Creative: Question and Answer 42

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Hey, just what everyone wanted. A Neistat-looking and sounding review of the Fuji XH2. (Good grief how many of these does anyone need?) Instead, I’ll roundhouse you with yet another Question and Answer film. And I’ll ask the same thing. How many of these does anyone need? Just a few more is my official answer.

1. 4:54, What do you think of AI?

2. 13:09, Best idea for making side income?

3. 16:53, Best way to do a short-term project. (That isn’t short-term.)

4. 18:50, How do I find a good fixer. Not just an unknown fixer.

5. 21:15, How did you avoid burnout when shooting every day and how does one connect with a subject you might not agree with?

6. 28:53, Do you use the film simulations on the Fuji?

7. 32:13, What time do you go to bed? Wake? Routine?

8. 35:00, How do critique someone’s work?

Comments 10

  1. Making a side income:
    Several ideas. The basic thing is to do something you know well, had meaning and value for others and there is a will to pay.
    Some things that have worked for me:
    – City landscapes sold in a furniture store, framed and on the wall. A win-win. Probably will work with “street photography as well”.

    – Local landscapes sold to an old peoples home, give them art they can recognise and talk about.

    – An old factory being torn down and modernised, photographed the last few months of operation, had an exhibition at a local gallery and sold prints. Still getting back orders.

    – Motorcycle track days, or any other type of action sport that you know. I tore loose my collar bone on track, could not ride for a while and decided to shot the photo series I wanted to see as a rider while healing.

    Let them know you are there – I put up a large board with my contact info at the exit from pit lane. X-T3, tripod, the birding lens and 11 fps Jpeg only (5-7 fps is more than enough).

    In general:
    Learn your equipment.
    Find the right pricepoint (ask others)
    Think trough your workflow and how to deliver.
    Ask permission to be there, be nice, talk to people – let them talk to you, just listen – and show an interest in them.
    Tell them why you are doing it (not the money part).
    And you will fail every know and then.

    Use your imagination – there is endless possibilities.

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      Great comment. And yes, you have found your niche(s). There is always the path of joining the industry as well. Editorial, commercial, advertising, etc. Some choose this path and others do not. And the online world pays too. Those who crack the code tend to do well. At least for a while.

  2. I’m not a professional, so whether I’m contributing to the GDP is irrelevant. And why do I want to submit to a portfolio review in the first place, so I can make photos like the expert doing the review, who may have no clue about what I’m trying to do through my photography. How is that any different from making photos for other photographers. The whole concept is lost on me. I do photography because I can’t not do photography, and do it my way.

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      I gather you have not been to a review? The vast majority of people you will show work to DO NOT make images. Photo editors, art buyers, agents, agency heads, collectors, gallerists, curators, consultants, and book publishers do not make images. They aren’t there to find anyone who does what they do or anyone who creates something they already have. They are looking for new talent. I’ve not been to a review where I showed work to a bunch of other photographers. Not sure what the point of that would be unless you just want feedback from someone who is more skilled. I’ve shown work to photographers only when I was stuck on something or thought I had something good and wanted a second opinion from someone I trust. You might not work as a professional but many do. Understanding how that contributes to things like the GDP becomes relevant when dealing with high-end clients, high-end budgets, and larger organizations when you find yourself in meetings with management and not just those living on the marketing side of the business. Whatever reason you have for making images is valid. Love, hate, job, hobby, money, etc. All good.

  3. “Neistat-looking”? Famous photographer? Critical thinking philosopher? I honestly had no idea. Internet search: youtube star. How? I don’t understand. Seriously.

    On AI, capturing moments may be saved for a while. But, in time, throw up a few statically positioned drones with 360 cameras videoing everyone and everything and AI would be able to cull an image from that as well. Actual quality (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) photography will still require a human touch.

    “Polished and perfect” photography. Clinical technicality. Those images are typically so . . . soulless. My memories are fuzzy. I like pictures that look like they could be a memory. Elicit an emotion from and in me. Make me stop and think and imagine. I’ve said that great photographers make great images because they imbue a tiny piece of their soul in them. They felt and it somehow makes me feel. I’ve never stopped and wondered at a perfectly sharp HDR focus stacked image. What’s there to wonder about? It’s all spelled out in perfect digital clarity. Look and move on.

    I’m always a minority on my thoughts, however.

    With all that muttered, and way too much time spent trying to distill it, here’s an email I received this morning from Getty Images:

    “Effective immediately, Getty Images will cease to accept all submissions created using AI generative models (e.g., Stable Diffusion, Dall‑E 2, MidJourney, etc.) and prior submissions utilizing such models will be removed.

    There are open questions with respect to the copyright of outputs from these models and there are unaddressed rights issues with respect to the underlying imagery and metadata used to train these models.

    These changes do not prevent the submission of 3D renders and do not impact the use of digital editing tools (e.g., Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.) with respect to modifying and creating imagery.”

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      Casey deserves a lot of credit. He was blazing away with his home video camera long before YT. And he killed YouTube raking in six figures a month in ad revenue by shooting the films he wanted to shoot. That’s pretty cool. And he spawned countless numbers of other YouTubers. He gave relevance to the platform. And he’s got a production company, knows how to handle shoot and founded and sold a tech company in the middle of all this. I read the Getty announcement as well. should be interesting.

  4. I have not been to a review. There is one photo event local to me that happens once a year, and the majority of reviewers are photographers, so my generalization was inaccurate. The other avenue here is local camera clubs, and they mostly just want to talk about gear. Thanks for the edification. And I would be old talent.

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      I think those groups are good and worthwhile depending on your goals. Look, depending on who the photographers are, it can be good showing to your peers. But the really good reviews are, oddly enough, stocked with folks who don’t shoot. They know the business of photography and they are looking for talent but often never pick up the camera themselves.

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