Many people have asked me what happened to the old Stockscotland Photo-Library? The answer is straightforward; with the advent of digital photography and the exponential increase in the availability of photographs on the web I found that it could not compete as a general Scottish photo-library. I didn't need uncanny powers to foresee the probable future for Stockscotland. Faced with a likely decline in the value of sales I'd begun to experiment with self-publishing several years before I finally made the decision to close the library. The commodification of photography progressed quickly, more quickly than I'd expected. Stoked by a vast increase in the number of pictures available from inexpensive high quality digital cameras, and accelerated by their instant availability via the web, general stock photography of the type that I supplied became a cheap commodity. Pictures that I'd sold for fifty pounds in 1998 were available for five pounds in 2008 and the library finally closed in 2009.
I am pleased to say that my publishing venture has done well and that I now publish a range of thirty-four popular calendars which covers the whole of Scotland from Shetland to The Scottish Borders. The range also encompasses three areas in the North of England.
Hugh Webster, Lairg, Sutherland - May 2014.
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