As some of us who have shipped the portfolio recently have noticed, shipping costs are going up, so maybe it's time to rethink whether photographs should be mounted, since mounts are a lot of the weight. International shipping is running around $40-80, depending on the route lately.
I try to juggle the order a bit so that the same people don't always get stuck with international shipping fees, and I always cover a hop from the US to Europe myself, figuring the portfolio only seems to come around once every year or two, but some participants always have an international shipment.
I did quite a bit of research on shipping case options, and the Tenba Port-Ship cases we are using seemed the best compromise of low weight, ruggedness, and lack of things like straps that could get snagged in shipment, and they've held up well, so I think we should stick with them. They are designed to be shipped without having to be boxed, so that is another weight savings.
On the one hand, some of us feel that a photograph isn't finished until it's mounted, and one of the things I've enjoyed from the portfolio is seeing different mounting and presentation styles. Also, some types of prints on thin paper or albumen prints are virtually always mounted. On the other hand, the mounts are a lot of the weight. I've included both mounted and unmounted prints myself.
On the one hand, I think people should present their work as they want it to be seen, but on the other, we wouldn't want to lose participation due to shipping costs.
So let's discuss the options. Here are my suggestions--
--If possible, send an unmounted print.
--If it's a type of print that needs to be mounted, then mount, but don't mat, if possible, and if you can use 2-ply, that would help.
--If the thought of others seeing your work unmatted is like one of those nightmares where you're in a meeting with your boss, and you realize that you don't have any clothes on, then consider 2-ply, or at least try to restrain yourself to 4-ply at the most. 8-ply is beautiful, but I think it's excessive for this purpose.
I have to agree with David's comments! I instigated this thread after being asked to pay £39.79 to post what is now a 3.7kg package. As I am the only UK player this is prohibitive if I need to pay this each time the portfolio comes around. I can always drop out and that is an option. Another suggestion might be that we all contribute an amount roughly equal to that which is required to ship the portfolio around the world - I already participate in one such portfolio that is managed in this way. Some people may suggest that why should they subsidise other peoples participation - an equally valid argument!
Last time the portfolio was here, there was one picture mounted in a very shbstantial mount. in fact it was so strong and heavy that it had damaged several other prints in the package due to the inadvertent shocks and bumps in shipping.
While that picture was unscathed, I cannot consider it a valuable contribution to the portfolio.
I don't mount my prints for the portfolio - if I did, I would wet-mount them to 2.5mm aluminium.
Oh - and by the way: I always ship it internationally, but don't consider the cost excessive compared to the value of seeing all these fine prints "in the flesh". But I've seen mounts and mats before. ;)
Why not start with just adding ONE picture per person. To participate with something that represents you as a photographer and also an interesting personal challenge to choose. If you have more than one pic - show them on APUG. It should be enough to mount it on thin cardboard or behind equal thin matboard. Thick, sturdy mounting belong in exhibitions and not in a portfolio where they might damage others contributions. But there is something I´d like to add. A small notebook where participants can write comments or whatever to the others. Actually, I will donate a small lightweight notebook if there isn´t already.
It should be one print per participant, so I'd like to ask those who have had more than one in the portfolio to restrain themselves to just one when it comes around again. We've been casual about extra prints as long as there is space for them, but maybe it's time to return to the original practice of one print per participant.
As for discussion and leaving comments, we can do that right here on the forum. There is a thread for each round, and everyone is welcome to record their impressions there.
We did discuss having a pool to subsidize international shipments, but it seemed at the time difficult to administer, and there are so many international shipments at this point, that it might be difficult to figure out how to distribute the funds fairly and in a way that doesn't make anyone feel awkward about asking for the subsidy.
Personally, I think all the pictures should be unmounted and definitely unmatted, but sealed or placed in something protective.
No mounts or mats is OK by me. One entry only is also good. Perhaps a dozen cotton gloves could be included without adding postage weight.
A few of us generally try to put in a pair or two of cotton gloves. They usually disappear at some point, and then someone else puts in new ones. We can try to be more systematic about that.
Most of the prints end up in some sort of sleeve, even if they don't come that way. I usually sleeve any unsleeved prints when I get the portfolio, and some others seem to be helping out in that regard as well, or maybe the sleeves just all get shuffled around as the prints are removed for viewing. I think that it's good for the prints to be removable from the sleeves, so they can be viewed directly.
The issue is that for some this may be a cost too far - the portfolio could be significantly reduced if others pull out - this is about how we reduce the weight/cost burden not about who can and cannot afford it but yes cost might become the arbiter but to the detriment of all!
Originally Posted by Ole