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Monday 23 February 2009

Doom and Gloom

Smokestack and Stormy SkiesI don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of all the doom and gloom surrounding the current economic news these days. Yes we are in for a rough ride. And yes many people are already suffering from job loss or at least reduced incomes. But is the sky really falling? Bad enough it’s February without all the talk about recession or worse - depression.

Speaking of depression, I recently had a conversation with a colleague about the state of photography. We discussed whether it is still viable to make a living behind the camera. I think so. But the recent changes in technology bring very challenging issues to today's professional photographer.

As a stock photographer, I have been frustrated with the common practice of dumping large numbers of quality images on the market at very low prices (often free). Maybe there are just too many people who want to do this for fun. Maybe it's too big to fight. My colleague and I discussed the fact that the way to compete is to rise above the norm. We need to bring the level of our work noticeably higher than the average person with a Digital SLR. Do I solve that with technology alone? Perhaps a 60 Mega Pixel medium format system would help. But how do I raise the level of creativity and thoughtfulness of my images? I think that is really the goal.Toronto Winter SunsetI wonder if this is any different than the changes the world went through with mechanization and the industrial revolution. The change from living with and off the land to a factory/desk/technology/knowledge based economy. No matter how much you loved working with horses and digging your hands into the earth, it was no longer possible to support 80% of the population who wanted to make a living that way.Working the Soil by Horse TeamChange is inevitable. Success at any time in history is gained from anticipating and exploiting the opportunities that change brings.
Saskatchewan Old BuildingPersonally, I still feel optimistic about the future. I still dream about the places Lori and I will go and the images I will create. The world will continue to change and evolve and hopefully, so will I.

So where do you think we are going?

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Blogger Beck said...

I had quite the arguement with a friend about this very topic the other day, about valueing one's own work enough not to want to give it away for free.

Farming is a funny thing. Both the Canadian and the American governments are desperately trying to encourage more young people to go into farming - although who would ever want to, looking at it rationally?

23 February 2009 at 13:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel optimistic about the future too. I hope I'm not wrong! (is that pessimistic??). Maybe the hard times of today will only make us better. Just like your photography. By the way, I love the photos, especially the second one. Continue to do your good work! I know you and Lori will live your dream someday (soon).

24 February 2009 at 21:27  
Blogger Adrien Veczan said...

Hundreds of job losses at newspapers the past few months, some of them in photo departments. But you know what, it doesn't really scare me, I don't need a hundred jobs, I only need one, and if I work hard enough, I'll find it.

As for stock photography, tough economic times could actually help. Maybe the hobbyists giving away their pictures on the internet won't have the time to shoot those half-decent photos or the money to buy those half-decent cameras.


As long as what I see through my viewfinder puts Pepsi on the table, I won't worry about a recession!

26 February 2009 at 20:21  

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