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Author Topic: ...been a photographer for 25 years!  (Read 9761 times)

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« on: June 06, 2009, 04:05 »
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Have you heard it before, and checked out their portfolio?  To find out its filled with out of focus noisy snapshots.   

Did they get away with that earlier??  Or is it just bullshi...?    ( you better clean out your port before answering ;))



« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2009, 06:28 »
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2009, 07:18 »
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So what was it that inspired Bruce's username? (in relation to the article Sean cited)

Actually, I think I'm wrong here. I thought he started istock because he found the trad agencies to be closed shops, and was bitter about that. A bit of research suggests that wasn't the reason he was bitter.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 07:27 by averil »

« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2009, 09:05 »
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Did you ever see this rant?
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/micro-payment.shtml


I just strolled along a path to one side and took a few snaps. 20 sales later the picture has turned over $5,000 with 40% to me. Equivalent Micro Payment Agency Commission, $80.00.   :D     And then he woke up and got the message: rejected     

lisafx

« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 09:44 »
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I think this is it in a nutshell.  The trad photographers had it made, taking found shots, leftovers from assignments, etc.  and selling them for thousands.  Now they appear to be upset because they actually have to work for their money.

No wonder they wanted to keep the rest of us away from their buffet table. 

« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 09:58 »
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Bit of inverted snobbery going on here  ;)

alias

« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2009, 10:13 »
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The trad photographers had it made, taking found shots, leftovers from assignments, etc.  and selling them for thousands.  Now they appear to be upset because they actually have to work for their money.

Whilst that is certainly true in some cases it is also basically an over-simplification. The economics of the business were very different. The overheads were greater pre digital.

Eg - think of something as simple as learning to control flash or to build different lighting plans. Today you can learn that using a dslr. You can pre shoot. No processing costs involved. Imagine if you were paying out for transparency film, processing costs, clipping etc. And it had to be right - there was no option to tweak it later in Photoshop if, say, the background was not quite white.

Eg - think of going out to some remote location with a bag of film. No way of knowing for certain that you have got the shots you need. And often those trips would only be partially funded so of course people needed to try to shoot other stuff when the opportunity existed.

And if agency wanted to send out a selection of possible shots to a particular client in response to a picture request, well all of those had to be duped. And the indexing, actually finding the shots, involved looking though drawers and boxes. Someone more or less had to be familiar with all of the work in a library. Now everyone has got Lightroom or Aperture and we have our own keywording and cross referencing systems + email and the web. It's all much easier and cheaper.

RM still best fits editorial work and the prices are still significantly higher. And I bet everyone here still charges old fashioned prices for work-for-hire :)

« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2009, 10:55 »
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^^^ That's all very true however it doesn't justify the old 'closed-shop' attitude. It wasn't so long ago that an agency, pretty much any agency, acted as if they were doing you a very big favour to let you submit your work. Now at least we have a true marketplace for anyone and everyone.

The established agencies had the chance to seize the initiative when digital came along, passing on those savings to their customers and encouraging their photographers to become more cost-effective and efficient __ but they didn't. Tough.

alias

« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2009, 11:13 »
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^^^ That's all very true however it doesn't justify the old 'closed-shop' attitude. It wasn't so long ago that an agency, pretty much any agency, acted as if they were doing you a very big favour to let you submit your work. Now at least we have a true marketplace for anyone and everyone.

Sure but the crowd sourcing internet model is very different and  is evolved around the idea of everyone having a try. It is a great model.

Pre digital trying out and taking on a photographer also represented a cost. Imagine working at agency and having to put aside time to look through people's holiday and family snaps, a swan in the park, yet another sunset, random this and that, photo club prize winner, girlfriend posing etcetera.

The established agencies had the chance to seize the initiative when digital came along, passing on those savings to their customers and encouraging their photographers to become more cost-effective and efficient __ but they didn't. Tough.

Fairly normal for one model to replace another when the technology changes. The car companies could have evolved but they didn't. i guess people get stuck in their model. The significant historical and editorial collections are still going to be significant and historical and lucrative. Everything else is up for grabs.

And who can say that the crowd sourced top - down model would survive some other model?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2009, 11:15 by alias »

« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2009, 12:07 »
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It was indeed harder before. Big creds for that.  But was enoys me today is how photos are so sacred even today. Like a piece of art they spent a months making.  No matter if took 10 sec on automatic.    Its like theyre little babies.   Wont sell for under 300$.      And they cannot get in theyre heads that 1$ times 300 is the same :D

« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2009, 13:22 »
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I respect these old photographers because they spent their lives doing this, this is how they made their income, raised their kids, etc.  If suddenly the market is flooded by cheap images, they don't have to be happy about it or comprehensive about people who accept to sell images so cheap - sometimes too cheap. 

vonkara

« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2009, 15:27 »
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They can be photographer for a very long time, if they can't handle photoshop or follow the new technologies or technics... sorry for them, they worth nothing in the actual standards. I mean they won't be selected for any commercial project IMO

« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2009, 17:18 »
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The ones I know master PS and have the latest technology (or close to it) in terms of photo equipment.

« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2009, 23:57 »
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It was indeed harder before. Big creds for that.  But was enoys me today is how photos are so sacred even today. Like a piece of art they spent a months making.  No matter if took 10 sec on automatic. 

OK, Magnum when was the last time you had a 10 sec exposure? Probably got rejected for noise I'll bet ;)
Most of my exposures are done at 1/125 of a second and 80% of them are trash.
Only the best 20% get a chance of being submitted and even they they might get a rejection.... so YES, these shots ARE my babies!

« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2009, 05:12 »
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Did you ever see this rant?
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/micro-payment.shtml


lol that rant  from the luminous landscape (I actually like that site and learnt alot from it) was the first time I had heard of this evil microstock.


"nothing to see here" move along. you only make pennies for all your hard work,

 

« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2009, 05:38 »
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Welcome to the world of globalisation.  Yes, this new world is indeed democratic in the sense that everyone is invited to the table.  I lived off my painting for almost 30 years, exposing in art galleries and benefited from that elite concept.  The fact is, in the art world it didn't really matter how artistic the work was, what mattered in terms of success was being in a gallery . . . context is everything. For this new everyone is invited into the gallery democratic world, it seems the market says a good, high quality image is worth about one buck and I don't know how you would remove the people from the gallery unless you yell fire.

« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2009, 05:54 »
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The fact is, in the art world it didn't really matter how artistic the work was, what mattered in terms of success was being in a gallery . . . context is everything. For this new everyone is invited into the gallery democratic world, it seems the market says a good, high quality image is worth about one buck and I don't know how you would remove the people from the gallery unless you yell fire.


Hmm __ reminds me a bit of Jack Vettriano. In terms of sales of postcards, posters and paintings he's the art world's equivalent of Yuri Arcurs but was never really accepted or applauded by 'the arts establishment'. He makes a lot of money from churning out popularist stuff that the public wants to buy though.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/3641007.stm

« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2009, 06:07 »
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The fact is, in the art world it didn't really matter how artistic the work was, what mattered in terms of success was being in a gallery . . . context is everything. For this new everyone is invited into the gallery democratic world, it seems the market says a good, high quality image is worth about one buck and I don't know how you would remove the people from the gallery unless you yell fire.


Hmm __ reminds me a bit of Jack Vettriano. In terms of sales of postcards, posters and paintings he's the art world's equivalent of Yuri Arcurs but was never really accepted or applauded by 'the arts establishment'. He makes a lot of money from churning out popularist stuff that the public wants to buy though.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/3641007.stm



Right, once you get past the chatter of the masses quality will suface, if not now then later . . .  sometimes much later . . . . the question I ask myself is . . . . unlike a canvas, will the digital equivalent last long enough to gain its deserved recognition.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 06:11 by etienjones »

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2009, 07:08 »
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Have you heard it before, and checked out their portfolio?  To find out its filled with out of focus noisy snapshots.   

Did they get away with that earlier??  Or is it just bullshi...?    ( you better clean out your port before answering ;))


Way back in the day photographers got paid well and could justify expensive equipment. Most snappers couldn't afford a $10,000 camera so the "pros" had the supply of content. Combine low supply and monopolistic distribution and it's a sellers market.

Now with cheap quality cameras and tons of internet distribution opportunities it's a buyers market. The 25-year pros have a new reality to deal with. Great photographers will survive. Smart ones will adapt. The 25-ers with out of focus noisy snapshots may need to find something else to do.

« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2009, 10:59 »
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Film photographers spent considerable time and money to learn a difficult and challenging technology.  Because an image was costly, they developed a sense of composition and 'interest' in a photo.  They were able to make good money from their skills - sometimes a living.

Today, its easy so we can take lots of careless, boring shots and sell them for 25 cents.

How much smarter we are today, than they were then.




« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2009, 11:15 »
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Film photographers spent considerable time and money to learn a difficult and challenging technology.  Because an image was costly, they developed a sense of composition and 'interest' in a photo.  They were able to make good money from their skills - sometimes a living.

Today, its easy so we can take lots of careless, boring shots and sell them for 25 cents.

How much smarter we are today, than they were then.

What about engravers in the Middle Ages, eh? They got paid proper money for a proper job! This so-called 'photography' malarkey will never last __ not like etching images into good old copper plates.

« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2009, 11:40 »
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Thanks for the laugh . . . . . unless of course you are into printing Dollar Bills or Euros.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2009, 11:44 by etienjones »

« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2009, 11:52 »
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Yes, the current generation of people is certainly the most competent that has ever lived. Our Photoshop skills make the arts and crafts of the previous 10,000 look like tired old junk.  Our cunning business acumen, our instinctive market sense, has never existed in the world before.  We're just bettter, smarter, faster. Deal with it, baby boomers.

And we will never fall into the trap of previous generations, and watch our skills and knowledge become obsolete in the face of even newer technology. 

We bask in the glow of success, defined as a 25 cent sale of a photo that's been done 1000 times before. Ooops it just went to 6 cents. 





« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2009, 12:09 »
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Yes, the current generation of people is certainly the most competent that has ever lived. Our Photoshop skills make the arts and crafts of the previous 10,000 look like tired old junk.  Our cunning business acumen, our instinctive market sense, has never existed in the world before.  We're just bettter, smarter, faster. Deal with it, baby boomers.

And we will never fall into the trap of previous generations, and watch our skills and knowledge become obsolete in the face of even newer technology. 

We bask in the glow of success, defined as a 25 cent sale of a photo that's been done 1000 times before. Ooops it just went to 6 cents. 








Not to mention the total collaspe of the world's financial market due to those very clever people . . .  "Yes, the current generation of people is certainly the most competent that has ever lived. "

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2009, 16:41 »
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Film photographers spent considerable time and money to learn a difficult and challenging technology.  Because an image was costly, they developed a sense of composition and 'interest' in a photo.  They were able to make good money from their skills - sometimes a living.

Today, its easy so we can take lots of careless, boring shots and sell them for 25 cents.

How much smarter we are today, than they were then.


So many things used to be hand crafted and got top dollar. Now everything is mass produced. Technology has given us these new opportunities while also driving down perception of value. It's unfortunate but it's where change is headed. How smart is it to not adapt to the changes and instead just complain and insult the people who are adapting. Not very smart. 

I would love to be making $100,000 a year from a handful of well crafted images. Unfortunately there are millions of well crafted images out there flooding the market and driving down prices. Until I find a better way, looks like it's time to make more images.




 

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