Week 2 Challenge: Let’s Talk Business
This week’s activity therefore, requires thought about the following three areas in relation to my practice:
- A Mission Statement
- The Product
- The Market
This is an opportunity to consider them from a more commercial angle.
The fantastic beauty of stained glass windows is rarely replicated in a photography as there are so many factors inhibiting the process: the weather and lighting conditions may be unfavourable; a camera lacks sufficient dynamic range; there may be a build-up of years of dust and grime; the horizontal support bars detract from the original design. Dominic Price’s vision is to record an image that is a lasting memory of a stained glass window, viewed as fresh and clear as the original artist would have wanted.
An initial site visit ascertains the logistics of the shoot, together with the most opportune time of day and time of the year to take the photograph. Diffused, bright light is optimal, avoiding harsh shadows created by the lead calmes that hold the individual panes of glass together. However, vegetation and surrounding buildings can have a dramatic impact on the anticipated lighting were one to carry out remote calculations. If the site lends itself to a straightforward set up, then the photography stage typically takes no more than an hour per light (an individual vertical division of a window), with up to 30 exposure bracketed images being taken for each view. The stained glass window or light is then reconstructed individual pane at a time, by selecting the most appropriately exposed fragment of an image from the exposure bracketed range. With the image reassembled, any damaged or overly dirty panes are corrected. A follow-up location visit allows the chance for a final comparison with the original prior to the digital removal of any support bars. The final image can be supplied in a number of ways, from digital file to a host of print options, with a Giclée print on 310gsm standard fine art paper; double mounted in white card, then black box framed, being the preferred finish.
With scarce competition in the field, the potential market is huge: any location with stained glass. Beyond individual images, there is the opportunity for exhibiting works to local communities as well as publishing the images within guide books or as greetings cards. Clearly religious festivals are well documented within stained glass windows and lend themselves well to the greetings card market.