September 22, 2008

So you want to show your portfolio...

My advice to photographers who want to show off their work is simple:

1. Put your work up on the web. Photographers who don't promote their work online risk being completely ignored.

2. Showcase either tightly edited portfolios or stream work as you make it. If you do both keep the stream clearly separate from the portfolio.

3. Unless you are a photojournalist primarily selling images for web consumption, put up big images. Don't worry about people stealing your images. Nobody is going to make a decent print from something you post online. Look at web images as promotion. Also don't watermark you images. Yes, some of your pictures will float around unattributed, but it's better than looking like a douchebag. Photoshop allows you to include authorship info that will travel with your image, just choose File Info from the File menu.

4. Don't use flash (if you use flash people can't link to your images, and they can't propagate around the web. You WANT your images to travel).

5. Don't worry too much about fancy design. People just want to be able to see your images and to quickly navigate from one to the next.

6. Tell stories.

If you know nothing about how to make your own website use one of these excellent sites to showcase your work:

If you know a tiny bit about the web, use a cms, like tumblr, movable type, or wordpress. Really good gallery themes exist for all of them. Here's a simple tumblr theme that lets you upload very large images that scale to the size of the window.

I look forward to seeing your best stuff.

Updated 10/2009 with some new sites.

March 19, 2008

Fine Art Photo Printers in New York

IMG_0322.jpgiphone snapshot of this image
I'm often asked about printers in NY and I know I've promised to make a list for a long time. Here, at long last, is a rundown.

Ben Diep is the man behind Color Space Imaging on 20th Street betwen 6th and 7th. I do almost all my traditional c-prints here, including the print above (that's Ben doing some spotting). Ben has impeccable street cred, he's printed 2 MOMA shows in the last six months and every photographer I know who has worked with him has nothing but nice things to say. You can trust his taste/instincts and he will take as much time as your print needs to get it right. You might have to wait a week or two to get a slot at Color Space but when you're in you are given full attention. He has no website.
Color Space Imaging, 135 W 20th St NY, NY 10011 212-229-2969

Gabe Greenberg specializes in making huge inkjets on a variety of exotic papers. He's a master of the digital image and digital output. While his roster of clients is impressive, he's also someone who is you're likely to become friends with while hanging out in his perpetually expanding studio. Gabe likes technical challenges and pushing the limits of todays machines but his images often feel as if they were made by hand using traditional techniques. Sometimes he actually mixes traditional and digital techniques. For example he makes platinum prints by using a digital file and making large digital negatives on plastic film and then handing the negative to a platinum printer he works with in the same building. As platinum printing is normally a contact process, platinum prints tend to be small, but this technique allows for bigger prints, prints from digital files, and prints from small negatives. The results are stunning.

My Own Color Lab has a laughably amaturish website and a horrible name, but they make fine prints (They printed much of Sze Tsung Long's Horizons). I recently worked with one of their printers, Scott Eiden, a fine photographer himself, on an edition for 20x200. As an added bonus their prices are always one notch lower than many comperable players.

While I haven't printed much black and white lately my friends who shoot primarily black and white rave about the meticulous work done at Big Prints, a black and white only shop in Brooklyn specializing both in large prints and somewhat archaic techniques like Selenium toning.

Other printers of note include Gray Photographics for super archival Ilfochrome prints and the legendary Ken Lieberman (both have horrible websites).

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