Amazon's Photography Patent & Steve Colbert's response

May 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
 

Photographing a subject against a clean white background has been a standard practice for many, many photographers throughout the photographic era.  From high fashion model shoots, to playing around in one own's house, shooting against white seamless is common practice.

What this entails is basically setting up a white seamless background behind a subject, aiming lights at that background to have it show as white in the image, and then lighting the subject.  Take the picture....and as long as all the lights were dialed to the proper power levels, you'll have a properly lit person in front of a pure white background.

One of the most simplest setups a photographer can create.

Well....Amazon got greedy.  Yes...the behemoth online retailer who makes gobs of money....got even more greedy.

They filed A PATENT for exactly this.  yes...Amazon now owns the RIGHTS to this age-old photographic setup.

excuse me while I go clear my throat...*cough*bullshit*cough*

Here...have a read:  http://www.diyphotography.net/can-close-studio-amazon-patents-photographing-seamless-white

Within the patent, they nailed down all the specifics for this setup.  the focal length of the lens to be used, the exposure settings on the camera, how & where the lights should be placed, the platform, etc.  

Now...granted, if a photographer changes just one thing for this setup, then they technically wouldn't be infringing on this BS patent.  For instance...Amazon specifies using an 85mm lens & camera settings of ISO320 f/5.6.  Well...if I use an 85mm lens & camera settings of ISO 100, f/8, I wouldn't be violating their patent.  

but they could still come after me if they found a high-key image I made...I'd have to prove that I in fact used different settings than those specified in the patent.

UNBELIEVABLE!

sorry..got that tickle in my throat again.....*cough*bullshit*cough*

In my own opinion, this can have huge ramifications - not just in the photographic world, but anything that you take for granted...anyone could take a patent out on.

Well...Steven Colbert has the backs of all us photographers...he claims to have filed a patent for patenting things!  Now, I highly doubt that'll get approved by the US Patent office (& how did Amazon's get approved??)...but it's a great point he makes!

 

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