Calls for Entries November 2012

“Pyrotechnic #37”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

[note – edits on Nov. 5th]Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entries entitled “Picture This: What We Photograph” with entries due November 4th.

The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards has their 2012 Pollux Awards with entries due November 4th.

The Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California has their annual Juried Exhibition with entries due November 11th. I was in this last year and I thought the overall show was very strong.

The Bakery Photo Collective in Westbrook, Maine is seeking submissions for their annual (and very popular) Photo A Go Go fundraiser, and you need to submit info by November 11th to be included in the marketing materials.

The Wall Space gallery in Seattle has their annual New Directions juried show with entries due November 11th.

The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops has one of their semi-annual photo contests coming up — it is entitled “Outside” and has a final entry date of November 13th.

Jen Bekman’s Hey, Hot Shot! Competition is accepting entries until Nov. 14th – with prices escalating as you get closer to the due date. It is a bit pricey but the potential rewards are pretty good – they seem to have a massive email list for publicity.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled “Lines: Walked and Crossed and Otherwise” with entries due November 19th.

The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has a call for entry coming up entitled “Encore: A Look at Music” with entries due November 22nd.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entries entitled “Portraits 2013” with entries due November 28th (note that it is isn’t just portraits of people, but something broader than that).

The Photographic Resource Center at Boston University has a call for entries due December 3rd entitled “Unconventional Inventions: Innovative, Unusual, & Alternative Approaches to Photography”. This should be a good one, though make sure you work is a good fit as they are definitely looking for outside the box work.

The Portland Art Museum will be accepting submissions for their 2013 Biennial until December 15th. Highly recommend for all you Mainers out there.

Black & White Magazine has their annual portfolio contest with entries due by December 31st.

Rayko Gallery in San Francisco has their 6th Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show with entries due January 4th, 2013, for those of you using plastic cameras.

Maine Media Workshops has a call for entries contest entitled “Spirit of Place” with entries due February 1st, 2013. Two interesting and good twists on this one – they are looking for portfolios of 8-10 images rather than single images, and the contest fees will fund two workshop scholarships. The contest also includes single image submissions as well (as well as video and separate categories for adults and youths).

Update, and a scam directed towards artists

“Waterscape, Blue/White #2”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I’ll be pretty occupied next week with my Night Landscape Photography workshop next week with Maine Media Workshops, so please don’t be alarmed if I’m a bit slow in responding to emails and such. The image above is a new image for my abstract waterscape series from this summer…

Ok, on to the crux of the post. As if artists needed another thing to worry about, I received a few emails as part of an attempted scam this week regarding the purchase of one of my photographs. I bring this up as a warning, as it was much more specific than the normal Nigerian colonel-type of scam. I’m sure all of my readers are familiar with these sort of scams (find out more here from Craigslist), but this one seemed worth highlighting since it is specific to artists (and I know of at least one other Maine artist who received a similar email this week, so I’m sure there are others).

Here’s the e-mail I first received (along with my own commentary in red):

From: Steve Kepley (of course it is Steve – a nice generic American and yet kind of cool name)
To: Jim Nickelson
Re: “The Tarn” (one of the keys to the scam – identifying one of my more popular images with specificity)

Good day, hope you are good. Was going through your website and saw some of your artwork I really like. You are doing a great job. (flattery always is helpful, but the great job part struck me as odd). I would like to make the purchase of the artwork in subject field above if it is still available..i would also like to know more about the artwork. kindly get back to me asap.
Thanks and God bless, (nice touch, too, to make it seem like someone without bad intent)
Steve.

After this first email something seemed a little off to me, but I really didn’t expect a scam because of the reference to a particular image – I was thinking more that it was someone who was unlikely to be serious. But you never know, so I replied with prices, availability, and sizes…and then received this reply:

From: Steve Kepley <stevkepley@yahoo.com>
Subject: Hello…
Date: October 10, 2012 12:37:41 PM EDT
To: Jim Nickelson <jim@jimnickelson.com>
Reply-To: Steve Kepley <stevkepley@yahoo.com>

Dear Jim,
Thanks for your prompt reply.  i must tell you i am very much interested in the immediate purchase in size 16″x16″. My wife found your website and ask me to view your artwork and contact you for the purchase. (the wife is a nice touch, too. another compelling aspect was picking a specific size – and not being too greedy and going for the largest one, either)

Unfortunately, i am on a voyage at the moment to France as am a  civil marine engineer  i squeezed out time to check this advert and send you an email regarding it. I wont be back for another couple of weeks, I would have come to purchase the piece personally. (now the alarms go off in full – a civil marine engineer on the way to France? plentiful grammatical errors? and a print buying rush? the scam potential quickly became very obvious)
If you’d like to know, Im relocating to the philippines soon and I’m trying to gather some good stuff for my new abode. Im buying yours amongst others,quickly! before someone else grabs it.So, I’ll arrange to send you payment ASAP. (now he is just getting over the top with throwing another country in there – and I’d also recommend honing that boilerplate a bit to remove at least some of the grammatical errors)

However, I’ll have to notify my shipper who’s helping me move my stuff to get set for the pickup of the piece from your place as I MIGHT be delayed depending on how things goes.
Thanks,
Steve.

PS: In the mean time, you could forward me your full name (you want the check payable to) and contact address so I can mail out the certified check to you ASAP. (oh, and just casually reference the information they need to begin the money order scam)

So the lesson, as always, is to be careful with your information on the Internet…and if there are any legitimate “civil marine engineers” out there interested in purchasing my work, I’m happy to oblige!

Professional Development Series in Portland

“Buck Moon III”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Creative Portland has announced a series of ten workshops entitled the “Professional Development Series: Business Basics for Artists”. The workshops will be on the second Wednesday of each month, and the first workshop about grant writing will be on Wednesday, October 10th, from 6-9 pm. At $10 for each of the 3 hour lectures (and free for MECA students), I’d say this is pretty much self-recommending if it is relevant for you and you live close to Portland.

Calls for Entries October 2012

“Moonset, Hunter’s Head”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entries entitled “Box Squared” with entries due October 3rd and their annual portfolio contest with entries due October 30th.

The University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor has their I-95 Triennial coming up soon, with entries having to be received (by mail – they want physical prints) by October 12th. So move quickly if you are interested – it is a great space and I’m sure it will be a wonderful exhibition.

The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops has one of their semi-annual photo contests coming up — it is entitled “Outside” and has an early entry date of October 12th (for reduced entry fees) and a final entry date of November 13th.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled “Birds, Real or Imagined” with entries due October 22nd.

The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has a call for entry coming up entitled “In Transit” with entries due October 26th.

The Print Center has their 87th Annual International Competition with entries due October 30th. Please note they are looking for work that pushes the boundaries of photographic practice.

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entries entitled “Picture This: What We Photograph” with entries due November 4th.

The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards has their 2012 Pollux Awards with entries due November 4th.

The Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California has their annual Juried Exhibition with entries due November 11th. I was in this last year and I thought the overall show was very strong.

Jen Bekman’s Hey, Hot Shot! Competition is accepting entries until Nov. 14th – with prices escalating as you get closer to the due date. It is a bit pricey but the potential rewards are pretty good – they seem to have a massive email list for publicity.

The Portland Art Museum will be accepting submissions for their 2013 Biennial until December 15th. Highly recommend for all you Mainers out there.

Black & White Magazine has their annual portfolio contest with entries due by December 31st.

Maine Media Workshops has a call for entries contest entitled “A Sense of Place” with entries due February 1st, 2013. Two interesting and good twists on this one – they are looking for portfolios of 8-10 images rather than single images, and the contest fees will fund two workshop scholarships.

Upcoming Biennials & Triennials Across Maine

“Pyrotechnic #35”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

I just received notice of two new exhibition opportunities for Maine photographers and other artists. First up, the Univ. of Maine Museum of Art has their I-95 Triennial 2013 coming up next year – submissions (which require paper prints, not an online submission) must be received by October 12th, 2012.  The Portland Museum of Art will soon be accepting submissions for their 2013 Biennial – entries must be submitted between October 1st and January 5th.

The CMCA in Rockport has their own Biennial opening up with an opening Saturday, Sept. 29th from 4-6 pm. There are a whole slew of Maine artists in the show, including one of my favorite photographers anywhere, David Brooks Stess.

On a totally unrelated note, the image leading this post is one of my new batch of Pyrotechnic images (and one of my favorites) – stay tuned for more…

Buffered vs. Non-Buffered/Unbuffered Materials for Digital Pigment Prints

“Cadillac, Late Afternoon Fog #2”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

 

Should I use buffered or non-/unbuffered materials (matboard, interleaving sheets, etc.) with my digital pigment prints?

The Short Answer

This is a common question I receive from clients and an area of obvious relevance. Surprisingly, after researching this subject, the answer to this question was not as clear cut as I anticipated. After performing my research, I intend on recommending buffered materials for use with digital prints.

The Longer Answer

The explanation of how I came to this conclusion starts with a few definitions. First, buffered materials are materials in which calcium carbonate (a chalk) or a similar material has been added to paper pulp during the paper making process to act as a buffering agent. The calcium carbonate raises the pH level of the resulting material to the alkaline side of things, making it non-acidic, and acts to counter acidic substances or pollution in the environment (such as smog) from impacting the buffered material. Many inkjet papers themselves are buffered for this reason.

Historically, archivists preferred buffered materials for conservation purposes to help combat acid from materials in the environment unless a particular material required non-buffered materials around it. The most common exclusion from being used with buffered materials is any item with components made from animals (i.e., protein-based materials), such as silk or leather. Photographic prints in this category include albumen prints, cyanotypes, and dye transfer prints because of their component materials.

An article Jeffrey Neumann from Picture Framing Magazine (link to PDF here) explains the history of the buffering issue as applied to photographic prints (more info also from Wilhelm Research). In the 1980’s, many conservators started recommending non-buffered materials for use with albumen, cyanotype, dye transfer, and chromogenic (color) prints by extrapolating from damage done to various albumen prints in storage. Additional research in the 1990’s by the Image Permanence Institute – the same researchers who made the initial determination that buffered materials were the culprit – led to the IPI to withdraw their recommendation to use unbuffered materials.

They now contend that either buffered or non-buffered are acceptable for all photographic prints except for dye transfer and cyanotypes. The IPI now instead recommends the use of high quality materials — Museum quality board, acid- and lingin-free, and able to pass their Photographic Activity Test (PAT). They also recommend buffered materials for photographic enclosures (which would include matboards and interleaving paper) as a means to help prevent acid from an enclosure from damaging a print and possibly to help absorb environmental acids.

Information from resellers and manufacturers also support the use of buffered materials with digital prints. Archival Methods, one of the big suppliers of matboard and tissue, suggests using unbuffered materials only for dye transfer and cyanotypes. Resellers such as B&H also say this, though they may simply be parroting what manufacturers such as Archival Methods tell them. University Products also has a nice article on this issue and comes to the same conclusion. (I did find at least one retailer, Light Impressions, that seems to have contradictory advice – recommends buffered but at least in one location says to use non-buffered for chromogenic prints. Given the other information I found there and elsewhere, I think it is likely sloppiness that chromogenic prints are listed there.)

Despite this history, many conservators and others recommend unbuffered materials for use with digital prints. I suspect the reasons for this vary by individual, but a lack of compelling evidence to change their recommendation might be factor (even if the original recommendation for non-buffered had much weaker evidence). I will say that the evidence is not overwhelming — it is not clear to me that anyone has done systematic, long-term research on this issue — but the weight of evidence and theory right now is that buffered materials are better for digital pigment prints.

Does it Even Matter?

A consensus also seems to have formed around the fact that the buffering issue is actually not that important for digital prints — many other factors are much more important in determining print longevity, including exposure to light or sunlight, humidity,temperature, the particular paper and ink combination, and the like. Mark McCormick-Goodhart of Aardenberg Imaging & Archives (which I think to be the best source now of info on digital print longevity) emphasizes the unimportance of the buffering issue in a post on the Luminous Landscape forum. Here’s what he says:

The major factors determining your print longevity are your material choices for inkjet paper,inks and possibly coatings combined with the actual environmental conditions, ie., the light intensity on display, the temperature on display or in storage, and the relative humidity on display or in storage.

Picture frame glazing, matting and mounting (which should be specified acid and lignin-free but largely irrelevant whether buffered or unbuffered) goes a long way to reduce the external air pollution effects. Note that some companies marketing conservation quality matt board will have their products also certified with the PAT test (photographic activity test) that is available as a testing procedure at IPI (the Image Permanence Institute in Rochester, NY). It’s a worthwhile test for silver gelatin print processes, certainly doesn’t hurt and may be beneficial for some ink jet print processes if the matt board passes it.

Mark also provided input on the dpreview discussion boards along similar lines:

For pigmented inks, the buffered versus non buffered question is a rather academic discussion, as the pigment particles are not going to migrate from acid to base conditions which is what can possibly happen (under high humidity conditions) when acidified dyes come in direct contact with an alkaline buffered tissue or mount board. Buffering agents in rag board are typically materials like calcium carbonate. While buffered mat board can protect against “acid burn” from external polluting sources (No3 and SO2 gases from urban smog, etc), it won’t stabilize wood pulp papers with lignin remaining in the bulk material, etc. I’ve seen many “archival” mat boards that don’t live up to their marketing hype. Stick with reputable manufacturers of mat board and papers, and consider the non-buffered materials if you are matting and storing dye-based inkjet materials. Otherwise, either buffered or non-buffered will be OK provided, as Neil also noted, the inherent processing during manufacture was done well.

Conclusion

My recommendation is to use buffered materials with your pigment-based digital prints, but non-buffered materials should also be fine if you want to go that way. I’m personally more convinced that buffered solutions are superior and will accordingly use them for my own photographs and will also recommend them for my clients going forward.

 

Calls for Entries September 2012

“Moonset, Hunter’s Head #2”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Things continue to be slowish this time of year, relatively speaking, though certainly there are still many opportunities. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, NY has a call for entries entitled “About Photography” with entries due September 9th. Make sure you take a close look at what they are looking for as it is relatively specific to see if your work fits. I don’t have any experience with this gallery but I’ve heard good things.

The British Journal of Photography has their International Photography Award 2012 contest with entries due on September 15th.

Lens Culture (a prestigious online magazine) has their International Exposure Awards with entries due September 16th. This is a really nice one if your work is a good fit (I don’t think mine is). One suggestion I have is to take a look at previous winners to get a feel for the type of work that usually wins.

The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has a call for entry coming up entitled “The Unreal” with entries due September 18th.

Gallery Photographica in San Francisco has a call for entries entitled “New Images Photography Awards” with entries due September 20th, with the images jurored by Maine’s own Rose Marasco.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled “Open Call – Your Greatest Hits” with entries due September 24th.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entries entitled “Box Squared” with entries due September 26th.

The Print Center has their 87th (!) Annual International Competition with entries due October 30th. Please note they are looking for work that pushes the boundaries of photographic practice.

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entries entitled “Picture This: What We Photograph” with entries due November 4th.

The Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, California has their annual Juried Exhibition with entries due November 11th. I was in this last year and I thought the overall show was very strong.

The Portland Art Museum will be accepting submissions for their 2013 Biennial from October 1st to December 15th. Highly recommend for all you Mainers out there.

Black & White Magazine has their annual portfolio contest with entries due between October 1 and December 31st.

Pecha Kucha This Friday in Camden & Jackie Battenfield Presentation

“Long Nights Moon”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

This coming Friday I’ll be presenting at Camden’s Pecha Kucha event under the stars – or at least the evening sky. The event will be at the Camden Amphitheater (right next to the library) on Friday, August 24th and features 8 presenters, including fellow Midcoast photographer Peter Ralston. The gates, such as they are, open at 7 pm and the first presentation (that would be me) will be right at sunset. There will also be live music starting at 7ish until the presentations start.

My presentation is going to be about my Adventures in Celestial Mechanics series – the one with the full moon rising over the Maine landscape – you can see this body of work on my website if you would like a sneak preview.

For those of you who have never heard of Pecha Kucha, it is a fun and lively event where each speaker (who has some connection to the arts and/or creativity) gives a fast-paced presentation of 20 slides – with only 20 seconds per slide. Each presentation moves quickly and lasts less than 7 minutes. The poster for the event is below for more details…Hope to see everyone there!

In an another event likely to be of interest to many readers, there is a very intriguing presentation up in Belfast at the Hutchinson Center at 6:30 pm on August 27th. The Belfast Creative Coalition is bringing in noted author Jackie Battenfield to speak about making a life and career as an artist. It looks like a great opportunity to hear an interesting presentation and also to mingle with many of Midcoast Maine’s creative types.

Calls for Entries August 2012

“Pyrotechnic #33”, Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Things continue to be slowish this time of year, relatively speaking, though certainly there are still many opportunities.

As always, I recommend being selective in choosing ones that make sense for you and your work, as the cost of these in time and treasure certainly add up (see my post from last month about whether these things are worth it). Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The StoneCrop Gallery in Ogunquit has a call for entry due August 10th entitled “Love, Hate, & Everything In-Between”.

The Grand Prix de la Decouverte has their first International Photography Award with entries due August 15th – this one is based in Paris and one of my favorite contemporary photographers, Michael Kenna, is one of the jurors, so I am intrigued.

Aline Smithson, on her wonderful photography blog Lenscratch has occasional calls for entries with a bit of a twist – no entry fees (yes!) and everything is published (with a link to your site). You can find the list of upcoming ones here, and the next one entitled “Hometown” is due August 20th.

The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has a call for entry coming up entitled “Still Life: The Art of Arrangement” with entries due August 20th.

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entries entitled “The Human Condition: A Survey of Humanity” with entries due August 25th.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled“Windows and Mirrors” with entries due August 27th.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entries entitled “The Urban Landscape” with entries due August 29th.

The British Journal of Photography has their International Photography Award 2012 contest with entries due (I think – the website is vague on this, oddly enough) on September 15th.

Gallery Photographica in San Francisco has a call for entries entitled “New Images Photography Awards” with entries due September 20th, with the images jurored by Maine’s own Rose Marasco.

Calls for Entries July 2012

Here are some of the upcoming exhibition opportunities or calls for entry for photographers, particularly those in Maine and New England. This list is certainly not exhaustive and reflects ones (usually) of particular interest to me. Things continue to be slowish after the spring flood of competitions, though certainly there are still many opportunities.

As always, I recommend being selective in choosing ones that make sense for you and your work, as the cost of these in time and treasure certainly add up (see my post from earlier this week about whether these things are worth it). Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

Aline Smithson, on her wonderful photography blog Lenscratch has occasional calls for entries with a bit of a twist – no entry fees (yes!) and everything is published (with a link to your site). You can find the list of upcoming ones here, and the next one is due tomorrow, June 29th. I find her blog to be a great source of photographers, too – she is often highlight great work that I’ve not previously seen.

B&W Magazine has their next call for entries coming up, this one the B&W single image contest 2013 with entries due (postmark date) by June 30th.

The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards has a call for entries for cell phone images with entries due by July 1st.

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled “Water” with entries due July 2nd and one entitled “Personal Portraits” with entries due July 30th.

The Davis Orton Gallery in the Hudson River Valley in NY has an upcoming call for entries entitled “Landscape“, with entries due July 6th.

Lyceum Gallery in Lewiston has a call for entries entitled “Black and White” with entries due July 8th.

Critical Mass 2012 has their call for entries open until July 16th. Critical Mass is part of PhotoLucida (in the West Coast version of Portland) and while it can become very expensive if you make it to the final rounds, it does give very strong exposure to 20o industry jurors (and as an entrant you also get copies of the books of they make for the winners, too, as well as a CD of all the submissions). Definitely recommended if your work fits and you can swing the extra expense if you make it as a finalist.

The Kiernan Gallery in Lexington, Virginia has what looks to be an interesting call for entry coming up entitled “Terrain” with entries due July 19th. You can read more about the call for entry and the juror, Sean Kernan, here. I don’t have any experience with this gallery but it looks promising.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entries entitled “Green” with entries due July 25th.

The Minneapolis Photo Center has a call for entries entitled “The Human Condition: A Survey of Humanity” with entries due August 25th.

Gallery Photographica in San Francisco has a call for entries entitled “New Images Photography Awards” with entries due September 20th, with the images jurored by Maine’s own Rose Marasco.