Monochrome street photography portsmouth

Steep learning curve – week 5- planning the exhibition

This week has been a huge learning curve.  I have been prepping for my exhibition at Portsmouth Guildhall – it’s one thing to put together a proposal for an art exhibition, and quite another to have it accepted and have just 3 weeks to make it a reality!

For starters, I did not yet have enough photographs, so two days last week were spent taking more pictures, walking between the two buildings, watching for shadows, reflections and small details of interest.   Just one day I took over 300, and with the ones I already had it wasn’t too hard to bring that down to 40 possibles.

I showed these to a photography tutor at uni and with his help, cut the work down to 30 to show the curators.    He also had interesting ideas about the layout and delivery of the work, which left me frantically researching different printing possibilities and layout aesthetics.

Then, I had to sort out the quality of the pictures I had produced.  I found that due to an accident of software settings, the jpgs I had prepared were not as good quality as they could have been and so, early on Sunday morning I set about reproducing each picture to ensure it was better.   I am not used to producing work for print, so I have had to think about dpi’s and pixel sizes etc.   Producing work for the screen is quite different.

I also have not got any experience of the printing and hanging method I have chosen so I have sourced a company and sent off for two test prints, it will have cost me £40, but absolutely essential to be sure that the 18 I do get printed, some as large as A2, are as good as they can be.

Then I met with the curators again today and we whittled the 30 down to the 18 required.  It wasn’t too hard in the end, they were obvious together and I am very happy with the selection.   Denise and Ann, the two curators are so enthusiastic and encouraging, it’s a wonderful tonic to meet with them!   And it is always lovely to visit the Business Lounge where the exhibition will be, it is a large, sunny room decorated in blues and yellows – I am excited to think of my work taking up the enormous end wall.

Sorting out what to keep and what to leave out.
Sorting out what to keep and what to leave out.

Now I have to think about the preview evening, arrange dates, think about marketing, come up with an invite list, review the test prints and get the rest ordered.  I need to come up with a detailed hanging plan (hmm, imperial or metric?! – I work in both being a child of the ’60s and mustn’t get them confused) and think about postcards, invites, interviews, press coverage and decide what I am going to wear! 🙂

It is slowly dawning on me what an opportunity of a lifetime this really is.

The featured image above is one of the ones that narrowly missed out on being chosen for the exhibition.

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