On Acceptable Costs and Immeasureable Value

K Madhavan Pillai

K Madhavan Pillai

Where is photography heading? In that context, where are we going? Of late, these are some of the questions that keep recurring in my mind. While conclusive answers evade me, I cannot help but think that the fundamental reason for doing photography today, for the majority of us, is simply to have fun. The fun aspect of photography may come in different forms. While I tend to enjoy the meditative quality of the process of making an image, for you, it could be the joy of seeing something in a family album, or a large art print on a wall at home. In the end, the returns on our investment of time, money and effort, is that private mindspace we maintain for ourselves when we shoot.

We rarely, if ever, consider how much the investment into that mindspace costs us. Technology does not come cheap… cameras, lenses, accessories, computers, storage media, broadband internet, subscriptions to magazines like Better Photography… ever the electricity used to recharge batteries. A rough calculation I made for myself shows that I spent about Rs. 7000 a month, over the last three years, on various things that lets me have my mindspace. This is despite being a relatively conservative spender. And this is not including the cost of time and effort. I, for one, do not mind this because it suits my budget. More importantly, the returns are incalculable.

From this issue, the cover price of Better Photography goes up because of the inescapable increase in production costs over the years. While some readers might lament this, let me just say that the cost of an issue still remains the very tiniest part of your total expenditure on photography. Yet, an increase in price must be justified with an equivalent increase in value. So let me also assure you that every issue of the magazine will contain extra features like additional sections, booklets, Pocket Guides, posters, and fun contests that will continue to make Better Photography a respectful, worthy investment for your mindspace.

Tags: K Madhavan Pillai, Editor, better photography, photography, february 2013, editorial bp