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In the Making

June 2007

2 July -14 October 2007
Bookshop Gallery

Before the polish of the finished photograph comes a long and laboured process. This new display examines the techniques of contemporary image-making in fashion and advertising through the work of five leading photographers: Elaine Constantine, Warren Du Preez & Nick Thornton Jones, Alexi Lubomirski, Sølve Sundsbø and Paul Wetherell. From working with celebrities to techniques of composition and the use of natural light and digital platforms, the display offers a fascinating insight into industry practice. The style of each photographer is illustrated with examples of their work, displayed alongside portraits of the photographers themselves by Immo Klink.

The display is launched in conjunction with a new title in Rotovision's World's Top Photographers' Workshops series by the National Portrait Gallery's Assistant Curator, Magda Keaney. Featuring the work of ten photographers in total, the book - Fashion and Advertising - offers incisive and comprehensive advice, using the photographer's portfolios to introduce and deconstruct industry aesthetics and techniques.

Advances in film stocks and papers; printing and postproduction techniques; the internet; and, most significantly, digital technologies eradicating the need for film, have all resulted in significant changes to the way fashion and advertising photography is commissioned and produced. This evolution, which began with Photoshop in the early 1990s, continues, but contrary to popular belief, the analogue process retains relevance in commercial and editorial practice. The majority of the photographers featured in this new display and its accompanying book still work with Polaroid and film, although digital postproduction is now widespread. Even natural light proponent Paul Wetherell observes that while the retouching on his Self Service story, featured in the display and the book, was minimal it was nonetheless necessary: "maybe smoothing slight lines on the face or neck nowadays, yes, you do use digital. Magazines expect and want it." A one-to-one relationship with a retoucher who understands a photographer's aesthetic preferences has emerged as one of the most important dynamics in contemporary editorial image-making.

Curator and author Magda Keaney has worked with photography across both commercial and gallery contexts. Formerly Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra she arrived in London in 2003 to undertake a Research Fellowship with the photography collection at the Victoria & Albert Museum and subsequently worked with the renowned Photography Agency M.A.P (Management and Production). She is currently Assistant Curator (Research) at the National Portrait Gallery, London, whilst maintaining an independent practice producing curatorial projects and writing for galleries, publishers, magazines and organisations engaging with photography. Recent projects include The Terrible Boredom of Paradise by Derek Henderson at CuratorSpace, London (2005) and Pret-a-Porter - Infrastructure Spectaculaire by Immo Klink at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2006). She was a judge in the 2004 Schweppes Photographic Prize and has written widely on photography including for Portfolio (UK) & Photofile (Aust).

In the Making: Fashion and Advertising follows the National Portrait Gallery's most recent exhibition, Face of Fashion, on which Magda Keaney was Assistant Curator.

For further press information please contact: Catherine Bromley, Press Office, National Portrait Gallery Tel: 020 7321 6620 (not for publication)
Email: [email protected]; To download images :

Notes to Editors:

The World's Top Photographers' Workshops : Fashion and Advertising by Magda Keaney is published by Rotovision on 1 August, priced £25.00 in hardback . Showcasing outstanding photography, the book includes diagrams of technical set-ups, plus checklists and tips-and-hints panels throughout. For further information about the publication of Fashion and Advertising and other titles in the series, please contact: Diane Leyman, Publishing Coordinator, Tel 020 7845 5020 (not for publication) Email: [email protected]

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