The Simplicity of Life

Peter Lik Update

A few weeks ago I ran a story about Peter Lik using one of my images in a promotional way on is Facebook Fan Page. I pointed out that I thought this was bad-internet-behavior.

I’ve since received countless emails, tweets, FB messages, and more about the subject, so I wanted to give an update. I also updated the original post, but I realize that people don’t always go back and read what happened.

Here is a quick history and the resolution.

Peter’s Facebook Fan Page showed my New York Times Square image and underneath it said, “Peter Takes Times Square”. Also, along the top, it says, “Peter Lik Fine Art Photography’s Photos”, which is both wrong and facebooky-grammatically-incorrect. Once I found out from multiple sources, of course I was a little upset and confused. After all, Peter is an accomplished photographer and there is no need to use someone else’s photos.

After people complained, they finally took down the image. Peter never apologized, but someone from his social media team did come to my Facebook Page and left a wall post (which I found a while later after it had scrolled to page 2). I have posted that exchange on the right.

And, just to be clear, since everyone is not familiar with Creative Commons Non-Commercial, I’m happy to explain it again for the thousands of artists out there that subscribe to it like me. It is simple. People are allowed to use my photos in non-commercial ways for personal use, for blogs, for wallpapers, for fun, as the basis for new paintings, and this sort of thing. Simple. If people are going to use it in this manner, they must give credit to Trey Ratcliff and link back here to Simple. In this case, even giving credit alone would not have been enough, since this was clearly for a commercial purpose.

In a sense, Creative Commons Non-Commercial just puts plain language around common sense.

Daily Photo – The Simplicity of Life

A delicate photo for you today.

There was a silent lake in the north of Iceland around 1 AM where I stopped for a stroll. I had bathed myself in this light for over a week, and this non-stop dream of solstice nights was getting deep into my mind. There is that strange moment between sleep and wake – you know the one – but that moment was elongated to hours on end as the elements drifted around me. Certain feelings around this are hard to explain, but perhaps you know what I mean.

High Dynamic Range Photo

  • Susan

    Oh wow!! This is drop dead gorgeous – love the lights and all the colors! You should do this as a print! Good one of Lik’s team was sorry – but seems a little late – I wonder how he would feel if the same thing happened to him?

  • Amazing colors in this shot, from the sky to the reflection.

  • That light is stunning, I’m working on a similar shot taken at Gibbston… Looking out at the orchard towards Queenstown at sunset. I think the only thing that would make this scene better would be a perfectly flat body of water… But if I had a dollar for every time I have said those words (keen water-skier talking here!) I’d be able to buy my own lake and stop complaining πŸ˜‰

  • Lush. I wish I was there sipping some 21 year old McCallen.
    You gotta love a placid lake/sunset moment like that.

    BTW – I think you guys have got this Peter Lik thing all wrong. Whom ever it was on the Lik-Squad that decided Peter just wasn’t qualified to take his own Time Square shot so they needed to bring in an expert on photography like Trey – Well – Job well done I say. They were right. Sure, OK, they should have made sure Trey got the credit. But you can’t blame them for realizing they’d do better with an SIC product than a cow-Lik product on their Facebook page. That’s just common sense. I say that guy deserves a raise.

  • John

    Calling out Peter Lik and making such a big deal about your times square photo…wth. You yourself sound like a douche, especially in the interview that you gave with Lisa Bettany. You come off as an arrogant person. Perhaps it’s because of your introverted computer background…chalk it up to you being misunderstood…who knows. But you seem like a douche yourself. I guess it takes one to know one.

  • I can totally understand your use of creative commons licensing and I applaud it. I do it with almost every work I make as well, sometimes the model or make up artist disagrees though.

    What I don’t understand is why you don’t use share alike? I would also like to know if you have thought about the use of non-commersial which is the clause that I’m currently most curious about if I should or should not use. I’m actually more open to not using non-commersial than not using share alike

  • As for Peter Lik – I walk by his “Art Galleries” in the mall all the time where his photos sell for thousands of dollars. He, or his marketing team, create such an exclusivity around his images and yet they choose to use your image for a promotion? That doesn’t make much sense. In any case, I think the idea of photography – or art of any kind is to be able to share it with as many people as possible rather than making it available only to the elite.

    As for your image Trey – I think this might just be my favorite image you’ve posted! That is definitely saying something since I’ve looked through aprox. 3/4 of your blog archives.

  • Sheer unprofessionalism on Peter Lik’s part. I once used an online recipe and altered it according to my recipe ingredient and ratio. But before blogging about it, I contacted the writer, ask and got permission to use the recipe as an inspiration, provided I gave credit, which of course, goes without saying.

  • Btw, you should remove comment number 5 above. He is verbally abusive!!!

  • Simon Morris

    Stunning image Trey – gorgeous tones, creating a wonderful calm feeling! It must be strange seeing that kind of light at 1am – brain wants to sleep, yet mind and body wants to photograph!
    I’m having a guess, but I’d say Iceland must rate as your favourite country to photograph(?) – definitely on my list when next visiting family/relatives in Europe πŸ˜‰

  • Patrick Ahles

    I agree with Simon, this should not be visible at 1 AM! How can a human being cope with something like this? Great sunset/rise!

  • Dan

    Gorgeous photo Trey, Very relaxing… thanks.

    And as for Lik, Atleast you got a response. Good on you for letting it slide lol…That must of been hard.

    Have a good day buddy!
    my latest photo:

  • Stunning image! The colors are really awesome.
    Why is it that the ones who leave nasty comments always fail to provide a link with their name for a response? This sort of “drive by” commenting is annoying.

  • Awesome colors, what a wonderful sunset!!!

  • Gail in Montana

    I love this photo, Trey!!! It is drop-dead gorgeous!!! I agree with several other fellow commenters that the negative one should be removed. Shame on them!!!! I noticed that one person posted a line with Straitnochaser on it. I had subscribed to that group, great singing!!! I know you just take such ugly comments as a grain of salt, and ignore them. You know who you are, and you are not a snob, you are the most down to earth person, friendly, sharing, fun to listen to, nice person I has been my pleasure to know online. So there, ugly commenter!!!!
    Have a great Monday, all. We stick up for our friends, don’t we!!! πŸ™‚

  • Gail in Montana

    Thelonious Gonzo, I looked at several of you photos, just beautiful!!!! Thanks for sharing your link with us!!!! WTG πŸ™‚

  • Dad’s Dad

    Oh Trey, what a great shot. love, dad

  • Epic colors..

  • The reflections and colours in thia are incredible – well done Trey πŸ™‚

  • hehe thanks… yes at least we got a response.

    Kiran – hehe it’s okay, it’s funny that people think I did something wrong by pointing out something that was wrongly done.

    Jason – thanks – yes this is one of my favorites too I think! Glad it makes sense to you

  • Sam

    Excellent! Are you in the computer wallpaper business? I’d buy, for sure. 1920×1080, please.

  • I usually like landscapes and nature in general better in landscape format, but this picture is…so stunning, it’s hard to put words around…it is beautiful in many many ways and I think it really shows how impressionism influences you. I thank you for this eye candy I will most probably have to buy as a print sooner or later.

  • Tom

    Great subtle colors..

    I think a personal apology from Peter Lik is warranted. The buck stops at the boss….


  • Part of me wants to use something like Creative Commons. Like you, I honestly don’t care if people want to use my photos for personal use and I’d appreciate the Google link back to my site. However, I’m not comfortable with the Creative-Commons description of “non-commercial.” It’s a bit too vague for my taste, and people could quite easily come to different conclusions. I even discussed it with an attorney who handles copyright infringement cases, but his perspective was understandably restrictive on the matter.

    Maybe I’m just thinking too much.

  • Gail – Thank you so much for your kind words. Honestly I have not posted too many links to my work here because i felt it was somewhat rude to steal attention from people who came here to see Trey’s work. But he has said on a few occasions that he actually wants us to do this, so I did. Yet another very generous act by Trey. It’s almost like he really wants to help people and is willing to go out of his way to do this! Nah!!! πŸ˜‰

  • hehe yes gonzo – link all you want!

    William – yes, “commercial” can be a little squirrelly … and we always get “non-profits” that think they can use it for free… but that is a no-no. Non-profits generate a ton of revenue — and if they are using my photos to generate revenue for themselves, well that’s commercial in my book.

  • ricky

    YES! more shots like theses please!!

  • Hehe thanks – Yes Ricky I wish I had more shots like this too!

  • David Neff

    Stunning image Trey! No pun intended, but you have the eye of a great photographer. The composition in your shots is simply brilliant and inspiring.

  • Troll the world

  • Stephen Clarke

    Hi Trey,
    Beautiful clouds. Something about sunsets/sunrises that strike some primordial cord in us I think!

    Re Peter Lik… This is still bugging me! The simple fact that he has not had the decency to personally contact you and apologize after this length of time, speaks volumes about him in my books, as a person and as a business owner. Simply put, he has the legal and moral responsibility for the actions of his staff. Obviously humility not part of his repertoire, which is sad because this was just so easy for him to fix with a simple and sincere “I’m sorry”.

    Well Trey, perhaps there is some comfort in the truism that ‘Pride always comes before the fall’

    Regardless of all that, I just wanted to wish a Happy Easter to you and your family!

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!