NOTE: 50cm x 60cm does not equal 20″ x 24″

I’m excited that the AOP Gallery in London is showing my Kodachrome artworks in their gallery this January.  My two photographs – “The Railsplitter” and “Toll Gate Ice Cream” – will be on display in an internationally-recognized art gallery as part of a show dedicated to the photographs taken with Kodachrome film.  That’s some serious stroke.  Only seventy images were accepted for the gallery show; including two of mine.

But now I have to take care of one very important thing regarding the artworks.

I have to print my artworks here in Albany and have them shipped to London.  And for the artworks to be properly sized and placed in their AOP Gallery frames, I have to send them in the size that they request – for them to fit in the display frames in London, the artworks must measure 50 centimeters by 60 centimeters exactly.

So now what do I do?

I used one of those online metric-to-standard converters, and it stated that 50cm x 60cm is equivalent to 20″ x 24″ in size.  I can work with that, no problem.

But just to play it safe, I sent an e-mail to the gallery, asking if that size conversion will work.

“Sorry, Chuck,” they replied, “that size will be too big for our frames.  It must measure 50cm by 60cm exactly.”

Another metric-to-standard conversion program later, and I discovered that 50cm is actually 19.7 inches.   60cm is 23.5 inches, so the 20 x 24 inch size I previously thought would work might actually wrinkle in the frame.

Okay, now what to do…

Just to play it safe, I re-scanned both images and, using my Corel Photo-Paint 9 software, I re-sized the images for the metric 50cm x 60cm dimension.  I then burned both images to disc.

Let’s Go, Cardachrome – Next stop, Ritz Camera in Crossgates Mall.

I’ve got a good relationship with Ritz – between them, McGreevy Pro Lab in downtown Albany, Stuyvesant Photo in Stuyvesant Plaza, and Cameraworks in Latham, they are the holy quartet for my camera needs and maintenance.  I asked one of the techies at Ritz if he could print the images out with the 50cm x 60cm dimensions.

“Nope, all our stuff prints out in inches.”

Okay, could we print the images out at 20″ x 24″, and then trim them a little?

“No, you don’t want us to do that.  If we trim it too close, we’d have to re-print the images, and that takes time and that’s not beneficial to you.  But I have an idea…”

I listened.  And I liked his idea.

I took the images back home, and opened them up in Corel Photo-Paint 9.

Both pictures opened in their 50cm x 60cm dimensions.

I then selected Image, and Paper Size – and then added a white border background to my metric-sized artwork, making them standard 20″ x 24″ prints.  Then, I took them back to Ritz – the techies printed the images and trimmed off the white border.

I took the pictures home – and just before I placed each one in the tube for mailing, I took a ruler and measured them.

20″ x 24″.  Both pictures were still 20″ x 24″.

Oh crud.  The white border I put around the picture must have been misinterpreted as not being part of the picture – so when Ritz trimmed the photo, it actually did come out to 20″ x 24″!

Luckily, I came up with an idea.

Let’s Go, Cardachrome – next stop, FedEx Office on Wolf Road.

As part of their “you can work on your own stuff if it will save you a few dollars” deal, FedEx Office has a hand-operated slicer – and lucky for me, it had standard and metric measurements on it!  Woo hoo!  A few quick slices, and my pictures were now 50cm x 60cm – just like the AOP Gallery wanted!

Let’s Go, Cardachrome – next stop, the post office in Colonie Center.

I carefully rolled up both artworks into a mailing tube, and paid for expedited shipping to England.

And now… if anyone out there has a friend who lives in London and can visit the AOP Gallery in Shoreditch between January 20th and February 11th, and if that friend has a camera and can take pictures of my artwork as it hangs in an international gallery… it would be much appreciated, believe me.

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2 thoughts on “NOTE: 50cm x 60cm does not equal 20″ x 24″”

  1. Just asking – have you ever looked into getting your own printer? Do you do enough volume that it would make sense? I’m asking as our high school photo class and club might do enough volume that it makes sense, but I’d rather take a professional’s advice. Thoughts?

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    1. Honestly, I don’t do enough printing that it would be cost-effective enough to purchase a full-scale printer – at least nothing more powerful than the Epson scanner-printer that I currently possess. I can print a few pictures here and there from Ritz or McGreevy – and that’s more cost-effective for me.

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