To launch the call of entries for the SUN awards 2006 and as part of our programme of continuous professional development (for members/photographers in the midlands and north of England) SUN recently hosted a day of events at The Biscuit Factory gallery in Newcastle.
The gallery is currently showing the exhibition of 2005 SUN finalists and winners, and for the first time selling framed prints of the shortlisted work. This is the first time SUN has tried selling the entries as fine art pints in their own right and the sales that we’ve seen certainly justify it as a route to persue in future years.
The SUN seminars are designed to provide both professional guidance and insight into other photographer’s working practices as well the opportunity to gather up to the minute information and relax over a drink.
This year we’ve also added new categories to the awards, and designers can nominate the images used in their work or marketing designs which they have commissioned with photographers based in the north, midlands and scotland, so we are looking forward to even more interest in the awards.
At the seminar, leading landscape photographer JOE CORNISH demonstrated that despite the rapid take over of digital technology in photography, using film is still a very valid way of working.
Joe began his talk by asking how many in the room were still using film, of (25) only a couple raised their hands illustrating just how rapid and total this change in the industry has been.
Joe still produces all his work using film and the experience of (MPS labs) for his developing and printing.
He stresses that this not because he is a luddite , he does have digital equipment in his studio, but he says that for him it’s the best method to produce the results that he desires.
Joe has spent over twenty years perfecting his much praised landscapes. He began his career as a painter before moving to photography, citing his influences as Steve McCurrie, Ansel Adams and Sabio Salado.
He uses Fuji (Velvia) film with a Ebony non folding 5×4 field camera to create the illusion of travel and movement and the rich and vibrant colours indicative his work. He says choosing this format enables him to present the world exactly as he sees it, achieving depth of field with no out of focus areas either in the foreground or background.
He maintains that his close working relationship with the lab leaves him free to concentrate of producing photographs with the reliability and stability of the 5×4 camera. Joe remains convinced that, for him, film is the best method and that working on film will not die out completely.
During the Q&A sesssion that followed Joe stated that while the number of labs processing E6 has has decreased in recent years to only a small number nationally, those that remain are centres of excellence who have consistently had a good reputation over many years. He also shared his extensive knowledge of the best locations in the UK and the seasons and time of day in which to shoot to get the best lighting conditions.
JACK LOWE provided the audience with the depth of his experience in colour management gained from his own research and practice of producing archival fine art prints for photographers, galleries and clients around the world.
He began by explaining the research being undertaken by Joseph Holmes on the life time of digital prints in archival and normal lighting.
He then focused in the optimisation of images for ink jet printing and demonstrated chroma space 100 as a working environment and tool for achieving the best results in colour management in terms of keeping the integrity of the image explaining its advantages over photoshop filters and settings.
He helpfully provided a list of website with detailed reference information on hue and saturation. Jack explained the background to his work, talking in detail about his initial frustration at not achieving the depth of colour and full spectrum displayed on screen using ink jet printing.
He then went on to illustrate, by the use of three dimensional diagrams, why this was the case and how to deal with it. With light and shade forming the Y axis and the spectrum of the CMYK range forming the X axis. Jack mapped the tone, hue and saturation the scanner could read against those that the printer could reproduce. The visual aid aptly illustrated just how many hues some printers cannot reproduce. By comparing the scanner and printer profiles in this way, he was able to easily illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of differering print systems and paper.
He also discussed monitor calibaration and in a lively Q&A session explained the difference in calibration systems and how to use them to achieve consisient results in colour reproduction.
The seminar day was completed with CHRIS IRELAND giving a detailed insight into the workflow methods using CAPTURE ONE software. Although originally developed for use with Phase One camera backs the company soon decided to make it available for all cameras using RAW image format. It was also one of the earliest applications to be made as a Universal Binary suitable for the new Intel Macs.
Chris is giving a further opportunity for NE photographers with a full day of presentations in Newcastle at the end of May.