Turn Photos Into Wallpaper

Darren wrote this at 9:43 am:

Check out this for a great idea: Dave Banks printed a wall-sized large-format photograph to wallpaper his son’s bedroom. The result looks fantastic!

While you’re decorating your walls, check out the Wallhogs prints Trush made. Wallhogs print your photos onto vinyl backed with repositionable adhesive. They look great stuck on the wall, but that’s just the start of the possibilities.

If you’ve tried anything similar to these projects, post about it below!

Subject Matter and Print Size

Darren wrote this at 12:09 am:

Alain Briot has published another essay in his Reflections On Photography And Art series, Subject Matter And Print Size.

This is an excellent exploration of the relationship between the subject matter of an artwork and the finished size of that artwork. Alain’s classical artistic training at the Beaux Arts gives him an uncommon insight into the artistic aspects of photography, which are often ignored by conventional photographers.

Too often, photographers simply print all their images at the maximum output size of their inkjet printer. While we may make prints at smaller sizes for practical reasons (to fit into a photo album, to save expensive paper and inks, to fit a mat or frame we already own, etc), it never even occurs to many of us to vary the size of our prints for artistic effect. Yet this can be a simple and effective artistic tool.

The essay gave me an idea for a photographic exercise…

Lenses fall into three rough categories – wide, normal and telephoto. They each have their own characteristics, enhancing or reducing the separation between foreground and background, limiting the angle of view, and altering the perspective and perception of the scene being captured.

Similarly, prints fall into three rough categories – small, medium and large (the actual sizes will vary between photographers depending upon how big they normally print, and how big they are capable of printing). For me, 6×4″ would be a small print, A4 (roughly 8×12″) would be a medium sized print, and A3+ (roughly 13×19″) would be a large print.

So, this exercise would be to make some prints in each of the six combinations of print size and lens focal length. That is, print some wide-angle photos at small, medium and large paper sizes, and then do the same for some normal-angle photos and some telephoto photos.

In analyzing the prints, take particular note of which combinations of lens focal length and print size make for a compelling display. Try to determine what type of subject matter is best suited to each of the 6 lens/print size combinations. You might even be motivated to repeat the exercise using a much wider or longer lens or printing much smaller or larger than you’re used to, in order to explore a more extreme exaggeration of the effect. It’s always worth pushing boundaries to see how much is too much.

You just might discover an interesting new direction to pursue with your photography!

Ashes And Snow Exhibition

Darren wrote this at 7:40 pm:

Gregory Colbert has an exhibition running at Santa Monica Pier, California, USA, titled Ashes and Snow. On display are over 100 large-scale photographic works and three 35mm films. From all accounts, if you’re anywhere near Santa Monica Pier, this exhibition is well worth going to see.

The display runs through until May 14, 2006.

More information is available at the Ashes and Snow web site.

If, like me, you’re unable to get to the show, you can still see a very impressive portfolio of some of the images on display at the above web site.

The Gigapxl Project

Darren wrote this at 6:00 am:

If you’ve been following photography web sites or geek blogs for a while, you’ve no doubt heard of The Gigapxl Project. These guys have built a very large camera that shoots 9″x18″ film sheets, which are then scanned to produce a 4 gigapixel image. That’s gigapixel, as in, 1000 megapixels.

The Gigapxl Project has had a good bit of media coverage lately, including a very interesting talk by Graham Flint at the Pop!Tech 2005 conference. You can listen to the talk at ITConversations. You can also read articles about the project at the Wired and Popular Science web sites.

So what’s the point of such massive photographs? They’re currently working on a project called “Portrait of America”, which aims to photograph the key sites that define each of the states of the USA and provinces of Canada. They are also working with Google to integrate their images with Google Earth, so web surfers can see the sights and explore cities all around the world.

Perhaps most exciting is the potential this technology has to record as best we can the deteriorating cultural and archaeological sites around the world for future generations:

In terms of the future, we have been much encouraged by the diversity of applications which continue to emerge. One of particular appeal relates to the documentation of cultural and archaeological sites which cannot be preserved and which inevitably will deteriorate with the passage of time. Many thousands of these sites are present around the world. Prime examples include entire cities such as Rome, Italy. In this instance, limestone structures which have stood for thousands of years have become the victims of acid rain. Stonemason’s chisel marks, until recently clear to see, have all but vanished. Only through a massive program of ultra-high-resolution documentary photography can such details be preserved for enjoyment and study by future generations.

Reading Photographs

Darren wrote this at 3:31 pm:

Photographs are never clear by themselves. In some way or another, they are only the shattered fragments of the broken mirror of reality and, as they show us their images, we are forced to reconstruct their meaning. Hans Durrer here reflects on the question of how to read photographs.

Learn more about Reading Photographs.

How to Create a Portfolio of Your Work

Darren wrote this at 4:04 pm:

Creating a portfolio of your photographs is a very rewarding process, which can often lead you to see your work in a new light and inspire you to explore new directions.

How to Create a Portfolio of Your Work by Alain Briot gives detailed guidance on how to plan and develop your portfolio. It explains what a portfolio is, helps you identify your audience and your purpose in creating a portfolio, and contains plenty of practical advice on putting your portfolio together.

If you’re serious about your photography, this is an exercise you should definitely consider trying.

Producing Your Own Photography Book

Darren wrote this at 12:49 pm:

Michael Reichmann from The Luminous Landscape is currently in the process of publishing a book of his photographs from Bangladesh.

He’s using 100 Books Publishing Company to print the book, and seems very happy with the price and quality, even for small print runs (under 1000 copies).

There’s a lot to preparing a book for publication, and Michael describes the process in quite good detail. It’s not a small project to undertake, but it is within reach for any photographer with a portfolio of 75 or so high-standard photographs and the money to back it.

Down at the bottom of the article there’s a link to email Michael to register interest in this book. It’ll only cost USD$29.95 + shipping and handling, which is a real bargain for anyone interested in seeing the work of a prolific pro. I’ve signed up for my copy!