Re: Re: The value of the handmade

Date: 03/15/05-12:52:09 PM Z
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 I think we agree that film and silver are becoming historic processes. Digital is the norm and film and silver are yesterdays standard.

I like "historic process" except most of the work done in "historic processes" is actually a blend of old (gum, Plt/Pld, etc) and new (digital negs).

As to calling ink jet prints "pigment" prints I suppose the most accurate description is "pigment ink" prints and "dye" ink prints. "Giclee" to me is, if not a misrepresentation, certainly a coverup of the real process, inkjet printing. The only thing wrong with inkjet printing is it got off to a bad start. We need to rehabilitate the term "inkjet prints".

In the end, we all put images on various surfaces using various methods and show them to others.

As to the guy selling inkjet prints as Plt/Pla, he should be reported to the consumer fraud authorities and arrested.


>From: Richard Sullivan <>
>Date: Tue Mar 15 10:30:09 CST 2005
>Subject: Re: The value of the handmade

>At 09:00 AM 3/15/2005, you wrote:
>>Would you ditch process photography and use
>I kind of switch around between using processes and made
>photographs. Alternative just doesn't cut it with me, sounds too much like
>acupuncture or homeopathic medicine and has sort of a Mickey Mouse
>connotation now.
>Historic processes will soon add gelatin silver to its terminology as it is
>coming to mean just about anything but digital.
>>Another point. Quite a few digital printers use techniques to make the
>>prints look handmade. Gluing prints on canvas and smear wax over the
>>image, etc. Maybe the name needs to be style handmade
>Yeah Jack MacDonald years ago wrote a book called Old Fashioned
>Looking Photographs. If he is the same MacDonald, long gone, that started
>the Tri-Mac Photographic School where I studied in the late 60's, he was
>also a teacher at Mortensens school in Laguna Beach Ca in the 30's and 40's.
>UK Bromoil folks are fond of old looking photos too.
>>I think the value is connected to the history and small scale
>>methodology of processes to make the image and the print, not so much
>>to the photoreactive chemistry. In my view, different appearance of
>>the finished prints from those of Polymax dipped in Dektol or inkjet
>>prints may be an epiphenomenon, although it may be more intuitively
>>obvious distinction to average people.
>That connection to history is also important and something I was just
>writing about yesterday. Today I am mostly thinking about survival and
>getting home. We had about 16 inches of snow last night and it melted a bit
>this a.m. and a new cold front is moving in and the slush is freezing. Ah
>the Santa Fe drought is over but eeek.
>I see the digital printed image as a form of publishing. That really turns
>me on. The quality is there only lack is the speed and cost. Once we can
>print 10,000 8x10's in a couple of hours at a dime a piece we can publish
>our own books. We just need a small scale binding system to make the
>package complete. What effect will this have on digital print prices I dunno.
>The one argument I hear referring to a digitally printed imageis took
>me hours and hours to make that print Some how this is an attempt to
>relate the work to a hand made image. To an extent this is true, a hand
>made Tabriz carpet may have in fact taken a family of 4 two or three years
>or more to make. There is certainly a sweat equity factor in the value of
>some art items. I do find that much digital photography is over fiddled
>with. This of course can eat up lots of time just trying this and then
>trying that. Whether this equates to sweat equity is another question. I
>think not. It does not equate to a made image. The output printer
>could be on another planet and that is hard to conceive of as handmade.
>I am 65 years old and have been looking at photographs for most
>of those years. I find the distortions of gelatin silver that carries
>through to the printing process to be natural looking whereas I think
>younger folks adapt more readily to the more linear images one can pull of
>an inkjet printer. To me there is a sense of sterility to the
>inkjet image.
>I am also appalled at the historic ignorance of folks who keep insisting on
>calling inkjet prints carbon prints or pigment prints. Not to name names,
>but I have corrected a number of photographers on this issue but they
>continue the practice. There was even a set of cartridges being sold as
> black and Patrick Alt informed me that a gallery in Elay was
>selling the prints as platinum prints. Seems the guy had even put brush
>marks on them with Photoshop.
>--Dick Sullivan
>>Ryuji Suzuki
>> believing is all right, just don't let the wrong people know
>>what it's all about. (Bob Dylan, Need a Woman, 1982)
Received on Tue Mar 15 12:52:21 2005

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