Re: Rotating Josef was Actual Photograph

From: Richard Sullivan ^lt;>
Date: 03/20/05-08:28:17 AM Z
Message-id: <>


I'm not sure of the meaning of "benchmark" in your comments. It is followed
with "souped up" which tends to have a bit of a negative connotation.

To be clear about it, I don't have any problem with "digital" per se. I am
very excited about scanning some of my street work from the early 70's. I
worked with a Leica and often the exposures are way off as this was pre
auto exposure and working on rainy days and grabbing shots in alcoves and
doorways was a hit or miss affair exposure-wise. I've been able to
"salvage" a number of shots that I've never been able to get a really good
print out of.

Here is an example of one image that I've always had a devil of a time

Getting the separation between his left shoulder and the umbrella often
fails me when trying to make a good print. I know there are people out
there that can do this kind of thing with masks etc. With digital it is a snap.

I am not sure if this will show up well on your monitor as I just uploaded
the image and I do not have a calibrated monitor here in my office, but
you'll get the point.

To me digital printing is a form of publishing and I'd sure like to be able
to make enough images to do a book. The other problem that confronts us is
how to bind this stuff up into book form.

Say you want to do 100 images in an edition of 100. That's 10,000 images. A
bit too much for today's technology. Even at a minute per that is 166 hours
of steady print time. And good digital photo paper being a dollar a sheet!!!

BUT.. if the speed can be boosted and the cost lowered and we can find some
way to professionally bind this stuff up into book form then we really have
something going for us.


At 01:37 AM 3/20/2005, you wrote:

>On Sat, 19 Mar 2005, Richard Sullivan wrote:
>>Nash editions has been selling Iris prints for better than 20 years now
>>and you rarely see them in the auction catalogs. That says something.
>>Joan Myers sells her Antarctica digital prints fairly well and she says
>>they sell better than the pt's. So there are some exceptions.
>>There is a certain sameness to a lot of the digital work being done. Last
>>year Olivia Parker showed some of her vintage work and some of her new
>>digital work. The general consensus from my students was the early work
>>was sublime, as one student put it. The new work resembled the stuff on
>>the Photoshop sample disk. Impressive for their manipulation but pretty
>>shallow in the long run. She also had the prints labeled as "pigment"
>>prints. Josef Sudek new nickname in heaven is now Rotating Josef.
>As has been written (by persons or person I recall not) the most important
>human sex organ is the brain (it was better expressed than that, maybe
>someone has the exact quote) -- the most crucial art equipment is also the
>brain. I found Olivia Parker's recent work had begun to pall even (I
>believe) before the switch to digital... But a large quotient of "art"
>photography" even in the holiest of "authentic" photographic media, in
>every period since photography became widely available, is a tired repeat
>of photographs previously seen. (Look at those old "American Photography"
>magazines -- I have a bunch of them too. They're charming, but.... the
>"art" is strictly amateur salon -- that is, with the exception of a few
>early salons run by Stieglitz & company, and those rarely made it to the
>the photo press beyond Camera Work.)
>Meanwhile, I have seen a couple of shows of digital photographs that were
>The bench mark for digital photography IMO (so far) was the show last year
>at ICP: "The War in Iraq." I think I posted something about it at the
>time: photographed with digital cameras and printed by Modern Age Digital
>(meaning with souped up colors, and "curve," I imagine digitally exposed
>on "photographic" paper).
>Bill William's example of Japanese woodcuts is also a propos -- they are
>among history's highest expressions of art, yet they are indeed "flat" --
>no matter how many blocks were used, the picture is "flat," much flatter
>than a digital photograph. The problem, if any, is probably not so much
>flatness, depth, or any graphic quality, as the mindset. The attempt to do
>analog photography with digital means may be large part of the problem.
>Digital is digital.
>Meanwhile, speaking of carbon/carbro, I suggest a close reading of Gerard
>Aniere's article in Post-Factory #9, describing his own re-invention of
>carbro. Not only was his technical ambition, ingenuity, skill and
>inventiveness awesome, but the prints (about 30 by 40," made for
>photographer David Stewart), were if possible moreso, including several of
>the most beautiful single prints I've seen in any medium -- right up there
>with the "War in Iraq" prints.
>But completely different.
Received on Sun Mar 20 09:42:48 2005

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