The Shrinking Path - NY Times

A fellow photographer on posted a link to an article in the New York Times that I read this morning. It details a lot of the issues most photographers, especially freelance shooters, have been aware of for a while now, and explains what is behind them.

Why can't photographers make a living doing what they are good at these days? Technology is the main culprit. As the internet and digital cameras make it easier to take photos and share them the value has dropped.

Supply and demand - economics 101. Too many people are willing to give away their photos. Too many people don't see the photos as costing anything to produce and have no idea what a Cost of Doing Business analysis is.

To read the full story, click here.

A few days ago I was going through my archives of photos, looking for some examples to use for teaching in my digital darkroom class, and it really hit me how much I miss being able to go out and make pictures every day. I loved the job when I was making images, but I am not the hardcore self-promoter and business person that I would need to be to even have half a chance of making a living as a freelance photographer.

There are a lot of good photographers out there looking for work. A lot more are like me who have decided the risk is too great - too many responsibilities and commitments - and have moved in to other fields.


Student Newspaper story ideas

This is my second semester of teaching journalism, and I am already seeing the same story ideas come up again and again. Dress code is not fair, students should be allowed to listen to their MP3s/iPods etc. With no history of a student newspaper at our school (it is a new high school after all), there are no benchmarks established yet. We don't have a tradition of doing strong journalism and the students don't really know what hard hitting reporting looks like. Yet.

Today I was browsing through what other teachers are having their students do, and I stumbled upon this site that has dozens and dozens of news story ideas for high school journalism students. The best part, the ideas are from students, so they might be a bit more palatable than something I might assign them.

So now I am going to direct all of my students to the High School Journalism Institute site when they complain they don't have any story ideas.


National Geographic photography links

There are so many thousands of photo sites out there, and nowhere near enough time to look at all of them. Some of them are even so filled with mediocre (and even poor) photos that they just don't pass muster.

So, some of the best shooters can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. I know I often overlook National Geographic when I am looking for things on the web. I look through the magazine in print, but I have a tendency to forget about things like their photo of the day and their on-line photo tips.

Plus, they have a lot of their images available as free downloads to use as computer wallpaper. Very cool.

So head on over and take a browse when you have some spare time.