New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Peter Lik

America's image is synonymous with self-empowerment. However, even in the land of opportunity, there are reasonable limits on what a person can do. It is unlikely that a person in their 40s can become a competitive gymnast or someone with an average GPA will get into Stanford University and become a research physicist. The idea that you can be or do anything in the USA is oversold. Most of the late night self improvement televangelists are just not being honest. The world is built on the backs of ordinary people, working hard and doing ordinary things. Starting a business and entrepreneurism is something in your blood. A workshop or book will not turn a company man or woman into business tycoon. And that's good - someone has to do the heavy lifting and keep the engine of our country operating.
Photography is a field where making a living is quite difficult, particularly if one wants to find work other than weddings or functions. There has been criticism of photography educational programs - very few graduates will ever make a living working in the field. And to sell substantial amounts of work is not a small achievement.
However, it is good to think outside the box and not take the advice of naysayers and self defeatists to heart. And for the driven, ambitious, talented and tireless self promoter, the land of opportunity and streets paved with gold does exist. has leveraged his skill set quite well.
I happened across a new gallery of photographer Peter Lik in the heart of SoHo by accident and was drawn in by what appeared to be work of extraordinary craftsmanship and detail.
I was told that Lik is the most awarded landscape photographer in history and the most financially successful - Peter has leveraged his skill set quite remarkably. I watched a number of videos on his site and was absolutely astounded to learn that Like has 13 galleries worldwide and grossed $35 million dollars in 2008, with expectations for greater revenue in 2009.
Peter Lik was born in Australia of Czech immigrant parents. He currently lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, which he uses as a jumping off point for his photographic excursions of the American west. He shoots panoramas with a Linhof 617 Technorama camera, using Fuji Velvia film and a Hasselblad with digital back. He uses drum scans and prints his photos on a Silver Halide Fuji Crystal Archive paper. Careful examination of his work will reveal an astounding level of detail, color saturation and luminosity. Some have criticized his work for heavy post-processing. In his defense however, I think one has to judge art photography by the result. Darkroom manipulation of photos has been going on since the beginning of photography. I recommend a visit to one of his galleries - even if you can not afford his work, it is interesting to see Lik's photographs in person and many book collections of his work are available ...

Please note: Comments for this posting have been suspended due to controversy over Peter Lik's work and his organization.