Musings on Photography

Show progress, slow progress

Posted in motivation, shows by Paul Butzi on January 28, 2007

I spent this morning editing for the upcoming show.  I’m nearly done; only my natural reluctance to make the final two choices is keeping me from just picking two more images and calling it done.  The prints are up on the wall where I can live with them for the next few days, and doubtless a few changes will get made, but the overall direction has been set and I’m content with it, so I’ve moved on to other tasks.

Other tasks in this case would be those parts of photography that Brett Weston claimed were ‘sheer, brutal drudgery’.  There was clearing off enough space on the work table.  Then setting up the mat cutter, finding the blades, and adjusting the mat cutter to cut square, which it almost never does.  After twenty minutes of fiddling it was better but still not right, at which point I gave up.  It wasn’t worth the bother since if it’s just close but not right, you still can’t trust it and must verify every single damn cut, which trebles the time it takes.  Fortunately I have scoods of mat board cut to the right size, and for cutting the window mats I don’t need the right angle doogus anyway.

But I needed it for this morning’s other task, which was to cut 16×20 pieces of foamcore.  First, there’s the obligatory sorting through the scrap bits of foamcore picking out the pieces that can yield a backing board the right size.  There were lots, which made me think I didn’t need to clean out the supply of foam core at Daniel Smith last week.  If you went to the Bellevue store last week looking for 32×40 Bainbridge ArtCare archival foamcore, and they were out, it’s my fault and I’m sorry.

And then, after whacking those pieces down to size, I proceeded to knock 32×40 full sheets of foamcore into 16×20.  It would seem, to any rational person, that when you buy a sheet of 32″ x 40″ foam core, two cuts should yield four 16″ x 20″ pieces.  But, no!  In a move coldly calculated to oppress the more OCD among us, Bainbridge sneeringly makes 32″ x 40″ mat board sheets 40.2″ long.  So it takes more cuts, if you want all your backing boards to be the same size, as any decent person would.  (You there, in back, trying to point out that I could have made all the boards 20.1″ long.  Sit down and shut the heck up.  If I did that, the backing boards wouldn’t match the mat board used for the window mats.  So there, smart-ass.)

But anyway, not too onerous nor tedious.  The good news is that the ArtCare foamcore isn’t like that nasty foamcore with the glossy surface.  The glossy stuff has some sort of gloss layer applied, and when you cut it down to size, each cut edge is turned into a razor sharp flensing knife eager to slash your fingers into ribbons and strip the flesh from your palms.  No more of that crap for me, thanks.  I might save two bucks a sheet on the foamcore but I lose it all back buying band-aids and Neosporin for the cuts, plus it makes me madder than, well, really awfully spitting mad.  Not to mention the foamcore spoiled by the bloodstains.

Today, the editing and foamcore.  Tomorrow, making the final set of prints.  Tonite, ponder whether to print on paper choice A (Epson Enhanced Matte) or paper choice B (epson Ultrasmooth).  Choices, choices, choices.

6 Responses

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  1. Rosie Perera said, on January 28, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Why not post the two prints you’re trying to decide between here and have your loyal blog audience vote between them? Of course that wouldn’t necessarily help you, because you want something that fits in with the rest of your show. But if you really are undecided, check it out with a sample audience (many of whom probably won’t be able to see your show in person so it won’t spoil it for them to see the photos online ahead of time).

  2. Ed Richards said, on January 29, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Just curious about the changing format for the blog.

  3. Paul Butzi said, on January 29, 2007 at 10:11 am

    Why not post the two prints you’re trying to decide between here and have your loyal blog audience vote between them?

    Well, for one thing, it’s actually a matter of choosing two prints from a remaining pool of candidates, and the pool is fairly large. So the work of putting together a page with the current ‘in’ prints, and the list of contenders for the remaining two slots is large. Too large.

    And then there’s the fact that I just decided on the two remaining prints, also. 🙂

  4. Paul Butzi said, on January 29, 2007 at 10:13 am

    Just curious about the changing format for the blog.

    A fair number of people have complained that the font size was too small with the old format. For various technical reasons, changing the font size with the old template was a horror, so I switched to a template that would allow easier customization.

    I’d rather concentrate on content over presentation but if people can’t read it because the font’s too small, that’s an issue worth addressing.

  5. Ed Richards said, on January 29, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    I though readable fonts were against the blog ethos because they empowered old foggies to read blogs.:-) I am glad to see that it is possible.

  6. Dave New said, on January 30, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Foamcore is not the only dangerous art material when cut.

    A couple of years ago, I was cutting Melamine (particle board coated with that smooth plastic-like surface that is a popular sculpture stand material) to make a pretty sizeable stand. After cutting the pieces I decided to do the glue-up on the outside patio table, as it was the largest flat surface available(besides the basement floor, which any contractor will tell you is far from flat).

    All was well, until I went to take the finished glue up back down the basement stairs. Particle board is *dense* (and therefore heavy), and the unit was probably about 50 pounds. Trying to manage the back door and balance the stand, the stand slipped down my forearm, ripping a several inch long gash with the sharp edge of the freshly-cut (and slightly ragged) Melamine on one of the chamfer-cut sides.

    I immediately dropped the stand, and clamped my right hand over my left forearm, calling for my daughter to drive me to the emergency clinic. I have to congratulate her on not completely freaking out, considering how bad it looked.

    The clinic doctor was pretty impressed with the nice slice in my arm, and used 11 stitches to close it up. She also congratulated me on missing all the vital veins/arteries and/or tendons. At least I now have an easily identifiable unique scar for DB identification if needed.

    The moral? Sand/file those sharp edges *before* handling or gluing up. The shooting hand you save may be your own.

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