Australian photo sold for 6.5 million dollars

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This week Melbourne born Peter Lik came to the public attention as the first photographer in the world able to sell a photo for a record price of 6.5 Million dollars. If this does not look like a considerable amount of money, well, on the same day he sold to the same collector another two photos for 1.1M and 2.4M. Let’s summarize here:

Photo name: “Phantom” sold at 6.5M

Photo name: “Illusion” sold at 2.4M

Photo name: “Eternal Moods” sold at 1.1M

That makes a total of $10M

Of course the social environment is getting crazy, and different views are out there. The typical question is “How can a photo be so expensive?”. Let’s check out the most expensive one, called “Phantom”. The location, as stated on Peter’s website “One of Peter’s all-time, favourite places to shoot lies in the Southwestern region of the United States, where he is continually drawn to Arizona’s Antelope Canyon – a slot canyon carved out by natural flowing water over the course of millions of years. It is here, in a subterranean cavern, that Peter captured “Phantom” – a stunning, black & white depiction of a ghostlike figure”

My personal opinion, which I give a 2c value, much less than Peter’s photo value LOL. It’s a great photo, no question about. I am sure there are many people out there screaming that there is a massive Photoshop manipulation and YES it is probably true, however this is art, it’s not a photo reporting a site visited by Peter. The location is an inspiration, the starting of a (sur)real mental trip, an inspiration, a view which has been elaborated through many hours of digital paint. A real vision of something that only a circle of elected people can actually understand it. That’s the way I see it.

I may be not an elected one, and that’s why I would not pay 6.5M (beside, I do not have these $$ LOL). In saying that I fully respect the collector choice and I am so happy for Peter and the photography environment. It’s a clear indication that photography is still a form of art.

Personally I see this news as a push to do more, open my eyes and even better my heart, take my camera and express myself.


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Stefano Ferro
Stefano is a cycling, movie and life style photographer with a big love for landscape & travel photography. When in Melbourne, his hometown, you will see him cycling around at sunset or sunrise looking for the best spot for a photo of this beautiful city. It is quite amazing how much photography gear he can pack on his bike :o

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