PHO705: Week 18 Reflection

This blog post reflects on test printing as all of the images made since mid January are made available for an edit. I also reflect on the presentation of work as a facsimile exhibition in box packaging. Finally, there is another look at the Critical Review of Practice for which drafting has fallen behind plan somewhat.

Print

Printing went remarkably well – all 50+ images printed, and are all keepers with no adjustments having been required.

Reflecting further. The prints are quite dark but are subtle in toning and not burnt out in the shadows. It is just that the content has to be discovered under daylight-balanced lighting. This was the same for ghost images at the Summer exhibition and worked as the effect was to draw in the viewer. This is taken as the ideal and fits with intent. The printed work was as envisaged and on-screen and in print. The subject matter by design is somewhat dark thematically as place or landscape as faded memory visualised in the present.

A visit was made to the printers and they allowed their guillotine to be used to cut down 4×6 prints to 4×5 size. This was quick and consistent.

Printshop

The visit to a commercial print shop was also made to enquire about exhibition support items.

  1. Leaflets to promote the exhibition (100-200) as handouts.
  2. Bookbinding three copies of artist books with 64 pages. With embossed/gilded text, front stuff printed and blank pages for the 4×5 glossy prints to be attached. The paper choice wasn’t found to be suitable for my project. A case bound book dummy I’d made earlier has off white paper and makes an excellent surround to the gloss prints. The printer I use offers Black, Light Black, Light light Black and Photo Black. A lot of variation is found in the shadows. This all adds up in the right direction and matches the intent and has been tried and tested.
  3. Packaging for the portable exhibition is in support of the memento style. It is consistent with the commemorative theme.

The previous exhibition was a success as a learning activity even though it was not heavily promoted. Leaflet handouts will address this. Business cards were not available at the time, This was a shame as there opportunities to exchange details. Business cards are available this time branded as turner photo.art. Marketing extends to a new website with consistent email address michael@turnerphoto.art.

All is becoming consistent and should serve the cause beyond the MA Photography course.

Packaging

I’m finding this rather tricky in terms of judgment and I’m currently exploring making. In some areas, it is similar to hand bookbinding and case binding. Why has the time been spent on this? In some respects, the making of an exhibition and the creation of a book somehow overshadow what is potentially the main element of public delivery. It may not be as showy but the author believes the exhibition in a box method best as it extends the conversation about the project and in scale and approach creates better opportunities for others to engage.

In critique, I was advised that it might be advisable to make my own packaging rather than use a commercial test kit box. As noted earlier I have been experimenting with making and ran up against the problem of scale. I’ve been working with a simpler design and large card stock with the hope of being able to run the card through the printer before curing, folding and glueing. So what seems an aside in going public is actually the main preferred approach. If this became the absolute first choice delivery method, it would be necessary to swap from mounted ZINK prints to the preferred glossy prints.

Sketchup 3D designed packaging.

This is very time consuming and extends the demands on skill set to 3D layout software and the practice of making packaging while being at a fairly late stage of FMP. It is is not yet too late but making a box is burning up my time. A question of maintaining balance and acting on the priorities.

As a fallback I have two commercial packaging solutions that meet the original intent, pre-FMP:

4×5 Prints in temporary packaging

Commercial packaging for 2×3 print pairs

Staying with the commercial packaging for a moment and meanwhile creating my own design, I have new packaging shown above for 4×5 prints for edit/critique and a new box for the 2×3 facsimile prints.

This removes the dependency on designing, printing, cutting, folding and glueing which are not central to the delivery of the project in a public setting.