No one will ever notice if I just tweak it a little in Photoshop.
During the past 2 weeks I entered 5 competitive exhibitions and I have at least one more entry coming during the next couple of months. Perhaps not as many shows as some enter but enough to make me a little crazy until the forms are completed, the digital images created, checks written and packages mailed or online entries completed.
Some years ago I entered many of this type show but images were sent in as slides. You set up your work, made the photographs, sent them away for processing hoping they would be good and if not you made more photographs .... if you had time.
Now we are in the new age of digital images and this is where things get really scratchy. In many many ways this technology makes it easier and cheaper to photograph your work if you have a decent camera, a couple of good lights (some shoot without them), a wall to hang your work on and a computer and some type of image editing software. Here comes the scratchy part.....The multitude of varying directions presented for you to follow.
One show wants this size, another group wants a different size, one mentions the size of the file, another requests jpegs and tiffs, etc. Wouldn't it be lovely if all of the supporting organizations for the exhibitions got together and created some Standardized Guidelines. Almost everybody does the initial jurying from the digital images and other than working with either the Macintosh or IBM platform what is the reason for all the different image requirements?
If it is because they might need larger and better files for a catalog? If so, why not requests those files from the entrants who are accepted. I'm sure we would be happy to supply them. Is it due to the requirements for online entries? I did one of those this week and it allowed a fairly large size file to be uploaded. Is it because many juries are done by multiply jurors and the museums/galleries are trying to accommodate the jurors as to how fast the files load? I don't know, but imagine this...
A group of informed members of some of the major shows getting together - online of course - and establishing on some standard guidelines. Each institution could have these guidelines online for prospective show participants to download. We could create new image files as we completed work and we could use those same files anytime we wanted to enter the work in a show.....much the way we did when we got a good slide.
Museums, galleries, and art associations get together and communicate and collaborate for their mutual good all the time. I hope one of you is reading this and finds it in your best interest to help us out here and promote this concept.
My second point relates to the preparation of images using Photoshop or some other image editing software to enhance the appearance of our work. This is so strange to me. We can use the software to size the work, we can use lights to show off the work, we can hire a professional photographer to do the work if we can afford that (not many can) but we can't use the very thing that makes having a computer useful....software.
Of course I am not suggesting anyone use these programs to make their work look better than it really is( I just saw the Mona Lisa in Paris and I prefer my version) but if you are looking at your piece on the wall and you are looking at the image you just shot on your computer and they do not match, why is it prohibited to adjust the color to make the image match the work. I sold hand dyed fabric online for a couple of years and there are colors the camera just would not pickup but I could adjust the color and to match the actual fabric. The proof of my success was that after selling hundreds of yards of fabric I never had a single complaint about misrepresentation of color.
If people are silly enough to make adjustments which "improve the quality" of their work, they will be discovered and rejected during the object jury.
This might sound like a rant but everyone I am in contact with and enters more than a couple of shows has expressed the same irritation. If you have any influence with these venues, mention this concept and perhaps this can change.
Thank you for spending time with me and I love to hear from you.