2016 WRAP UP.
2016 has seen a transitional shift in my own work and how I view others work. Travel wise it has been a slow year. However, the decision to start competing in International FIAP salons paired with joining the APS has seen my learning curve increase it’s angle steeper on my quest for photographic perfection.
The salon journey began when good friends of mine suggested I start entering after experiencing my eagerness to strive to new levels with photography. An email was forwarded and A circuit was entered. A circuit is a bundle of salons held under one name with multiple judging’s. My debut resulted in ten acceptances and one image published to the classy printed catalogue.
An acceptance meaning it was accepted to the salon exhibition. Usually the top twenty percent are accepted. Each acceptance is tallied to the star ratings and who’s who in photography. Once several images have been accepted and awarded in multiple countries, in both print and digital format one can apply for honours. These numbers increase more and more significantly the closer you come to becoming a Grand Master of Photography.
One thing I came to realise very quickly was the quality of the work out in the wide world of photography. The images mind boggling, the post production and the story telling unimaginable. The coveted gold awards are given to only the best. A standard much higher than I had seen in other national competitions.
After my debut, I soon hit another salon with a golden duck. I was out! With no score. Was this beginners luck? When I laid eyes on the catalogue. I was awe struck. No wander I had not be rewarded. The standard was of Everest comparison to the standard of my own work.
I began a mission to adapt, I was keen to achieve. This meant re-visiting locations and old archives. The result, visualising the unseen and more refined compositional skills.
One thing lead to another and A Epson SCP800 printer was bought. The learning curve accelerated as if I had attached a NOS bottle to my photography voyage.
A photograph is a printed version of an image. A digital image is only a picture. A picture which is only as well represented as the screen the viewer is viewing it on. A falsified reality is the popular retina screens with enhancing perceptual software to create a perfect viewing experience. A shift to make every image look a million bucks. Well at least on that screen. It is for this reason I only trust Eizo monitors with my colour correct workflow.
The art of printing has brought A new level of skills to my inventory of image making. I had previously used a pro lab to print my images. With some images on the rare occasion, not returning as I had hoped. I needed to improve. The move to print my own work, was with the aim of perfecting my images on the photographic medium which is real.
You can pick up a print, feel the texture of the grain, see the sheen or matte. You can value it, you can possess it. A true form of artwork. The journey was only a few prints in when I realised a lot of my work would not be coming out the business end of the machine as I had intended it. A more refined process was to be accomplished.
Thankfully Eizo has on the fly refinement technology allowing me to set each ICC profile up with a colour and monochrome setting. This is achieved by holding up the actual print next to my screen, matching and creating A custom print profile in the system for each paper. This is not to be confused with the downloaded ICC profile you will find on media manufactures websites, used for photoshop proofing. This is room specific calibration. Ensuring the most accurate representation as possible.
Before doing this. I had to source printing room lights to achieve an actual full spectrum lighting condition, similar, to the light the sun produces. To do this a globe with a CRI or Colour Rendering Index of higher than ninety five percent is used. LED lights will not do this. They have an extremely narrow spectrum and will in turn, not produce a true rendering of how you are viewing anything in the room. Including your calibrated screen. The light fall will cause a colour cast to throw over your screen. The regular warm white globe you would find in your home are also A hindrance, giving off a warmer than desirable rendering.
I use 2 x Viva-Lite 18 w globes.
Important things to look for when buying your globes.
-CRI 95 Ra or Higher.
-CCT 5.500 K
The site I purchased my globes from was. http://customlightingsolutions.com.au/
The next most common problem I faced was out of gamut colour correction. To print an out of gamut image you will find a printer picking the next closest colour it can produce. This will see your image coming out with strange miss coloured blobs across your image. The classic excuse heard, “It looks fine on my screen.” A screen is not a print. I suggest the use ICC Profiles and a fully calibrated monitor.
To view and correct, Out of Gamut colour.
-Use the “view” tab in Photoshop and click “Gamut Warning” This will show grey colour over the out of gamut colours by default. This can be changed in preferences to any colour you desire.
-The easiest way to correct it is to use the eye dropper tool to select the colour. Use a Hue/Sat layer. Adjust brightness and saturation until gamut warning disappears. Use a layer mask to localise the adjustment to the defective area.
This may take a bit of getting used to in order to create the look, you desire. Once you have it down. I would suggest it as the final piece of your workflow before release.
Over the second half of the year, many salons were entered and I have learnt a tonne. I started out gaining more acceptances for my colour work. Noticing this. I decided to allow more positive energy to flow towards perfecting my monochrome work. With this I have turned out more multiple acceptances for monochrome categories than my colour work. I guess next year I will have to bring back some colour.
The results for 2016 have seen thirty seven of my images grace thirty two exhibitions in fourteen countries. With a total of seven awards and one hundred and six acceptances.
-Intergalactic Canter brought home two Honourable Mentions and a FIAP Blue Ribbon.
-Anzac Abstract also came home with an Honourable Mention.
- Quest for Light. won a APS Honourable Mention.
-In the Light. won a ISF Diploma.
-The Tunnel. won a FIAP Ribbon Coup De Coeur.
This year I also won thirteen awards in the Epson International Pano Awards. Two Gold, two Silver and nine Bronze. Details on the Pano awards can be found in my earlier blog. http://karlstrandphotography.com.au/blog/the-epson-international-pano-awards-2016
I would like to take the time to thank the people who helped me with my journey so much this year. My lovely partner Teal who supports me all the way. Thank you, Ian and Di English you two have inspired and guided me along my journey for three years now. My mates Wazza, Donny, Dean and Rob who got me up when I was down, and pushed me to get out again after a small hiatus. My mate Mieke, your guidance with all things FIAP has been a game changer. Cheers. Andrew Sala from L&P Digital photographic, all your help with printing has been of great wealth to me. Mark and Hiroko from Sydney Picture Frames, you always deliver the goods when I need you most. All the team at Georges Cameras cheers for all your help over the years.
As my journey continues and I grow as photographer, a printer and an artist my eyes are forever changing. On my quest for gold. I have begun to take more emphasis on including people in my images. This is a work in progress, so be on the lookout for what myself and 2017 have in store.
I have included a few of my most successful photographs from this year below. Please feel free to have a browse.
Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2017’s endeavour’s.