PetaPixel

Australian Landscape Photographer Peter Lik Sells Photo for $1 Million

Peter Lik, a self-taught Australian landscape photographer, has sold one of his photographs for a whopping $1 million to an anonymous private art collector. The photograph, titled “One”, was shot on the banks of the Androscoggin River in New Hampshire just after dawn. Only one print of the photo will ever be produced. Lik states,

I will never forget this morning for the rest of my life. It was calm, and the scent of the fall forest filled my lungs. The mist cleared, and a magical reflection in the river briefly appeared. White birch trees, black trunks, a kaleidoscope of foliage combining to reveal an illusion of three dimensions. I pressed the shutter – once – and then the scene vanished with the morning breeze, never to be seen again.”

Although the amount of the sale is a first for Lik, he’s no stranger to bringing in the big bucks with his photography — according to Wikipedia, Lik has sold over $150 million in limited edition prints to date.


Image credit: “One” by Peter Lik


 
 
  • Anonymous

    So that’s why we shoot in the golden hours – to sell a shot for 1M :) It’s a beautiful photo and I’m sure it will make a stunning piece of art in the collectors home. I’ve gotta start getting up earlier and shooting!

  • Anonymous

    Damn. Wish I could fill my stories with pretentious ramblings. I don’t have what it takes to sell a million dollar picture I guess.

  • http://twitter.com/stacyn Stacy Niedzwiecki

    Gosh – I took a photo like this in Northern Michigan and haven’t sold a single print of it yet! But if someone has a spare $1 mil, I promise to only produce one if it – ever :-)

    Photo – Watercolors III
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/stacyn/3071139375

  • Jan

    Impressive, the guy knows how to sell.
    In case anyone else has a million just lying around, for that kind of money you can have all the photo’s I ever made! + my apartment & car ;-)

  • http://www.benzfoto.de Vitali Benz

    well it IS a very nice shot. But of course it’s only worth a million because Lik is quite famous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/happytinfoilcat HappyTinfoil Cat

    Later today I’m attending a seminar called “Maximizing Revenue from the Photos You Shoot”. I wonder if Lik had attended one of these. ;^)

  • Richrbg

    Perhaps he was the guest speaker!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2SRGWC6NS53HXS22GTJOH6VCJM Chiung-Tan Diana

    The gap of technology and art is escaping from this image.The gap of trees and river and banks is gone.The gap of you and me and Peter Lik is disappeared.All the elements in the universe is combining to be “ONE” at this moment.The greatest work of Peter Lik’s.It’s truely priceless.

  • http://twitter.com/EsoPhoenix Christopher 

    Not blowing smoke, Stacey… I think yours is better. I’m broke, though, so don’t get any ideas about me buying it. ;-)

  • Scott Kosco

    Not sure where you got the information on this sale, because it’s not completely accurate. my buddy from the Waikkiki gallery is the one who sold this image to a person of Asian descent. They flew and met at Lik’s gallery at the Venetian in Vegas and struck the deal for $430k, not one million. Lik, btw, is not American – he is Austrailian. Personally Lik’s works seem very fake to me, I’ve been out in nature for forever!

  • Money Penny

    Some has lot of money and doest know any way to spend it. You can see thousands of photos like this in Flickr.

  • weirdcombos

    very cool pics

  • http://twitter.com/stacyn Stacy Niedzwiecki

    Oh, gosh – if someone twisted my arm, I could let it go for $100 thousand :-)

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  • Tess1978

    I think it’s bullsh*t….not that it sold for $1M but that he says he took one picture only…I smell a lie.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2SRGWC6NS53HXS22GTJOH6VCJM Chiung-Tan Diana

    This is a true scenery that Peter Lik did see it in reality in that particular moment.Because I have had the same experience as him only once in my entire life.The image just showed up in from of me all of the sudden.This happened once at Bixby Creek Bridge in Big Sur California.As I was looking down a wave crashed into the rock and the water around the rock formed a large flower and it seemed as if it was floating in the sand.I didn’t have my camera at that point.I have lived in Monterey California for 12 years and I’ve gone to the same spot many times and I have never seen the water form around the rock like it did that one time I saw the flower.Maybe Peter Like has that ability to capture that image every time he takes a picture of our Mother Nature.He can help me to take this image and show it in public.I would appreciate it.Peter Lik is a great photographer that does his own work with a CAMERA in his own way.

  • Jackforester

    If you believe this crap I’ve got land in China for sale. Looks like he had a bunch of friends chiming in on this. I hope this so called investor like to burn money. Because as this photograph fades 10% every 2-12 years. He won’t have a value. But my belief he sold it to either his friend or himself. There are many other photographers who have much better work than this guy and who have shown in some of the finest galleries in the world. I would check out Timothy Wolcott, Joseph Holmes, Charles Cramer and several others. These guys have much better work the Lik. And they make their photographs so really don’t fade. Jack

  • http://www.jesushidalgophotography.zenfolio.com Jesus Hidalgo

    I think that even if some of us take better/ more beautiful pictures than this one, which btw it is a very nice picture, it all come down to popularity, marketing, sales force behind him, strategy and right timing. Even if we take that one picture that we say, “Wow I nailed it, awesome!” if nobody sees it, or not the right people see it, then it’s just one more image to save along with the rest of the other one. I’m happy for him, but also for me, because that tells me that there is hope; maybe one day, and I certainly hope so, that one day I get to sell my one million-dollar photo. Good luck to everyone!

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  • Goldbourne

    Which Auction house sold this – I can find no reference anywhere except on Peter Lik websites

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2SRGWC6NS53HXS22GTJOH6VCJM Chiung-Tan Diana

    Art transcends all human boundaries.It is a gift of almost inexplicable magical,energy.When my heart and senses are touched by art,my life is enhanced.Ever since I found out Peter Lik’s photography,I don’t feel alone because I know there is someone else that can catch the real essence of an image and turn it into a piece of art.I show my appreciation to Peter by writing poerty on his website.Even though I don’t know him personally,every time I take photos I can feel his presence guiding me.And you may go to his website—www.peterlik.com,just have a little look,then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  • John

    I have shot a ton, I mean a ton of images like this. And I know the art world very well, so the questiong is who purchased the image of a million dollars and I bet you find a art investment fund behind it. They will want to cash in on this guy as his prices rise.

  • John

    This has been happening in the painting and sculpture worlds for ever and I am said to see these hidden art investment groups getting involved now more and more with photography.

  • Lve

    I like this kind of work. It is unusual and of course every photo is in the eye of the beholder. Not in the league to comment on the price tag!

  • http://www.ymarketing.com/blog David Carpenter

    SPAM FAIL. This simply isn’t true, Scott. You are copy/paste spamming the comments of as many sites as you can find with this same bogus story, and should be banned from making any further comments on this site by the moderator.

    Facts/links: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/anonymous-art-collector-purchases-peter-liks-new-england-river-photo-one-for-1-million-113307384.html

    Moderator, I suggest you contact the well-respected law firm mentioned above in the post for confirmation and validation of the release: http://www.eellp.com/profiles.html

  • http://www.ihad.de ai photography

    someone have 1 mill lying around and want to spend it on a LIMITED EDITION 1 print ONLY 100x150cm Canvas print of “Into the Woods”? http://flic.kr/p/96WrBf
    Quickly before someone else grabs it!

    I took it in the morning mist and am sure you will never see this scene again ever, a fairy tale come to live in your living room, you will practically smell the trees and the morning air just by looking at it!

  • paul

    You obviously haven’t been in one of Peter Lik’s galleries, I have.. his work far exceeds anyone else around at the moment.

  • paul

    You guys evidently do not understand the art world. Why is a Rembrandt or a Monet worth more than another painter who is technically better? Because of the artist, not the art. Peter Lik is a true master of photography, unlike some of the fakers around at the moment, they photoshop the heck out of everything. Peter Lik’s work is amazing and very collectable.

  • Chiungtandianaball

    Yes, I agree with you. You are absolutely right! Peter Lik is a great artist. It is him that makes the work great and enhance our lives’ value.

  • Egegv Wef

    Fake huh? Well good thing he came out with his show on The Weather Channel, ha. Lik is AMAZING!

  • Ktkkh Oth

    I agree with Paul that you have not been to one of his galleries. He only has over a dozen around the world. Lik’s work will always become more and more valuable. Oh and he just premiered his television series on The Weather Channel. Funny, I haven’t heard of one of the artist you list let alone have any of their works in my home. Having his friends “chime” in or purchase his art, LOL…Just look at the list of his famous collectors, I’m sure he hangs out with Paris Hilton and Shaq on a daily basis!!

  • Kipkipkyle

    never to be seen again………until the next day :) nice try Pete. what did PT Barnum say “theres a sucker born every minute”.

  • Kipkipkyle

    i second you, what a bunch of bozo bs. good for him for suckering a guy but darn my flickr pals put out way better stuff then that.

  • Anonymous

    You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. Do you know what medium the photo is printed on? If it’s linen, it can last practically forever. Photos on archival paper, when properly stored/displayed properly, can be expected to last more than 200 years.

  • Ed

    its a photo its not like he has the skill to paint it, big wow he can click a button on a camera,

  • Troup

    I have a prehistoric “whale’s ear” wrapped in oyster shells. It is displayed in my gallery. It is a one of a kind natural sculpture. Wish someone would mention this to Lik’s collectors! I will let it go for a paltry $1M. I’ll reduce the price if I like the person!!!

  • Thomasmoore

    Doesn’t anyone know that this is just a great marketing company around a great photographer? Take away the marketing and the years of building up his name and you have a $300.00 photo at best. If you put this photo or even all his photos on another website under an unknown name, (just as an experiment), I bet you’d have trouble selling his photo’s for 1% of what he get’s for them now. That’s what building up a name does for you. Brings in top dollar. It creates value in people’s mind. Clorox is just bleach. But they get twice the price for their NAME. Don’t get me wrong, Lik is good, maybe in the top 5% of all photographers in the world. I enjoy his artistic pictures. But don’t believe for a minute he doesn’t manipulate his photos. I live in Utah, where he has taken many of those famous ones…those caves do not have that brilliant red in natural form. They have a red hue, but not that brilliant, even with the evening sun setting right on them. These photos have been enhanced. But, that’s marketing.

  • Thomasmoore

    Oh, I just did a brief search and guess what I found? Proof that Lik uses Photoshop. And would have guessed!…from his own mouth! That’s right, here’s a video of Peter saying he enhances the colors and uses a backup digital, etc. Check it out. Here’s the link:
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0spacaJi3fs

    Now, having said that, he still is a great photographer. He’s even better at what he does with the negative AFTER the picture is taken. But the best thing Lik does is the manipulation of the public. He’s as good or better then Houdini. This isn’t a negative comment. I’m impressed. I’ve owned 5 companies. I understand marketing is the locomotive that pulls the whole train. Lik knows that better then any other Photographer. The only part that I don’t like is the wiliness of his sales staff to lie to make sales. That will hurt him at some point.

  • Bartram

    I have worked for lik as a international director and I must say another example of great marketing.  I have owned a beautiful gallery as well as ran his for many years and I have to chuckle when I see this.  Very interesting to see the various reactions and some of you are pretty spot on.  Were either boasting ourselves to be the greatest by how much money we make and how talented we are to be able to photograph such a shot.  Personally I don’t think there is any art left in that operation but really cool looking creations of multimedia and the guy should give more credit to those who help him and have helped him get to where he is.  I have a gallery with Amazing photographers with the best of attitudes and each humble although they are far greater at their craft than a multimedia shop.  I learned some stuff from lik but mainly from the generous teachings of Charles Cramer and David Fokos and Peter Jarver.  The work is nice however I just wish the success would have went to a guy like Peter Jarver who originated the epic photographs in Australia.  Look him up he has the most amazing lightning photography ever along with beautiful landscape images.  My site http://www.bartramgallery.com and sorry if I offended any Lik lovers but in my opinion the man matters as much as the image.

  • Steve

    It’s b/c art people want to sound so deep so they make up things that supposedly make it brilliant.   Ever see that show where they asked art lovers to critique a painting, where they went on and on about how “the artist is trying to capture this and that, and how it reflects this or that…blah..blah..blah.” then the show revealed that an elephant painted it.

  • Reecollins

    Well we were just at his gallery in Vegas and HE IS AWESOME!  And REAL and his images are worth every penny!!  The salespeople at this gallery knew the things he went through to get shots like this.  We purchased his portrait “Desire”, very recent addition to his collection.  It is GORGOUS!  Nothing fake about his work!

  • Chicken_Fingers

    Nonsense.  This claim has no value outside of auction house records.  His mother could have bought it.  

  • swac

    I visited Lik’s gallery in Vegas. The images are nice, but as a photographer, I hesitate to call these photographs. This whole operation is about marketing and deception. Even his new TV show (To the Edge), seems very similar to Art Wolfe’s Travel to the Edge. This guy is fake. His work will surely fade as soon as people catch on to their trickery. He may be a successful business owner, but he stinks as an original artist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rick-Higgins/100001727268304 Rick Higgins

    I agree with many of the statements everyone has posted, its not so much that Peter Lik is any better a photographer than any of us. It all has to do with his staff of people doing his marketing, and of course his sponsors!

    But most of all, its his tough 
    Australian ”Outback Look” and accent like “Crocodile Dundee”! Its like 
    Stacey’s photo above, its damn good! If she was to take that photo and print it very large on metallic paper and frame it, she could probably sell it for a good price. However, if she also placed Peter Lik’s name on, it would probably sell for a great deal more!!! 

    Most photographers like me, don’t have the resources and cash to spend $1500 or more to have my images professionally printed on metallic paper for a size of 48″x111″ panoramic and framed, if we did we may be the next Peter Lik photographer!

  • Brad G.

    OR it maybe that Peter Lik carries almost $145,000 and more of equipment with anytime he is out for a walk about.

  • Andy

    I’d give you a milli for this if the tree on the right was running top to bottom of the frame and not in at the half way mark :P
    in all seriousness though, I love this photo. Keep up the amazing work.

    I would frame this and bring it to a local art dealer. Its amazing!

  • Bruce

    I have an original of his…i would sell it for 1,000,000

  • http://twitter.com/joshames Josh Ames

    Lucky bastard!