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Ripped Open For The Taking | by Joel Robison
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Ripped Open For The Taking

This is part of a short series that I'm doing along with " Adam Raasalhague Photography" based around the concept of "Stolen". He suggested this series after we both started to experience similar things in regards to our work being stolen.


It's been an interesting and challenging past few days for me personally and photographically speaking. A few weeks ago I posted a blog entry about how I felt having my images shared and edited without consent or credit, the response was almost all positive and I felt good about getting it off my chest. A couple days ago an image of mine was posted on, which was then reposted on a popular tumblr page and then posted on the very popular George Takei's facebook page. This all happened while I was at work and by the time I got home I found my email inbox flooded with comments letting me know that it had been posted without any credit.


I wish that's where the story ended, but it goes on. Without my prompting, my friends (whose hearts were in the right place) started posting my blog, facebook, and flickr links in the comments of the post. Almost immediately I started getting rude and negative emails, comments and messages. Without going into too much detail they essentially told me that I need to grow up, I need to get a life and that if I post something online I lose the right to complain about it being used without me knowing.


I'm a sensitive person by nature and these messages hit me hard. Even though at the same time I was receiving positive messages of support, understanding and compliments from people just discovering my work, it was the nasty comments that kept me awake all night, that made me feel like turning off my computer and selling my camera, and that made it really difficult to think of anything positive.


This photo to me is one of the most personal I've ever taken. It represents not only having my work taken away from me and spread around, I also wanted to show the part of how I almost wish that instead of "getting this subject off my chest" , I had kept it locked in and not posted the blog entry.


I feel better today than I did yesterday, although I still cringe when I think about the rude people that have nothing better to do than tell me how little they think of what I do. I appreciate, now more than ever before, the friends that i've made through flickr and through photography. I appreciate you, the people who constantly support and motivate me, and I appreciate your positivity and understanding and I thank you so much for what you bring to my life.


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Taken on June 21, 2012