I didn’t post my usual Shot Of The Week yesterday, because I didn’t take anything worth posting!
The theme for the first week of 52 Weeks 2016 was “New Beginnings” which I bagged right after New Year with this screenshot from my phone (I need to point out that the balloon photo is not mine, it’s a standard wallpaper that comes with my Samsung phone).
Apart from that, the first 10 days of 2016 have not really featured photos at all – largely due to the weather in the UK which has been awful and also having a couple of busy weekends getting our daughter back to University, taking the mass of Christmas decorations down and feeling a bit under the weather with man-flu!
But what I did notice recently was that the World Record for the most expensive photograph ever sold has been broken, as reported in this article, and now stands at $6.5m for a photo called Phantom by Peter Lik. I talked about the previous best in this post.
The article is interesting in that it raises the question (again) of how much a photo can really be worth when “anyone can do it”;
“Let’s be honest about this photo. I’m sure the detail is amazing in real life, but that’s the doing of the Linhof Technorama camera and the format. The canyon is beautiful, but is pointing a camera at something already amazing really art?”
Further discussion from The Guardian is even more damning;
“This record-setting picture typifies everything that goes wrong when photographers think they are artists. It is derivative, sentimental in its studied romanticism, and consequently in very poor taste. It looks like a posh poster you might find framed in a pretentious hotel room.”
Personally, I think it’s a cool photo. There is something ethereal about it and no doubt the moment was fleeting and almost unrepeatable and therefore I refute the claim that anyone could do it.
For those that have never seen photos of Antelope Canyon before, the setting might also look pretty spectacular.
For me, in an era when the art of photography is being denigrated by the “Generation Selfie”, I’m pleased to see recognition of the skill and expertise of a photographer – although I’m not sure it’s really worth as much as $6.5m.