Cheap Seats

My brother, the writer, tells stories about getting feedback from readers about how the articles needed to be written differently in the paper. They would complain by the approach of the reporter or the writer of the editorials – not understanding, when he explained, how or why he allowed it into the paper.  Instead of getting into a lengthy debate, he would offer them a chance to write a guest editorial.  “Write me an article – show me what you mean.”  Then they would negotiate a topic.

Those that accepted his challenge would, inevitably, reach out to him for a lifeline.  They were stuck. It wasn’t as easy as they thought.  The constraint of how long it can be – how many words.  It was never easy.  And his point would get made.  Get in the game – and you will see it isn’t easy.

I run an art committee for the gallery of the local swinger club.  I have had to criticize many pieces of art for quality, composition, and subject.  But my biggest complaint: photographers who make a good image on the computer who don’t due their due diligence to make sure the printing matches.  Photoshop flaws are not visible on a computer screen as they are when printed 11×14.  I have pissed off artists by eliminating photos from a show that just don’t look right.

When I got my two photos selected for the art show at a local gallery, I realized I had to get in the game. I didn’t get to simply make a judgement and move one.  I was the one being judged.  


My photo printer that I loved stopped functioning at a level that made me happy.  So, off I was to find a way to print these and make them look right.  After several failed attempts, I called my brother knowing there were tricks – knowing there are issues between colors on a screen and getting them to match for the printer.

“Tell me the trick,” I begged.

He laughed and said “it’s not that easy.”

Yes, karma was hitting me in the head.

Ultimately, I found a place online that could do the prints.  Step one is that they color correct for their printers.  This made me feel like I had a chance when I placed my order online.

When I got them, I was happy.  I could exhale – printing was done.

Then I came to matting and framing. When I realized in my newbie haste, I gave the gallery the wrong dimensions.  In the end, it was all fine – I made it work (Tim Gunn would be proud) – and I turned over the images to the gallery.

I have put on 7-8 exhibitions for the club over the past year or so.  I am always nervous – wanting it to be right.  Knowing they are in someone else’s hands is hard for this control freak. Knowing I won’t pick where they are hung – how they are lit – etc.  I get to show up and enjoy it.

And hope it looks good.

I’m sure it will.

What do you think?

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