Gigglebit: Phantom valuations of photographic art

19 Dec 2014

'Phantom', by Peter Lik, recently broke the record for most valuable photo ever

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note. Today we look at photography and crazy valuations.

Peter Lik recently set a new world record, with his ‘Phantom’ photograph selling for US$6.5m.

The image is really cool, showing light beaming into Antelope Canyon in the US.

In fact, a private collector purchased Lik’s ‘Phantom’, ‘Illusion’ and ‘Eternal Moods’ for close to US$10m.

Lik now holds four of the top 20 spots for most expensive photographs ever sold, which is some achievement – but there’s something altogether weird about all of this.

One enduring quality of art is that it cannot be measured, because everyone views it differently and one opinion is only as right as any other. However, images like this are hardly difficult to come across.

A simple scan around the internet finds several places to snap up similar, while not identical, shots.

For example, below we have a colour shot from a very similar angle. We got it from Shutterstock, and we didn’t pay US$6.5m. Are we scroungers?

Antelope Canyon image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic