Wednesday, October 21, 2015

House with a Face

Here's another one of my most popular pictures -- which obviously has very little to do with the quality of the photo! It's basically just a snapshot I took on a road near Sag Harbor, N.Y., in September 2008.

It became popular after I submitted it to a Flickr group about photos of objects that unintentionally look like faces. Somehow that led to its inclusion in a Web gallery of houses with faces -- a Web gallery that was duplicated over and over again on sites all over the world, such as Buzzfeed. (I don't remember where the Web gallery originated, but I did give permission for it.)

Eventually, and with my OK, the picture even wound up in a book. I was excited when I found copies of the book in the gift shop at the Saatchi gallery a few years ago. (Now, I see that it's selling for a penny on Amazon. How the mighty have fallen!)

I never got paid anything for the picture, but I didn't really care. I literally just pointed my little point-and-shoot camera and took the shot.

The other day I did a second Google Image search to see if the picture had appeared anywhere else, and while I see lots of versions of that Web gallery of found house faces, I don't see any other unauthorized uses. So I guess I won't be able to sue anybody and collect my millions.

It had been so long since I took the picture that I couldn't even quite remember where that structure was. I did remember that it had something to do with sculpture.

Here's the answer! It's part of a sculpture center on Long Island. It's probably not even truly a house. Oh well -- artistic license! I remember driving past with my friend Stuart on the way to the beach to see the waves kicked up by a tropical storm in the Atlantic.

Seems like a million years ago!


Elizabeth said...

I was born on Long Island and spent many summers there near the Hamptons and Montauk. I always remember this Big Chicken store that lay somewhere along the route from New Jersey. I love that you are seeing your photos all over the place -- it's most impressive and just too bad that you don't get paid by the click!

Yorkshire Pudding said...

The house has a startled expression - as if the people inside are having a wild house party and using bad language. Maybe the house should just chew them up and spit 'em out!

I am also finding that some of my pictures are popping up in unexpected places. It is as if once they are out there on the net, they can be fished by anybody and "used" with no thought of paying the photographer. Copyright acknowledgement is not always enough in my view. Also, it is nice to be asked.

ellen abbott said...

I wonder what the inside of that house looks like. the thing that strikes me the most in no windows downstairs (those two little round things don't count).

It seems to me that it's damn near impossible to find the original poster/photographer. you can go to the page that has the photo you find but that doesn't mean that the poster didn't get it elsewhere from someone who got it elsewhere etc. as I said before, I don't have any attachment or feeling of possession of the photos I post although I would probably be upset if I saw a picture of a piece of my artwork without attribution or especially if someone else was taking credit for it.

Ms. Moon said...

I got asked one time for permission to use an image and I gave it and received a free copy of a magazine! Whoo-hoo! It was such a major publication that I can't even begin to remember the name of it. It had something to do with the goddess. The picture was of a fountain with Ixchel in it from Cozumel.
But if someone started stealing my writing, I would be so pissed off.
I like what Yorkshire Pudding said about how the house looks startled. It really is a cool image, Steve, even if you did just point and click it.

Sharon said...

How fun that your photo made into that book that is now on sale for one cent. I don't think I've ever seen anything on Amazon for one cent before. I've had several photos published in magazines or brochures. I generally always give permission but, I do like being asked.

37paddington said...

strange house. not very happy looking, but intriguing all the same. i'm lately fascinated by tiny houses, don't know why.