Slate magazine just published an interesting article on David Hobby and his popular blog Strobist, and shared this interesting example of how the photography industry is drastically changing due to low barriers of entry:
To get a sense of just how bad things are for professional photographers right now, the story of Robert Lam is instructive. When Time needed a photo to illustrate its “New Frugality” cover story in late 2009, it purchased Lam’s image of a jar of change from stock-photo agency iStockphoto. The going rate for a Time cover had typically been $3,000 to $10,000. Lam was paid $31.50. Nevertheless, Lam declared, “I am happy”—the payment was more than he’d expected the photo to generate, and he was delighted to have a Time cover in his portfolio. Veteran professional photographers were livid, calling Lam an “IDIOT,” among other unkind words.
The article also mentions how Robert Lam earns just $4,000 from his stock photography hobby, and that the Time cover photo was shot using DIY equipment purchased from a local sign store. What are your thoughts on the changing landscape for professional photographers?
TIME Magazine’s latest cover features a photograph of Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung Sang Suu Kyi, with the feature story offering a glimpse into her life since being released from house arrest. The above is an interesting video in which Platon, the photographer behind the photo, tells the harrowing tale of what it took to make the photo. It’s guaranteed to make most portrait assignments sound extremely boring.
You can read the article and view the photographs here.
TIME magazine has named the Sony Alpha A55 as one of the top 50 inventions of 2010. They write,
A.K.A. the camera that never blinks. Traditional digital SLR cameras take the nicest photographs around, but they’re hobbled by a decades-old technical limitation: when you snap a picture, the mirror that’s been redirecting the image to your eye and to a focusing sensor pops up momentarily as the image is captured. Until it goes back down, the camera can’t focus. Sony’s Alpha A55 ($849.99 with lens) fixes that with an ingenious translucent mirror that stays put. That means you can shoot up to 10 perfectly focused photos a second and record HD video that never goes blurry. Bonus advantage: with no need to allocate interior space for a moving mirror, the Alpha is noticeably smaller and lighter than its Sony SLR brethren.
10 perfectly focused photos per second? That’s a pretty interesting claim.
Portrait photographer Gregory Heisler has done quite a few portraits for Time Magazine covers, including a few for their Person of the Year issues. This is an informative video where he steps through how he went about photographing Rudy Giuliani at the top of Rockefeller Center with the Empire State Building in the background. If you’re interested at all in portraiture and/or lighting, you’ll find this video quite educational. Read more…