I have been trying to get a particular shot of my dog for a couple of years and recently got it...though not perfect not bad. I have seen the amazing shots by Tim Flach of the Hungarian Puli dog and my shot is very similar (though FAR FAR FAR inferior).
I would like to enter mine in a photography competition but could there be an issue - might it be thought that I was copying someone else's idea?
That's extremely doubtful that it could be seen as an issue. The likes of lighting, focal range and shutter speed in impromptu shots are very difficult to replicate, and plenty of photographers will take 'inspiration' from the work of others. If it was a portrait shot that was replicated exactly you might expect an annoyed e-mail, but simply grabbing an image from a similar angle can't really be seen as plagiarism. After all, 80% of landscape shots are taken from similar angles but are entirely different images due to the time of day, settings etc.
I know US contributors may disagree, but in under UK IP law copyright exists and subsists from the time of image capture, and belongs to the individual who takes/captures the image. There is no problem in your using your image(s) for any purpose.
You would infringe Flach's copyright if you directly copied his actual photo and claimed it as your own.
Most of us are inspired by images that other photographers have taken, and indeed isn't that why most of us became photographers ourselves?. Nemesis correctly points out that copyright infringements occur when someone actually uses an image that another photographer has taken and passes it of as their own. You are in no danger of stepping on anyone's toes just by choosing to be inspired by the way someone else has captured a particular scene, so have no fears and enter you image, and all the best.
Originally Posted by yrammy
Thanks for all the replies. There are big differences between my shop and Tim Flach's (other than his being brilliant and mine....) My is taken when my dog was wet and shaking. I do have an early attempt loaded up on this sight but since then I have managed to get one with a black background....tricky with a wet dog in a shower. Still I am pleased with it - I will load it up to see what others think.