How I prepare for a physical exhibition?

Prints drying in my darkroom
Silver Geltatin Prints drying in my darkroom

I have been busy the last few days getting my prints ready for my next upcoming exhibition.
The Exhibition entitled ‘Thanks Pandemic’ consists of 24 silver gelatin prints framed and matted.
All up the print finishing took about 12 hours. I don’t recollect how long the actual printing took, as it was done some time ago during several of the lockdowns that Victoria endured from 2020 to 2022.
These lockdowns were the catalyst for me to revisit my archive and print some images that I have always wanted to print. Now with time on my side and changes to materials I was able to produce a series of prints that reflect my skills and knowledge. Basically I like to make work with long tonal scales. This is made possible by using 2 filters under the enlarger, the 00 filter and the 5 filter, from Ilford’s filter pack. Using this technique enables finer control over shadows, midtones and highlights.
After the prints are made they undergo treatment for archival permanence using a 2 bath fixer system and using some dilute selenium toner. In this case it was 1:19 for 3 minutes in the selenium.

My toning setup
My toning setup, I’m using selenium toner 1:19 for 3 minutes

Then into my archival wash tub for one hour. My tub holds 10 prints so I had to undertake this process in 3 batches, 2 at 10 and one at 5 prints. They are then hung to dry in my darkroom.

My archival print washing setup
My archival print washing setup, washed 10 silver gelatin prints at a time

Next I flatten the prints in a warm heat press.
Once they are all flat, I begin the final stages of preparation for matting.

Flattened prints ready for over matting
Flattened prints ready for over matting

This involves making paper corners, 100 in total, then attaching the prints to a backing board that is hinged to the matt. All made using paper archival tape.

Archival paper corners
Archival paper corners, I made 100 of these.

Once the components are assembled the frame is reassembled and the protective corners replaced. Then they are stored ready for transport to the gallery.

A print matted and secured to the backing board, ready for the final touches to make it exhibition ready.
A print matted and secured to the backing board, ready for the final touches to make it exhibition ready.

This body of work is going to use a mixture of frame colours 9 silver 9 off-white and 6 black. How they are how together will be determined once the work is in the space.

All the prints ready for transport to the gallery next week.
All the prints ready for transport to the gallery next week.

About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.
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☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr

Upcoming Solo Show

Washing fibre based paper prints in my home made print washer
Washing fibre based paper prints in my home made print washer

I’m having a solo exhibition soon.

Here are the details.

The show is entitled ‘Thanks Pandemic’. The exhibition  consists of 25 silver gelatine prints printed in my darkroom.  It is on display at the Hunt Club Community Arts Centre, 775 Ballarat Road, Deer Park, VIC 3023, from the 7th of October until the 8th of December. An opening celebration will occur on Friday the 7th of October from 6:30 to 8:00pm.


About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr

Instagram Alternatives?

screengrab of Vero for desktop
screengrab of Vero for desktop

A while back I blogged about an alternative to Instagram. The service called glass is good and as it uses a paid model doesn’t rely on advertising or algorithms. A recent tweet, by Andy Adams reminded me of another service, vero.

So to recap, I have 5 social media photo accounts:-

Vero has announced a beta desktop app.  Glass has a dedicated tablet app, unlike instagram. Vero has no ads and no algorithm as far as I can tell at this stage,  pixelfed.social is volunteer run and an “instance” of mastadon. So all these services are in my mind superior to Instagram, while offering the familiar smart phone experience, without the “influencers” and the algorithms.

Flickr occupies the most of my online time however. It’s really a big screen experience though. [It has a mobile app and good integration between the website and the smart phone app.] Or at the least a tablet one. So if you were to include flickr I really have 6 social media accounts dedicated to photography.


About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr

Wordless Wednesday #10 2022

Metro Tunnel in Melbourne Central. 2021-01-05 11:45
Metro Tunnel in Melbourne Central. 2021-01-05 11:45


About the author.
Stuart Murdoch is an Artist and Part time Photo Educator, with over 30 years of teaching experience. He contemplates many things photographic. His ruminations include his own work as well other’s and the aspects of technology that impact on the sharing and consumption of Photographs.

☛ Website | Flickr | Instagram | Photography links | s2z digital garden | Tumblr