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Author Topic: Mastering Street Photography  (Read 14545 times)
robertwatcher
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« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2009, 11:08:36 PM »
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The above 2 posts about the Display Exhibit were written on March 31'st 2009 and that is what I was anticipating at that time.

UPDATE -


Well Surprise of Surprises. Last Friday (April 3'rd 2009) I received a call from Starbucks, and it turned out that the artist for the month of April didn't show up. They wanted to know if I would take April - as well as May. I was stoked about that being that I have waited 2 1/2 years since booking my time (fall of 2006) to finally get to display in May of this year. . . .


. . . . however, I had nothing ready as I was going to begin printing and putting together the final display sometime during April, probably toward the end of the month. It is costly - and it is time consuming - - - to create framed prints for public display. I really didn't even have an idea of how I was going to display and frame the prints - sizes, content or anything. Other than starting to print a few 13"x19's to show on the forum, I hadn't given it any thought.

They wanted something up to fill the bare walls, and wanted it soon. I was concerned with losing the space for April to someone else if I did not accommodate them quickly - - -and so asked if it would work for them if I hung 3 or 4 prints that I have (on my living room walls) that afternoon, and then I would hustle on the final setup and get it installed as soon as possible.

It ended up that I had everything completed and took a friend with me early Tuesday morning for the hour drive to set up the display area with my prints. Being that I wasn't around to work on the display on Sunday, the monumental task was completed in 2 days - - - Saturday and Monday. I was exhausted, but so glad that it was completed and that I now had 2 months to display my work - being that the earliest that I was able to reserve last fall, to get back in - - - is the fall of 2011.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 11:08:51 PM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2009, 11:09:27 PM »
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My frame size decision for the 13"x19" prints that I would be using, was 22"x30". Although initially I was determined to use 12 prints in this space, I resorted to 8 prints for more impact. The least expensive gallery black wood frame that I could find in 22x30 size was around $100.00 each with glass and backing. Metal frames were only marginally less money. With taxes, that part of the job would be around $900.00. I can cut my own mats and so would have to purchase 8 mat boards at around $15 each - which would increase my total cost by about another $100.00. The 8 13"x19" prints with final and waste prints and ink costs, would run close to another $100.00. Each trip to London took about $35.00 round trip, which ended up being over $100.00. I had to come up with a good hunk of change quickly to get my exhibit displayed.

Rather than go with frames, I used an old method that I employed when I had my Main Street Studio in the 90's, and just didn't want to put a pile of money into expensive frames for display purposes. It was elegant, stylized, and the attention was focused on my imagery - - - not a fancy frame. At that time I use masonite that I covered with paper using spray glue and then I would use various colours of paper as keylines under my print for sort of a matted look. The edges were covered with black masking tape, and 2 strips of 1x2 wood were covered with black tape also and glued on to the back of the mount to both separate the frame from the wall and provide an area for hooks to hang the print.

Going to the lumber yard, I found that my normal choice of think masonite, was not going to be suitable for what I wanted this time - and so I instead made a decision  to use 1/2 inch MDF. It is smooth on the surface, has very smooth edges even when cut (to hold the tape) , and is quite inexpensive. One draw back is it's weight - - - but with the 1/2" thckness was not going to be much less in weight than a good quality wood frame with glass and mat. I had the lumber yard cut 1 1/2 sheets of MDF into the 8-22"x30" pieces that I required.  I found perfectly sized 22"x30" heavy black art paper at an artists store in London - and purchased a couple of cans of spray glue to mount the paper as a backing and then to mount my prints on top. Instead of using 2 or 3 extra coloured sheets as Keylines, I went with a 1/2" wide white border on the photographic print. The wood was the cheap part at around $50.00 for MDF and a few strips of 1x2. Black masking tape set me back $30.00 for a roll of 2" for the edges of the frame, and a 3/4" roll for the 1x2 strips on the back. Screw eyes, wire and rubber stoppers consumed a few more dollars. All in all, I was probably around $200.00 to $250.00 for materials for my complete display. Although the price is deceiving, as the work involved is substantial and if time were taken into account, these would cost much more than having then framed. And good looking and professional it was.

I decided that I needed a bio page on the wall to let viewers know about me and how to get hold of me. Last Friday when taking the 3 or 4 prints from my living room down to put something on the wall, I quickly made up an 8 1/2 x11 piece and stuck it up. I soon realized that that size was just way to small and insignificant - - - and so when I returned with my completed display, I had a much larger one made from my 13"x19" paper.

Late on Monday night (night before going to hang the display), I decided that I needed to have a small descriptive plaque for each of my prints - - - just as they have in major art galleries. I wasn't sure whether Starbucks would allow me to stick them to the wall with my ATG glue gun (and I still don't know if they allow it - I didn't ask and just did it), but I went ahead and made them up anyway. That was a tough chore - coming up with titles to identify each image, and then finding compelling and descriptive words that would draw the viewer in to examining the related photo in more detail. I decided to use my 4"x6" Premium Glossy photo paper to print the words on, and then glue mounted them to foam core that I managed to pick up from a "Dollar Store" late Monday evening.

ALL in ALL - everything went well and was completed in a very timely fashion.

Here are a few shot of the Exhibit Area:

The wall:


Descriptive Plaques:


Bio Sheet:


The display with smaller 13"x19" prints on substantially sized mounts, is extremely visible even when walking in the front door:



HERE IS A LITTLE VIDEO OF ME SETTING UP THE DISPLAY - MY MINDSET, AND CHOICES AND CHANGES THAT I MADE ON THE FLY:

http://vimeo.com/4083447





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robertwatcher
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« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2009, 11:10:06 PM »
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Once I had all of this completed, it then occurred to me that the next logical step is to get my but going with a newsletter to let all of my clients know that this display was available for viewing. Even if they didn't or couldn't get to see it, the newsletter would create a buzz and at the least, let some of my older customers and contacts know that I'm still around and active.

I had nothing to accomplish this - and soon realized that creating an HTML newsletter is the equivalent of writing a website (it is virtually exactly the same). So my task last night before going to bed, was to firstly, write from scratch a php script for myself that would send emails with headers to allow an HTML page to be sent and accepted, do with while updating a database with email addresses that I would be harvesting from my email contact list and entering into the Form front end of the script, and then design a functional html webpage that displayed decently in a broad range of email clients, and once I had the HTML page structure figure out what wording and graphics I would include. This was all accomplished between about 6:00PM and 12:00PM. Then before I went to sleep, I felt that I had to get a whole slew of Newsletter emails sent out as quickly as possible, because I was going to be busy today (Thursday) and would be taking off for the long weekend and so would not have a chance to do this again until next Tuesday. I fired off around 350 Newsletters before going to bed. Good thing that  I got it all done last night too. I wasn't anticipating my buddy coming in at around 3:00PM today with the raw video footage of the setting up.Within a couple of hours, I had it edited and up on Vimeo. One thing is for sure - - - I AM GOING TO HAVE  MYSELF A GOOD, FUN, AND RELAXING WEEKEND with this all behind me.

Here is the NEWSLETTER that I sent out last night:

http://robertwatcher.com/newsletter/april2009/

Now that I have the layout structure completed, and the script written to send the emails out, it should be much easier now to keep a campaign of Newsletters going to my customers and contacts at least a few times a year now - as opposed to NEVER up until now.

Thanks so much for following this thread. Hope there has been some value in it for some!


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dalethorn
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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2009, 01:03:25 PM »
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Very impressive.  The first photo is the instructive one for me - the way you took command of that space, it looks more like a coffee bar in a gallery than a gallery in a coffee bar.
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robertwatcher
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2009, 02:12:42 PM »
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Quote from: dalethorn
Very impressive.  The first photo is the instructive one for me - the way you took command of that space, it looks more like a coffee bar in a gallery than a gallery in a coffee bar.


Thank you. It was funny that a lady came up to me while I was putting it up - and said that it was about time that there was a really nice looking professional  display on that wall. She let me know that the wall always looks so sloppy with no forethought. In some ways it would be nice if my layout set a standard for others to follow with their displays each month. I also think the space looks like a Gallery and am proud of the work I put into making it look that way.  
« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 02:13:32 PM by robertwatcher » Logged
robertwatcher
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« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2009, 09:55:21 AM »
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I received an email this morning, with a REPLY from one of my Newsletters that I sent out to my customers last week about my Exhibit:

Quote
Hi Rob,

We dropped by the Chapters on Saturday. It looks to me like the prints are
the right size. I was suprised how clear they were from the magazine area
(where you could first see them).

The subject matter really gives context to your style. I don't know why,
but the colors seem to have more authenticity. And the high-contrast black
and white has more human grit. I see that you capture it in your portraits
and weddings and it's really good. It's not about capturing personalities
(you always do that). It's about capturing what is real.

So I now have some feedback from both my forum thread and from those who are seeing the live display - - - kinda SWEEEEET.

Project "Street Photography" Accomplished!

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« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 09:55:46 AM by robertwatcher » Logged
dalethorn
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« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2009, 09:30:12 PM »
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Quote from: robertwatcher
Thank you. It was funny that a lady came up to me while I was putting it up - and said that it was about time that there was a really nice looking professional  display on that wall. She let me know that the wall always looks so sloppy with no forethought. In some ways it would be nice if my layout set a standard for others to follow with their displays each month. I also think the space looks like a Gallery and am proud of the work I put into making it look that way.  

Just had a random thought - you know how some restaurants/bars have signed photos of famous guests on the wall, or maybe even photos of the owners and family members bagging a big fish etc.?  Maybe you could start a trend - get a couple representative photos of the art display you created, and convince the management that they should keep those photos in a permanent viewable location as a "best of" when your timeslot runs out.  It could help them as well - they can point to those when other artists arrive, to give them something to compare to.
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