As a photographer, it’s in my job description to artfully render my surroundings no matter where I am. But some places inspire my best work and hold a connection for me that I can’t explain.
For Arizona Highways magazine, I once asked our photographers to seek out their favorite locations. Poring over these images was one of the most interesting photo edits I’ve ever worked on. Knowing the photographers and their stock files as I do, I could have predicted some of their choices. Obviously, a large body of work from one location suggests a powerful connection between land and landscapist.
I recently did a survey of Getty photographers in which respondents expressed a high level of frustration and dissatisfaction. After the survey was completed I got several more responses and one photographer gave me a very detailed explanation of what had been happening in his career. I would like to share this with you.
Three weeks ago, I was in India sitting on a Bihar train reading the headlines:
“Maoist rebels attack a train in Bihar”
“Serious outbreak of Malaria in Bihar kills 72 people.”
Just in case I still thought the assignment would be easy, I was told to drink plenty of of water — because a villager in the area where I was working had fallen asleep in the shade of a tree and died of dehydration as a result of the heat.
Professional photographers might have mixed feelings about Flickr, but there’s one thing everyone in the industry can agree on: you can’t ignore it. It’s just too useful.
We’ve already discussed how photographers can use Flickr to find photography competitions and do online location scouting. And putting your best photos online for buyers to see goes without saying.
Years ago a great London-based studio photographer called Chris Joyce, now sadly dead, would allow me to wander around his still-life studio. Thus was invented the sport of “cambo kicking,” which was the not-so-subtle way of altering a camera position by the simple means of tripping over the camera stand.
When an electronics company first squeezed a lens into a mobile phone, people in the photography industry started asking questions. With just 110,000 pixels, Sharp’s J-SH04 didn’t look like much of a threat to professional photographers at the time, but it seemed inevitable that the quality of camera phones would rise as quickly as the quality of the phones themselves.
What do you do when you’ve been disgraced from your job after altering 79 photographs (revealed so far) and are fired? Turn to what was your hobby — storm chasing.
About The Image recently ran an article that would have sent chills down the spines of anyone afraid of Flickr going commercial. The article looked at the fate of an API that would have enabled Flickr Pro members to move their images onto the 123RF.com stock site.
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.