Category Archives: Public Art

Hobart’s DARK MOFO Winter Festival

Images from my visits to this year’s DARK MOFO Festival. I’ll add to these as I go. The first two are from the first evening of the event, the Entitle ones are from a mid week visit to town, and on the evening of 19 June I met up with friends in town and we had a wander.
The Night ship was also shot on 19 June, prior to the meet up, but I made a bad choice of location, there were far too many lights behind it. Try again today or tomorrow.
The Theme this year is paint the town red, and the Tasman Bridge and some buildings have embraced the theme and gone red.
The Tasman Bridge done red for Dark Mofo's 2015 theme of paint the town red.
The Tasman Bridge done red for Dark Mofo’s 2015 theme of paint the town red.
The Grand Chancellor Hotel has joined in the 'red' theme for Dark Mofo
The Grand Chancellor Hotel has joined in the ‘red’ theme for Dark Mofo
Pulse/Spectra beam: A powerful light shining straight up from the city beats in time with the pulse of a person touching a special sensor.
The Pulse beam from the South Arm.  It is widely visible from Hobart's outlying suburbs.
The Pulse beam from the South Arm. It is widely visible from Hobart’s outlying suburbs.
The Night Ship and the Pulse beam against a backdrop of Hobart's waterfront
The Night Ship and the Pulse beam against a backdrop of Hobart’s waterfront

Anthony McCall’s Night Ship:

“A dark ship sails nightly from Tinderbox to Mona via the city’s harbour. At regular intervals, a powerful pencil-slim searchlight radiates from the vessel to illuminate the adjacent shore. Anchors away; you’ll hear it coming.”

The Night Ship coming up the Derwent.  Pity about the other boat!  It also has a low, mournful horn blasting at intervals
The Night Ship coming up the Derwent. Pity about the other boat! It also has a low, mournful horn blasting at intervals

And the Waterfront

The Pulse beam id located in the old Mercury building in the city and has a long line of punters waiting every evening to have the light pulse to their heartbeat.
The Pulse beam id located in the old Mercury building in the city and has a long line of punters waiting every evening to have the light pulse to their heartbeat.
Waterfront and Pulse beam
Waterfront and Pulse beam

Amanda Parer’s ‘Entitle’

Launceston artist Amanda Parer's 'Entitle' installation
Launceston artist Amanda Parer’s ‘Entitle’ installation
Close up of Launceston artist Amanda Parer's 'Entitle' installation
Close up of Launceston artist Amanda Parer’s ‘Entitle’ installation
Close up of Launceston artist Amanda Parer's 'Entitle' installation
Close up of Launceston artist Amanda Parer’s ‘Entitle’ installation
Artist statement for Launceston artist Amanda Parer's 'Entitle' installation
Artist statement for Launceston artist Amanda Parer’s ‘Entitle’ installation

Bastiaan Maris’ Fire Organ installation:

“This massive structure of old steel tubing drones and hums at low frequencies beneath harmonically tuned flame-throwers blasting fire and heat into the night sky.”  Dark Mofo handout info.

Fire Organ.  Gouts of flame break off and briery float away before disintegrating.  You can see one to the left of it here.
Fire Organ. Gouts of flame break off and briefly float away before disintegrating. You can see one to the left of it here.
The Fire Organ #2
The Fire Organ #2

SO enter the date into your diaries, folk, DARK MOFO is really worth a visit, make your plans for next year NOW.  Accommodation books out very fast.

You might like to consider our garden cabin, available at $45 per night, or a little less if you have your own bedding and linen.  See the Cabin on Elanore website.

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Why Photographic Prints (and Licences) are Expensive

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.

Equipment.

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.

Blue Dawn The Old Jetty

Blue Dawn and The Old Jetty (my most popular image online) are available to purchase on my website .  Go on, you know you’d like one! Hint, hint, they make gorgeous canvas prints.

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.”

Four Bronze certificates

I entered these four images in the 5th annual Better Photography Magazine Photo of the Year Competition – all I had entry fees for at the time.  I was pleased to be awarded four bronze awards but wish that one at 79 had gained just one more point and it would have rated silver!  Still, it is better than last year ( 4 bronze awards from 5 entries but lower scores, at the bottom end of the range).

Next year I plan to hoard my pennies and enter up to the limit of 20 entries

Swell Sculpture Festival images removed

Just a note to avoid confusion.  I have removed all my images of the above festival from the web as I have been accused of trying to exploit the artists.

My intention was only ever to share the beauty of the pieces, I credited the artists and included links to their own websites, but some woman on RedBubble viciously attacked me and  set the artists on to me apparently by telling them I was selling hundreds of posters of their works.

Just for the record, I’ve yet to sell anything via Red Bubble (I wish!).

So to all who commented and liked the images, I think you kindly for your comments, and I won’t ever be shooting another sculpture picture as long as I live!  Obviously public art isn’t.