ArrangingPDF

How you present your work may be almost as important as what work you present. It’s the art of sequencing or arranging. And it is an art, which involves specific techniques that can be learned. What are some of the guiding principles involved? Here are a few.

Sequence matters. Start strong. Finish strong. Make getting there interesting. Whether it’s a symphony, a novel, or an exhibit. It’s good advice for arranging any creative product. To sequence a project, you can use the metaphor of building a fence. The strongest pieces can be thought of as posts. The less strong pieces can be thought of as rails. You want to start and end with very strongest pieces to create a strong structure. You want to periodically reinforce runs of less strong units with one or more stronger units. You don’t want long runs of rails without posts or the structure may fail. A fence made only of posts becomes something else entirely, a wall with no variation or grace. The number of strong pieces you include determines how long a fence will be, though the number of other images you include may modify length somewhat.

Remember the golden rules of marketing; primacy (the first thing you see), recency (the last thing you see ), and frequency (the number of times you see the same or similar things). Frequency is rated first. Primacy is rated second. Recency is rated third. They’re all important. It’s all about effective memorable communication. So, the most important thing is to have a consistent body of work (frequency). The next most important thing is to start with your strongest work (primacy). The next most important thing is to finish strong (recency).

You can use classic story telling devices (like structure, proximity, pace, length, etc) to strengthen any image presentation and bring to light subtext in and connections between images that give work added depth and dimension.

In short, arranging matters.

Learn more about the art of Arranging in this free PDF.

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AestheticsOfPrintPDF

Half of the battle is knowing how to do something. The other half is knowing what to do. When it comes to making fine photographic prints, the road has been well mapped by our predecessors. One of the best ways to educate yourself about great print quality is to look at a number of great prints (directly rather than through reproduction). And, to keep on looking. Education, or enrichment, is a dynamic, evolving, lifelong process. Every time you look, sensitively with awareness, your vision grows. There’s always something more to learn.

A combination of elements (and their relationships to one another) is often evaluated when assessing print quality. Speaking very broadly, you could say, it’s all about believably reproducing detail. Focus, depth of field, high dynamic range, tonality, color balance, elimination of process artifacts all play a role. So do the selection of appropriate materials, scale, presentation and contextualization. There’s a lot more to it than you might think at first and though there are no hard and fast rules there are conventions everyone should be mindful of. There’s also a lot of room for creativity.

All of this is expanded and detailed in this free PDF – The Aesthetics Of Print.

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LimitedEditionsPDF

Edition structures disclose the number of prints that will be made of an image. Edition structures vary widely – some are open (without limit) and some are limited.

There are no standards for limited edition sizes. Practices change at least once a decade – sometimes more. Fifty years ago, the practice of limiting photographic editions was unheard of. Thirty years ago, the practice of limiting photographic editions became wide-spread. Twenty years ago, the most widespread edition structure contained 50. Ten years ago, a large number of editions were offered at 25. Today, many editions are restricted to 12 or fewer. Tomorrow’s edition structures will likely change again. Throughout that time, while there has been a constant trend favoring limited editions of increasingly small size, open editions have persisted and succeeded.

One should note that average photographic print prices have escalated substantially in that time, far in excess of economic inflation. This escalation isn’t uniform in the market; the low end has remained relatively unchanged, while the high end has exploded.

Should you limit your editions?

Should you buy only limited edition photographs?

Before you decide, find out more in this free PDF.

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PhotoEssayPDF

Every picture tells a story. Combine pictures to form an essay and your storytelling options expand. This is one way to tell a more complete story, add depth, complexity, counterpoint, nuance, show change over time, and so much more. A photo essay transcends a single lucky shot. It demonstrates committment, focus, versatility, and skills of another order. Photo essays have more definite structures, with a clear beginning, middle, and end – often with standard components that flesh out and advance a story in critical ways.

Identifying the necessary components of an essay is the first step. Once you know the types of images you need to tell your story, you’ll know what to shoot while you’re on location and maybe even when you need to be there. If you don’t identify these elements beforehand and make sure you come back with each of them, you may find you lack critical pieces. There will be holes in your story. And you may have to return to finish it – if you can.

Here’s are the classic shots used to structure a photo essay.

1            Introduction

2            Set the Stage

3            Identify the Main Character

4            Significant Detail

5            Human Interest

6            Decisive Moment

7            Outcome

8            Conclusion

You could say all other images included in an essay are just variations of these few types of images. I’d be surprised if exceptions couldn’t be found, but they would be exceptions.

Learn more about each shot in this free PDF.

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