Final Exhibition Pieces.

After making my final decisions for what images I was going to have for my final exhibition pieces, I then had to decide on my frames, size of prints and type of paper. Emma encouraged me to take some print outs with me to Hobbycraft and hold them up against different frame colours and sizes to help visualise how it would look and what would suit my images best, therefore I went straight there after the tutorial.

In my mind, I was conscious of not printing any bigger than A4 because I felt as I wanted my images to be relatable and quite intimate as it’s discussing a type of illness, it would be better to keep them at this size. If I printed them larger, I personally feel it would look like I was trying to be bold and brass about challenging the stigma to make a big statement, which might work quite well in other circumstances but for me it was just not what I wanted. I had considered going smaller but then I felt the viewer would really have to hone in close to see the details of the image. Emma suggested potentially looking at about 9 x 6 inch prints so I also kept this in mind when looking at different frame sizes. I also had in mind that I wanted to have black frames but I also considered other options such as white and dark brown to see how well they worked with my print.

Firstly, I came across the A4 frames with no window mount, what I initially thought I would want to use. There were no black ones but dark brown and white ones. To begin with, I found it really hard to visualise my prints in the frame especially as my quick paper prints had a white border around the edge which I was pretty sure I didn’t want. Instead, I folded down these white edges on the paper prints and surprisingly this made a huge difference in helping me consider what frame would work best.

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I was so glad I actually went and did this experimenting because it made me realise I wasn’t actually very keen on this A4 frame, especially after I came across a 12 x 16 inch frame with a window mount which meant I could include an A4 print. I was quite sure an A4 frame was what I wanted but after holding up my prints against this frame, I realised how wrong I was and how much I preferred it. By having the A4 frame it meant it drew the viewer right to the centre which was okay, but it meant the detail around the edge kind of got lost in viewing. Whereas with the 12 x 16 inch frame, this is illuminated through the use of the window mount and the detail that would have been lost in viewing is now replaced with the mount. After concluding this was the frame I wanted, I had to decide which colour frame I wanted. This varied depending on the photo as the white frame actually worked quite well with the underwater photo, whereas with the nails digging into skin image it looked awful. I also considered as I had two positive images and two negative, whether it would work better by having a lighter frame for the positives and darker for negatives. However I thought this would be really inconsistent and wanted to keep the same throughout to create a sense of unity with my images as together they are creating a narrative.

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Surprisingly, I found myself being drawn to the dark brown frame as I thought it really enhance the overall presentation aesthetically. However I thought the brown frames worked if these were being hung in a home rather than an exhibition, so overall it felt that black was definitely the decision to go for. It enhances the image without distracting away from it and also black makes a bigger statement than brown (although I know I said I didn’t want to make a statement through size, I felt it was more achievable and justifiable through the frames). The black also runs similar to the black pages in my book, which I previously acknowledged how the contrast enhances my photos and also represents how the anxiety is always looming despite it getting better.

Once I bought my frames and knew I was definitely printed my images size A4, I was able to go ahead and order them. I decided to go with The Print Space as I was able to get hold of some test papers so I could consider what paper would work best for my images. I was drawn to 3 types: fuji matt, epson semi-gloss and giclee canson baryta. Comparing these side by side, I concluded that I didn’t want to go for matt as I thought it would make my images too flat. I already felt that glossy would be too much for my images but I definitely wanted to have a bit of shine too them, hence why I picked out semi-gloss as this was a suitable in between of matt and gloss. Canson baryta was something a little different and I picked up how it had quite a shine to it when reflected in certain lights, more so than semi-gloss therefore I decided to go with semi-gloss overall. I also decided not to print my images with a border as the window mount worked well as it was.

After how my book turned out, I was particularly apprehensive of how these prints would look especially so close to the deadline and also at quite a cost. However when they arrived I was really pleased with them and excited to get them in the frames to see the finished product.

Finally, I needed to consider how I was going to position my frames in the exhibition and the distance between them, as well as what order I wanted the photos to be in the frames. My frames would be landscape and in two pairs. I didn’t want them separated too far apart as it would lose the sense of narrative told through the 4 images. First I looked at the 4 frames with an inch distance between them all.

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This worked horizontally to show the connection of the pair but not vertically. Having them this close meant they were all related which they are in terms of creating a narrative, but as I have the positive pair and negative pair, I felt this needed to be distinguishable by a larger gap vertically. I tried a 2 inch gap, but this just looked like I hadn’t got my measurements right rather than it being deliberate. Therefore I tried a 2.5 inch gap between the middle.

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I also tried a 3 inch gap.

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It is hard to see from the images but there did seem to be a noticeable difference with the extra 0.5 inch. In my opinion, a 3 inch gap was too big and kind of made the bottom two look out of place and not relevant. The 2.5 inch gap was just right for creating a suitable distance to signify the difference between the building up of anxiety and the release of anxiety but without being too far apart that it separates the narrative. If I choose to include my book, I will plinth central to my 4 frames and neatly below so it doesn’t instantly distract away from what is on the wall.

I also experimented with a couple of different orders of the four images to see which worked best.

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I decided the bottom arrangement worked best by having the two self portraits on diagonals and then the same with the coping mechanisms. By having these on the same sides I felt it made it too repetitive. Also, the balloon image worked better going first on the bottom row as I am still holding onto the balloons (anxiety) whereas the dandelion has small segments flying away showing I am letting go, but the ones that still remain on the stem held in my hand again shows how it remains.

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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on May 19, 2015.

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