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Monday, 08 April 2013


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Hi Mike,
FYI - My ESET security detected a DNS Cache poisoning attack when I clicked on the Contest finalists link.

Interesting to look at all the finalists. Lots of good images there in my opinion, although a bit of derivative stuff as well. The winning photo is fine, but I don't think it's the best and I just wonder if - like on TOP - the inclusion of the pet perspective swings it?

In Europe they have a saying - when an English person sees a blind man, they feel sorry for his dog

I have my son's cat, "Jelly Bean." He got her when he was 4; he is now a Lieutenant in the Air Force far away from home. Jelly Bean is 20 years-old and still as mean as ever, but I care for her just the same. This photo has made me want to take a picture of her. Thank you for posting this Random Excellence.

A lovely picture but if I were to get picky I might complain about the blown highlights on the hands and cheeks (assuming my monitor isn't at fault). Not what I would want in a $300 print. W Eugene Smith would have spent a week dodging those in his darkroom.

Thanks for explaining the story behind this wonderful photo. In this case, I'm more satisfied knowing than imagining. Too often, we photographers fall short in the word dept.

My sympathies to Ms. Scarce for her loss.

My late, lamented Bob says, "Don't be a dope, no limited editions!"

Bob, March, 2010

But then, Bob was one smart cookie of a cat and his owner, who is about to have her first solo show, is selling prints of an unlimited edition, because Mike's posts came along at exactly the PERFECT time for me.

Literally, I was asked by the gallery owner about doing a limited edition the very same day as the the original post and I was able to politely decline the idea, explain the logic behind it and come to a deal that will hopefully make both of us more money in the long run.

Thanks, Mike!

Art and money, go figure?. A near-off-topic take on this would be what happend to Meredeth Wilson when the Beatles covered "Till There Was You".
Wilson is said to have made more off the Beatles cover than he did on the Broadway production itself. Good thing he kept the rights.
That was the only Broadway tune the Beatles ever recorded. Too bad. I can't help but think a nice cover of "Shapoopsie" would have got the back half of the white album up on it's feet.
It would be easy now since Paul McCartney bought the rights to Wilson's music some time ago.

Great photo, it tells a story.

Thanks a lot Mr Johnston you just made a grumpy old man cry. I had a cat for 16 years after a relative force the thing on me. She died at age 17 several years ago and apparently I'm not over it yet.

Again thanks a bunch!

And Reg is also carrying a cat...hopefully still alive! The judges must have been cat lovers........not a dog amongst the finalists!

Looks like the poor cat is getting ready to hork up a fur ball.

Re: "Mike replies: Guess she isn't a TOP reader then. :-)"

You're take on limited editions brought to mind a cartoon I once saw. It showed a small boy sitting at his lemonade stand with a sign that read "Ice Cold Lemonade-- $20 a glass". A man passing by said "you won’t get many customers at that price" to which the little boy replied "I only need one customer!"

I'm on of the cat lovers out there so a big thanks for the link!

This just goes to show that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and "artists" can set any price they choose for their work. I fail to appreciate the value of this image and have a much better looking cat whose photo I am willing to sell for $40 (a fantastic saving of $3960; enough to buy a D800 with a lens).

Poor kitty.

Dear Mike Harangue,
It's called capitalism. Choosing a price for a one-off product is a risk Janelle takes in her chosen economic enterprise. If Janelle were a painter, she would only have an edition of 1 - and she would have to price the edition - so what's the big deal that she's chosen four prints?

I really, really, don't get the whole anti-limited edition thing - presumably Janelle has enough confidence that if she sells one limited set of image at $4,000 each and they become very valuable later, she will be able to make new images to sell at the higher price. Whilst it may be that such confidence is misplaced, and either the higher value, or the later images, don't follow, that is just her business risk. It is what professionals do - you can't make money from a business hoping that your one print is a hit that you make so much money from it that you don't need another - if it happens, great. But it's not a business model.

Wow that worked me up. Good post.

just read this and I get confused with the right direction for "Art photographers".
I am being constantly being told Limited edition is the right way to go, but yes, your point about making money is very valid, until we command prices of Gurksky or Crewdson it is not worth it.
But does that make the question invalid?, if we were all about making money then get a high paying job or commercial photography?(sic).
Aren't we all looking for famousness? To be recognised? For our brilliance?
Limited edition says "I am an artist", an oil painter only does one picture, however good, and it says just that.
So if I had $4000 spare, I could buy this as a collector, appreciator of art but not just as a cat lover that undermines the picture.
I think "Art photographers" want to end up in the "Art" section of the library not the popular cat photographers section.

Cheers Mike.

Photo pricing.....who cares inherently it's printed matter, ink on paper no more. The rest is all a matter of luck and flaw anyway. Maybe she's the next Gursky or maybe she is the next G.P. Fieret, only time will tell. Which her all the best though since it's a tough time for doing anything. But if she sells her 12 shots for 4000 dollar a piece....well there will be other cats (and dogs, and guinee pigs, and rabbits, and and and and and....) so she can keep up the good work. Charlotte Dumas makes a living of it, so why couldn't she.

Greets, Ed

Ugh! Cats! What am I missing? Ghastly, screechy things that rarely obey you. 4K for a photo of a frowny face owner and her frowny cat! Seriously?

Personal side note: My spouse promised to care for a colleague's dying cat whilest on a fellowship abroad. The care of said dying cat fell to me. It was just sad and even sadder when a quality of life decision needed to be made for said suffering cat. I was that cat's last human contact. No photo can capture the experience of holding an animal while you put it down. My dislike of cats softened somewhat and my thoughts against euthanasia hardened. Perhaps the 48K will bring to Janelle solace that I did not find after the death of a stranger's dying cat.

Re: Recent bloviation. No problem, just uprezz and inkjet print a new edition. This has worked beautifully before.

Not sure i agree that its a portrait, exactly. More documentary in a sense. Not sure id pay 4k either, extremely inflated...good luck with that.

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