If you think you can’t compete as a photographer because you’re past a certain age, think again. Here’s a fantastic quote by National Geographic Editor-in-Chief Chris Johns from an interview he gave back in 2005:
There are a lot of exciting photographers out there. Our new director of photography, David Griffin, and assistant director Susan Smith are making a much stronger push than we have in the past to identify young, emerging talent. They’re not necessarily age-specific either. Often photographers start to find their traction in their 50s.
Johns also says that photography’s transition to digital has also helped photographers develop more quality; getting feedback is easier than ever, and many of the prohibitive costs are no more.
60 Minutes With Chris Johns (via The Online Photographer)
Image credit: Something to Take Home to Think About Besides Homework by B Tal
Renowned rock photographer Baron Wolman, the first photo editor at Rolling Stone magazine, is speaking out against the worrying trend of copyright grabs by music artists. He recently spoke to makingimages.com.au, saying:
I think it’s horrible – here’s how I feel about that. They own their likeness, they are the creative force – if they were not musicians, we would not have been taking pictures, right? So they’re the source of the creativity, but on the other hand, we are the source of the visual creativity recording them. So I think that that copyright should remain with the photographer, but with limitations upon how the pictures can be used.
[…] But to just say “they own everything”, I mean, why even do it?
Wolman’s comments are directed towards bands like the Foo Fighters, which reportedly has one of the severest photo waivers in the industry.
Iconic Rock Photographer Hits Out At Foo Fighters [makingimages.com.au]
Image credit: Photograph by Scribblerman
Photographer Rodney Smith writes that the greatest gift possessed by still photographers is under attack like never before:
So dear photographers, others before you fought hard and long to give you a gift. And although everyone from corporations, to magazines, to art buyers try desperately to take it away from you, I implore you not to give it away.
Most of you are young and feel the need to work, and feel powerless against larger forces. You do not realize that when you get older, having the rights to your own work will be the best gift you have as a still photographer. It will help you when you need it most.
[…] The pressure is on. The economy is awful and people will grab what they can get away with. I implore you to stay strong and fight hard for what many other photographers, over the last 50 years, have fought hard to give you; the right to own and control your own work.
What Is A Picture Worth? (via APhotoEditor)
Image credit: Nimoy Present Toss 2009 by Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary Wolves
Is it your dream to become a professional photographer? Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson says you should focus more on the word “photographer” than the word “professional”:
Forget about the profession of being a photographer. First be a photographer and maybe the profession will come after. Don’t be in a rush to pay your rent with your camera. Jimi Hendrix didn’t decide on the career of professional musician before he learned to play guitar. No, he loved music and created something beautiful and that THEN became a profession. Larry Towell, for instance, was not a “professional” photographer until he was already a “famous” photographer. Make the pictures you feel compelled to make and perhaps that will lead to a career. But if you try to make the career first, you will just make sh*tty pictures that you don’t care about.
IdeasTap has a great two-part series in which Magnum members offer advice for young photographers looking to get into the game. Definitely worth a read.
Magnum: Advice for young photographers | Part 2 (via A Photo Editor)
Image credit: Lens or telescope? by San Diego Shooter
Remember the strange boxy cameras that were spotted on Samsung’s website a couple months ago? Turns out they were in fact digital medium format cameras, but were developed for “internal purposes” only. In an interview with Megapixel, a Samsung Regional product manager states,
We have the technology to develop a medium format cameras but we are not going to do that because this is not our market. Samsung is a manufacturer that focuses on a broad market – we are not a niche manufacturer like Hasselbald or Lieca [sic]. What you see in the image was developed for internal purposes in order to look into future technologies. At this point we have no plans to release it to the public. We have done similar things with lenses – for example we developed a 1000mm lens for astronomical use – but again just for internal purposes.
Hopefully they change their mind — an affordable medium-format camera geared towards enthusiasts would be awesome.
Interview with Samsung (via PhotoRumors)
There have been a number of stories lately reporting that a large number of Flickr users are leaving the site for new photo-sharing services that are cropping up, including Instagram and 500px. Earlier his week, a designer at Flickr named Timoni West wrote a post on her blog that publicly criticized Flickr’s usability. More specifically, she calls the “Your contacts” page (the one that shows your contacts’ photos) the “most important page on Flickr”, pointing out the problems with the page and offering redesign ideas that would address them.
Ever wonder what the fees involved in doing photography for an ad campaign look like? Jess Dudley, a producer over at Wonderful Machine, has an insightful post on A Photo Editor breaking down an estimate he recently did for a client:
The photographer and I settled on $2,500.00/shoot day for his basic creative fee. But what about the licensing fee? There were some factors to consider. The agency and the client were both pretty big players. The client was going to get a lot of use out of the pictures, and they stood to gain a lot from them, all which suggested a solid fee. Applying slight downward pressure on the value was the fact that the photographer didn’t have a long track record with automotive advertising, the spontaneous nature of the shoot made the campaign a little risky for the client, and this campaign was only one of several that they were producing for that brand. After consulting my usual pricing guides and agency contacts, I chose to price the first 20 images at $80,000 (effectively $4,000 each), with the option of the next 10 at $3,000 each and the 10 after that at $2,000 each.
You can read the rest of the breakdown here — it’s quite illuminating.
Image credit: 2007 Lexus LF-A Sports car concept detail by j.hietter
Yesterday we reported that artist Richard Prince had just lost a copyright infringement lawsuit against a photographer he appropriated images from. Here’s an interesting snippet from an interview with Prince in which he shares his views on this matter:
Copyright has never interested me. For most of my life I owned half a stereo so there was no point in suing me, but that’s changed now and it’s interesting. I’m actually in the situation where I am being sued at the moment (by a French photographer I might add) for taking his original images and turning them into paintings. It’s something that’s really problematic for me because in a strange way now I find myself censoring things that I look at and it’s almost like I can’t do it anymore, because people know who you are. So sometimes it’s better not to be successful and well known and you can get away with much more. I knew what I was stealing 30 years ago but it didn’t matter because no one cared, no one was paying any attention. It was an attitude to do with the fact that I didn’t think there was a future.
In a recent poll, our readers predicted that Canon would introduce an electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens (EVIL) camera ahead of Nikon.
Both companies have been tight-lipped about their plans in this space, but in a recent Q&A session published to Nikon’s website, Imaging Company President Yasuyuki Okamoto briefly spoke on the topic of EVIL cameras:
Q: What can you tell us about the new-generation digital cameras?
A: Although we considered a variety of so-called mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras for the digital SLR camera market, we discern the appropriate timing for the launch of our new-generation digital cameras based on the direction of the market demand.
The quote suggests that Nikon does indeed have EVIL on their roadmap, but is allowing other companies to test the waters before jumping in.
It’s also be good news for those who are waiting for Nikon to bust out an EVIL camera, since it shows they’re definitely planning to join the party. The wait may soon be over — a recent report published by BCN (in Japanese) found that EVIL cameras are approaching a 30% share of the interchangeable lens market.
How do you interpret this quote?
(via Nikon Rumors)
Nikon’s new president Makoto Kimura believes that the explosive growth of the digital camera market is ending, and that the market is near its saturation point.
Kimura was previously the head of Nikon’s imaging business and instrumental in leading the company from its film photography business to the new world of digital.
At a news conference in Tokyo today, Kimura stated,
Nikon’s imaging business has been expanding quite steadily over the past 10 years. ‘But can it enjoy the same stable growth for the next 10 years? The answer is no,’ Growth for existing digital camera products will inevitably slow and they are set to move into a phase of saturation. I intend to keep dialogue open for everyone to decide what we should do to achieve further growth despite this trend.
Digital photography exploded between 2000 and 2010, with compact cameras being widely adopted and DSLRs becoming more and more accessible to ordinary consumers. Kimura believes that camera companies will now need to look for new directions to grow besides introducing digital cameras to new users.
What do you think will characterize this next decade in digital photography?