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Digital Snob

Rand47

Active member
If the art is in the image - the subject - the light - the location - the timing. Which shutter button, cable release you push is irrelevant. Same goes for the print. If the tonality, the feel, the gestalt of the print is the thing, what method used to create that is irrelevant. If the photographer’s vision isn’t “there” it doesn’t matter how you “did it” - it’s a failure. If they are, it doesn’t matter how you “did it.” The rest is verbiage.

Rand
 

Abstraction

Active member
All prices for art are arbitrary. It's impossible to place a "fair market value" on art. Limited edition runs are just ways to create artificial scarcity. The whole point of photography from the outset is that it's reproducible. Since you're looking to buy "art", you can't look at it as "investment grade". There's no such thing. Everything is subject to fashion and everything falls in and out of favor. Even a Mona Lisa may fetch $10M today only to fetch $5M or $1M tomorrow because it has been "overhyped" or fell out of fashion and its remaining value remains purely historical.

Furthermore, when you're buying art, you're not hiring help and you're not paying for time and materials. You're paying for the feeling, which again, has no intrinsic monetary value. Either you like the work or you don't. If you like it, you buy it for whatever you can afford or you don't buy it because you don't like it enough to spend the asking price for it. That's it. It's as simple as that. Tools don't matter, processes don't matter, limited editions don't matter, the stories behind the image don't matter. Either that piece of work moves you or it doesn't and you decide to buy it or not based on that alone.
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
The Mona Lisa is valued because of the fact there's only one hand painted version by one of the greatest painters in the history of art. Supply and demand will continue to dictate pricing for art, even watered down, desensitized, digital versions
 
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Abstraction

Active member
The Mona Lisa is valued because of the fact there's only one hand painted version by one of the greatest painters in the history of art. Supply and demand will continue to dictate pricing for art, even watered down, desensitized, digital versions
Art is not a commodity, therefore, it's not subject to supply and demand. If you look at the "art" in general, there's an abundance of it. However, most of it will not move you and the piece that moves you may not move me. It's highly subjective. So, you might want to spend X dollars for the piece that moves you, whereas I wouldn't take it if you paid me. It's not a question of supply and demand. This is the reason art houses and galleries engage in hyping up the artists that they represent. They want to create that air of exclusivity and generate demand. However, that's artificial. That's hype. If you take away the hype and marketing and branding and all that other nonsense and let the work stand on its own, the asking price and the price that people will be willing to pay for it will be completely arbitrary regardless of the medium or whether it's reproducible. If you're moved by an image, it doesn't matter whether someone else has this exact same image or not. You have it and it brings joy to you. The only time it matters whether or not you have a one of a kind piece is if you're treating art as a commodity and succumbing to the artificially created scarcity.
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
Art becomes a commodity when purchasing for resale and hedging against certain economic variables. It's hard to compete when the bar is set so high for my local market. Scarcity creates demand and hype, both essential for creating perceived value. This is perhaps why NFT's are gaining in their popularity...but it's still a digital photograph.
 

Abstraction

Active member
Well, if you are not quite sure what you're paying for when you buy an actual print that hasn't been hyped or artificially limited in reproduction, then your head would really spin with an NFT. Talk about vaporware!
 

jdphoto

Well-known member
Supply and demand is never an issue with the digital photographer, but the intrinsic value to me as art is...
 

tcdeveau

Well-known member
That got me thinking that all I need to do is buy my own gallery. Now i'm an artist!
Haha this gave me a laugh, I've thought the same thing!

There was a time in my life where this kind of thing would bother me. When I was trying to sell prints, I couldn't sell anything even at cost and the stuff around me that was flying off the shelves for a lot of $$ was over-processed HDR nonsense, never mind even digital v. analog. My own conclusions were that there didn't appear to be any rhyme or reason behind the print market and I stopped trying to rationalize it. These days I feel like the types of photography I'm interested in are commodities anyway now that everyone out there has access to high resolution digital cameras, and the potential customers out there that truly appreciate the craft are few and far between.

If people can get the prices they ask for their work, good for them and I wish them the best. I'm having a lot more fun with photography now that I'm ignoring what the galleries are doing and just doing it for myself. Always kind of had the dream of setting up a gallery when I retire but I have so little time to shoot these days I've kind of dismissed the idea.
 
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