But try living without art. You can’t. I am willing to bet that not a single room in your house, including the bathroom, is devoid of it in some form.
Next, I adjusted the color, clicked the Auto Tone button, adjusted the color again, clicked the HDR button and fiddled with those adjustments, pasted the previous version on top of the HDR version and erased the parts I wanted crispier before merging those two images.
Finally, I add a watermark in an inconspicuous place—not because I want to protect the image from theft (anyone with an iota of initiative can blot or crop out my watermark) but because it’s mine. I sign my work. It’s a pride thing. I didn’t spend thirty minutes editing a single photograph so that my picture could be another of the millions of anonymous images floating around without attribution.
Sometimes I’ll post that photo on my Flickr or Facebook page. If you like it, you will leave me a comment saying it’s beautiful. But the truth is that I want you to buy it. I want you to hire me to shoot your kid’s senior portrait or the headshot for your new book or your party.
So even though I have that photograph lying around, collecting pixels, taking up disk space, it’s not free. My name and a link to my website are not a fair exchange for the work that makes a work of art.