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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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New "World's most expensive photo"
Old 12-10-2014   #1
iamzip
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New "World's most expensive photo"

http://petapixel.com/2014/12/10/pete...pensive-photo/
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Old 12-10-2014   #2
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Good gravy!
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Old 12-10-2014   #3
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I'm not sure about this one. I guess you would have to see it live.
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Old 12-10-2014   #4
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How large is the print? So far, I haven't been able to find its dimensions.
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Old 12-10-2014   #5
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More power to him. I hope the guy's check is good.
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Old 12-10-2014   #6
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Quote:
It’s a black-and-white version of a photograph that has also been printed in color with the title, “Ghost.”
must be a good "photoshopper" too..
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Old 12-10-2014   #7
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Another take on it:
petapixel.com/2014/12/10/expensive-photo-world-best-marketing-stunt/
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Old 12-10-2014   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamzip View Post
Another take on it:
petapixel.com/2014/12/10/expensive-photo-world-best-marketing-stunt/
At the end of ^this article:

Quote:
About the author: Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and Co-founder of PhotoShelter. Allen is a graduate of Yale University, and flosses daily.
Really??
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Old 12-10-2014   #9
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Who bought Gursky's Rhine II btw?
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Old 12-10-2014   #10
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Another opinion on this:

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddes...eyed-tasteless
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Old 12-10-2014   #11
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Hey, I'm Australian too.....
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Old 12-10-2014   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddoc View Post
This writer appears to have an ax to grind. He sounds angry and bitter, certainly far from objective in his assertions.

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Old 12-10-2014   #13
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No matter what these $2 critics say, at least the Peter Lik image has more eye appeal than Andreas Gursky’s Rhine II which to me is totally lacking in interest, let alone artistic merit. In fact I look at it and go "huh?" I feel the same way about some (much?) of Gregory Crewdson's work (to name one artist) which plumb leaves me cold and befuddled as to what the fuss is all about. But then again who am I to say! I have never sold a photo for the amount these guys have. So perhaps good luck to them is what I should be saying.

Clearly the art market (or segments of it) is not driven by artistic merit, it's driven by daddy warbucks and the ability of some "names" to be bankable. In that respect it is a bit like Hollywood. Certain actors are known for being actors. Others are known for being "stars". The latter tend to be pretty one dimensional as actors but they are glamorous and the fans like them, so they are bankable. A film with their name at the head of the cast can be certain to pull in money, especially from the undiscriminating crowd, and hence these "stars" keep getting certain parts in certain types of movies. (Until they become yesterdays news). I usually know when I see that a particular film has a particular "star" of this sort that it is a film I will not be spending my 20 bucks on. Some segments of the the art photography market seems to be pretty similar.
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Old 12-10-2014   #14
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One look at artist Peter Liks bank balance will prove without any doubt... artists are not photographers !
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Old 12-10-2014   #15
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The writer has a point; the photo is beautiful, but Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed places on Earth, and most of the photos I've seen of it are not very original.
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Old 12-11-2014   #16
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At least this photo is more interesting that Gurskys...
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Old 12-11-2014   #17
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I think it's a beautiful photo, just a bit rich for my blood though.
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Old 12-11-2014   #18
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The photo is ok. The price I don't care not my money. As for Gursky I find Rhein II rather depressing nice concept work. That's the difference Gursky is 100% minimalist artist who just happens to work with photography. Lik is a photographer with some work that is quiet frankly thomas Kincaide kind of disgusting his Luna work comes to mind. But what would I rather hang on my wall this 6 Mio photograph or Rhein II definetely the Lik
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Old 12-11-2014   #19
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Wow, a lot of negativity and hate over a photograph. Not everyone approaches photography the same way and that's cool with me. Anyone who can make great money while doing the photography they want to do is lucky to be in that position IMO. Good for them.
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Old 12-11-2014   #20
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well i do agree - it's 3x better than the Gursky pic.
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Old 12-11-2014   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Wow, a lot of negativity and hate over a photograph. Not everyone approaches photography the same way and that's cool with me. Anyone who can make great money while doing the photography they want to do is lucky to be in that position IMO. Good for them.
How do you know he made anything from it? These high dollar sales are rarely made by the photographer personally; they're usually a collector or gallery that owns the print selling it to another collector. The artist/photographers gets NOTHING, not a cent, from such sales.
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Old 12-11-2014   #22
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I am so jealous that someone has $6.5M to spend on non-essential stuff, whatever it is. That's a bunch of loose cash there.
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Old 12-11-2014   #23
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Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
How do you know he made anything from it? These high dollar sales are rarely made by the photographer personally; they're usually a collector or gallery that owns the print selling it to another collector. The artist/photographers gets NOTHING, not a cent, from such sales.
You truly think the man never received any money from this photo? Maybe not this transaction, but he sold it to someone and made money somewhere along the line. He sells enough to be considered very lucky to be in the position he's in. This man is not a victim of the gallery system... he makes plenty.
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Old 12-11-2014   #24
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He sold single print or exclusive rights along?
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Old 12-11-2014   #25
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Its a pretty picture, but I feel like its the same picture that everyone takes when they go there.
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Old 12-11-2014   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
You truly think the man never received any money from this photo? Maybe not this transaction, but he sold it to someone and made money somewhere along the line. He sells enough to be considered very lucky to be in the position he's in. This man is not a victim of the gallery system... he makes plenty.
I'm sure he made money from when he sold it to its original owner. I was responding to people saying he deserved to make the millions this recently sold for if someone was willing to pay it. The problem is, he almost certainly did NOT get anything from this record-breaking sale. You knew that, though, so why try to prove me wrong? Some people just have to be contrary, regardless of merit.
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Old 12-11-2014   #27
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"This man is not a victim of the gallery system"

No, his customers are the victims.
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Old 12-11-2014   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill W View Post
"This man is not a victim of the gallery system"

No, his customers are the victims.
Could be...
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Old 12-11-2014   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterm1 View Post
No matter what these $2 critics say, at least the Peter Lik image has more eye appeal than Andreas Gursky’s Rhine II which to me is totally lacking in interest, let alone artistic merit. In fact I look at it and go "huh?" I feel the same way about some (much?) of Gregory Crewdson's work (to name one artist) which plumb leaves me cold and befuddled as to what the fuss is all about.

Clearly the art market (or segments of it) is not driven by artistic merit, it's driven by daddy warbucks and the ability of some "names" to be bankable.
Good grief!

1. The dictionary says art is "something created with imagination and skill to be beautiful or to express important ideas". In other words, art can be a pretty decoration that says very little (like Peter Lik's) or ugly but with a lot to tell us (like Gursky's).

2. It's ignorant to diss art at either end of this spectrum as wholly lacking artistic merit.

3. It's fine to dislike some kinds of art. Personally, I prefer Gursky to Lik - I find Lik's photographs aesthetically cliched, without a strong message: that doesn't mean Lik makes bad photographs, just that I dislike aesthetics for its own sake and prefer pictures that tell us something worthwhile or new about our world.

4. Would I have either on my wall? No! But Gursky and Lik (and Crewdson) are exemplary artists, excelling at what they do. Rightly, they're well known and their work sought after (though I agree that the excessively high price of their work is driven by commercial interests).
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Old 12-11-2014   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anu L ogy View Post
Its a pretty picture, but I feel like its the same picture that everyone takes when they go there.
I agree.

But hey, look at the bright side, now every photography student in the world can point to it saying: "See, the most expensive photo in the world put the subject in the center"

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Old 12-11-2014   #31
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Looks to me like marketing far more successful than the content, it is an Athena poster at best. Honestly if this ever does go to Christies the owner would be lucky to recoup a fraction of that price, if indeed it was ever paid.
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Old 12-11-2014   #32
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Quote:
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But hey, look at the bright side, now every photography student in the world can point to it saying: "See, the most expensive photo in the world put the subject in the center"
I'd say the subject is the whole frame.
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Old 12-11-2014   #33
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"Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed places on Earth, and most of the photos I've seen of it are not very original."

Antelope Canyon and Venice.
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Old 12-11-2014   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill W View Post
"This man is not a victim of the gallery system"

No, his customers are the victims.
Rubbish, nobody is a victim here. The collector in this case is clearly pumping the price, an artwork is a fluctuating investment and nobody spends this kind of money without expecting a return. Buying for very high prices is a common tactic to raise the general market value of an artist's work. If the collector already owns a significant collection of the artist's work then the gamble can pay itself off in the form of higher returns through boosted secondary auction prices on what the collector already bought at "low" primary gallery prices.

Photography/Art/whattever is an investment commodity that is traded like any other. Photography in particular is a pretty smart field to do this kind of price pumping since photography values are relatively low (6.5m is not even a blip in the contemporary art world) so I imagine these hyping tactics work well.

Having said that, I'm skeptical that this stunt will permanently raise the photographers market credibility in the way the buyer probably intended since the work is really, truly insipid.
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Old 12-11-2014   #35
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just another purty pitcher, to me ...
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Old 12-11-2014   #36
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i agree with nongfuspring, i think, though now i'll have to go google "insipid"
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Old 12-11-2014   #37
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All true, but this is a first, trying to do it in one of those non-artworld galleries.

This work has no after-original sales market since it is not being shown or sold outside of his galleries. He is totally invisible [unknown] in the "real" art market, and in the art press.
True, I just did a bit of googling (which was a mistake, I feel like taking a shower). There are plenty of ways that a collector can recoup costs on a major art investment outside of what I mentioned, like to reduce taxable income and so on, but the more I read about his operation the more sketchy it sounds. I read a blog entry from a former Lik gallery employee who mentioned that part of their sales strategy is to have extremely expensive AP editions to make the regular editions (that have 90% less expensive) more attractive. Considering that the sale was probably internal and the buyer anonymous for that reason.
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Old 12-11-2014   #38
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He had expenses, too. You have to pay the Navajos to go in there. My pictures of that canyon are highly prized... by me.
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Old 12-11-2014   #39
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I'd just call this another classic case of the Emperor's New Clothes.

Just like this "Voice of Fire" piece hanging in the Art Museum of Ottawa:

http://www.macleans.ca/culture/are-we-over-this-yet/
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Old 12-11-2014   #40
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Since it exists both in color and B&W, it must be a dSLR snapshot -- which means that this inkjet concoction will fade to junk in the next 20 years.

/running_for_cover
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