Cell Phone Booth Pictures
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Cell Phone Booth Pictures
The impending degrading of the booth image.

I've been writing about the importance of having a professional booth picture with no distracting elements to be able to jury into the better shows. But there are still artists out there who don't understand, because every week or so I get a booth picture sent to me that was taken with a cell phone camera.

There are multiple problems with cell phone camera pictures. There is no tripod socket so the camera is being hand held and the images suffer from blurriness combined with low resolution (not enough pixels). There is no way to adjust the settings manually for more control and better exposure. And most, if not all, cell phone cameras shoot vertically when the phone is held in the same upright position used when making phone calls, which means that the shorter pixel dimensions become the width of the booth and after cropping the image needs to be significantly enlarged to meet the requirements of the jury images pixel dimensions. And lets not forget that cell phone camera pictures tend to be grab snapshots, not well planned. The other day an artist sent me two cell phone pictures with a person in the booth in a different location in each image, thinking it would be easy for me to take the best parts of both pictures and put them together.

Though in some cases, a cell phone booth picture might be a better booth picture than you already have, but if you think this is the way to shoot your booth image to get into better shows, please think again.

update
Less than a week after writing this article I received a booth mage to correct taken with a smart phone camera. Turns out the artist who sent me the image specifically purchased a cell phone with a camera to shoot their artwork when they retired from their day job. BIG MISTAKE. They were able to resize (up by 400%) their images to get them loaded onto ZAPP but they were having trouble with their booth picture. When I reviewed the artwork images in their ZAPP profile, they were blurry and difficult to see detail.

Though I've seen it for years, applying to art shows is not just about throwing your images at the computer and being happy that they can upload. Your jury images are the most important asset that you have in surviving in this business and they need to be prepared to be the absolute best they can be for you to be competitive with your applications.

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