Bring the art to everyone: Sydney street photography exhibition

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For those of you that know me know that I am slightly obsessed with photography, exhibitions that are open for everyone and a bit of troublemaking, non-approved activity that benefits communities.  So the ‘not approved’ photography exhibition that is currently on show between Goulbourn and Campbell streets in Sydney has caught my attention  and I finally got the pleasure of seeing this yesterday.  It was installed in September and features the work of  photographers Dean Sewell, James Brickwood, Nic Walker, James ‘Blondie’ Alcock, George Voulgaropoulos and Andrew Quilty.  This series of street photography was put up one night without council permission (see this article from the Sydney Morning Herald)

Dean Sewell divides Sydney’s creative class into two categories: those who contribute, and the ”culture vultures” who don’t.

The council has decided to let this photography exhibition stay up which I think is a smart decision.  I love that this exhibition is here for everyone and would love to see more of this happen in Sydney.  We have so many interesting buildings and locations that can be utilised for art.  As I was taking these images for my blog two people walking past me commented.

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Hey check out these photos-isn’t that weird?

At first I thought this was a criticism but the more I think about it I believe it is great that these people noticed this exhibition.  They acknowledged its presence and looked at the photographs.  If this was advertising they would have walked straight past and probably not mentioned anything.

I’d love to see more exhibitions turn up all around Sydney that will bring a sense of surprise, openness to art that will hopefully start conversations and allow people to engage in culture.  Well done to the organisers and I hope it stays up a bit longer.

Exhibition views Paula Bray CC-BY-NC

A new photo library alternative built by an Australian start-up

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I have been thinking a lot about this new photo library platform from an Australian start-up that is in it’s early days right now but is growing fast.  ImageBrief is a new business model set up by Australians that challenges the traditional and commercial business models of the major, global image libraries that exist for stock photography.  This start-up has created something interesting by putting the photographer directly in contact with the brief and client.  This open and very transparent model allows photographers to browse and receive briefs and they can choose to opt in if they feel they have the shot.  The price is set by the client and can be seen by all contributors, they can be negotiated by both parties should they need to.  This happens openly and other photographers can see the brief and prices that the client is willing to pay.

This crowdsourced photo platform, connecting professional photographers to image buyers has some similarities to some of the photo sharing sites and apps such as Flickr and Instagram.  With images being geo-tagged by cameras now there is great potential for this platform to link up photographers with buyers instantly or even for photographers to pin their location on a map to alert potential clients of their location for shots required.  It is good to see an alternative to the major photo libraries that have a huge monopoly on the selling of stock photography.  It is also refreshing to see some elements of community driven photo sharing platforms influence a commercial model in a more open and transparent way.  They believe that more should be returned finacially to the photographer who receives 70% of the transaction plus they claim, and importantly so:

ImageBrief will never ask photographers to hand over the rights to their images