I have finally succeeded in catching an aurora, in late August. Not the greatest shots as I could not get the focus exact on the night but I have it fixed now, I’ve marked the lens barrel and front so I can get the spot on in the dark.
We arrived in Hobart to live on 15 September, after a 5 day, 2,100 km drive with our 5 cats down the east coast of Australia. That was fun in parts and truly dreadful in others. However.
One of my main aims was to arrive in time for the Tall Ships Festival. By the 20th I was still feeling wring pout but did get down to the river on the first day to catch some of the ships progressing up the river Derwent with their flotillas of accompanying small craft, and then for sunrise at the docks the next morning.
Yesterday I went down to the docks and took a few more shots, including some inside the pavilion of the various stands. The Tasmanian Scrimshaw artists work was astounding, I will add more images later.
Today I am off to Rosny Park to (hopefully) shoot the Parade of Sail under the Tasman Bridge. Then IF I can manage it I will dart down the Sandty Bay Rd to catch them on their way out to sea. See how I go.
It is very windy and raining but I’ll rug up and I have the camera raincoat, so all should be well.
This was inspired by a post by Mel Sinclair on her website on the same topic (Mel has some gorgeous images from Iceland – on my wishlist but I haven’t managed to get there yet). Pricing’s something I’ve thought about a lot, all photographers do, I think, but never written about before.
I too am a very small player in the photographic scheme of things. No doubt it’s hard enough to make money in Photography these days, with what seems like “everyone’ doing it, it’s getting even harder and harder to make back the true worth of a photo.
I’ve get lots of very positive feed back along the lines of “Oh! I Love your image / calendar / canvas print” but those comments do not translate into sales.
It does seem that art has lost its value. If I had a sale for every “I could take that myself” comment I’d be the most successful photographer out there! And I wonder just how many ever Do go out and take it themselves. Darned few, I’d bet.
What it Takes to capture a great image:
Travel time and cost.
If I’m driving – anything from 15 minutes to 5 days – yes, I’ve driven a 2,000 km round trip for an image. And we all know the cost of fuel – currently my diesel van costs $95 to fill the tank and with perfect driving conditions at 90 kph I get just on 700kms a tank. So for that 5 day round trip it was 4 tankfuls. Plus the cost of accommodation, food and other trip essentials.
DSLR bodies x 2, lenses x 4, Medium Format Digital bodies x 2, lenses x 4, tripods x 2, monopod x 1, media cards x 10, flash units x 3 and a whole lot of peripherals like cases to carry it, reflectors and other gear. And lets not forget the mobile phone.
And on local trips – anything up to 90 minutes to catch that storm, sunrise or sunset – I need a nap when I get home , so I can get through the rest of the day, and it takes time to load, backup and edit those images too.
Processing those Images
A computer (IMac) to process them; 3 x HDDs (3 x 2Tb) for storage and backup; Time to download, backup and edit (and editing time is a substantial factor); Internet access costs; hosting costs for my page; plus marketing time uploading and sharing to various sites
And the Intangibles – the ones the “Take it Myself” brigade don’t stop to consider
My time, effort and the skill used in taking the the images has taken many years of study, training, workshops and practice to develop – and it is a never ending process. What value do you put on it – and how do you calculate it?
Does every image have a value? Yes, but you need to include all those general costs it took to produce the image, as outlined above, plus the individual factors which went into any particular image – see the examples below.
If I’m selling you licence for a file you will get the full resolution file, untagged, so I will never be able to use that image again for prints or any other purpose (except possibly marketing). It will no longer have a place in my library of saleable Fine Art. Consider this when objecting to the price of an exclusive licence.
Two example images.
Factor in the cost of flights to and from New Zealand, car hire, accommodation, associated trip costs – $7,200 – and a month away from home – and the cost of internet access and backups on the run.
And a lot more intangible costs in time, researching locations so I knew where to go to catch extraordinary scenes, over a year planning and arranging the trip and itinerary.
When you factor in all hose things is around $365 for a 1m x .5m canvas so expensive?
So please, next time you pass up an amazing image from any Photographer, please consider all I’ve said here, and if you like the image enough to hang it on your wall, then buy it. You’ll make someone happier – and you’ll have a beautiful work of art to put in your home and enjoy forever.
Footnote: Mel Sinclair had this rider in her piece – I’m not popular enough for this yet, but it’s worth remembering when considering ANY artist’s work:
“The hours I spend, fighting every single stolen image from those that think it’s OK to rip me off online. DMCA notices don’t write themselves, and I often lose hours trying to chase up stolen images. Why? Because I want my photos to hold their value, I want my collectors and buyers to know that they can only get it through me or my authorized outlets. It’s about being exclusive.”
Well, surf wise it is all happening on the Tweed (NSW) and Gold (Qld) Coasts in February / March. We have just seent he finish of the Roxy & Quiksilver Pros from 2-15March, with Tyler Wright and Kelly Slater the respective winners. Next week the Australian Surfing Longboard Open is held at Kingscliff beach from 20-24 March.
The finals of the Quiksilver Pro were held at Kirra on 13 March under brilliant conditions. A big and enthuiastic crowd watched Kelly Slater edge out local stars Mick Fanning, in the semi-finals, and current World champ Joel Parkinson in a thrill packed Final.
Joel Parkinson in the tube suring the Final. His two top scoring waves of 8.67 and 7.83 were just not enough to beat Kelly Slater’s two top scores of 9.83 and 8.73.
See a video here of this ride – last video on the page
I got up nice and early today and toddled down to see what was going on in the Land Rover sponsored Quiksikver and Roxy Pros. I haven’t been able to get down before as I had something on earlier in the week.
I went to Snapper Rocks first, had a look around the ‘surf village’ and got a feel for the day. Snapped this shot of possible future champs, who knows? They were watching all the hoo haa that accompanies the Pro staff trying to corral and organise those big floaty things that mark out the ‘course’.
Then I drove over to Kirra, and was lucky enough to get a nice close parking spot (right by the loos, very convenient LOL), and I walked down to the rock wall at the southern end of the beach. Most of my shots are from there, it was a good vantage point early but as the morning progressed the action went north. Tomorrow I may set up a bit further north myself.
I managed to shoot all the competitiors bar Carissa Moore in QF4, the waves had moved along and she was surfing a L O N G way up the beach. First, the results.
So, my images for QF1. The first is Tyler Wright and the second Courtney Conlogue.
Quarter Final 2 was bewteen Stepahnie Gilmore, who scored the highest wave of the QFs at 9.8, and Alana Blanchard.
Stephanie Gilmore – always showing genuine pleasure when fans approach – here coming back after her round with a lovely smile fot eh folk hoping to snap a photo.
Quarter Final 3 was between Bianca Buitendag of South Africa, who just could not seem to get a decent wave, and Sally Fitzgibbon of Australia who, perhaps knowing the beach better, caught several well scoring waves to progress to the Semi Finals
QF4 was between Carissa Moore of Hawaii and Pauline Ado of France. Again, Moore, who has surfed in Australia several times, seemed to catch better waves more often and progressed through to the Semis. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good enough image of her to put up here.
And we were also treated to our local ‘Didge man’ (that’s what I always think of him as) who is a regular sight round the traps on the Gold and Tweed coasts.
Russel Corowa and his didgeridoo are a fixture at Snapper Rocks, where the Aboriginal man proudly celebrates his indigenous heritage by blessing the surf while overlooking the waves.
‘Twas a beautiful morning yesterday and I had a very early errand at Murillumbah, so I decided I might as well take the cameras (I always do anyway) and head down to the beach afterwards. I went by Snapper first but it is already closed off for the upcoming Quiksilver & Roxy events (they don’t start until 2 March!).
So I mosied on down to D’bah where the durf was small but nicely shaped waves and a beautiful clear vlue green colour.
Here’s a few from the day. Click on the photo to link to my website image, and check out the whole gallery of 2013 Gold Coast/northen NSW surfing shots. I am adding more all the time.
I planned to be up nice and early for the pool this morning for my swim – they open at 5.30am and I usually swim then so I am done for the day and it beats the heat. But today I woke at 2.15 am and could not get bnack to sleep, then dropped off and slept til 5.30am. And when I looked out of the window and saw this glorious cloudbank out of the window the pool was abandoned for the camera.
3 shot pano in portrait mode, 1DsMkII & 50mm f1.8.
I dragged myself out of bed at a very unGodly hour to catch the first sunrise of 2013 from Currumbin Alley at the rock platform.
It was gloriously pink to start, but that was short lived and soon the Sun’s orange influence began to be felt.
The last rays before the Sun popped out of the cloud were lovely.
A good morning’s work if I do say so myself.