It’s hard to get any photo manufacturer to go on (or even off) the record at a trade show when it comes to future announcements so it was with some surprise when a Sigma representative told us at PhotoPlus Expo that pricing for the upcoming SD1 digital SLR would be around $2,000. If you haven’t heard of the SD1, it’s Sigma’s soon-to-be flagship DSLR which made its American debut at PhotoPlus Expo in New York last week.
Sigma, somewhat controversially, is claiming the SD1 will have 46 megapixels of resolution because it uses a Foveon X3 imaging sensor which has three layers with 15.3MP on each. Some blogging pixel counters have taken umbrage with that claim. (Yeah, good times.)
Sigma has said the SD1 will ship in February 2011 but, as far as we know, it has not been priced. After we asked this Sigma rep if that $2,000 price tag was “official,” we were told it’s based on an interview a Sigma official from Japan gave during photokina.
PDNPulse and its crack team of Google-based investigators has scoured the Internet looking for said interview but so far we’ve come up dry. So let’s take that $2,000 pricetag for the SD1 as a “definite maybe.”
During a Saturday afternoon seminar at Photo Plus Expo this past weekend four photographers—Brian Bloom, Jacqueline Di Milia, Nick Ferrari and Doron Gild—discussed what they learned while making the leap from assistant to photographer. PDN’s photo editor, Amber Terranova, moderated the panel.
Tips shared with the audience by the photographers included advice on how to make contact with art buyers and set up your business.
Brian Bloom said that while he was on-set working with the photographers he assisted he would make sure to introduce himself to art directors and art buyers, who he then added to a contacts database. Bloom said, however, that he was careful not to interfere with the relationship the photographer he was assisting had with the client. Some photographers can be territorial, Bloom advised, while others are generous with introducing assistants to their clients—it’s up to the assistant to assess the situation and decide whether talking with a client is acceptable.
The Keynotes at PhotoPlus are always highy anticipated events and today’s presentation by Albert Watson, in conversation with Laurie Kratochvil, was right up there as being one of the best.
Kratochvil, an icon in her own right who has worked with Watson in the past, first as director of photography atRolling Stone, thenas collaborator on his book Cyclops and more recently on his bookStrip Search (due out next week), sat next toWatson. They discussed how he got started in photography some 40 plus years ago and his workin Vegas for his latest book.
“I was trained as a graphic designer, which has held me in very good stead, even today,” Watson began. He then told the audience thathis wife had bought him a Fujimatic decades earlier, and he was hooked on photography from that point on. “Whenever we went out I remember putting the strap over my shoulder and even though there was no film in the camera and I didn’t know how to use it, it had an effect on me. That night I even got up to check and make sure it was still there.”
Wedding photographers Elizabeth Messina and Jasmine Star, both based on the West Coast, flew East to PhotoPlus Expo to share the photographic techniques and branding tactics that keep them at the top of what has, in the past several years, become a very competitive and lucrative genre of photography.
In Messina’s seminar, “Getting to the Heart of Wedding Photography,” attendees were presented with several slide shows of her work (accompanied by upbeat Lauryn Hill musical tracks), free memo pads (with an image by Messina on the cover), and giveaways from Big Folio and Graphis Studio.
At the heart of Messina’s seminar was the message that “wedding photography is a team sport and everything you as a photographer are there to capture, someone else had a hand in creating.” She advised photographers to urge subjects to always open up and give more. “Find a way into their space and create lasting memories.”
Messina also stressed to the packed seminar room that it is important to continuously nurture your creativity, and keep advancing your brand, both through personal projects and assignments as well as through blogging. A year ago she created the blog kissthegroom.com, which went on to win design awards as well as nab the attention of paying advertisers (see the article on her successful blogging endeavor in PDN’s November issue.).
In order to win a grant, you need to do your homework and find the a grant whose mission and goals match the subject of your photography project. Panelists at the PhotoPlus Expo seminar, Grant Writing 101, moderated by PDN executive editor David Walker, noted that researching the many art, photography and documentary grants out there can be overwhelming.
Photographer Justine Reyes recommended using NYFA’s Deadlines & Headlines list and enrolling in free grant writing workshops that are offered in your town or city. Reyes recently awarded a workspace residency from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) and is a visiting scholar at New York University.
Liebratori suggested attending forums and information sessions provided by the grant foundations, in order to learn more details about applying for the grants from the grant officers themselves. This gives you the opportunity to meet decision makers who evaluate proposals. When researching grants, Liberatori advised the audience to look at statements of past award winners to know if your project is applicable for that specific grant. Figure out where your story fits, the essence of your work and how you frame it.
Many photographers need to apply for grants year after year because there are many factors that change, like the judges, timeliness of your topic and your competition. Brenda Ann Kenneally, photographer and past winner of the W. Eugene Smith Grant, said she applied for the Getty Editorial Grant six times before winning. Yamagata noted, “If you reapply please show that you’re committed to developing your work into something new each time that you submit your application.” Grant officers want to see that your project is progressing.
Yamagata also offered a clear and concise time line for applying for an OSI grant:
Darius Himes, publisher of Radius Books, told the audience at the “Publishing Your Photobook” seminar at PhotoPlus Expo that having an honest assessment of the potential audience for your photo book “is almost as important as doing the work.” Knowing who would want to buy a book of your photos helps you determine whether to approach a large or small book publisher, what price you should put on the book, what its format and design should be, and how you can market it.
Himes presented the seminar along with fine art consultant Mary Virginia Swanson. They have co-authored Publish Your Photo Book, to be published this fall by Princeton Architectural Press. Like their book, their PhotoPlus seminar covered the process of publishing a book from conception to sales, explained how to approach an acquisitions editor at a traditional publishing house, and covered some of the ways that photographers are using print-on-demand publishing and other self-publishing options either to deliver books to readers or to create book proposals.
One of the central questions of the seminar “10 Things You Should Know About Magazine Publishing Today,” which took place yesterday afternoon at the PDN Photo Plus Expo in New York, was what exactly defines the term “magazine” in the current media marketplace?
Moderator Michelle Dunn Marsh, co-publisher of Aperture magazine, put the question to the seminar panelists, which included Rolling Stone senior photo editor Sacha Lecca, photographer Lisa Kereszi, New Yorker photo editor Whitney Johnson, and Bonnier Corp.’s Gregg Hano, publisher of Popular Photography, American Photo, Popular Science and other magazines.
Dunn Marsh offered two definitions for the term magazine from a pair of sources. One progressive definition acknowledged that magazine companies are branching into tablet editions; online articles, videos, multimedia slideshows and other features; standalone special issues and other forms in order to reach readers. The other defined the magazine as a strictly print product. All of the panelists appeared to agree on the former definition, and a great deal of the seminar was spent contemplating evolving online and tablet media.