Value of PJ photographs.

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Daniel-OB, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. Daniel-OB

    Daniel-OB Member

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    Bresson made a portrait of Coco Chanel (with a mask), just one example.
    1. What is the best value of that (these) photograph?
    2. Would you take a picture of your kid made by local photog off the wall and replace it with Bresson's original of Coco C.? Remeber, it is Coco C. which means NOTHING to you.

    www.Leica-R.com
     
  2. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    An image does not need to mean something to everyone, it only needs to mean something to a few. If the viewer makes a connection to an image, then that image will have value.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  3. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    If you don't like it, don't buy it.

    I don't follow your point here.

    Coco C means nothing to YOU, maybe.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day Daniel,

    an image such as this has great value

    whether the subject is known or not this is an interesting image of an interesting character

    is it of more value than an image of a person close to me? it depends/maybe/maybe not

    maybe you should rethink and rephrase your original question

    Ray
     
  5. eddym

    eddym Member

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    If by "value" you mean what is it worth in money, then the answer is "whatever someone is willing to pay for it."

    In answer to your second question, No, I would not. But that is a very specific example, and not necessarily an indicator that I would *never* replace a photo of my children with a photo of someone else.

    What exactly is your point?
     
  6. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Hell yes, I'd rather have a Cartier-Bresson on my wall than a family snap.
     
  7. mabman

    mabman Member

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    For me, to replace a family photograph with a general photograph I'd have to look at it as which moment speaks to me more. Just being a current family snap would lend itself well to replacement (there will likely be many others), whereas a portrait of someone who has passed on and was important to me would not.

    This one of HCB's doesn't do anything for me - to me it looks like a rich old lady with a knick-knack in the frame. To the Chanel family, however, it might be a priceless memory. As an aside, although I don't have a print of it yet, HCB's puddle-jumper at the Gare St. Lazare always intrigues me - not quite sure why. That one I would probaby put on my wall eventually :smile:
     
  8. Daniel-OB

    Daniel-OB Member

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    JStraw
    Hell yes, I'd rather have a Cartier-Bresson on my wall than a family snap.

    Jstraw, if you know your friend snapped it, will you change opinion?

    If a person visible (in the first plane) on the photo is not a “star” selling is problematic.

    Thank you Bjorke to post that photos. That portrait is important to Coco C., yes? It is she and her character and habit,… seen by the someone else (photographer). But who else care for someone else at least that much to pay for it and to hung his photograph on the wall and watch it every day, especially if all of them have no idea who is Bresson-Photog. If I knock on the door of my neighbour he, probably, will call police on me. It is like a general statement in N. America where I live, with some exceptions. So why he would put my portrait on his wall and even to pay for it.
    And Coco C. on that portrait do not looks "nice" but scary to many. I am not sure that anyone in the World have it on his wall if he is not involved in photography...

    We know the mother and the child with its hand over mom,s mouth as winner in PJ competition for 2006. I saw it once and never more. It finished somewhere in drawer after it is printed in some magazines,… and gone for casual viewer. Does anyone here have that photograph on his wall? I am comfortable to say NO.

    A.Adams photographs are with no philosophy, easy to understand, technically “perfect” and found place in so many rooms around the world, as reprints for various reasons.

    I would like to explore:
    What is today value of PJ photographs in general, value to people not involved in photography but would like to have something nice on the wall. Monetary, because e.g. Bresson snapped it, because just many have it on its walls, because it makes for too many positive emotional experience, because many like it and own it for it has positive educational impact,….
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2007
  9. Daniel-OB

    Daniel-OB Member

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    Mabman
    HCB's puddle-jumper at the Gare St. Lazare always intrigues me - not quite sure why. That one I would probaby put on my wall eventually

    Would you pay say $600 for that 11x14 print, even for the same price you can choose any 11x14 Adams landscape?
     
  10. mabman

    mabman Member

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    While I like Adams' work in general, there are really only 2 that I would consider very good, worthy of putting up: "Rose and Driftwood" (yes, I know it's a set-up shot, I like it anyway) and "Moonrise, Hernandez".

    I would put them up as well as the HCB I mentioned - not sure they have to be mutually exclusive - to me a "good" or "interesting" photograph is just that, regardless of what "style" it's in (PJ, landscape, etc).

    It would depend on the overall theme with the other pics I've put up, I think - if it was mostly people, I'd be more inclined to put up other "people" pics vs. landscapes.
     
  11. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    I think there is a huge difference between a thing and a photograph of a thing. There is a broad range of social expectations about these things, of course. You may like the Coco picture because you are interested in fashion, because you see her as an archetypal elegant lady, or as an imperiously antagonistic one, or as a pattern of little gray dots.

    My own living space contains photographs of my kids -- the very best sorts of photographs of them that I was able to make at the time. It also contains a lot of other material, including art by friends and yes, portraits of people I don't even know, including a 16x20 of this one:

    [​IMG]

    Not because I'm related to this fellow but because I find it a beautiful image with broad human and historic resonance.

    I think you mean this 2005 winner, which like a family snap resonates on our universal notion of family:

    [​IMG]

    I have a suggestion: print this one, get some magnets, put it on your fridge.

    I was reminded of this one, which is on a LOT of walls:

    [​IMG]

    By coincidence I was just going through the last 50 years of WPP winners yesterday, in the aperture/WPP book "things as they are" which is loaded with great images (and 1950's HCB in color -- who'da thunk?). Here is a recent WPP winner that I'd happily put on my wall for many reasons:

    [​IMG]

    It is a picture that is at once confrontational and yet gently touching. An expression of the power of love and family amidst horror. Just as a rose is perhaps at its most beautiful just at the moment past its bloom when its beauty challenges the inevitabilty of decay, I find this photo a moving one, and worthy of long contemplation and personal reflection.

    Different strokes, I guess. Your defense of Adams prints is exactly what I find offensive about them -- they are generally used as content-free space filler, a validation and confirmation of banality. If that's what you want, fine. But photographs have a far greater potential for revealing and exploring passions and convictions. Why do you find this idea so problematic?
     
  12. Daniel-OB

    Daniel-OB Member

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    Bjorke
    Different strokes, I guess. Your defense of Adams prints is exactly what I find offensive about them -- they are generally used as content-free space filler, a validation and confirmation of banality. If that's what you want, fine. But photographs have a far greater potential for revealing and exploring passions and convictions. Why do you find this idea so problematic?
    Very nice said.

    Why do you find this idea so problematic
    Because people walking around my gallery found it problematic. So I wish to find the root.
    What "people" buy is very simple think that will "fill" the space in the wall. But they are selective and get what they like and it is something they can quickly recognize. PJ photographs of many European guys I know does not fit into this selling category. I live on photography and cannot play with it asking customers to pretend museum curator. They want as simple as Adams photographs are, not something that they can reveal value after many of hours looking at it, and learning how to look at photographs.
    Now this is a point to explore can PJ photographs of Bresson style fit into seling category to general public, as say art fair is? If not what is it that holds value of such pictures for general public, if any.

    Just now I asked one of my customer would you pay $20 for that photograph of mother ? and child behind the wires?
    He looked and sad: not really I do not want something depresing on my wall.
    If even and $20, or evn lesscannot sell it, what is a point in that photgraph. I know there are people to like it, but I cannot walk around the World with a candle and such a photograph to find one or two customers for couple of $$. Hope my question is now clear.
     
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  13. Daniel-OB

    Daniel-OB Member

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    hh
     
  14. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Now I'm really puzzled and disheartened. Exactly why would you go into the gallery business?

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Daniel-OB

    Daniel-OB Member

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    Bjorke
    Now I'm really puzzled and disheartened. Exactly why would you go into the gallery business?

    You have no reason to be disheartened. I am just exploring the value of photographs that are done by artistical standards, photographs that belong to PJ, photgraphs that deals with events and life of people. But I think they are extremely difficult to sell to "mainstream" customer to hing it on their walls. They just do not want to bother with some scary old lady and to run into exploration what it means. The purpose of PJ photgraphs in past was, (shortly) newspapers, magazines prints, and books. Today when PJ is death for good and photgraphs of that past no one anymore needs, what for they are today.
    I have to mention that I live in Canada (Toronto) whose art market is very different from US in the way that the same pic is 10 times more difficult to sell here and even the price is around 3 times lower than in US. Note that this is opinion of so many photographers and painters who I know, and who heads to US for selling.
    I have photgraphy business, I do framing of my photographs and more, I have my own studio, I have a gallery of my photographs for customers to see and buy when come to my studio. All of this I made after I had been forced to quit PJ due to photoshoping requirements and shifting photography to digital imaging medium and manipulations.... So it is not a gallery business I talk about.
    And again if we cannot find the use of Bressons pictures for general mass of people (consumers) I give up to bother them with similar stuff at all. I am just in doubth that any of such picture can get "good" sell, say on art exhibitions.
     
  16. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    Target audience . . . I think if you want to be the Thomas Kinkaid of photography, then maybe you can find some quaint formula with happy little scenes and bizarre lighting, and sell posters to people. If you have an IKEA near you, go into the frames and artwork section, and see how little they charge for posters. People who buy this stuff are first concerned about price, then they want a nice looking happy, escapist, warm-and-fuzzy image.

    If you are trying to run a gallery at IKEA prices, I think you would loose your ass very quickly. You will never compete on price at a small level, especially not when the IKEA's and Walmart's of the world can profit off posters at prices less than your cost to produce them.

    It might sound daft, but art works are for enthusiasts and collectors. They want to know something about the artist, and they find the artist's images interesting. They are largely not buying a scene because it fits with the drapes, or the couch.

    You have to also consider that for some people $100 is a lot of money, while for others $2000 is pocket change. Price things too low in the world of art, and you will never attract the buyers who have more money. Yes, it is a gamble to sit on expensive art waiting for those buyers, and if they truly are not in your area, then I think it would be a poor business move.

    Since you are in Toronto, there must be at least one or two successful high end galleries. Figure out why they are selling at high prices, and figure out where they are finding those customers. Then if you can attract that level of customers, you might make it with a gallery.

    I really think this has nothing to do with the relative value of one type of image over another. It is strictly a lesson you need to learn about who buys artwork, and who buys wall decoration. Sorry if that sounds harsh.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  17. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Uh, yeah...right.
     
  18. Videbaek

    Videbaek Member

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    Bjorke, thanks for your posts -- your ability to find pictures, and your timing in placing and posting them, is just great. The Torontonian photog just doesn't seem to get the point, but it's a slippery one and entirely subjective. Most people don't have the eye, and what's more, aren't interested. Certainly not in photographs. Which is how it should be.
     
  19. Paul.A

    Paul.A Member

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    This is a very subjective area....what makes one photograph saleable and another with no apparent resale value. The price of any item is dictated by how much someone is prepared to pay for that item. I personally would not even accept a free Ansel Adams print as I just don't like his work, I find it devoid of any emotion. However I love Bresson's work and if the chance came up to own one of his prints then I'd jump at it. But hey that's just my taste. I'm sure that Magnum continue to do very well out of sales from Bresson's work just as the Adams estate do very well out of Ansel's.

    On another level I do think its one of the great tragedies of our time that most people buy art as a disposable decorator item and the moment it no longer matches the decor out it goes.

    Photojournalistic or documentary images have a value that is beyond the pure commercial one, they are a record of our life and times. Speak to any museum curator about photographs and they will jump at the chance to acquire them. The great fear at the moment is that now digital has become the pre-eminent method of recording in 20-30 years time there will not be any record of this period due to the fact most people no longer have photos printed any more. A colleague of mine has a nice little side line supplying the National Museum with black and white fibre based photographs of perfectly ordinary day to day items. Do they have any value? Must do as the museum is prepared to pay a reasonable sum for each print.

    I would suggest that the OP visit Michael Reichman's (of Luminous Landscape fame) gallery and studio which is based in Toronto. I'm sure if Reichman can turn a buck in Toronto then anyone with the right aptitude can also accomplish it. The link for the studio is:-

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/about/gallery.shtml