Hey Dave- another question. When you think about
prices for prints, and you compare the two
different production methods you've employed in
the last ten years (traditional darkroom- labor
intensive production vs. digital darkroom-
expensive materials production) how do you arrive
at a price? b.e.
That's another good question. I basically charge about the same for both which has always been based, not on how much work goes into it, but what price someone will pay on the web. I think in terms of labor the darkroom prints are much more costly, but the fact is that you could still only sell them at a certain price on the web. Didn't matter how many hours of your time went into it. True, materials were cheaper - but so what - the photographers time is worth more. But not on the web.
Some of the digital prints cost a little bit more than the old darkroom prints, given the size, based on the fact that they are 'more limited' editions (smaller editions), cost of materials, and as time goes on, I'm able to sell prints for more than what I did originally. Not a lot more, but more. When I get to doing the larger digital prints, say 12 x 18, they will sell for at least as much as the old darkroom prints at that size.
In short, it is simply based on what I think the market will go for. If I thought I could sell prints on the web for twice as much, I would. You have to sell a lot of prints at $75 each to make enough profit to live in this neck of the woods. And I'm too old to move now.
I also don't go with the idea that you are buying art by the square foot. There will be a time, when I will wake up one morning and raise the price on some small piece that I like a lot to ten times that of a larger piece. In fact, I may begin to do that today. Big pieces for half the price of smaller pieces. Why? Because the smaller ones are better.
Excuse me, Mr. Van Gogh. How much paint did you use on that canvas? Really, less than the other one? Hmmm. And you charge more for Starry Night even though you used less paint than on that one of the Potato Eaters. And the Potato Eaters is a bigger canvas as well. I'll take the Potato Eaters, thank you very much. Now, on to Walmarts for some other items.
Hey, but you are no Van Gogh.
True. But the ideas are the same.
But he was a painter.
Did you know that he, like many artists did quite a bit of copying. From other painters and of his own work. The sunflowers are an example where he decided to decorate the house while waiting for Gauguin to arrive, and made many copies of his own sunflowers. Trying, in fact, to make identical copies. Should these be worth less because there are a few more of them in the world?
Yes. They should. Take the price of one sunflower and divide it by as many as he made, and that should be the price.
How about this. I'll take one of my own photographs and chop it in half and sell it for half the price. What do you think?
I don't want half a picture.
Well, what if I just trim it a little.
No - I want the whole picture. I want what you intended it to be.
Ah, so you are buying my intentions! Is that what you are saying? Not the physical thing.
Yes, the physical representation of your intentions. That's what I want.
Okay. So, if my intention is to make a 4 x 5 inch print - you are buying that intention as represented by the print.
::::Man, it is cold up here today. 10 degrees with a wind-chill below zero. I'm gonna take the Rebel out and see how it acts in this weather.
:::: I did actually drop the Digital Rebel on a thin carpet the other day. It slipped off my shoulder and landed on its corner. Picked it up. Didn't see any denting. And it has been working fine since. That's the first time I've ever dropped a camera.