Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Big Game Safari of a Different Sort

In a post titled "Tracking the Mac OS X Snow Leopard Photographer" on the Photo District News (PDN) blog, Daryl Lang details the steps he took to track down the origin of the photo of the big kitty on the cover of the new Apple OS X release.

In brief they were:

Step one: Poke around on the Internet.
Step two: Tineye.
Step three: Twitter.
Step four: Ask Apple.
Step five: PACA OrphanSearch.

David Sanger points out in a reply, the obvious step they missed -- checking to see if there was any metadata in the image itself, since there is a version of the cover image distributed with the new OS. In this particular instance a search would have also resulted in a "fail" as well. However, anyone that followed the results of our SAA "Meta Survey" of stock image distributors, would know that the image which Apple licensed from Corbis would have had this embedded information when it was licensed. So the real question is, at what step in the process was it removed and why?

Enquiring minds want to know and absent any answers, the hunt will have to continue.


Dale Churchill said...

well, if the images was licensed from Corbis, why'nt someone ask THEM?

John Fowler said...

As a matter of interest, I downloaded, via right-click, an image from Tim's website.

No IPTC info.

David Sanger said...

Dale - The difficult part was finding out whose image it was.

I began the search asking on Twitter and got no response. Tineye did show six uses including one on Flickr but none had copyright info.

PDN finally found it using the "low tech" PACA OrphanSearch program. The image was sent to all PACA members and Patrick Donehue of Corbis identified it as a Corbis image.

An image recognition system would have worked fine if the image were in the database.

Dale Churchill said...

David, I appreciate the effort you've put into the search, but after all this, we still haven't heard WHO the photographer is.. or do I not understand the question?

David Sanger said...

It was Tim Davis of Davis/Lynn Images as Daryl pointed out in the lead paragraph the PDN story.

Here's the Corbis page.