PHO705: Week 14 Reflection

Trial Assignment PDF

Having published a PDF with an extended payload of hi-res photographs last week, in preparation for the one to one meeting with the Module Leader, it was time to keep to plan and size the file. There is a 10MB file limit for the assessment. Success! Over 50 images, which should be over that needed to submit the Assessment PDF and filesize which was whopping has dropped to 5.5MB with no appreciable loss of quality on-screen.

In contemplating the book publication, a second PDF is required and this would need to be produced at high resolution.

There are some known niggles in the content of the following but here is the ‘same’ or equivalent PDF from last time but in its new reduced size. The PDF has been created using industry-leading page layout software Adobe InDesign:

PDF-trial-v0.1

This was an important trial and it has worked. The picture content can be refined as one image went missing during the day and will be tracked down. Three images processed with marginally incorrect height – width was fine.

The experience improved with some practice. Images untreated, or taken as they were at multiple size, needed to be standardised and this took place using Adobe Bridge – Photoshop to run some automation to fix dots per inch and pixel WxH to fit the page and the adjusted 3mm page margins created.

The more work done in preparation the easier it was to manage InDesign. Not just easier, the experience went from impractical to smooth operation.

Some bells and whistles will be added at the next iteration using available image files – many new items are being lined up to go into work, although the exhibition is expected to repeat the 18 number of prints created at a summer run of the exhibition. A greater number of images would be required of a book. The book number will be limited by shadowing standard commercial offerings in view of the potential cost impact in later in taking the hand bound book dummy to a designer.

Returning to the immediate needs, sections have to be added for

  • captions,
  • text (make an appropriate selection fo text),
  • a bibliography,
  • attribution list for images,
  • content page,
  • interactive elements, next/prev buttons, section buttons and so on.

Exhibition Printing

Paper and printing considerations and mounting without frames become necessary to investigate for the charcoal style sepia images with the given light vignette border style. A lesser paper choice last time, was Epson double-sided matte for the handbound book and laser paper for the exhibition guide.

Hahnemuhle art paper has been suggested, whereas until now gloss was chosen for its handling of deep blacks.

Board mounting needs consideration as well as the method of hanging. A professional exhibition stand lined up for the exhibition – not used during the summer, is not recommended at this stage.

It is recommended to print as early as possible to anticipate the time need for adjustments. A first print was made! The available paper stock was Epson double-sided matte, used in making the book for an earlier Ed Ruscha challenge.

There are numerous actions required in the making process to be visited. ISSUU has been revisited as it is used as a means of simulating the book to aid the design, printing and binding. It also makes an electronic version publicly available.

The https://turnerphoto.art website was trialled in the previous module as a commercial selling site and unexpectedly went offline and has since been restored. At present, the marked assessment items take priority over website building and the selling of photographs is something for beyond the course.

These technical matters are always tempting to get involved in but for now, a reasonably good PortfolioBox portfolio site has been maintained and although there are layout limitations each use, there are get around and the company is meant to be quite responsive, although it has not been witnessed personally.

The website had a different purpose earlier in the course, where now, like during the Summer exhibition practice run, it is intended as a support to the exhibition in terms of proving multimedia in promoting it and in generating atmosphere.

In the same vein, social media is being lined up for promoting going public. Instagram has been quiescent for a while ready to roll once the exhibition date is decided (third week of March or first week of April) depending on making more work of publishable standard and whether or not to attend the Falmouth 2020 Face to Face ‘week’.

The outbreak of coronavirus and its spread through international travel could be a risk with this year’s event. A watching brief is being made at present. This is particularly sensitive personally having contracted a bug several times last year in spite of being vaccinated.

Not considered yet is a video recording of an artist talk and the remaking of the moving slides video with better images. An artist talk was run several times during the Summer exhibition.

The making of the portable exhibition in a box continues to be important in moving beyond the studio confines to take the discussion wider to allow it to continue. An unexpected benefit last time was it generated an invitation to attend an art sale. The commercial element whilst welcomed was a little ahead of practice development at that stage.

PHO705: Guest Lecture (Publication) – Christiane Monarchi Part 2

Watch this Guest Lecture video and comment.

This is a lecture designed to help artists/photographers take their work forward and is based on experience in the art market and photography competitions.

The idea is to think of the product and object product quality. Lower quality can be of greater value. Long-lasting ink helps as does a small edition size where 3 might be better than 20 is unique. Start with low prices and grow with later editions after sell out.

Consider mounting so collectors can store as archival photographs and longevity affects price.

Another consideration is to prepare a statement for later to be condensed. Have own words ready to go.

It’s better to have updates on the website rather than separate CV. It is valid to have an interchange say with other students and record their interpretation of work. It is very different to only the artist’s own words and less emotional and personal.

Social media should be about you and promote others exhibitions. Link back to the website.

Advice from an RA talk was given. Then different types of gallery were classified.

In another part of the guest lecture consideration and advice was given over Competitions (and residencies) and of Collectives where people foster creativity and show together.

PHO705: Guest Lecture (Publication) – Christiane Monarchi Part 1

Watch this Guest Lecture video and comment.

Christiane set-up Photomonitor and explained how this was set-up from her getting involved in Pluck and Portfolio and a desire to find out what was on. across a range of areas over and above the large institutions. She would advise in how to set up a niche.

Gaps were found in the offerings of:

  • Art List – large institutions
  • Art Rabbit.com – global and no UK focus
  • New Exhibitions Guide – major mostly historic items
  • British Journal of Photography – stopped doing listings
  • Photoworks – annual, great read but infrequent

Christiane’s requirement was UK and Ireland centric, for artists and emerging writers and all in an up to date guide of what’s on now. Here need was to bring people to photography and go and see it, think about it and spread the word. All without ads and is free.

The result in 2011 was www.photomonitor.co.uk. From the front page, key links are the Portfolio link written by the artist rather than mediated, there are listings sometimes with reading more depending on the gallery and their subscription. There are Reviews including of live exhibitions. Interviews talking to artists. Essays that have been researched. Auctions cover smaller upcoming auctions. Collections are interviews. Book reviews cover self-published and large publishers.

Christiane encourages artists to take a break and listen to others.

In terms of making a publication the 5 Years’ statistics were given:

The right hand column draws funding and that pays for commissioning the items on the right as community members.

In summary there are many many opportunities to see work that is shared.

Commissioned pieces are paid at 20p a word to a maximum as a budget constraint. 500 words on a screen are practical.

Commissioning is wider than London covering Wales and Ireland. Timeliness is key as mentioned to get people to the exhibitions. Social media is important for sharing.

t: @photomonitor

Christiane talked about potential for growing Photomonitor including into streaming of live audience talks.

Some Inspiring Platforms were listed:

Anyone with new ideas is encouraged to get in contact.

Response to Online Publication.

It is always exciting to see the smaller business venture establish itself and succeed. Any personal involvement would be to read Photomonitor and assess how it stands alongside say for example, major gallery memberships.

The online element is approached as a Portfolio website and as Instagram for marketing (planned) not to mention this blog site created for the MA Photography course.

There is still more to discover in Part 2 of Christiane’s guest lecture.