I don’t understand. I really do not understand the relation some people make between file sharing photo sites, like Fotolog or Photobucket and the professional photo industry. I do not even understand how professionals from the photo industry can declare that anyone can take a great picture. A great photo of a cow is worth $300, if not more. After all, doesn’t an Ansel Adam print of Yosemite park go for thousands of dollars, although anyone can (in theory) do the same ?
If they blame it on the equipment, it is nothing new. Cameras, even the high end ones, have always been available to non professionals and will always be. Does that mean that every one can paint ? or write ? after all brushes or word processors are also available to anyone. For cheap.
Those of us who license images for a living know the difference between an everyone photograph and a pro image. That is why some images will always be priced at $300 or more, if the market calls for it. Those who purchase images will never have any problem paying $300 for an image, especially if it exactly what they need.
Where and when did talent and the added value of the photographic eye was dropped ? Flickr has great images but a majority of very, very crappy images. Photobucket and its millions of images has so much crap, it would make a blind man cry. And let’s not mention the numerous copyright infringement waiting online for their real owner to sue.
Those who write about photography and the business of it should first have some experience with licensing images, either buying or selling. There is more to a great image than the fact that it looks great. much more. And that is what is recognized when a license price is agreed upon. Not just how easy or hard it was to take, but mostly the creative input. You could have send me 20 times to Ethopia during the great famine and never, ever would I have come back with images as powerful as Sebasto Salgado. Never.
It is time for the apprentices to buckle up their mouth and learn instead of preaching. Photo file sharing used to be a family affair done in private ( we all know why) . The horror of our age is that it has now become public and some people find that exciting and revolutionary. I say, some things should always remain private. I find it offensive and repulsive. I find no joy and happiness in myspace, photobuckets and any other sites that exult the self promotion of boring, pathetic, mindless lives. I did not care about these people before the rise of Web 2.0 and I still don’t.
And anyone who dares to compare or thinks that these photo file sharing sites deserved to be mentioned in the same breath as Magnum or Getty should be held accountable for flagrant ignorance of what photography is really. The photo industry has always been occupied by people who love photography and have a deep respect for quality, from the high end to microstock. Recently it has been plagued by useless commentators who believe that everything that shines brand new is automatically ground breaking.
There should be a law against photo file sharing site that prohibits people from sharing their shitty holiday vacation or “me and my friends drunk last night” pictures and mostly a law that forces those who are in awe and admiration in front of these garbage site to pretend they know anything about the photo industry.
Photo courtesy ABOSCH. ~DO NOT REPRODUCE OR COPY~