Monday, November 30, 2009

Towards Exhibiting

Editing photographs for both technical quality and a unique point of view is the most basic step in putting together an exhibit. A good way to begin editing photographs is to transfer some from a desktop or laptop computer to an iPod or phone and show it to friends. Everyone thinks they know what photographs other people will like, but this is rarely true. It is not a good idea to be the sole judge of one's own work. Try showing 10 photographs to 20 people. Post the 3 most popular on Flickr or a similar site.

Flickr and similar sites look like they can provide a lot of feedback. Sometimes they do. Anything beyond direct contact with an audience will result in limited feedback. Try to put at least 20 photographs online.

Next – get prints made or make your own. To make prints requires editing software and a printer. Editing software suitable for printing includes Aperture, Lightroom, and Photoshop. With larger prints Genuine Fractals is a helpful Photoshop plug-in. Printers for photographs should have at least 6 cartridges.

Buy inexpensive frames and glass and hang them in a room where you live or in a room where a lot of time is spent. This creates the first challenge for quality. If you still like them after several days you may want to go public with your work. Some good places to get started are libraries, restaurants and colleges. This may require buying higher quality frames. At each step of the process the editing becomes more complex and the form of exhibition becomes more expensive.

If exhibiting in libraries, restaurants and colleges goes well the next step is a commercial gallery. This can get quite expensive. It is an investment for the gallery. All work is judged far more carefully than for libraries, restaurants and colleges. If they do not sell any of your work they will lose money. Compromises will most likely need to be made on your part regarding the quality of frames and the printer and in many cases even the camera and software you use. Galleries have contacts with collectors and museums that few individual photographers can establish on their own. The best way to make contact with a gallery is send email with an attachment of your best received photograph and a request to show them more of your work. They get a lot of email like this and may not respond. If they do, be prepared to send them a CD of your photographs or to show them a portfolio in person. A good inexpensive portfolio is the Itoya Art Profolio Advantage book. This comes in a wide variety of sizes.

© 2009 Paul Light all rights reserved


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