Peace Pirates. As you can see, there is a lot going on in the image with other members of the band and the Joanne Shaw Taylor backdrop to the stage, what I wanted to do was to isolate the singer.

Xander 0210

With some use of the content aware tool, some cloning and completely de-saturating the image we end up with the following edited picture. A tight crop, an all black background and removing the JST logo and focusses attentiion on the emotion Keith is delivering during the song.

Xander Frontman 0210

I submitted the image to the band and said that they had authority to use the image on the Social Media channels and or website and that no fee was charged, afterall I was pleased with a half decent shot. They loved the image and used it several times on Facebook and Instagram to promote gigs etc. Fast forward to 2018 and watching their Facebook page I see that they have used the image and created a Tour Poster from my picture. Again, I’m quite pleased that they have chosen to do and I even share their tour poster on my social media pages.  As you can see they have increased the canvas size and posted in some text and their logo to make the poster. The integrity of the image remains and you can clearly see that the image is mine, I was even tagged during their Facebook post.

Tour Poster

What happens next though, changes the whole meaning of the image all together into something completely different. They take the basic image and post  transparent layers of other images on top to promote a political message. This gets me to to thinking

a.) What to do about it?

b.) When does an image stop being your own image?

No War

You can see that the original image is still mine and it has been edited, the microphone stand has been taken out and anti war & CND slogans have been pasted onto a transparent layer over the singer. Now the image represents something different to what it meant when I shot the image, and one that I don’t necessarily agree with as I try to avoid politics and political opinion on social media. However I’m still pleased that they think so much about the base image that they want to edit and find it useful. After all it is a picture from the first gig, and first band I have photographed.

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