The f295 Symposium: A Preview

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.

Whither Microstock?

In today’s New York Times article by Katie Hafner, A Photo Trove, a Mounting Challenge, there are a few interesting excerpts:

Stock Footage Generates $282 Million Annually

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.

Hanging with Revolutionaries

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.

Brochure? Sales Sheet? What’s the Difference?

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.

The Secret to Client Relationships? Deliver Good Work!

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.

Black Star Photos on Display at 2007 Toronto Photography Festival

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.

Q&A with iStockphoto’s Bruce Livingstone

CNET News published an interview with CEO Bruce Livingstone of iStockphoto on Wednesday. An excerpt:

USA Today Squeezes Freelancers Over Usage Rights

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 of Corbis: Living the American Dream

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: Content Creation Partner

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)

Photoshop World Hits Boston

This year’s sold-old Photoshop World Conference & Expo runs from April 3 to 6 in Boston.  The much-anticipated CS3 will surely be the most popular topic of discussion.  To answer photographers’ questions, O’Reilly Media has announced that it will host many of its own bestselling photography authors at the expo.  Said O’Reilly’s digital media evangelist, Derrick Story:

Getty Photographers Pessimistic About the Future

When I recently asked Getty photographers if their royalties were going up or down, I was quickly flooded with responses that indicate a high level of dissatisfaction and frustration. I promised anonymity so I won’t identify respondents by name, but I will include comments that went well beyond the simple survey questions.

The Value of Post-Production

Long gone are the days where we made the last frame, sent it to the lab via courier, and it returned to show us the glory of our work (or where we’d made a disastrous error.) Yet, this “ship and forget” system meant more time shooting — doing what we love and, hopefully, are most talented at. Today, a photographer’s time is spent far differently. And the biggest leech of our creative time is ((post-production)).

Time Inc. Still Can’t Resurrect Life

In its latest bid to revive the most popular magazine brand of the 20th century, Time Inc. in 2004 relaunched Life as a Friday insert in 70 U.S. newspapers. On April 20, the Life supplement will cease publication.

Ilford Photo Celebrates Black-and-White Photography

Ilford Photo, the UK-based maker of photographic consumables which has remained committed to monochrome films and paper as players like Kodak have left the market, will hold an exhibition next month to showcase 150 years of black-and-white photography — and to show off its paper in the process. The exhibit, “Pioneers of Photography,” runs from April 16-28 at London’s HOST Gallery. (Via PhotographyBLOG.)

Tip to Steve Jobs: iTunes Should Sell Stock Photos

The Web has changed photography in so many ways. I’m not just talking about the ability to e-mail images from a shoot, or the fact that tools like Photoshop are becoming online services. I’m talking about the ability of photographers to showcase their portfolios online, to write blogs that explain who they are and what they’re working on, and to stay in touch with each other through social networking systems.

Copyright Suit is on the Money

U.S. photographer Kelly Fajack, whose photo of Burundi schoolchildren mysteriously wound up depicted on the African nation’s 10,000 Franc note, has added the country’s U.K.-based currency maker to his copyright infringement lawsuit.

Tea, War and Protest in Iran

Since the overthrow of the Shah and the kidnapping of the American hostages in 1979, Iran has always been in the news. For nine years, while Iran was closed to most Westerners, I travelled there taking pictures of events, life under the Ayatollahs and the Iran/Iraq war.

Flickr Makes Photo Contests Easier

In a previous post, I warned pro photographers against using Flickr as an archiving system. But while I wouldn’t recommend Flickr for storage, it does have a number of uses that make it increasingly worthwhile.

Zooomr to Move Into Photo Sales

It’s been predicted for some time that Flickr would move into the stock photo business. But it looks like upstart Zooomr has beaten them to it.

Markup? Yes, Mark it Up!

What, the cost of an assignment? Of course, there are photographer’s fees and appropriate usage fees. There are also assignment-specific expenses, such as parking, mileage, and often an assistant. Equipment rentals, and expendables like gaffers tape, seamless, and for old-school assignments, film and Polaroids.

China Market May Be Ripe for Microstock

For me, one of the big stock photography mysteries has been the size of the market in China and its potential for growth. I recently spent 10 days in China talking to photographers and stock agents in an effort to get a better understanding of where this market is today and how it might develop in the next few years.

How Time Magazine Went Wrong

In Time’s first issue showing off its Economist-influenced redesign, the cover photo illustration depicts Ronald Reagan shedding a Photoshopped tear.

Radar Online had fun with the image and Time’s “somewhat cryptic credit”:

It’s Okay PDN, We Still Love You

Andy Goetze took a shot at PDN Online today based on its declining Alexa ranking:

With all their resources, with all their money, with all their reputation … I don´t how they do it, but PDN yesterday became the nightmare of the advertising community, crossing Alexa´s styx: 100,482.