Is a photograph of something a derivative work?

Photographs of other objects are not derivative works of those objects… a photograph of an object is not “based on” that object: it is a mere depiction of it. If your photograph of something is a derivative work, then your photo infringes on the rights of the copyright holder of whatever you photographed. So if a photo is not by definition a derivative work, then the copyright of the photographed object is not affected by your taking a photo of it. So the argument that you can’t take a picture of something ‘for copyright reasons’ is not true, at least in the US of A.