The Wrong Kind of Splash

This post is by Om Malik from On my Om

Knowing of my growing distaste for the Facebookization of Instagram, Evgeny Tchebotarev, the co-founder of 500px, sent me an email about a new project from Crew, a freelancer-focused design company. This was years ago. Unsplash, which began as a simple Tumblr site, had graduated to its own home on the internet. The proliferation of digital cameras and iPhones had created a big boom in photography. Instagram has given people a tool to distribute and share their work. The images were getting better in quality and often competing with professional work. Our world was getting more visual.

Unsplash’s idea made sense: photographs made by regular people could be used by others on blogs, in apps, or wherever else they might require. Not everyone had thousands of dollars to spend on Getty Images and Shutterstock. I became a fan, and it wasn’t long before I started to contribute photos. Before I took the plunge, I spent time with Unsplash co-founders Luke Chesser and Mikael Cho. Their initial conversation with me was all about the democratization of photography and how much they wanted to upend the vise-like control of the behemoths. I have been a fan ever since. I even curated a collection for them 

I should rephrase part of that — I was a fan up until last evening when I got an email announcing that the company was being acquired by none other than Getty Images. Hearing this was like a red hot spike through the eyes. A startup whose raison (Read more...)