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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Painting Myself into a Corner.... I Mean a Box

When I don't have canvas or for that matter anything flat to paint on I've been using empty boxes from Amazon. They're like little theatrical performances.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

$$$$$ Flexibility $$$$$

 There has always been some flexibility when it comes to an artist pricing his work and you have to look no further than prices at the big auction houses. There is also a taboo attached to an artist selling their work for below their current pricing, that they're devaluing their art by doing so. That's complete BULLSHIT ! Go to any gallery and there's wiggle room in the prices listed. It doesn't matter if the price is $200 or $20,000,000 any gallery worth a damn will try to make the sale happen for both the sake of the gallery and the artist. But speaking of galleries rarely does an artist charge one who shows up to their studio the same as what their galley rep is selling for, after all the gallery is taking 50% or more from a sale. Yes of course there are artists who refuse to budge and take it as an insult if you ask but I doubt those artists sell much.


Thursday, October 24, 2019

Painting Is My Meditation

 While photography is my first love, painting will always be my meditation. Over the last week I've began painting and drawing a lot more which always seems to happen around this time of year.

"Warehouse Fire on 59th Street"

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

2019 Pew Fellows

"Twelve annual Fellowships ($75,000 each), which provide unrestricted grants to individual artists working in all disciplines."

 While I'm very pleased to see such great visual artists such as ceramist Roberto Lugo and painter Jonathan Lyndon Chase receive the fellowship, I am very disappointed that it's another year without a representative from photography.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Press Photos

 I always like the thought of collecting press photos. The idea of having the only known physical copy of a print is an exciting one. Yes some photos were printed a few times, especially if the print itself was made by the photographer who took it but most news agencies made only a single print, used it for publication and then shoved it into a filing cabinet. You do have to keep an open mind when collecting this type of photo because you're not going to get a pristine print and they will most likely have damage such as creasing, stains, small tears, or discoloration. To me this only ads to the charm. The back of the print usually has the subject, news agency, a short story, and sometimes the photographers name. The cost on average can run between $10 and $30 a print depending on size and condition but there are those rare occasions when a photo of a famous person or scene will run into the hundreds or close to a thousand if it was made by a photographer such as Weegee. I paid $10 for this original 8"x12" silver gelatin print.

Friday, October 11, 2019

The Night Alive

I would like to thank the Inis Nua Theatre Company in Philadelphia for projecting photos from my Philadelphia Project in the lobby during the play "The Night Alive".


Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Philadelphia Stock Photo Company

 I've been giving some thought about a Philadelphia centric stock photo company. Only a little thought at this time because I have no idea about the start up costs and if there's even a market for it. I have plenty of photos that don't fit within my portfolio but make for good stock photos. I've been a contributor to iStock/Getty for 8 months now but I find the ridiculously low earnings of around 25 cents per sale insulting and a waste of time unless you have 10,000 photos uploaded. I have no idea where I'm going with this.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Ain't No Stoppin' It

     It's been a while since I've discussed the mess that is the internet and permission for using one's photographs. In the past year lawsuits have been filed, cease and desist letters sent, DMCA forms filed, and hundreds of emails. During this same period of time I registered copyrights for over half my portfolio. This process takes a tremendous amount of time and my talking about has discouraged other photographers from posting their portfolio photos online and I can't blame them. Others feel that searching for their photos would ruin them mentally, again I don't blame them. Over the last year alone I've had my photos removed hundreds of times and it looks like I've stopped Amazon from selling third party items with my photography on them. But that's where the progress has stopped.
      I have a few photos that I watch more closely because they known to be used without my permission more than the others, but every once in awhile I'll find an unsuspecting photo being used for website design, product design, or illegally printed. Take the photo below ( Philadelphia 471) which has been the biggest source of illegal and not permissioned use. I've sent a couple hundred notices to people on social media claiming they took the photo or using it for advertisement. Interior designers, realtors, communication companies seem to be the biggest offenders. They either claim ignorance or the fact that they've seen it all over the internet so it must be alright to use without permission. There is no stopping the spread of a photo once it's been uploaded to the internet. I've spent thousands of hours trying to stop or even just trying to slow it's progress with no such luck.

This photo represents only about one sixth of the current locations on the internet where it's been shared or used even though I've had hundreds removed. Using the Russian search engine Yandex reveals even more with a disturbing amount being used for commercial purposes.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Snapshot Sunday

The continuation of photographing diner waitresses and people shopping in Acme.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Best Advice

 Several years ago I was part of a large group exhibition in New York City. While there I was approached by a few photographers who asked me what advice I could give them. I immediately said "edit your work". I think they were expecting hints while photographing on the street but none of that matters if you don't edit after the fact. Today that advice is more important than ever with the immediacy of digital cameras, smartphones, and social media. Mostly editing has taken a back seat because of the urgency of posting on Instagram. In short people are posting photos fast for the sake of posting.
   Today how many photographers live with their photos for a year, a month or even a week before showing anyone? I would guess next to none. Like most things today fast has replaced good. To make matters worse most photographers are horrible editors of their own work, especially early in their career. I rarely accept a photo that I haven't run by at least one person. These outsiders can offer a fresh opinion, have saved me some embarrassment over the years and also opened my eyes to photos I initially dismissed. Photographers can sometimes be too close to their own work. Slowdown.