Curating and Critiquing – Use Real Prints

The single thing I enjoyed most at the Trent Parke exhibition was the simple, hand pasted photo albums. Real prints, just stuck in a beautiful yet uncomplicated album, along with some prose and other writings by Parke. It was yet another reminder that prints are by far the most compelling medium for images. The exhibition inspired me to do the same.

Being a bit of a stationary freak, I started at the premium end with a visit to Bookbinders Design on Elizabeth St. The stuff in the shop is just “so” – perfect and finicky. Just like stationary should be! They have some great raw DIY materials for photo albums, on the expensive side… But just so nice! You can check them out here

StickersA largish binder, combined with heavy weight sheets made for a great feel. Bookbinders also have some great little self adhesive photo corners. They are perfect for mounting photos quickly and easily.

After my recent unsuccessful attempt to shoot colour again in South Australia, black and white is exclusively on the menu. Bond Imaging in Richmond are my “go to” guys to print “true black and white” prints. Matt, who normally looks after me, is a great photographer in his own right and is always ready to help. The first set of prints were ready on Friday for me to mount in the album.

Anyway, enough with the shopping documentary…

The prints are mounted with plenty of room for me to add some commentary around why the image works, and how it could have been improved. Having the prints makes you want to look at the images more deeply, and spend more time with them. I respond differently to a print vs a computer screen. Can’t quite explain, but it is more involving. Turning the pages is a pleasure, with their heavy weight.

R0010695The written commentary is short, to the point, and only about the most important aspects of the image. Just the key lessons from the image to try and retain in my brain for the next trip out!

Consciously making the effort to continue learning requires an investment in time, but the rewards will come. Pick some of your best images, and get them printed. Even if it is just down at Officeworks, and stick them in a scrapbook.


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