Inspired in part by a post I made on the escalating cost of digital processing PDN has a survey (here) that should give us all a clearer picture on what people are charging and what magazines are paying. Take a few minutes to fill it out.

A new Channel 4 series, Picture This, takes six wannabe snappers and sets them assignments over the course of three weeks, eliminating the unsuccessful contestants until just two remain to battle it out for the prize. Martin Parr, the acclaimed photographer best known for his colourful pictures of British seaside life, is one of the three judges on the show.The documentary photographer became involved with Picture This because he believes that photography is not given the prominence it deserves in the UK, whereas in other European countries and in the United States it is celebrated as an important art form. -The Independent Story

Neil Leifer still acts like he has something to prove. Some of it’s the plight of the news or sports photographer, even if you’re the best. Leifer recalls how even Sports Illustrated sometimes sent him out with a snot-nosed reporter who’d introduce him by saying “This is my photographer.” -LA Times Story

Artists are drawn to de Wilde in part because the tedium that’s typical of photo shoots is transformed into a facet of the creative act when she’s at the helm. De Wilde insists on long conversations, in person, with young artists prior to taking their picture. She’ll hunt for ideas but also memorize the way a person’s eyes move and the way they smile at a joke, so that when she’s standing behind the camera she’ll be able to recognize what’s real, no matter how surreal the setting or high the concept. -Boston Globe Story

‘Harry Potter’ star Daniel Radcliffe is to play the late British war photographer Daniel Eldon in a new biopic.

Best photography related headline of 2007: Britney Spears and Photographer Suspected of Making Quick F-Stop At Beverly Hills Hotel. -Defamer Story

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  1. Re – Martin Parr. I agree with what he says about the British attitude to photography. Despite this however, why is it that Britain has managed to produce a significant number of good photographers – particularly in fashion – over the last 20 years? And from 1980 until about 2000 the country was also putting out some of the best magazines, which did showcase great fashion, reportage and portrait photography.

    I don’t believe that it is entirely down to us being such a prominent literary nation (Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Milton, Orwell, Greene etc ). Something else is at work. Could it be that, visually, our little island lacks the epic that made the American west such fertile ground for Ansel Adams? Or that we have no history of ‘going on the road’ in a way that made discovery possible for Sternfeld or Shore? We feel we know our country because you can travel from one end to the other in an afternoon. If the Russians had wanted to they could have taken us over by telephone.

    I realise this is a thin broth of an argument but the literary theory needs to be tested a bit more rigourously for me to be satisified that it is the sole reason for the British national mistrust and disdain for photography.

    In the modern era, for instance, if I was to tell the man in the street here that I am a photographer, his most likely assumption would be “paparazzi or weddings?”

    Any ideas anyone? Jackanory?

  2. Or is it that the great British public just don’t know any British photography? As you said there have been some great photographers but there doesn’t seem someone that has become a family name in the way that Adams or Bresson has and as such there is no familiar British reference point in the collective psychi around which contemporary work would be placed and “maybe” valued.

    Hmmm just a thought

  3. There was a very short piece in The Observer on Sunday about the channel 4 show, which concentrated solely on Parr’s comments and made it seem a lot more negative with the headline:-

    “Reality TV snappers fail to impress judge”,,2236127,00.html

    It has been true for a long time that photography is not taken as seriously in the UK as Europe and the US. I have felt over the past few years that this balance is being slowly redressed though. The situation in the UK is still way behind but is hopefully catching up. In spite of the concern that this show might propel some amateur flickrite to the kind of insane “celebritydom” which normally seems to befall these reality show contestants, Channel 4’s recent programming can only be helping speed the closing of the gap.

    It also seems to be partly an effect of what has been happening in the art world. The prices of more traditional art has climbed so high that for new collectors photography is a very cheap way in. When you look at the prices for a Manet or a Van G9gh or even a Damien Hirst, to a collector a mere £500,000 for a brand new Gursky must seem rather low. You can pick up an Alec Soth or a Norfolk or a Polidori for under £10,000 and most photographers can only dream of putting such a price on work.

    At the moment in London there are the following exhibitions:

    Lee Miller (V&A and Photographer’s Gallery),
    Jeff Wall (White Cube at Mason’s Yard),
    Eve Arnold (Asia House),
    Edward Burtynsky (Flowers Central),
    Louise Lawler (Moinika Spruth, Philomene Magers),
    Andrei Tarkovsky [polaroids] (White Space),
    Peter Hujar (ICA),
    Antoine d’Agata (Photographer’s Gallery),
    Nick Waplington (Whitechapel)
    James Ravillious (Coningsby),
    Anne Collier (Corvi-Mora),
    Tim Simmons (Fine Art Society),
    Jane Bown (Guardian Newsroom),
    Ira Cohen (October),
    Pat Graham (Rough Trade East),
    Eric Parry (Royal Academy),
    Richard Learoyd (Union),
    Anders Krisar (Union Teesdale Street).

    There are a few more – a couple of group shows, and the
    Camera Press 60th Anniversary and Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery.

    I also think I am right in saying that Zarina Bhimji was this year the first photographer to make the Turner Prize shortlist.

    So its not all bad.

  4. The article on autumn de wilde was great and reaffirming. I try to get to know my subjects whenever possible and always see a difference when I get the chance to get a coffee with musicians before doing their promo shots. That´s the main issue that I have with shooting for magazines sometimes here in Madrid. They send me out with 20 minutes to shoot someone. Sure, technically the shots are great, and they show what the artist may have to offer in the short window, but if I just would get another hour at least to get the subject comfortable, it makes a big difference. If the interview is happening the same day, I always try to let that happen first to get to hear what this person in about. Thanks for pointing out these interesting articles.

  5. I think Britain is rich in Photographic talent, it’s just that New York is the centre of the industry and those inside the scene may feel that there is nothing going on when they visit other countries/cities. This is of course, not the case. Putting aside Britain’s long and rich photographic history I know many talented photographers working today who are British or have lived and worked in Britain. The BJP, Photoeye and FOTO8 are three of several dedicated photography publications from the UK with a high standard of images and news and although Robert Phillips is wrong about Zarina Bhimji being the first photographer nominated for the Turner Prize (Wolfgang Tillmans won the high profile competition in 2000!) he is right to note that there are (and have been for a long time) a plethora of photography exhibitions in London and across the country and I feel that many people in the UK appreciate good photographic art more than they do many current artists working in other media.

  6. “Wolfgang Tillmans won the high profile competition in 2000!”

    Yikes – thanks for correcting me, Tom. I need a sub-editor.

    I have been thinking about the Parr comments as well – specifically his bemoaning the lack of photography galleries in London. Whilst there are not as many galleries devoted solely to photography I am sure there are more than five. Off the top of my head I can think of The Photographer’s Gallery, Michael Hoppen, Hackelbury, HOST and Hoopers – so surely there must be more that don’t immediately come to mind ?

    What is missed out in this though are the many photographers represented by galleries which do not deal solely in photography. Polidori and Burtynsky are represented in London by Flowers, White Cube has recently shown Wall and Gursky. There are many galleries who represent a couple of photographers in amongst larger stables of painters or sculptors. They are harder to find maybe, but they are there.


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  8. Great article on de wilde. As mentioned when it comes to shooting a subject you need to have the time toi get confortable with them.

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