I love photo shoots -- being on the move, capturing expressions in faces and time, looking for the message in the subject, whether it's sunshine on a snowy path or the smile on the groom's face when the bride turns the corner of the church door.
Exhibit photography provides a different opportunity. It's my turn to fine-tune my own message as I comb through thousands of shots to find the few to set the tone in a gallery, be it "Gratitude" for an upcoming March exhibit at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Kent, or "The Faces of New Orleans" for an exhibit, up now through April, at Taco Tonto's Restaurant, also in Kent.
I knew I had a small space and a big message. New Orleans is big, not just geographically. But the spirt and passion, the colors of New Orleans, the heart of the people -- all make for a larger-than-life message.
I had space for only 18 pieces. But I was able to display over 100 images, by using 25 small Facebook-sized photos in each of four composite pieces.
How to choose the photos?
I used my emotions. Every NOLA picture that ever sent so much as a shiver down my spine was pulled off my hard drive and into an album. The ones that sent me into convulsions of goose bumps were a definite. But even tingling was acknowledged as acceptance for these composites.
As I chose photos, I began to see the pictures falling naturally into four categories -- NOLA people; NOLA street scenes; NOLA music: NOLA houses. I wanted the composites to be big pieces , so as to include as many photos as possible, so Sue -- at Campus Camera, who helps me with all my printing -- and I chose 12X18 paper. We used Photoshop to color the background of each piece of paper -- gold, purple and green for the official colors of the city, and turquoise because you see a lot of turquoise in NOLA home decor, and because it is the color of the tropics. Sue made a grid for 24 photos. She dropped the photos in. We moved them around so that like wasn't next to like and heads didn't bleed into trees. We left a little color between each picture.
How to display? So many options, so little money or space
To display the pictures, I used black foam board and artist's tape -- black foam board because it's inexpensive and artist's tape, instead of dry-mounting, because artist's tape means the piece sticks out a little bit, and looks a little more hand-done, kind of like the city of New Orleans. I added foam board hangers http://govart.com/hardware_hangers_foam.html, (thanks, Sue!!) on each corner. I looped wire through the clips, piecing the four composites together, end-on-end, with a half inch in between, to make for a 72-inch long hanging.
Next up: An exhibit on Gratitude, a whole different place, a whole different feel....