Exhibition is live!

Exhibition is live!

My first solo exhibition - named: ‘Käigud Rajal!’ is now live, well since 6th of January at the Estonian Sports Museum.

It was a very busy two months, which started with agreement in mid November to have the exhibition - this was followed by quick and intensive few weeks which included fund raising to cover the costs of the exhibition, printing and mounting the pictures. The opening of the exhibition was on the 6th of January, so the first Saturday of the new year. the opening also included a ‘family day’ event in the museum which involved some local pro cyclists coming to the museum and meeting their fans. 

All in all the museum was a great but stressful day. Stressful because I had to make a short speech and that put me well out of my comfort zone - especially as the speech was in Estonian!

Now the exhibition is up and going well, I hope that the people who go and look at the pictures enjoy them. I would love to be a fly on the wall and hear what people have to say about the pictures.

Whats next now with this project? Well first thing is to deliver the promised gifts to the people who helped to sponsor the project. So the deal here is that for those that donated more than €30 will receive a 20x30cm print of one of the pictures in the series. Yesterday I received the first patch of pictures and am really happy with them. The printing was done by a local Tartu printer - K-Reklaam and I am really pleased with the prints they have made - fantastic and i love the Black and White tones in my monochrome images. I will mount the pictures to a matt to give them a much smarter look and hopefully encourage people to mount them to their walls.

Happy New Year! 365Portrait Project end!

Happy New Year!

2017 has now come to an end. For me personally it has been a very enjoyable, memorable and challenging year. The highlight of the year was getting married in August. The memory of this day and it’s warmth from both friends and family and the late summer heat, keep coming back to me. It was a very special day.

If I was to describe the year in terms of photography, then my year long portrait photo project is the clear memory. Now that the year has come to an end, so has this project and I am pleased to report that all was completed successfully. Yesterday was the last day with picture #365 of a young chap called Simmo.

The goal of the project was simple, to take a different person’s portrait photo each day of the year thorough all of  2017. Simple in theory but in practice was a bit more difficult. This is when I have to be very thankful. The first person who I must thank, who without her help I truly would not have been able to complete much more than a few weeks, is my wife Margit. Margit kept me motivated, encouraged and on track throughout the project. In many occasions when time was limited, days were busy and people didn’t want to have their photo taken - Margit kept me motivated and determined to continue. I really would not have been brave enough to continue all the way to through to the end without her constant support. The next group to thank is all the family, friends and strangers who sent facebook likes and shares, who kept encouraging and giving positive support all the way. Knowing that their was people out there following the progress and waiting for the next days picture, pushed me to keep going. Lastly thanks to all the 365 people who agreed to the strange and surprising request to have their picture taken - sometimes in the oddest of places - such as a restaurant WC, Ferry terminal and sports event finish line! They were the ones who made the project come to life.

Here are some stats. I photographed 175 females and 190 males, so not quite a 50/50 split but 48%:52% is close enough. The most common age group was 20-30 years old with 99, the least common was under 10 years old with 26. I didn’t keep track with how many people did not want their photo taken, but I estimate it was around 50; most ‘No’s in a day was 7.  Also I didn’t keep track on how many hours was spent on the project, some days would be 2-3 hours looking for the right person, uploading and writing a summary. While on other days would be all done in under 30mins. I think in total I spent an average of an hour per day working on the project and that was consistent throughout the year.

Now that the project is done, my mind turns to think, what next? First thing I want to do is take a little rest from it, then I would like to turn it into something that could be exhibited somewhere. In my mind the best and only way to exhibit it would be to put all the pictures together, on one wall, with pictures arranged in rows according to day and month. This way the viewer can get a sense of the year and also see how the summer months got lighter and winter darker. But how big a wall and where are harder questions I can’t answer right now. As for a similar followup project in the future? Well I have some ideas in my mind, so stay tuned and watch this space. Thanks for reading and wishing you all the best for 2018.

The Exhibition Planning! Part 2

The photo exhibition planning is going well. The prints have been made since yesterday and now they need to be mounted onto foam-board which should happen next week before the new year. Final print numbers are. 36 pictures printed 60x40; 1 large print at 120x80; 1 info poster printed at 100x60 and a few small exhibition posters (probably 6 of them) at A3 size.

I managed to find a good printing company here in Tartu so decided to go with them, it makes it a lot easier with test prints because then I can do a test print see it and then make adjustments. If I was to use a printing company in Tallinn then it would take a lot longer to see the test prints. The feedback loop would be a lot longer.

I made two test prints on 60x40 and was really happy with the results. First print was a bit on the dark side, so I had to just lighten up all the images a bit and then make a second test print. But that seems to have done the trick.

The exhibition opening will be on the 6th of January 2018, so two weeks away. There will also be an event around the opening involving some of the local cycling talents and a showing of a cyclo-cross film. So hopefully should all go well.

I plan to mount the pictures on the 3rd or 4th of January. This will probably take quite a long time to set up due to the amount of pictures being displayed and my inexperience in hanging the pictures. I think I will have fishing wire attached from the foam-board to the wall mounts. The large poster and the info poster will not be mounted on foam-board so I need to find another way to hang those. But I hope to iron out all these questions about how I will do the hanging, during next week.

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