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Simon

The best camera ( is the one you have )

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When I first started in photography, not that long ago, I soon realised the limitations of my very cheap lenses and entry level camera, so little by little I invested in better kit. I still want to move up a level but what I've got can produce some pretty good quality pictures now for the shots that need it, and I'm investing only when the profits justify it.

 

Anyhow, I was standing on a windswept cornish coast a few weeks ago photographing the portrait in the sand that was being done to commemorate WW1 casualties on Armistice day, when up comes and stands next to me a very well known Getty photographer who'd driven around 200 miles for the shoot. Needless to say he sold more pictures than me, in fact one of his made the front page of the Telegraph.  I emailed him, congratulating him on his sale and saying I knew I was doomed from the moment I saw him.  He replied back,  "we're all doomed" the picture that made the front page was done on his Iphone.

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3 hours ago, Simon said:

When I first started in photography, not that long ago, I soon realised the limitations of my very cheap lenses and entry level camera, so little by little I invested in better kit. I still want to move up a level but what I've got can produce some pretty good quality pictures now for the shots that need it, and I'm investing only when the profits justify it.

 

Anyhow, I was standing on a windswept cornish coast a few weeks ago photographing the portrait in the sand that was being done to commemorate WW1 casualties on Armistice day, when up comes and stands next to me a very well known Getty photographer who'd driven around 200 miles for the shoot. Needless to say he sold more pictures than me, in fact one of his made the front page of the Telegraph.  I emailed him, congratulating him on his sale and saying I knew I was doomed from the moment I saw him.  He replied back,  "we're all doomed" the picture that made the front page was done on his Iphone.

 

Very telling, on several fronts.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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15 hours ago, Simon said:

When I first started in photography, not that long ago, I soon realised the limitations of my very cheap lenses and entry level camera, so little by little I invested in better kit. I still want to move up a level but what I've got can produce some pretty good quality pictures now for the shots that need it, and I'm investing only when the profits justify it.

 

Anyhow, I was standing on a windswept cornish coast a few weeks ago photographing the portrait in the sand that was being done to commemorate WW1 casualties on Armistice day, when up comes and stands next to me a very well known Getty photographer who'd driven around 200 miles for the shoot. Needless to say he sold more pictures than me, in fact one of his made the front page of the Telegraph.  I emailed him, congratulating him on his sale and saying I knew I was doomed from the moment I saw him.  He replied back,  "we're all doomed" the picture that made the front page was done on his Iphone.

 

Did you/do you think his image was better?

If not, why did he sell more?

If it was better, was that the only reason he sold more?

 

wim

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10 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

Did you/do you think his image was better?

If not, why did he sell more?

If it was better, was that the only reason he sold more?

 

wim

 

Because the other photographer had a better sales team behind him perhaps?

 

Assuming competent photography it is often more about the business 'nous' than the 'art'.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
typo
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3 hours ago, Martin P Wilson said:

 

Because the other photographer had a better sales team behind him perhaps?

 

Assuming competent photography it is often more about the business 'nous' than the 'art'.

 

So glad you shared this story Simon 

 

I remember looking at that photo when it came up in the images found thread, with the discussion as to why this one had been used rather than yours, which was very very similar.   I also looked at the others that the photographer had uploaded and wondered why that one had been used when the others looked 'technically better'.  I wondered about it at the time because it didn't seem that 'tidy' -  for example there were heads in the foreground that I didn't think added to the image.

 

IMO, however, the reason that photo sold, above all the others was because of the light.  It appears to have been taken after (or maybe before as a test shot?) all the others, and had rays of sun streaming down.

 

The quality isn't as good, but it was a more interesting attractive photo, just because of the light.

 

I'm often guilty of getting caught up in focussing too much on 'what I'm photographing' and the technical part of it and forgetting the importance of light - a good reminder!! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by kay
clarity

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The best camera is the one you have with you, so true. Getty do have some very talented photographers, but they seem to have a very aggressive sales team,  and like to push their weight around almost to the point of bullying.

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16 hours ago, phomme said:

The best camera is the one you have with you, so true. Getty do have some very talented photographers, but they seem to have a very aggressive sales team,  and like to push their weight around almost to the point of bullying.

One or two of their London togs sadly also display the same characteristics nowadays. 

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Hi All,

 

In terms of why his picture sold rather than mine ( I actually did get one online use in the Telegraph ), then I would agree that his photograph had better light, he'd caught the sun better than me.  Also Matt is a very experienced photographer, and from my brief conversations with him a very nice and friendly guy - he's been doing this a lot longer than me, so I can only learn from his work.

 

Lastly ( taking into account the above ) it's very difficult for me to sell against Getty and PA because my understanding is - and I'm open to correction - is that they have deals with most of the papers where they pay a fixed fee to receive news pictures over the year, rather than having to pay per picture like they would with Alamy. I've done quite a few events over the years where it's just been me, PA and Getty and their pictures usually beat mine into the papers, often with very similar shots.  Down the line I've made the odd stock sale, but not the news sale.    I should just stick to weather really, I make more sales from a 10km radius of my house than all the events added together, and we do get some decent weather in Cornwall at both ends of the spectrum.

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2 hours ago, Simon said:

Hi All,

 

In terms of why his picture sold rather than mine ( I actually did get one online use in the Telegraph ), then I would agree that his photograph had better light, he'd caught the sun better than me.  Also Matt is a very experienced photographer, and from my brief conversations with him a very nice and friendly guy - he's been doing this a lot longer than me, so I can only learn from his work.

 

Lastly ( taking into account the above ) it's very difficult for me to sell against Getty and PA because my understanding is - and I'm open to correction - is that they have deals with most of the papers where they pay a fixed fee to receive news pictures over the year, rather than having to pay per picture like they would with Alamy. I've done quite a few events over the years where it's just been me, PA and Getty and their pictures usually beat mine into the papers, often with very similar shots.  Down the line I've made the odd stock sale, but not the news sale.    I should just stick to weather really, I make more sales from a 10km radius of my house than all the events added together, and we do get some decent weather in Cornwall at both ends of the spectrum.

 

Thank you!

 

Keep practicing. And keep comparing. Weather is a good subject, but you could expand into the seasons: Winter; Spring is mostly about the weather; children's outdoor games; people's outdoor activities; cleaning house; oysters; asparagus; holidays; sales; in short everything that has it's season.

 

wim

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It really is the person behind the camera. I enjoy reading books on combat photography because some of the images are just technically bad: film burns, light leaks, water damage, sub-par focusing/exposure. But the Idea that the artist behind the lens wanted to express was recorded, and that is what makes timeless images. But the best is when the two meet and you have photographs that are technically excellent and artistically inspired!

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