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  #31  
Old May 4th, 2009, 07:54 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Thanks Mark and Asher!

I find the 'narrow' format to very much suit the narrow alleyways and streets of the Old City and Old Settlement of Jerusalem. Never seen 6x12 used in vertical before but it just works to frame my reactions to these locations.

I use ACR for my processing and Autopano Pro to stitch. Don't like and can't use DPP and still have to learn C1 (i.e. to get it to work) though I'd still never give up the dodge and burn tools in ACR for all that C1 colour is better. You have to remember that I am usually working with well over 1000 images at a time so workflow is all important. Bridge and ACR give me that, moreso than LR IMO and experience.

5D mkI. What a sensor is in that beauty. I have two of them, bought when first released and apart from a screen change due to being soaked at too many weddings - still going strong. They are both battered, missing half the paint, scratched to heck and back but the images are still huge 8 micron pixel, very light AA filter goodness and to be honest I never really see the need for much more given that all 21-25 megapixels would buy me is far more problematic diffraction, far more noticeable focus fall off and of course the emptying of my wallet! No, I'm sticking to that 5D mkI and for all that it has a single useable focus point, not waterproof, screen that's useless outdoors, etc. The files are still benchmarked for their pure all round quality.
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  #32  
Old May 4th, 2009, 07:57 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Was going to go out shooting again today, light sandstorm which is giving an ethereal sepia light. Thing is that when you step outside you're just breathing sand which is yuck so I didn't bother. Busy investigating netbooks instead! Not sure the sandstorm would have been that great for the camera either! Going to go shooting again tomorrow, have to get the shooting in before the pope arrives on Friday and all becomes chaos.
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  #33  
Old May 4th, 2009, 08:35 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Thanks Mark and Asher!

5D mkI. What a sensor is in that beauty. I have two of them, bought when first released and apart from a screen change due to being soaked at too many weddings - still going strong. They are both battered, missing half the paint, scratched to heck and back but the images are still huge 8 micron pixel, very light AA filter goodness and to be honest I never really see the need for much more given that all 21-25 megapixels would buy me is far more problematic diffraction, far more noticeable focus fall off and of course the emptying of my wallet! No, I'm sticking to that 5D mkI and for all that it has a single useable focus point, not waterproof, screen that's useless outdoors, etc. The files are still benchmarked for their pure all round quality.

Hi Ben

Yes, although I considered selling mine when I picked up a (obviously relatively) cheap 1Ds3, it's stayed and continues to see parallel service. I don't feel any need to upgrade at all, which is a blessed relief.

Mike
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  #34  
Old May 5th, 2009, 01:06 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Rather pleased with this one from today.


A young girl returning from school with her bag on her back, running through the narrow alleyways of the old and cobbled streets of Jerusalem.
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  #35  
Old May 5th, 2009, 07:12 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Rather pleased with this one from today.


A young girl returning from school with her bag on her back, running through the narrow alleyways of the old and cobbled streets of Jerusalem.
I love this picture. I'd have hoped to separate her from the wall on her left a tad. Perhaps you have a second shot?

Asher
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  #36  
Old May 6th, 2009, 01:20 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Not when the 5D shoots at 3fps and has monumental shutter lag when you're talking about a running subject! I could have killed for even 5fps yesterday.

I've upped the contrast on the girl (I'd been keeping it low), problem is that downsizing and web compression kill the detail which helps to seperate her. Maybe I'll post a crop of just her to show how it will look in print.

Now that I've finished making excuses and blaming my gear...

Point taken though. I'm going to work on the contrast on her face to see if I can get even better seperation.
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  #37  
Old May 6th, 2009, 01:31 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Ben,

Does the 5D go faster with a Booster? I know it's just a battery holder, but I wondered whether the extra power helps anything? Also, how many frames and rows and is it portait or landscape? None of these used a tripod and mirror lockup?

Asher
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  #38  
Old May 6th, 2009, 02:08 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Nope, it's 3fps period. To be honest this is the first time in my life that I've ever used the machine gun mode on a camera! I started off not using it but the shutter lag was killing me. These were all tripod mounted, I couldn't use mirror lock up for the frame of the girl running of course but everything else is. I had to use a relatively fast shutter speed of 1/50 for most of the pano due to the wind blowing the tree hard, I bumped up the iso to 800 to achieve a 1/100 for the frame with the girl running as I wanted to freeze most of the motion.

Here is a contact sheet of the frames used to make this image.


As you can see I set up and framed the doorway then waited for people to walk through. According to my EXIF I was shooting that doorway as people moved through for 34 minutes. When I had the 'footage' that I wanted I changed the iso down and shot the rest of the pano to give me enough frames for the composition I had in mind. I overlap quite a bit to give me enough image space to do the perspective adjustments necessary when shooting urban landscapes or architectural type images.

I do this whenever I want a human or moving presence in a stitch, frame the part that I want the presence then when I've captured it, shoot the rest of the frames to make up the composition. The reason I do it this way round is so that the light will be the same throughout. If I were to shoot the whole image and only then the 'moving' frame it might be like in this case half an hour between the different parts of the image with the resulting disconnect in the lighting.

If you're interested, here are the 5 images I captured during that 34 minute stretch of shooting the doorway. To be honest any could have made a great subject for the picture, especially the 2nd. I chose the girl because I'm trying to shoot primarily urban landscapes and not street photography so the human presence, although important, is not to be the subject. I also preferred the amount of light around her which helps build the 'keyhole' effect of the composition which I'd intended and lastly because I wanted a running kid.... ;-)


If you're interested this is the image I took when working out how to compose the image. The grid lines in my viewfinder give me a pretty accurate way to compose for a 6X12 ratio image. I work out the composition with a 50mm lens then attach a 100mm and begin to shoot the frames needed within those lines as shown.

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  #39  
Old May 11th, 2009, 10:23 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Two from yesterday, interestingly both shots of the back of synagogues (shooting from the front is so cliched! ) in the area of Yemin Moshe just outside of the Old City Jerusalem.

Yismach Moshe Synagogue (Sephardic)


Bet Yisrael Synagogue (Ashkenazi) founded 1886.

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  #40  
Old May 11th, 2009, 10:54 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Hi Ben,

You are really building a well expressed motif of stone and sparse design with human elements for this portfolio. It's getting very strong and has coherence. This is a series of which you can be proud. I hope folk take this as an example of focus on a goal and commitment as opposed to wobbling from one idea to another, as most of us do in casual photography.

Asher
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  #41  
Old May 11th, 2009, 10:58 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Two from yesterday, interestingly both shots of the back of synagogues (shooting from the front is so cliched! ) in the area of Yemin Moshe just outside of the Old City Jerusalem.

Yismach Moshe Synagogue (Sephardic)


Bet Yisrael Synagogue (Ashkenazi) founded 1886.

These two photographs are well made. I like the form and the placement. I do have a question about the actual rendering to B&W. Have you decided to express the very bright sun by having the texture overpowered somewhat by the light. It seems to me, from memory, that there might be more texture and shading in the stone. Am I in error on this? Is this how they are now and for prints you will take this further. I'm not objecting, rather making an inquiry. Are you perhaps trying to make the equivalent of prints from century old glass plate negatives? I feel there's something behind my impression or I have not had my tea and am not seeing things right!


Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; May 14th, 2009 at 04:15 PM.
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  #42  
Old May 11th, 2009, 11:29 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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The first image is just plaster wall.

The 2nd is the usual Jerusalem stone. It actually has very little detail, all the detail is shallow, rounded and very soft, almost zero shadows and extremely hard to photograph and sharpen. I'm afraid that is pretty much what it looks like. The wall facing at the top right was made of flatter stone even, it was a posher version of the Jerusalem stone and even smoother. All my work unless obviously not so is shot in non direct (diffused) light.

The houses in the Yemin Moshe, although originally built by Moses Montifiore at the turn of the last century as a refuge for the poor of the Old City of Jerusalem, are now breathtakingly beautiful and start at $2 million a pop (and they are not big by any standards!). Although this synagogue was founded in 1886, that wall at the top is part of a house built on top of it later and is far more modern. The area itself is georgous, narrow cobbled alleyways with gardens and mini parks surrounding one on every corner, lovingly maintained by the residents and the city council. Built on 7 layers of steps and curving paths with a constant view of the walls of the Old City, it's a must for visiting, especially in the spring.
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  #43  
Old May 14th, 2009, 02:43 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Well just found out that the ivy on the building image from the post above wasn't actually saved on the computer for some reason...

Luckily it was just a curves layer and then a combination of two B&W renditions followed by a local contrast enhancement. Only took me 5 minutes to redo but no idea how that happened!

This is from today, bit heavier rendition than I usually do but it seems to suit the image. From the Nachlaot area where it's hard to walk through without getting a high from the grass smoked by the hippies who infest the area!

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  #44  
Old May 14th, 2009, 04:25 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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It's interesting to me that iron would actually add daintiness, like afternoon tea or stopping by for kiddush, (Wine with a blessing and small snacks), after prayer on the sabbath or festivals to otherwise lifeless stone. There seems to be a whole variety of ways to make stone appear less intimidating. This effect of ironwork modifying the ambience of stone, is surprising to me.

Again, you have caught a tiny figure in the distance, just enough to give extra vitality to the stone world.
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  #45  
Old May 14th, 2009, 04:35 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Well just found out that the ivy on the building image from the post above wasn't actually saved on the computer for some reason...

Luckily it was just a curves layer and then a combination of two B&W renditions followed by a local contrast enhancement. Only took me 5 minutes to redo but no idea how that happened!

This is from today, bit heavier rendition than I usually do but it seems to suit the image. From the Nachlaot area where it's hard to walk through without getting a high from the grass smoked by the hippies who infest the area!

Hi Ben,

I am avid follower of this series, which is coming around quite nicely if you ask me. This last one is (like the others before it) very good and your timing re. the man in the BG is excellent. Keep them coming.

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  #46  
Old May 15th, 2009, 02:43 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Cem, like with the 'keyhole' pic from before I set up the frame with the people walking by and waited for the right frame*. This took about 1/2 an hour. Once I had it I shot the rest of the frames needed for the stitch. Thanks for all the comments folks, Asher, I'll think of your comparison when I make Kiddush tonight (and see if I can work it out!) The ironwork really does add elegance to the frame.

I have only one more pic to take to make it to the magical 25 that I'd hoped to achieve before heading back to the UK for the summer wedding season starting in June. I'm happy with what I've achieved. Hoping to put together a strategy for beginning to sell the work at the end of the summer.

*Although I had been shooting in machine gun mode, it was so erratic due to the speed and shutter lag on my 5D that by the time I had got to this frame I went back to One Shot and just worked with the timing. I'm used to timing the shutter lag from my wedding work where it's crucial during dancing and movement to have a subconscious ability to hit the shutter so that the perfect timing is after the shutter lag, not when you are pressing the button.
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  #47  
Old May 15th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Cem, like with the 'keyhole' pic from before I set up the frame with the people walking by and waited for the right frame*. This took about 1/2 an hour. Once I had it I shot the rest of the frames needed for the stitch.
So, Ben,

Did you mention the arrangement of your shots for the stitch? I'd like to know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
Thanks for all the comments folks, Asher, I'll think of your comparison when I make Kiddush tonight (and see if I can work it out!) The ironwork really does add elegance to the frame.
It's great that my comment will last till sundown! I'm glad to be present for your kiddush!

Quote:
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I have only one more pic to take to make it to the magical 25 that I'd hoped to achieve before heading back to the UK for the summer wedding season starting in June. I'm happy with what I've achieved. Hoping to put together a strategy for beginning to sell the work at the end of the summer.
This is a well imagined and executed portrait of this tiny location and it's motif is carried through in each image. It's worthy of attention. I can imagine a traveling exhibit.

Asher
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  #48  
Old May 17th, 2009, 04:13 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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This is a well imagined and executed portrait of this tiny location and it's motif is carried through in each image. It's worthy of attention. I can imagine a traveling exhibit.

Asher

Sounds like fun but I can't see how it would be economically feasable...
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  #49  
Old May 17th, 2009, 05:24 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Ben,

I think you might try having it hosted in a number of synagogues. That would increase your following. Also it would promote your june work!

Asher
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  #50  
Old July 20th, 2009, 02:43 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Been a while, I've been busy with the summer wedding season, spent 5 weeks in the UK shooting weddings with just 5 days of that at home (3 weekends) and yes it was an absolute killer!

Took a kid out with me today, having problems at college and his father asked me if I could take him with me so that he could get some time out just relaxing and doing something different. It was a good kick up the bum for me to go out and take photos for my project after a horrendous week of all nighters catching up with the processing. I was only scouting today (should have more in the future as a result of todays scouting) but this one worked out well as a spur of the moment. Only about 20 yards from the 'cat' shot shown earlier. I like the softer contrast look in this shot.


I didn't really have a long enough lens to get the resolution I needed and I couldn't come closer and maintain the 'look' so although this was a 5 frame stitch it only ended up as 17 megapixels post crop. That is 17 megapixels after all the perspective adjusments though so it's not too bad. It's got all the sharpness and detail that's needed pretty much.
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  #51  
Old July 20th, 2009, 04:08 PM
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Ben

Just to say that I am still enjoying this series very much. perhaps Asher is right and a travelling exhibition could be made to work -I'd lvoe to see this in paper.

Mike.
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  #52  
Old July 20th, 2009, 04:10 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Ben

Just to say that I am still enjoying this series very much. perhaps Asher is right and a travelling exhibition could be made to work -I'd lvoe to see this in paper.

Mike.
I second what Mike has said. Well done Ben

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  #53  
Old July 20th, 2009, 11:03 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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I didn't really have a long enough lens to get the resolution I needed and I couldn't come closer and maintain the 'look' so although this was a 5 frame stitch it only ended up as 17 megapixels post crop. That is 17 megapixels after all the perspective adjusments though so it's not too bad. It's got all the sharpness and detail that's needed pretty much.

There's a surprising sense of intimacy here. I wish there was a bird or shadow of someone or a brief case on the stairs, but that's me being manipulative. Stark at it is, it works well and adds to your growing series handsomely. You have crafted a good range of shading that make life start at the top. So, in a way, there's expectancy of movement where there is none, at least yet. But it's worth watching, since someone, a book in hand or with a bag of groceries, will appear, for sure!

Asher
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  #54  
Old July 21st, 2009, 06:16 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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The whole series (so far) is here www.studio-beni.net/jerusalem including many that haven't been shown in this thread. I've already knocked 3 out of the series as I don't think they are strong enough, I have my eye on two to three more to kill that I don't feel are as powerful as the rest. I would like the series to become 25 pics strong so I need another 4-5 or so. I have very stong concepts and ideas for 3 of them and the rest I am yet to conceive.
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  #55  
Old July 21st, 2009, 01:27 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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Quick question folks, if you were to buy limited prints would you prefer to buy them with acid free foamcore backing wrapped in quality plastic or matted with a thick white double mount?

Just wondering...
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  #56  
Old July 21st, 2009, 03:15 PM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Quick question folks, if you were to buy limited prints would you prefer to buy them with acid free foamcore backing wrapped in quality plastic or matted with a thick white double mount?

Just wondering...
Hi ben

I've done both, but my preference depnds on size and substrate. If I'm printing on matt rag paper then I would either matt or (a current favourite) mount so there is some space away from a back board in a deep frame.

For larger glossy prints I'm more likely to mount to foamcore - e.g. I've a panorama that has been printed 3 times at 54 by 14 inches and that needs foamcoare to keep it in place. Incidentally, that's on PhotoRag Pearl

Mike
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  #57  
Old July 22nd, 2009, 02:31 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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The end result is still intended to be framed of course, it's how to sell the pictures.
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  #58  
Old July 26th, 2009, 02:14 PM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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OK folks, new website up dedicated to these projects, www.timelessjewishart.com took me a week to do, now I need more photos! ;-) I'm not going to start marketing it until the Jerusalem project has another 5 photos and I've made a tentative start on the Tzfat project.

I've actually got a lot of older colour landscape work that I'm going to sell off as specials on the website, whole bunch of framed prints that have been in storage for years. I need to see how much of it is in sellable condition after the last exhibition which was a dismal failure. Here's a quick slideshow of all the work, Jerusalem, Scotland, Lake District, Iceland, Misc. www.studio-beni.net/Landscapes I used to have a website selling the stuff but the domain was pirated from me a while back and I didn't bother doing much about it.
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  #59  
Old July 26th, 2009, 02:42 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default Going from pictures to a series and sales!

Ben,

It appears to me that you have a lot of "left" -dominated subject, a few of which, even though diverse, could be grouped by virtue of composition. There seems a benefit to having groups of pictures in a series. w]What's the right number? Maybe 12 or so, but a number which we can easily get through.

When there's a long list of images, it appears that they have less intrinsic value perhaps. I'd like to know what others think as to how many should be in a series.

Perhaps one could present them several ways,
  • United by theme
  • United by composition
  • United by color platte, perhaps
I think Tim Armes's small but efficent website, (Look here), is well set out in his groupings thematically although I didn't do any counting for any particular set.

Generate a mailing list from your wedding clients and offer a bonus discount if they add another person to your " to get priority updates of your new editions, i.e. an "Artist's club".

Congrats on thinking through the marketing of your work. That's where a lot of us fail!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; July 27th, 2009 at 12:58 AM.
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  #60  
Old July 27th, 2009, 01:22 AM
Ben Rubinstein Ben Rubinstein is offline
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I think any attempt to group by composition would kill any kind of sales, who wants to look at a gallery of lookalikes? Now that would really be a way of diluting my work. 'Hey come and look at my lack of originality and BTW pay good money for it'.

I did a test on this, showed a whole bunch of people 3 photos with practically the same composition, heck I think the three pics are earlier on in this thread together with a drawing showing their similarity. Not one person could see what was the point of comparison. Not one. Including a trained artist who should have known better.

So far the pictures are grouped by location. The Jerusalem project will not exeed 25 pictures. Any further images over the years will either replace images in the project or a new project will be named, possibly by splitting up the current project into 'Old City Jerusalem' and 'Everywhere else Jerusalem'. Although I see the advantage of a smaller selection, expecially if I go to exhibition, I'm not sure that 20-25 images is overdoing it. I will of course be asking for responses to the project by the man on the street.

Now when I have enough content to go 'live', my next plan is to social context the work by making a Facebook business page to promote it and a Twitter thingy as well. I don't do either at present being rather unsociable but they are the marketing tools of the 'time'. When I have two projects finished or near completion I'm going to go into serious marketing mode. Taking the work round to galleries, etc and also working towards exhibitions. I don't believe that a single body of work of 20 images is enough to gain the recognition or respect necessary to kickstart sales.

Talking of which, does anyone fancy sponsering my Tzfat project? I don't have a car here so it's going to cost me a fortune in rental. To be honest I've worked out the budget needed for the Europe project and it isn't that much, about 3000 for a two week intensive shoot travelling between the countries. The Tzfat trip however has to be done over time, travelling up when I can get away. I'm hoping to have completed these three projects completely within the next three years however.
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Ben Rubinstein
Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com
Blog: http://thedustylenscap.com
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