Re: Re: The value of the handmade

From: Richard Sullivan ^lt;>
Date: 03/16/05-09:30:06 AM Z
Message-id: <>

At 12:26 PM 3/15/2005, you wrote:


And yes cinema is the ultimate image making format. Turn off the projector
and --- poof! All gone.


>A friend of mine got his masters at USC film school. One of the profs
>told the class it didn't matter what it took to get the picture, it only
>mattered what got squirted on the screen. Its not the hours, its the print.
> >From:
> >Date: Tue Mar 15 13:13:08 CST 2005
> >To:
> >Subject: Re: The value of the handmade
> >Dick said:
> >>The one argument I hear referring to a digitally printed imageis "It took
> >>me hours and hours to make that print" Some how this is an attempt to
> >>relate the work to a hand made image.
> >
> >Which part of the get-the-image-onto-paper process took hours and hours?
> >If they are describing decisions they made in Photoshop, then I
> >personally feel that time is just as worthy as the time a classic printer
> >might spend exploring different interpretations under an enlarger or UV
> >lightsource as they play with contrast, diffusion, flashing,
> >burning/dodging, toning, etc. John Sexton once said it was not uncommon
> >for him to spend 40 hours on a new negative until he had resolved the
> >first fine print. On the other hand, if the "hours and hours to make the
> >print" is owing to a poorly calibrated monitor or lousy printer profile,
> >that's another story and certainly has nothing to do with skill or
> >artistic exploration.
> >
> >Did these digital printers tell you "my hours and hours of work make my
> >prints relate to a handmade image" or is this your interpretation? It's
> >hardly a "digital" phenomenon for someone to correlate effort with value.
> >A few years ago a student of Jack Spencer (the terrific southern
> >photographer) brought work to me for a critique. She showed me a finished
> >silver print that had lots of problems. She then showed me the mask
> >(emulating the methods that Jack uses so expertly in his own silver
> >printing) that she used to make the print. "I spent 20 hours on this
> >mask" she proudly exclaimed. Since she was already making handmade prints
> >(silver gelatin) it was hardly "an attempt to relate the work to a
> >handmade image." Rather, she was suggesting, since she'd spent so much
> >time and effort on the image, that somehow this made it "better" than if
> >she'd been able to make it quickly. Of course, it didn't. A bad print is
> >a bad print no matter how long it takes.
> >
> >> 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 "perfect"
> >>inkjet image.
> >
> >Couldn't agree with you more about the silver print. More silver gelatin
> >prints take my breath away than prints from any other process. As for
> >sterility, I know what you mean. It's much like the static
> >I'll-put-my-camera-here-because-nothing-will-move look that infects so
> >much large format photography. "I lugged this big camera up the mountain
> >for hours and hours so it must be a great photograph." You know what I
> >mean.
> >
> >>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
> >>"platinum 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.
> >
> >When I was struggling over what to call my
> >non-handmade-inkjet-printer-produced prints, a gallery owner I respect
> >had sound advice. I'd already explained my reluctance to call them
> >"giclee" because that term is just a smidge too fancy and besides, it's
> >already being over-used to describe everything involving ink on paper.
> >She said DO NOT call them "inkjet prints" because this sounds too much
> >like you went down to Office Max, grabbed a $49 printer and started
> >cranking out prints. I adopted her "Pigmented Ink Print" terminology
> >because it's accurate, non-pejoritive and has a nice ring to it without
> >getting flowery.
> >
> >I don't have a problem with an ink manufaturer's calling a product
> >"platinum black" any more than with Grumbacker's calling a color "Ivory
> >Black." It's a decriptive device and nothing more. On the other hand, if
> >someone sells prints from those inks and has the gall to call them
> >"platinum prints," they should have sensitive body parts squeezed firmly
> >in a bench vise.
> >
> >For what it's worth.
> >
> >Dan
> >
> >
> >
> >
Received on Wed Mar 16 10:41:56 2005

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