The Redeye Printing Bursary continued for the most part of 3 days. Once the characteristics of the negs are explored and the initial aesthetic for the opening images in a series, are decided upon, the workflow can increase. It is always a more deliberate start when beginning a new piece of work, because the choices made on the first few prints will affect how you treat those to follow.For me, making coherent bodies of work, with a visual identity that flows together is one of the most important aspects of my approach. Whether the prints are for exhibition or book reproduction the work needs to stand as a whole.
Gillian continues with some more of her thoughts, as the bursary progressed . . .
” At the end of the first day, we managed to get three images, with 1st and 2nd prints fully printed by the end of the day, I think we spent quite a lot of the time discussing the work and making decisions about the size and what to print as well as the more technical aspects that by the end of the day I felt much more confident that we would be able to print quite a few the next day.
I ended the day at my accommodation, Crosthwaite House, in the Lyth Valley near Kendal, my room overlooked a small valley and was truly stunning. After spending the day printing photographs about a rural life I spent the evening exploring the notion of the rural idyll!
We moved on to use 2 enlargers to enable more images to be printed, we carried on with the outside images to start with then began looking at the ones taken indoors to put through the 2nd enlarger. A couple of these negatives had very thin density so didn’t have as much information in certain areas of the image. As a consequence more tests had to be taken to get a good balance of colour and contrast. This process took quite a bit of time to achieve the results both Rob and I were happy with. The images appeared to come to life before my eyes by going through the various tests and finally printing a full image to see how it looked as a whole. Sometimes when testing certain areas you need to see the whole image to see what the adjustments are doing in the rest of the image.
In the morning we managed to get the outdoor images finished and get well on the way for the indoor images in the afternoon after our lunch. We decided it was such a lovely day to take lunch outdoors so headed up the hills for an hour. It is such a beautiful part of the country, we sat up on top of a hill (Farleton Fell) considering all that we could see, giving us the chance to reflect on the day before as well as the mornings work.
During the 2nd day confidence in my myself and my work continued to grow, having someone like Rob spend so much time looking, considering, reviewing your work in such a positive and supportive way has been as much a benefit to me as the actual prints we will have printed.
In the evening, I spent a very enjoyable time with Rob and his wife Lorrie, in their gorgeous garden, having supper. We talked about how to present work to curators and galleries to get the work exhibited, amongst other things of course!