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Roger Hicks -- Author of The Rangefinder Book

Roger Hicks is a well known photographic writer, author of The Rangefinder Book, over three dozen other photographic books, and a frequent contributor to Shutterbug and Amateur Photographer. Unusually in today's photographic world, most of his camera reviews are film cameras, especially rangefinders. See www.rogerandfrances.com for further background (Frances is his wife Frances Schultz, acknowledged darkroom addict and fellow Shutterbug contributor) .


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Portfolios and reviews
Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
Roger Hicks
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Portfolios and reviews

Have you ever wondered about portfolio reviews? What they're for and whether you might find them any use? This article may help clarify your thoughts.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
Jake Mongey
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This is actually incredibly useful as I am about to undergo a few portfolio reviews over this summer for various purposes. Thank you - really good article!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
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I agree. An excellent article, as usual.
Thank you Roger.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
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An interesting read, Roger.
In thinking how your advice might apply to or help my photography, I'm coming to the thought that, as much as I've enjoyed working at this, I am in no way ready to have a portfolio reviewed.

For what I do and what I'm hoping t accomplish, a portfolio is not appropriate in most ways.

Except, I do have an idea about my own work and what I am trying to get better at. And while I am not looking to exhibit nor get published, finding the right person to look at a dozen or so of those photos that I think are adding to that idea rather than distracting from it, and asking them if they think that is true or not. And, maybe, some good suggestions about how to keep getting closer to that.

And, no, I'm not going to PM you and ask to send you some prints! There are one or two local photographers I.m friends with whom I may reach out to.

Thanks for the article!

Rob
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
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Granted the photos accompanying the portfolio article are not a portfolio, but I thought it was ironic that Tip 4 was to keep equipment out of it, yet all but one photo included information about camera, lens, and/or paper used. I agree that the images should speak for themselves. Who cares if the photo was made with a Leica camera or on Ilford Art paper?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
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Am I the only one who doesn't see an article link?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
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Same Here . . .

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Originally Posted by rogue_designer View Post
Am I the only one who doesn't see an article link?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
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Here's the link for those searching for it:

http://rogerandfrances.eu/photography/portfolio-reviews
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbiemer View Post
An interesting read, Roger.
In thinking how your advice might apply to or help my photography, I'm coming to the thought that, as much as I've enjoyed working at this, I am in no way ready to have a portfolio reviewed.

For what I do and what I'm hoping t accomplish, a portfolio is not appropriate in most ways.

Except, I do have an idea about my own work and what I am trying to get better at. And while I am not looking to exhibit nor get published, finding the right person to look at a dozen or so of those photos that I think are adding to that idea rather than distracting from it, and asking them if they think that is true or not. And, maybe, some good suggestions about how to keep getting closer to that.

And, no, I'm not going to PM you and ask to send you some prints! There are one or two local photographers I.m friends with whom I may reach out to.

Thanks for the article!

Rob
Dear Rob,

Thanks for the kind words. Indeed, part of the idea of the piece is to suggest that portfolio reviews aren't for everyone. Not because the photographers in question are in any way lacking, but because it's not the way their minds work. Your idea of talking to other photographers is an excellent one: I may yet modify the piece to try to make this point more clearly.

ADDENDUM: I have amended it. Does it now read better? Or if not better, then at least more in line with your experience?

Cheers,

R.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
Granted the photos accompanying the portfolio article are not a portfolio, but I thought it was ironic that Tip 4 was to keep equipment out of it, yet all but one photo included information about camera, lens, and/or paper used. I agree that the images should speak for themselves. Who cares if the photo was made with a Leica camera or on Ilford Art paper?
That's because you aren't actually granting that it wasn't a portfolio.

Stop and think that such a piece serves different constituencies. Not just those who want portfolio reviews, but also photographers who (unlike reviewers) may be curious, and indeed manufacturers who like to see it mentioned in an appropriate place when their products are used. More than once, Ilford have asked for input/tests from Frances and me on new products before they are released.

So no, it wasn't ironic.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #11
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Originally Posted by rogue_designer View Post
Am I the only one who doesn't see an article link?
Sorry. It disappeared. Dunno how. Now replaced.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B.Toews View Post
Here's the link for those searching for it:

http://rogerandfrances.eu/photography/portfolio-reviews
Thank'ee kindly. As I say, I don't know why or how it disappeared. Ah, the wonders of the internet.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Stop and think that such a piece serves different constituencies. Not just those who want portfolio reviews, but also photographers who (unlike reviewers) may be curious, and indeed manufacturers who like to see it mentioned in an appropriate place when their products are used. More than once, Ilford have asked for input/tests from Frances and me on new products before they are released.

So no, it wasn't ironic.
My broader point was that I was agreeing with you that it doesn't matter what gear created the image, the image should speak for itself. Including such information to curry favor with manufacturers, well that's something else entirely.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #14
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Roger, thank you again for an informative and well-written article. I always enjoy reading what you write and post.

With best regards,

Pfreddee(Stephen)
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Dear Rob,

Thanks for the kind words. Indeed, part of the idea of the piece is to suggest that portfolio reviews aren't for everyone. Not because the photographers in question are in any way lacking, but because it's not the way their minds work. Your idea of talking to other photographers is an excellent one: I may yet modify the piece to try to make this point more clearly.

ADDENDUM: I have amended it. Does it now read better? Or if not better, then at least more in line with your experience?

Cheers,

R.
Roger,
I did not think your original read poorly at all.
I will say that I think a portfolio and a portfolio review are both photographic tools. And Not every tool is needed for every photographer. Or photograph. For example, color slide film and hand coloring are both photographic tools but one (probably) would not hand color a slide.

As well, which tools I use are, most often, completely unimportant to anyone else except me. My dad's primary hobby has been woodworking and nobody much ever asked him what chisel he may have used to make the tenons.

I look at other photographers' work and occasionally am interested in the tools mainly because I am interested in how or what they've used to achieve their result. I may want to learn a new method--add a new tool to my own workshop, as it were. Or to learn a new use for a tool I may already have.

Rob
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #16
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Roger - thanks for an excellent article and also a timely reminder that Arles is now only a few weeks away.

I have never visited before, and even without aiming for a portfolio review (I wish that I had a coherent portfolio to review...) I intend to make a stop there this year.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #17
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Interesting well written article Roger! I had a few times my photos reviewed, last time in Milan a couple of years ago and it's always an interesting useful experience. Of course as you say it's very important to select the appropriate reviewer respect your work (I wouldn't propose my wabi-sabi project about imperfection to a photojournalist!) and also as you say to propose an high quality work.

A point on which I would appreciate to know your opinion is about sizes. My mentioned wabi-sabi project is printed on A3+ cotton paper (deckle edges paper 33x48 cm circa) keeping a large white border around the image. Meantime I print the same files on A4 (same paper always keeping a white border same ratio as the larger ones) which in my opinion could be a more practical format to handle on a table and easier to carry around. Of course both formats are printed with care and attention!

By tha way this year Simo and me will skip Arles, we have other travels in our plans (Atlantic coast of France included probably) so we'll not meet you and Frances, best regards to you both and I hope to read your usually accurate reports about it!

ciao, robert
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #18
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Quote:
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Roger - thanks for an excellent article and also a timely reminder that Arles is now only a few weeks away.

I have never visited before, and even without aiming for a portfolio review (I wish that I had a coherent portfolio to review...) I intend to make a stop there this year.
Hope to see you there! We'll be at the Hotel Voltaire as always -- leave a message.

Cheers,

R.l
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #19
Roger Hicks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert blu View Post
Interesting well written article Roger! I had a few times my photos reviewed, last time in Milan a couple of years ago and it's always an interesting useful experience. Of course as you say it's very important to select the appropriate reviewer respect your work (I wouldn't propose my wabi-sabi project about imperfection to a photojournalist!) and also as you say to propose an high quality work.

A point on which I would appreciate to know your opinion is about sizes. My mentioned wabi-sabi project is printed on A3+ cotton paper (deckle edges paper 33x48 cm circa) keeping a large white border around the image. Meantime I print the same files on A4 (same paper always keeping a white border same ratio as the larger ones) which in my opinion could be a more practical format to handle on a table and easier to carry around. Of course both formats are printed with care and attention!

By tha way this year Simo and me will skip Arles, we have other travels in our plans (Atlantic coast of France included probably) so we'll not meet you and Frances, best regards to you both and I hope to read your usually accurate reports about it!

ciao, robert
Dear Robert,

We'll miss you both!

Cheers,

R.
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