« The World's Great Lens Makers | Main | The Leica S System »

Thursday, 09 May 2013

Comments

Mike,
Always interesting when you respond to emails this way.

I'm going to dig up some conundrums and get typing.

Thanks,
Stephen

Just today, The-Photographer-who-must-not-be-named mentioned that the iPhone 5 provides better colors out of the box than any other camera he has used:
http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/00-new-today.htm.

Re: the Adobe "furor" over cloud-based licensing (n.b. it is not "cloud-based computing" or storage, you keep the software and your files on your drive by default).

Change is inevitable. Apple removed the floppy drive from the original iMac. Porsche made a four-door SUV and sedan. The next version of Photoshop will need to go online every 60 or 90 days and verify that you're paying for your software use.

Guess what? The old Adobe software EULA (that we all blindly clicked "agree" to) stated that you were, essentially, only renting that software as well, albeit for a fixed, one-time fee. No guarantees as to fitness or future updates or fixes, etc., and you certainly couldn't resell it! This tempest in a teacup is only because Adobe is big and slow, and decided to do this all at once (oh, except for Lightroom... ha!). Autodesk will be next. You've been warned! ;)

So an iPhone is so crapy it does not see a whole boat, is that what you are saying Mike? Now that gets you thinking about quality isn't it :-).

Greets, Ed.

P.S. to François, I guess the iPhone and the K7 have a different opinion about white balance. I personally have a different opinion about my white balance then my OM-D which would paint in iPhone colors if I let it have it's merry way. So that is an eternal battle using digital camera's. Personally I use autowhitebalance (or the OM-D uses AWB) and then set my own graypoint using the RAW converter du jour (in my case DxO). For that I use a near white in shadow region or if things are tricky a credit card size, standard grey chart hidden in plain site somewhere on the edge of the picture.

That "default settings" phrase caught my eye. One can put up with this (rather hard) factory-set Pentax processing, but there's no especial merit to that. The Bright image mode is a bit "much" IMO; affecting contrast as well as hue, so far as I can tell. I find Natural well named.

"High/low key" and "Contrast" adjustments are available, and effective. Turning the front dial while in the image settings menu, activates further options for shadow and highlight contrast. 20 minutes very well invested.

You can enable in-camera CA and lens corrections if you want - though it may be necessary to apply a firmware update to the camera, to activate those for that lens. The camera gets tied up briefly processing these corrections, after the shot is taken, which may get too irritating to persist with.

The K-5 is, as we can verify here, usually quite free of gunfire artifacts - to which the iPhone seems (on this evidence) surprisingly prone...

sorry, correction - Francois has a K-7 not a K-5 (a mistake I've made before - I don't seem to interpret old-style drop numerals as clearly as I should).

Some of the same camera adjustments will be available; please forgive any confusion arising.

Mike,
Your comment in reference to the number of prints a person might sell, made me wonder if that is also reflected in the number of Photography Books sold now, versus some earlier period of time. Are they also in decline, if so does it parallel what is happening with prints? I've purchased many books in the last year or so, all because of recommendations on TOP, enjoying them all. Just curious.

Consumer cameras (compacts, cellphones) are well tuned to offering the most pleasant "consumer oriented" (bright, saturated, sharp) picture out of the Box. A novice will almost always take a better picture with a compact camera then with a high-end camera (not withstanding the image quality).

In addition to that, different manufacturers have different recipes. I think generally Canon and Olympus do a better job on colors (not accurate but good looking) and Nikon does better in highlights, shadows, and brightness.

Pentax is not known for any of these, which is why if you use DSLR, either shoot Raw, or spend considerable time refining your profiles to your taste.

Dear Mike,

Actually, I'm rather positive about the Adobe move. Possibly cause I'm feeling a bit smug; I figured out a year ago that this could have substantial advantages both for end users and for Adobe, and most of what I predicted has come to pass.

Regarding the Photoshop tax, you're not quite right about that. First of all, for the next year, current Photoshop users can buy into the next version for half-price. In other words $10 a month (rounded off) or $120 a year, which is less than the price of their now-annual upgrades.

Second, I'm not convinced this price will stick. Which relates to my prognostications; I had previously predicted that they would massively drop the prices on their cloud services; in the world of $.99 apps, you just couldn't sustain Photoshop-type prices in a mass audience. And they've pretty well saturated their well-heeled, high-end audience. I have no doubt that this is causing great consternation in discussion in the higher circles of Adobe.

I think the $20 month price for Photoshop is a compromise, and not the right one nor the final one. On the one hand, they have to make it cheap, on the other you're fighting against a (highly successful) corporate culture and history which has never dealt in that kind of a market. It's kind of like me offering a print for $19.95 last year when five years ago I was never selling anything less for several hundred dollars. Takes a while to wrap your head around that, psychologically and to figure out how to run that, business-wise.

The reason I'm saying it's not the right compromise is that smart market savvy still says that people are incredibly sensitive to the single digit thing. Human psychology doesn't pay much attention to inflation; $9.95 is a magic number; $10.05 isn't. So I'm thinking the folks at Adobe either don't quite have the courage to get there yet, or their marketing surveys didn't ask the right demographic. But I'll bet reasonable odds that they will. I wouldn't be surprised to see, a year from now, that Adobe decides to make the $9.95/month price perpetual for anybody who stays in the program or who upgraded to the most current version in the previous year. Eventually it'll simply be universal. At which point, you're actually paying less per month, assuming you're the kind of person stays current.

One important point: the license terms haven't changed; a single CC license can still be used on two different computers, so long as it's still just one user.

Other than that, I'm not going to get into the major benefits and potential major pitfalls of this change until (A) I get some more information and (B) you decide to write a column on it.

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
======================================

Dear MarkB,

Personally, I've never thought “change is inevitable” was a good excuse for anything. And it doesn't mean you can't fight certain changes, successfully, if you don't approve of them. Not that this is one I'm inclined to fight, just saying.

You're incorrect about the Adobe license; Adobe has had no problem with reselling Photoshop or even the whole Creative Suite, so long as you are genuinely selling–– discontinuing using it on your system and deactivating it. I know this, because I ASKED them before I did it.

pax / Ctein

You're right not to mess with that Adobe mess here. It would be just so much more spew. Besides, I think that the financial markets will become the ultimate arbiters of the strategy. At this writing Adobe has rapidly lost a big divot of its market value in the three days since their announcement. Their ratings have also nosed down at places like Morningstar. So I think things are getting sorted without TOP readers venting here.

You seem very wise today. Say, "What if 6 was 9?" What would I need to look out for there?

MarkB, Adobe's CS6 EULA may allow it*, but do you know what would happen if Adobe started shutting down peoples' "owned" CS6 licenses?

They would be sued into oblivion by their customers. They would be investigated by AGs in every state and taken to court by a sizable portion of them. The feds might even step in. Even if the feds didn't, the EU's regulators would destroy Adobe. And lastly, but not leastly, people would not buy from Adobe again.

I own CS6. I own it in every practical meaning of the word. Adobe's legalese EULA is irrelevant.

*and if it doesn't directly, there's doubtless a clause that lets Adobe chance the EULA without notifying me.

Silly iPhone must have one hell of a de-fishing algorithm. Too bad it can't tell a boat from a fish.

Gee, I see a difference between the Pentax and the iPhone. Look at the detail in the vegetation. Even viewed on a computer monitor the trees are a lot crisper in the Pentax shot. If you tried to make a largish print, I bet you'd really notice that. Still, for what it is, the iPhone shot ain't bad; for some uses it does the job just fine.

Um, totally DIGGING "Mike Gets Mail". Hoping this'll be a regular spot.

Dear Mike,

Today I found out that my Wife is having an affair. I want to photograph her when she meets her lover at the Mall. What lens should I use for this?? I need something sharp but bokeh is also very important to me. I'm in the Nikon platform. I know Nikon makes bad lenses, but there must be something you could recommend?

Thanks,

Cheated On But Still Shooting

[Dear Cheated,
You clearly need a surveillance lens...maybe something like this would do. --Mike
]

Actually, the picture taken with the Pentax is technically better. There's more contrast, less highlighs, better depiction of shadows and better colours (partly due to the aforementioned better control of the highlights). In terms of content, however, the iPhone picture is more interesting, but that's a different story.
M. François, if you find your Pentax not to serve your photographic purposes and are willing to dispose of it, please send it to me.

Adobe has always had high prices, clear back to PageMaker, which was too rich for my budget 20 years ago. I kept finding cheaper alternatives that Adobe then bought out. I already only have ancient versions of PS that don't work with my camera as the prices for updating were too high for a casual user, so I stopped. I have to convert images from my camera to some other form if I want to use PS. It's not very convenient, but it does work.

Is an Adobe Cloud something like a Lead Balloon?

for the pentax vs iphone question. try taking a picture of a family member standing in a relatively dim room, in front of a bright window, with one or two compact fluorescent lamps on. chances are you will see a much more noticeable difference between the two cameras. are there noticeable image quality differences between the two sample images presented here? yes, but they're not that huge, not enough to detract from my understanding of the scene. another real-world example. I recently went to an MMA event and shot my Nikon D600, while my friend shot his D40x. We both shot at least some of the same shots with the same exact lens that we were passing back and forth, a nikon 70-300. all of my shots were noticeably better quality (mainly less noise), because we were shooting at high ISO to keep the shutter speeds short enough to freeze the action. cameras are getting better and better, but they all have weaknesses, and knowing what they are will make you a better photographer.

Geez that Sigma Sigma weighs 35 pounds and costs $26,000 and he isn't even using a neckstrap.

So is that the Adobe cloud in the iPhone picture?

Haha. Well, Mike, the floodgates may not have opened on TOP, about Adobe, but there is water starting to leak in:

Some of us actually do read user agreements, though any one who reads any of Abode's deserves a medal. Thus, I nominate diglloyd for a medal. Seems he did and may have found a few things that some of us might just worry about. http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2013/20130508_1a-Adobe-legal-agreement.html

Not that Adobe would really ever do any of those things, of course. Probably just some legalese they put in the EULA for purely innocent reasons. Anyone who has ever used Adobe customer service can attest to how they well they treat and respect non-corporate customers.

Thom Hogan http://www.bythom.com/ had a couple of write ups on it too. Seems these two guys are less than impressed not because Adobe is big and slow, but because there are some real concerns that Adobe has so far not fully addressed.

Tempest in a teacup? Maybe. Time will tell, as since there is no real competitor at present, we may all end up submissively paying Adobe for constant updates---complete with unresolved bugs and no way to go back to the earlier bug-free version---and hope that we never give them any reason to terminate our contract. If they did do so by mistake, we could just call Adobe Customer service and have it resolved in 5 minutes, I'll bet. Hopefully before they deleted all of our cloud content. Anyway, we'd still be able to open some of our Adobe proprietary PSD files in PS Elements.

Can you damn someone "to the heavens"? I thought you damned them to the other place!

--"Dear Mike,

Today I found out that my Wife is having an affair. I want to photograph her when she meets her lover at the Mall. What lens should I use for this?? I need something sharp but bokeh is also very important to me. I'm in the Nikon platform. I know Nikon makes bad lenses, but there must be something you could recommend?

Thanks,

Cheated On But Still Shooting

[Dear Cheated,
You clearly need a surveillance lens...maybe something like this would do. --Mike]"--


OMG!! That's perfect and it appears to be hand holdable too!!

Do you happen to know if that lens comes with that Dude's biceps?? If I had those arms my Wife would surely lose the lover and come back to me and my new arm muscles.

Thanks, Mike, amazing suggestion.

COBSS


(that picture is HILARIOUS)

Adobe is clearly exercising its near monopoly position to extract higher rents from its customers. That's why I suspect Lightroom wasn't pulled into the subscription model -- there's more competition in that space. I hope Ctein is correct that there will likely be a price drop, since Adobe essentially doubled the cost of its PS product for many of us.

Mike,
I'm pleased that you didn't jump on the Adobe thing right away. It seems like everything that someone could say based on an instant reaction has been well covered on the different forums. If you are curious, 1001NoisyCameras has a rather comprehensive article linking all of that.

Ctein,
I'm rather pleased that I heard about Picture Window Pro from you some time ago. If you do want to discuss Photoshop alternatives in the future, I would welcome your opinions. As regards pricing, I spent about 45 minutes examining my true needs and doing some basic math, and I figured out that buying something different and keeping it for five years made the most sense. (Cost of PS over 5 years: $1200, PWP, $90. Monthly cost: $20 vs. $1.50.) The opportunity cost of waiting isn't so bad, since I have 5 years for Adobe's competitors to duplicate features, and any unique but rarely used feature I could 'rent' for a single month.

As a former K-7 user I found the default "Bright" setting produced some unnatural colours, particularly in the shade, where magenta crept into the scene. "Natural" is the way to go.

Hi Mike,
None of the software that you mention above (System 9 etc..) stops working whenever the owning company "Desires" or "Decides" so.
These licenses are perpertual and up to the right of its legal licensee owner to use them or NOT.
no reactivation & payment is a MUST each and every month ;-)

Does your purchased car or washing-machine need reactication & payment every month to wal-mart?

of course this is a free market and each seller can choose its business model:
http://www.engadget.com/2013/02/14/adobe-ceo-dodges-pricing-questions/
but this is a joke of 23mio $ CEO. lol
Lets not do the marketing stuff for such personnas. We are no tourists!

Having shot with both film and digital Pentax cameras for the last 30 odd years, my first comment would be use RAW+ to capture both the raw and the JPEG. Any photo I really like, I post-process the RAW file (either DNG or PEF) in Photoshop. Adobe Camera Raw really can make a difference.

That said, Mike's comments are spot on. I've always liked to print big. At one time I could take a 35mm neg to a 16x20 laminated print that I could hang on my wall for about $50. When I first started doing this, I took a very complex negative and sent it to a specialized lab, and sent its nearly identical twin to Costco. The results were the opposite of what I expected, mostly because Costco outsourced large print work to one of the high end shops in the local area, at a very reasonable price.

The point is, I wanted prints. Sometimes I made my own (B&W and Color) and sometimes I farmed them out......with digital, I still want prints. Big prints. So the K5 and the K5IIs are my weapons of choice. I still use other cameras, but not for anything I'm going to print.

Learning to ask questions, like 'Why am I taking this photo?' is one of the most important steps in developing one's skills.

I also agree with Mike's earlier statements about learning to visualize with a fixed focal length lens. Its a bit like pool vs. billiards. Billiards is really good for your pool game, and a few games of pool can really set back your billiard skills.....

I like these, Mike.

re: Adobe furor
If you don't value your use of Photoshop to be worth $20 per month, then don't buy it. Simple as that.

I have to agree with the comment about screwmount Pentaxes. Those seemed to be designed to match the performance of a normal lens. The 35/3.5 super multicoated takumar is quite cheap, but it must be one of the better corrected lenses ever. No fringing or aberrations, extremely sharp, a landscape photographer's dream, even on a crop sensor.

Hi Mike,

This is a good blog post idea.

Thanks for sharing about the print sales. This is very useful for me.

Cheers!

As someone with a comfortable income (I’m not a hedge fund manager and don’t make 7 figures, but I’m well into 6 figures), I’d like to offer an alternative perspective. I’m speaking from personal experience here, and it isn’t something I’ve discussed with others, so I don’t claim that my view is necessarily typical of others within my income bracket. And I certainly don’t have any insight into how the true top earners view these things. That said, I don’t want to let the view persist that anyone that regularly buys works of art, and has the ability to pay several thousand dollars for each piece, necessarily views pricing the way Mike has indicated. Moreover, if, as an artist, you are only targeting your sales at multi-millionaires, then just based on numbers and access, you are highly unlikely to ever sell A print, let alone MANY prints.

To take Mike’s comments out of order:

“2. Marketing sells prints, not the picture, and not price. So spend your time marketing.” – This is definitely something I agree with. I’m not going to buy your picture if I never see it. On that note, there aren’t any art galleries near me that sell any pictures that are particularly noteworthy (meaning anything other than clichéd pictures of cats, flowers or bucolic country views). While cities have at least some galleries specializing in photography, that is a very, very tough market to crack, and still very small. So if I’m going to see your pictures, it is going to be online. And millions upon millions upon billions of pictures are available online. So you have to find a way to draw people to your pictures. I don’t have an easy answer on how to do that. The most effective way that I can tell is by either (a) specializing in a specific photographic niche, and attracting search engine traffic looking for exactly that niche, or (b) offering a website with something else (a blog, camera reviews, book reviews, “how-tos”, etc.) that attracts traffic, and then allowing visitors who come to your website for your content to see and become enamored of your photography.

“1. You are not going to sell very many prints. ... Therefore, why not make a little money on the rare occasions when you do sell one?”
“3. … Many people who are rich enough to have a nice photograph to frame and hang on their walls not only don't mind paying the price for a good print, they are actually put off by low prices.”

Now, speaking purely as a personal matter, I find the idea that I would be put off by the low price of a print preposterous. I’ve bought photographs that cost thousands of dollars, but I’ve also reached out to no-name amateurs on Flicker and bought prints of pictures I liked for $25 or $50.

I’m well aware of the theory behind Veblen goods, and it is sound. BUT, it really only works with things that confer status or exclusivity. People know that Luis Vuitton bags are distinctive and expensive. That is to say: people (a) recognize them, and (b) know what they cost. The same thing is true of a Lamborghini and a Picasso painting. But, unless you’re talking about a print by Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus or a handful of other big names, it is far, far less applicable to photography. As photographers, amateur photographers and photography enthusiasts, we lose sight of the fact that photography as an art form is barely a speck of a blip in popular consciousness. People who aren’t interested in photography, (i) don’t recognize even famous pictures, (ii) are unlikely to recognize an original (as opposed to a nicely matted and framed poster print), (iii) don’t assume that original photographs are rare or limited, and (iv) have no idea what original prints cost. If I went and bought an original print of Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise”, most of my guests would do one of the following: (A) ignore it / not recognize it, (B) assume it was a poster I had framed, or (C) think to themselves “cool picture” and then move on without any thought of cost. Unless I drew their attention to it, mentioned it was an original, and told them what I paid for it, I would gain zero status points for owning it. And frankly, if I had a picture on my wall from some less well-known (but still well known in photography circles) photographer that cost $10,000, then I would gain zero status points (and probably only blank stares) EVEN IF I drew a guest’s attention to it, mentioned it was an original and told them what I paid for it.

It is a common mistake for people to talk about the art market as though it only existed at the level of Christie’s and Sotheby’s auctions. Most art is made by artists you’ve never heard of and never will hear of. No matter how much their art costs, whether $50, $500, $5,000 or $25,000, you are unlikely to derive much status from owning it.

Moreover, to the truly wealthy, $5,000 might as well be $50 in terms of using pricing as an indicator of quality. Both prices are too low to confer Veblen-good status, or to distinguish one print from any number of comparably priced prints. Do you really, as an unknown artist, want to price your prints at $25,000 or $50,000? [Clearly, nobody (including Mike) is suggesting that you do so, I'm just making a rhetorical argument.] Thinking this through, the inevitable conclusion is that there is only one way to get to the point where you can charge thousands of dollars for your prints: start small, build a reputation and a group of "fans" who appreciate your art, and work your way up, the hard way, over the course of many years. There are no shortcuts.

I buy art because I like it, because I like looking at it, because it brightens my life to have that piece of art in my house. Most people (including my wife) don’t even share my taste in art, let alone give me any respect for owning it. And I can guarantee you that nobody can walk into my house and tell the difference between the print I bought off Flickr for $50, and the print that cost $5,000.

To continue the thought, if most art buyers buy art because they like it (and note that this thought starts with “if”), then maybe price is irrelevant. I’ll buy the picture because I like it, no matter what it costs. I may not be dissuaded from buying a cheap print because it isn’t a Veblen good, but then again, a high price might not be a deterrent, either. If I want it, I want it, and I’ll pay what it takes to own it, so you might as well charge more, right?

I think there are two reasons why this doesn’t apply:

First, it isn’t only people that earn mid-6 figures and up that buy art. And while I may be willing to pay a thousand (or several thousand) dollars for a print, many people earn less than I do and are not willing (or are unable) to pay as much. To go back to what I said above, the higher your prices, the more limited the group that can afford your art. And given the limited number of high earners, the high competition in the art world and the limited ability to attract the attention of such high earners, by pricing your art for that audience, you are almost doomed to fail before you start. Why not price your prints at a level where you have a better shot at attracting middle-income buyers, who represent a group that is many, many times the size of the high earners? Will you sell lots of prints and become rich? No. (I think that is unlikely in any case). But you may be able to sell some prints.

Second, if I can’t see your prints in person (and as noted above, I can’t, unless your work is in a gallery in a city that is near me), then I’m not paying thousands of dollars for your prints, full stop. My experiences here on T.O.P. have been a good learning experience. Some of the prints I bought through Mike’s sales have been absolutely stunning successes. Others, frankly, have been quite disappointing. This isn’t a criticism of the prints themselves, which I have found to be of high technical quality. But sometimes I look at pictures on the web and I think, “Oh, that’s looks interesting, I think it would make a great print.” or “Well, that JPEG doesn’t look great, but I’m sure a print will be far superior.” But some pictures just don’t look great in print, and sometimes physical prints are just as uninspiring as their online equivalents. I’ve become cautious now. I would rather buy 10 pictures for $250 to find the one that I really like and want to frame, than one picture for $2,500 that I might be sorely disappointed in when it shows up in person. If I don’t know you and have never seen your work in person, I’m not going to buy a $1,000 print from you.

So to bring this discussion back home again: if you want to improve the odds of someone buying your prints, then you should not only engage in marketing, you should also emphasize in your marketing the quality of your prints, your care in packing and offer some sort of money-back guarantee if the buyer doesn’t like the print (this is the approach that Ctein takes). You don’t need to fetishize it…I don’t need to know what printer you use, and what inks on what paper, but I would like to know that you work on creating the best print you can, that you’ve selected a paper that’s a good match to the image, and that the JPEG on your website is at least a decent representation of what the print will look like.

Finally, I like both of Mike’s suggestions on editions.

[Thanks for your thoughts, but re this: "Moreover, if, as an artist, you are only targeting your sales at multi-millionaires, then just based on numbers and access, you are highly unlikely to ever sell A print, let alone MANY prints," I was suggesting $350 as a baseline for student prints and $600 as the entry point for established adult photographers. I don't think that can fairly be characterized as "only targeting your sales at multi-millionaires." --Mike]

The Hikone Castle photograph in my mind's eye:
http://sixbats.com/combined.jpg

cheers,
Don Craig

"Marketing sells prints, not the picture, and not price. So spend your time marketing."

Mike, this is the short version, but I have come to agree with your conclusion. Your advice to Simon reflects the take-aways that he might otherwise spend a bunch of money and a lot of time pursuing via workshops, lectures, etc.

Although this print-sales synopsis is buried in a broader "Mail That I Get" post, it provides an honest and intelligent course of action that photographer/artists should consider.

Additionally, I happen to have Larry Gagosian's personal cell number, which I will gladly share for a modest $25 to TOP readers. That might help with moving the career along, too.

(Yes, that last paragraph is obviously meant as humor. $25 would be way too cheap, don't you think?)

;-)

The main difference between the iphone and dslr is that it's easier to whip out your iphone on a busy street and photograph people without having anyone turn away or make a fuss.

Mike,

Poor choice of words. I didn't mean to suggest that you were (and I tried to avoid the implication that you were further down, but should have been clearer from the outset, too).

But $600 in 1980s dollars works out to somewhere between $1,100 and $1,650 in 2012 dollars (depending on which year within the 1980s you use as your baseline). My basic point remains the same: if you are an (essentially) unknown artist, marketing your photographs over the internet to someone who will never have the opportunity to see your pictures in print beforehand, then charging over $1,000 is a lot of money. Moreover, as a practical matter, it is unlikely to be too attractive to people earning less than $250k/year. Remember that the prices you are referring to are from another era - I assume that at that time, people were selling to buyers who viewed the physical prints before deciding to buy. Moreover, there was less competition from millions of amateur photographers trying to sell their prints (although, on the upside, there is now greater interest in photography and the art market for photography has also grown tremendously).

Ah, P-shop, who needs it anyway......to me any cloud is nothing but a puf of smoke or vapour! And remember folks people told me I coudn't live without an iPhone either, and hey, I haven't used a cellphone alltogether for over 2 years and I'm still breathing.

And about prints and pricing.....it depends on your production amount and the reasons why prints (or photos in the digital domain) are produced and how much people are willing to pay and that depends on your relative position on the art market, wether or not you use editions, wether you are allowed to deal with clients personally or only via an art dealer etc. etc. In Holland we have a saying.

"Wat de gek ervoor geeft"

"What the idiot wants to pay for it"

In my book that is the value of art (or the value of stocks, classic cars, classic cameras, antiques, etc. etc.). In fact all these objects have no intrinsic value at all. A Picasso is worth about 0,50 euro (value of the wood and canvas used for burning) if you are on an polar icefield in Alaska and firewood is sparse (and so is a bundle of stocks if these wouldn't have digitalised themselves). Value is bestowed on them by the shear force of trust. Now trust is powerfull force but not omnipotent as we all tend to forget from time to time.

Greets, Ed.

I have found the response to my question on pricing prints to be very informative. It was very interesting to hear the views of someone who actively collects photography. I think I will have to work a bit harder on my marketing!

I have diversified in to self publishing which is doing quite well, although I don't think I can give up the day job just yet.

I estimate that over the past few years I have sold around 30 prints, which is not bad I suppose.

Cheers
Simon

So, knowing you're not interested in wading in to the Adobe furor I feel compelled to add my 2 cents anyway. Here's the thing. If you're a pro, or serious PS user, who upgrades, say, sesque-annually and occasionally wish you had access to one of the other apps in the suite, then the change is probably a bargain.

But say you're more like me. I mostly work in Lightroom with Nik plugins and only now and then feel the need to open Photoshop. I also typically only upgrade to alternate new versions. So today I have CS5 and I would have expected to pay around $200 for CS7. Furthermore, if I didn't want to get CS7 I could have delayed my purchase to CS8. Now, though, instead of laying out $200 every 2 - 3 years I'm being asked to layout $240 every year. And furthermore, if I ever stop paying I can't keep using the most recent version I bought - I lose access altogether. To me, that's the equivalent of losing the long term lease on my home and being forced to rent at a monthly rate that is higher than paying a mortgage and in which I'll never build any equity. So for me, and others like me it is clearly not a minor inconvenience or time to change my mindset - It's really much more costly.

On a similar note, Microsoft just charged me $100 for a 1-year subscription to the new version of Office for up to 5 home computers. That's much cheaper than the suite would normally cost but much more than I would normally amortize a year's worth of the purchase over. Even worse, so far I can only get it to work on my laptop. My wife's and daughter's installations don't work and there's no one to call for help - you just have to look at faqs and "community" help - in other words, they're counting on their users to provide help for free (as does Adobe)!

I'm sorry to sound so anti-capitalist (because I'm not) but these are just 2, relatively minor, examples of how corporate America is shifting costs massively to individuals.
Adam

The comments to this entry are closed.