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On 14 December 1918 women in the United Kingdom voted for the first time, and in the same year the first female MP was elected. Launching 14 December 2018, 209 Women marks that significant moment in history, whilst also highlighting the ongoing need for further gender equality across society and politics. Metro Imaging is delighted to be collaborating with this landmark project and its dedicated photographers.

As an all-female photography initiative, portraits of all 209 women MPs have been exclusively shot by women artists. These images will be displayed in a free, public exhibition opening on 14 December — 100 years to the day that the first women cast their votes in the 1918 UK general election. The photographs will be displayed firstly at Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, before travelling North to Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool in the New Year.

Metro is honoured to support and work with the team- including Hilary Wood , Cheryl Newman, Tracy Marshall and Lisa Tse – behind 209 Women in producing high-end, archival prints, expertly finished in Box Frames for their inaugural exhibition.

“The idea for the exhibition came from my own experiences of gender inequality. I’ve worked mainly in male-dominated fields for the past 18 years. I’ve got two daughters and I wanted to be part of changing things so that they grow up in a society that is more gender equal. Since 1918, 4,503 men have been elected to the UK parliament – compared to just 491 women. On the centenary year of women’s suffrage, I wanted to celebrate how far we’ve come, but I also want to bring awareness to continued gender inequality by championing the visibility of women in power. This exhibition will bring visibility to those women that are part of making the fundamental changes to women’s equality.” – Hilary Wood, Founder and Curator.

Although the Suffrage Movement achieved the first votes for women, there is still a long way to go to cement a culture of true gender equality across all spheres of society in the UK, particularly in positions of power. Women MPs only form 32% of the House of Commons.

The project began as a voluntary endeavour, but the team has been working closely with Open Eye Gallery to secure fees for the artists. The initial crowdfunder to raise support for the artists ran over summer 2018, and now the team is welcoming individual exhibition patrons, limited to 209 places.

Exhibition details:

The exhibition will hang in Portcullis House, Westminster from 14th December 2018 until February 2019. You can book your tickets for the free exhibition here.

From February 2019 it will travel to Open Eye Gallery, to be exhibited in partnership with Culture Liverpool.

IMAGES ©

1. Tulip Siddiq MP, photographed by Jillian Edelstein

2. Exhibition installation shot at Portcullis House, taken from Alison Thewliss verified Twitter account @alisonthewliss

3. Exhibition installation shot at Portcullis House, taken from Alejandra Carles Tolra verified Twitter account @acarlestolra

This month our Expert Tip comes from Ciaran Woolcombe, here, he shares his advice on preparing your digital files for production and how to achieve maximum quality for your prints.

Start with DPI

In printing, DPI (dots per inch) refers to the output resolution of a printer or imagesetter. At Metro, our machines run at a variety of DPIs from 200 to 400 (and some random numbers in between), we usually recommend for you to work at 300 dpi as it tends to be the best all round for art and photographic printing, then we will sort the rest!

Preparing Files for Print

The best way to get exact sizes and maintaining control over borders is to set your files up using an industry recognised image editing software. Ideally, something like Photoshop. However, there are plenty of others to choose from and should work in a fairly similar manner.

This guide will be using Photoshop, to size the same image in 3 different ways:

  • – to as close to 10″ x 8″ without cropping
  • – to exactly 10″ x 8″ without borders
  • – to image within a 10″ x 8’’ canvas with borders

 

Guide 1: Image, No Border, No cropping (by pro)

First things first, once you have your file opened, you will want to size it by going to ‘Image>image size’

This will bring up an ‘Image Size’ box – make sure you have resample ticked, the DPI set to 300, and on the longest edge type in 10. Photoshop will then do the smaller edge automatically, in this case, the closest to a 10″ x 8″ we can get without cropping would be 10″ x 6.532″. (Some images will be different shapes, depending on the format of the camera it is shot on).

Also, make sure the resolution is set to Pixels/ Inch as opposed to Pixels/ Centimetre.

 

Guide 2: Image, No Border, Exactly 10″ x 8″ using crop tool

Once your image is opened, you will want to select your crop tool.

A box appears in the drop down box you will want to select W x H x Resolution, this will allow you to input the exact size and print dpi that you require.

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I have selected 10 x 8 at 300dpi, always double check you have selected px/in as opposed to px/cm.

You will then be able to crop the image as desired and it will save it down as the selected dimensions, you can check it has worked by going to:

Image>Image size

The file has now been cropped to exactly 10 x 8 at 300dpi.

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Image Set-up On A 10″x 8″ Canvas with Borders

Once the image is opened, you will want to go to:

Image>image size

Here you will want to make your image size smaller than the desired final size, which in this example will be 10″ x 8″

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This image Pros out to 9″ x 5.879’’

Hit okay and then you will want to go to:

Image> Canvas size

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As my required final size will be 10″ x 8″ I have imputed this, hit okay and Photoshop will automatically centre the image on a 10″ x 8’’ piece of paper.

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You can then check everything has gone smoothly by going back to image size:

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Checking The Image Looks Good At Size

One of the key things to check is whether or not the file is holding up at the size you require, the best way to check this is using the ruler tool in Photoshop.

To make sure the rulers are turned on you will need to go to View > Rulers, and a ruler will then appear around the image, if you right click this you can then select your preferred measurement, in this case, good old-fashioned inches.

If you then zoom into the image and get the ruler to represent an inch, you are then viewing your image on screen at print size, giving you a good indication of how it’s going to turn out when printed.

 

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Or you can zoom in to 33.3%

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Out Put and Saving File

Before saving you will want to make sure your image is saved in the correct colour space, (although we have most of our c-type paper profiles available for download if you are confident in profiling), I would recommend submitting your files to us in Adobe RGB (1998) as we will profile them before they go to print.

To do this you will need to go to Edit > Convert to Profile and from the drop down box select Adobe RGB (1998)

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After you have done this you will need to save your file down ideally as a .TIFF file, do this by clicking File> Save as in the format box select TIFF and hit save in your desired location.

The file will now be ready for upload to our online self-service

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Screen

Ideally, for the closest translation from screen to print, you will be working on a high quality calibrated monitor such as an Eizo like we use here in the lab. This is because most backlit screens do not translate well to print, this is especially the case, with super glossy retina Mac screens which tend to make everything look much brighter and way more saturated than they are –which is great for films, but not so great for printing–  this can make it difficult to predict how an image will come out when printed.

If you are really unsure we do offer a Self-Service Premier Service (which is certainly a lot cheaper than a calibrated screen!). Within this level of service, our professional technicians will check your files to make sure they are looking good and will make a few adjustments if necessary, to get the best quality print as possible.

 

You can order via our Self-Service here

Depending on the size of your print and your choice of substrate, you may have the option of choosing between either split-battens or a sub-frame to hang your final piece.

Once over a metre square, mounted prints will require the additional support of an aluminium sub-frame. It’s important to note that fixings can only be applied to inflexible substrates, such as Dibond or Perspex. Materials such as Foamex and Kapa are not sturdy enough to attach fixings, as any flex will cause them to pop off. For these lighter materials, we often suggest Velcro for hanging. Sub-frames will also often be fitted within large-scale classic frames; hidden from view, but providing the frame with additional support and longevity.

Aluminium Sub-Frame

Once over a metre square, it is imperative to fix your mount with a sub-frame. Sub-frames consist of narrow aluminium strips that frame the reverse of the mount, these are bonded with a pressure-sensitive adhesive and usually allow a small border from the edge of the substrate. These prevent any warping, twisting or bending from happening, keeping the mount rigid: there is consistent support for the whole piece.

As well as this, sub-frames are often the more aesthetic choice, as they sit closer to the wall in comparison with battens, as well as being slightly subtler when viewed from the side. They also provide a way of allowing the mount to hang on a normal picture hook, but can also be hung from a batten, offering multiple hanging options.

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Split-Battens

Photo mounting with modern materials, such as aluminium and Dibond have become popular in recent years for their rigid, frameless sheer look and feel. The image appears to be floating and is due to their fixings. Split-battens are a set of wooden strips cut at an angle and designed to lock together. One is permanently fixed to the mount, whilst the other is for fixing to your wall. When using battens, the substrate can be up to a maximum size of 40×30 inches. Once over a metre square, there is not enough support for the mount using this method. Split-battens are a great way of achieving the floating aesthetic, but slightly more economical than a sub-frame due to the materials used.

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At Metro, we have a variety of materials and combinations available. We’re always interested in hearing back and aim to provide you with the optimum quality for your ideal finished product. For any further information, feel free to call us at 020 7865 0000 or email at enquiries@metroimaging.co.uk

Collaborating on many of The Photographers’ Gallery’s exhibitions and events over the past few years including Terrence Donovan’s Retrospective Show, Punk London, and their Folio Friday programme.