I think it took longer to go from Mexico to the US than it did to go from Australia to the US, so with that caveat I will be glad to particpate once you get it organized.
One of the longest transit times for the "regular" portfolio was the hop from Norway to Mexico.
But I would still be interested in participating...
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
Just curious ... Where is the portfolio now?
Let's not lose sight of the initial motivation for the portfolio: I think we all agreed that, in scanning and digitalizing our our work, many of the characteristic advantages of a chemical print were compromised. One inclusion of mine, especially, is a disaster when scanned (the nude wrapped in netting) and I only want that shown as the "original" print.
I am really not interested in "critiquing". I might offer "technical" suggestions - when asked - but I cannot pass judgement on anyone else's *vision* - and WILL NOT!!
We have a mechanical problem - snail mail is just that - *SNAIL* mail. Added to that are the vagaries of each individual involved - some are going to be "buried" with work, or ill, or just want to hold onto the portfolio and savor the work there for some extra time ... or, motivated by the content, re-print some of their work for inclusion... or, or ... ad infinitum..
This portfolio is unique, and to me, well worth the wait - and then some. I don't think that there is any way more effective to experience the work here ... to SEE and feel the presence of the actual print. Even the *best* magazine reproductions, or glassed in and hanging in a gallery cannot come close.
I for one am prepared to make the terrible sacrifice of *having to be patient* and wait for the portfolio to get here.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
The original Traveling Portfolio has one more stop to make before it comes back to the first contributor. There are 20 participants and along the way one dropped out and one was added, and there was one sequence error resulting in shipping back and forth from New Zealand to the US to Australia and back to the US (or vice versa, I forget), instead of NZ-Australia-US, which added a few weeks to the travel time.
I suspect that second time around it should go a little faster, since we'll be a little more accustomed to how it all works and the list will be sequenced a little better, and we have a couple of clusters around New York and the West coast that can all view the portfolio together and move it along a bit more quickly.
I think the idea of centralizing initial submissions is a good one. Scanned images would certainly be a beneficial reference tool for discussion. Michael, I believe that David incurred some costs in relation to the set-up of the other portfolio, when you have a total of your expenses please post so we can contribute our appropriate share. I am looking forward to seeing everyone's work!!
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Aside from the shipping expense, the only cost I incurred was that of the portfolio itself, and most of that was reimbursed by the participants. There were a few for whom it was simply impractical to send funds to the U.S., given the small amount per individual as compared with the minimum cost of the transaction, but a few volunteered to pay a little extra, and I made up the difference.
The portfolio we used and which has held up and protected the prints quite well with repeated international shipping is the Tenba Port Ship 1114, which runs around $127 from B&H:
The case is relatively lightweight, has a airbill window, and does not need to be boxed each time (though postal regulations require that it be locked--we use a combination lock and the combination is posted on the private portfolio address page), and has no loose straps that could snag during shipment. They also make a larger size, but remember that that will raise the shipping cost.
I looked at various art shipping cases, and this design seemed most practical.
The purpose of scanning and posting is to provide people with a reference when someone says "What were you doing that produces this result? or How did you achieve this effect?" or some other specific reference.
This will be especially helpful for the people that haven't seen the portfolio yet, because it will give them a little frame of reference until they have the portfolio in their hot little hands.
If you don't want your submission critiqued, we will ask everyone to respect that request. If you don't want to critique other people's work, then you can simply look at the portfolio and pass it on to the next person, and keep mum about what you have seen.
Let me say that the intent of this is not for me or anyone else to critique other people's work, but to exchange images and help everyone develop a greater sense and appreciation for the work of others and other alternative processes. If someone wishes to have other people provide constructive criticism, that is their option, but fundamentally, the portfolio will be about getting real alt photo prints into peoples's hands, not as a master/protegee interface session.
Let me also say that I am specifically limiting this to alternative processes because there are many alt people out there who only print in alt processes, and if they do print in silver, it is more as an afterthought than anything else. This is not an issue of an exclusionary approach, but rather an issue of focus. The world of Alt photo is large enough to spend a lifetime exploring and never covering the same territory, and the hope is that the portfolio can keep the focus on these processes, and spur discussions and advancement for the alt photo practitioners at APUG.
I plant to send out a request form to everyone who is interested, regarding the information that I would like to have included with the image. This will have process information (specifics, if desired), information about the photographer/printer, and information regarding whether the photographer would like feedback and other items involving interface issues. This info sheet will establish the framework that people can use to provide commentary and also help establish the frame of reference for the background and history of the photographer.
I am interested in other ideas that people may have regarding the format and procedural issues, because I want this to be beneficial to everyone, and I want this to meet the needs of as many people as possible.
What is the size limit for images in the original portfolio? I was thinking it should be 11x14 maximum paper size for practical reasons, and to help keep the cost of shipping down. Does this make sense? If you have a bigger image, it could be folded or cut to fit (I shoot 7x17, and I would probably fold one of the prints in half to get it into the portfolio.). Remember, we're not talking about a presentation portfolio, we're talking a learning portfolio. We can look through a fold or assemble a cut down print without problem, and still appreciate the intent and workmanship of the photographer/printer.
Thank you for posting information on the original portfolio. I will look into these cases, and see what they look like.
I was originally thinking of using one of the shipping boxes that light impressions makes, as an inexpensive way to send it around, but I suspect it may not hold up to the rigeurs of the travel.
I looked into the Light Impressions TransPort shipping cases, which are about the same price. The ones from LI were large enough to hold an 11x14" archival museum box, which seemed an attractive feature, but as I recall, the whole package would be heavier and there seemed to be more in the way of loose straps or buckles to get caught in transit. They sell inexpensive corrugated boxes as well, but I suspect these will need to be replaced every few trips.