around the net: volume 16, a little studio diy, lightroom 2.0 and the king

copyright trent palmerI was surfing the ‘net the other night, checking up on what prophotolife readers have been shooting and I came across this photo on reader Trent Palmer’s flickr photostream. Finally, proof positive that “Elvis ain’t dead”, he’s popping wheelies on a minibike somewhere.

While the existence of The King is some pretty big news it’s not the big news of the week, that would be the release of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0! You can download the software, order a boxed version or a get a 30 day trial version directly from Adobe. They still offer free trial downloads of most all of their products, which is really nice. I did drop some major cash on Adobe CS3 Premium last week at the studio: Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Flash, Soundbooth…and a whole bunch of other apps I can’t remember. The only thing missing was, of course: Lightroom.

Speaking of software, what do you think Photoshop is worth? Brian at Epic Edits Weblog posted that question to his readers with some intriguing results. It turns out most respondents feel Photoshop is overpriced and, doing the math, Adobe would sell considerably more licenses with a reduced price. Check out Epic Edits Weblog for the interesting poll results.

Reader Matt Haines’ blog recently reported on his personal experience of shooting “a photo a day” for a week. It’s a good read, as is the rest of his blog, well written and enjoyable. Matt is a professional photographer that writes on everything from creativity to famous photographers to technical subjects. Hmmm, I guess that explains why we like each other’s sites!

Interested in product photography, diy photo equipment and well-written tutorials? A recent surfing journey led me to Keith Slagerman’s finely crafted Do It Yourself Studio Shooting Table. More photographers helping photographers: good stuff. Great attention to detail, Keith, it will be cool to see what you come up with next.

Speaking of photography and helping, there’s a doctor in SoCal whose large format landscape photography is used to soothe patients. He calls the medical practice “an art gallery where doctors just happen to treat cancer”. I found a link to the ABC-TV video here on Imaging Insider’s post “Healing Through Photography”. Our friends at Imaging Insider are always looking high and low for interesting photo links.

Now, two excellent posts on the business of photography. This is going to seem a bit schizophrenic, one title tells us that photography is worthless and the other tells us how to charge a fair price for our photography. But they are both relevant and timely resources. The bottom line is that the world is changing fast and the business of photography itself can accurately be described as a bit schizophrenic.

1. Why your images are worthless by Nikonian Martin Joergensen. Yes, the title commands attention and so does this very thorough article, a must read for anyone interested in selling photography. It’s a shame to try and sum up all of the information contained therein, but the major point is this: to create a career in photography it’s not enough to just do “the status quo”. Find a way to differentiate yourself, a point I wrote about in “when the going rate is too low“. Martin offers a number of suggestions for defining your career and creating value.

2. Is a picture worth $1000? How to Price Your Photography at Okay, this article argues for the value of photography and so, judging by the title, it might appear to be a polar opposite to the previous article. I’m impressed by the collection of resources for photo pricing here, many of which have been mentioned on prophotolife in the past. But here they are, all together, collected for easy reference and digestion.

I think these two resources are a good pairing. If you are intent on success as a professional photographer, Martin challenges you to rise to a higher level. The resources at hyperphocal will help you determine just what those efforts are worth. It’s up to us, as photographers, to stem the slide of photography as a commodity. That starts with creating a genuinely valuable product and then obtaining the proper value for it.

Hey, if it were really that easy then everyone would be a professional photographer, huh? ;)

Have a great weekend, I have a new toy (strobe) to roll out in Monday’s video!

- Jim T.