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Stephen Willard
5-Jan-2016, 23:09
Acknowledging the wealth of knowledge that reside here at this site, I would like to pose the question of “what makes a photograph sellable?” Before responding please state your area of interest such as portraits, landscapes, urbanscapes, and anything else that I have missed. This will help us better understand your responses.

Clearly there will be attributes of the composition that will have a lot to do with salability, but there can be other factors as well like color, shape of photographs, size of photographs, marketing considerations, whether its a man or women who is buying the photograph, and so on. Or we can look at some famous photographers most sellable images such as Ansel Adams Moon Rise and why it was so popular.

Please feel free to post some of your most sellable images to support your thoughts. If you have not sold any photographs, you can argue what types of photographs you find most appealing and would love to purchase.

This string is not about whether creating sellable photographs is art or is an act that compromise the artistic endeavor. So please do not diverge to this type of discussion. Also it can be said becoming famous will make even your very worst photographs sellable. Obviously, most of us will never be famous so this will have little value for us little guys.

I look forward to your thoughts and debates.

Iluvmyviewcam
6-Jan-2016, 07:04
Well, beauty and art is in the eye of the beholder. No one can say why a person likes this or that.

Generally speaking, generic photos are near worthless.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/generic-photography-is-pretty-much-worthless-nowadays/

Some photogs are lucky enough to get half a million for a photo of a tricycle. The art world need such excesses to keep the carrot dangling in front of the rest of the struggling artists to give them hope.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/the-reality-of-being-an-artist/

Peter Lewin
6-Jan-2016, 07:44
You will get as many opinions as there are replies. Some people buy photographs to hang up as decoration, in which case the predominant colors must match their decor, and the subject matter is typically traditional, i.e. landscape, waterscape, still life. Some people buy photographs to remember a place they visited on vacation, so the photograph should be "typical of the location."

Of course, as a member of this forum, I am not the "typical customer." I buy photographs which inspire me to be better, but which are also relevant to my own photography, i.e. black and white prints made in a darkroom from large format negatives. But to prove my point, about a year ago I purchased an 11x14 B&W large-format silver print at a craft fair (which hangs with many other prints, both my own and purchased, in our family room), and my wife bought two small color seascapes (largely shades of blue) from the same photographer to hang in our blue downstairs bathroom. Definitely different criteria!

Kirk Gittings
6-Jan-2016, 08:19
This I know personally. When I am in the field and I make a photograph that I think will sell, it rarely does. When I am in the moment and making images that personally really move me-those sell.

Winger
6-Jan-2016, 09:14
I'm mostly a landscape photographer, at least partially because I can take my time and also get exercise while shooting. Of my shots, the few that have sold have been ones that I think the buyer just resonated with. To me, those prints were ones with a certain richness to them and they're also favorites of mine. Though others that I really LOVE, no one else seems to. I've also had two people ask for certain flower shots handcolored with specific colors to match a room (yes, they were friends, so I did them, even suggested it to one).
Ones I buy tend to be of places I doubt I'll ever get to or things that don't happen predictably, like certain weather conditions. Unique-ness, too, I think makes them sellable, as long as they're technically very good.

I also suspect that photographers have different criteria when shopping for prints compared to non-photographers.

Jim Jones
6-Jan-2016, 09:30
Location, location, location. For decades I have sold photographs at a small-town annual arts & crafts fair and occasionally in other venues. Some area landmarks, present and past, sell well. So do photos of the rare steam locomotive visits. One popular print (below) is an exaggerated look at a familiar subject. Low prices are important to customers this far removed from gallery experiences. The opportunity to buy either framed or matted prints is an advantage to buyers with strong ideas on how a photograph is best presented in their homes or offices. For my convenience, most photographs are 10x14 inches in 16x20 mats or frames. Bulk purchases of custom mats in this size saves time and money. This may appeal to repeat customers. The current price for prints in 16x20 aluminum frames is $50. This seems reasonable in an area where cooperation with friends and neighbors is valued higher than competition with anyone. Also popular are very inexpensive unmounted and unmatted 8.5x11 prints. The selection of photographs is most often made by women, unsurprising in an area where perhaps 80% of artwork is created by women.
144593

Stephen Willard
6-Jan-2016, 10:40
This I know personally. When I am in the field and I make a photograph that I think will sell, it rarely does. When I am in the moment and making images that personally really move me-those sell.

Absolutely true. Many, but not all, of the images I thought would sell well did not. And those that moved me turned out to be great sellers. You never know what will happen once we enter the darkroom or post production mode if you do digital.

Stephen Willard
6-Jan-2016, 11:01
Well, beauty and art is in the eye of the beholder. No one can say why a person likes this or that.

Generally speaking, generic photos are near worthless.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/generic-photography-is-pretty-much-worthless-nowadays/

Some photogs are lucky enough to get half a million for a photo of a tricycle. The art world need such excesses to keep the carrot dangling in front of the rest of the struggling artists to give them hope.

https://danielteolijr.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/the-reality-of-being-an-artist/

I agree that portrait and social documentary would be very difficult to sell as decorative art unless you were famous. That said, these types of images fall into a category that I call informative. Informative images can sell well as a book provided there is a good narrative to accompany them. A great example of this is John Fielder's work. He produce images of nature that were very informative and he made a lot of money selling them through books and calendars. However, he was not successful at selling them as decorative art for the home because they were plain and did not inspire profound emotions.

Stephen Willard
6-Jan-2016, 11:18
I'm mostly a landscape photographer, at least partially because I can take my time and also get exercise while shooting. Of my shots, the few that have sold have been ones that I think the buyer just resonated with. To me, those prints were ones with a certain richness to them and they're also favorites of mine. Though others that I really LOVE, no one else seems to. I've also had two people ask for certain flower shots handcolored with specific colors to match a room (yes, they were friends, so I did them, even suggested it to one).
Ones I buy tend to be of places I doubt I'll ever get to or things that don't happen predictably, like certain weather conditions. Unique-ness, too, I think makes them sellable, as long as they're technically very good.

I also suspect that photographers have different criteria when shopping for prints compared to non-photographers.

I have never sold a photograph to a photographer before. People who buy my work are upper middle class or wealthier, and most of them have never purchased a photograph before as art to hang on their walls. I would say 60% are women and 40% are men.

Yes, this is true that people purchases are driven buy personal experiences and their emotional reactions they have with a photograph. However, I also believe that there are some common attributes of a composition and other things that can make a photograph highly sellable.

Drew Wiley
6-Jan-2016, 11:31
I want a minimum of $250 to $500 just for the frame; a lot more for a big print. Any local frame shop would want way more. All that stuff is overhead. Just look
at the price of a stack of Museum board. Drymounting takes time; mounting color prints is a lot more fussy. So I don't know how you do it, Jim. Any street fair
around here would probably cost you a couple grand a day just for the booth space. But that is a lovely image you posted.

LeeSimmons
6-Jan-2016, 13:13
Relevancy to the buyer

Memory. - Are people buying a memory or a dream. I created a gallery on Banff ave in the Canadian Rockies. My images still sell there but I am no longer involved. They sold because they were well crafted mountain scenics and people wanted a beautiful memory of the area. (Remove the images from Banff and their sales plummet).

Icons - through masterful technique and long term style. Micheal Kenna and say John Sexton. People are buying the from masters of the craft. Flawless images, vision, celebrity and investment.

Peter Lik - Superb marketing with well rounded popular photography. Say what you will about his images he out sells everyone.

If I create an identical image to a popular high selling artist does it mean it is worth that sum as well. No it's not if I haven't created demand. Every good selling artist has to created demand. Why should someone care about your images? What is your story?

That is some of my thoughts hope it helps the journey.

Regards Lee

goamules
6-Jan-2016, 14:38
What sells today? Shock value. Anything that varies from the high resolution, perfect captures of every cell phone. In other words, surreal super saturated colors in landscapes, like a Thomas Kincade painting. New age photographers that catch logs on fire in Arches Nat'l Monument. Or Hollywood productions and sets to take one photo of a deadpan housewife in eerie lighting.

In content, dead people, nude women with tattoos and studs in noses (and gas masks Mark!), street photography of jackbooted cops.

Stuff like that.

Corran
6-Jan-2016, 14:49
Location, location, location.

Yep


The current price for prints in 16x20 aluminum frames is $50.

Good Lord why even bother, that's barely the cost of materials?

Bob Salomon
6-Jan-2016, 14:52
1: Someone likes it.
2: They can afford it.

Michael Rosenberg
6-Jan-2016, 15:47
In the Southeast documentary photographs sell more than any other.

A lot of my sales have been architectural, e.g. the Durham American Tobacco Factory project that I completed 9 years ago. The opening image on my web site has sold the most of any singular image. At the opening of a showing of the Tobacco Factory prints people made a lot of comments, and were absorbed by the images. Six sold that day - two to a woman who came back with her husband just before closing. One of those was very abstract of pipe shadows on a brick wall.

Landscapes that sell seem to be ones that pull in the viewer and keep them in the image. I made a 42x52 inch digital print of a swamp that I had only offered before in silver gelatin at 16x20. People would walk up to it and when a few feet away slow down and inch forward. Six months after the show a couple who had seen it at the show came and bought it - they said they could not keep it out of their mind.

Where are they sold? Some galleries do a better job at presenting than others.

I found that I have to price my images to be comparable. And I have to price them so the gallery will make money too. Framing sometimes is a loss after the gallery gets there cut, but a nice frame helps sell the print.

Mike

Kirk Gittings
6-Jan-2016, 15:57
This I know personally. When I am in the field and I make a photograph that I think will sell, it rarely does. When I am in the moment and making images that personally really move me-those sell.

Just to be clear. When I make an image where the main reason is because I think it will sell-it doesn't. When I make an image because it simply gets me excited-it does. There is something about a motivation that is primarily trying to second guess the public's taste that falls flat (or at least that is what I believe). So I try never to even consider that when I take the time to set up a VC. At this point in my life it takes something special to get me to set up a VC and on many outings I never do and that is fine too.

Randy Moe
6-Jan-2016, 16:06
1: Someone likes it.
2: They can afford it.

Yes

Darin Boville
6-Jan-2016, 16:13
This question has an easy answer really. What makes a sellable photograph--I think you mean what makes a photograph that will sell well--is this: a salesman. Usually that is the photographer himself, even if they would object to the idea that they are a salesman for their own work.

People need direction, people need reassurance, people need a backstory to the image, people need to be told what to do. The rest of it follows. If your prices are too high, the salesman will soon find out. Wrong sort of imagery, the salesman will soon find out.

Ideally you want someone else to sell the work--often this is a spouse.

Things rarely sell themselves.

--Darin

Drew Wiley
6-Jan-2016, 16:30
I dunno. I never had to talk anybody into anything. But then I never sold a single picture in my life to a tourist. Mostly wealthy art collector types and other photographers, a few of whom would be on anyone's A-list. In this city art sells poorly, but we have more restaurants per capita than any other city in the country. I know a few people who did become quite wealthy on local gourmet restaurants. Buy the odds are 9 to 1 that you'll go broke trying, even here. If you want to make a lot of sales and a lot of money, open a MacDonald's Franchise or a greasy Pizza dive. You get the analogy. I have no interest making a lot of money if it involves something I hate, and robs me of the time to do what I can be proud of. We'll see... I'm looking at getting back in the game. Just crossing all my t's and dotting all my i's in terms of lab equipment and workspace at the moment. Then my odds are, probably .... you guessed it, 9 to 1 against. Nice to have other sources of income, just in case....

Alan Gales
6-Jan-2016, 16:43
I don't care what the picture is of (landscape, portrait, architecture, etc.) I want something unique. Something that reaches out and grabs me for some reason.

As for the masses? Well, unfortunately we all know what they like.

Light Guru
6-Jan-2016, 16:46
What makes a sellable photograph?

The salesman!

jp
6-Jan-2016, 18:44
I read this with interest. I'm not much of a seller of photos. I don't take the time to make prints to sell much. What I have exhibited has not sold well; perhaps the wrong audience. I am reading each post here. I can sell marine electronics or office IT equipment much better than photos.

So far I'm inclined to think. oversize photos, wild color saturation, and death of the photographer work well for selling photos. I'm not ready for those approaches.

Jim Galli
6-Jan-2016, 19:35
How many pretty young kids go to Hollywood to become stars? How many become stars? I think selling photographs has similar odds and an equal amount of providence. I decided long ago worrying about any of it would spoil my adventure.

Jim Jones
6-Jan-2016, 20:25
I want a minimum of $250 to $500 just for the frame; a lot more for a big print. Any local frame shop would want way more. All that stuff is overhead. Just look
at the price of a stack of Museum board. Drymounting takes time; mounting color prints is a lot more fussy. So I don't know how you do it, Jim. Any street fair
around here would probably cost you a couple grand a day just for the booth space. But that is a lovely image you posted.

A booth is $75 for two days, and upwards of 5000 people come through. It is certainly no great money maker, but isn't a drain like pro bono sports photography for the home town school. Last year driving to ball games added maybe 1000 miles on the car, but the girls basketball team was 4th in their class in the state. Kids like that deserve support. As for frames, other brands look close enough to Nielsen for folks around here. I use window glass; ugly but cheap. I've had dry mounted prints go bad after a decade or two, and hang prints on the mount board now. That's also ugly but cheap.

Alan Gales
7-Jan-2016, 12:40
How many pretty young kids go to Hollywood to become stars? How many become stars? I think selling photographs has similar odds and an equal amount of providence. I decided long ago worrying about any of it would spoil my adventure.

Yeah, skills don't matter either some times.

I had a buddy who played the bass guitar. He was in the top local band and even played with national recording artists Head East and Missouri.

I have a nephew who also played bass for one of the top bands here. He did the traveling scene, had a record contract fall through, etc.

Both ended up being successful but in other fields.

Drew Wiley
7-Jan-2016, 13:19
I've never had a drymount failure, Jim, not in decades. But it's nice that you've found a realistic niche clientele. Some of the street fairs around here are quite
interesting, and the photographic talent is in fact talent, though not much of it appeals to me personally, and mostly color inkjet work, small. Some of them are just there for the scene, I suspect. In fact, I know some that cumulatively lose money after the overhead of paying a printing lab, frame shop, etc. It was no different during the Gold Rush. Very few of the miners made a profit; a few did. Who really made money were the people selling them the picks n' shovels etc. Then they'd charge the miners up in the hills five dollars for a single egg for breakfast. That was a LOT of money back then.

John Layton
7-Jan-2016, 13:31
Hate to be the cynic...but I think that Light Guru nailed it!

Randy Moe
7-Jan-2016, 13:46
I keep yelling I'm a Hobbyist and there are good reasons for that. You figure it out.

I am so busy shooting unpaid work that I have little time for Art or her cousin, Not.

About every 3 days I wake up with an idea and try to do it.

Jim Jones and Drew come close to understanding.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light."

Drew Wiley
7-Jan-2016, 14:01
I went to great lengths to develop very high quality presentations back when a lot of materials labs or major framing houses now take for granted simply were not available. But I did this for a couple of reasons. One is that it was all for my own photographs. I wasn't trying to provide a volume commercial service for others. Secondly, I enjoy solving these kinds of problems. In some cases, I doubt I ever broke even; but when I did land a sale, I sure as heck didn't have to talk anyone
into it. In the words of Hannibal Lecter, People covet what they see. The funny thing is that ordinary folks would simply pay the asking price, and then treat
themselves to something nice. A billionaire was easy to spot because they always haggled.

Vaughn
7-Jan-2016, 14:04
It is good to be able to hang a photo on the wall and then wait a several months. If I still stop and look at it as I walk by occasionally, or if it catches my eye as I sit in the room, then I know I have made a "sellable print". I took and worked with the image! If I do not keep up interest in it over a long period of time, how can I expect someone who does not have that experience of creating it, to pay any attention to it on a wall?! (let alone buy it).

But I moved into a new (but old) home in July, and the lights suck -- I have to be careful how I judge my prints...some are getting shorted of light!

Bob Salomon
7-Jan-2016, 14:34
It is good to be able to hang a photo on the wall and then wait a several months. If I still stop and look at it as I walk by occasionally, or if it catches my eye as I sit in the room, then I know I have made a "sellable print". I took and worked with the image! If I do not keep up interest in it over a long period of time, how can I expect someone who does not have that experience of creating it, to pay any attention to it on a wall?! (let alone buy it).

But I moved into a new (but old) home in July, and the lights suck -- I have to be careful how I judge my prints...some are getting shorted of light!

That's why they are billionaires!

Jac@stafford.net
7-Jan-2016, 16:39
In my modest experience, the best is to have a well endowed collector find your image by any means, then catch onto it when they ask for a copy they could display in their home ... along with name photographers. I am addressing the European market, in particular Monaco. The outcome of my experience translates into many thousands of dollars.
.

Paul Metcalf
7-Jan-2016, 17:10
I suppose if this could actually be delineated/defined in a manner that could be copied/duplicated/replicated then we'd all be filthy rich and famous.

I'm glad it can't.

Wayne
7-Jan-2016, 17:33
Lighthouses.

Kirk Gittings
7-Jan-2016, 17:52
Hate to be the cynic...but I think that Light Guru nailed it!

It is cynical I think-at least in my personal experience FWIW. I'm the world's worst marketer (salesman) and I don't like galleries per-se. I just put my work out there in venues that come my way (mostly museum and public institution venues) and let the images sell themselves.......or not. I figured out decades ago that if I had to really hard sell myself, I'd rather do something else. Same in my commercial business. I haven't made a cold call of any kind in maybe 25 years and never did it much. Yet I have made a living at this since 78 and this year print sales will make up half my income for the first time. I'd rather put the time I would put into marketing into my image making instead.

As is typical with these discussions I have received a couple of emails asking about my experience so I will go into it publicly and save some time.

Maybe I have been lucky, but I think it is more just hard persistent work with a small dash of creativity and good timing. In the late 80's I had a great idea, photographing Chaco Canyon when it was not well known but on the cusp of archaeological super-stardom (I knew some of the archaeologists who were on the verge of groundbreaking research). That one project seems to have established some critical success that opened a lot of doors subsequently in the Fine Art and photo education and that project also raised my commercial profile with my main clientele-architects.

I have never figured out whether my personal photographic journey has any greater lessons for anyone else in the photographic community except in the most general of terms. Here are a few. Do projects you absolutely love and are driven to finish. If they don't keep you awake at night they are probably not going to mean much in the long run. Be your own harshest critic. Finish your projects. Diversify but specialize. I do FA B&W landscape and architecture, commercial architectural photography and editorial and teach at two universities. They all interact very well though sometimes it is like working two full time jobs. Get really good at some genre (and people will think you can do anything) but think broadly about how that expertise in a genre can have "other" lives. I started out to become a FA photographer but couldn't make a living at it and thought "what else can I do with this 4x5 to make a living" which led me into architectural photography. But I didn't give up on the FA. I also wanted to teach so I got an MFA. Each one of these avenues were an expansion of my original desires. I didn't drop one to do another and the synergy fed all. I could go on but maybe that will help someone. Contact me if you want.

Its tough out there to be an artist. It always was. I know. I was there. Anyone who makes a living in the arts in any fashion at any level has beat enormous odds.

Willie
7-Jan-2016, 18:23
A buyer with money who wants the image.

There is no magic formula.

Two23
7-Jan-2016, 21:36
Acknowledging the wealth of knowledge that reside here at this site, I would like to pose the question of “what makes a photograph sellable?” Before responding please state your area of interest such as portraits, landscapes, urbanscapes, and anything else that I have missed. This will help us better understand your responses.




I'm pretty much a "general" shooter, but especially like to photo scenes from the Northern Plains, particularly railroads/trains. That said, what makes a photo saleable? I would have to say having Kim Kardashian (or one of her related parasites) in the image is the secret. Just think of how saleable a photo of Kim Kardashian made by Peter Lik would be!


Kent in SD

John Layton
8-Jan-2016, 09:49
Kirk - thank you for the reality check. Indeed, most of my print sales over the past year involved folks who purchased my work because it struck some personal chord with them. They loved the work, and simply had to have it! I love these folks!

But I think my most satisfaction comes from selling to folks who truly appreciate a bit of “educating” prior to their making a purchase. These are folks who want to know more…sometimes about specific tools and techniques, sometimes about my own visual/mental/spiritual process as I work, and sometimes even about my personal values as they relate to my chosen field. Then again, even as an educator, I often find myself needing to cut these conversations short, because, ultimately, its more about the work than about the talk!

My occasional cynicism stems from those (thankfully few) cases where a potential buyer needs to be “sold” on a piece - those who, for example, might seek reassurances about aspects such as the work’s potential to increase in value over time, and/or its (potential) degree of “importance” in a canonical sense. To these folks I can offer no such guarantee or pretense - and only suggest that their decision to purchase be based, first and foremost, on their true liking and appreciation of the work itself.

This has been more of a “process” response I guess. I’ll need ponder the original question a bit more to see if I can add anything more specific.

Kirk Gittings
8-Jan-2016, 10:32
Good points John. Photo collectors, casual or serious, IME are buying a piece by the artist as well as a piece of the artist. So the backstory is important and I love that part of it. I get totally stoked talking about the why where when how history of an image and my enthusiasm can be contagious to the buyer. Maybe in that respect I am "selling", but it is totally genuine and heartfelt-not a sales pitch.

Drew Wiley
8-Jan-2016, 11:34
Read some Clarence King or John Muir first. Then you can tell them how you walked barefoot in the snow for three weeks and fended off a grizzly bear with the
spikes on your Ries tripod, and had to eat ants for twenty days to get that special picture. It wouldn't be terribly far off from some of my own outdoor escapades
with a view camera, although I generally need to defend myself from mosquitoes in the mountains rather than bears, and find the Ries handy for swatting away
nettles from the path. Or you can try lines like Fatali, and claim that you waited twenty days at a particular spot in order to get that special lighting event where the same crescent moon happened to appear in exactly the same spot in the sky as sixteen other prints you are selling. I have no idea what Peter Lik does, other
than serving LSD tablets to kindergartners so they can colorize his images in Photoshop; but I wouldn't tell any prospective customers that.

Peter Lewin
8-Jan-2016, 11:44
Good points John. Photo collectors, casual or serious, IME are buying a piece by the artist as well as a piece of the artist. So the backstory is important and I love that part of it. I get totally stoked talking about the why where when how history of an image and my enthusiasm can be contagious to the buyer. Maybe in that respect I am "selling", but it is totally genuine and heartfelt-not a sales pitch.
If I may, an anecdote to illustrate how enthusiasm & background can help sell a photograph. The only color print I have bought (see earlier posts about buying B&W large format works) is by a photographer named Deborah Bohren whom I met at a crafts show; the print is called "chimenees" and is the view from a Paris window. Now my wife is a teacher at a private school, and at one point she taught the niece of the Turnley twins; we both got to know the mom (the sister of the twins). So when Deborah told me the story of the picture, how she took it from the window of Peter Turnley's apartment in Paris, the sale was sealed! The back story adds to the enjoyment of the print.

Kirk Gittings
8-Jan-2016, 11:48
Frankly the "back story" for my images usually has nothing in common with your silverback gorilla, chest pounding fish stories (though I did work on one image off and on for 25 years-but logistically it was only a few feet from my car and it was a bit windy
:) ). My backstories are usually all about the history of a landscape-IE not about the photographer as heroic but the Earth as amazing.

Drew Wiley
8-Jan-2016, 11:52
Sometimes I'd throw a teaser into the title next to the print. For example, at one time I printed a complex tangle of weeds beside the road at Wickenburg, AZ.
But I titled it, Cow at Roadside, Wickenberg... Yeah, if you peeped through all those weeds, there was a tiny cow in focus way back in the background somewhere.
People want stand in front of that print for twenty minutes at a time in the gallery looking for the cow. I had fun; they had fun.

Michael R
8-Jan-2016, 12:56
This hasn't been mentioned yet, but when it comes to certain categories of subject matter, from a tone reproduction perspective higher contrast often beats lower contrast re selling.

mdm
8-Jan-2016, 12:56
There is only one thing that makes a photograph saleable, context.

Kirk Gittings
8-Jan-2016, 14:40
Peter, my last comment above was in response to Drew's post. Not yours.

Andrew O'Neill
8-Jan-2016, 16:21
If a person makes a connection with the image (it's happened twice to me), it's easier to sell... and the price has to be right! I'm not in it for the money so I don't think about sellability (is that a word?)

Jim Noel
8-Jan-2016, 17:14
This I know personally. When I am in the field and I make a photograph that I think will sell, it rarely does. When I am in the moment and making images that personally really move me-those sell.

That is a very good answer.

Drew Wiley
8-Jan-2016, 17:25
Kirk - my own context stories are usually too long-winded for common audiences, so your approach never worked for me. I do better on the trail, explaining
geology or archaeology or natural history as the sights pass along. In a gallery, half the time I have no idea why I took a particular picture. It just worked. I do
have some Native American themes in my overall portfolio; but as you know, I go overboard in that department too. It's silly to explain why diorite rather than
common granite was used for metate stones, when what someone really was attracted to was the bright crimson wildflower petals scattered in the scene.