MARKS ON PRINTS and Printfinishing
We have had occasion to see one or two prints that have had blue spots, red spots and other sorts of marks on them which according to Kodak, are not the problem of processing. Kodak suggest that any moisture that is present on the surface of the print before the print has been sprayed with plastic... sealed with Exhibitex or had any other surface permanently mounted to the print could give problems at a later stage. This means you have to thoroughly dry out the print before you spray it with plastic.... dry out the print thoroughly before you put your Exhibitex on and so forth. We've also seen prints that have been in a clients house in Dunedin for some time returned because they have gone slightly mildewed. This again is a problem of the photographer because in this particular case the prints were not sprayed with plastic and sent out completely untreated. This of course allowed the dampness to penetrate the emulsion and of course you start getting a mildew effect once this has happened. All these problems of course were with us in black and white days but because of the added dimension of colour it becomes much more obvious.
CHANGEABLE BACK CAMERAS
Where you have inter changeable back cameras, often you get one back that is faulty.. scratching films or creating some other sort of havoc in the system. Unless you code mark your backs it could take you ages to find out which one is giving you the problem. What I would recommend would be a slight nick out of the border of the magazine so it creates a nick in the picture area of the emulsion. No silly, not a scratch but a nick in the edge of the frame where it will show on the edge of the negative and by varying the number of nicks you put in and their location, you will very easily be able to tell exactly which back is which. You can do this with an extremely small file and just file a little v. This means you'll be able to identify what back is giving trouble.
REPORT FROM NORTH CAROLINA 1979
1999 A lot is now out of date but there are some interesting concepts here if you look for them.
As I sit here in a big shopping centre carpark at 3.24 p.m. with a temperature reading 44 degrees Fahrenheit or 7 degrees Celsius, it makes one wonder why Saturday morning trading is not brought into New Zealand. There's absolutely thousands of cars here in a fantastic large mall. I've just walked through a Foodtown, where there were ten aisles working with about eleven people queued up waiting in each. They have a computer electronic scanner there for working out the price of the goods from the bar code we are starting to see on the packets, so they are going through really fast, yet there are more people in the line than they can handle and they are all walking through the Mall where the North Carolina Photographers Association have their display, one can't
help thinking Professional Photography. They have the travelling loan exhibition on show and each individual photographer in the area has a stand showing his work. There was only one switched on Photographer there with a little table to talk to people at, but the exhibit itself fills the complete mall and believe me the mall is much larger than anything we have seen in New Zealand. It is of course filled with shoppers, as it was last night, which was Friday night and it was open until 9.30. Today it is open from 10 o'clock in the morning until 5 o'clock. Of course they have strong unions here and they do believe in the 40-hour week, but the various people work shifts which then allows them to keep the shops open. The Professional Photographers of North Carolina have got a public relations programme running there where they did the
actual judging for the champion prints of the show in front
of the public.They had a rather interesting triangular stand which revolved and they fitted each side up with a photograph and when the judge was ready for the next one, he just moved it round one space. The judges use an electronic marking device and they all had the right to challenge. So if a print was marked lower than one particular judge felt it should be, then he could challenge it and give a reason why he was challenging it, then there would be a re-calculation.After this they had a posing demonstration showing how a professional photographer could, with very little trouble, get three or four beautiful poses from the model sitting in the one position.Sam Gray gave a fifteen minute talk and slide show on his type of photography which was extremely well received.Now at the other end of the scale upstairs while all this was going on was a firm called Kiderfoto International Inc. which was a Milestone (Pixie) type of operation and people were queuing up to have their children photographed. They could have the choice of one 7 x 5 or four wallet size prints for $1.95. They limited the age to twelve years and made an extra charge of $1.00 if there were extra children in the photograph. They guaranteed satisfaction or your money refunded and I stood there for about half an hour watching these two young girls at work. They were both about 18 years of age and took turns at the camera, working in full view of the public with one light above the camera, the camera on tracks so they could move it to and fro, it was a Beattie Coleman type of camera and had the focusing set so that you could view it from the front. They had a electric cable release with a button on it which when they touched put a focusing light on. They did four poses and none of the four poses were the same. They changed the background, they changed the position of the child, they moved from close ups to full length, they varied each pose as much as they could and didn't press the exposure button until they were sure of a print. After all that they guaranteed satisfaction or money refunded and extra prints were available for $17.55 which gave them two 10 x 8s, three 7 x 5s and eight wallet size prints. Or alternatively, they could purchase 5 x 7s for $1.95 or 10 x 8s for $3.90 out of the original package.Whilst I was there they had about half a dozen in the queue all the time, with one girl taking the photographs and the other girl serving the people who came to pick up photographs. Those girls really worked I have a feeling they must have been on commission.The seating arrangements that they had for the children was rather interesting, it was a table that would fold up at the back so that you could lean a baby against it. The photographs were not terribly impressive that I saw on display, they all had a shadow behind them because of the single light, but believe me, none of the people that were lined up for the photographs really were terribly interested about the shadow.Four o'clock back at the mall, they put another presentation on of the decorating with home art and showing how a photographer worked to achieve the best from his model. Again there was a great crowd watching and it went over with a great deal of success.MONDAY
The first subject on the convention programme was restoring the old home place, which freely translated into english means restoring a photo of the old house that you use to live in. Evidently this is becoming quite a market in this country and is something that should be borne in mind if you want to enter the copy and restoration work and if you have a good artist.
Alma Evans spoke about what a Photographer in Kentucky does when he delivers a business portrait or something that is really extra special to any of his big clients. He delivers it in a red velvet sleeve you could call it, because this makes it look extremely expensive. This means that if you were going to make a delivery to a home you would take the photograph out in the red velvet sleeve and hang it and take the sleeve back with you of course. However another thought which could be built into the price of the delivery, the red velvet sleeve, so if you make the delivery at the studio, they take the red velvet sleeve home with them. COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY
"Another Dimension For You" by Harold Beach. Harold was talking on various aspects of commercial photography, how he produces work from the artists concept onto film, how he uses the Polaroid film when his client is there with him. ( where it say Polroid now READ DIGITAL)
He went on to say that he, if possible, always has his client there so that he can okay it before he takes it and then if he okays it, if there is anything wrong with the final product and it has to be re-taken, it's at the client's expense because he okayed it. For example with meat the client knows more about meat than a photographer, so he has to pick out all the good little bits and pieces of the meat to make sure the meat is the right shape, colour and anything else like this. He went on to say that there is enough commercial work in a small town across the States, and I feel this would also apply to New Zealand to keep photographers busy during their quiet period, and with the aid of a little bit of airbrush work on some of the stuff, can be quite profitable.
Still at NORTH CAROLINA 1979
1999 Some more good meat here...
One other point that Ed made was that his lighting in his studio is precisely the same sort of lighting that he would use on location. In this way he says he turns out a consistent quality and is not faced with a small pickup truck to transport his lighting about. Because he wishes to use on location what he uses in the studio, he has developed a system of lighting and reflectors that is extremely portable. He does use a Hassalblad camera and does up to three rolls of film on most subjects he photographs outdoors. He does say that it is not infrequent to sell a $1000 order.
Leon gave a very informative talk and I've listed a few of his comments that he made during his talk. He said that photographers have now got it extremely easy because when he started out the only camera that they had was a speed graphic and 4 x 5 film. He said imagine doing a complete candid wedding with this sort of equipment, now we've got roll film and with all of the latest cameras, we've got it so easy a lot of people no longer have the skill that a photographer in those days was required to have. He then went on to talk about customers and raised some very good points in so much that he's not one of these people that believe you should have all the people dressed in the same colour like we've been hearing a fraction from some of the speakers. He said he once remembered seeing a group of people photographed with an age group of 70 down to 4 and they were all in blue jeans and blue turtleneck jerseys. He said it looked really weird and I can imagine what he means.If you keep raising your prices you'll eventually get into a group of people who know how to dress properly. The more money they have, the more likely they are to know how to dress. Your lighting should show all the characteristics of one light source and made the point that window lighting is so nice because it is from one direction only. Immediately you move outside, the light comes from every direction, therefore you must control it.He suggests showing your customers the difference between controlled light and uncontrolled light and then they will realise why your work costs more than a amateur. But he stressed the main point before you were able to do this was the learn to control the light, learn to see the light and when you're working outside, you should work near the first tree in the forest because the deeper you go into the forest, the more cyan green the light will be. He recommends the use of a CR3, a KR3, an 81C, or a skylight filter when working outside. The CR3 he likes the best because it does warm up the print nicely. On discussing groups he made the comment that you can not light a group like you do an individual person, but whenever he photographs them outside, he photographs them as late as possible in the day so that the light has some shape to it. When you're back lighting you've got to get sufficient lighting on the face to get good skin tones.Leon is reasonably famous in this country for the vignette that he designed. The vignette was originally designed to compensate for the fall off that you get from an enlarging lens so that when he sends his negatives to the lab, all the person that is printing the negative has to think about is whether to dust it or not. He believes that the lab should do all of the mechanical process of making a print and then he does all of the print finishing. He is of the firm belief that print finishing is as important as the photography. If you do use an exposure meter that does not give you a reading through the lens, he says you had better do some extensive testing so that you are sure of what your meter says your camera does.
He also makes the comment that if you are using a vignette on your camera and you don't have a through the lens meter, again you'd better do some extensive testing to see the results that the vignette gives you in exposure at different settings.
He made a very good point that if you have a single lens reflex, you should have it checked on a yearly basis, to see if the image that is on the film is the same as the image that is on the ground glass. In other words check for the registration and whilst you're having that checked, have the speeds checked at the same time.
If you're displaying your work you should always get a model release and keep it It cost him $1,000 to find this out. He's found that after 3 p.m. he gets the maximum in directional light and made the comment if you can't be good, at least be different.He made the point that the eyes see thousands of tonal ranges, the film sees approximately 200 and the paper reproduces approximately 70, and one should be aware of this.Good pictures are made in the blink of an eye. You should keep it simple and give room for the birds to fly in outdoor photographs.Evidently in America a lot of people knock Kodak and Leon's comment about this was, where would we be without the yellow box still at the post office waiting for the Agfa film to arrive.He made a very good point that we normally sell what we like and as far as he's concerned 20 x 24s and larger is what they like, that is Leon and Betty. Mat spray kills low key work and should not be used on those circumstances at all.
Van Moore is famous for his photography of women and his photography was fantastic. He is a basically a studio photographer and bases his photography on Michael Angelo's Venice. He believes that we have to get back to the classics in looking at posing and simplicity.He said even a truck driver can see the difference between good and bad work and believes that if something is not pretty, it should be hidden. A women should be small and delicate.He has never had a complaint from the women about appearing too small in a photograph. He makes a very interesting soft focus attachment for an RB67 and he starts off with the core from the roll of colour paper and then covers that with some black mat chiffon. Then with a cigarette he burns a hole in the centre about the size of the cigarette, and then with matches he lights a match, gets it going good and strong, blows it out and then with the hot tip that is left on the match, burns two holes round the edge of the larger hole. He's found that you can only get two holes per match, so you have to go through five or six matches to get sufficient holes right round the hole you've burnt in the centre until you end up with something like an imagon lens diffuser. This will fit straight onto the front of an RB67 lens and when used at F8, gives you a beautiful soft focus effect.He doesn't use umbrellas because he prefers the raw light as he can control it better. He uses 100 watt second lights and a heavy diffuser over the fill light to cut the intensity of the light down. The fill light he places directly in front of the nose of his subject so that he gets no shadows on the face. This then leaves him with this main light to give the modeling on the face.Rarely does he turn the nose of his subject past the axis of his lens if they are past the age of 25 years. This then eliminates all the cords and wrinkles in the neck.Once they are over 30 years he then normally photographs them three quarter length and the wrinkles are not so obvious. Once over 30 years all of his subjects have to wear long sleeves in their dresses.Under no circumstances will he photograph anybody with tinted glasses, if you see something you don't like on the person you are photographing, you should put it into shadow. He uses an aperture of Fll at 100 watt seconds with his lights about 6-7 feet away from the subject.He under no circumstances photographs a bride with the train pulled forward because he refers to that as a white pool of blood in front of the bride.In his three quarter lengths, he always pulls the dress out at the back to get a flowing line and makes sure there's no gaps between a person and a chair, if he is using that as a prop. He works to get the S curve of Aphrodite.Van's lighting on his bridal portraits were fantastic. Van is a real Southerner, moves really slow, talks really slow, but his control of light on his bridals was something we should try to develop in New Zealand.
A MORNING WITH HAROLD
This was reasonably interesting and he covered his complete operation which again was reasonably interesting and proved the point that I always believe in, that at every level you can learn something. He did make about three or four extremely good points that I feel are effective in New Zealand.
Point 1 - people leave a living image of themselves in your care for their loved ones. So you should always do your best.
Point 2 - make your customers completely aware of your requirements from them with regards to payment. If they, after you have made them aware of a sitting fee or minimum deposit, and they arrive in without the money, give them an addressed envelope to mail the cheque in to you. In other words make it as easy as possible for people to give you the money.
Point 3 - you must always keep a stock of ovals in stock that will fit your proofs so you are then able to sell oval prints. Nobody can imagine what an oval looks like until they have seen it, so therefore if you place an oval over the proof, then they are able to see what you are talking about.
TOM AND JO ALICE MCDONALD
McDonald's gave a run down on their business and they concentrated on candid weddings. They said if their customers were too busy to come in to see them before the wedding, they can't have much use for photographs and therefore they don't want to photograph them.The key to their business has been the way they use their display photographs.
They have two displays outside their studio in busy centres and this has been the key to their success of their business. They have 29 new portraits on display every month which I'm sure you will agree is quite a challenging task.
Everybody is staving for attention and so by placing their photographs on display, this is the best form of advertising you can get. The photographs that he does have on display are in actual fact owned by his customers, however this took quite a time to get to this stage.He started off displaying photographs on speculation and found that he was having very little success.He then starting making notes of the photographs that his customers liked and starting displaying those and had a little bit more success. However his current sales method is to upgrade his sales from 11 x 14s to 20 x 16s so that he can use it for display.He does it in the following method insomuch that his price list has a one off print price and a second print price. If he decides that he is going to use a photograph for display, and he wants to increase the size of the picture that his customer is buying, he will offer them the print at the second off price, which is often only $5.00 more than the smaller print. He sells it on the policy of 50% deposit and the balance to be paid in two months. In this way he is making each order reach its full potential and uses his price list as a real selling tool.
During the Christmas period he had so many requests for people wanting their photographs on display that he is now booked up for the following two months, with display photographs waiting to go on display. They've all paid their 50% and will be paying the balance once the photograph comes off display. He does however use the phrase if he is not particularly keen on having a particular photo on display or wishes to play hard to get. that he is over allocated on that particular area of his display.He is given the person who answers the telephone at his studio a mirror with written on it Into this mirror looks the best salesperson in the world.When this is in front of the telephone, you cannot help but look at this and you cannot help but smile and this then places the smile into your voice,
He uses makeup extensively and makes up every person that goes in front of the camera, in this way eliminating a lot of work that has to be done on his prints.He uses a fishing tackle box for spotting so that it can be closed up and it keeps all the dust out of it.
He has a computer readout each month giving completely itemised information on his profit and loss and the percentage of his turnover in each department. In this way he can eliminate sections of his business which are not paying or give it more attention.He operates in an area of 30,000 and refers to the Kodak survey which found that only 11% of the people having a portrait made actually are influenced by price, 61% of the population in actual fact want a portrait made. So that when you get a telephone enquiry as to how much is the 10 x 8, you have to get them involved in a discussion which results in them stepping foot in your studio to have a portrait made.Each set of previews that goes out of his studio goes out in a black box with the previews wrapped in tissue and a Kodak mailing piece on interior decorating placed inside. He tries to make them look extremely valuable.
His studio also offers free gift wrapping and often this results in an increase in the order. If an order is running late for some reason he is in contact with his customer with a little postcard which states that the order is running late and points out that Michael Angelo did not paint the Sistine Chapel with a roller and that it indeed took a great deal of time.When the order is complete it is delivered with a restoration brochure so that he is then looking for the next lot of work that he will get from the customer,
With every order over $3000 a thank you card is sent with a business card inserted so that they can lift it out and keep it.His answer to discounts to relations or friends or somebody that you feel for some reason you wish to give a discount to,.."for example you may wish to give a discount to your local preacher and the best way of doing this is to give a gift voucher for X number of dollars. This means that they know they have X number of dollars to spend and this makes them aware of precisely what you are giving in money.
Under no circumstances does he give a discount which in actual fact becomes a thing which people expect to go on forever. His final words that you must have a goal for each day in order to be a success.
JULY 1977 ROCKY
These notes on Rocky Gunn are of historical interest." He states in his letter that he doesn't like writing and should I want any information to call him collect". That's one way of getting out of writing letters, rather expensive though. Rocky is really getting the honors heaped on him in America. He's been made a Master Craftsman for U.S.A. faster than anybody else in two and a half years. He can't officially receive it because it takes legally three years of membership to even apply, but he may have done all of the points.
He does however, send some very interesting information on a response to a student questionnaire for one of his seminars. Incidentally he has been the first instructor to be invited back to Winona twice in the one year. This is perhaps the biggest honor that anybody could get.Of his class of 65 students, 75% of them replied to the Winona questionnaire.
Beside the answers to the questions relating to Rocky Gunn's seminar, are (the Winona averages) for 1976.
Average distance traveled one way to Winona 1,915 miles (791 miles)
Average estimated cost to attend (minus tuition) $697.00 ($336.00)
Describe the course excellent 85% (58%)
How was the course organized very well 78% (68%)
Evaluate the teaching staff excellent 79% (72%)
How was the course content well balanced 95% (83%)
Was the course worthwhile to you yes 97% (93%)
Have you attended Winona before yes 62% (40%)
How many years have you been engaged in photography six years (nine years)
Average age 20-29 51% (40%)It is interesting to note that the vast distance they traveled to attend Winona and the amount that it costs for them to get there. It made the courses we ran in New Zealand extremely good value.
1999 Rocky was a very bright light on the American wedding scene who’s light was puffed out all too soon after he traveled to NZ leaving a gap, that, perhaps, has never been filled.