Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

OK,  Can I throw a pic or 2 in here?  This is my new P P set-up with the LED lighting system (that is discussed in another thread here). The weather finally cooperated (i.e. no rain/snow, temps in the mid - upper 40's) for an afternoon/evening and so I set up my tent with the new sidewalls (found here in the classified section) and my new Pro Panels. I am using the Harmon hook hangers and my acrylic paintings. I sent another artist friend six shots to choose from... she liked this one best. Click the pic for larger viewSo, short of the wrinkled floor carpet (like I said, mid-40's and things which ought to flatten didn't which I will make disappear through the magic of photoshopping, would it pass muster?

The booth shot is supposed to represent how the booth will appear with your wares in it, but these days, it seems that it's more like a still life work of art in itself. I think this is taking away from many artists who create a superior product, but aren't interior decorators and can't afford to step up their game without risking the family farm - so to speak.

I credit Dr. Barnes and his museum of impressionistic and post-impressionistic symmetricity for inspiration for my layout design gestalt. This is a $3.2 k upgrade from my hand-built, very practical pegboard display which was regularly rejected by upscale events, but accepted by top drawer, second shelf events....

I had to use the LED floods in bounce mode because they were too hot for the camera. I like the direct lighting, as it gives a gallery feel, but couldn't correct the over-exposure near the front corners of the booth. Here's what I mean. even eliminating the lights completely in the closest aspects didn't get it. Looking at the art in the booth, the glare isn't there, but 1000 lumens per lamp is a lotta light... (see below front right and left ) I suppose if I set it up again (and I had it broken down just before it started to rain again), I could get the glare gone in the corners eventually... But, in the meantime, could the upper image gain me entrance into some of the nicer juried events?

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Too many pieces too close together. Eliminate the half dozen smallest pieces and arrange them as if there are two pieces per panel, three panels per 10 foot wall.

The carpet is a little distracting. At the very least either straighten it out or crop up to the right hand corner so the carpet looks straight. Or use a neutral solid color carpet that matches your walls.

Spotlights on work in a booth picture. Booth pictures become much too difficult to edit if there are spots in the booth creating hot spots on the walls and artwork. Especially at indoor shows, I always recommend taking booth pictures with and without the lights on (and using a tripod) because the camera will compensate for the longer exposure necessary in lower, but more even light. I like that you pointed the lights up into the canopy roof to get more even lighting on the walls.

Larry Berman

Since I just got Jims critique over on the other page, I'll block copy my reply and edit it since it is germane to your comments in part. If you go to the Barnes Museum, Dr. Barnes had his paintings tight against each other, too... and Barnes had bric-a-brac metal work in between and above/below his stuff... Of course Barnes didn't have to get juried into anything... But Barnes display has been raved about/reviled and been the subject of many scholarly articles. The Cone Sisters, as collectors, were into stacking the work tight and you see the same thing in the Frick Collection in places....

 I'll make the rug go away through either cropping or photoshop replacing. We shall see what real juries have to say. I moved the conversation to to the appropriate location...

But if you think this is crowded, this is what used to get me into the second rank shows (compared to top shelf events).  This might imply a flexibility in jurying you never knew existed before! This is the Manayunk Art Festival 2011..... Sometimes, more is more with many shows. It's only the very tip top shows ones who seem to care (when, on the rare occasion I have gotten a score or opinion from them - which is very infrequent) I have used this image or others to get into a lot of juried events since then.... and it's not something I was proud of, it was just what I had

I wouldn't be concerned over the number of pieces on the walls. That's not going to get you rejected from any jury.  If you have the skills to fix the carpet issue already mentioned you should also be able to use the "clone" tool to cover the exposed frame at the bottom of the back walls which is just a minor annoyance. The biggest issue is the blown out ceiling lights. If you're good enough at Photoshop you could replace the ceiling with the ceiling from the 2nd photo. If not, you should at least tone down the ceiling so it's not as distracting using the burn and/or brightness tools.

Bottom line, if a jury likes your work they're not going to keep you out over this booth shot like they might have with your pegboard walls.

Barry, the frame you see is a Flourish brand stabar for eZ up tents and is designed for strengthening and improving the survivability of this brand. You'd think a jury judging a display would approve of a display with enhanced strength and stability... But I know Howard Allen doesnt like exposed metal in booth shots, so i will work on that...

And I agree with you that I do not think there are too many pieces in the display. There are 33 pieces shown on approx 180 square feet of display. The old display has 75 pieces shown on 160 square feet of display (counting the outer wall) or 33 pieces shown on 120 square feet if you compare 30 linear feet of display to 30 linear feet of display. So the new display painting spacing looks good to me compared to the old display. So perhaps Robert's comments on spacing come from his aesthetics saying less is more... and I agree compared to my old set-up this is substantially less and I like the spacing better. It's just my old more was way more that Robert's more...

OK Worked on the booth shots. They are cropped and 'shopped Art density is unchanged

First is 5B

Second is 3B

Third is 2B


I know I need to trim off the messy electrical cords to the lights in 2B so ignore that flaw...

So comments are welcome - Thanks in Advance

The bottom picture (2B) has the best light on the walls. But the brightness needs to be taken down in the roof area without changing the brightness on the walls. Not as dark as the roof in the first picture where the lights were pointed down. Do a selection on the roof and drop in a semi transparent lighter gray so you can still see the roof structure. Currently parts of your roof are blow out white with no detail (255, 255, 255) so no adjustments will work on those areas.

You don't have an embedded color space tag (should be sRGB) so no matter what you do, your image may look different to the viewer on a monitor or projected.

What's misleading about these images is that the area surrounding the images is white, the opposite of a jury evaluation. If the images had been surrounded by black the brightness of the roof would be more evident.

As for placement of the pieces, much better. The only suggestion I have is to loose the two smaller pieces on the back wall and center the two bottom outer pieces to fill up the space better.

Larry Berman

I plead ignorance on how to imbed the sRGB colorspace into the image

I did not change the number of pieces or placement since I have not taken any additional images.. We are still working with the first set. The weather has not been conducive to putting the set-up together again. But this does speak a volume about the distraction posed by the carpet to your initial set of eyes.

Since I do not want to advertise that this is an EZUp tent, I may leave the ceiling washed out. It will also hide my corrections and light cord clean ups. I have trimmed the ceiling as far as I can and if I play with it more, I will likely make it obvious that I am manipulating any juror who views this image - despite this being the idea in the first place

Also, should I be purging the exif data from the image? Are jurors that curious to see what submitting artists are doing to their entry images? And if truth be told, how would that affect the jurying. The typical disclaimer is that if your physical setup at the event is deviating significantly from what was juried then they reserve the right to eject your butt from the event.

However, from all the traffic here on doctoring your jury images and booth shots, and the amount of effort going into photoshopping images prior to submission, you would think that jurors would be wise to how they are being gamed by applicants.. How much photoshopping can you get away with before you violate some unwritten rule of the game?

I am glad that ZAPP seems to have done away with the requirement that the applicant put the black frame around their image. Is the software used when jurying still doing this anyway?

ZAPP has not done away with the black borders. What they don't tell you is that if you don't upload square images, ZAPP will add the black borders and resave your JPEG at a lower quality when you apply to shows.

You can't add an sRGB color space tag. Actually you can but it becomes an arbitrary assignment based on what you are seeing, not necessarily what's accurate. The color space should have been honored from the time the image was captured. Your work flow is probably stripping it out at some point in your editing. Once you loose your color information, you loose control over how other's see your images.

Every image needs to be edited in a program like Photoshop. Images are never accurate out of camera or scanner. Taking it too far would be taking it to a point where it doesn't look like the original anymore. Artists that upload non edited images stand a good chance that their work will look flat and dull, no matter how vibrant the original looks.

Larry Berman

Larry, thanks for the reply. I used photoshop throughout the editing process other than to use windows explorer to copy from the camera internal memory to my hard drive.

So one should think that this colorspace info should be there. I didn't discard it. Should I be using photoshop to make my 1920x1920 images for uploading and using the canvas size to add the black borders myself in order to prevent ZAPP's system fro altering my images and potentially degrading their qualities?

Also, for ZAPP's user image library, is the dpi is still limited to 72 and file sizes to 2mb.... or rather if you create a 1920x1920 image at any dpi higher than 72 dpi, it exceeds their 2 mb limit...? OF course, my Photoshop version is Photoshop CS (version ?0?) It's old and appears to not update or want to update or something. It was very expensive at the time and is even way more expensive now....

But I find it intriguing that you are suggesting that ZAPP cares not what you do to process an image before uploading it for jurying and the jurors are not checking to see what modifications you have made to the original.

That is the art show jury equivalent of allowing Performance Enhancing Drug use. Jury images on steroids.... And here I was trying to do nothing more than get the white balance right and use some of the exposure controls to get the colors and image accurate (at least to my calibrated monitor and my aging eyes.

So, just what are the limits to what I can do with my images before I upload them to ZAPP in 1920 square form at 72 dpi?? When you read the 'rules' it suggests that your images should be as close to virginal with reference to post-processing as possible. Having the freedom to jack the images about into whatever form I choose before uploading might be construed as a considerable amount of freedom to game the system.... Yes, I know there are limits and if you exhibit something way outside what the jury images suggested, they can bounce you from the show... But still.....

Too much to follow.

Windows explorer is probably stripping out the color space information. Either that or you have the color information set wrong in Photoshop. Change your Photoshop color information to tell you if there's no color space tag and make sRGB the default. If you don't understand give me a call and I'll walk you through it.

Pixels per inch (PPI) is irrelevant. 72PPI or 300PPI or 10,000PPI is still the exact same image size. ZAPP has the information incorrectly on their web site. I pointed that out four years ago and they still haven't corrected it. The only thing that is important is the pixel dimensions and JPEG file size is determined by the amount of detail in an image, not resolution.

Using Save for Web for conversion to JPEG automatically sets the resolution to 72PPI and strips out the EXIF data. There's also a check box to keep the embedded color space tag. You might be loosing the tag at the end of the work flow.

ZAPP doesn't care what anyone uploads, only that they do upload images so their clients get their jury fees. Where did you ever read that images should be as close to virginal as possible? That makes absolutely no sense. Images should be as close to accurate to the artwork, which requires editing, some more than others.

Larry Berman

Oh Yeah...  I just looked at the properties and the sRGB colorspace is in there. It's possible that the discussion board might stripping this data out in the upload.


You said "The only thing that is important is the pixel dimensions and JPEG file size is determined by the amount of detail in an image, not resolution." So does this mean dpi (dots per inch) isn't useful regarding resolution of the image in their system....

i.e. as long as it's 1920x1920 pixels and under 2 mb in size its good to go...

And i think I read that the images shouldn't be highly processed somewhere in the image upload guidelines when I signed up for ZAPP back in the stone age with a computer with a processor speed under 1 mhz and an internet dial-up connection that peaked out at approx 56 kb/s... I guess the gloves are off with regards to souping up your images

That's correct. PPI is irrelevant and doesn't determine file size. Only actual pixels and the amount of detail does. That's where choosing a level of compression when your images are 1920x1920 is important. It should be as close to 1.8 megabytes (now 2 megabytes) but not more. You can only do that by using the quality slider in Save For Web.

Larry Berman


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