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.

 

 

Free Lectures at Maine Media and Celestial Updates

"Egg Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Tonight begins this year’s lecture series at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport with a slideshow presentation at 7:30 pm by noted street/travel photographer Peter Turnley. You can read about this presentation as well as tomorrow night’s presentation by Michael Wilson here. These lectures run through the summer and early fall and are truly one of the great photographic resources here in Maine – world-class photographers presenting their work to an audience of photographers, all free of charge. I know I always come out of these presentations charged and motivated.

I’ve seen both of these photographers present and they both really are wonderful – I’ll able to make Turnley tonight but won’t be able to make Wilson tomorrow because of child care issues, but hope to see you there! There are new presentations every week, so keep on checking back on the MMW site to see the updated schedule.

On an unrelated note, the weather here in Maine is not cooperating with the two big celestial events of the week – the Strawberry Full Moon tonight and the very rare transit of Venus across the sun tomorrow afternoon/evening. Hopefully we’ll see a break in the clouds sometime but things are not looking good at the moment.

I may not be able to photograph the Strawberry Moon this year, but I have updated my website with the final selects from the recent Worm, Milk, and Egg Full Moons. You can see my Adventures in Celestial Portfolio right here.

"Milk Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.
"Worm Moon I", Copyright Jim Nickelson. All Rights Reserved.

Calls for Entries June 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 are starting to slow up a bit after a big rush throughout the spring, 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. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has an exhibition entitled “Alternative Realities” with entries due June 4th and one entitled “Water” with entries due July 2nd.

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has their annual Center Forward competition with entries due June 12th.

The Photo Review in Philadelphia has its annual Photo Review International Photography competition with entries due June 15th. I believe this one to be a pretty prestigious one.

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

The international contest entitled “The Art of Photography Show” in San Diego has entries due June 30th.

The World Photography Gala Awards has their 4th Edition of the Julia Cameron Awards (which is open to women photographers) with entries due June 30th (discounted fees if you enter by May 31st). I’ve seen some really good work in this contest in the past.

Critical Mass 2012 has their call for entries open from June 1st – 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.

Good luck!

Calls for Entries May 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. Thank you also to everyone who has sent me leads this month, too.

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. On a semi-related note, if you are keen on photo festivals, here is a nice site collecting information about photo festivals across the world.

As always, please let me know in the comments if you have any other suggestions for this list!

The Vermont Photoplace Gallery has their annual Call for Portfolios with entries due May 2nd and an exhibition entitled “Alternative Realities” with entries due June 4th.

The Photography Portfolio Competition 2012 from the Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art has entries due May 4th – this is a good one (and the first of three on this list from the Philadelphia area).

The Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado has a call for entry entitled “Illusion” with a deadline of May 9th and their annual Center Forward competition with entries due June 12th.

StoneCrop Gallery in Ogunquit has a call for entries for Cell Phone Photography with entries due May 15th. I don’t know anything about this gallery, but the entry fee is low ($10) and they offer to print accepted images for free if you wish, so it is certainly a good deal if it is of interest to you.

PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris has its annual photo competition coming up, with a final deadline of May 15th. This one is not cheap, but I think it is one of the absolute best ones out there and definitely recommended.

Daylight Magazine has their annual Daylight Photo Awards with entries due May 15th – a very nice set of jurors, particularly if you have documentary work.

Photo Center NW has their 17th annual Call for Entries entitled “Equivalents” with entries due May 18th. The juror is W. M. Hunt and I heartily recommend reading his description of what he is looking for in submissions, even if you don’t plan on submitting.

The Viewpoint Photographic Arts Center in Sacramento, California, is accepting proposals for solo or group exhibitions right now with submissions due May 18th. These submissions are for exhibitions that will run between February 2013 and January 2014. Viewpoint is a non-profit organization serving the Sacramento region and their is no fee for on-time proposals.

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center has their 3rd Annual Contemporary Photography Competition & Exhibition with entries due May 29th.

The ipa (International Photography Awards) has their annual photo contest coming up with a final deadline of May 31st. This is another very prestigious one and worth considering.

The Photo Review in Philadelphia has its annual Photo Review International Photography competition with entries due June 15th. I believe this one to be a pretty prestigious one also.

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

The international contest entitled “The Art of Photography Show” in San Diego has entries due June 30th.

Good luck!