Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/10/20

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Subject: [Leica] Easy decisions for M9 or not
From: wildlightphoto at (wildlightphoto at
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 12:45:21 -0400

Steve Barbour wrote:

>On Oct 20, 2009, at 5:35 AM, Doug Herr wrote:
>> Steve Barbour wrote:
>>> of course true, idiocy or not...
>>> but what kind of game are they playing?
>>> this, to bring it back toward my world like saying, to win a
>>> Nobel prize in science you must use a certain size test tube;  or to
>>> do an acceptable surgical procedure you must use a certain size  
>>> blade...
>> It's not about winning prizes, it's about getting a paycheck.  You  
>> want them to send you a check, you play by their rules.  There are  
>> lots of other ways to make a sale, it's not like the stock agencies  
>> are the only game in town.
>what are they, and do they function well in selling ?
>you have done many great photos Doug...I assume you have a productive  
>how does that work, if you wouldn't mind sharing...?

Stock photos more often than not are used to sell widgets: props used to
make a sale.  Mine have been used to sell books, magazines, conservation,
and real estate; they're Engh's Category B photos: an illustration of the
species.  Clear descriptive photos, well-exposed & focussed, highly

My Category A photos sell primarily as prints either in galleries or
directly, and in one case, as props to sell cameras.  They quickly drop out
of Category A into the round file w/o good technique, and typically the
minutia of sensor & lens performance are more significant for these photos
than for Category B photos.

Note that social documentary and photojournalist photos are a category of
their own, where content is virtually all that matters.

One thing Engh says is that bird photos don't sell.  I might disagree, but
having numerous other responsibilities that claim higher priority, my
marketing efforts have been extremely meager.  I'll still make photos even
if there were no sales. The Category A photos are what get me up in the
morning and occupy most of my daydreams.

Doug Herr
Birdman of Sacramento

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