Image for the Delaware Art Museum - "Eye on Nature" - Andrew Wyeth/John Ruskin

Might Be Seen in the Delaware Art Museum

I am not one that highlights my achievements too much, and I am sure it has cost me some views over the years.

Anyhow, to start the story of this adventure off, one has to go back to early December, when I received an email with the subject of “Image of Brandywine”, and the following thumbnail image.

Fall (2011) image taken of the Brandywine River in Hibernia Park in Chester County PA.
Fall (2011) image taken of the Brandywine River in Hibernia Park in Chester County PA.

In the email, Margaretta said she was one of the curators at the Delaware Art Museum, and she was working with a exhibition designer, Keith, who had found my image online, and they were wondering if I would be interested in allowing the museum to use my image in a exhibition called “Eye on Nature“, comparing Andrew Wyeth and John Ruskin from March 10-27, 2018.

Also included with the email was a PDF file of proposed design layouts, and my image was already included, at a 11 feet by 17 feet!

After finishing the email, I had to walk around to catch my breath, and after a few minutes, I showed the email to my wife, and pointed to the address at the bottom.

Could this really be true?

The next day, I called the phone number provided, and the voicemail confirmed the name in the email, but I could only leave a message.

I did follow-up with an email, and the next day Margaretta followed up with a date and time to chat more about the exhibition.

As the day and time we agreed on, drew nearer, I was becoming more nervous, and when I finally made the call, I made sure that I had a large glass of water with me, so that I would not be too parched during the conversation.

Margaretta and I chatted for some time about the details of the exhibition, the exhibition designer and what I was looking for in compensation.

I remember blurting out a number, and I got the sense that I had blown the opportunity, but she responded back “Normally, I do not deal with living artists, but I’ll look into it.”

Internally, I giggled – “Normally, I do not deal with living artists…”

A couple of day pasted, and I had a change to speak with Keith the exhibition designer, and indeed confirmed the output size: 11 x 17 feet!

I told him of my printing background, but I had never dealt with anything of that size, but I knew of a technique that might allow me to get size required.

At this point, I was still not internally sure if I was in a dream or not, but after another phone call with Margaretta, and a couple days a waiting a check arrived from the museum!

My thought, “Hold S***, this is for REAL!!”

Now I had to start working on getting the image ready for Keith the exhibition designer.

At first, I corrected some image issues on the original image file that were cosmetic in nature because of my use of several images (ghosting), and then I began to tweak some of the various tones, basically reducing some of the ‘hot spots’, and eventually, I created the following image.

Image for the Delaware Art Museum - "Eye on Nature" - Andrew Wyeth/John Ruskin exhibition
Image for the Delaware Art Museum – “Eye on Nature” – Andrew Wyeth/John Ruskin exhibition

Now, the fun part… Getting the image to the right size… 11 x 17 feet…

I used the basic technique that I have outlined before (See my post “Fine Art prints done local“, section “Going Big”), but instead of 110%, I used 105%.

I created a Photoshop action, and repeated, and repeated until Photoshop crashed, and corrupted the image.

In troubleshooting the crash, I found out that I had filled my 128 GB SSD drive used for the Photoshop scratch/VM file! (My machine has 32 GBs of physical RAM)

In Photoshop, I re- targeted the scratch/VM file to one of my 4 TB hard drives and began the resizing again.

After numerous resizes, and quick “save-as” files, I finally reached 16.57 x 11.0 feet or 198.887 x 132.733 inches or 19889×13273 pixels (@300 dpi)!

Within the file, I still had a couple of correction layers, but the file size was approximately 19.2 GBs! By FAR the largest single file I have ever worked on, and had to save it a PSB file (See my post “Large Image Files – PSB vs TIFF“)

Note – Large PSB files are STILL not visible within Lightroom Classic CC, version 7.2. — Adobe, are you listening? It’s been 7+ years since I reported/blogged about this!

Any how, I created several different DPI files (and file size(s)):

  • 100 dpi psb – 565.487 MBs
  • 100 dpi tiff – 773.447 MBs
  • 150 dpi psb – 1,277.122 MBs
  • 150 dpi tiff – 1,740.209 MBs
  • 200 dpi psb – 2,455.681 MBs
  • 200 dpi tiff – 3,093.681 MBs
  • 300 dpi psb – 5,212.382 MBs

and placed them on my FTP server for Keith to download.

Note – For those techno-geeks, PSB creates significantly smaller files, when compared to TIFF, but as mentioned above, Lightroom STILL can not produce thumbnails within light room.

- Andrew
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Adobe Photoshop Retouching in Chester County PA

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