For example compare the picture on the left and the one below.
The sale for the first one is nill while the one below has 8 downloads.
While the action depicted in both are same, the difference between them lies in the cap used. So can we say that the use of a skull cap made the difference?
I think people select a picture based on what it stands for. Both the pictures show a man blowing a Shofar (which is usually done by the jews) and the addition of the skull cap enhances the identification of the person as a jew.
These are good examples for our discussion regarding similarity. The first two images stand for different markets. They don't dillute each other, although one is on the border of being refused. In such cases we still give it a chance (as long as this is not a method of multiplying portfolios).
The last two pairs are plain similars and will dillute each other. They will sell for lower price for a much longer time interval. They will bring less revenue and less royalties to the photographer.
You can't blame editors for such pairs, when users will submit them at different moments in time. Editors simply can't catch them unless they revisit each user's portfolio, search after the image under review, etc. A huge task, let me assure you.
Regarding the first images, I actually came upon this man while I was traveling (I was walking my dog at a park by the ocean:)). His wife was taking his photo as he practiced, and he allowed me to also take his photo. He helps to organize funerals by the ocean, and blows the shofar at the funerals (and other events when requested to do so). He told me that he found distinct markets for his services, and that his hat made a difference and was of great importance to certain people (military vs. nonmilitary), and recommended I use both photos, for different buyers (military background or not) . I decided to follow his lead, and post both, preferring the skullcap photo myself but understanding that there might be a buyer's need for a veteran's hat. The difference is beyond the hat itself, but the symbolism behind the hat.
There are a lot of doubles on the database, I think that some photographers upload through automated programmes and are unfortunately not necessarily aware of them. When it comes to the first two pictures mentioned, apart from the cap I think that the composition of photo number 2 is better, it breathes more, there's more space and the face of the man and his arm are also clearer. I'd choose this one if I were a buyer, although the 1st one is nice too.
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