info on art, art events or artists

Photo editing, scanning and images online

Hello again my dear unknown friends! All and all this has once again been a busy week but as I said, I will try and update the blog more often, and that does mean as often as I am able to.

I finally managed to order and receive a scanner – the Canoscan 9000f, but straight away ran into difficulty. It didn’t help that my PC was still recovering from a virus/ malware attack (which after hours of frustration is sorted now – thank goodness) so the silverfast software that came in the bundle didn’t recognise my scanner. Then, when that was sorted, I set about making my first scan and it immediately became clear that I need to watch a few tutorials before actually being able to do anything with it. Not exactly a plug-and-play sorta thing, but then again, I was not expecting that either.

Another toy I hope to play with soon is my brand new secondhand Bowens 500W studio light, which came with… nothing! I found a light stand, spare bulbs and fuses – as well as a power cable. All I need now is a soft box, but that can’t prove to be too much of a problem.

I have worked for Linus a few days, on various photographs from the 40’s, 60’s and 70’s before he sped off to a fair in France and I do have to say that not only does it give me great enjoyment to work with these items, it has been infecting me with an even greater enthousiasm for vintage photography. I have been browsing the ol’Ebay for some images I could possibly get to liven up my home and hey presto: I found a couple of nice ones from the USA. Affordable news prints in themselves and with low shipping cost to boot! Now all I need is to find a 3rd one to go with these.

Who knows, I might become a collector some day!

On other activities: I have been working on images from last Sunday’s video shoot for Shanghai Starr at the Purple Lounge in Birmingham.

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You can find the full set on Facebook.

This week I have also been editing my wedding images for Emi and Hylco. They already were nearly finished but I just wanted to check them over to make sure, and to add some of the 120 film images which I have taken during the day. The discs will be burned and sent out tomorrow, just as they are returning from their honeymoon – let’s hope they like them as much as I do!

 

 

Saturday update: Online and auction saleroom fun!

Hello everyone! This week has been busy busy busy but well fun at the same time. The weather has had it’s ups and down but for some reason I can only remember the sunshine! I started my part-time job, got my photographer insurance in place, went to see a friend, went to an auction viewing, attended the Vintage Sale at the White Horse, took Cairine to the Leamington Auction house (she’s just moved to Leamington and never been to an auction) and sent lots of messages out to organise a shoot for the upcoming week.

On Monday, I started my little part-time job with my local art dealer – I helped him prepare a number of photographs from a Detroit newspaper archive to be sorted and photographed, before some would be mounted and sent on. Some of the images were truly remarkable, at least to my novice eyes. Stunning images covering the Vietnam protests, The D-Day landing of the Second World War, the African American Civil rights movements, Martin Luther King and Mohammed Ali. Other images in an album Read more

Saturday update: Coventry Art Fair and RSI

Hello again on this delightful Saturday.

Last Sunday I attended the Cov: Art Fair Spring edition 2011. Getting up early after the clock went a hour forward was hard, getting there by bus a bit of a struggle, carrying all my things with me uncomfortable and the cold in the morning quite unpleasant – but once I was there, all the people were lovely and the sun even came out around three o’ clock. I got quite a bit of interest in the portrait drawings, some even thinking they were just prints and in my photographs. I even sold a few things! Which is nice – seeing it wasn’t very busy at least I managed to cover the costs for the day.

I had a photoshoot with Sam Kapral at the Warwick University grounds, which was especially nice when the sun came out. We had a couple of slight set-backs: the location we chose turned out to be less than perfect for our sci-fi concept and the make-up artist we asked to join us was unfortunately not able to make it – but altogether I think we managed quite well with the make-up, considering we applied it standing in front of the toilet mirrors at the University.

I had also shot some frames on my TLR camera and the developed images look promising. I’ll be looking forward to printing them in the upcoming week.

On the bad news front, my right arm and shoulder in which I have had early stages Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) in 2005-2006 has slowly gone from stiff to stinging again. I do have to admit I have been spending a lot of time behind the PC lately, writing this blog being only one of the many things I want to do online. As a result, I will have to limit my blog to two or three times a week – aiming to cover a photographer and an artist, as well as the Saturday update.

Saturday update: Nothing new….?

For today’s update I have… nothing new to tell you guys! I’m in the final phases of preparing for tomorrow’s Art Fair at the Canal Basin in Coventry – I’ve just some pricing and wrapping to do and I’ll be all set to go. I’ve applied for another art fair in June in Solihull, so who knows, they might let me come to theirs as well.

I’m doing a bit of research on studio lighting, wedding fairs, photography jobs in the region and things like that. Nothing that I intended to do beforehand, but it seems things like that just suddenly pop up. Seems like research to art funding has been pushed another week back, which will give me an opportunity to speak to Maria Rankin about it as well. I was hoping to see her this week and it was close – but no cigar!

I went to a business course day on the Tuesday, where I was recommended ‘Hootsuite’ to manage Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn posts all at once. I have been using it for a few days now and even though it’s not perfect (it’s not able to access every feature of the social network) it seems a great tool to use the various platforms a little more often.

My art project had to take a back seat as I haven’t seen Christeeny’s image yet! I know she’s been massively busy shooting gigs in London and had some PC trouble, so I’ll be kind to her and give her some extra time to get it sorted.

So many things did not get sorted this week, that I’m afraid next week will be massively busy! I’m planning portrait shoots, research and ofcourse more blog posts! I’ll need to create an art image based on Christeeny’s image, clear the living room (the mess is getting to me), find some more fairs to attend, donate blood, discuss art funding and do every household chore in the book. Seems exciting? You bet it is!

 

Saturday update: Reading and Drawing

This week just seemed to fly by as I have now fully come to realise I only have one more week to go before the Cov: Art fair, spring Edition 2011. Like I said last week (and will say again in the next) come find me at the Canal Basin in Coventry on Sunday the 27th of March! I have been busy preparing for the fair, making postcards and drawings which will be for sale.

I’ve taken a slightly different approach to my drawings as well as I still had a 150+ year old book on church history lying about, which I bought as a library write-off somewhere last year. Good thing about this book is not the content which is very very dry and very very dull –  I studied religions, so I should be at least slightly interested – but the cover (a beautiful red leather) and the slightly yellowed pages in fine print. I am currently using the pages for two projects: I use it ripped,  bleached and soaked to make ‘eyes’ from paper mache and the other is for drawing Victorian portraits on.

To the right one of the drawings – they measure roughly between 5 by 10cm and 10 by 18 cm. You can see all of them on my drawings page.

The paper eyes I intend to use are not quite finished as I need to make roughly 100 half-circles which takes hours and hours to complete. After that I still have some more work on them to put them together, finish them, attach them in the way I intend to photograph them, develop and print the images….. you get the idea. Read more

Saturday update: Reading and Drawing

This week just seemed to fly by as I have now fully come to realise I only have one more week to go before the Cov: Art fair, spring Edition 2011. Like I said last week (and will say again in the next) come find me at the Canal Basin in Coventry on Sunday the 27th of March! I have been busy preparing for the fair, making postcards and drawings which will be for sale.

I’ve taken a slightly different approach to my drawings as well as I still had a 150+ year old book on church history lying about, which I bought as a library write-off somewhere last year. Good thing about this book is not the content which is very very dry and very very dull –  I studied religions, so I should be at least slightly interested – but the cover (a beautiful red leather) and the slightly yellowed pages in fine print. I am currently using the pages for two projects: I use it ripped,  bleached and soaked to make ‘eyes’ from paper mache and the other is for drawing Victorian portraits on.

To the right one of the drawings – they measure roughly between 5 by 10cm and 10 by 18 cm. You can see all of them on my drawings page.

The paper eyes I intend to use are not quite finished as I need to make roughly 100 half-circles which takes hours and hours to complete. After that I still have some more work on them to put them together, finish them, attach them in the way I intend to photograph them, develop and print the images….. you get the idea. Read more

Saturday update: Art Project, Focus on Imaging and a Business workshop

Well, I had a lot of things on my ‘ to do’ list before the week started and I think I got nearly every item done, apart from booking plane tickets and vacuuming the living room! If anything, the living room is actually in even more of a state since I started preparations for the Cov: Art fair, spring edition which is to be held at the Canal Basin on the 27th of March. I’ll be selling pin-up postcards, framed prints and drawings and hand printed Black and White photographs. Come and find me if you are attending!

On the research department I had sooo much planned but things ground down to a near halt. This Monday I did some of my research from a LSA mailing I received on Sunday and on it was a call for British Women Artists. Normally these things can set my teeth on edge – they always reek of false feminism. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for female empowerment as long as that means equal burdens, equal pay. On this site however, I found this image by Claudia Borgna.

I didn’t realise how beautiful plastic could be when given the right surroundings and treatment and it has actually inspired me in my current project which I share with my colleague and friend Christeeny. In this project, we explore our thoughts and feelings on being a young female photographer and all the challenges it brings with it. Each of us in turn creates an image for which we get 1 week’s time, and the other will create an image in direct response to any element of the image, but keeping within the theme. We are currently in week 3 and shall put the entire project online as it develops – we just need to decide on an appropriate place.

On the right my image: “the Final Stop”

Torn images, broken books, a broken lamp and discarded film are thrown into a pile of rubbish. Is this what my future will hold? No-one will be able to tell me if my studies will amount to anything, if anyone will remember my images, if any of them will be able to stand the test of times. All I can do is work, pray and hope and just try my very best. But in the end, when life is past, will I have done enough? Or will it only be fit for the trash? The viewer hovers over the scene, a reference to ghosts and the end of life and career.

I can tell you now that those bags cluttered up my bedroom (where the image was taken) even worse than all my other stuff in the living room!

In this week I have also managed to take some images with my Microflex and have in the process  succumbed to the lure of cheap 120 film. In the search for specs on how to develop Shanghai GP3 Pan 100 film, I found the DigitalTruth Photo site. Amongst others, they have a long development table for all kinds of film and developer, as well as darkroom supplies, articles, technical info and study information. My film however, remains undeveloped as of yet.

The Focus on Imaging fair at the Birmingham NEC was very useful as I was looking to see what the market has to offer on printers for wedding albums, photographer organisations and matting/ framing. If I had a bigger and better filled wallet I would have gone mental on the Wednesday, but I opted to attend the Tuesday instead. I gathered up a huge pile of brochures, leaflets and a couple of magazines – enough to keep me reading for days.

On the Wednesday I had a workshop in Coventry held by the good people from Business Link on websites, social networking and traffic flow. I thought I had this thing figured out but it seems I still have a lot of work ahead of me! As a direct consequence of this workshop, I’ll be shifting some more pages around to see if I can get this structure thing down, finally.

*Phew*

In the upcoming week I’ll be drawing on old book pages, constructing paper eyes and making postcards. I’ll be making prints in the darkroom, developing film (will it actually happen this week?), cleaning up the house and trying to finish a couple of library books. I should be doing more research behind my PC, but as a past sufferer from RSI, I still gets cramps and stings in my hands and arms every now and again, which makes long times behind the PC very uncomfortable. Lets just see how we get on, I can’t wait to get started!

 

Saturday Update: Darkroom, Books and Noted blog

This has been a fairly quiet week since all my ‘ happening’ things ended last week. I went to the wedding fayre at the Twycross zoo last Sunday and met some great people there – please see my links page for some of the awesome wedding services on offer in the region. I have met a lovely couple at that fayre as well and I’ll be shooting their wedding in June at the zoo. How brilliant and original is that?

Sean collected my paintings from Gallery 150 and I myself collected them from Gaia. I hope to sign up for another exhibit there soon – but maybe next time I’ll show photographs.

I’ve been back in the darkroom this week and if all is well I can play a little catchup in the next week. I’m printing some smaller versions of my images so that I’ll be able to post them online as well as make nice BIG prints. I’ve ordered extra packs of Ilford Ilfospeed RC Deluxe, Grade 2 paper in a 20 x 24 inch size x 50 sheets so I should be set for some time to come. The paper is somewhat older but still works fine and has beautiful rich dark tones and slightly warm whites. Just as I like it! Should you be interested, the guy I bought it from still has a couple of packs in stock on Ebay.

I’m reading the following book at the moment: ‘Art: What is it good for?’ from the Debating matters series, published by the Institute of Ideas. Some of the contributors of the essays feel very very clever, only using big words and as many of them in a single sentence as possible. However, the content of the book still provides plenty of food for thought, exploring changing cultures and thoughts surrounding art. Is art for art’s sake good enough, should the government subsidise artists or will this just impose restrictions upon the freedom of thought included in the works? A recommended read for someone interested to explore some different philosophies and views in the art world today.

I’m also going through a much lighter read in the form of Paul Johson’s ‘Creators; from Chaucer to Walt Disney’ which tell the reader all about the lives of some of history’s great minds. Notably, the introduction to this book is the best part, with fast-paced wits and snippets of information one just never knew. The other chapters are a little bit dull – It feels like I’m reading a study book.

Lastly, I’m working my way through the ‘Master Printing Course’ By Tim Rudman, which, no doubt, will comes in handy when I’m working in the darkroom! As far I can tell, it’s clear presentation will be very helpful for someone like myself, who has hardly had any technical photographic schooling. A brilliant document for any darkroom printer!

Just two days ago, I stumbled upon a rather useful blog by Edward Winkleman, who had gathered articles for artists wanting to find gallery representation. For your consideration, I’ll repeat the links here (they open in a new window within his blog):

  1. Selling solo vs. working with a gallery
  2. Tailoring your resume for an art dealer
  3. Studio visit strategies
  4. Getting your foot in the door
  5. Mistakes to avoid in finding the gallery right for you (the one-size-fits-all myth)
  6. My very best advice for approaching a gallery
  7. The logic behind the 50/50 split
  8. Communicating with your dealer
  9. Dealing with over-protective dealers
  10. Notes on ending a gallery-artist relationship

Edward works as an art dealer in New York, so maybe not all the tips or links he shares will be applicable to the specific UK market but most of it is clear advise. Note also the comments that readers of his blog have left and the discussions that have ensued from it. These will often hold more information that the original post itself and can give you some help or guidance when you are doing you research into galleries and representation.

Well, that’s it for this week – in the next week I hope to do some more research, sign up for a local art fair (I’ve never been to one so that should be fun), create more photographs with my Microflex TLR, organise one (or more) shoots, create prints of various sizes, attend the ‘Focus on Imaging’ fair at the Birmingham NEC, attend an auction, attend a workshop on website traffic, book flights to and from the Netherlands…. and maybe finally vacuum the living room!

Right now, both Sean and myself will be having drinks with Andy and Cairine, who will be moving to Leamington Spa shortly. Fun times!

 

Saturday update: recent succes and Sunday Wedding Fayre

Wow – is it Saturday again?  This week I had a lot on my hands (All self-inflicted so I expect no sympathy) including last-minute preparations for tomorrow’s Twycross Zoo Wedding Fayre – come find me if you are attending – finding a long-wanted set of wardrobes that needed cleaning and painting – and finally kicking off a photography project with my favourite northern geeky girl Christeen!

I’ve been shooting and developing more images from Leamington Spa and even though I have to wait *still* another week to get to print the results, I think it will be worth the wait.  I’ve built a wooden structure to fit the top of our four-poster bed, to take some weird-ass photographs with a self-timing mechanism. Before any kinky thought enter your mind ….. NO – it won’t be those sort of photo’s. I’ve started the art-based photography project with Christeen, the first image being mine and finished. I’ll make some space on the website soon to accommodate for running projects so you can actually see what I’m talking about.

My exhibition at Gaia will be coming to a close this weekend, I’ll be collecting my works on Monday. I was well chuffed to find I had sold one of my pieces to (I suspect) Dave Philips, who also wrote a small piece about the exhibition to be entered into the forthcoming spring issue of ArtSpace Magazine. Thanks for the support Dave, it is much appreciated!

All the same the exhibition at Gallery 150 will be closing tomorrow and I just *hope* Sean will remember to collect my paintings as I’ll still be at the Wedding Fayre during pick-up times.

So…. what’s for next week? Collecting Images fro Gaia (Mon), Meeting Jean about some illustrations to her children’s story (Tue), comedy night (Tue), darkroom work (Thurs), making adjustments to the website, uploading images, read some books, find out more about galleries, magazines and art funding and ofcourse the blog…. I think I can keep myself entertained.