Today in two hours or so, I put together most of a very nice portfolio of large, glossy photos of my recent paintings (I'm getting ready to approach a few galleries.) It was easy, really--thanks to previous experience with picture files, font choices, text boxes, print options, and so on. It was even fun. I'm so pleased! And also amazed at how digital cameras and better printers and software have so completely changed the process of documenting and presenting work.
It seems not long ago at all that I would use up a whole roll of slide film (at $10/roll) to shoot a few paintings, bracketing exposures and making sure I had enough good originals. In the dead of winter (I was shooting outside) this would involve removing snow from in front of my shooting wall (to avoid bluish reflections) and then spending up to an hour photographing. (Brrrrr.) Then the film would have to be taken into the photo place 30 miles away, retrieved the next day (another $10 for developing) and if for some reason the slides weren't good enough (viewed, of course, with a projector which had to be set up) I'd have to go through the whole process again. I'm sure most of us have similar stories, or perhaps paid a lot of money to have someone else do all this stuff.
Now, even when I shoot outside (which I still prefer to do) it only takes a minute or so per painting, and a then just a little more time on the computer to get what I'm after. The camera was an investment that I'm sure has already paid for itself, and I have much more control over the outcome of the images. Printing is quick and easy...again my mind goes back to the "old days" when I would pay a lot of money for disappointing photos made from slides, when the need arose for photos.
Happily, it seems most galleries, grants, and other places to which one applies ask for jpegs now, or digital photos, or CDs. I'd guess even "slide talks" these days are being done on power point (I haven't done one myself for awhile.) All this great technology means more time for painting (and blogging, emailing and web surfing too...the dark side of these electronic marvels is they way they entice some of us to stay parked at the computer far too long...)