I’ve always been a fanatic about researching the destinations I’m going to photograph, and by the time I get off a plane in a new city, I probably know more about the hidden parks and historic streets and buildings than most of the people living there.
“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”
The statement seems disarmingly simple, especially when we discover it comes from Ansel Adams, arguably the greatest landscape photographer of the 20th century. Rudimentary on its surface but burgeoning with truth, it offers a glimpse into the mind of a photographic genius.
Nothing makes me madder than being told I have just taken a “lucky shot” — generally speaking, because on the day concerned I probably got out of bed at least five hours before my grudging critic.
There is a great story about Gary Player, the South African golf champion, hitting a hole in one at a tournament.
I learned the finer points of photo editing from one of the best in the business. He’s a mentor I’ve never met, but he’s with me every day.
When Arizona Highways hired me more than two decades ago, I thought myself the luckiest man on Earth. I’d made the leap from newspapers to the greatest landscape photography magazine in the world. The weight of carrying on the magazine’s celebrated photographic legacy was not lost on me. These were my salad days. And this was my big moment.
Digital photography has turned a world of possibilities into reality. It has alleviated photographic challenges and made visual communication much faster, easier and more fun. But offsetting these positives is a Pandora’s box of evils that have been released in the publishing world. Paramount among them is the issue of digital image manipulation.
We are frequently approached by photographers interested in receiving assignments through Black Star. “What is your selection process?” they want to know.
There is no formal system for selecting Black Star photographers — and there is no formal pecking order among our approximately 350 photographers, either. Our selection process is more art than science, and always has been.
Reuters has put forth its terms for submissions to You Witness News. Here are a few tidbits, and my thoughts:
This week, U.K-based stock photography portal Alamy released first quarter 2007 figures on contributors, percentage revenue and average pricing. In the quarter they added 920,952 images to their collection, which now totals more than eight million images.
The Industry Measure (formerly TrendWatch Graphic Arts) has released an update to its popular Stock Image Market Sizing report. The company collected data from graphic arts firms, creative firms, publishers and Internet design and development firms. Some key finding in this report are:
It’s happened again: a photographer is battling publicly with a glamorous model over usage rights.
Allan Detrich of the Toledo Blade took the photo at top left during a University of Toledo women’s basketball game. He submitted the bottom photo to his editors — inserting the basketball.
Christine Hutman, owner of the Chicago-based online business Pet Services Review, wrote Inc. magazine to ask the following question:
If you want to continue to take pictures for a living, it’s time to start learning to shoot video. Why? Because newspapers and magazines, the lifeblood of professional still photographers, are beginning to move away from print and toward online. Once online offerings have been established, video and sound become more appealing and a better way to tell stories than with still images. There is already movement in that direction and it’s a trend that can only increase.
Pictage, an online service provider for more than 9,000 wedding and event photographers in the United States, has launched a new community Web site enabling photographers to exchange ideas and directly access professional development resources and content.
You remember the old joke about someone walking up to a great photographer and asking “How do you take so many great photos?” and the photographer replies, “The only secret is f/8 and be there.” Well, there’s a lot of truth in that old adage — but for some photographers the trick to getting great images is “f295 and be there!” F295, if you haven’t guessed, is the approximate aperture of a pinhole camera.
In today’s New York Times article by Katie Hafner, A Photo Trove, a Mounting Challenge, there are a few interesting excerpts:
A recent study by The Association of Commercial Stock Image Licensors (ACSIL) determined that the global stock footage industry generates approximately $282 million in licensing revenue annually. Data on estimated revenues, content type, Web functionality and region was collected from 67 key footage companies.
Waiting is a major part of a photojournalist’s life; waiting for the Pope, a President or a rebel.
The first revolutionaries I ever worked with were the MNLF, Moro National Liberation Front, in the southern Philippines. When I wanted to contact them I would wait in a hotel in Davao on the Island of Mindanao. The room was just big enough for a bed; there were cracks and stains on the walls and tiles that were lifting off the floor. There were mosquitoes drifting around a ceiling fan, which clicked and clacked as it went around.
Is it a transit ad, or a bus back? Does POP really mean Point of Purchase? The way we have, for years and years, described the types, sizes, media, and locations of where our photography is used, is dizzying.
Most of my assignments start with a call from the client (or Anh Stack or Ben Chapnick) with some information about the shoot and then a follow-up e-mail. I talk to a client, but hardly ever see the client.
The 2007 CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival, May 1-31, will feature an exhibit of Ryerson University’s Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection at BCE Place. Images for the exhibit are being printed by Ryerson photography students using an HP Designjet Z2100 printer donated by HP, the photo festival’s lead sponsor.
CNET News published an interview with CEO Bruce Livingstone of iStockphoto on Wednesday. An excerpt:
USA Today has increased its day rate for freelancers in a new contract — but with a catch. In return for the $100 increase, the newspaper now demands the right to use freelance photos wherever it wants, forever. That includes on the USA Today Web site and in other Gannett publications.
Beate Chelette is a woman full of dreams, talent, strength and business acumen. She came to the United States 17 years ago from Germany,determined to live her American dream. As an entrepreneur it was no easy path; she had her share of highs and lows before creating a successful interiors stock library, Beateworks. In March 2006, Beate sold that company to Corbis.
Jack Hollingsworth is a top commercial image producer and “content creation partner.” What does it mean to be a content creation partner compared to a stock photographer?
- a higher volume
- higher value
- faster, smarter, cheaper time-to-market
- one-stop-shop performance
- completely staffed (including pre-production, production, and post-production services)