What is the real cost of “taking” a photograph? Travel photographer Kike del Olmo is showing us the other side of the coin.
To take a good picture costs a lot, it does. There may be the cost of travel to somewhere exotic to capture that unique “click”, the cost in long hours waiting for the exact moment, or maybe the cost in facing unpleasant or dangerous situations.
Later, if he (or she) is lucky, the photographer gets to show their work in a gallery, but he has to select pictures, order expensive prints and frames, then finally hang them. The images are not expensive to buy, just the cost of the copies and a small extra. People like them, comment with approval.
Then suddenly, a hand leaves a pocket with a smartphone. A digital “click” imitates the sound of an analog camera. The photo is taken. Two, three, four other people are doing the same. At the end of the evening, the photographer has not sold one image but he knows that some will still hang on unknown walls or even fly free on the internet...
It is a more and more common situation, driven by the idea that everything to do with technology is free. I do not like it but there is nothing I can do about it. In my reportage, I use street art, photographs, graffiti or commercial posters all the time. But I always try to put it into context. I do not appropriate it but I do use it. I can only explain what I really feel to those who understand that this is a job. Because, believe me, we photographers have to pay when we go to the supermarket.
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