PHO705: A Reflection on Colour Correction

Colour correction suddenly became important as printing, which had been going swimmingly well, went wrong overnight a week before the 1 May 2020 hand in. I mentioned elsewhere the saying “leave yourself enough time for contingencies”. Well the contingency was needed as I had to allow time to recalibrate the system and sort out a technical printing issue. Gladly these issues were fixed.

A Year Later at April 2021

A year on and this subject unexpectedly crawled to a conclusion: Talking to print consultants at the highly recommended A2i expressions group it was clear that instead of making all of my own ICC profiles with the Datacolor SpyderPrint I should sort out access to the extensive range of paper manufacturers profiles. On a mac computer these were a) never installed fully and never even identified b) were in a hidden Library c) wrapped up as a package and so very much not present. I discovered the packages in an Epson Library folder, opened them (there were four) and copied each list of ICC profiles to the system colorsync folder. I’d like to think this was all an act of genius but in fact the issue was described and solved in an Adobe support article from 2018. This is what came to the rescue:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/color-management/printer-profiles-missing-for-epson-sc-p800/m-p/10870908#M3033

Immediately I had all of the Epson paper options available in Lightroom and Photoshop and in fact I’m now softproofing in both apps and doing screen and paper simulations in Photoshop and very encouragingly my eye can detect the nuances of colour correction which before was done by hard proofing.

A further wrinkle in the Epson printer driver setup was found on reverting to Lightroom Advanced B&W where only a limited generic set of paper profiles was present. I thought this had all been sorted out but no. It turns out there is a known problem where Apple default network connection to the printer via Airport protocol. This prevents the full Epson driver from working and hence the limited selection of generic paper types.

The solution is to start afresh by removing the printer from Apple settings and instal it twice – yes twice. First time the system enforces an Airport protocol. On the second attempt it is realised by the system that there is an identical printer already installed and is coughs up the option to have the second instance as an Epson driver.

Here is the explanation: https://www.redrivercatalog.com/infocenter/tips/how-to-fix-missing-paper-media-type-selection-OSX.html

When someone commented to me the problem was my fault for not installing the printer the truth was I hadn’t installed the printer twice. Who would have thought such defective logic would be hidden from the owner of a new printer?

So Case Closed?

When printing had been going so well with review test prints, or in fact, any prints then why overnight a green cast appeared and wouldn’t go away.

There is a little tale to hear. The system, of course, had been calibrated at regular intervals, both screen and print. Monthly updates on screen and a really deep 9-page colour swatch check on the printer a while back.

The regular intervention meant recalibration was only a small chore but then nothing ever changed. The images always looked their best on the system and on the choice of my regular choice of paper.

Almost imperceptibly the recalibration reminders fell silent. But this was a result of the computer OS being upgraded to 64 bit somewhere along the line. The Spyder software simply faded away and stopped working and almost consigned to the bin.

A bit of begrudged time was needed to backtrack over emails to uncover the software suppliers policy followed by some checking on their website. The whole set of equipment was obsolete overnight except I was pleased to discover that the Spyder5 and associated SpyderPrint scanner were the oldest gear to remain in support.

Next followed some tracking down to find the 64-bit drivers on the datacolor website. Never an easy task but they were eventually found. Before locating the drivers in the support area there were several opportunities to purchase the latest all 64-bit offering SpyderX. That would have been a mistake as it was not required.

A bit of usual messing around with technology followed then without any razzamatazz the Spyder5 and SyderPrint were working again.

That gave a sense of ease but did it solve the problem? Well no, not exactly.

Next up was a colour correction problem caused by a double action of printer and computer. I describe this as two bullets in the barrel firing at once making a bit of a mess.

I was printing from Photoshop opting for Photoshop to control the colours rather than the printer. But still, the vital printer driver settings I needed to alter were greyed out and besides, there was no Generic RGB profile on the system. The embedded YouTube video from datacolor explains all.

There was a deep dive investigation required but once the solution was found it worked really well. First I had to find a Generic RGB colour profile. The reason for this is that it is a no-action option, what goes in comes out. The next step on my computer was to find the ColorSync utility and use it to set the Generic RGB setting from behind the greyed out controls. The manufacturer doesn’t want the general user tampering, I suppose.

Having done a full system calibration I now had a new set of icc profiles. I could see in the making of them how a whole range of colours had been inexact. So a new icc profile was made for each paper (and ink)..

In Photoshop I could now pick the exact profile and let the printer add its neutral /no effect correction and all became good.

The thing was I spent a day or so away from my work solving the green colour cast problem.

When things are going well each print is spot on first time. When things are going wrong in printing they really go wrong and you notice by the amount of reprinting and wasted prints that begin to pile up. There are so many adjustment options that dissapoint and it is only when getting behind the software driver in ColorSync that you retake control. At least that was my hard found experience.

The hanging questions have to do with why did it suddenly go wrong. The 64-bit aspect was one problem, the print manufacturer forbidding vital change with greyed out settings and lack of a neutral Generic RGB profile another.

Add to this a change of paper type. I was now using double-sided matte for the book and poster board matte for the exhibition prints. In the past, the solution had been narrow. I’d kept to what worked. For the FMP publications, I needed to learn to respond to expanded options and change.

A year ago I first used double-sided matte for my Ed Ruscha challenge book, which was a summer activity. Some of that printing was off I recall but I brushed it aside and should have dived into the software behind the scenes to correct the problem back then. I’d have placed myself in a better place. for the delivery fo the FMP assignments. The most significant impact of the printing being held up was that less drying time was left for the hand-bound book.

Summary

Through making FMP publications and both as a photographer and hopefully some may allow artist, I’ve been able to develop printing skills even if progress was hard-won.

As a self-professed print-virgin only two years ago I was aware of the benefit of the photographer printing their own work and always made my own prints. From review comment on the paper selection, I’ve expanded the wider creative options.

What started out as a preference for letting Photoshop control colours turned around. In spite of giving Photoshop colour control, it made more sense to let the printer do the work. I have more confidence with my new choice at the moment at least as the printer tends to control the hidden variables like ink drying and paper feed and size detection.

There was another benefit in that the December Digital Imaging Symposium I attended that helped me sort out issues of residual Infra-red IR detection had a session of colour spaces with lots of examples and comparisons. So the knowledge is building and with practice, it is leading to controlled higher quality publication.

As a consequence of all that is said, I can now confidently go public with my photography in a wider range of forms.

PHO705: Week 24 Reflection

Done. The work has been done. Everything was handed in well in advance or in advance.

It proved important to leave enough time for checking as the inevitable was ready to happen – the screen freeze and colour printing going all wrong with an unexpectedly deep dive into ColorSync print technology.

Restart work on the Exhibition items put on ice

The video refresh, the music, the exhibition in a box were all in work but lost out as publication turned to book when the exhibition was postponed. Now there is time to prepare for a new date.

I’ll continue to check this blog for any mistakes. I know there a few.

Reflection

At the current point, much has been taken from the course. Starting with a new passion for bookbinding. Things there are going wild with three more hand bindings lined up.

Practice in using media tools with a vengeance was a highlight too.

Fulfilling the objective of making a portfolio of publishable work was the aim at the outset and how that has been helped along.

Making pictures as Art based on cutting edge Science ArtSci became a revelation in the area of genetics This genre is ripe for new picture making.

PHO705: Week 23 Reflection

Week 23 has been about letting the work fall into place given that all the research and the practicalities of exhibition and book had been readied. Now for the resolved body of work.

Critical Review of Practice CRoP Update

The Critical Review of Practice had input from a group of reviewers during the week. Review has been especially valuable given the abstract surreal nature of the pictures. The work does communicate! This accords with feedback from the August 2019 practice exhibition although the work did move on.

The CRoP was submitted before the Easter break and one more review was received later in the week which will be incorporated and the CRoP will be resubmitted with a tighter ending.

Picture Edit and Book Draft

The picture edit took place during this week. Having tightened this down considerably from the original set of 50 – 80 images I then got productive and created a whole other set of family archive / DNA edits.

So far I’ve resisted adding these as sometimes the temptation is to over embellish at which point it can get out of control, especially if a distraction to the work.

This page-turning video was made. I recycled prints made for an external review which here are made into a brochure.

This is a practice for the FMP PDF book submission part.

Past-Present-a-mythology-of-time-V0.4-spreads

Narrative Lines

There was at least 6 months of research into themes and creating a visual narrative. I had believed I’d need to place an abstract surreal on recto pages to keep them from clashing, but have a text to picture or cloud DNA composite on the verso to pick out the narrative with clouds of text or alternatively, text to picture generative art.

What happened during the edit was that picture matching fell into place and some well matched pairs resulted (my view and a reviewer view).

This eliminates the need for the verso narrative with a cloud of text or text to picture plate. The cloud method developed now unused is quite focussed on theme through word selection. Thinking about DNA bases annotated as ACGT, then by selecting 100 words I can make narratives out of the English language set of around 1100 words where those four letters appear e.g. ’photographic’ (phoToGrAphiC). Still singing the praise of the method inspired by Recombinant rhymes and DNA Art (RRDA), it provides the photographer with exceptional flexibility in overlay as narrative creation which is important to my choice of conceptual approach in the abstract surreal, if it helps the viewer along. There is a visual challenge of overlaying the text with an appropriate photograph that blends sympathetically with the work. There is a variation where a poem or song lyric can be overlaid on an image as text to picture (rather than as emphasised words in a cloud). The outcome of RRDA subtlety leads the narrative line as the other of the 300 words are still shown. As the viewers eye scans the composite they may trigger not just on the emphasised words but others they see. By leaving this open to the viewer they do in effect choose their own interpretation as they do normally but each time they return to the verso and recto they can gain more as the method keeps on giving.

So why so much thought on something that didn’t get used in Past-Present in the Artist’s book or the extended Exhibition with multiple themes in separate spaces?

It’s just that the method is contemporary and works in its own right. It is combinatorial in word selection (100C3 for the current approach for the mathematicians amongst us). Out of Past-Present has been created a whole area of endeavour and here the idea is shared with anyone interested in such ways of visual language creation. I have time to consider a side exhibition of RRDA pictures as a standalone group of theme common that contrasts with the figurative forms from my main exhibition of abstract surreal pictures.

I now think these verso images deserve a separate portfolio. An early example of the method was to use poem or song lyrics (in text to picture generative art) overlaid on the source picture. There is no creative limit. The fact I like it so much as photographer was the trap if I shovelled in too much research spoiling the simpler visual narrative that was used in the end. Post-FMP submission I’m going to return to RRDA.

The rules that developed for this included a) not crowding out the central pictures, only allowing then to punctuate transitions in picture style.

The text method is flexible and effective but for ‘Past-Present a mythology of time’, these verso images graphic content I decided would push against the grain of abstract surreal pictures.

What I’m focussed on is creating a resolved body of work.

The textual method formed a valuable part of my research and acted as insurance if there was viewer disconnect. The abstract surreal images paired up well visually and this reduced the need for additional support. That turned out well.

The resolved body of work approach led me to rationalise the use of ghost pictures. Place is represented as ghost landscapes and are core to the work. The people ghosts and the cellular division theme together are dropped as themes in the book. Ghost have a place in the exhibition as a side exhibition.

A-V production that included ghosts was researched as part of the FMP PDF. Again it is interesting and possibly quite dramatic but is not needed for now.

Poems and Interview

A version of the book has been created as a PDF and ISSUU publication in order to gather in review comments.

I had to resolve different views about supporting pictures with text. For now I’m happy to have:

  • a short section of prose relevant to the theme
  • a poem about place and archive picture
  • an interview
  • the core pictures
  • repeated as miniatures with caption and print details as an index

There are improvements and review inputs to deal with before imposing and collating the pages into the book.

The book will be case bound, with a block comprising kettle stitched signatures. This type of hand-bound book was created in an earlier module. The current book will be the fourth to be hand made.

It is expected that an even tighter edit will arise from this for the Final Major Project PDF submission.

Final Major Project FMP PDF document

This is the last major assignment to be handed in and is worth 60 points. It is due before 1May. I have this in synopsis form ready to pull together.

Inputs to this will include the picture edit developed out of both the exhibition and the book.

Media will be created to demonstrate the materiality of the book.

In lieu of the exhibition, the 3D model created, for now, will be set-up with the selected pictures and screen captures will be taken from a 3D model I’ve made to synthesize the studio/gallery space.

Audio

I’ve been keen to address a requirement to present in different forms. Recently I gained insight. I’d seen the exhibition and book as equivalent when in practice they have very different sets of demands even though the pictures overlap.

I want to avoid forcing the narrative with audio in the FMP PDF. When the pictorial element starts to resolve why then distract the viewer?

When it dawned how different the exhibition and book are then the problems resolved. I enjoyed the learning and it was simply a journey I had to make.

Although the audio has been dropped it may well find its place in the exhibition later on where the physical space benefits from creating a conducive atmosphere with linked but contrasting works. The thing is our aim is a professional body of work of high quality. Adding media, audio in this case, that produces a Ronald Dhal-esq scary story feel which he did aimed at the child audience then it clearly goes wrong. The work would start to emphasise the child in me and while the creative child never went away the style goes against the level of publication required for this FMP.

I did additional external studies on sound recording and on podcasting and set about practising technique within my practice. It proved to be quite sustaining and a) took my mind away from being too focussed on my practice. This led to a breakthrough with selecting the edit and b) settled my thoughts during the lockdown.

My work was not halted because I’d chosen at the start of the degree second module to work on a subject that was sustainable. However, there are many distractions to photography while comprehending the impact of the lockdown.

External courses, applicable to my practice proved a welcome distraction. There has been knowledge and skill development that I’m glad to have had even if audio is dropped.

External Practitioner Reviews

The reviewers have adapted to circumstance with the COVID-19 move across from physical exhibition to making of a book. I shouldn’t complain that the project changed emphasis as in a last year critique I not only began to be recognised as a maker of books but was strongly advised to make a book. Why didn’t I listen? It would have been too easy to follow the guidance but once more I had a journey of learning to embark upon. I came into the course with a specialism in books and it would have been my loss to only had done books and not have explored what this course has to offer to practice development.

I met a chosen art photographer reviewer at the exhibition space before lockdown and they kindly went over an extended set of test prints and later the draft portfolio website. I decided to engage early and bring my external reviewers back in towards the end. It is a delicate art interacting like this as it chews up the time, and actually had to disengage for a fortnight to get on. Usually it saves failure and avoids starting all over again.

The practitioner reviewers onboard I’m delighted to say are:

  • a fellowship art photographer
  • a fellowship fine art photographer
  • a fellowship book collector and editor
  • a journal editor and
  • a multi-genre, multi-award winning and twice professional photographer of the year finalist.

PHO705: Easter Reflection

This an important Milestone in my assignment plan.

Hand in statuses

FMP Proposal 10 points

Status Green – submitted and marked at Week 4

FMP Critical Review Journal CRJ 10 points

Status Amber/Green – up to date with around 4 more posts to make.

Important Note:

  • All FMP entries are titled by module identifier PHO705
  • Search is provided- page all the way down to view the tag cloud, category selector and search box.

Link michaelturnercrj.blog

FMP Critical Review of Practice 20 points

CRoP-Version3c

This is ready for review.

FMP PDF 60 points

Status Amber/Red – completion is dependent on making that’s work in progress.

The FMP PDF is WIP:

Exhibition Prints

Status Amber – poster board printing and edit of 50 down to 20 images is lined up to start. Materials available and inks replenished.

Book

Status Amber – interview text and some poetry/prose is written and ready for an edit. The picture edit is to be tightened up and layout created in InDesign. This is a time-consuming activity. The book was proposed by the University as the replacement activity of the postponed exhibition.

ISSUU

An electronic publication on ISSUU is a step in visualising the book before printing and hand binding.

Portfolio Website

Status Amber – draft published pre the edit. The picture edit is in work.

Link: https://www.michaelmturnerphotography.com

Other Elements

Status Red – these activities have been prioritised down in favour of the marked assignments and in line with Exhibition postponement.

Note: the August 2019 exhibition ran for eight days for the same project with the last module images. The other elements were used for that.

Supporting elements to be remade: audio recording, moving stills, and video.

Review

I’ve planned to gain review, some is in and other practitioners will need the items above to make comment.

This will be my final stage adjusting to the public presentation of my FMP and a vital opportunity to make adjustments before handling in.

PHO705: Easter Reflection

The Final Major Project is expected to adapt to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Falmouth University Self-help

A series of Thursday meetings have been run or engaged in for students as a Final Major Project cross-cohort group. We are all affected by the pandemic that is currently peaking.

Effects of imposed social isolation are many, from not being able to shoot project images anymore, through to cancelled exhibitions.

There is increased engagement from our tutors and module leaders at this time with many inspirational guest lectures.

A personal challenge, exhibition apart, is simply writing with distractions and increased communications with families and through a media storm.

Completion of the MA

There are two key communications:

  • PhotoHub – Announcements – ECs Updates from the University Course Leader 20 Mar.
  • Office of the Vice-Chancellor 3 Apr. Coronavirus: update on assessments.

I’ve really no idea how to fully interpret these in my circumstances, without stopping to clarify. With time already lost to the pandemic, I cannot sustain too much more delay.

As for self-isolating, I’ve been isolating in effect since the end of September and I’m quite used to it now.

My work was designed to be sustainable from 3 months into the course. If necessary I could simulate glow using pressure marks in a similar way to exposing photographic paper.

As for making I planned in advance and have enough materials for printing and book binding. The main problem is the writing of a 20 point review that has taken an inordinate time and is currently 2/3 rds of the way through it third incarnation.

In a sense, it is needed in advance of making as the guiding intent. But then it can’t complete until the work has gone public. I think the Critical Review of Practice CRoP should be renamed the Catch22 Review of Practice CRoP because of this gotcha. I hope this entanglement might be recognised for future cohorts.

PHO705: Week 22 Reflection

Reflections, Reflections, Reflections

A Writing Review

Never make this mistake. Go to review early but not too early.

FMP calls for multiple unplanned writing requests. Show me the ticketing blurb. What does your artist’s statement say? What is the context of this work? Random creative scribblings for the book front stuff with raw poetry, a collection of quotes and an interview. Add to this list this very CRJ.

An outcome has been the abrupt realisation that the writing needs to be planned

Reflections on the pandemic spread of SARS-CoV-2

Handwashing

Hand washing is Government advice and in turn, frequent hand washing has led for some to minor healing from drying and cracking.

Colour has returned to my work on this latest adaption to my FMP:

Deep Sequencing

The outbreak of the Corona Virus on a cruise ship was sampled and deep sequenced by scientists in Japan:

SARS-N-COV-2

Despite the length of this nucleotide, a virus is a very simple molecular mechanism compared to our genome. Here is a visual rendition created for the virus to summarise all of the nucleotides you see in the PDF:

Factoids – Genetic Research

My FMP work can get really deep and intense and involved and I’m sure the intensity can be too much for the casual viewer of the work. This is becoming ever so clear as a result of making a synopsis of the Critical Review of Practice and book content.

A bias entered the FMP by deciding to place focus on own DNA (at a meeting with Victoria Forrest). I have since analysed 680,000 lines of my genome and revisited the book “Your DNA Adventure” (Living DNA, 2019). The language used there is straightforward to follow. It is better than my own writing that is based on two months of genetic research made possible when being laid low twice (or thrice) last year with the visit of a nasty virus.

Here are the snippets that inform. I like to call them factoids.

Motherline MTDNA Haplogroup T1a Subclade T1a1a arose in a woman in the Mediterranean 17,000 years ago. Inherited directly from mother.

Fatherline Y-DNA Haplogroup R-L21 Subclade R-DF25 Atlantic shores of Northern Europe. As male inherited from father.

Autosomal DNA cover the last 250 years. The FMP covers just over 100 years to the Great War. The first 22 (of 23) chromosome pairs form the autosome.

680,000 markers are analysed from my genome.

I am of Scottish cultural descent and now certified as Irish with Norwegian trace from the Viking invasions. This links me to Celtic legend and a tribal genetic legacy.

The genetic signature has a quality unusual in the British Isles linked to migrations in the 1600s but intermixing occurred before then with natural migrations across the sea.

Remarkably DNA can be traced back to nomadic Stone Age people at the end of the last ice age. The signature is found in Western Germany, Northern France and Belgium. It is therefore ironic that brothers from my family who fought in the Royal Highland Black Watch Regiment, fought their ancestral brothers and died fighting in France and Belgium.

I have a common motherline ancestor with peoples living in Udmurtia, Romania, Tunisia, Iran ant the Caucasus.

My common ancestral mother would have been a hardy hunter gatherer. Competition for resources would have been fierce. This character lived on in my mother and was present in her representing southern Scotland in as a sprint runner. The hunter gatherer tradition lived on in living memory in the Scottish community I was born into and lived within. A tradition that lasted for 17,000 years of which I may be the last in line to witness these events.

My fatherline hails from Ireland, Wales, Brittany, Scotland, England, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Germany in an Atlantic Celtic migration arriving in the early Bronze Age. In fact my father was lined up to be the village blacksmith before he left to join the Parachute Regiment.

Mitochondrial DNA exists as circular cells outside of the chromosome nucleus. The egg contains thousands of mitochondria and the sperm very few. These are mostly in the tail which is lost during fertilisation adn so mitochondria is inherited from the mother. It is thought there may be one or two individuals alive who improbably inherited the mitochondria of the father. Mitochondia are very stable and can be assumed to mutate once in every 1,000 years. The Salamander and even wheat have greater DNA diversity than humans.Genetic diversity is very limited in modern humans outside of Africa.

Africans who are resistant to malaria received a gene 33,000 years ago. Europeans had already migrated and so do not share the resistant gene.

Although my DNA is unique, it is over 99% in common with every other human being alive. Our genetic connections with those in different regions have more in common than in our geographic separation.

While Crick and Watson won the Nobel prize and are credited with the discovery of the DNA double helix, their work actually used the results of X-Ray crystallography created by Rosalind Franklin at Kings College London, who was not credited.

Last year at a Symposium led by women on the subject of the parallels in thinking behind the art, and behind science, I met a husband of one of these eminent scientists. The husband took my research question and replied, and I asked if he had been at Oxford. No, he was Professor in X-Ray crystallography at King’s. But if that was not enough coincidence, when I said I’d been at the Oxford Department of Zoology on the Computing side of X-Ray crystallography, it turned out he was there doing his degree that same year.

And finally, when the 1951 discovery was made what knowledge previously existed? Plato (428 BC-348 BC) a philosopher and mathematician in Classical Greece wrote in “Tinneus” of the creation of man and used terms that directly parallel the modern science.

Bibliography

LivingDNA (2019) Michael Turner – Your DNA Adventure.

PHO705: Week 21 Reflection

The exhibition will now take place in a silent studio and plans are afoot to make a video presentation. Maybe in expansive mood perhaps also an artist talk.

Silent Exhibition

What to say when narrating the exhibition? Some plans are afoot as to how to conduct this but what to say. Perhaps make a reading of the book front stuff: prose going into poem and artist interview.

Versus Alternative Venue

Plan B would be to leave the studio and use brick walls and lighting I have lined up. Would it make a difference to the interpretation of the work, well yes?

A venue change to a brick built environment reminds of the following with lyrics following on to some kind of parallel to the pandemic:

Inspired by music and the feel of an alternative venue and the reason behind the change of venue:

Empty Spaces – Pink Floyd

What shall we use to fill the empty spaces
Where waves of hunger roar?
Shall we set out across the sea of faces
In search of more and more applause?

Shall we buy a new guitar?
Shall we drive a more powerful car?
Shall we work straight through the night?
Shall we get into fights?
Leave the lights on?
Drop bombs?
Do tours of the east?
contract diseases?
Bury bones?
Break up homes?
Send flowers by phone?
Take to drink?
Go to shrinks?
Give up meat?
Rarely sleep?
Keep people as pets?
Train dogs?
Race rats?
Fill the attic with cash?
Bury treasure?
Store up leisure?
But never relax at all
With our backs to the wall

PHO705: Week 20 Reflection

Practitioner Feedback

A practitioner was approached for feedback and this turned into an immediate request to see the portfolio online. This seemed too soon as the different activities have still to come together into a whole.

Initial indications are about the work being striking and original and as test prints, at 4×5 inches they would be better viewed at greater than A4 size. A3+ posterboard on order has now arrived and is ready for printing.

Looking at the care instructions I was surprised to read the small print. Matte posterboard being a heavy-duty option compared to gloss photopaper requires more care. It has to be covered in an absorbent paper when taken out of the printer. It then needs 24 hours to fully dry and for the colour to fix. Then it needs mounting behind glass.

I’m glad there was time in the plan to allow for this unexpected activity.

All of this because the size of the images matters. I’d normally go to A4 so the prints are going up in scale.

As mentioned elsewhere , I’m willing to give it a go. It could be an expensive failure and I might have to revert to my standard A4 on 40x50cm mountboard.

The cancellation of the exhibition means it could all be counterproductive anyway. The revised intention is to film the setup on iPhone and add a spoken narrative. I’m going to have to deal with iPhone stabilisation issue, but I’m sure that can be managed.

I can see me doing a practice run with a planned and edited spoken word displayed on a teleprompter. These things require a team effort because so many hands are needed and the delivery requires practice. If I’m pressed the video might be released. My concern is about introducing new technology at this stage on top of 3D modelling tools Sketchup, and Vectorworks, Generative art software Processing and P5.js and Wordclouds. I really need to concentrate on the marked elements of the course.

The poster-boards will bring a whole new challenge to taking the work public regards unfilled white space. The finish is matte (when glossy was my intent). Size is large (when my original intent is memento based). Then there is the need to re-layout the images and there is the increase in size and weight for 30 prints.

If this goes badly wrong at least I should have some nice individual prints over and with enough mount-board ordered I can repeat the whole exercise on A4 gloss. This variation from plan doubles my workload and in circumstances where an exhibition may be postponed with the current virus threat to society.

Another constraint is the supporting material of which video and exhibition guide are examples that require time and effort and may not get to be appreciated or shown even in public.

Re-emphasis, as now expected by the University, is towards the book. This was never meant to be the main public deliverable only an artist’s book dummy as a keepsake from the exhibition. Taking the book to the main deliverable makes this a serious concern that normally requires collaborative input and the design assistance of a graphic designer. It is widely known that photographers on the subject of their own work are poor at bookmaking in terms of selection of edit, layout, graphics design and writing.

Would it be wise to follow this direction as the work is not going to be shown at its best as working with a graphic designer and printer requires three months elapsed and there is only 6 weeks or less remaining?

This global virus pandemic is really destabilising the end product quality. It is a killer in the normal sense of health but is also a killer with the additional contingency planning and actions and new methods of making required. It is a great shame to have a two-year build-up to the end of the course and then have this destabilised in the planning and acting at the final stage.

All this effort and the prospect, not so much of a good outcome that reflects engagement, but the question and doubt, will the outcome even be a pass?

Exhibition Re-planning

The exhibition is in an advanced state of planning and now for contingency planning as the global alert has increased over potential COVID-19 pandemic. Update: The WHO has now declared a pandemic. The Falmouth Vision 2020 event is still going ahead thus far/ did go ahead – I decided to avoid the risk.

Yesterday it was announced that the NEC Photography Show is to be postponed until September. Over the next month, the situation has the scope to change even further.

The current state of 3D modelling has been advanced again this week to include the first photograph on display. Here is a more simplified model and detailed model.

Layout identical to the summer exhibition except triptych layout becomes a run of six images

Titled deja vu as the 3D render is eerily like being at work. There are still some simplifications such as walls that are hidden so as to aid both construction and the ability to walkabout within the 3D space. The final edit has yet to be decided but when ready (soon) my photographic images will appear within the mounts. One is shown at the moment.

Narrative Quotations of Past Present

I’ve researched some narrative quotes for my Critical Review of Practice and front stuff in the Artist’s book. I’m going to choose two from the three I think, probably eliminating the harder to follow. Let’s see.

  1. The Moment of Hearing

“The moment of hearing appears to be the moment of writing, for it is only in the recapitulation that he hears the bird.  Experience is an a posteriori reconstruction that does not make the past present to consciousness but projects it into the future: “O you demon, singing by yourself projecting me, O solitary me, listening never more shall I cease imitating, perpetuating you” 

2. Memory

“Memory, as philosopher James Booth states in his recent book Communities of Memory, “memory is centered on an absence, tries to make it present, and in this effort answers the call of the trace. “Traces are markers pointing to “a past that dwells in the hollows of the forgotten” I call these traces “memory texts” in any form, be it a map, a story, a landscape or a building or a monument, or a ritual, a performance or a commemoration,  …  You and I participate and share these memory texts, feeling that “the call of the trace” makes the absent past present. A memory text is nearly always a space of contestation: different people attach different meanings to the same semiophore, they remember the same event differently. The … collective memory of the … War is shared by people who have not experienced the war or the anti-war”

3. Back in Time

“… practices performed by the family members produce movements in three directions; it transports the members of the … family back in time as well as it makes the past present and, last but not least, the image itself makes sure that the family is remembered in the future. Finally (hopefully), in the end, the portrayed members of the family will be granted a place in heaven.”

Quotations chosen from English Web Corpus enTenTen15 under SketchEngine with CQL query [word=”Past”][word=”Present” & tag!=”V.*” ]

The query eliminates the Verb Intransitive form of Present.

Exhibition Ticketing and Announcement

The announcement was created for the exhibition including a description thus:

“Past-Present explores the experience of identification with an ancestral past linked through the modern science of genetics. The author’s genome is decoded and shown within the work mixed with a trace of healing glow. 

The family previously unknown from “Galloway’s Great War” who fought in the Royal Black Watch, are reconnected with, in a commemorative work that bridges to history over 100 years ago. As a photographic work, there are visualisations throughout of imaginings and fading memory of childhood of places common, including agricultural and coastal lands. The science connects trace of human healing glow with wounding suffered by those injured who returned to battle and were lost in the Great War.

A style of word cloud visual, inspired by a genre of poetry known as Recombinant Rhymes and helps guide the narrative. 

Opening times 14:00- 17:00 on public days Saturday 11th, Sunday 12th and Monday 13th April.

With the kind support of Simon Ellingworth multi-genre multi-award-winning professional photographer and studio owner at Amersham Studios. Part of Trade Secrets Live, trainers for Royal Photographic Society workshops and premium training by international photographers and digital artists.”

Contingency Planning

In case the Easter exhibition has to be postponed, some options are being considered without yet knowing what would be best at satisfying the course requirements:

  1. Continue with handbound artist bookmaking but make a public offering via one of the commercial book sites.
  1. Extend the 3D environment I’ve part built this week for the Studio/Gallery space and send a link for viewers to browse the installation. I’m not sure if this will require viewing 3D drawings in SketchUp Pro 3D via the downloadable SketchUp Viewer or move everything over to VectorWorks software which allows browser viewing. Taking this to the next level of Augmented Reality AR would be a push given the time left in this module.
  1. Set-up the studio space as planned (football is currently being played behind closed doors) and provide panoramic viewing or live Whereby access. Potentially I could record an artist talk (an unrecorded one was given at the summer trial exhibition, and feedback was recorded.
  1. Still, go ahead with the new commercial website https://turnerphoto.art and academic portfolio website https://www.michaelmturnerphotography.com/shop-11
  1. Still, go ahead with the moving still presentation with delivery via Vimeo.
  1. Expand the facsimile print exhibition in a box and send out a package to specified reviewers for their critique. It might require that a PO box of some sort be set up for privacy. 

Bibliography

enTenTen15 (2020) SketchEngine. Available at: https://app.sketchengine.eu/#concordance?corpname=preloaded%2Fententen15_tt21&tab=advanced&queryselector=cql&refs_up=1&itemsPerPage=100&structs=s%2Cg&refs=%3Ddoc.website&default_attr=lemma&cql=%5Bword%3D%22Past%22%5D%5Bword%3D%22present%22%26tag!%3D%22V.*%22%5D&operations=%5B%7B%22name%22%3A%22cql%22%2C%22arg%22%3A%22%5Bword%3D%5C%22Past%5C%22%5D%5Bword%3D%5C%22present%5C%22%26tag!%3D%5C%22V.*%5C%22%5D%22%2C%22active%22%3Atrue%2C%22query%22%3A%7B%22queryselector%22%3A%22cqlrow%22%2C%22cql%22%3A%22%5Bword%3D%5C%22Past%5C%22%5D%5Bword%3D%5C%22present%5C%22%26tag!%3D%5C%22V.*%5C%22%5D%22%2C%22default_attr%22%3A%22lemma%22%7D%2C%22id%22%3A791%7D%5D.

PHO705: Week 19 Reflection

A model is created for the Exhibition space to experiment with layouts. Here is the first building block to start to work with.

Starting to create the exhibition space in a 3D model (Sketchup Pro)

This is a straightforward adaption of the Summer exhibition which had three of these layouts in a C-shaped floor plan. The adaption is from triptychs to a straight run of 6 mounts of 40cmx50cm mount boards.

Each mount stands on parade or is a metaphor for such.

Ultimately, two other rows will be present making a total of three rows and should run parallel so when the viewer is looking at the front row they would see all of the other rows behind as soldiers on parade. The viewer could process as if conducting a parade inspection.

Okay, so the above 3D model as the start and is an enabler. It has already allowed some ideas to try out as to how to best place the work as befits the intent.

More to follow.

On reflection, the exercise to date has demanded practice be gained in using the 3D IMB layout tool SketchUp Pro. This time is an investment for now and for the future.

Ancillary items to add to the space include the facsimile of the exhibition in a box i.e. the portable exhibition, which stands alongside the main exhibition while it is running. Another item to include is the handbound book.

Within the space there will also be two video screens, an audience seating area and a secondary exhibition of outtakes.

Studio equipment on stands has to be added for the somewhat vital daylight balanced lighting.

Print Handling

The philosophy the author is running with is of not being precious about the prints and in fact encouraging audience interaction. I’ve been normalised to the presence of print handling and during the summer exhibition, I encouraged viewers to interact with a couple of exercises being set out. It created a degree of immersion and sat alongside the other media and sound, creating a suitable atmosphere. Overall this makes a kind of performance.

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.