Monday, February 28, 2011

How Much, How Often?

Colin Pantall has had some great posts (here and here) on what I suspect is one of photography's better kept secrets; scratch that, it's no secret- one of its most feared no go areas. Namely, the fact that it costs so freakin' much!!! A zillion and one photography blogs all over the goddamn blogosphere and how many posts does one ever see challenging how much the nuts and bolts of our particular obsession cost? Lots everyday on new software, hardware, cameras, accessories, and how very, very fortunate we are to have so many, many wonderful choices. And that's all bloody well and true if you have the money to pick and choose- if ya don't, you're artistic palette  gets reduced to the most primary of colors.

And it seems few want to mention or discuss it for fear it forever brands them in the Loser category.Yes, many perfectly fine film cameras can be had for pennies (and even plastic ones can create sensational results), and yes, you don't have to pay for film if you use digital- but if you're going to see a project through to its photographic fruition, you need prints, and that's where you rack up real money, real fast. That's where the "digital revolution" has so utterly and abysmally failed with its:  persnickety printers, paper worth more than its silver counterpart, and inks worth more than their weight in gold- not to mention the waste that comes with every looping learning curve that differs with each printer, each paper, and every bit o' software year after bloody year. Madness! Unless you got the funds to take it all in stride...

It was suggested that perhaps I should dedicate a good part of my blog to low budget an/or collaborative photo projects. In all fairness however, I think that would be best served by a separate blog- one that would also be run collaboratively, much as Mark Page and I did with Expiration Notice. At this point, I don't think I would embark on such a venture unless I had the weight to also provide some sort of access or other palpable contribution, commercial or otherwise, to help further said projects so that it would be more than just another blog screaming headlong in the dark-- not unlike this one...

Now should someone want to embark on such an epic journey, get in touch- comments and suggestions appreciated...

6 comments:

Eric Rose said...

While I could not be a commercial contributor I would be interested in writing for such a venture.

Stan B. said...

Eric would love to have ya. But right now this is a boat sans captain. When we started our previous online magazine/gallery, Mark and I had a clear vision of what we wanted to do, and what we had to do. Here... not so much. Like I said this was not originally my idea- and I think a principal driving force in all this should be to provide those featured with some palpable contribution (and I aint talking money), asset or connection that will help further their project along. I don't just wanna start another blog for the hell of it.

So please send any ideas to stanco1113@gmail.com, I don't know if this will ever get off the ground quite frankly- but it's worth investigating.

Mark Page said...

I'm hearing you Stan, as we both know, no money, no contacts/connections just pissing in the wind. I'm not sure either about this great big global blog networking thing if it works as well as perhaps I did a couple of years back.
The whole money or photographers who have none is a hugely important and of course a factor mostley ignored by people who through self interest will deny the fact that with big bucks in the bank it's easy to make a splash. Just look at Sam Taylor-Wood and the shite she turns out. And don't even get me started on the UK class system, as far as the back of house Arts scene it's hardly changed in a hundred years with the public school kids still calling the shots. Every now and again they will allow a token 'pleb' for novelty's sake.

Stan B. said...

Mark- what I should be doing right now is committing myself to making more money, period- anything but starting another blog. Living check to check sucks big time, and as you know- doing even one blog daily is work a plenty. But like I said, I wouldn't think of embarking on another unless there was something more tenable to offer those people looking to go the next level (something I can't even offer myself).

I'd also like to make the time (silver neg scan fun- you must manually clean all marks & scratches post edit) to make a couple more books of my work, just to have something in "print" form- since I can no longer afford real prints! Books to be seen by...

But I'm thankful even for that option!

Binbaz said...

Making things is costly. Ask musicians, ask printmakers, ask painters, ask filmmakers. Even the writers I know often spend mad cheddar on research. That kind of expense I can live with. What really costs, and in a very absurd way, is joining the professional ranks. The galleries are set up for a market that stays small and exclusive by design while they could be growing their clientele, that would mean more money for more people but less money for the top 5%. Contests gladly accept your money and entries without ever making the judges biases clear because who would want to spend money that they are guaranteed to lose? Everyone asks for "exhibition quality" prints and framing but how often is that really necessary. When I saw Frank's THe Americans at the Jeu De Paume it did not matter to me some of the edges were frayed and some of the prints had small holes. Good pictures is good pictures. How can people so readily spend 500 to 2000 bucks for portfolio reviews that offer no guarantees. If it's starting to sound a lot like Vegas then you've missed my point. The world of professional art photography is Reno and the house always wins.
BTW i would gladly volunteer my time and efforts for an endeavor such as the one you are proposing.

Stan B. said...

Thanks, Binbaz. Yeah, it's a stacked deck. Fortunately, shit does manage to get through the cracks somehow, someway to make us all oooh and ahhh.

I think this is a great idea, but perhaps I'm not the guy to do it full force. I'm seeing either someone younger, more in the mix, who perhaps is part of a collaborative himself right now and is hustling and making the connections that will lead to future opportunities and wants to build on that. Or just someone who does, in fact, already have some kind of connections- whether to galleries, publishers, or maybe just be able to facilitate getting photographers cheaper materials, services, transportation, whatever to offset costs. That's what any of us need...