Introducing the Printing School, in collaboration with Wesley Wong of Giclee Art

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It is with pleasure that I’m announcing a new collaboration today with master printer Wesley Wong of Giclee Art, whom you’ll remember as the gentleman who takes care of all my art and exhibition printing – and has done for the best part of five years now. I think it’s safe to say that there’s no way to view a lot of the information captured at a single glance other than in print – there are no monitors that can display 50MP, for instance – and there’s also no better way to make an absolute reference image. I think this is very important as a photographer to take your own vision further; if you cannot visualise the finished product, how can you show it to others – or expect them to be able to appreciate your vision too? Beyond this, there is also the tangible satisfaction of producing a print and having a physical object as fruit of your labor. However, there has always been a gap between learning the art of printing in such a way as to be accessible to all – because of the physical element – and the economics of experimentation and running your own printer. As much as I print personally, it still doesn’t make sense for me to own my own hardware – there are periods where I don’t print at all, and keeping the printer in working order would require dumping very expensive ink through the heads to keep things flowing. Of course, if you utilise external print services, this is moot.

Following demand for printing workshops from a widely spread audience, Wesley and I have been working on these challenges for a while now, and we believe we have a solid teaching structure that addresses all of the issues. Beyond that, it also allows for one on one and personalised tuition around the needs of the individual in much the same way as the email school. Continue after the jump for the explanation, and to sign up. We will limit this to just five students for the first intake.

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New Ultraprint offer: In the round

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In the round, Vysehrad, Prague

There are a lot of stories that begin with ‘it was a dark and stormy night…’ – but in this case, it was true. Myself and another masterclass participant had been freezing and moistening ourselves in a windy horizontal rain shooting from the top of Vysehrad, which is a castle/monastery/fort complex on top of a hill overlooking Prague. We were about done for the day, packed up, heading down back towards civilisation and hot goulash, but got diverted. We’d walked past this building earlier in the (overcast) day, which was striking for its shape and size, and I remarked that it would be great with the right light – turns out we got it. With the wide mixture of light sources on the building (halogen), surroundings (sodium vapour) and sky (light pollution from the city reflecting off low level rainclouds), I couldn’t have lit it better myself even if given free reign. This was the result – an accurate but highly atmospheric portrait of stories in the night.

Read on for more information and to order.

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Reminder: Opening party for ‘Un/natural’, tomorrow (5/12) at 4pm

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Hope those of you who are in Hong Kong are free tomorrow afternoon – a gentle reminder that my exhibition ‘Un/natural’ with Stephen King opens tomorrow at Alisan Fine Arts. The reception is at the gallery from 4-6pm; hope to meet you there! MT

The full press release for the exhibition can be found here.

‘Un/natural’ runs from 5 December 2015 to 9 January 2016 at Alisan Fine Arts, 2305 Hing Wai Centre, 7 Tin Wan Praya Rd, Aberdeen, Hong Kong (+852 2526 1091). Sebastian Turner and
Daphne King Yao
are representing me for this series of images, and all are limited to an edition of eight pieces each. The opening reception is from 4-6pm on Saturday 5 December; I’ll be there and all are welcome – please drop in and say hi if you’re in town.

Last exhibition of 2015: Un/natural, with Stephen King

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I’m pleased to present my final exhibition of 2015: ‘Un/natural’, a joint show with one of my students – Stephen King*. It runs from 5 December 2015 to 9 January 2-16 at Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong. This follows ‘Connection’ at the Hong Kong Arts Center in June, and ‘The Idea of Man’ at the Rangefinder Gallery in Chicago last month in October.

You might have already guessed from the title image that this is going to be something very different from my normal work.

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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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