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I'm hoping people will try to have a beneficial discussion on this and avoid flaming.


In rules for shows, specifically under "Photography" it is often stated..."made under their direct supervision". Heretofore referred to as "UTDS" This is in contrast to most other categories which state the artist must do all the work themselves

There is another thread which partially discusses this, I did not want to hijack it:
http://www.artfairinsiders.com/profiles/blogs/st-louis-the-perfect-...
The issue here is what I deem abuse.
According to the concept, in rules of what I read and it's intent: The photographer must be supervising DIRECTLY the people doing the work.
While I do not believe, even this should be allowed, it still is one method. Do I stand near my assistant while they make the settings in the camera, they focus, they crop, they compose, they click the shutter? NO !!!
What I strongly feel even more strongly is wrong, is those that send their work out for completion. That is NOT UTDS.
I was discussing this with a show promoter, whose rules required everyone to do all their own work. There were photogs at the show that did not. She stated, that does not include photography because almost no photographers do their own work, anymore.
Some of us do!
Whether it be film, wet work, digital, inkjet, dye sub, canvas, metal, paper, facemount, glazing etc. If I sell it... I did it all. If I can, they can. I'm not alone. There are many of us.
I have been working on a new process. I have scraped many prints and lots of materials already. Wasted over $3,000 trying to get it right. Many weeks of work. It is still not what I will bring to public. It will give results similar to what others are selling. However I've spoken to those artists. Not one does it themselves. They ALL send it out.
Sending out is cheaper and the companies doing it for them do a great job. To me, that is Buy/Sell. It is not their own work, nor UTDS.
When it is sent out, many companies may alter the image. They are controlling the printing, mounting, glazing whatever is done. does the photog go onsite at those companies and run the calibrations for printing?
It costs me more to do it myself. It takes more time. Time I could be using to do more shooting or other areas of the business. A company that does part of the work for them has the resources to specialize and become expert at just that. This is not a level playing field for those of us following the rules.
This is not about Wet work VS digital. It is about the photographer / artist doing ALL of the process themselves. I may not do as good a job as the "send out company" but the public is buying "MY work". I have signed it and certified it is mine.
UTDS does not include sending anything out.
How about promoters / directors police this better or refine their categories and rules?
Yes, we could knit pick about details. I did not manufacture the paper, I print on. etc.
That is not the point. I am interested in views on following the spirit of the rules.

Otherwise our field will continue to diminish as a true art.

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Replies to This Discussion

Eh, I get the point you're trying to make, but every artist purchases materials for their art. Do painters make their own paint? Do you make your own photo paper? Do you directly supervise the people who make your paper? If not, under your definition, that would be buy/sell.

We're photographers, not paper resellers. The value we're adding to the process is our photos, and that's what people are buying. They're not buying the paper or the canvas. Also, I'll bet you don't make metal prints. The machinery required to make those is north of $25k... unrealistic for each art show photographer to purchase.

People have been sending photos to professional labs for decades. This is not something new to the digital era, and therefore I don't see it diminishing anything. And if you think we just send photos to the printer and the result is magically glorious, nothing could be further from the truth. We have to do the same color profiling, soft proofing, etc that you do when you print. We just don't own the printer. Frankly I'd love to have complete control over the process, but since I print on metal it's not feasible. Your work should be exceeding the work from labs, not the other way around. You should look at it as an advantage you have over others.

Yes, I do print my own Metals. I have tools up and do everything myself including chopping my own frames and cutting and doing my own glazing.
As I mentioned earlier it is not about making our own paper, although I have used chemicals to make paper and othet materials photosensitive, so I could print dirwctly on them.
An example is ...when somebody sends an image out for face mounting.
Said process has a substantial effect on the finished image. This should be done by the photog, if it is to be his own work.
I have made my own pin hole camera and shot with it. I no longer do that. So one could fault me for using a commercialy made camera etc. I d9n't make my lens.
Instead I am referring to the process that brings the final work to fruition.

No I may not have the ability to produce the same quality and price points as the third party companies. They can invest in R&D, commercial clean rooms, $10,000 Spectrophotometer instead of my $2,500 unit, more expensive printing equipment as well as dedicate more time and resources to one specific task.
All of the aforementioned is very expensive however it can be amortized over the many thousands of customers and jobs that they may run through in a week, versus our volume which is tremendously less.
As an artist in photography, we have to split ourselves to all the tasks / areas to create a finished product.
It is not a matter of..."well if it costs too much I'll just cheat", instead if it cost too much I just don't do it.
If another company or somebody else is contributing to that finished prod7ct, in a,way that affects it's quality, presentation etc, than that other party is collaborating on the finished work. Therefore the artist needs to have that party listed as a collaborator and that party needs to be present at the art show representing as a collaborative work.
Just looking to level the playing field for what is honest.
There is already a separate category at many shows for 2D digital versus photography. How about a category for photographers who do it all themselves versus those who send out their work.
As to the idea that many photographers have been sending out their work to prolabs for many years... that environment is fine as long as they were not proclaiming that they did the entire process themselves. At the art fairs we are claiming such and more importantly the customer believes we are doing it ourselves.

Do you print 40x60 metals? What heat press do you have? Is it the $23,000 HIX LF 4464? How do you justify that cost? I'm not sure that we're talking about the same thing.

When somebody sends an image out for face mounting, that doesn't have any effect on the finished image. It's a face mount; a print glued to an acrylic panel. Every face mount I've ever seen has looked the same. There's nothing the lab can do to make that look even better; all they can do is screw it up.

The same goes for Chromaluxe, canvas wraps, paper prints, etc. I've already edited my image, calibrated my monitor, installed the color profiles from the lab, etc. I know exactly what it should look like on canvas, metal, or acrylic. All the lab can do at this point is screw it up. I don't need to be standing over the guy's shoulder when he click the print button; that adds no value. The lab at this point has as much input in the final product as the UPS guy that delivers it to my door. All either of them can do is screw it up. Neither can magically make it look way better.

Third party companies can invest millions in R&D and still not know how much cyan I wanted in that mountain photo. That's why you have an advantage printing at home. You can simply do it over until you're satisfied with the result, then mount it to acrylic. I don't have that luxury.

This really seems like another flavor of the more common topic in photography circles - straight out of camera vs post processing. People tell me Photoshop is cheating, now having someone else print your files is cheating. Photographers are quite a masochistic bunch; always looking to impose artificial restrictions on their art. I don't get it.

Derek
Apparently you are new to this forum.
You may not be familiar with the rules nor proper etiquette.
When people are trying to have a serious, intellligent discussion, your use of calling us MASOCHISTIC BUNCH is against such paractice and wrong.
As you have decided to flame and insult, treatment of you shall be dealt accordingly. Until you can understand to have a civil, intelligent, beneficial discussion.

What equipment and techniques I use to facilitate my finished work is not the point nor your concern except that it is all done by me (not just supervised) and ALL within the rules. I justify the costs by peace of mind in knowing my quality and integrity is proper.
If you believe face maounting is that simple, for quality - obviously you have never done it.
If you think they all look the same, thaen get your work done at Walmart. Why would a photog use Dugal instead of Costco?

Hypothetical:
I have an idea. I know, in my mind exactly how I want it to look. I draw a sketch. I get some medium. I start shaping it. I then send it to a sculptor to have them complete it. After all, the most they can do is screw it up. If it turns out great - that is exactly what I had as my idea. Now I can sell it at an art show as my own work? NOT !!

If face mounting had no effect on how an image looks or it's marketability, I wonder if Peter Lik would be so successful. Why would photogs invest so heavily into it? Why not just mount with matboard frame and glazing? It is less expensive & easier.

Unfortunately you either do not know or are trying to convince those that may not know.
You statements show this.
You claim the printing company you use, does not know how much cyan to put into your photo.
They do, because you are using THEIR profile. You state - installed the color profiles from the lab, etc-
I create my own profiles. I do my own printing. I adjust how much cyan goes into that print. You do not.

Your claim of - The restrictions on our art- NO!
Our art allows for tremendous freedom. However to compete in shows we need to follow the rules. If you choose to cheat, have the integrity to post a sign stating the work is partially yours and the companies that did the rest of the work for you.
The customers at theses shows are expecting us to be Artists creating our own work.
If you choose to just be a Picture taker, rather than an Artist in Photography, simply state so.

So if your work does not have the quality due to being shot with a Polaroid VS the other photog who uses a Hasselblad, that's ok. Having the other photog shoot it for you just because he can afford better equipment, then you selling it as your own work, is NOT.

You have expressed why you don't follow the rules.
We already know many reasons why some don't. If they feel this is appropriate, why not post a sign stating so? Tell the public you are not doing your own work. When submitting an application for jurying, state you do not do all your own work. If you believe it is fair, honest, within the rules, why not?

"Masochistic" isn't an insult. Calling someone a jerk is an insult. Masochistic is just a descriptive term. And it was directed at all photographers in general, not just yourself. I doubt you could find anyone to agree with you that it is a "flame".

"What equipment and techniques I use to facilitate my finished work is not the point nor your concern"

 - You started this thread specifically to express your displeasure with the techniques I use to facilitate my finished work, yet now your methods are none of my concern? How ironic.

"If you believe face maounting is that simple, for quality - obviously you have never done it."

 - I didn't say it was simple, I just said all you can do is mess it up. Doing it perfectly is what's expected, by me and my buyers.

"If you think they all look the same, thaen get your work done at Walmart. Why would a photog use Dugal instead of Costco?"

- I've made some prints at Costco in a pinch. They were acceptable. 

"If face mounting had no effect on how an image looks or it's marketability, I wonder if Peter Lik would be so successful. "

 - You're missing the point completely. I know what a face mount looks like, just like I know what a canvas looks like and a regular print on matte paper looks like. When I order them, I know what I'm getting and what the final result will look like. I'm not just handing some digital files to a printer and saying "do something great with these!". The fact that it wasn't my hands that spread the adhesive on the paper in no way adds or detracts from the image I'm creating.

"You claim the printing company you use, does not know how much cyan to put into your photo. They do, because you are using THEIR profile"

 - All of the profiling in the world doesn't guarantee your vision. That's why guys like Peter Lik create artist proofs before declaring it a finished product.

"I create my own profiles. I do my own printing. I adjust how much cyan goes into that print. You do not.
 - Exactly my point, which is why you should have an advantage over people who send out to labs!

"However to compete in shows we need to follow the rules."

 - We are. You created this thread to complain that the rules aren't to your liking. You don't get to make the rules, the shows do.

"If you choose to just be a Picture taker"

 - That's what a photographer is.

"Having the other photog shoot it for you"

 - That would make him the photographer then, not me. Are you starting to understand who creates the value in our art and who doesn't?

"We already know many reasons why some don't. If they feel this is appropriate, why not post a sign stating so?"

- I gladly tell anyone who walks in my booth where I have my stuff printed. Nobody has cared, and my sales have proven that.

You further insult using the "jerk" phrase. Apparently calling someone Masochistic wasn't enough for you.

STOP the insults and name calling immediately!

Nothing ironic. I don't care what techniques YOU use to create your work. When YOU send it out to be made it is SOMEBODY ELSE techniques and work.

Do YOUR OWN work and nobody needs to know how.

Doing it perfectly is something you are not capable of, therefore you send it out to somebody else who can. So don't enter shows where the expectation is YOU created the work, thereby competing with those of us who DO our OWN work.

Printing it properly, spreading said adhesive correctly, removing ALL foreign matter, accounting for out-gassing, applying the correct pressure and temperature, trimming correctly all for mountboard as well as face sheet... these are just some of the minor issues in facemounting... if you think that is just a common task and employs no art, you have no understanding. As you are not capable of doing it, and seem to believe just clicking the shutter is all the artist is responsible for, how could anyone help you understand?

Your false claim of an advantage over labs was discussed and proven. Try reading what was aforementioned. 

I started this thread to get intelligent, pleasant, reasonable discussion on the adherence to the rules. Which, obviously you do not.

As you seem to believe & state ...

"If you choose to just be a Picture taker"

 - That's what a photographer is.

I believe it sums up the very big difference between those of us that are artists in the medium of photography VS those like you.

Anybody with a cell phone, an Instamatic a Polaroid or a camera can be a picture taker. If you do not understand the difference, I'm not being paid to teach you.

You may tell customers who ask if you processed the images but do you post it? Do you inform the jury? Do you advertise that you are not the artist? Your work is a collaboration of a commercially produced product with you being the picture taker, only?

The "jerk" phrase was an example. You just used it too. Stop it immediately!

"I don't care what techniques YOU use to create your work. When YOU send it out to be made it is SOMEBODY ELSE techniques and work."

- That's caring how I create my work.

"Doing it perfectly is something you are not capable of, therefore you send it out to somebody else who can"

- I could be if I spent the money, but it's not economically feasible. The heat press alone is $23,000.

"So don't enter shows where the expectation is YOU created the work"

- I do create the work. The work is the photo; it is not the paper or the aluminum.

"if you think that is just a common task and employs no art, you have no understanding. "

- That's skill, not art. You're confusing the two.

"As you are not capable of doing it, and seem to believe just clicking the shutter is all the artist is responsible for, how could anyone help you understand?"

- They can't, because I'm right, and the show directors agree with me.

"Your false claim of an advantage over labs was discussed and proven."

 - Yes, proven by me. Please read the aforementioned.

"Anybody with a cell phone, an Instamatic a Polaroid or a camera can be a picture taker."

- Yes, they certainly can. They even give out prestigious photographic awards now for mobile photography. There are cell phone photos hanging in the Smithsonian.

"You may tell customers who ask if you processed the images but do you post it?"

- Post it where? Is there some message board where art show patrons go to find out who prints their own photos?

"Do you inform the jury?"

- I never speak to the jury.

"Do you advertise that you are not the artist?"

- I am the artist.

"you being the picture taker, only?"

- That's what a photographer is. I'm sorry you do not understand that.

You are not worth my time or effort.

You do not belong on a worthy site such as this.

Until you can grow up, do NOT communicate with me further.

I answered everything maturely and honestly. It's clear you were just looking to argue, and had zero respect for differing opinions.

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