Friday, December 19, 2008

Time changes everything

I received a message in Flickr that I only read yesterday. It offered me a chance to be selected for inclusion in a travel guide.

“I am writing to let you know that one of your photos has been short-listed for inclusion in the fifth edition of our Schmap Vancouver Guide, to be published late September 2008.”

Well I am bit late to respond, this being December 2008. I got the year right.

Now here is the interesting part:

“we offer no payment for publication, many photographers are pleased to submit their photos”.

The company in question peeked in Flickr for the equivalent of stock photographs. Rather than going to a professional site, they reached out to the Web 2.0 Internet. I have yet to sell a image on the Internet. I have had on-line images re-purposed without attribution. I have sold physical prints at a good price in local arts shops and shared many images with parents of my kids sports teams. I have had success with two family weddings. Low volume but it does feel good to have people appreciate your skills and photographer’s eye.

More on the topic of change. What follows are a few teasers from an article from :

digital and cellular phone cameras break down limits on who can get images out into the world …. [A]mateurs increasingly cover the news more effectively than professionals, …. They also frequently make the news,,8599,1867320,00.html?imw=Y .

We have here two examples of change in the field of photography. One in the area of stock photography, another in the area of news reporting.

This does not mean that photography as a profession has ended, merely that some aspects not requiring great skill, expensive equipment and a good eye all combined together are being commoditized. Flickr and others have created a long tail effect in the photography industry. A photographer can take one or two exceptional shots and have the potential for being selected from the tail.

It is, so professionals will need to adapt and some enthusiastic amateurs and budding professionals will be given previously unavailable opportunities for external reinforcement of their capabilities. The equivalent of getting a gold star or happy face sticker in grade school, no monetary value but intrinisic value none the less.

Missing out on published but being considered is enough. I like my gold star, it gives me a happy face.

Now here comes the really interesting part. I can’t find the image on my Flickr account, on my SmugMug account nor on my servers or external hard drives. I don’t recognize the photo but I could have taken it. Hmmm….

Flickr has 10,506 results matching vancouver and airport.



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