View Poll Results: Be honest - What do you think of this presentation style?

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  • I like it - it's great

    0 0%
  • I don't like it - it's too "over the top"

    7 28.00%
  • Nah - Version #2 is still waaay too much!

    9 36.00%
  • Version 2 is Spot on

    9 36.00%
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Thread: Be Honest - What do you think?

  1. #1

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    Be Honest - What do you think?

    I see this presentation style used quite often by "The Great Masters" -- what do you think. Does it work here, or not?

    Be Honest - What do you think?

  2. #2

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    The shot is fantastic! IMO this "The Great Master's" presentation is not too good. Fonts are too big and cause lots of distraction.

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Vote cast.

    You have a lovely name - but I don't want it that much in my face! Could possibly live with the frame and border ... with the title only.

  4. #4

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    OK - Version 2 - Any better?

    Be Honest - What do you think?

  5. #5
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    OK - Version 2 - Any better?
    MUCH! Better size of font and more subtle - doesn't overpower the image.

  6. #6

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    MUCH! Better size of font and more subtle - doesn't overpower the image.
    Thanks Donald. To be honest, I'm somewhat intrigued by this style of presentation - something I've seen quite lot with framed shots from "big name" photographers. At first it seemed a bit ostentatious - as if people should almost be in awe of the fact that this is a "Joe Smith" presentation - so the name becomes "larger than life" so to speak.

    I'm not explaining myself very well -- but hopefully you get the idea!

    In short, being a practical sort of person I've always thought that the space at the bottom of an image is just for the image title - but have I been selling myself short? Would an image presented like this in a framed print be perceived as being more valuable?

  7. #7

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I see this presentation style used quite often by "The Great Masters" -- what do you think. Does it work here, or not?
    I've seen this in poster shops but have never liked it. I don't think the 'masters' themselves would present a shot like this.

  8. #8
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb533 View Post
    I've seen this in poster shops ...
    Have to confess that this is what immediately sprung into my mind. I don't think this style is 'instead of' the original, but is instead the more 'mass produced' poster that gets sold to those of us that can't afford the 'real' framed version.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Colin,

    I think this proves that having a "big name" isn't everything, I prefer (the quality of) your images to speak for themselves, as they do.

    Personally, I thought your old style wasn't bad at all, the format was Date, Title, Name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern
    Be Honest - What do you think?
    If you must increase your profile, perhaps try Name first (same size as now) space hypen space Title, with Title in a different, and bolder font?

    e.g. Colin J. Southern - Hunter Stream

    Usually the date, although useful here at CiC and possibly also for your to find an image later on HDD, is fairly irrelevant once you are selling prints, isn't it? I suppose it is better than a meaningless catalogue reference number though.

    It is not as if, in years to come, art historians will start scrapping off the top layer of pixels to reveal the original edit, like they do with paintings

    Cheers,

  10. #10
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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    OK - Version 2 - Any better?

    Be Honest - What do you think?

    While I like this version better, for some reason, I would have expected the title of the image to be in larger print beneath the image. Then perhaps below the title, your name in smaller black letters, allowing the title to be the empasis. But you know what I know.

    little...


    -Dan

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Sorry, but having the text scream at me like that before I even can have a look at the picture is not something I like.
    I also much prefer your other presentation style, where the photo title is the most prominent text item, without being too visible. If a photo interests me, I'll look at the small print to learn the photographer's name ;^)

  12. #12
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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Colin, let me make a stupid question:
    As long as I can understand and you correct me please if I am wrong, I "read" this image as being one of your helicopter company trying to present it's work to possible customers. Is it so ?
    I come (again) to NZ I see this picture and I say to myself: I have to go and fly with Colin because he is riding the highways of the sky.
    Something like that perhaps, because there is no telephone number, site etc.
    Sorry Colin. Give me a tip about the purpose of this picture please as my English is not enough

  13. #13

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    To me this format is good for advertising (for yourself or a client) but I would not want to purchase a print with someones name being so predominant. Reminds me of the designer clothes period. It seemed as though the designers should be paying people to wear their clothes as they were getting free advertising. I'd always rip the labels off or cover them up if I happened to get anything with a designer label.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Wendy

  14. #14
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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    I seldom matt a print and prefer very simple frames. I'm even leaning to wraps instead of frames. I will put my name and date on it if it is going to be sold in a shop, otherwise I sign it in the presence of the buyer.

    That said, I think this is OK for advertising yourself, but I don't care for that style of presentation, so am prejudiced.

    Pops

  15. #15

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Hi, Colin;

    I think version 2 works, and I see the idea of it. Meaning no disrespect, but if you put the name "Ansel Adams" there, I don't think people would be as hesitant about having the name so big. In this style of marketing, the name is paramount. It says, "This is an Ansel Adams photo, and if you don't like it, it's because you're lacking taste, not because of a lack in the image." We can argue about the truth of that, but I think that's what the "big name" style is implying.

    I think for you to adopt this style is saying, "My name adds value to this image, and it's enough of a name to give it prominence," and I think that's a fair statement to make. The decision is then about how prominent is appropriate to make the statement without seeming overbearing or unrealistic.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  16. #16

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Thanks everyone,

    Some interesting comments there. I think that Rick really does see what I'm getting at here, although there's really 2 elements at work, and I'm not sure if or how they inter-relate; Often I'm seeing prints mounted / printed with large (often white) matts around it, with an additional thin black frame around the outside ... and I'd like to think that like them or hate them, they do serve to both isolate and draw the eye into the image - and also make the image appear somewhat larger than it really is ...

    ... but what intrigues me more is the prominance of the name and (optional) title; I think Rick is right in that if we viewed an image shot by a famous photographer - with his name presented like I have, would any of us here say "Hmmm - I like the image, but I don't like the writing"? I suspect not. So what I'm wondering is does the name thus become the "signature" or "branding" - and do we influence our perception of the shot based on the perceived reputation of the person who shot it?

    ... Or put another way, is the degree to which anyone can get away with bold "branding" like this directly proportional to how famous or respected their work is? And if so, do you think that this means that these famous photographers thus get to "ride on that reputation"?

    It's something that intriques me; A day or two ago I watched a clip when Jay Maisel (names one of the worlds 30 most influential photographers) takes a walk around the streets of New York with Scott Kelby. In all honesty, I thought Jay offered some extremely well targeted thinking with regards to the way he works (ie he often shoots at 1600 ISO - many of us would be horrified at that but it allows him to freeze motion AND have a good DoF - and he says too many people today ruin their pictures whilst trying to save the pixels (or something along those lines)) (back on track) ... anyway, I took a look at some of Jays work (and I would encourage all of you to do too) and it was interesting ... I can see the beauty in it, and yet I don't think there's anything there that any one of us couldn't have shot ... but it works - probably because (a) it has artistic merit and (b) because he's earned the reputation that helps people accept what he does (or rather how he does it) - and I respect that. Interestingly though, Annie Leibovitz was also on the "top 30" list and try as hard as I can, I just can't see why she has an equally venerable reputation; to me, her work is mediocre at best - and yet - obviously - she gets paid a lot more for what she does than I do (at the moment ... always the optimist!). So do you think there's almost a case of "the Emperor has no clothes" with some of these celebrity photographers ... ie to the point where their work is actually really BAD, but people still rave about it because of their reputation?

  17. #17

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    I see your point about multiple, related concepts, Colin.

    If we take an image, and put it in a substantial white matte with a fine black frame, it isolates the image from its surroundings. It's rather the opposite of matching the frame with the decor of the room: it makes the print a window into elsewhere, instead of making the image part of the room.

    If there's blatant text on the image, the text becomes part of the overall story. The viewer isn't just looking at the image to form an interpretation based on his/her reaction to the image, but may be guided as to what the image is intended to represent. If the text is the photographer's name, the hint to the viewer may be what to expect.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  18. #18
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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Without delving into the latter discussion (and I agree with you Colin) I do prefer Version 2. I have no problem with getting your name out there but I would reduce the opacity a bit so the image stands alone first and foremost because this is what you want to be remembered for – not the bold name at the bottom.

  19. #19

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    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    Thanks Peter and Rick,

    Personally ...

    ... I'm thinking that I could probably get away with it if put the image title in the bigger letters at the top, and my name in the smaller letters below. With regards to opacity - I'll probably try making the letting black again, and then just reduce the opacity to give me a shade of gray that I like. Stay tuned

  20. #20

    Re: Be Honest - What do you think?

    My advice would be to be wary of fonts and font sizing that can be found transfer applied to the side of a plumbers van. I don't mean that in an unkind way its just that I do believe you have found a consistent 'style' and quality in your photographic output that we should not be distracted from. All I see on the images above is COLIN SOUTHERN and thats fine for shouting in the street. I have seen this style applied to the work of photographers but it is some thing you usually find on posters in novelty shops in select tourist spots. There was particular and popular fad over here for sticking these posters into IKEA poster frames and emblazoning our hallways and stair wells with larger than life names we had never heard of. They were intended to mimic film posters where the director became much more important than the actual content of the film. The point here is that the name becomes the focal point. I am not sure this is something you would find in a gallery in the UK anymore. Things are much more understated with stainless steel, brushed aluminium and discrete labeling. The Guardian readers who frequent these galleries have memorised the catalogue so they know who the images are by anyway.

    I think maybe an indirect and discrete form of branding may be more appropriate the your work. After all it is stands up for itself. Understated high quality embossing of portfolios...you know thing. Not gold lettering on red velour but maybe aluminium stamped estucheon plates...that sort of thing. There are two sorts of customer. One will want a own a COLIN SOUTHERN and one will want to own your photography. Both these groups will have cash but only careful research of your market will reveal the most lucrative in the areas you target for sales.

    Steve

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