Derby Aerial, Western Australia
Phase One XF IQ4 150MP, Schneider Kreuznach 110mm, 1/2000 second @ f 4, ISO 50

Tony Hewitt has a similar photograph to this on his Instagram feed. So what do you do when you're on a workshop and someone else takes a photo of the same subject? Is it okay to show your version and still call it yours? 

On our Derby Aerial Photography Workshop, Tony and I were in separate helicopters, leading our photographers around the vast mud flats and looking for interesting patterns and shapes. There were some simply incredible photographs to be found and, as has happened many times before, we gravitated to the same targets on many occasions.

But we don't necessarily know this until much later when one of us posts a shot on Instagram or makes a print to show. Is it a matter of first in best dressed gets naming rights for that subject? In some ways, it probably is. In other ways, it doesn't matter because the post-production we apply can be (and usually is) quite different - as are the resulting images.

Tony posted a great photo of this particular mud flat taken on that helicopter flight and, unfortunately, I saw it on his Instagram feed. When I say, unfortunately, I don't say this negatively. His rendition of the subject is superb, but having seen it, I can't 'un-see' it and now I feel obligated to process my file quite differently.

This is not an usual situation if you work collaboratively. When Tony and I travelled on projects with ND5 (Ninety Degrees Five) a decade ago, we were shooting alongside Christian Fletcher and Les Walkling, so there were four of us all photographing in the same area. It was inevitable that we'd take image of the same subjects, but also inevitable that we'd process them differently. And yes, when we curated our exhibitions, there would be no small amount of negotiation as to whose photo of a particular location would be selected.

Whether we're on a workshop or a camera club outing, there's a really good chance other people will be photographing the same subject as you. The advantage we have today is that we can process our images differently, creating something that if not unique, is certainly original for us, whether you see other photographers' work or not.