Two Purses AFTER Correction

Preparing Your Images

Art show juries sit in dark room reviewing array after array of slides of artists’ work. I’ve read posts from these people recapping this experience and each described the process as being quite a challenge. Part of my job as an artist is to find ways to represent my work in this tough situation that helps these people see what it is I’m doing in the best light possible.

Typically my images will be seen for maybe 10 seconds, in a group, amongst a line up of such images in perhaps hundreds of such groupings. I want to make my 10 seconds count! In order to do this I have to prepare drop-dead gorgeous photos of my work!

Two Felted Purses BEFORE

Thanks for the Advice, Larry!

I took some time to scan the advice available out there as to what works the best in these settings and for work as unusual and colorful as mine it seems presenting it on a very plain background is of paramount import. So the choice comes down to:

  • white
  • grey or
  • black?

Turns out that in such a dark room a white background suddenly popping on the screen can be quite blinding – so though I use all white walls in my booth, for my background in these important jury images I’m going with black. Now it will appear as though my work is floating in space all on its own. I love the subliminal message in this: my work stands alone.

Larry Berman of Berman Graphics offers some tip on how to get the most from your photos. Below is another examples of how I applied what Larry shared on his site:

Unicorn Story Tapestry BEFORE

Unicorn Story Tapestry AFTER

What did I do?

In Photoshop:

  1. I erased any extraneous accoutrements (like on the purses, the wire I used to hang them)
  2. I removed all the original background
  3. I added a layer of pure black behind the original image
  4. I made several copies of the image and using various tweaks adjusted the color, saturation and contrast to better reflect the reality of each piece
  5. I sized the image to match the requirements of the major online application site (Zapp!) or 1920 pixels square
  6. then I optimized each image (high resolution jog) to upload into my media file on the Zapp site.

I did this for 4 of my pieces so I now have the enough good images to apply for the fiber category in shows. Wish me luck with the juries!