Have you ever wondered what photographs are worth at auction?
Here are three photos that won the highest bids to date.

Andreas Gurky’s 99 cent II, Diptych, the first photograph to sell for more than $3 million, sold for $3,340,456 at a Sotheby’s auction in London, February 2007.

Edward Steichen’s “The Pond – Moonlight”, once the world’s highest selling photograph, was sold for $2,928,000 at Sotheby’s in New York in February, 2006.

Richard Prince’s “Anonymous (Cowboy)”, the first photograph to reach $1 million, sold for $1,248,000 at Christie’s in New York in November 2005.

See what’s at auction at Sotheby’s.

See what’s at auction at Christie’s.

The live auction benefit for Maine Media Workshops is happening now on eBay Live Auctions.

Tell us what you think about the prices of photographs today. Comment!


Tomorrow, July 1, 2008 the Maine Media Workshops hosts an online Benefit Auction of Photographs, the school’s first public fundraiser since achieving non-profit status in 2007.

Auction items include generous gifts of work from many Workshops photography faculty and friends. Artist’s contributing include Dan Burkholder, Paul and John Paul Caponigro, Robert Farber, Micheal Grecco, Greg Heisler, Connie Imboden, Stephen Johnson, Sean Kernan, Jay Maisel, Sally Mann, Andrea Modica, Elizabeth Opalenik, George Tice, William Wegman, Maggie Taylor, Joyce Tenneson, and many, many more.

The live auction preview is currently available on eBay Live Auctions. The auction will take place July 1. You can either bid real-time as the auction unfolds or leave absentee bids for your favorite pieces. All bidders, even current eBay customers, need to pre-register online for this one-day live auction prior to July 1. Workshops alumni, friends, and collectors of fine photographs will not want to miss this sale!

Tell us about your favorite photographic treasures. Comment here.


One year ago today, the first Apple iPhone was released. Since then, with over 6,000,000 sold, we’ve all come to realize that the iPhone is big – really big. It just got bigger. This is a new era in mobile. David Pogue of the New York Times wrote, “You’re witnessing the birth of a third major computer platform; Windows, Mac OSX, and iPhone.”

Last year, Time named the iPhone the best invention of the year. “The phone that has changed phones for ever.” 90% customer satisfaction. 98% browse. 94% use email. 90% text message. 80% use 10 or more features.It’s touch screen alone promises to revolutionize the monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

Available July 11, the iPhone 3G (8G $199 and 16G $299) offers 3X faster (approaching Wi-Fi) wireless technology, built in GPS, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and the new App Store, and new Mobileme services. Audio is improved. Battery life is improved to 300 hours in standby, 10 hours in 2G talk 10 hours, 5 hours in 3G talk time, 5-6 hours browsing time, 7 hours video, 24 hours audio. This year, it’s expanding from 6 to 70 countries (22 on July 11). iPhone 3G puts even more features at your fingertips.

New features include …
Contact search
iWork document support
Supports Microsoft Office documents
Bulk delete and move
Save images into your Photo library
Scientific calculator
Parental controls
Languages
(You can switch between languages of the fly. It’s one great advantage of not having plastic keys.)

Find out more about the iPhone 3G’s new features and specs here.

Jobs quickly identified Apples next challenges … and addressed every one of them.

3G networking (faster)
Enterprise support
Third party applications
More countries
More affordable

Jobs addressed enterprise announcing full Microsoft Exchange support with security.

Jobs went on to announce Apple’s new service Mobileme, offering push email, contacts, and calendars with all of your favorite Mac applications (Mail, Calendar, Address Book, iPhoto, etc), which are now web based. Everything is up to date everywhere. All of your devices are automatically synced wirelessly with the data stored in “the cloud”. It’s exchange for everyone. And it’s implemented so it doesn’t use battery or CPU resources. Mobileme replaces .mac – .mac members will be automatically upgraded.

Apple has made it incredibly easy to develop and bring new applications to market. The iPhone Developer Program provides a complete and integrated process for developing, debugging, and distributing your free, commercial, or in-house applications for iPhone and iPod touch. Complete with development resources, real-world testing on iPhone, and distribution on the App Store, you have everything you need to go from code to customer. The seventh beta version of the iPhone SDK includes Xcode IDE, iPhone Simulator with Open GL ES support, Interface Builder, Instruments, frameworks and samples, compilers, and Shark analysis tool.

What’s this mean for the user? An incredibly feature rich computing environment that is capapbel of (and is) developing at blazing speeds. Simply put, more applications. Incredible convenience. Convergence. Users will get automatic alerts when Applications are updated. The new iPhone software will be compatible with all existing iPhones.

What can you do so far?

You can search, bid, and track Ebay auctions (with 84,000,000 active users) on an iPhone, the #1 mobile device for eBay.

You can mobile blog in seconds with Typepad, the largest professional blogging service in the world.

You can get AP (Associated Press) news, servicing more than half the world’s population, on their mobile news network, automatically retrieve news from local news sources and downloaded it so you can read it even when you’re out of range, and upload your own content so you can literally make the news by sending images to AP.

Loopt combines location and social network showing you the location of friends on a map with one click directions to them, share public journals in real time, and read comments..

Oh, and gaming is outrageous without needing to buy an additional device.

Expect an explosion in this new arena.

Check out the Apple App Store here.

One of the key evolutionary features in the iPhone 3G is built in GPS. Expect an explosion of location based features and services. For instance, you can track yourself on maps while you move. You can even locate your friends!

You can watch Apple CEO Steve Jobs keynote address where he unveiled iPhone 3G, the App Store, MobileMe, and more at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2008 in San Francisco.

You can see the new ad here introducing, “The first phone to beat the iPhone.”

I use my iPhone as an essential business tool. Sure there’s phone and email and browsing and music. I also take photographs with it, not for exhibition but for family, friends, notes, and blog entries. I carry most of my professional images with me on my iPhone, for quick display. For years, I’d be in public and get asked, “What kind of images do you make?”. I’d reply, “Cross Salvador Dali and Mark Rothko with photography.” Heads got scratched. Now I simply pull out my iPhone and show them my images. Sometimes you don’t have time for a thousand words. Sometimes pictures are worth more than 1000 words. (I’d love to see my iPhone’s GPS data synced and inserted into my photographs and later be used to launch Google maps for anyone wanting to learn more about them.)

How do you use your iPhone? Tell us by commenting here.


Climate change? Green house gases? Black balloons? How do you discuss and display what’s invisible? These public information commercials by the Victorian Government, Melbourne are simply first rate. They’re a testament to the power of images to concentrate big ideas into tiny packages in truly memorable ways. They’re artfully done. Art and socio-political relevance? Incompatible? Tell it to William Blake! Better yet, tell us what you think here. Comment!

Today, you can attend my Canon sponsored lecture “Antarctica” at the Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA) today at 3:15-4:15pm. It’s free!

Read my Antarctica essays here.

See my Antarctica images here.


We live in interesting times! This web stuff is fascinating. I think of it as humanity collectively wiring up a new external communal neural network and learning/inventing new ways of social interaction. Professor Walsh, a cultural anthropologist, with little more than text graphics, gets this point across brilliantly in this simple video (4:33), which over 5,700,000 viewers have watched.

You can hear his thoughts on the creation of the video in this video (9:58).

Check out what the web lets me do …

Oh! Wait! You’re already here!

So, keep looking throughout the rest of my website!

Images, text, audio, video, interviews, philosophy, technique, news, and much more.

What does the web do for you? Comment here!


You can attend my free lecture (sponsored by Canon) “Antarctica”, Saturday, June 28 from 3:15 to 4:15 pm at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

My lecture is presented in conjunction with the exhibit Polar Attractions. In it, I’ll discuss my 2005 and 2007 voyages through the Antarctica Ocean to the Antarctic Peninsula. I’ll show several bodies of work. Antarctica represents my most directly representational work to date, designed to intensify the role of advocacy in my work, and will be presented along with useful facts assembled during my research of the area that highlight the uniqueness and global importance of the region. Following this, I’ll present Exhalation and Suffusion, two highly altered but related bodies of work that (like all of my work) challenge notions of singularity, remoteness, and stability. What do I mean? Come find out!

Read my Antarctica essays here.
See my Antarctica images here.

What do you think of my Antarctic work? Comment here!

PSCafe

A few times a year I do one-on-one private sessions. Birgit Neiser came from Germany to take an HDR workshop with Dan Burkholder at MMW this week. A few days ago, she spent two mornings with me consolidating her knowledge base. We covered a lot of ground. An alumn of mine, Birgit stayed current and was well-prepared for the session. Private sessions are great for going over specific topics and spending as much or as little time as possible.

Learn more about workshops here.
Learn more about private sessions here.

After color adjusting a challenging image and taking it through the proofing process to a final 8×10″ print, she wanted to resolve a very interesting image. It was somewhat atypical of the rest of her work, but she was strongly attracted to it. So was I. She thought she’d like to correct some distortion, expand the canvas, and add add a cropped arm. It worked out handsomely, but when compared to the original it seemed less contemporary and edgy. We went too far. You don’t know how far to go, until you go to far. This answered a lot of questions for her about what to photograph, where to go to photograph, and how to photograph. We listed many elements that made this image work, with the idea of finding more like it – amputation, enjambment, off-kilter compositions, reflections, distortion creating abstraction, etc. Our heavy retouching session failed. Or did it? It’s not failure if you learn from it and then turn that failure into future success. At the end of the sessions, Birgit felt as if she was well along her way. Seeking outside feedback from trusted sources can greatly accelerate growth.

See more of Birgit’s work here.

How many trusted sources can you go to for feedback?
Can you think of times when feedback has helped your growth.
Tell us about it! Comment here.

On June 3, 2008 Nikon announced the release of the latest generation of their Raw processing software Capture NX2. Get a virtual tour of Capture NX2, find flash demonstrations of Capture NX2’s innovative Control Point interface, read about the new features, and download a 60-day trial version of Capture NX2 here.

Simultaneously, Vincent Versace announced the release of his 2-DVD set “Unleashing The RAW Power of Capture NX 2“ from Acme Educational. These DVDs will help you can get a headstart on your NX2 workflow. Wednesday, $44.95 preorder prices convert to standard $59.95 prices as soon as Capture NX2 ships. If you’re a Capture NX user order your copy now!

Read Vincent’s blog post on Nikon Capture NX2 here.

Find out about Vincent’s other DVDs here.

Find out about my DVDs here.

Greg Heisler and I recently discussed how hard it is to make your own pictures and not fall prey to making pictures of other pictures. In this case, it’s downright funny. Mike Stimpson’s recreations are highly entertaining.

See more of Mike’s ‘classics’ here.

See more of Mike’s work here.

See how Mike sets up his work here.


This is only a small taste of what you can expect to see in Iceland.

See more Icelandic highlights in Focus On Nature’s Image Album.

Read more about John Paul’s Iceland workshop (August 18-22) here.

Focus on Nature (Photography Workshops in Iceland) recently announced 15% discounts on their 2008 workshops. The discounts are made possible by excellent response from sponsors.

Enroll now! Space is limited.


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