ANOTHER big surprise is in store for the readers of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY. In the August issue we will announce details of a new contest, offering $1000 in cash prizes for the best pictures submitted.
You’ll also get the first inkling of plans for a new giant issue of POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY which promises to be just as original and interesting as our Directory Issue was. Watch for these announcements. They will be important events in photography.
THE New Yorker was misinformed the other day when it stated that the Eastman Kodak Company has violated its own rule of not returning Kodachromes of nudes to the sender. The Kodachromes were supposedly returned by carrier pigeons which an enterprising photographer in Bridgeport, Conn., sent along with his films in order to avoid shipping the nudes through the mails.
All that the photographer got back were his bare carrier pigeons, so Paul Favour, manager of Eastman’s Service Department, advises us. The nudes went the way of all flesh in Kodachrome—they landed in Eastman’s vaults which by this time must seriously rival a good Mohammedan’s Paradise.
THE possession of a press card seems to be the fondest dream of many an amateur. Fans will do anything to get hold of one, even though it may be obviously phony.
The number of enterprises capitalizing on this rather childish desire of amateurs is showing an alarming growth.
Some schools of photography —apparently unconvinced of the value of their own courses—offer “press cards” to prospective pupils, and lately even a magazine is trying to hook subscribers with a similar offer.
Ordinary common sense should tell all amateurs that “press cards” of this kind will get them either nowhere or into trouble. Even a village police constable knows that only newspapers and recognized news services like the Associated Press, United Press, International News
Service, and the like have any business issuing “press cards.” The two magic words printed on a piece of paper are no open sesame. On the contrary, we have seen more bearers of legitimate press cards thrown out of places than toters of phony ones let in.
THE National Park Service has introduced an excellent innovation for photographers in the Boulder Dam area. A chart with enlai’ged photographs is on display in Boulder City, Nev., giving amateurs detailed information about the best locations for pictures and also about exposures and filters to be used to best advantage.
This novel aid to amateurs is bound to lead to good results. Many an amateur would bring home better vacation pictures from other Recreational Areas and National Parks if he could get expert advice on local light conditions.
FAR from intending to enter the old controversy of “purists” versus “pictorialists,” we felt that many of our readers wanted first hand, simplified information on the essentials of the “arty” process of making bromoil and bromoil transfer prints.
Herman A. Scherrer, well known for his beautiful bromoils and also as a judge in many international salons, has written for POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY an article on
his favorite process. We pass this information on to you with the remark that, as far as we are concerned, we don’t care what method a photographer employs to get outstanding pictures, if he can show results.
ONCE more the Chicago Tribune has done remarkable pioneer work in the field of color photography. During a fire on May 11 which burned five huge grain elevators a number of pictures were taken with a one-shot color separation camera and 12 hours later one of them appeared in natural color in the newspaper. It was the first time a color photograph of a spot news event was reproduced as a news picture.
YOU will miss in this issue the customary installment of our Glossary for Photography. The reason is that we are revising and completing the Glossary for publication in book form. Announcement of the new book will be made as soon as it is available for distribution.
A BILL to license all photographers who want to sell their pictures has been killed by the assembly of Pennsylvania. Only the organized efforts of amateurs caused the bill to fail. Credit is due to the Council of Camera Clubs of Philadelphia whose president, Arnold Stubenrauch, personally went to Harrisburg to testify against the bill, and also to the Photographic Society of America who circularized camera clubs in the state, calling to their attention the dangers of the bill.
The events in Pennsylvania prove our contention that amateur photographers should organize wherever their freedom of taking and selling pictures is imperiled.
LICENSING legislation to prevent the amateur from selling his pictures and thus competing with established professional photographers is being sponsored mainly by an organization of professionals. The principal reasons given for the alleged necessity of such laws are the racketeering practices of itinerant photographers.
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It should be simple enough to word laws aimed directly and exclusively against such racketeers. However, most licensing laws are plainly aimed at stopping the sometimes irksome but mostly imaginary competition amateur photographers offer the professional.
LET US examine this competition. If an amateur makes portraits for his friends, or sells an occasional feature picture to a magazine or advertising agency, he is obviously taking away business from the professional. At first, his prices may be lower than the prices of the professional but after a while he will get tired of working below cost or just for the fun of it. He will start charging what the traffic will beax*—which is exactly what the professional is doing.
If an amateur chooses to sell his pictures for ridiculously low prices, he may be harming the business of the pi'ofessional. However, we seriously doubt that the extent of this damage is worth mentioning. The individual amateur soon gives up his “humanitarian” efforts and while thex'e ax'e always new amateurs entering the game, the total loss to able professionals cannot be gi'eat.
If, on the other hand, the amateur chooses to chai'ge prices in line with the px-ofessionals’, he becomes a px-ofessional for all intents and purposes. He may be “crowding” the profession, but then:
This is a free country. We would hate nothing more than to see a medieval guild system established for photogx*aphers—or any other profession.—A. B. H.