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Peter Schrager
11-13-2004, 11:51 AM
I have to second Mr Blunt's statement. Yes it is downright ludicrous how people who want to become atists never actually purchase a photograph. What does one have to aspire to if not some higher goal. I've been buying prints for well over 25 years now- I should have bought much more not only for my own enjoyment but for the actual value. Have several Bravos I bought in the early nineties that have quadrupled. A $2000 investment is now worth well over $10000. But they are both great prints and I'll sell them only to further my artwork i.e. for supplies. When I attended a ZoneVI workshop many moons ago the instructors all sold some work at the end of the week. I have those prints too-they may never become valuble but they are still great art. I'm in the process of getting a print from an APUG'ER right now and have started trading with some others. This Forum is an unprecedented opportunity for anyone interested in Photography. I do believe the Gallery system can be undermined and the fact that someone sells their artwork on Epay makes it no less valuble; only an incredible opportunty for someone to purchase great art at reasonable prices. EW used to sell his work for $5!!! Remember that!!

wm blunt
11-13-2004, 12:15 PM
Purchasing photographs is how I learned to print. I wanted to have a benchmark to work towards and carrying an image home in my head from a gallery or museum didn't work very well. One of the first prints was one of the Adams Yosemite Special Edition photos printed by Alan Ross. Since then I have collected work by Howard Bond, Jay Dussard, Cole Weston, Kim Weston, Tom Millea, Dick Arentz, Jan Pietzak, Ryuijie, Edward Gillum, David Vestal, Roger Fremier and several others. Recently purchased a wonderful platinum print by Ray Bidegain. Never made a purchase as an investment, just like the photographs.

bjorke
11-13-2004, 02:05 PM
I have a pretty good bunch of other shooters' original prints, and a LOT of money sunk into photo books (not all photographers live by selling individual prints!). One the wall are mostly my own, along with other works like computer graphics and posters for movies I worked on, and paintings by friends. Biggest bid so far from me was $1600 (ultimately outbid, *sigh*) last year for this print. (http://www.zona10.com.mx/autores/Salgado/images/salgado_serra_pelada_jpg_jpg.jpg) But as I say, there are many ways to subsidize the arts beyond just buying prints. I do agree that looking at fantastic prints is a fine way to improve your own printing (likewise for drawing and painting, btw). A book reproduction doesn't have the same tonal range and issues of scale and immediate materials vanish from reproductions (shining example: all daguerrotypes).

A couple of other thoughts on this here, (http://www.botzilla.com/blog/archives/000306.html) especially toward the end.

TPPhotog
11-13-2004, 02:15 PM
The closest I get is vintage photographic postcards which are either advertising or quirky in some way. I also tend to got for books of photography as I enjoy reading about the work as well as seeing it. I confess that all the pictures hanging in my home are paintings of some sort on a variety of materials such as silk.

I agree that the number of artists making a living purely from their work is a very small percentage. Most also teach or earn their crust working in related area's, I suspect nothing has changed throughout history.

Jeremy
11-13-2004, 02:21 PM
What we do to get the most from our wall space is to rotate work. As my wife is an artist, there are new works to hang and older works to retire and/or sell. My own stuff rarely lasts more than two or three months on a wall. The photographs we've purchased, though, stay up for good.

I work like jovo, my stuff gets rotated out of one frame, but the purchased/traded images have stayed up. Just hoping to have enough good work over the next year to be happy with a rotation of 2 images.

gbock
11-13-2004, 02:26 PM
I've bought quite a few prints on eBay. I'm drawn to work that is different from what I do, or am able to do, stylistically. This includes nudes (I have quite a few of Ray Bidegain's exquisite pt/pd prints), surreal work and architecture. My main criterion is that the print evoke a strong emotional response. Whether it's conventionally "beautiful" is irrelevant. If I buy it, it's beautiful to me.

Selling on eBay is the main outlet for a lot of very talented artists, including people who would never sell their work through the gallery channel, or any other channel. In my opinion, it would very unfair to say that an association with eBay cheapens an artist or his/her work.

I've also begun to trade prints with others on this forum and elsewhere, and find that even more rewarding than buying prints.

Gerhard

Tom Stanworth
11-13-2004, 04:19 PM
I would like to buy prints, but at the moment If I have the choice between buying prints and being able to buy film, get up to Sctoland etc I will take the latter. I hope to be in a position financially where I can splash out. I think anyone who is trying to get somewhere with their own work would take great pleasure in supporting others trying likewise. For now, however, I (like others) have a spot on the horizon which I am charging towards. Going to exhibitions and reading constantly keep me reminded of the wealth of talent out there. I therefore dont feel the 'need' to buy, but look forward to it in the future!

Tom

jnanian
11-13-2004, 04:52 PM
the closest i have are vintage portraits of and by unknowns of a bygone era and prints and other art i have from exchanges with other photographers and artists. a few are from apug, but others are not. i don't have a lot of cash lying around and when i do, it is mostly sunk back into lenses and equipment that i use to try to eek out a living. over the years i have bought and sold some vintage glassplates though. there was a box of vintage magic lantern slides of airmail and aviation pioneers that i got free with a camera years ago. i sold them to a guy from niceville florida for way more than i paid for the camera &C originally. alot of the images can be found here: http://airmailpioneers.org/

johnnywalker
11-14-2004, 12:43 AM
. Biggest bid so far from me was $1600 (ultimately outbid, *sigh*) last year for this print. (http://www.zona10.com.mx/autores/Salgado/images/salgado_serra_pelada_jpg_jpg.jpg)

A very powerful photograph, as are the others on the website. My Spanish isn't very good anymore. I gather the photos are of some open pit mine in Mexico from years ago. Probably the photographer is famous, but I don't know the name. Can you tell us something about him and his photographs, or where to read (in English) about him?
Thanks,

Jorge
11-14-2004, 03:18 AM
A very powerful photograph, as are the others on the website. My Spanish isn't very good anymore. I gather the photos are of some open pit mine in Mexico from years ago. Probably the photographer is famous, but I don't know the name. Can you tell us something about him and his photographs, or where to read (in English) about him?
Thanks,
Sebastiao is brazilian, and I beleive the picture is from a mining operation in Chad, but I am not sure. Anyhow, you can read more about him on this link.

http://www.terra.com.br/sebastiaosalgado/

Nope, I was wrong. The picture is from a gold mine in sierra pelada, Brazil.

unohuu
11-14-2004, 07:01 AM
PS, I am guessing that fewer than 10% of folks here have purchased fine art photographs. Right? Wrong?[/QUOTE]

I have as a way to improve my own photography and to look at something that has artistic merit.

Luke

mfobrien
11-14-2004, 09:35 AM
I have many of my own prints (and those made by my daughter) hanging, but I have also purchased other's work, too. Usually prints made by other photograpgers are either subjects I don't do or techniques I don't use. Or else it has to be a print that I really, really like. I have given prints away from my own work as gifts, but have not yet tried selling any. Of course, some prints that I would really like to own are too far out of reach for my pocketbook (Weston and Adams).

Ed Sukach
11-14-2004, 10:10 AM
PS, I am guessing that fewer than 10% of folks here have purchased fine art photographs. Right? Wrong?

No idea. Why don't you try a survey?

johnnywalker
11-14-2004, 10:43 AM
Sebastiao is brazilian.

No wonder I had trouble with his Spanish! :rolleyes:

Here are some more of his photos from the same series. Awesome. However, I'm probably the only guy on the list who wasn't aware of his work.


http://www.zona10.com.mx/autores/Salgado/

jnanian
11-14-2004, 10:57 AM
PS, I am guessing that fewer than 10% of folks here have purchased fine art photographs. Right? Wrong?

i'm still trying to figure out what "fine art photographs" are. they all seem to be the same to me ..... photographs.

boring landscape photography = fine art?
not so boring landscape photography = fine art?
photography that mimics some "master's" style = fine art?
portrait photography = fine art?
nudes = fine art?
architectural photography = fine art?
street photography = fine art?
combat/documentary photography = fine art?

... i spoke with one of the managers at the only local pro-shop in my area.
i asked what kind of photographs he took, he said " fine art " and then described how he projected slides of violence onto serene landscapes.

i guess that explains what "fine art photography" is ... :confused:

jd callow
11-14-2004, 12:30 PM
i'm still trying to figure out what "fine art photographs" are. they all seem to be the same to me ..... photographs.

boring landscape photography = fine art?
not so boring landscape photography = fine art?
photography that mimics some "master's" style = fine art?
portrait photography = fine art?
nudes = fine art?
architectural photography = fine art?
street photography = fine art?
combat/documentary photography = fine art?

... i spoke with one of the managers at the only local pro-shop in my area.
i asked what kind of photographs he took, he said " fine art " and then described how he projected slides of violence onto serene landscapes.

i guess that explains what "fine art photography" is ... :confused:
We all have our own ideas of what art is. "Fine Art," to me has become a meaningless label -- like "New and Improved"

For me art is something that exposes, in a unique manner some truth about humankind, be it specific to the individual, culture or the species across time. This leaves nature and nudes near the fringe. I am sure or hope that others have their own criteria.

photomc
11-14-2004, 01:31 PM
This could be one reason some have started using terms like 'expressive print' which I think is closer to what most of us do. If someone wants to call it 'fine art' that is OK, I guess. Like you though, mrcallow - sounds more like the latest 'carb free' snack, drink, etc. At least we know that the expressive print is our own interpretation of something we saw...wish we could just bypass the label completely.

TPPhotog
11-14-2004, 01:37 PM
Isn't "fine art" just a label used these days by art galleries to hype the price?

I vaguely remember a well known photography magazine in the UK being asked the same question. All they could come up with was it if was a black and white nude it was "fine art" but if it was colour then it's porn. Seems that even the editor didn't know the answer to this one :)

roteague
11-14-2004, 01:53 PM
So I am curious as to how many folks here, on a photography forum, do purchase fine art photography. If you do, high praises to you. If you don't. WHY NOT???

I have not purchased any photographs as of yet; I am a big consumer of "coffee-table" style photography books. However, I am planning on purchasing a couple of prints from APUG members in the new year. At the moment, I am working on getting together a selection of my own prints, to place in a local gallery - it costs me almost $300 from starting with a transparency until I get the final framed 11x14 print (the costs come down dramatically after the first print).

roteague
11-14-2004, 01:59 PM
I think the art of marketing, is more important that the making of the art, that is not to say and unskilled photographer will do great if he is a great marketer, but it does embellish the thought that if you have the skill as an artist, it is imperitive to have the skill as a marketer...

Sadly, I have to agree with you. I've visited a number of local galleries on the island, and found most of the work is just plain c**p; ink-jet prints with blown highlights, poor composition and flat lighting. Not sure how much these guys are selling, but I see their prints in galleries all over the island.

One positive note however, I have had a gallery express a need for very large size prints, which I can easily produce (shooting 4x5).