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  • Damien Williams

Week 8 & 9: Practice development (sequencing)

On the suggestion of PC, Printing out my work to help with sequencing has become this weeks obsession. I'm already looking towards the 'work in progress portfolio' assignment, Which is due in three weeks time.

During office hours this week, the assignment was discussed. Good practice was top of the agenda. Sequencing, editing and captioning were at the forefront of the considerations we should have. Alongside the platform we are going to use. This tool will be integral to how we present ourselves when applying for grants and funding for projects in the future. As you can see from the image below I have been experimenting with sequencing In the form of printing at different sizes and resolutions in order to allow myself to see what i require from the images. Too big and it is a waste of resources, too small and you cannot take a step back and look at the sequence effectively as an overview.

This is another of those 'Rabbit holes' I could get lost in.

My experiment started with trying to isolate the different factors:

Software: Lightroom or Capture One.

Lightroom has a print module, whereas Capture One uses only dialogue boxes in order to give you options.

Lightroom is the preferred choice.

Printer: currently Canon PIXMA MG 3570 which is a full printer using a colour cartridge and a black cartridge.

This is okay for small images but is very clumsy for printing anything of high quality on photo paper. This is not what it was designed for. I have ordered a Canon Pixma iP8770, not professional, but I'm not aiming to sell prints or print for the exhibition myself. (downside is this printer cannot print on fine art paper)

Paper: cheap, inexpensive glossy paper.

The downside to this is that it takes a long time too dry. I have smeared or scratched too may of these little prints. I do hope to be able to use or archive these prints. I do not want them to be disposable.

Even though these 'errors' might be a useful technique to experiment with. In a similar way that Sally Mann embraced the imperfection of wet plate collodian, and Charlie Schreiner deliberately manipulated the images for narrative purposes.

©Charlie Schreiner ©Sally Mann

I have started to research the methods and costs of techniques like darkroom & printing experimentation, wet plate collodian, cyanotype, scanning and Daguerro type reproduction. Some of which are very expensive but there are ways to make things more reasonable in price.

Screen calibration: this is an issue I have just done my first few prints. They look nothing like what's on my screen. The Black and White have a magenta cast (easily solved by printing in greyscale). The colours are all over the place. This will hopefully be solved by getting the new printer and using ICC colour profiles. However, the first point of call will be to calibrate the screens that I use. I have purchased the datacolor SpyderX Pro. There is however a learning curve and philosophical element to this. It proves that working in digital ways is inconsistent in terms of colour science, I will have to go through a period of adjust and re-learn to trust what I see on screen.

So, how will this inform or change my practice?

Beyond having to re-edit/colour correct my images and embed that in my workflow. I plan to outsource printing for the exhibition/MA work. It would be great to print work at home for personal consumption and for anyone kind enough to be my photographic subject. So I reached out to one of my collaboration groups for advice. They didn't let me down… no surprise there! The collaborative tasks on the MA have been at the second most beneficial activity (the research and historical presentations have been the most). Learning together has been a privilege.

There are so many moving parts beyond clicking the shutter. On reflection I realise how much of the whole process I was missing. Maybe this was why I felt so empty before starting the MA.

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