Peter Lik

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,174
Re: Peter Lik

Crash N Burn wrote:

Peter Lik strikes me as a very, very dishonest "photographer." "Fabricator" might be more apropos.

I bet he has a team of minimum wage interns huddled over his images, working desperately to composite the rather uninspired originals into something passably compelling--and largely failing--and another minimum wage PR team working desperately to credibly deny that some (most?) of his work is composited--and also failing.

I have no opinion on the compositing part of it, but I wonder how you know that these folks are being paid only minimum wage...? To be be using Photoshop like that (or whatever imaging program that they use there) particularly at a level that a pro like Lik would require is really a skilled type craft and one that I'd expect that folks would be paid good money for...

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Aaron801 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,174
Re: Peter Lik

Don Lacy wrote:

roytempest wrote:

I was fortunate enough to travel to Las Vegas on business last week and, while I was there, took a quick look inside one of Peter's very expensive stores. Being a member of the proletariat, obviously I didn't buy any of his work.

I remembered that there is a lot of controversy in the photography community around his work.

I am not knowledgeable enough to know how "original" his work is, but I know there has been some controversy around whether certain images are composite, how much PP is reasonable, and the relative merits of his extraordinary ability to self-promote.

That said his images certainly are striking.

Thoughts?

I like Peters work for the same reason I like pop music it is entertainment while in Key West I enjoyed his gallery but I did find the work of another photographer a few store down to be significantly better. But here is the thing I don’t remember the name of the photographer or gallery unlike Peter. The only real issue I have is his I am not sure I would call it dishonest but lack of candor when it comes to his work on the resale market. The highest price paid for one of his prints at auction is right around 6,000.00 so for many of his clients who walked out the door with a limited edition 20,000.00 plus work of art end up finding out when they go to sell it that they have nothing more then a nice print worth a few grand if that.

Funny, that while I'm not a fan of  the man's work, I'm still not bothered by the fact that it sells for so much money. I often say "there's no accounting for taste," and figure that those with different tastes than mine are going to have much different priorities. I;m not bothered by the fact that John Coltrane's music has made far less that Brittany Spears even though I love Coltrane's music and think of Spears as a kind of hack. I believe that that the greatest artists follow their muse without much thought about compensation. A few of them get wealthy but a lot more artists that are more about the cash than the muse are the ones who are getting wealthy so I just chalk it up to a difference in priorities...

I look at work and really only think about whether or not I enjoy it, not waht other folks think about it or how much it may sell for...

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Mark Hollister Regular Member • Posts: 356
Re: Things like this...

I'm with you on that.  The moon is approximately a quarter million miles away, no way Earth clouds are behind it.  It's a composite.  Does Lik actually  assert it's not?

bjn70 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,513
Re: Peter Lik

I am not knowledgeable enough to know how "original" his work is, but I know there has been some controversy around whether certain images are composite, how much PP is reasonable, and the relative merits of his extraordinary ability to self-promote.

That said his images certainly are striking.

I agree his images are striking, and the subjects are awesome.  I have no doubt that there is a lot of processing involved, and probably some compositing as well.  Everybody does PP manipulation, and a lot of the landscape images posted here that gather positive comments are surely VERY much manipulated.  I've watched videos of PP and the finished product looks nothing like the shot out of the camera.  I have some problem with that but extreme manipulation is so common that it is completely accepted.  Therefore how would someone complain about compositing?

I wonder how PL became so popular and other talented photographers have not, maybe it is chance and maybe it is self promotion.  When I was in high school I had considered photography as a career but I recognized that freelance photography was more about self promotion than about photography so I went into another career.

Crash N Burn
Crash N Burn Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Peter Lik

Aaron801 wrote:

Crash N Burn wrote:

Peter Lik strikes me as a very, very dishonest "photographer." "Fabricator" might be more apropos.

I bet he has a team of minimum wage interns huddled over his images, working desperately to composite the rather uninspired originals into something passably compelling--and largely failing--and another minimum wage PR team working desperately to credibly deny that some (most?) of his work is composited--and also failing.

I have no opinion on the compositing part of it, but I wonder how you know that these folks are being paid only minimum wage...? To be be using Photoshop like that (or whatever imaging program that they use there) particularly at a level that a pro like Lik would require is really a skilled type craft and one that I'd expect that folks would be paid good money for...

Have you heard of the horn effect?

If he lacks transparency in his dealings with customers, he could be just as lacking in his dealings with employees.

MyReality
MyReality Contributing Member • Posts: 802
Re: Peter Lik

Like all art, it is the result that matters, not how you achieve it.  Paintings by elephants have sold well.

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lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
Re: Things like this...
1

Mark Hollister wrote:

I'm with you on that. The moon is approximately a quarter million miles away, no way Earth clouds are behind it. It's a composite. Does Lik actually assert it's not?

I've read that his galleries admit that it is a composite. I don 't think that change that they still do not talk about hoe much processing is done on ever image.

I do not think processing is wrong or bad, but pretending images are SOOC muddies misconceptions about photography.

SonyOB Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Peter Lik

Would you get an elephant to paint your fence?

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SonyOB Contributing Member • Posts: 820
Re: Peter Lik

The first thing that comes to mind when somebody is quoting such prices is a money-laundering scheme. While I freely admit that he is making the product that is well-timed and aimed at a wealthy (if color-blind) buyers, millions for a print goes beyond what I can believe. Unless there is something moving under the counter that we do not see.

Whatever, he's leading the life he chose and betas are paying, which is one of the laws of capitalism. I am sort of jealous. He is a ton smarter than I am.

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Jonsi
Jonsi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,501
Re: Peter Lik
1

Crash N Burn wrote:

Aaron801 wrote:

Crash N Burn wrote:

Peter Lik strikes me as a very, very dishonest "photographer." "Fabricator" might be more apropos.

I bet he has a team of minimum wage interns huddled over his images, working desperately to composite the rather uninspired originals into something passably compelling--and largely failing--and another minimum wage PR team working desperately to credibly deny that some (most?) of his work is composited--and also failing.

I have no opinion on the compositing part of it, but I wonder how you know that these folks are being paid only minimum wage...? To be be using Photoshop like that (or whatever imaging program that they use there) particularly at a level that a pro like Lik would require is really a skilled type craft and one that I'd expect that folks would be paid good money for...

Have you heard of the horn effect?

If he lacks transparency in his dealings with customers, he could be just as lacking in his dealings with employees.

So he pays his interns minimum wage... but TELLS them they are being paid more.

That's what you're saying.

If so, he's a genius and deserves his millions!

Man..the world is lucky to have here you to explain things Fregoli.

stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 22,779
Re: Peter Lik

MyReality wrote:

Like all art, it is the result that matters, not how you achieve it. Paintings by elephants have sold well.

Where does one find such a painting?

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Bill Ferris
Bill Ferris Veteran Member • Posts: 4,478
Re: Peter Lik
7

It's so odd yet so typical to read the comments that are little more than uninformed speculation about Lik,how he achieved success and runs his various business interests. I get that folks don't like his photographic style or the technique of compositing to build imagined scenes. I'm not a fan, either. However, let's acknowledge some facts.

Peter Lik worked very hard to develop his craft, build a band anf achieve success. He came to the US in 1984 and spent a year traveling around the country in an old van doing photography. He returned in 1989 to undertake a project to make at least one quality landscape photograph in each of the 50 states.

In the early 1990s, he worked for the Queensland Department of Tourism in his native Australia, traveling the Outback photographing little known locations. By the mid-1990s, he'd opened a print studio in Las Vegas. He'd also stated a publishing company. He opened his first gallery (1997) in Australia and his first US gallery (2003) in Hawaii. His first book (1997) featured photographs of the Outback. In 2003, he published a coffee table book of his photography of the US.

Lik opened galleries in Las Vegas and Manhattan in the 2000s. From 2010 to 2013, he won multiple prestigious international photo competitions and placed highly in others. He's been honored as a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society.

Over more than 25 years. Peter Lik built a brand as a skilled photographer, an artist/adventurer with a camera, and as a person whose work is synonymous with, quality. He has one documented sale of an original photograph for $1 million and has claimed to have sold another photograph for $6.5 million.

Whatever one may think of his photography, style or use of compositing, Peter Lik has worked hard for his success. It's not the product of luck. Success wasn't handed to him on a silver platter. He worked his keister off, built a brand around his name and is reaping the rewards of his labor.

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Jonsi
Jonsi Veteran Member • Posts: 4,501
Re: Peter Lik

stevo23 wrote:

MyReality wrote:

Like all art, it is the result that matters, not how you achieve it. Paintings by elephants have sold well.

Where does one find such a painting?

A number of places.

Here's one:

https://elephantartgallery.com/

Some are for charity.

hotdog321
hotdog321 Forum Pro • Posts: 20,389
Re: Peter Lik

roytempest wrote:

I was fortunate enough to travel to Las Vegas on business last week and, while I was there, took a quick look inside one of Peter's very expensive stores. Being a member of the proletariat, obviously I didn't buy any of his work.

I remembered that there is a lot of controversy in the photography community around his work.

I am not knowledgeable enough to know how "original" his work is, but I know there has been some controversy around whether certain images are composite, how much PP is reasonable, and the relative merits of his extraordinary ability to self-promote.

That said his images certainly are striking.

Thoughts?

We have one of his galleries at the Houston Galleria and his work is stunning. But many of the images are certainly composites and heavily manipulated. Personally, I don't have a problem with this approach in that it is considered "art" instead of straight documentary photography. The main things are that it works, is beautiful and undoubtedly earns him a potful of money and fame. I sure wouldn't mind hanging some of his images on my walls, though I might want to buy a BMW instead.

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jeffnles1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,223
Re: Peter Lik

roytempest wrote:

I was fortunate enough to travel to Las Vegas on business last week and, while I was there, took a quick look inside one of Peter's very expensive stores. Being a member of the proletariat, obviously I didn't buy any of his work.

I remembered that there is a lot of controversy in the photography community around his work.

I am not knowledgeable enough to know how "original" his work is, but I know there has been some controversy around whether certain images are composite, how much PP is reasonable, and the relative merits of his extraordinary ability to self-promote.

That said his images certainly are striking.

Thoughts?

I sometimes think the general direction of conversation on DPReview lends more toward the technical and less toward the art of photography.  I guess that is understandable with a site that is primarily focused on gear and we tend to "nerd out" on the technology and measurements (MP, MFT charts, lines per inch resolution, Chromatic Aberration, etc.).

In the "technical" perspective, yes, many of his images appear to be composites and pretty heavily post processed.  However, looking at it through the eyes of an artist, it matters not how much post processing or how many composites make up the image.  If we see it as art, the primary objective is to stir some emotion and the technology behind it becomes less meaningful.

There is a difference between "documentary" photography and "art" photography.

At least that's my thoughts.

Jeff

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Crash N Burn
Crash N Burn Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: Peter Lik

MyReality wrote:

Like all art, it is the result that matters, not how you achieve it. Paintings by elephants have sold well.

The elephant as an artist is a big selling point.

Such things as provenance, how it was created (hand-made vs. mass produced etc.), and who created it (monkey, elephant) are very important.

lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
Re: Peter Lik

SonyOB wrote:

The first thing that comes to mind when somebody is quoting such prices is a money-laundering scheme. While I freely admit that he is making the product that is well-timed and aimed at a wealthy (if color-blind) buyers, millions for a print goes beyond what I can believe. Unless there is something moving under the counter that we do not see.

Whatever, he's leading the life he chose and betas are paying, which is one of the laws of capitalism. I am sort of jealous. He is a ton smarter than I am.

Betas. You realise that the bloke who did the study that coined the term Alpha for wolves later did more complete research and realised he was wrong about the social structure of wolves? That their social structure is more complex than he previous had thought? And that human behaviour is even more complex than this?

And, even if the beta male bs was real, it implies that those following the traditional art world guidance on what to like are somehow "alphas", which is hilarious.

lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
Re: Peter Lik

Bill Ferris wrote:

Whatever one may think of his photography, style or use of compositing, Peter Lik has worked hard for his success. It's not the product of luck. Success wasn't handed to him on a silver platter. He worked his keister off, built a brand around his name and is reaping the rewards of his labor.

He has worked hard for his success, kudos for that. Not so much for misrepresentation of value by his galleries.

lilBuddha Veteran Member • Posts: 4,377
Re: Peter Lik

jeffnles1 wrote:

roytempest wrote:

I was fortunate enough to travel to Las Vegas on business last week and, while I was there, took a quick look inside one of Peter's very expensive stores. Being a member of the proletariat, obviously I didn't buy any of his work.

I remembered that there is a lot of controversy in the photography community around his work.

I am not knowledgeable enough to know how "original" his work is, but I know there has been some controversy around whether certain images are composite, how much PP is reasonable, and the relative merits of his extraordinary ability to self-promote.

That said his images certainly are striking.

Thoughts?

I sometimes think the general direction of conversation on DPReview lends more toward the technical and less toward the art of photography.

Well, kinda. Most of the discussion on DPR is geeky club stuff that leans towards specs.

But, yeah, art is not a strong suit around here.

stevo23 Forum Pro • Posts: 22,779
Re: Peter Lik

Jonsi wrote:

stevo23 wrote:

MyReality wrote:

Like all art, it is the result that matters, not how you achieve it. Paintings by elephants have sold well.

Where does one find such a painting?

A number of places.

Here's one:

https://elephantartgallery.com/

Some are for charity.

Charitable elephants? Who knew.

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