For those that don't know what the Blind Exchange is, here's a brief explanation:
I hate to belabour this point, but if you haven't honoured your committments in any other exchange, please don't sign up. No deadbeats allowed!
- People sign up - "particpants"
- Particpants PM me their full name and mailing address
- Organizer (me) arranges so that every particpant sends one print to another particpant
- It's 'blind' because the particpants do not know who will be sending them a print
- One day a print just shows up! Like having a Secret Santa.
There has been a lot of questions about the 'quality' of prints. So here are some basic rules:
- Make the best print you can. It does not have to be museum quality, but there shouldn't be spilled coffee on it too!
- Although you don't need to mount/mat your print, a lot of people do. It's up to you.
- Say something about your print. I'd encourage everyone to add a note, especially if you are a newbie that is looking for some feedback, with some basic information about the print:
- Exposure settings
- Development times
- Other pertinent info
- B&W or Colour? Well the answer is either! As long as it is traditional film and paper based, all is acceptable.
- Polaroid transfers, Polaroid emulsion transfers, PT/PD prints, Ilfochromes, etc... are all acceptable. Even contact prints made from the hybrid method (film-->PC-->acetate-->paper) is acceptable.
- Fibre based or resin coated? Either.
- Does size matter? Generally, a decent 8x10 or larger is the norm. There are exceptions of course if you are doing an alternative process print, or if you are contact printing from a unusual format, or if you're doing something special like a collage of smaller prints, etc... I personally have recieved 6cmx6cm, 6"x12", a printed and bound calendar, an 8"x8", and a collage of four mounted 4x5s.
Here are some known methods that people have been sending their prints:
So, if you want to particpate, but don't know what to send, send this....
- flat, sandwiched in between two stiff cardboards, in a flat cardboard mailer or a soft bubble wrap mailer <--very good for unmounted prints, OK for mounted prints
- flat, loose with popcorn, bubble wrap, newspaper or other soft materail in a cardboard box mailer <--good for mounted prints
- rolled in a cardboard tube <--very not good for mounted prints
- hand delivered <--now that's dedication!
40% of participants send one unmounted 8x10, resin coated or fibre based, black and white print, sandwiched flat in between cardboard, in a flat cardboard mailer.
40% send a mounted/matted, fibre based, 8x10 black and white print, sealed in clear plastic, wrapped loose with popcorn or other soft material, in a cardboard box mailer.
How easy is that?
OTHER SIDE NOTES
Basic Scheduling: Exchanges will be launched on the first day of January, May and September. Month 1 is for signup. At the end of signup everyone involved will receive their assigned recipient. Month 2 and 3 is for printing, sending, receiving, admiring. Month 4 is for rest and yearning for another exchange.
Just a note that since the folks in this exchange are international, please be prepared, if you want to participate, to mail your print internationally since you may get someone overseas.
Note that for customs purposes, do not value your print more than $10 USD or 10 EUR when sending a print overseas.
For those of you in the US that want to send your prints via Priorty Mail, you can get free cardboard boxes from USPS at your post office or online at http://www.usps.gov. If you order them online, you'll need to order 25 mininum of each size and it takes about a week or so have it delivered to your address.
If you cannot honor your commitment and have received a print already from someone else, please send the print you received to the person you were suppose to send your print. Please notify the organizer immediately. If you have NOT received your print yet, please contact the organizer ASAP so that a change in recipients can be made, if possible.
Transparency / slide photographers have difficulty participating in print exchanges. Many don't have the equipment or chemistry to print optically. So what to do? My suggestion is to have prints made from a Lambda or Lightjet. This way the image was captured on film and printed using wet chemistry on photographic paper Like Kodak Endura Metalic or Fuji Crystal Archive not an inkjet. Also, I'd get the print made at a professional lab vs Wal-Mart. It's the best compromise if you can't print Ilfochromes.
And last but not least. This is a member organized function. There is no one 'legally' responsible for anything. unless Jason Brunner signs up and sends bacon through the post. Might be some health issues there. If a problem arises, please contact me first. We can generally figure these things out and we'll go from there.
Christopher A. Walrath
APUG Blind Print Exchange Organizer