Ellen Datlow has kindly…

Ellen Datlow has kindly given permission for us to put up a copy of the Fountain Award winning story, Jeffrey Ford's The Annals of Eelin-Ok. It is most charming, and more than that. Go, read, enjoy.

In other news, I had a bad night -- lots of coughing, not much sleeping. But I do feel stronger today than yesterday, so hopefully this will all be over soon. In a good way. :-)

Yesterday I printed out about 40 of my favorite Sri Lanka photos and am now trying to decide how many to mat and frame. I'm torn. I have two panels at WisCon, 4' sq., which means I can hang about 24 framed 8x10 prints (which will be 11x14 when framed). I don't know whether I should just choose my favorites, or whether I should print them all again smaller, say 5x7, so I can frame all of them at 8x10 or some such, and then put the larger prints in the print show. Any opinions? What has a greater impact -- some large prints, or more smaller prints? I'm leaning towards the latter right now, but that's partly just because I'm having trouble picking.

I also have no idea how to price these -- it's a bit unfortunate for me that the WisCon art show should switch to a gallery flat price mode (rather than bidding) the same year that I take up a new art form. I think for framed work, I need to charge around $25-$30 for an 11x14 to have a reasonable chance of making back my costs (assuming that less than half will actually sell). Is that too much for a framed photograph by a rank beginner? *I* think they're lovely, but what do I know about photography?

How about for an unframed, matted, 8x10 print? I could sell those for about $5, I think. Does that seem reasonable? I'm not really trying to make a profit here -- just to give people an opportunity to own some of these prints, and ideally not lose money on it. :-) If I can also make back the cost of the camera over time, that'd be a lovely bonus.

I think it's harder being an artist than a writer! More expensive, definitely. Good thing I'm not actually trying to do this professionally...

13 thoughts on “Ellen Datlow has kindly…”

  1. One thing to possibly consider is the quality of the printing. Did you print these on your home printer? If so, you might look into whether it’s feasible to get them printed professionally on something with higher resolution. This is an area I know nothing about—it’s possible that your home printer produces perfectly good art-quality prints—but I figured it was worth mentioning.

    But if you’ve already done this, then never mind.

  2. I hear you about the unfortunate switch to flat price from bidding! I was really looking forward to finding out what my pieces were worth/ what they’d sell for at the Wiscon Art show, but now I’ve got to decide that ahead of time and hope I don’t overprice them so they don’t sell. I’ve seen work similar to some of what I’m selling priced at over $1000, but there’s no way I’m putting that as my flat price; I don’t think it would sell! I know I’m going to end up underpricing these (given how expensive the materials are and how time consuming it is) just so they’ll move. Sigh…

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to your gallery of prints, regardless of whether they’re large or small. And I like the idea of the unframed 8x10s, fwiw — gives those of us with a budget a chance to own some of your work 🙂 I’m trying to do a lot of smaller pieces myself for that same reason.



  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Thanks for the reassurance, guys. I find myself entirely unsure of myself when it comes to photography! It’s a whole new world.

    Jed, I printed them at Kinko’s on their fanciest printer; the results look pretty good to me. We’ll see what others think.

    I ordered some discount frames just now, 8×10, and plan to print 5×7’s. Hope they arrive in time; they should, if I calculated the shipping right. I’ll probably price those at $30, and then put my 8×10 prints (matted to 11×14) in the print shop cheap, at around $5 or $7, depending on how much the mats cost me. I’m going to go to the art store now and find out.

    I think I’ll only have one of each size at WisCon, so if people don’t get a chance to buy the ones they want, they can order them from me. But of course, that involves shipping charges, so if you’re going to WisCon and know you want some, go to the art show early. ‘Cause this year, once it’s gone, it’s gone. Going to really change my art show habits! Usually I wait until the very last minute so I can place a last-minute bid…

    Ben, here’s the explanation. I actually think Jim’s reasoning is sound and will probably result in more sales; it’s just not ideal for someone showing a new kind of art, since it makes it hard to guess what it’s worth.

  4. I absolutely adore the elephant shot and that should definately be an eight by ten. I am a bit biased since elephants are my favorite. I don’t think you are coming to Canada anytime soon. Can I get permission to print that picture out for myself? Also let me know when your book is coming out in Canada so I can tell all my friends and start giving them out as gifts!


  5. Hey MA,

    Other considerations for printing photographs for sell: what type of paper did you print them on? And what type of ink? Ideally, for photographs being sold you want to use at least medium to high quality photographic paper and archival quality ink. The paper is negotiable, but I find that I’m much happier with my finished results when I use a high quality paper. I recommend Epson, but I’ll admit to being biased. As for archival quality ink, the reasoning behind this is that standard color ink fades very quickly when in sunlight. It’s likely that a framed photograph will get a bit of that.

    I know this probably sounds overwhelming, so it it’s any consolation, for my Cemetery pics show, I am taking my files to a local photo lab for printing. In the long run, I’m getting at least as good of quality as with my photoprinter. And because I’m not investing in the expensive inks for a few prints, it’s cheaper.

    Hope this helps. *shrug* YMMV

  6. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Tanima, go ahead if you like, but be aware that it’s screen-resolution, so it’ll come out somewhat pixellated when you print. I’m not sure when the book will be out in Canada, but maybe the same as the US, July 1?

    Hey, Carol. I think this round, I’m not going to do anything that fancy, but I’ll keep it in mind for later, when I’m hopefully more skilled with the whole photography thing. 🙂

  7. Oh, man, I just saw the elephant. WANT! It’s soooo cute! If there’s an 8×10 matted print of this at Wiscon, I’m snapping it up. Just so you know.

  8. The elephant is very cute, and I also like the wall of Buddhas. We’ll be getting to the hotel around noonish on the 27th, and I’ll be helping Janet set up her space in the art room. If you need a hand as well, just holler.

  9. Printing – I’ve been doing prints of the cover art from my ebooks using Wolf Camera’s online shop, and getting very nice results. It’s convenient for me because their bricks-n-mortar store happens to be ten minutes’ walk from my house 🙂 but they also do free shipping. These are actual photographic prints, silver halide and all, so have the archival quality of such – i.e. not as good as true archival quality, but much better than typical inkjet inks. You might want to do a price comparison just in case it’s a sensible alternative to what you’re doing now:


  10. Correction – they used to do free shipping. Looks as if that may have changed.

    I was given the tip by a friend who had some gorgeous screenshots of the online game he plays in. As he said, camera shops have moved into the market of providing “real” photos from digital cameras, and they don’t care how the jpeg was generated. 🙂 So it’s useful for doing some processing on your computer to get the perfect version, and then getting a print made of that.

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