This is a continuation to the series of articles about my exhibition. So Artproof made a test print of matte Diasec at 75x90cm with 6cm white borders you see above (I'm intentionally not showing the larger versions, sorry for that). A few words what worked and what didn't.
I like it. Sort of. The reflections are very well controlled, you can view the picture under any lightning conditions and it takes well rooms with busy backgrounds (thinking about Photoville containers).
I certainly like the borders. They make the picture stand out. It's like the difference between framed and matted print and a print glued to the plastic sheet. Some people said the border should be wider - I'm thinking about it. They seemed just fine for me. Maybe 1cm wider, but not much more.
Another pro is that no other major exhibition in Estonia has been done in this technique. So it's interesting from technical point of view too, at least to some. Chance to be the first.
Sadly there're things I don't like too.
Firstly - the blacks are not really black. Like these deep juicy blacks of the glossy version. There're pictures where it's not a problem, where most of the picture is made up of rather bright tones. But there're several pictures in my series than count on blacks.
Secondly - it lacks the glamour, the punch, the wow effect of the glossy option. It's much more forgiving in bad viewing conditions, but it's doesn't shine in the very good conditions either. It's a very nice compromise. Just I'm not here to make compromises.
A good point was made by one of Artproof guys - human brain itself is very effective in removing the reflections. If you want to see the content, your brain makes the distractions go away. If I want to show my pictures to possible gallery owners (I dream big, I always have) at Photoville, they don't care about how the pictures look in the container, if they like them, they imagine how they would look in their gallery.
For everyday working in the office where I can't choose lighting I prefer matte computer screen. When I really want to enjoy photographs, glossy screen beats matte hands down. And even if there are some reflections, I can quite effectively ignore them.
So, I still have to make the glossy or matte decision. Just as a comment - if my photographs were color, I wouldn't think about the matte version, it would be instant glossy.
I also talked to fellow photographer and curator Kaupo Kikkas about my choices. He made a good point about the sizes (currently 75x90 and 75x63) - making portrait format smaller immediately makes the photographs less important. So true. And not ideal for my story.
So, I still have to make the final decision regarding the sizes. I even figured out how to line up the pictures in this case - they're usually aligned by the upper third. Why not.
I have to iron out the details by the end of next week the latest. Although the same things have been on the table almost since day one, I feel much more informed taking the decisions. Not going to be easy nevertheless.
On my trip to Tallinn I also visited Linnagalerii where my photos will be exhibited. There was an installation that made it very hard to understand what the conditions will be for my exhibition though. The organizers on Linnagalerii's side liked very much the text accompanying my series so that they proposed to fill one wall of the room with it. Another thing to work on. At least no decisions here ☺
All in all, I feel my thinking when it comes to exhibiting my photos has made a giant leap forward.