The Idea of Man, a virtual exhibition

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Welcome to The Idea of Man – a virtual exhibition, for all of you who are unable to visit the physical one at The Rangefinder Gallery in Chicago. It runs until 31 October 2015. I owe Dan Tamarkin of Tamarkin Camera a massive round of thanks for putting it all together and sharing his space – please drop by while it’s still up.

Here we go.

Note: for the benefit of those who prefer no captions, I’ve left them in only if you click through to the images on flickr. The narrative however, is important.

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Reminder: “The Idea of Man” opening, Oct 2 at the Rangefinder Gallery, Chicago

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Endless possibilities of the imagination – from The Idea of Man

Today’s post is a gentle reminder for the opening party for my exhibition “The Idea of Man”, at 6pm on Friday 2 October at the Rangefinder Gallery at Tamarkin Camera, Chicago. The exhibition itself runs from October 2-31 and is open to the public. In answer to many queries, they are almost all Ultraprints and they will be for sale in small editions. See you all there! MT

The output disconnect and the future of image viewing

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Kuala Lumpur skyline after rain. An example image for which there is no perfect output medium at present: web sizes we don’t need to talk about. Full resolution screens lack the tonal resolution to render the clouds in a transparent manner; print comes closest, but ultimately is a reflective medium and so lacks the dynamic range to represent the difference between the foreground trees in deep shadow and the light in the buildings.

Let’s take stock of where we are at the moment in terms of viewing options for images: there’s basically still only digital and print. On the digital side, displays have been steadily increasing in resolution and information density – and to some extent also size; we have 4K monitors in some laptops at 14″ and under, 8K in some televisions with an enormous jump to 50″+, and the majority of devices sit in the 2-4MP range somewhere between 12″ and 30″. There are also mobile devices with HD, QHD or even 4K (the recently announced Sony Z5) resolutions in sub-6″ screens; that’s an absurdly huge range of pixel densities. Everything from about 100PPI to 800+PPI. Clearly, preparing content for this is not going to be easy; viewing distances don’t necessarily have anything to do with perceived information density (say pixels per degree of observed FOV), either. You can hold your mobile at such a distance that it subtends the same angle as your 27″ 5K iMac, but the problem is the iMac will actually have double or more of the information density – just look at the number of pixels along the long axis. Or the converse might be true. As image makers, how do we manage this?

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Exhibition announcement: “The Idea of Man”, Oct 2-31 2015 at the Rangefinder Gallery, Chicago

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I’m pleased to announce my second exhibition of 2015: The Idea of Man, which runs from October 2-31 at the Rangefinder Gallery at Tamarkin Camera, Chicago. Though the previously intended book didn’t happen (yet, we’re working on it) – a good selection of the images will make it into this exhibition as Ultraprints, which will be for sale in a limited run of 10 per image.

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New Ultraprint offer: Motion at Rest, Venetian Cinematics 2

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Motion at rest – 15×12″, edition of 20

The next two images on offer are from Venice; after a decent amount of sitting time, the proofs are definitely something that I’d like to have on my own wall. Motion at rest is a study in contrasts between hard and soft light and forms; it is identifiably Venice without being a cliche. Venetian Cinematics 2 is all about the red umbrella: that transient instant of passing a stranger in a rainy alleyway where you perhaps register their presence but not at a particularly conscious level; later on you may stop and wonder what might have been. It is in essence the intrigue of the city at the human level.

Read on for more information and to order. I’ve also got a Hanoi Cinematic Masterclass (21-26 July inclusive) which is open for registration – click here to book and for more information.

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New Ultraprint offer: Marina III

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Marina III

After a surprising number of enquiries about this image, I’ve decided to offer it as a print in a limited run of 20 12×12″ Ultraprints, and 10 20×20″ versions. As with all previous prints, they will be printed by printmaster Wesley Wong, personally checked and QC’d by me and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Both prints are on a matte fine art fiber paper – Permajet Portrait White 285 – which we have found after much experimentation to have the best blend of density, gamut, detail differentiation and transparent tonality. You can read more about the rationale behind Ultraprinting here and a view a comparison to a regular print here.

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Survey: photographic print buying

_G007395 copy has been running for a little while now, with what I think of as moderate traffic and moderate response. I’d like to find out today how to make it better, by understanding my audience a little better. As such, I’d really appreciate your help with a little survey. The aim is of course to create more work that balances what my audience would like to see with the content I would like to create. And hopefully, we all benefit in the process. Thank you in advance! MT

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The book that was not to be (or the print-on-demand conundrum)

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I’ve wanted to present a book for a while, because I agree with these who’ve suggested in the past it’s an excellent way of presenting a set in a controlled and curated way – but have always held off for a couple of reasons; firstly, the work I want to present wasn’t finished enough to form a complete idea; secondly, there are challenges associated with economics, distribution, quality, etc. I thought I found a good enough solution…until the proofs arrived, and all of those things crashed back down to earth. So instead I’m going to offer you an apology.

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Limited edition Ultraprint offer: Forest IV (update – 3 left)

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(Click here for a larger version, Apple 27″ native)

Forest IV, Selangor, Malaysia. 57×22″ (145x56cm) printed area – Ultraprint on Permajet Portrait White matte cotton paper; $1,600 including DHL shipping anywhere in the world. Limited edition of 10 prints, never to be printed again at this size. Click on to order… [Read more…]

Photoessay: The Dreamscape Project

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Sometimes – quite frequently, actually – I fin myself on an aircraft with not very much to do. I fly often enough and spend enough time in the air that I’m one of those people who will bother to try and find out the flight route in advance and pick the seat most conducive to photography on arrival or departure – assuming of course there isn’t an engine or wing in the way*. I’ve gotten some very satisfying images this way.

*Frequent travelers will know there’s always a tradeoff: the front of economy is usually blocked; the rear usually is noisy and has a lot of traffic en-route to galleys and toilets, and the view isn’t always clear because of the convection visible due to the engine exhaust heat. Or, you fly up front and land up bankrupt.

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