Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Artists and Revolutionaries, Plus, Web Site Notes

Hudson, New York

Artists and Revolutionaries is the name of the store. Don't know how accurate the name might be as a description.

Before the storm and power outage interrupted, I was just finishing an overhaul of my website at The frontend of the site is set up in Muse and has pretty nice navigation features, but the content heart of the site is the Online Galleries page, which is another matter. It's a Muse page, but mainly consists of links to pages I made over the past nearly twenty years in at least half a dozen different web page generation programs. I don't want to remake all the pages, not just because I'm lazy, but also because they're kind of a history of my web presence over two decades. For example the earliest pages have scans of platinum prints that aren't up to my current standards (I mean the scanned files on the web page, not the original prints). The earliest galleries are ones that I made by hand in programs like PageMill, and many had broken links that I've managed to fix now, I think. The pictures in the galleries go back as far as forty-eight years ago.
More recent galleries were generated from within Photoshop using the Bridge Output Module. I'm very disappointed this been discontinued in the current PSCC. A pale imitation of it is available in Lightroom (which I dislike, though of course I have it as part of the CC suite). 
I've added several new galleries to the Online Galleries page. At the top is the first of a "Four Seasons" portfolio from a local forest preserve. I shot the pictures in the gallery/folio with digital capture, then made enlarged digital negatives and printed them in platinum/palladium at11 inches wide on 11x15 sheets. Then I made copy photos with the same digital capture equipment (much better results than scanning) to make the files for the web gallery.
Next, there are two new "Month By Month" galleries. Each of these is a tight edit of the pictures posted to my Working Pictures blog—twelve from each month. It's largely an editing exercise, with the monthly collection of twelve establishing a goal for the editing. Perhaps because digital capture leads people to overshoot, I see a lot of complaints about all the time people think they are wasting, editing their pictures. I disagree that this is time wasted. Editing is an essential tool for understanding our own work. David Vestal said that your contact sheets are your photographic autobiography. He also said that people shooting color (at the time that automatically meant slides—color transparencies) suffered from the lack of contact sheets. They lost the learning experience of keeping, and returning to view/edit, all of the exposures made. Over the years I have returned to my contact sheets of 35mm work and found pictures that I now liked better than the ones I printed at the time. Now that I've been doing digital capture as a part of my serious work for fourteen years, I'm finding the same thing; returning to pictures made several years ago, I not infrequently disagree with my original edit.
One of the best ways to improve our next photographs is to study the ones we've already made. In the process of editing, the rejects may be more informative, may teach us more, than the most successful pictures.

No comments: