Information for Gallery Bershad Artists

Artist images (slides) preparation

Please try to... If you do not, the consequences may be...
Keep your slides clean and protected.
This is the single most common frustration by our graphic designer when scanning images.
The person scanning & retouching your slides may: (1) not try to optimize the appearance because the quality or condition is so poor (i.e., it's in such rough shape that it would take hours of photoshop wizardry to make it look good); (2) make assumptions about what is art, and what are artifacts or dust appearing on the scan (whether dirt got on the original artwork, dirt or scratches got on the slide, etc.). No offense, but sometimes it's really impossible to tell if spec(s) are dirt or real (intended) texture in your paper or medium. If in doubt, include a note for the graphic designer. (3) Cropping: where the wall or background ends and the art begins-- what do you consider the scope of the artwork to be displayed? Usually a frame is not shown due to wanting to maximize the area of actual art shown on the web
Choose the appropriate film for the lighting.
(Tungsten film for tungsten lighting, taken at night for instance;
daylight film where outside light is present, or color negative film such as Portra or NPS/NPH where both spectrums of light are present)
Choose appropriate camera lens filtering if needed (especially for fluorescent lighting)
Color balance is off, and it may take too much time to correct in Photoshop, or be yet another odd distortion of your artwork's color fidelity, or in the process of color correction, grain is introduced.
Align the axis of the camera lens perpendicular to the center of the painting or image area. Your image will have a distorted perspective (rectangle edges will look smaller on one side).
The graphic designer will probably just crop the image to make the image area square or rectangular and you will lose part of several edges, and the distortion remains. It is unlikely that time will be taken in photoshop to do perspective distortion compensation.
Make sure you use a high-quality lens that does not introduce "barrel" or other distortions. (see above)
Use a higher value f-stop (i.e., small aperture) in order to make focussing rock-solid, but don't surpass the sweet spot, else other factors may detract from image clarity.  
If your artwork image content is of the type that is soft-focus originally (clouds or fog, for instance), then note in accompanying instructions when you submit the slides for scanning Otherwise, the graphic designer will likely try to "sharpen" your image resulting in bringing out undesirable grain or texture that really isn't there, in the process of trying to make the image crisper.
If your artwork has shiny or glossy/reflective surfaces, then use polarizing filters on both the lens and the strobes to obtain the blackest blacks and richest colors possible. Be especially careful if you use camera-attached flash units because these will wash out any portions where there are reflections, and it'll look like a cheap flash picture. You want your artwork to be represented in the best possible "light." Otherwise, true color depth will not be represented accurately, and/or portions of your images will appear washed-out.
If in doubt concerning exposure, bracket your meter readings. If two resulting slides are acceptable, and the image will be used for offset printing or posters, then send both slides, and let the scanning person select which will scan better. The graphic designer will try to match the tonal range and color match of your slide- if the lighting is dim, your artwork will look dark and unappealing.

Transparencies for on-site "patron library" reference:
For 35mm slides, use "metal" (mylar) tape (3M or Titan, for instance) to physically crop your artwork. Although risky if you make a mistake, it's aesthetically nicer to apply this to the emulsion side of the transparency so the shiny tape will not be visible for manual lightbox viewing.

For 4x5 transparencies, mount them in a cut-out frame window, sandwiching the transparency. Some commercially available 4x5 "frames" come with a frosted/translucent back opening for light diffusion, and a protective clear acetate/plastic front for protection.

You run the risk for contemporary art to leave it up to the graphic designer to crop in or out sourrounding walls, etc.. Sometimes textures of the wall appear to be a part of abstract artwork, if one is not familiar with the style/intent of the artist.
Label your slides (writing on the side toward the viewer, away from the screen or light box), especially with an arrow indicating UP. Otherwise you will be frustrated when your images are posted on the web in seemingly random orientation, as guessed based on the slide mfg. imprint, or the intuition of the graphic designer (in one case the slides were hand-numbered, but no titles nor arrows: the numbers were used as an indication of orientation, but in fact had been hurriedly and randomly written, and the slides were almost all incorrectly oriented.)  Extra cost is incurred to rotate your image in photoshop and re-edit the web site.
Tip: Make multiple exposures of each artwork while you're taking the photographs. It's far cheaper and of significantly higher quality to make duplicates this way than to make second-generation slides later; too, you'll have a backup if a slide is scratched. Film & processing are cheap comparatively.  

If you choose to submit scans instead of slides, we prefer:

  • RGB color mode (for web; CMYK for offset printing)
  • 72 dpi or greater at a sufficient size for web viewing (i.e., include enough pixels) (300dpi for printing)
  • .tif format preferred, altho .jpg is okay if the slides are ready to go (i.e., no retouching or alterations)
  • we accept: attached file email; stuffit, zip, CDrom, diskette, 100MB zip disks (but don't prefer zip disks since we have to return these)
  • we prefer that you already have them cropped and color balanced. For web images, color profiles are ignored.
  • we typically display at 288 pixels high and for thumbnails: 144 pixels high. (That's 4" and 2" tall at 72 dpi, altho pixels is the only unit that really counts for web images.)

Biography Format

Plain text or WORD .doc or .rtf formats are easiest. If you have it already in .html format, that's even better, especially if you have lots of formatting (tables, bold, italics, etc.). The closer you get it in our format, the less editing we'll have to do, and the likelihood of it being in the format you desire is greater.

Resume Format

(see above)

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