One of the most memorable conversations I had with James, was when he said to me, “You now have an image in the Library of Congress.”
Never in my wildest dreams did I think back in 1982, that taking a few pictures at an on campus concert would end up any where else then the school newspaper, and that my hoarding those B&W negatives would ever go anywhere.
In my last post on the subject, I my SAS Classmate (’82) and Life Long Friend, Pilar Wyman contacted me via Facebook IM, and she said that she was interested in attending the Opening of the Wyeth/Ruskin Exhibit.
Needless to say, I was more then happy to give her tickets!
But, would there be enough time to send her the tickets?
The smart women that she is, suggested that I just leave the at the Ticket Booth with her name on it!
Earlier tonight, I IMed Pilar, and asked if she was still interested in going, and she informed me, Yes, and she was already in Wilmington hanging-out, getting some coffee, after traveling North from the DC area.
Damn! – We had NOT even left the house!
At around 16:45, we (Amy, Madison & Logan) left our house in Downingtown, and head South, mainly on Rt 202, and ran into the usual Friday night traffic.
I had IMed Pilar just before we left home that we expected to be at the Museum around 17:45, but at 17:46, I handed Amy (my wife) my phone and asked her to IM Pilar that we where going to be late…
We arrive at the Museum, as as we are getting out of the car at valet parking, I look across the other lane, and there was Pilar, just being contacted about parking her car!
Absolutely PERFECT timing! (F-ing amazing!)
We walking to the Museum, chatting away, with neither of us knowing what to expect.
After we handed in our tickets, and told which direction the “Eye on Nature” was, we headed down the hall, and down some steps, and then turning the corner…
There it was!
My Image! My Photograph! As big as Life! – In a F-ing Museum!
I became such a little kid!
Thankfully, Pilar had the where with all, and organized a Family photo!
If you look, you can see me pointing to my credit on the wall, and saying to the guard standing there “That is ME!”
After the initial excitement, I went back with my camera, and started to take so more pictures, and hearing the same guard saying “Your flash is on!”
My response, “It’s OK, I have the Original!”…
Eventually, I began to calm down, and I finally found Margaretta and introduced myself and the rest of the family.
I also got a chance to walk the gallery with Pilar, stopping at my main image, and explaining several other images that I have over time, and then we walked and talked about the other Wyeth and Ruskin images.
When I was a child, my parents always had a 16″x20” print book of Andrew Wyeth’s work (circa 1968), which is now in my possession, but after being exposed to John Ruskin during this adventure, having never heard of him before, I have taken a deeper interest in his work.
While Madison was at school on the morning of the Opening, she was explaining where she was going later in the evening to a friend, and as she showed the friend Ruskin’s work, she had to pause for a moment, because I have almost exactly the same image, but 200 years apart and on different land masses!
Times ticks, and Pilar and family went different direction, but I hooked up with Pilar over the hors d’oeuvre table, and as we looked over the crown, Pilar notice Mr & Mrs Colburn walking down the hallway, and we both rushed over to greet them!
After chatting with the Colburn’s for some time, the rest of my family found me, and with energy running out of both Madison and Logan, we started out the door for home.
Needless to say, it was a GREAT night for me, and hopefully a good step in the right direction of my photography love!
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.
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.
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.