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Thread: Pushing the boundaries

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Pushing the boundaries

    I have been photographing since about 2000. I started with a small digital camera (<1 MP from memory) and progressed to a digital SLR in 2004 and then on from there.

    I have learnt a lot about still photography - macro, scenery, people, documentary, wildlife, etc. I know how to do HDR, focus stacking, flash, fixed lighting, night photography, etc. I have learnt a bit about standard video and a lot about time lapse video. I am now getting a trail camera for night, movement triggered video of wildlife and I would like to start doing tracked video for macros (tracking around a subject to show the 3D structure). All this would have cost a fortune 20 years ago, but now ....

    The trail camera has cost me $200. GoPro's are about $250. High quality led lights are $50 or less. Powered tracks cost hundreds but less than $1000.

    With the price of technology plummeting, I wonder how many others are doing the same sort of things - or different things.

    You do have to learn to combine images from different media into a story which is far beyond what is normally done. "Heh, look at this, I took a great photo of the Opera House", isn't really enough any more - unless you are a really good marketer.

    Or you need to try for something unique. Kirsty's storm photo is an example of something that catches people's attention because it is unique (and a good photo), so that is another way to go - find your own unique view of the world. I guess this is part of what I try to do with fungi and, to some extent, wildlife.

    You may also have to give up the idea that your genius will suddenly provide you with heaps of money. It probably won't - but then you never know as people will pay for good stuff that is different. Anyway, making money often has more to do with business sense than with photographic or artistic skill or any other talent.

  2. #2
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    About 30odd years ago, I wanted to get an old Citroen 2CV. Found it in the Trading Post, and I think for about $100 or something silly like that.
    Went to see it in a shed somewhere in Melbourne's east, and it was basically a pile of rust.
    Immediately I wanted it there and then .. but how to get it home.
    Being an odd French car that no one in their right mind would want to have .. and about a 30's or so vintage too! .. it probably would have cost about $10K (or more) to restore to an original condition.
    Of course being so young .. where am I going to find the multiple thousands of dollars just to get parts sent over from France(on the whole).

    Sometimes it's not about the potential revenue from the pursuit .. but I can understand the hope that one day the effort has been 'worth it'.

    I reckon in the preceding 8-9 years, I've spent at least 10K on photographic equipment of some sort(good/bad/ugly/etc) and only for the purpose of pursuing a past time of some kind.(not that I really needed a new one 8 or so years ago!).
    In that time, I've never seen photography as a means to make money. Any money that is offered will go into the coin jar for the purpose of accumulating more bits'n'peices

    But I think you're spot on Steve. Many get their hopes and expectations high that their images of the Opera House or SHB will make them money.


    For me it's not about the money, it's almost always about the experience it's given me.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  3. #3
    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/
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    Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Making money out of doing up cars is about as difficult as making money out of photography. Those who do it as a focused, money making enterprise may succeed, but those who do it for the love of it - well, they do it for the love of it. That's not to say that money isn't possible and in fact I do make some money from photography, and maybe, if I am very lucky, I will make enough to cover my costs. That would be really something as photography is my major passion and if that is paid for, well, I don't need much more.
    None of the money I do make comes from Australia, though there is a chance that will change, though not from still photos. I get paid more by a restaurant review in Shanghai than any Oz publications have ever been willing to pay me, but maybe that just reflects the relative populations (Shanghai has about the same population as all of Australia). I can see why it is attractive for businesses to break into the Chinese market. One of the wonderful things about Australia, is that people around the world are fascinated by it. There are very few places where you can live a modern (ie high tech) life but not be swamped by people. And it is hell of a lot of fun trying to document this wonderful land we live in. If someone pays me for it - great. If not - I'll still do it, but maybe without so many toys.

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