Not been posting much lately as most of my energy has been taken up with preparation for next weekend’s Spring Fling Open Studio Event (I am, of course, assuming that the latest prediction of the Rapture later today - the beginning of the Endtimes for some believers – is wrong. Again).
For 3 days (28th-30th May), along with more than 80 other artists and makers across SW Scotland, I will be opening my doors to visitors.
To make a more interactive event out of it, I will be taking photos of anyone interested, printing them out and pinning them to the wall. As the weekend progresses, the walls of my studio should steadily fill up with images of the visitors.
Given my limited energy levels (see post on CFS), I am trying to create a system to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible – from getting people to sign a model release form (so I can use the images in a book of the event later), through to sitting and posing, taking the photo, printing it, emailing it to anyone who wants a copy and pinning it to the wall. All this needs to be done within a few minutes per person.
If, for example, I take 15 minutes per person, then I can only do a maximum of 4 per hour, even at the busiest times. What I want to do is streamline it so I can get up to 10 per hour. Not every hour of the weekend will be packed, but going from previous experiences of Maggie opening up for Spring Fling, at it’s busiest, you can have up to 40 people or more in an hour poking their heads into the studio, and I want to miss as few people as possible.
My biggest hair-pulling frustration at the moment is the printer. I bought a new one especially for the event. It even has a wi-fi option so I don’t have to connect cables to it. However, for some bizarre reason it won’t print black and white photos using the black ink cartridge only – it insists on using some of the colour inks too (thereby increasing the ink cost). It also only has one photo-printing setting – highest resolution, maximum ink and soooo slow to print an A4 sheet (approx 30cm x 21cm).
Hewlett Packard – you suck!
The style of portrait I’m going to shoot will just be head and shoulders. A light background doesn’t go with the mood I’m want to create with the images, so my original plan was to use a black backdrop. However, given the ink problems in particular, a completely black background would have me changing the cartridges in the printer every 5 photos.
I figured a textured background would be better and could add an extra level of interest, so yesterday Maggie and I went in search of some material. Unfortunately, almost every material available had a regular pattern and I wanted something a bit more random.
Luckily Maggie spotted one my eyes had skimmed right over. The reason I hadn’t registered it was because it was purple – not a colour I would use in a colour portrait. However, as Maggie pointed out, I’m doing black and white portraits, so the colour is irrelevant.
Below is a test shot I took of my son, Rogan, using the set up I plan on using throughout the weekend.
Original with dodgy colour scheme
Cropped and converted to black and white
If you’re in the region next weekend, do come along and get your photo added to the wall.