A Photo’s Worth


Recently, Dwayne Hackett posted a question on Facebook, looking to garner from others what they thought, “What is a picture worth?”, and of course at least one person used the old adage of “a thousand words”.  I am sot certain of Dwayne was trying to get at philosophical or monetary answers  🙂

For more than a century we’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, usually meaning that a complex idea can be expressed in a single image, but what is a photo actually worth?  My answer was “A photo’s worth is weighed differently by each viewer, it depends on how the photo affects them.”  For me this answer works for both the philosophical and monetary.

The most expensive Photograph on record (as of today) is the Rhein II by Andreas Gursky, which sold at auction last year for $4.3 Million, the cheapest may be that passport sized one you recently got for your American Visa Application 🙂  Which one is worth more?  To the Visa applicant, it is certainly the passport sized one, without which they can’t submit the forms, to an artist, the Rhein II certainly surpasses the “mug-shot” 🙂

While the simplicity and boldness of the Rhein II appeals to my artistic senses, a photo that sold for one-seventh of its value appealed to me much more, that would be Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise”, but that is because of how that photo affects me, and so I find more “worth” in that image.

Last year I dealt with this similarly in my post for the 23rd Week of the Deck Project, you can check it there for reference  🙂

I had taken this photo while on a walk with Nikhil and Sharon, hen I had downloaded the images, I had decided that this one was not going to make the cut, and left it aside, but after Dwayne’s question, something sparked an interest in the image.  I had used ISO500, I had shot into the sun, and I had done this dangling the camera downward simply because I was too lazy to get down in the rocks to properly compose the image, so I wasn’t enthusiastic about it  🙂

I didn’t think the resulting image was worth my time and effort to process, but I went back and while it is grainy from the high ISO and from the subsequent processing, I like it.  It may not have the same impact on a Christian as it would on a Hindu, it would not have the same effect on a North American as it would on someone from the Caribbean, each would decide it’s worth, it’s value as a photograph differently.  For many this may be worthless, for me, it was worth saving, worth the time and effort in processing, and if anyone reading this blog-post realizes the worth in their own photos, then this blog-post was worth writing.

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8 thoughts on “A Photo’s Worth

  1. Okay you have to explain why a Caribean Hindu would value this more than a Fijian Hindu or a Canadian Hindu. Lucky photo by the way so it must be a sign for someone…..
    I agree with what you have written by the way.
    Frost tonight so the tops of my potato plants will be killed off unless I blanket the raised beds this evening….mmm weres that second blanket…..

    1. Hey Cynthia, I think you read that part wrong 🙂
      It’s ” It may not have the same impact on a Christian as it would on a Hindu, it would not have the same effect on a North American as it would on someone from the Caribbean”, not Hindus from different parts. I say that mainly because in the Caribbean (especially Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, the people are more integrated, we have more understanding of the religion and cultures of our compatriots, than most Northerners. This is, of course, only my opinion based on observations, not any statistical fact 🙂

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