Well, I had the review last night. It went well, actually.
The best part about it, for me, wasn’t that some of the reviewers said nice things about my work (people like to say nice things) or even that some folks gave me areas to focus on and improve (that was much appreciated) no, for me, actually, the “highlight” was the fact that I’m very happy with the way my prints came out.
For a long time, in Austin, the labs were horrible. So horrible, in fact, they “inspired me” to stop taking pictures. I hated them. You really could not get a decent print and they were ruthless to deal with for such a long time. Last night, after the review, during the “social” period, I was talking with somebody and I said, “I could not have shown this body of work if I had to rely upon an Austin lab.” And, I wasn’t kidding. No lab in Austin could have done prints better than what I presented last night.
This makes me happy because, now I can say I’ve come full circle as a digital photographer. I can make things in my own house, in my own digital lab, that surpass anything a “real” or “professional” lab can give me. I do it better, cheaper, faster, maybe a little less grumpier (juries still out on that) and, believe me, that’s like a reward in itself. It’s these kind of small victories that really inspire me.
On the subject of inspiration, I can hardly tell you more about my review, since I am about to embark upon a weeekend of workshops. I’m home today but will be attending an all day workshop tomorrow on master printing and one on Sunday on photo transfers. These are both, excuse the pun, right “up my alley” so I’m really looking forward to a weekend of hard work but learning and fun too.
I will leave you with one final quote. One of my reviewers said, about this photo, “I like what you’re doing here with these tall buildings and narrow alleys…it’s like a canyon of light.”
Very poetic, don’t you think? (Where, oh where was he when I was writing my artist’s statement?)
Until next time…