I have spent the last two weeks talking with photographers, studio owners and retailers and the common thread is that the industry has changed or is changing and possibly not for the better. As a rule the photography business has not seen any growth in day rates or volume of work for many years, in fact the uptake of digital, it could be argued heralded the devaluation of the photography industry and its been a downhill slide since then. Anecdotal information and my personal conversations lead me to believe that most photographers are still charging a similar day rate to those they charged in the mid nineties.
Where is the future going to lead us? There are opportunities out there in the new reality but most of these are going to revolve around online and the delivery of goods and services via the web. What COVID-19 is teaching us is that the end of retail is having a domino effect for those industries that fed of it. Catalogues are now online, magazines are closing down or rapidly moving online and the demand for content to engage audiences is increasing so why are we not seeing the demand for professional content creators increasing? For the Australian content creator our major problem is that big brands are creating their world wide content in their home countries. I see the same imagery when I shop at Nike Australia’s website as an American would see, the consolidation of creation.
How do we survive? The answer here is that there is still a demand for local identity. It takes a lot of work to identify where this is and then tap into any sort of budget, its not that we create an inferior product its just we are swamped by a global market that also does it well and has the budget to “go big”. My take on the current situation is that those photographers who were on the fringe and marginal but drove the pricing down in a desperate attempt to get work will have now exited the business allowing both the quality of the work and the average hourly rate to increase- not by much but enough to ensure a viable industry remains.
So now it’s time to start working with Phase One. A new era begins and big sensors with big pixel counts are on their way.
Hanging out with the amazing artist Andrew Grant, brilliant and making a name for himself with some cracking work.
Got to test the new Bowens XMS flashes with the trusty H5D-50, brilliant combination! Shooting at 1/800 of a second and the flash is perfectly exposed thanks to the new XMS trigger, syncing at high shutter speeds with the in lens shutter on the ‘Blad lenses is a breeze.
For this portrait I was at f12, 1/800 sec 100 ISO so the 500 watt head was dialled up but it recycled as quick as I could pull the trigger- nice one Bowens!
Shot on the X1D, some at ISO 1600- amazing!
So one of the great benefits of the X1D is the shutter in the lens- turn day into night shooting at 1/2000 of a second with the little Metz on camera flash. Bit harsh but a great look in black and white. I have to say, under this light EVERY crease and wrinkle pops out so maybe not one for the self conscious, heaps of character and coupled with the 50mp sensor it is pretty mind blowing.
Not often a passenger but Sydney traffic sucks whatever way you look at it. Four hours to travel sixty kilometres.
Spending some time in Canberra with the H6D-100 lately and at the end of the day what better place to test out the one hundred million pixies than on our nations parliament. The export on this file was done using Phocus 3.1 and it was shot on one of the old series 35-90, which still holds up very nicely. Pretty much straight out of the camera with a bit of clarity/sharpen.
So as I sit having the morning coffee, I ponder the onehundredmillionpixel question – Do you need it?
First of all, why is it good?
- Tonal range- the is literally nothing like it, recover blown highlights and black shadows it’s a one shot HDR.
- Sharpness- you run out of slider before you get any sign of over sharpening.
- Colour- awesome color rendition.
- Lenses- so far the HC lenses are more than capable including the zooms. This is testimony to the original designs.
- Phocus 3- I know, it’s not capture one, but that’s the point. Fast workflow that delivers excellent files and easy to use, take a good look at yourself capture one- too slow, too complicated.
What it ain’t-
- Fast- a lot of data is being pushed around here and without cfast cards or the latest USB it is no speed demon.
- Easy to data wrangle- these files are big, everything slows down. Processed tiffs can get up to 600mb per file- buy a new hard drive immediately.
- Finalised- some things are not enabled yet but, to hasselblads credit the camera is glitch free out of the box and the files are sweet.
So who needs it?
- Anyone who makes big prints for fine art.
- Landscape photographers
- Portrait shooters
- Anyone who wants a point of difference and would like to stand out from the DSLR crowd.
- Anyone who has turned up to a job and had the client say “I have a DSLR like yours, why am I paying so much money for you to shoot?”
I have attached my first shots done last night but looking forward to getting it in the hands of some photographers.