One of the panellists speaks during the discussion on ‘Copyrights in Photography’ at Xposure 2017 in Sharjah. Image Credit: NNC

Sharjah: A panel of international experts discussed the burning issue of copyright in photography at Xposure 2017, the International Photography Festival, organised by Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB). The session moderated by Timothy Allen was graced by Mark Hill, Bjoern Lauren, Vineet Vohra, Beno Saradzic and Kelli Grant. The discussion spanned topics from copyright issues that the photographers faced in the UAE to the relevance of copyright laws in terms of social media.

Timothy Allen, moderator, and a celebrated photographer, said, “Around 20 years back, the only place where a photograph got published was a printed book or a magazine. And for that work, you were paid; hence copyright was part of the business model. Today, things have changed, and the largest platform for display of photography is social media and certainly the internet, for the simple reason that it makes you reach the maximum people. I think that copyright in social media is a very important topic.”

Bjoern Lauren, a commercial photographer based in Dubai, said, “I was shooting for a real-estate developer, and was being supervised by a government official. The shoot was to show the property in context of the general skyline of the city, but I was not able to do it because I did not have specific permissions to include iconic buildings of the city, like Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. It is therefore important if you are shooting in UAE to be careful about the permissions in advance.”

Hill said different countries have different laws and one has to abide by them.

The panel also discussed the problem of stolen images, the need to have laws for use and misuse of images on social media and more.

Vineet Vohra, a street photographer based in India, and Beno Saradzic, a Dubai-based commercial photographer, also shared their concerns on social media usage of the images, the need to watermark and ways of keeping a check on unauthorised use of pictures on internet.

Xposure 2017, which is being held at Expo Centre Sharjah, ends on Saturday. For details and updates, visit www.xposure.ae/workshops

Sharjah portraits

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Mohammad Muheisen’s ‘Faces of Sharjah’ exhibit is making waves at Xposure 2017.

The collection is of portraits of people of different nationalities who have made Sharjah their home. It captures the moments, natural scenery and inspiring architecture for which Sharjah is known.

One of the pictures is of a 30-year-old Pakistani bank employee enjoying a sunset with his family at Al Khan corniche, showing the multicultural side of the city.

Another photograph shows an 11-year-old Emirati school girl standing in her classroom at Al Nekhailat School, while yet another shows a 50-year old Bangladeshi car mechanic at an industrial site in Sharjah.

The captions of all 12 photographs capture the subjects expressing their views about Sharjah as home.

Muheisen has been documenting the refugee crisis around the world for over a decade and is the founder of Everyday Refugees Foundation.

Muheisen has covered the Yemeni revolution and Syrian civil war, as well as events in Saudi Arabia, China, Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, France, The Netherlands and South Africa, together with the funeral procession of Nelson Mandela. Most recently, he has been documenting the refugee crisis across Europe.