October 21, 2014, 01:06:20 AM

Author Topic: Value of photographs without negatives?  (Read 3213 times)

roxics

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Value of photographs without negatives?
« on: February 19, 2014, 10:32:35 PM »
So a friend sent me this link to a BBC documentary about photography. Interesting stuff. I hadn't realized how big of a business it could be. With photos being auctioned in the tens of thousands or millions of dollars. For the past few years all I've been hearing about is the doom and gloom about how photos have no value anymore because cameras are cheap and everyone shoots them and shares them online and photographers are getting less work, etc.

Genius of photography - 6

The doc seems to mostly focus on film photography even though it came out in 2007 and briefly acknowledges digital cameras. So I question if the industry is still the same now. A lot of these photos are valued on the rarity of the prints and especially prints that were made by the photographer themself from the negative as soon as possible after the photo was shot.

Where does this leave digital photography when it comes to value, when there is no negative and a perfect print could be made any any time since there is no degradation in the digital file unlike a physical analog negative?

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Value of photographs without negatives?
« on: February 19, 2014, 10:32:35 PM »

agierke

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 11:17:51 PM »
There actually can be degradation of a digital file... And far faster than analog. The best way to ensure archival of a photo remains a print and a negative. I heard a few years back that Hollywood briefly attempted to archive via digital format only until they lost a whole film. The response was to reverse course and make an analog master print of every movie made (including ones shot digitally) to ensure future revenue years down the line.

The archival standard in photography is at least 100 years of durability. Digital has yet to be proven by this standard. Burning to DVDs, maintaining RAID drives, or even storing on SSD are all rife with potential failure and loss of data. Each successive copy made over the years increases the likelihood of a corruption of data and loss of access to your images.

I have yet to gain faith in the likelihood of my digital images being around in 100 years but I remain confident that my negatives will.
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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 11:59:07 PM »
Well if you are Andreas Gursky you can sell a digital print for $4 million. The rest of us not so likely.

Seriously, the value is determined first by whom the art world considers to be a great photographer and then by the rarity of the print. If your work isn't in the collection of MOMA or similar institutions it doesn't really matter if it's from a negative or digital.
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Hillsilly

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2014, 12:13:12 AM »
You've beat me to it - It makes zero difference.  If an artist is collectable, galleries and investors don't care if it is digital or film.  As mentioned above, the most expensive photograph sold - Gursky's "Rhein II" is a computer manipulated image.

If you are interested in auctions, this document shows the auction turnover of the top 500 selling artists last year.  There are numerous photographers on the list.  (Obviously, auction sales doesn't automatically equate to artist income, but there is a correlation).

http://imgpublic.artprice.com/pdf/artprice-contemporary-2012-2013-en.pdf

Now, how to get onto that list?
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tolusina

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2014, 12:30:26 AM »
There actually can be degradation of a digital file... And far faster than analog. The best way to ensure archival of a photo remains a print and a negative. I heard a few years back that Hollywood briefly attempted to archive via digital format only until they lost a whole film. The response was to reverse course and make an analog master print of every movie made (including ones shot digitally) to ensure future revenue years down the line.

The archival standard in photography is at least 100 years of durability. Digital has yet to be proven by this standard. Burning to DVDs, maintaining RAID drives, or even storing on SSD are all rife with potential failure and loss of data. Each successive copy made over the years increases the likelihood of a corruption of data and loss of access to your images.

I have yet to gain faith in the likelihood of my digital images being around in 100 years but I remain confident that my negatives will.
I sure have no way of knowing or verifying if claims regarding long term data storage using M-DISCâ„¢   
 media are true, you might want to look into this media.
http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Logan

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2014, 12:55:23 AM »
isn't magnetic tape still the data backup of choice for large volumes of data to be stored long term?

on a more consumer scale:
http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/opticalmedialongevity.html

backing up your million dollar shot on some CDs seems like your best bet.

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 02:00:51 AM »
I have yet to gain faith in the likelihood of my digital images being around in 100 years but I remain confident that my negatives will.
A 100 years? WOW! ... I don't know about you, but I'm just a hobbyist photographer and don't really give a sh!t about what my family wants to do with my images after 100 years ... coz I'll be dead and gone, but hopefully floating on puffy clouds, eating grapes, playing a harp or something with some really hot nud3 chicks in heaven. ;D
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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2014, 02:00:51 AM »

Lightmaster

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2014, 03:31:41 AM »
well when you have a name like gurski you can sell pictures for a lot of money.

when you have a name like pollock in the art scene all you have to do is go crazy with paint splatter.

when you are an italian artist you even can sell your canned sh*t.

the art scene is unlogic and unfair.

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2014, 03:37:42 AM »
when you are an italian artist you even can sell your canned sh*t.
a very tiny bit exaggerated ... funny nevertheless  ;D
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GMCPhotographics

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2014, 05:27:55 AM »
There actually can be degradation of a digital file... And far faster than analog. The best way to ensure archival of a photo remains a print and a negative. I heard a few years back that Hollywood briefly attempted to archive via digital format only until they lost a whole film. The response was to reverse course and make an analog master print of every movie made (including ones shot digitally) to ensure future revenue years down the line.

The archival standard in photography is at least 100 years of durability. Digital has yet to be proven by this standard. Burning to DVDs, maintaining RAID drives, or even storing on SSD are all rife with potential failure and loss of data. Each successive copy made over the years increases the likelihood of a corruption of data and loss of access to your images.

I have yet to gain faith in the likelihood of my digital images being around in 100 years but I remain confident that my negatives will.

Back in 1859 there was a solar flare from the sun which was so big and catastrophic that it destroyed most of the world's power stations. Anything with a coil, capacitor or tuning circuit just melted or fried. It was the largest solar flare in recorded history. It's been widely considered that if such an event occurred today, there would be little of today's technology which would survive. Anything with a micro chip, silicon, or tuning circuit would literally burn out. Every computer hard drive would be wiped, every laptop battery would fail, every TV screen would burnout, every CPU would frazzle, every car would fail, every power station would melt...society would roll back to the 18th century over night. Our beloved digital files would go the way of lost static and the cameras would become empty shells. It's not possible to shield against such a huge electromagnetic wave of this magnitude.
So I think that if and when such an event occurs again (it may not be in our lifetime) and all of our digital history and data is lost, old fashioned photographs may be the only record of our society left.

http://news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2011/03/110302-solar-flares-sun-storms-earth-danger-carrington-event-science/

AUGS

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 06:24:50 AM »
There actually can be degradation of a digital file... And far faster than analog. The best way to ensure archival of a photo remains a print and a negative. I heard a few years back that Hollywood briefly attempted to archive via digital format only until they lost a whole film. The response was to reverse course and make an analog master print of every movie made (including ones shot digitally) to ensure future revenue years down the line.

The archival standard in photography is at least 100 years of durability. Digital has yet to be proven by this standard. Burning to DVDs, maintaining RAID drives, or even storing on SSD are all rife with potential failure and loss of data. Each successive copy made over the years increases the likelihood of a corruption of data and loss of access to your images.

I have yet to gain faith in the likelihood of my digital images being around in 100 years but I remain confident that my negatives will.

Back in 1859 there was a solar flare from the sun which was so big and catastrophic that it destroyed most of the world's power stations. Anything with a coil, capacitor or tuning circuit just melted or fried. It was the largest solar flare in recorded history. It's been widely considered that if such an event occurred today, there would be little of today's technology which would survive. Anything with a micro chip, silicon, or tuning circuit would literally burn out. Every computer hard drive would be wiped, every laptop battery would fail, every TV screen would burnout, every CPU would frazzle, every car would fail, every power station would melt...society would roll back to the 18th century over night. Our beloved digital files would go the way of lost static and the cameras would become empty shells. It's not possible to shield against such a huge electromagnetic wave of this magnitude.
So I think that if and when such an event occurs again (it may not be in our lifetime) and all of our digital history and data is lost, old fashioned photographs may be the only record of our society left.

http://news.nationalgeographic.co.uk/news/2011/03/110302-solar-flares-sun-storms-earth-danger-carrington-event-science/

And yet even if there are not cataclysmic events, and even if the data survives on the media, will there be supported devices to read that media anyway?

In 1986 a 20Megabyte hard-disk was considered big, 5.25 (360kb) inch floppy disk drives were common, and 3.5 inch floppy (720kb and 1.44Mb) drives on the horizon.
Jump to 2014.  I'd fill that 20MB disk with a single frame from my 5D3 (RAW, of course!).  Many laptops don't come with CD drives as standard, and floppy disk drives are a thing of the past.  Where will you read your CDs and DVDs, BlueRays of today in 2024, let alone 2114.  Will hard-disks be like last generation vinyl records?

The only obvious longevity plan is keep transferring the digital data to the latest technology to at least give it a fighting chance.

Maybe film and archival prints are best after all??

danski0224

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2014, 07:57:34 AM »

And yet even if there are not cataclysmic events, and even if the data survives on the media, will there be supported devices to read that media anyway?

In 1986 a 20Megabyte hard-disk was considered big, 5.25 (360kb) inch floppy disk drives were common, and 3.5 inch floppy (720kb and 1.44Mb) drives on the horizon.
Jump to 2014.  I'd fill that 20MB disk with a single frame from my 5D3 (RAW, of course!).  Many laptops don't come with CD drives as standard, and floppy disk drives are a thing of the past.  Where will you read your CDs and DVDs, BlueRays of today in 2024, let alone 2114.  Will hard-disks be like last generation vinyl records?

The only obvious longevity plan is keep transferring the digital data to the latest technology to at least give it a fighting chance.

Maybe film and archival prints are best after all??

There are already problems with BluRay compatibility, although some of that may be from overzealous copy protection.

I have some music CD's I made back in the early 1990's, and they still play. Kinda surprised because those burnable CD's are dye based. They may yet fail. That said, the CD format has been on the way out for a while- at least for music.

Finding consumer grade VHS players and record players isn't difficult yet. I suspect that some form of optical drive will be available for a while. You can still get minidisc players.

100 years? I'd bet that there will be some sort of practical 3 dimensional atomic level crystal based storage long before 100 years comes around. No one knows what the next 10 years will bring.

The Singularity is supposed to happen by then (2045), optical drives will not be a problem.  ;D 
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Maui5150

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 08:06:23 AM »
Like anything else, scarcity is your friend.

1st, you have to create a name for yourself.  I remember going through the Met in NYC with Digital Artist Laurence Gartel a while back and if one thing was apparent, to me at least, the last of art in today's culture is staggering.  You had all the contemporary and modern art like the Jackson Pollock splatter or white on white polar bear in a snow storm, then you go in to the earlier exhibits and was amazed... a piece of armor with 10,000 fleur de lis, gorgeous carved chest, even the silverware was ornate... My general impression was not only the craftsmanship, but the beauty in even the most utilitarian things.  As well as there was a TON of crap.  Some of the exhibits were things that I could easily do, as well as I remember one paper mache statue that looked like a bad art project out of 4th grade... The most basic truth when it comes to today's art... you need a patron.  A patron needs to like you, like your work and have money.  The museums for the most part are whores and while some pieces are true classic, a great many are ghastly, and there because a patron paid for it to be there.  Money talks.  If you have to lose all dignity and bruise your knees, then by all means, degrade yourself in the deepest levels, get that wealthy patron, and you too can be in a museum.

Now that you have your "name" you start creating limited editions.  Whether it is digital or film, you state how many prints of what size your will produce and that is the limit. 

Here is an example of the drivel many espouse:

To focus on flow, you must shift the emphasis of your thought processes. Pollock reveals the artistic process as the essence of  creation, not the product, or finished painting. Process is action, and product is passive. Looking at a painting close up, this is what you see in Pollock, the creative process captured, still alive with movement, texture, and color. You are not looking at a painting, you are looking at painting.


Source:  http://blog.blogcatalog.com/tag/jackson-pollock/



In the end, it is the PERCEPTION of your work that creates value... Nothing more... nothing less.

If you want it... Really really want it... Degrade yourself... degrade yourself to the lowest levels and you will find someone who will pimp and whore your out and create a name for you.  It is a self-fulfilling prophecy perhaps as well.  In the end you might become the angst-ridden tortured artist who actual produces something worthwhile. 

Cindy Sherman's untitled 153 and untitled 96 are MEH in my eyes, but there is $6.6 million dollars of sales between the two of them that would disagree.

As far as Gursky?  I think the Windows XP background was more interesting.

Art is after all in the eye of the beholder.

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 08:06:23 AM »

Lightmaster

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 08:08:04 AM »
when you are an italian artist you even can sell your canned sh*t.
a very tiny bit exaggerated ... funny nevertheless  ;D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist's_Shit

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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 11:12:10 AM »
when you are an italian artist you even can sell your canned sh*t.
a very tiny bit exaggerated ... funny nevertheless  ;D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist's_Shit
Holy sh!t! :o ... I originally thought you were kidding ... can't believe a freaking moron selling sh!t cans and the bigger morons who actually bought them and finally ending up with a museum paying DKK 250,000 settlement to the collector. :o ... that is some "stinking" rich business.
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Re: Value of photographs without negatives?
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2014, 11:12:10 AM »