> Tristan, you seem to work hard to impute bad motives on our part and to sling arrows at me because you choose to bring expensive photographic equipment to a private event and take photos of it.
i can't believe what i'm reading there.
i'm sorry to say but you got it wrong. i'm one of the doc-team photographers (together with neil girling) that brings (and trash) the LEAST expensive DSLR equipment at BM - we both use sony/minolta DSLR which are some of the cheapest pro-quality cameras. most other doc-team photographers shoot with Canon 5d or the like, which cost $3000+, i.e. about twice as much as the camera i use.
after BM, those canon 5d cameras need at least a professional clean-up, and sometimes, they trash canon stabilized lenses that costs way more than $1000. so please, be serious for one minute. you have no idea of how much all the good photographers pay for making those nice photos. this year i ONLY trashed a $450 lens and paid for a $60 cleanup. ask the bill that the other photographers had, and you will understand better.
i could certainly use disposable cameras or point-and-shoot, but the technical quality of the photos you can do with those are not that great. no DoF, bad low-light photos, etc. are you suggesting that the doc-team should use less-than-$500 point-and-shoot? wow.
but as i said, equipment cost is not even the largest part of the real cost we incur. one month work to process 300 photos (on a total of 3000+ exposures) costs much more than the equipment we trash. each processed photo requires about 30min work in average including the total workflow operations, the art identification, the description, the keywording, etc. and on top of that, selecting the good photos among all the raw shots is also very time consuming. do the math, that's a lot of hours of work. if you think my numbers are crazy, ask anyone else, or try doing that yourself.
> Pretty models? Is this about pretty models?
i never said it was about pretty models. you took this word out of context, and apparently i did not express my point clearly. i said exactly "it is actually very difficult to take good photos at BM. even if you have a good eye, a decent camera, and pretty models."
do you disagree with that? do you think that anyone with a camera (and EVEN a pretty model in front of it) can make good photos at BM? really? sorry, i don't think so.
> Seriously, Flickr photos - i cannot find any Flickr photos where I can go in and buy copies of another person's work.
well, that's because exactly one month ago, flickr changed their print provider, and when this happened they have suspended that feature they had allowing people to let all other people buy prints of their photos. before this very recent change at flickr, there were literally thousands of BM photos that could be bought in hi-res prints (from 10 mega-pixel files). i don't know if flickr will re-enable that feature they had. but on other services like smugmug, you can find many more.
e.g. http://www.smugmug.com/search/index.mg? ... al&x=0&y=0
all the hundreds of photos that i found with a search for "burning man" can be purchased as prints - and there are thousands more that are not found by the search because they don't have the "burning man" keyword.
i bet if you do the same search on zenfolio, you will get the same results. and you could do that on many more photo hosting sites that offer prints services.
> So the argument I hear is that because some other amateur photographers (whom I cannot seem to find)
you really did not look very hard. i can give a lot more of those amateur BM photos available in prints that you say you cannot find - i could do that but it would be a contracting job, we can discuss this off-line.
> then that means we should just give up and start allowing all photographers to sell prints of their work as widely as they want,
> without review, because photographers deserve to make a living on their work, and Burning Man's rules are an impediment to that now.
i never said that you should give up "all control". for example, i agree that selling prints of photos with nudity should probably require a model release. or at least the permission of the model (as i said earlier, i have no problem with that - only 5% of my BM photos have nudity, and i have model release for most of those photos).
BM should definitely go after people who do "candid" (creepy) photos taken from very far away with telephotos to capture nude people without their knowledge. this something most people would want BM to control and prevent, i think.
but i do feel that BM is way too controling and i don't like at all the fact that they do actually prevent photographers, including their "doc team" (who provide all their photos for BM own's promotions, for free), from just getting back the expenses their incur in work time and equipment use. i'm not talking about making an actual profit.
yes, i think photographers deserve to make a living on their work (especially those who provide all their work to BM with a free perpetual license allowing BM - and many other artists - to use their work for their promotion), and Burning Man's rules are indeed an impediment to that now.
> That makes no sense to me.
well, that makes sense to a lot of the other photographers that feel the same as i do.
apparently a lot of people would not object to have the opportunity to buy inexpensive high-quality prints or posters of the best BM photos. a 8x12 or 16x24 hi-resolution print looks really much better than a 500-pixel resolution photo on a screen. people ask to buy prints of my photos, but BM does not allow me to sell them. i really don't see how selling prints of my photos would be harming the BM ORG. i have yet to hear convincing arguments about that.
as i said, if i was selling my prints for $300 as "fine art gallery archival prints" signed and framed, BM would probably be more inclined to letting me do it, but really that makes little sense to me. this idea that photography can be called "fine art" ONLY if the prints are very expensive is something i don't understand.