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tgtaylor
26-Aug-2014, 09:23
Another thread in this column as if your best inkjets surpass your best wet prints. But what about their perceived value?

A number of members on the forum, probably the majority, print digitally while a number print in the traditional darkroom. And, of course, there are a few that print using both mediums. The digital printers say that it takes them years to learn the software and the darkroom artists say that it takes years of darkroom work to become a proficient printer.

Me? Well I do have an ancient scanner (except for a P&S I shoot film exclusively), an equally ancient version of Photoshop (CS-3), and to match the preceding equipment an ancient inkjet (Epson 2200). While I confess to not having used my digital equipment very much and have made very little attempt to "learn" the software, the few digital prints that I have made were successful in that they came out looking pretty much like the slide they were made from. I posted both on this forum back then. So I print in the so-called darkroom (which is actually quite bright with a Thomas safelight) and if I ever sold any of my work I would have to say that I would charge more for the darkroom print than the inkjet for the following 2 reasons:

1. Each darkroom print is individually made by the artists who necessarily starts from a blank sheet of paper and personally brings it through the various steps employed to the final image. It's more "hand-crafted" than the inkjet.

2. The darkroom print, especially some of the so-called "alternative" photographic syntaxes, is much more labor intensive than the inkjet print and I for one would place a value on that labor.

There's also some precedent for my decision to charge more for a "real" darkroom print. You can, for example, still purchase a genuine Ansel Adams print for $20K or so from the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite but the cost for the inkjet reproduction of the same print will only cost you a few hundred dollars. And, of course, the artists working in oils, water colors, charcoal and the like charge far more for their prints than for the machine made reproduction.

What about you? What value would you place on your respective prints?

Thomas

vinny
26-Aug-2014, 09:40
No. If I were printing with inkjet for my color work and in the darkroom for b+w, I'd charge the same amount. I was once told that photographers should price their work based on experience.
If I saw a print I loved and it was offered as an inkjet (identical prints) or wet print for the same price, I'd buy the wet print. I think anyone would. What happens if the prints get wet at some point? The whole 200yr ink rating seems a bit phoney. Read the fine print. Do your own tests.

Kirk Gittings
26-Aug-2014, 10:18
I charge more for silver prints because some collectors "perceive" that they are worth more because they think they are more archival and I honor their perception with a higher price. Its all a game of perception, nothing more, nothing less. My "originals" are what I deem is an original whether it is ink or silver. On many images my "better" print is my ink prints, but I will make you a silver print if you insist and charge you more for it.

Drew Wiley
26-Aug-2014, 10:36
In terms of "perceived" value, Kirk, silver prints have a relatively long track record. We already know a lot about their strengths and weaknesses in terms of permanence. Inkjet hasn't even finished a fifty meter dash yet. It all extrapolation, educated guesses. But people collect and pay big sums of money for all kinds of fugitive non-archival things anyway, like comic books. But if permanence is a consideration, it would be nice to know more.

Kirk Gittings
26-Aug-2014, 10:41
Because something lasts longer doesn't necessarily mean it is worth more. A lot of very valuable art that is not archival yet sells for tons of money. Value is totally perception-nothing more or less. Yes we know about old style silver prints but what do we know about optical brighteners in contemporary silver prints or what chemicals are used in the making of the paper base? Do you know of a single paper manufacturer that talks about the properties of the paper support in silver gelatin paper besides paper color? Why do you think this is?

Drew Wiley
26-Aug-2014, 11:53
There are two problems, Kirk. One is that so much of this is in fact sold under BS claims. It's almost routine in "sucker" galleries for someone to walk up and tell you this or that kind of print won't fade for two hundred or five hundred years. That of course is a species of fraud; but it seems to work with a certain "investment" crowd. But otherwise, wise collectors will indeed be concerned about the character of the paper and dyes or ink etc, if for no other reason to understand how to best protect them. Maybe somebody will spend a hundred grand or more on some Picasso collage clipped out of newsprint and ordinary cardboard. It will have already faded and discolored appreciably. But that's the kind of thing where someone will spend another twenty grand on the damn thing to try to preserve it. Leonardo's Last Supper is a classic example of experimental technique which proved to be quite "non-archival", and millions of bucks have been spent trying to restore that. Nobody is going to do that with a photograph. Best to know up front, or else just take your chances. We might or might not live long enough to see
some of the answers. But if my past experience with the claims of accelerated aging test is an indicator, whether speaking of dyes of even true pigments, I'll
take this stuff with a grain of salt until sheer history proves otherwise.

Kirk Gittings
26-Aug-2014, 12:07
I repeat value is just a perception. I once paid $1000 for a meal at Charlie Trotter's and that was a deal because my wife is a professional chef. To me it was worth every single penny. It had no lasting value except my memories and what I learned about extraordinary cuisine and what can be accomplished with craft and vision. One of the truly great experiences of my life.

paulr
26-Aug-2014, 12:09
For comparable prints, I charge more for silver prints, for the simple reasons that I made them in very small editions, and because there won't be any more of them (the papers I used for those projects don't exist anymore).

But not all prints are comparable. My two most recent projects have been much larger prints (ink). Because of all the added work and expenses, including having the final printing done by someone else, I charge more for these.

So the most I've ever been paid for prints (by a factor of over 2) has been for ink prints.

Drew Wiley
26-Aug-2014, 12:30
People paid $5000 dollar scalper tickets to see Paul McCartney last week, plus several hundred dollars for someone to drive them thru the traffic mess. The old recordings sound better. His voice was better. Just a silly example, but people can spend money on anything they please. But why do so-so oil paintings by known names often sell for drastically more than really superb watercolors by the same painter? It's a matter of relative permanence and sheer durability (or as you
say, the perception of it, whether correct or not). Paper is pretty fragile stuff. It gets stained, it gets mildew, it get acid discoloration on the wrong backing. And
you can't clean it without ruining the watercolor pigments. But it actually takes a lot more skill to produce a great watercolor, cause you can't post-correct it.
And anyone serious about collecting watercolors should know the basics of how to take care of them. No difference with photographic prints. None of them are
exactly permanent, unless it's an image laser-etched on ceramic or granite, which is of course feasible.

Darin Boville
26-Aug-2014, 14:17
I don't see inkjet vs wet print really entering into the price issue to any great degree. Nor does "how much time it took me to do this" sorts of things. Almost all of the price boils down to rarity and reputation (or expectations of reputation). All tempered by overall market conditions and prices. That's it, nothing more.

Oh, except the part about love. Some people just fall in love with certain art works. There's always that.

--Darin

dsphotog
26-Aug-2014, 16:48
Most consumers don't know the difference, or care.... as long as the subject matter is to their liking.
If anyone actually buys a photograph, that is.

Vaughn
26-Aug-2014, 17:45
My 16x20 silver prints and 8x10 platinum prints sell for the same price, and an 8x10 carbon print sells for roughly twice that. Just a thought... I might price an 16x20 inkjet print about the same as a 16x20 silver gelatin print, but with replacement (at cost) in the case of fading or color shift for the life of the photographer and/or digital file. "Perceived value". Is there any other kind? LOL!

rdenney
27-Aug-2014, 00:05
"Perceived value". Is there any other kind? LOL!

Nope, there isn't. Markets set prices, though sellers think they do.

Part of the issue is that a lot of tradiitonal printers are moving to digital prints and trying to make them look just like their silver prints. That is a fool's errand, I think. In my experience, digital processes permit bigger moves than I was ever able to achieve under the enlarger. Thus, negatives that I could never print in silver to my satisfaction I can now print and achieve my visualization. Maybe that's a limitation on my technique, or maybe my visualization just exceeded that technique. I can live with that either way.

As to uniqueness, I've still made more silver prints than ink prints, and I make so few prints that those I do make ought to be worth millions, if rarity and uniqueness has value (which I rather doubt, until the fan club is bigger than the supply at least). But my ink prints are better. What they lack in the color of selenium toning that I love, they abundantly have in more closely matching my intentions. Of course, if I wanted to make each one different, I could do that--it's no big deal to leave the dodging and burning until last and then do that afresh for each print. I already find that I bring old images back into Photoshop when I print them again, after a time, because my visualization has changed. Thus, I reject the notion that ink printing from a computer demands that all prints be identical. The 20 prints I made for the Print Exchange this year was the biggest batch of prints of one image that I've ever made using the same interpretation. If a photographer believes in that the variability of hand-made interpretation for each print is important, Photoshop isn't stopping him.

But I will not apologize. You will never hear me say, "that's just an inkjet print." I heard that from a photographer when I was comparing an ink print to a silver print from the same negative. He'd done a better job with the silver print, but not because silver was better. The differences were in his interpretation--what he dodged and burned and by how much--not based on the inherent qualities of each print medium. The interpretation on the silver print was stronger, but I think that's because he worked at it harder. For him, the inkjet prints were what he stuffed into his bargain bin and he didn't seem to have put in the same effort. Too bad--I might have bought one had it been as strongly interpreted as the silver print. The inkjet prints had less value to him, so he made them have less value to the customer--a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Those who don't value inkjet processes probably shouldn't use them. But that's their problem.

Rick "who works at inkjet prints harder than he ever did with silver prints" Denney

Darin Boville
27-Aug-2014, 01:11
>>Markets set prices<<

Tautology alert....

--Darin

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 07:20
Another thread in this column as if your best inkjets surpass your best wet prints. But what about their perceived value?

A number of members on the forum, probably the majority, print digitally while a number print in the traditional darkroom. And, of course, there are a few that print using both mediums. The digital printers say that it takes them years to learn the software and the darkroom artists say that it takes years of darkroom work to become a proficient printer.

Me? Well I do have an ancient scanner (except for a P&S I shoot film exclusively), an equally ancient version of Photoshop (CS-3), and to match the preceding equipment an ancient inkjet (Epson 2200). While I confess to not having used my digital equipment very much and have made very little attempt to "learn" the software, the few digital prints that I have made were successful in that they came out looking pretty much like the slide they were made from. I posted both on this forum back then. So I print in the so-called darkroom (which is actually quite bright with a Thomas safelight) and if I ever sold any of my work I would have to say that I would charge more for the darkroom print than the inkjet for the following 2 reasons:

1. Each darkroom print is individually made by the artists who necessarily starts from a blank sheet of paper and personally brings it through the various steps employed to the final image. It's more "hand-crafted" than the inkjet.

2. The darkroom print, especially some of the so-called "alternative" photographic syntaxes, is much more labor intensive than the inkjet print and I for one would place a value on that labor.

There's also some precedent for my decision to charge more for a "real" darkroom print. You can, for example, still purchase a genuine Ansel Adams print for $20K or so from the Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite but the cost for the inkjet reproduction of the same print will only cost you a few hundred dollars. And, of course, the artists working in oils, water colors, charcoal and the like charge far more for their prints than for the machine made reproduction.

What about you? What value would you place on your respective prints?

Thomas

Unless someone is selling a lot of prints for a meaningful amount of money, it doesn't really matter to anyone other than the photographer what any printing process is worth. If someone is selling a lot of prints for a meaningful amount of money, then it most likely is because their work is outstanding and/or has a high aesthetic value. The printing process would only be a secondary consideration.

Nobody but the photographer cares how much work went into making the print, or that each print individually made. Just like nobody cares how many miles you had to hike to get to the location. It only matters that they like the print, or not. People will buy a print that took 2 seconds to make if it speaks to them, or it has a high investment value. A print that took hours to make in the darkroom has zero value unless it speaks to someone or it has high investment value.

The argument about the value of an Adams inkjet print is not logical. If Ansel originally printed only with inkjet, the nkjet prints would not be reproductions. The Adams inkjet prints are reproductions today because Ansel did not print them. Peopel paying $20K are paying that amount because they are Adam's prints, not because they are silver prints.

tgtaylor
27-Aug-2014, 09:03
Greg, it is folly to separate work that “...is outstanding and/or has high aesthetic value...” from the process that was used to create it (i.e., the printing process) . As Ansel Adams put it: “The negative is the score and the print is the performance.”


A lot of people, such as Rick above, apparently equate the silver printing process with the F64 style of printing that was popularized by Ansel Adams. While there's nothing inherently wrong with that style it is but one of the many photographic syntax that are available to photographers. My advise to any photographer who truly wants to advance their art would be to step back and take a good hard look at the already existing possibilities before entering the never-ending chase of the masses to the latest and greatest gadget.

Oh, I just checked the AA Gallery in Yosemite and believe it or not you can purchase a matted and framed (Nielsen frame) 16x20 AA reproduction for a mere $125! The original, of course, would run you around $20K I imagine but I didn't check on its price.

Thomas

Kirk Gittings
27-Aug-2014, 09:11
A reproduction of a print is a scan of a print printed digitally. When you work up a file from a scan of a negative the digital print is your final original work of art.

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 09:24
Greg, it is folly to separate work that “...is outstanding and/or has high aesthetic value...” from the process that was used to create it (i.e., the printing process) . As Ansel Adams put it: “The negative is the score and the print is the performance.”


A lot of people, such as Rick above, apparently equate the silver printing process with the F64 style of printing that was popularized by Ansel Adams. While there's nothing inherently wrong with that style it is but one of the many photographic syntax that are available to photographers. My advise to any photographer who truly wants to advance their art would be to step back and take a good hard look at the already existing possibilities before entering the never-ending chase of the masses to the latest and greatest gadget.

Oh, I just checked the AA Gallery in Yosemite and believe it or not you can purchase a matted and framed (Nielsen frame) 16x20 AA reproduction for a mere $125! The original, of course, would run you around $20K I imagine but I didn't check on its price.

Thomas

I'm fully aware of the over-used Adam's quote. And actually for people working in color, and for some in B&W, Photoshop provides much greater capability for having a print truly represent the artist's vision (be the performance). I have a friend who makes his living as a fine art photographer and he spends about 80 hours per image in Photoshop making optimizations in order to make print that meets his vision.

But to address your point about "from the process that was used to create it", artists tend to use the process that yield the best print. For them. For me that is a digital print. And I'm sure the poeple who buy my prints much prefer the inkjet print that I amke, that matches my vision. As opposed to a print from using any other medium that would not match my vision as well as inkjet.

So I would actually price a silver print of mine less than an inkjet, because the final print (performance) would not match my vision as well as the inkjet.

tgtaylor
27-Aug-2014, 10:09
After spending “...about 80 hours per image in Photoshop making optimizations in order to make print that meets his vision” where the result of each slide and click of the mouse is instantly displayed on the monitor it can be reasonably concluded that he never had a “vision” to start with and after 80 hours merely surrendered to the one he finally arrived at.

But the topic of this thread is the perceived value of the process and not which is the superior. You say “I'm sure the poeple who buy my prints much prefer the inkjet print that I make” but do you offer them a choice? Do you display the best darkroom and digital version side-by-side from which they can choose from? Of course you don't.

Oh, and I just checked the AA Yosemite Gallery and you can purchase a Allen Ross archival darkroom print of an original AA negative matted and framed (14x17) for a mere $380 which is $255 more than the reproduction price quote above. So the AA Gallery prices their darkroom work higher.

Thomas

Kirk Gittings
27-Aug-2014, 10:20
Alan Ross produces originals from the original negatives. The reproductions are scanned from prints I believe. I think you are comparing apples and oranges. Having said that if the "repros" were from scanned film it is likely they would sell the silver prints for more as per my previous statements.

Drew Wiley
27-Aug-2014, 11:38
High-end press reproductions can actually cost far more to make than silver prints, and can themselves be remarkable. I'm not referring to anything desktop, or
even affordable equipment-wise by typical photographers. They can even use inks with a much higher DMax than anything silver or inkjet. Certain classic processes like Woodburytype were inherently press processes. Anything masterfully done works for me. What counts is not whether you use a flintlock or a Remington repeater
or a cruise missle or a sharp-tipped pogo stick, but how well you aim.

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 11:59
After spending “...about 80 hours per image in Photoshop making optimizations in order to make print that meets his vision” where the result of each slide and click of the mouse is instantly displayed on the monitor it can be reasonably concluded that he never had a “vision” to start with and after 80 hours merely surrendered to the one he finally arrived at.

The people spending $10,000 per print might beg to differ.


But the topic of this thread is the perceived value of the process and not which is the superior. You say “I'm sure the poeple who buy my prints much prefer the inkjet print that I make” but do you offer them a choice? Do you display the best darkroom and digital version side-by-side from which they can choose from? Of course you don't.

Oh, and I just checked the AA Yosemite Gallery and you can purchase a Allen Ross archival darkroom print of an original AA negative matted and framed (14x17) for a mere $380 which is $255 more than the reproduction price quote above. So the AA Gallery prices their darkroom work higher.

Thomas

I don't, and would not because I never achieved a color print, other than an inkjet, that was up to my standards. And people do not care. Not the people buying my prints, nor the galleries that I display in, nor the art museums that have displayed my work and added it to their collections, and offered it to their patrons.

Is an oil painting more valuable than a pastel? It depends on the artist and the skill and reputation of the artist. It's the artist's choice to use the medium that works best for them. And you can't prove a point by pointing out a single situation at a single retail outlet. Anybody can prove anything by citing a single case that supports their position. Gursky has the highest selling print ever. And he prints inkjet. Do you really think he is leaving money on the table by printing in inkjet?

Drew Wiley
27-Aug-2014, 12:12
You have to mate the medium to the photographer's vision as well as possible. There's not much of my own color work I'd want to see in inkjet. Gursky is largely
irrelevant because he's playing the big for the sake of big game, and it largely geared to manipulated semi-psuedo imagery anyway. Fauxtography. And I doubt he prints these himself. Most of the skill is in actually mounting them. Those are the guys who deserve the big bucks. Glorified wallpaper, which will itself fade soon
enough. Yeah... I know, the images themselves need to be interesting in the first place, and they are. But the fad of sheer size and conspicuous consumption spending actually has little to do with visual quality. It's like charging more for a four-layer Bigger Mac, a Dagwood sandwich. Certain people tend to get tens of thousands of dollars for oversized ketchup smears just because they're good at marketing. They could sell a dirty sock for fifty grand. Bucks is a nonsense argument as far as I'm concerned. Always has been.

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 12:33
You have to mate the medium to the photographer's vision as well as possible. There's not much of my own color work I'd want to see in inkjet. Gursky is largely
irrelevant because he's playing the big for the sake of big game, and it largely geared to manipulated semi-psuedo imagery anyway. Fauxtography. And I doubt he prints these himself. Most of the skill is in actually mounting them. Those are the guys who deserve the big bucks. Glorified wallpaper, which will itself fade soon
enough. Yeah... I know, the images themselves need to be interesting in the first place, and they are. But the fad of sheer size and conspicuous consumption spending actually has little to do with visual quality. It's like charging more for a four-layer Bigger Mac, a Dagwood sandwich. Certain people tend to get tens of thousands of dollars for oversized ketchup smears just because they're good at marketing. They could sell a dirty sock for fifty grand. Bucks is a nonsense argument as far as I'm concerned. Always has been.

You personally can dismiss Gursky if you want, but look up most expensive photographs sold, and Gursky inevitably comes up. But you kind of proved my point, you can't make a case by citing one example.

djdister
27-Aug-2014, 12:57
Another example of a spurious line of discussion/argument about "output." What about photogravure, platinum and dozens of other photographic output media? Why argue about output at all, especially in relation to their intrinsic "worth," which is extremely subjective. A print is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Someone could pay a lot of money for a print that some deem "worthless" while the opposite situation is also possible. If a particular output process works for you, great, but don't judge someone else based on your subjective values, and don't belittle someone else's choices.

I would however look forward to a thread that was focused on "Image resolution and tonal reproduction of output Method A versus output Method B (versus Method C, etc)."

sanking
27-Aug-2014, 13:25
"I would however look forward to a thread that was focused on "Image resolution and tonal reproduction of output Method A versus output Method B (versus Method C, etc)."

Great suggestion, could be interesting. "Image Resolution and Tonal Reproduction: A Comparison of Output of Digital Inkjet with Platinum/Palladium on Five Select Smooth-Toned 100% Rag Papers."

Sandy

h2oman
27-Aug-2014, 13:39
My best B&W inkjets are worth approximately one thousand times more than my best B&W inkjets: 1000 x 0 = 0! :D

tgtaylor
27-Aug-2014, 14:17
My best B&W inkjets are worth approximately one thousand times more than my best B&W inkjets: 1000 x 0 = 0! :D

:D

Thomas

tgtaylor
27-Aug-2014, 14:19
Greg – According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_photographs the Gursky work Rhein II is a not a B&W print but a “chromogenic colour print” which is a silver print and not an inkjet. See also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/8883330/Photograph-by-Andreas-Gursky-breaks-auction-record.html In fact the Wikipedia listing of the most expensive are probably all silver based and not inkjet. What does that tell you?

Thomas

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 14:22
Greg – According to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_most_expensive_photographs the Gursky work Rhein II is a not a B&W print but a “chromogenic colour print” which is a silver print and not an inkjet. See also http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/8883330/Photograph-by-Andreas-Gursky-breaks-auction-record.html In fact the Wikipedia listing of the most expensive are probably all silver based and not inkjet. What does that tell you?

Thomas

What we don't know is if it is a traditional c-print or a digital c-print (e.g. a lamda). But if it traditional, then he switched inkjet and obviously didn't think that would hurt his pricing.

On another note, anyone who prints on silver solely because they think it will enhance their pricing probably out to spend more time improving their photography skills.

tgtaylor
27-Aug-2014, 14:25
What we don't know is if it is a traditional c-print or a digital c-print (e.g. a lamda).

Well, whatever it is it ain't inkjet.

Thomas

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 14:27
Well, whatever it is it ain't inkjet.

Thomas

And he later switched to inkjet. He's no dummy, so he didn't expect his pricing to suffer by going to inkjet.

bob carnie
27-Aug-2014, 14:38
There are a couple of 72 inch Lambdas and processors in Europe, not sure if Duggal Imaging in New York has one of these big boys.
This is how Mr Gursky was printing his big prints, I cannot speak for today he may have switched but I doubt it.


I do know that each year I get monster RA4 prints from Europe to exhibit in Toronto during Contact Photo Festival, and we are given the task of mounting and framing the tubed prints. This saves the European Client huge dollars by not shipping mounted prints from Europe to Toronto.

I think Metro Imaging in London has one of these monster setups for RA4.

I did make 72 inch enlarger colour murals in the early 80's at Jones and Morris Photo Murals.. If memory serves me correct the largest print I personally made was a 72 inch by 16 ft print. 72 inch processors were very common and any Lab worth its salt had one and a couple of gigantic mural rooms .

We would have mounted this cold to oversize plastic that would have came in super size rolls.
I also made Duratrans in this size for Estee Lauder come to think of it and we would then put them in front of huge lightboxes to colour correct then send out to the client.... I kind of miss Jones and Morris... it was hopping back then 1980-83 timeline. I had all my hair, a sixpack, and could run all day from the enlarger to the processor down the dark hall.



What we don't know is if it is a traditional c-print or a digital c-print (e.g. a lamda). But if it traditional, then he switched inkjet and obviously didn't think that would hurt his pricing.

On another note, anyone who prints on silver solely because they think it will enhance their pricing probably out to spend more time improving their photography skills.

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 14:47
There are a couple of 72 inch Lambdas and processors in Europe, not sure if Duggal Imaging in New York has one of these big boys.
This is how Mr Gursky was printing his big prints, I cannot speak for today he may have switched but I doubt it.


I do know that each year I get monster RA4 prints from Europe to exhibit in Toronto during Contact Photo Festival, and we are given the task of mounting and framing the tubed prints. This saves the European Client huge dollars by not shipping mounted prints from Europe to Toronto.

I think Metro Imaging in London has one of these monster setups for RA4.

I did make 72 inch enlarger colour murals in the early 80's at Jones and Morris Photo Murals.. If memory serves me correct the largest print I personally made was a 72 inch by 16 ft print. 72 inch processors were very common and any Lab worth its salt had one and a couple of gigantic mural rooms .

We would have mounted this cold to oversize plastic that would have came in super size rolls.
I also made Duratrans in this size for Estee Lauder come to think of it and we would then put them in front of huge lightboxes to colour correct then send out to the client.... I kind of miss Jones and Morris... it was hopping back then 1980-83 timeline. I had all my hair, a sixpack, and could run all day from the enlarger to the processor down the dark hall.

The Gagosian lists his current work as inkjets.

bob carnie
27-Aug-2014, 14:48
I wonder what device he is using, possibly the new Durst Rhoe which can image at 96 inches short side??

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 14:54
I wonder what device he is using, possibly the new Durst Rhoe which can image at 96 inches short side??

Dunno. Maybe he will join the thread and tell us...

This link (http://collectordaily.com/andreas-gursky-gagosian/)states this: These are inkjet prints, each sized 121×89 or 121×93, printed in editions of 6, and made in 2011. Prices start at 400,000 euros.

Iluvmyviewcam
27-Aug-2014, 15:32
I have only had a few (maybe3) museums reject inkjets over silver prints.

I had one gallery reject my inkjets and only wanted silver. But the rest of the galleries didn't want either silver or ink jet, so I don't have a lot of experience in this area.

For the most part it is not an issue. But, in general, silver prints have more perceived value. When it comes to color, ink jet is hard to beat. While dye transfers produce beautiful prints they fad many, many times quicker than a pigment ink jet.

paulr
27-Aug-2014, 16:04
I wasn't aware that Gursky switched to inkjet. His c-prints are absolutely digital. Digital compositing was central to a lot of his work. His most famous big color work was done in the late 1990s before inkjet printing was anywhere near as good as it is today. Most of the people from that gigantic color print area were making digital c-prints.

It's little surprise if there's a move toward ink today.

paulr
27-Aug-2014, 16:07
FWIW, the first time anyone, either an individual or an institution, acted concerned about the process I used, was this year. And it was someone with no collecting experience. His concern was caused by something he'd read online. Curators and collectors have never asked me about it.

Drew Wiley
27-Aug-2014, 16:33
Greg - by your financial definition Tom Kincaid would be one of the greatest painters in history and Van Gogh one of the worst. Yeah, you'll reply, but Van Gogh is
worth a ton now. Let's see Gursky will be like in a century. I struggle to even remember the names of big print, big bucks color photographic superstars from the 60's.

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 16:39
Greg - by your financial definition Tom Kincaid would be one of the greatest painters in history and Van Gogh one of the worst. Yeah, you'll reply, but Van Gogh is
worth a ton now. Let's see Gursky will be like in a century. I struggle to even remember the names of big print, big bucks color photographic superstars from the 60's.

The topic of this thread is the worth of photos. This thread is not about who's the best photographer or painter.

tgtaylor
27-Aug-2014, 18:38
Read the fine print:

Collector’s POV: The prints from the Bangkok series are priced at 400000 Euros each, while the prints from the Oceans series are generally 450000 Euros, with the exception of the largest panoramic work which is 500000 Euros. Gursky’s works are routinely among the most expensive photographs available in the secondary markets, consistently fetching upwards of $1 million dollars at auction. His Rhein II recently broke the record for the most expensive photograph ever sold at auction, topping $4.3 million.

The Bangkok series are all inkjets while the Oceans series are all chromogenic c-prints. The C-print is a silver-based process and therefore can be classified as a silver-based photographic syntax. From what I understand Gursky digitized the negatives in order to easily remove unwanted objects such as passing people, cars, etc., and no doubt it was a hell of a lot easier to expose and process the RA-4 paper.

And the inkjets didn’t go over with the Collector or the Gallery:

Gursky’s newest series of Bangkok water abstractions is, I’m very sorry to report, simply dreadful; the folks at Gagosian must have cringed when they saw that this was the work that would inaugurate their new representation relationship.

In any event it is the silver-based process that commands the higher price.

Thomas

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 18:42
Read the fine print:

Collector’s POV: The prints from the Bangkok series are priced at 400000 Euros each, while the prints from the Oceans series are generally 450000 Euros, with the exception of the largest panoramic work which is 500000 Euros. Gursky’s works are routinely among the most expensive photographs available in the secondary markets, consistently fetching upwards of $1 million dollars at auction. His Rhein II recently broke the record for the most expensive photograph ever sold at auction, topping $4.3 million.

The Bangkok series are all inkjets while the Oceans series are all chromogenic c-prints. The C-print is a silver-based process and therefore can be classified as a silver-based photographic syntax. From what I understand Gursky digitized the negatives in order to easily remove unwanted objects such as passing people, cars, etc., and no doubt it was a hell of a lot easier to expose and process the RA-4 paper.

And the inkjets didn’t go over with the Collector or the Gallery:

Gursky’s newest series of Bangkok water abstractions is, I’m very sorry to report, simply dreadful; the folks at Gagosian must have cringed when they saw that this was the work that would inaugurate their new representation relationship.

In any event it is the silver-based process that commands the higher price.

Thomas

Where does it say the c-prints sold better because they were c-prints and not inkjets? You yourself say the content of the inkjets is awful. Would that not be the logical reason the inkjets did not sell???

You're going t have to come up with a clear pattern that inkjets command a lower price simply because they are inkjets. What you quoted does not do that.

tgtaylor
27-Aug-2014, 18:45
What I quoted shows that Gursky placed a higher price tag on the C-prints.

Thomas

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 18:50
What I quoted shows that Gursky placed a higher price tag on the C-prints.

Thomas

It says he priced one series higher than the other. It doesn't say he priced one series lower because they were inkjets.

Greg Miller
27-Aug-2014, 18:54
What I quoted shows that Gursky placed a higher price tag on the C-prints.

Thomas

Can you really envision Gursky sitting around saying "I could print these as c-prints or I could print them inkjets. Even though I could make more money with c-prints, I'm gonna print them as inkjets anyway. Just for the heck of it". ????

Kimberly Anderson
27-Aug-2014, 19:06
Great suggestion, could be interesting. "Image Resolution and Tonal Reproduction: A Comparison of Output of Digital Inkjet with Platinum/Palladium on Five Select Smooth-Toned 100% Rag Papers."

Sandy

Finally this thread has gotten interesting.

tgtaylor
28-Aug-2014, 08:09
Well, yesterday I made a fresh batch of silver nitrate to coat with and the cost of 100mL of 11% silver works out to $14.30. For fun I worked out the cost of toning prints with a 20% platinum solution and that came to $3 for 100mL of working toner. Checking the B&H website for the price of Epson Ink the price hovers around $50 for an 80mL cartridge which is way, way, WAY more than the real thing! I didn't see any platinum colored ink.

With that price differential for the raw materials you better pray that you get more for the inkjet!

Thomas

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2014, 08:17
Noteworthy in this discussion about Gursky, something I read a couple of years ago-which has raised some controversy is that some of his C prints have faded miserably and he has had to replace them for collectors.

djdister
28-Aug-2014, 08:17
Well, yesterday I made a fresh batch of silver nitrate to coat with and the cost of 100mL of 11% silver works out to $14.30. For fun I worked out the cost of toning prints with a 20% platinum solution and that came to $3 for 100mL of working toner. Checking the B&H website for the price of Epson Ink the price hovers around $50 for an 80mL cartridge which is way, way, WAY more than the real thing! I didn't see any platinum colored ink.

With that price differential for the raw materials you better pray that you get more for the inkjet!

Thomas

This is an incomplete comparison. For example, how many square inches will the silver nitrate and toner cover, and on the inkjet side, take the cost of all cartridges in the printer and their coverage in square inches.

Darin Boville
28-Aug-2014, 08:20
Noteworthy in this discussion about Gursky which has raised some controversy is that some of his C prints have faded miserably and he has had to replace them for collectors.

Lots of C-prints are fading at museums--yet I saw many sad, deteriorating prints all over the country on the walls this past summer. Richard Misrach complains that he's tried to get museums to accept a replacement copy but they want the original.

--Darin

paulr
28-Aug-2014, 08:21
Ink is ridiculously expensive, for sure. Part of it is Epson's pricing model, by which they make their money off the inks, not the printers. You're not obligated to play along. Nothing stops you from using much less expensive, equally high quality inks like Jon Cone's.

Inkjet paper is also more expensive. By the square inch, it costs more than any gelatin silver paper I used.

In the end it matters very little. The economy of inkjet comes from the control and the soft proofing. I can nail most color inkjet prints with a few sheets of paper. And I proof them small. I can get the color right with a few 8x10s. If it's a big print, I'll then work on the sharpening by printing a few 8x10 crops. The amount of paper and other materials I use ends being a fraction of what I'd have used in the darkroom.

Both with with ink and with wet prints, there's the occasional outlier that requires a ridiculous amount of trial and error. I don't know how to compare these ... they're expensive and time consuming no matter what the process.

paulr
28-Aug-2014, 08:26
Lots of C-prints are fading at museums--yet I saw many sad, deteriorating prints all over the country on the walls this past summer. Richard Misrach complains that he's tried to get museums to accept a replacement copy but they want the original.

Likewise so are lots of silver prints. It's a conservation fact that people like to ignore. We see it mostly with work from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some silver prints are unchanged; some are oxidizing to oblivion. It's very difficult for conservators to figure out what's going on. It may have to do with the particular material used, or some detail of the photographer's process.

In the end, the same caveats apply no matter what materials you're using. The best you can hope for is an educated guess based on accelerated aging tests. You can't learn everything from old work unless you know you're using identical materials and processes (and in photography, you almost certainly aren't).

tgtaylor
28-Aug-2014, 08:28
The silver and platinum don’t dry out like ink does and will last indefinitely. For example on my last print I ran out of fresh silver but found that I had just enough remaining in a bottle that I mixed on 2/23/2013. It worked fine.

I coat with a hake brush for which I don’t bother pre- soaking in distilled water so I end up using more silver than I would otherwise. After my last print last week I vowed to be more conservative with the silver. I could switch to a glass rod and get further mileage on the silver.

Thomas

Drew Wiley
28-Aug-2014, 08:38
There are several logical reasons why someone would want to make really big prints inkjet beyond the aesthetic considerations per se. Digital workflow can obviously be applied to either chromogenic prints or inkjets. But doing really big RA4 stuff involves industrial plumbing, permits, blah, blah. You need a lot of equipment, like an expensive laser printer tethered to an automated roll paper cutter at one end and a very large RA4 machine and dryer on the other. A big expense and even big utility bill. A wide-format inkjet machine, on the other hand, is something which can be installed any number of places. Then you have issues like alleged permanence. Something like a really big Gursky print simply cannot be "collected" in the sense of keeping it safe in a dark solander case. It has to be installed, and the chances are very high the display circumstances will involve a lot of UV - a worst-case scenario. I suspect that will shift the colors and otherwise ruin the inkjet colors sooner than they think, but there is reason to believe that current inkjet pigments in general are somewhat more lightfast than chromogenic dyes (though these have also significantly improved in recent years). But it's all relative and inherently transient decor. Very few true pigments will survive UV over the long haul - if you want to know which ones, look at the surface of Mars. And inkjets are complex blends of dyes, pigments, and lakes.
UV

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2014, 08:43
Both with with ink and with wet prints, there's the occasional outlier that requires a ridiculous amount of trial and error. I don't know how to compare these ... they're expensive and time consuming no matter what the process.

Yes indeed. Going back to the 80 hours to work up a file, I am not a straight printer either with silver or ink. When I look at a scene I am thinking all the way through to the possibilities of a final print with tons of burning and dodging, toning etc. This is not a vision that I necessarily stick to but a preliminary idea of what is possible and where I might take it. The printing process is as creative as the capture and where it will end up is not fixed by my initial idea. I push and pull tones all over the place and soft proofing only goes so far as do test strips. I make many full test silver or ink prints and hang them on the wall and "live" with them for awhile before going back to finish them. The process can take weeks-leading me sometimes to change papers, developers, inks etc. I look at them in various times of day with mixed daylight and incandescents and at night just with incandescents. Then I go back and sometimes repeat this cycle. I am somewhat notorious in some circles for being late with deliveries. I delivered a silver print to a collector many months late last year because I started with a new MC paper that looked good with another negative but this image just did not look right on it and I had to get another paper and start over.

To me the most useful part of this process is walking into the room where I hang the proofs (my living room) when I have forgotten they are there and be surprised by the prints and I then see them with a fresh eye. Staring at test prints for prolonged time can skew how you see them. This is a bit like cleansing ones palette before re-tasting something you are cooking. If you don't cleanse your palette before re-tasting a dish you carry over previous tastes. If they look great then when I am surprised they are finished.

paulr
28-Aug-2014, 08:49
For me the outliers are often difficult for mysterious technical reasons rather than creative ones. Several prints from a series will match the monitor image very closely, while another just doesn't. The final version that prints right looks bizarre on screen. I can't explain it. Neither can the guy who prints big stuff for me.

There's no exact equivalent in the darkroom. The closest thing would be prints where there's such a fine line between too much and too little (choose your quality) that it's just maddening.

Drew Wiley
28-Aug-2014, 08:50
Even with silver prints I leave the neg in the enlarger so I can review my "final" print with rested eyes over the coming week, and give myself a "second opinion"
based on thorough air drying and not just a heat gun applied to a test strip. That how I taught our color-matchers here when working with very fussy clients. Leave
the sample overnight and review it the following morning when your eyes are rested, for any final tweaks.

tgtaylor
28-Aug-2014, 08:51
For the last series of prints that I matted and mounted I switched to Acrylite OP-3 Acrylic that I got locally at a Tap Plastics store. A 16x13 sheet cost me $17.20 with tax and with the Nielsen frame it came to about $42 - not too bad considering that I don't buy in bulk. The OP-3 eliminates 98% of the UV. Here is the data sheet:

http://www.tapplastics.com/uploads/pdf/a_OP3_tech_data.pdf

Thomas

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2014, 08:52
Paul, yes but just pushing the "print" button will always give you a perfect print right?

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2014, 08:56
Even with silver prints I leave the neg in the enlarger so I can review my "final" print with rested eyes over the coming week, and give myself a "second opinion"
based on thorough air drying and not just a heat gun applied to a test strip. That how I taught our color-matchers here when working with very fussy clients. Leave
the sample overnight and review it the following morning when your eyes are rested, for any final tweaks.

I remember AA talking about drying the test print (or a piece of it) in a microwave to get a quick dry so you can work quicker. But I find a microwaved test print versus an air dried print to be different enough (slight density and tone difference) that I can't rely on that for the final test.

Erik Larsen
28-Aug-2014, 08:58
From my observations as a wet printer, i would expect ink has a price advantage in the long run. Inkjet paper and ink seems expensive per print, but if I look at the way I print in the darkroom I go through many, many test prints to arrive at something worthwhile I'm happy with. The Lightroom users have the advantage of a calibrated workflow and a monitor to tell them what their edits will look like with a test print or two to arrive at a final print, that IMO has to save money I would think.

I don't fret over the price of paper, it's the enjoyment/frustration that keeps me printing until I'm satisfied - sometimes I'm never satisfied....

Ink or chemical prints, both take time and money to produce well. The general buying public does not care what was used - if they like the result they will buy either IMO. As for value of ink versus chemical prints, I'd leave that for the artist to determine. Biases one way or the other is just natural human insecurities IMO.

paulr
28-Aug-2014, 09:00
Paul, yes but just pushing the "print" button will always give you a perfect print right?

I'm saving up for the one with the Perfect Print button.

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2014, 09:01
Erik, Soft proofing only goes so far with any software. There is only so far you can go to make a backlit display look like a reflective print. At some point you have to print it and start working the file to the print and forget about what it looks like on the screen. As I get closer to a final print, I let it thoroughly dry and hang it in my living room and work from there.

paulr
28-Aug-2014, 09:04
Even with silver prints I leave the neg in the enlarger so I can review my "final" print with rested eyes over the coming week...

I don't like to think about how often I woke up to find last night's perfect prints looking extremely un-perfect. Pretty sure it's a conspiracy.

Erik Larsen
28-Aug-2014, 09:06
Erik, Soft proofing only goes so far with any software. There is only so far you can go to make a backlit display look like a reflective print. At some point you have to print it and start working the file to the print and forget about what it looks like on the screen.

I guess my ignorance to inkjet printing is showing:)

Erik Larsen
28-Aug-2014, 09:08
I don't like to think about how often I woke up to find last night's perfect prints looking extremely un-perfect. Pretty sure it's a conspiracy.

I'll buy into that conspiracy as well!

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2014, 09:09
Here is a tip some of you might find useful. To get your highlights to pop they need to be slightly brighter than your mat or margin. I never use a bright white mat anymore for this reason on silver or ink. When this lack of "pop" is a problem with ink, I increase the size of the canvas to cover the exposed margin area that won't be covered by the mat and add about a 2-3% grey to the margin. That way the brightest part of the framed print is my bright highlights and they can really pop this way sometimes. Something I learned from people at Nash Editions.

tgtaylor
28-Aug-2014, 09:16
That's a good tip Kirk. Thanks!

Thomas

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2014, 09:37
FYI if anyone in my area wants to see a couple of my larger inkjets, I am in an upcoming show at the Red Dot gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe opening September 12th. One is with Epson inks on Gold Fibre Silk and the other is Piezography on some Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth paper.

Jmarmck
28-Aug-2014, 09:43
I don't like to think about how often I woke up to find last night's perfect prints looking extremely un-perfect. Pretty sure it's a conspiracy.
HAHAHA, you got that right!. (WT$ what I thinking?)
I do the same when mixing music. Spend hours getting just the right tone and mood. The next day I am asking who "tweaked" the mix. It is worse if I post it online.

Drew Wiley
28-Aug-2014, 10:20
It's analogous to office inkjet printers. They virtually give you the machine, then gouge the hell out of you on the inks afterwards. I've seen some cost and wholesale figures - the markups are staggering. Same goes for the paper. Often you pay more for piece of sized paper than something analogous covered with silver and gelatin, which were once considered the major cost factor in photographic papers. Do-it-yourself rag papers tend to be factored differently, but you're still paying thru the nose one way or another. Yeah, they've got a lot of R&D investment behind the whole inkjet gig, but profit is the name of the game, as always. But then some competitor comes along and shakes up the formula - or in this immediate discussion, involving monochrome images, people do find ways of jerryrigging theirown pigments. It all technically interesting, but somewhere in the background, it's profits that drive the whole thing.

Kirk Gittings
28-Aug-2014, 10:52
If you have ever mixed your own darkroom chemicals from scratch and compared that price to the retail manufactured price.............

Drew Wiley
28-Aug-2014, 11:02
Tom, that OP3 will delay the fading of your prints by about 5% relative to common UV sources like sunlight, if you're lucky. Why do I say that? Cause I've done actual long-term tests of these kinds of things. I don't like it because it affects the rendition of blue hues in particular. It's acts like a skylight filter over a camera
lens. Some types of UV-cutting acrylic are light salmon, others light yellow, just like mild skylight and warming filters. Either way they affect color and offer only a negligible improvement in fading. If you have any kind of lighting with strong UV, just putting this stuff in front of the print won't help much. Maybe in marginal
situations.

Jmarmck
28-Aug-2014, 11:04
If you have ever mixed your own darkroom chemicals from scratch and compared that price to the retail manufactured price.............

You mean stop buying D-76? I thought it was cheap enough as it is. Though I could be wrong. Elaborate please.

tgtaylor
29-Aug-2014, 09:26
Drew, according to the data sheet OP-3 ("Museum Acrylic") doesn't transmit radiation below 400nm and the spectrum of blue light is 450nm - 495nm at which the transmission of OP-3 is at its maximum. The typical human eye responds to wavelengths in the 390 to 700nm range. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visible_spectrum for further information on this.

Thomas

Bob Salomon
29-Aug-2014, 10:11
It's analogous to office inkjet printers. They virtually give you the machine, then gouge the hell out of you on the inks afterwards. I've seen some cost and wholesale figures - the markups are staggering.....

The markups at manufacturing level? Distribution level? Or from the retailer?

And Epson inks sold directly from Epson, for example, to the consumer are often the retail price at store level. That would be one of the biggest markups if you go from manufactured cost to end sale. But then that doesn't factor in the cost of packaging and distribution much less R&D. And profits drive everything basically. Milk, cars, pants, haircuts, pens, pencils, calculators, dinner, rubber stamps, cameras, lenses, neck straps, telescopes, insurance, drivers licenses, universities, etc. What in the industrialized world isn't profit driven that you would buy or own?

paulr
29-Aug-2014, 10:37
Epson practically gives away their professional printers. The 3880 sells for $1100. I bought mine when they offered a $300 factory rebate (which they seem to do a couple of times a year). And the thing comes with $450 worth of ink. Free shipping. Net cost: $350.

The 44" 9900 coste $4200, with rebate. It ships with around $500 worth of ink, and usually ships free. Net cost $3700. Not bad for a piece of gear the size of an upright piano, that's designed to work all day for several years. A full set of inks costs well over half the price of the printer.

Adamphotoman
6-Sep-2014, 06:10
I used to chuckle when I made cibachromes from my clients black velvet Elvis types of images. I thought to myself - it will last forever. LOL

My Canon iPF8300 arrived to my door with a full set of inks for $2900. Then Canon gave me $1000 rebate check and 2 full rolls of media.
In 2 years of printing I have only replaced 5 of the 12 inks. I have printed 30 rolls of 40 foot media.

Christopher Barrett
6-Sep-2014, 06:30
FYI if anyone in my area wants to see a couple of my larger inkjets, I am in an upcoming show at the Red Dot gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe opening September 12th. One is with Epson inks on Gold Fibre Silk and the other is Piezography on some Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth paper.

Kirk, are you printing the Epson inks in the "Advanced Black & White" mode? How do you like those prints vs the Piezography outputs? It's been many years since I printed Piezo, but it was always beautiful (when it wasn't clogging up my 4000). I've just started printing on the Gold Fibre Silk Mono and that is some damn pretty paper.

CB

Kodachrome25
9-Sep-2014, 07:42
Nobody but the photographer cares how much work went into making the print, or that each print individually made. Just like nobody cares how many miles you had to hike to get to the location. It only matters that they like the print, or not. People will buy a print that took 2 seconds to make if it speaks to them, or it has a high investment value. A print that took hours to make in the darkroom has zero value unless it speaks to someone or it has high investment value.

Interesting, so you know everyone, what they are thinking and feeling and know all the details of every print sold…impressive.

However, in every case of a print sold on my behalf in where I live in this tiny little ski town of 6,000 year round residents that saw gross retail sales of $70 million in July alone, people *do* care. Whenever a print pulls a viewer in, they look at the title to see where it was at or what it is and then ask me more details when I am present. They love to hear about the mosquitos who feasted on my legs while I held still for a 5 minute long time exposure on a wobbly log jam. Just like they love to hear that the amazing effects of waiting for the right light were not a “vision” born of hours of toil in photoshop but merely a damn good eye for the convergence of light, form, timing and my singling them out in said emotional context.

People always ask, especially when shaking the pen to make sure there is enough ink to sign the check….

Either way I have no dog in this fight since the journey an artist takes is personal, like life. Saying ( not you ) that all that matters is the final image is like saying all that matters is life and death....that the journey you live between those two points does not matter. For what I want out of my life as an image maker and an artist, I highly value something that bears my fingerprints, my tiny unique imperfections. That is why I work solely in black and white medium and large format film, I can print it by hand in a real Darkroom, not a same as billions of other people Lightroom...

Speaking in purely in terms of personal preference, I place zero value on computer generated prints....

Tyler Boley
9-Sep-2014, 08:23
what is a computer generated print?

Sal Santamaura
9-Sep-2014, 08:36
what is a computer generated print?Anything other than what the protagonists in these "chemical photographs are intrinsically more valuable than inkjet photographs" threads are selling. Put another way, competition to be ghosted.

Kodachrome25
9-Sep-2014, 09:06
what is a computer generated print?

A provocative term used to say that at some point during one's journey in getting to a final print, a computer was used...;)

Have a great day folks!

Tyler Boley
9-Sep-2014, 09:38
Got it. So the huge majority of contemporary platinum, and other alternative printmaking, all of Tod Gangler's meticulously made tri color carbros, most of the current type Cs in the museums like burtynsky, All of the custom hand made paper, custom mixed inks, artisan worked ashes and snow prints, etc etc.. worthless

Kodachrome25
9-Sep-2014, 10:00
Got it. So the huge majority of contemporary platinum, and other alternative printmaking, all of Tod Gangler's meticulously made tri color carbros, most of the current type Cs in the museums like burtynsky, All of the custom hand made paper, custom mixed inks, artisan worked ashes and snow prints, etc etc.. worthless

Of course it is not worthless, some brilliant work out there, but value is a personal proposition and moving target.

I was merely replying to Greg's mentioning that no one seems to care about the life of an artist and their journey when my direct experience is vastly different. Tyler, with all due respect, I have worked professionally with digital tech and digital cameras for over 20 years, the operative term here is "over" as in over it. I want less computer this and that in my life so I stand by what I said that I personally find no or less value in photographic works that are derived of digital process....

My viewpoint on digital prints is not a long held belief either, it's born in recent years in seeing photography by and large become one giant, disposable digital garbage heap...I want more out of life than that....

Kirk Gittings
9-Sep-2014, 10:07
FWIW, Kodachrome 25 I think I may show more than anyone presently on this forum and rarely get asked about how I captured the image or how I made the print. In Santa Fe where I mainly show these days, It does not appear to be much of an issue and Santa Fe is the second largest art market in the country and pretty damn savy about photography. http://online.wsj.com/articles/santa-fes-extraordinary-nexus-of-talent-1409603179

As a matter of personal experience, the only people who seem to make an issue out of it are traditional photographers who try to make it a selling point for their work.

Kodachrome25
9-Sep-2014, 10:11
FWIW, Kodachrome 25 I think I may show more than anyone presently on this forum and rarely get asked about how I captured the image or how I made the print.

I would not doubt either part of that...

It's a topic I best stay out of because what it boils down to it that I just don't like what digital and the internet has done to photography.

Kirk Gittings
9-Sep-2014, 10:17
I added a statement to the above which you may not have seen.

There is a lot I don't like about it either but as I see it it is water under the bridge. We have a new playing field now and I accept it as a given because I cannot turn the clock back (nor would I want to in some ways).

Kodachrome25
9-Sep-2014, 10:26
I added a statement to the above which you may not have seen.

There is a lot I don't like about it either but as I see it it is water under the bridge. We have a new playing field now and I accept it as a given because I cannot turn the clock back.

Well thankfully Ilford Harman and the cradle to grave analog process is part of that new playing field, otherwise I would find a new sport.


As a matter of personal experience, the only people who seem to make an issue out of it are traditional photographers who try to make it a selling point for their work.

I sort of agree and in terms of my own promotion of it, there is no point in me going on about it if the impact of my work is not on par with the digital stuff. At the end of the day, digital, silver or cereal box, the photograph has to really sing.

djdister
9-Sep-2014, 10:27
... and similar negative comparisons were made years about about variable contrast paper versus graded paper, RC paper versus fiber based paper, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Isn't it possible that a great inkjet print could look better than a crappy platinum print?

Kirk Gittings
9-Sep-2014, 10:28
At the end of the day, digital, silver or cereal box, the photograph has to really sing.

Agreed. And no process guarantees that it will or won't.

Tyler Boley
9-Sep-2014, 11:27
... and similar negative comparisons were made years about about variable contrast paper versus graded paper, RC paper versus fiber based paper, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Isn't it possible that a great inkjet print could look better than a crappy platinum print?

I have inkjets that, with great effort, look better than the platinum prints of the same negatives. But this puts us back in the contentious and nonsensical darkroom vs digital conversation. This thread attempted to deal with perceived marketplace value differences. Perhaps all roads lead back to turf protection, human nature

Greg Miller
9-Sep-2014, 11:49
c
Interesting, so you know everyone, what they are thinking and feeling and know all the details of every print sold…impressive.

However, in every case of a print sold on my behalf in where I live in this tiny little ski town of 6,000 year round residents that saw gross retail sales of $70 million in July alone, people *do* care. Whenever a print pulls a viewer in, they look at the title to see where it was at or what it is and then ask me more details when I am present. They love to hear about the mosquitos who feasted on my legs while I held still for a 5 minute long time exposure on a wobbly log jam. Just like they love to hear that the amazing effects of waiting for the right light were not a “vision” born of hours of toil in photoshop but merely a damn good eye for the convergence of light, form, timing and my singling them out in said emotional context.

People always ask, especially when shaking the pen to make sure there is enough ink to sign the check….

Either way I have no dog in this fight since the journey an artist takes is personal, like life. Saying ( not you ) that all that matters is the final image is like saying all that matters is life and death....that the journey you live between those two points does not matter. For what I want out of my life as an image maker and an artist, I highly value something that bears my fingerprints, my tiny unique imperfections. That is why I work solely in black and white medium and large format film, I can print it by hand in a real Darkroom, not a same as billions of other people Lightroom...

Speaking in purely in terms of personal preference, I place zero value on computer generated prints....


What I wrote is based on my experience and the experience of the many photographers that I know personally. There are always exceptions, and there are always other opinions (my experience is that ****** is a pretty good place to start looking for both). And that's OK my me. You are free to think what you want of computer generated prints. For me personally, my computer generated prints look much closer to my artistic vision than prints made from any other medium. And, for me, that is the most important factor. But that's just me. And I personally don't put any value in a uniqueness derived from some random factor not in the control of the photographer. I'd rather have a print that looks like what the artists actually envisioned than some accident that just happened to happen.

djdister
9-Sep-2014, 11:55
I have inkjets that, with great effort, look better than the platinum prints of the same negatives. But this puts us back in the contentious and nonsensical darkroom vs digital conversation. This thread attempted to deal with perceived marketplace value differences. Perhaps all roads lead back to turf protection, human nature

Right. But as we have found out, any art is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. There is no intrinsic value or worth that can be objectively derived for photographic art, although sometimes value or worth is "compounded" over the years due to scarcity, rarity or perceived (not real) value.

So the answer to the OP of this thread is "Everyone's opinion is correct."

paulr
9-Sep-2014, 12:07
So the answer to the OP of this thread is "Everyone's opinion is correct."

You mean everyone who buys photographs. That's a smaller number than everyone who argues about photographs.

djdister
9-Sep-2014, 12:19
You mean everyone who buys photographs. That's a smaller number than everyone who argues about photographs.

Well, technically we need to include everyone who argues about photos too, because various people have suggested that their silver/platinum/inkjet/carbon/photogravure prints are worth more than someone else's silver/platinum/inkjet/carbon/photogravure prints ...

Everyone's right, please take home your trophy.

Sal Santamaura
9-Sep-2014, 12:22
...Perhaps all roads lead back to turf protection...Perhaps???? :D:D:D

Iluvmyviewcam
9-Sep-2014, 15:02
Unless someone is selling a lot of prints for a meaningful amount of money, it doesn't really matter to anyone other than the photographer what any printing process is worth. If someone is selling a lot of prints for a meaningful amount of money, then it most likely is because their work is outstanding and/or has a high aesthetic value. The printing process would only be a secondary consideration.

Nobody but the photographer cares how much work went into making the print, or that each print individually made. Just like nobody cares how many miles you had to hike to get to the location. It only matters that they like the print, or not. People will buy a print that took 2 seconds to make if it speaks to them, or it has a high investment value. A print that took hours to make in the darkroom has zero value unless it speaks to someone or it has high investment value.

The argument about the value of an Adams inkjet print is not logical. If Ansel originally printed only with inkjet, the nkjet prints would not be reproductions. The Adams inkjet prints are reproductions today because Ansel did not print them. Peopel paying $20K are paying that amount because they are Adam's prints, not because they are silver prints.


Yes, sounds about right Greg. Although what people (collectors) really want is the sig.

Are these worth the money cause they are silver or the sig.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Garry-WINOGRAND-Women-Are-Beautiful-c-1970-Printed-1981-Silver-Print-SIGNED-/221242560624?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Garry-WINOGRAND-Women-Are-Beautiful-1970s-Printed-1981-Silver-Print-SIGNED-/321281080959?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item4acdd83e7f

Actually not worth the money either way, they are crap from my standpoint.

paulr
9-Sep-2014, 19:09
Yes, sounds about right Greg. Although what people (collectors) really want is the sig.

Collectors have historically had a bunch of odd beliefs about value, which go beyond the signature. Among these is the valuing of prints of a low edition number over ones with a high number (which made sense with mechanical prints like lithographs, for quality reasons, but ... ). And valuing prints made soon after the image was made, rather than later prints. Many have argued that this is unfortunate, since people tend to get better at printmaking over the years, not worse.

These ideas may be changing as photography changes. My guess is that it applies mostly to older black-and-white work and the people who collect it.

bob carnie
10-Sep-2014, 05:19
Tyler.. are you the maker of the pt pd as well... that could make a huge difference as there are a lot of lousy printers out there.

I have inkjets that, with great effort, look better than the platinum prints of the same negatives. But this puts us back in the contentious and nonsensical darkroom vs digital conversation. This thread attempted to deal with perceived marketplace value differences. Perhaps all roads lead back to turf protection, human nature

Tyler Boley
10-Sep-2014, 09:25
Yes I made them, I've made crappy platinum too, and some good ones. Your question suggests you doubt this assertion? My experience is that given excellent work, each of these process can excel on their own merits. But still, few have seen great inkjets, and few think there is a process there requiring as big a commitment as the other processes. So it's still, after 15 years, an uphill battle against uninformed dogmas. You still see assertions that the computer made it, that all you do is hit "print" out of Lightroom (an application incapable of getting where I need to go for my best prints), etc etc.. Here I am again saying this stuff, off topic of the thread. What bugs me the most amongst photographers is that artists are supposed to have creative minds and open the the real experience of a work, without preconceptions. Photographers in particular should be able to SEE and let in what is in front of them. I remember long ago at a Friends of Photography workshop a famous and accomplished photographer ranted at length to me about how much they disliked platinum prints, and there unacceptable shortcomings. I didn't take much note of what else he had to offer, he can't see. Also, the community surrounding the artists, gallery owners, curators, educators (!), etc etc, are way behind and perpetuating these uninformed dogmas.

Anyone interested in any of this stuff about B&W (off the value topic) might find our site interesting, unfortunately it's way out of date, we're all so busy-
http://theagnosticprint.org/
Lot's of ponder about craft and art, a very talented group I was fortunate enough to meet and get to know.
I don't know what more to add about value, I was just advised I'd sell more if I raised my prices.

Sal Santamaura
10-Sep-2014, 09:48
...Here I am again saying this stuff, off topic of the thread...Not off topic at all.


...You still see assertions that the computer made it, that all you do is hit "print"...That is the topic of this thread. Disguised as a "question."

bob carnie
10-Sep-2014, 10:07
No not my thought whatsoever, my question is if the same worker made two different prints to the best of their ability's, then compared and liked one over the other then your experience that the ink print was better would be ok for me.
But if you are making a print on ink that someone else made on pt pd then there could be huge differences in quality expectations... I get this happening all the time in my career where people bring in existing prints to match and I reject the job because I do not want to make a crappy print.
I am at a point in my printmaking where I feel I can make pt pd as nice as my silvers, also I feel my inkjets are as good as well as my RA4 prints ....But I cannot say the same for carbon prints, even though I can make them I do not feel that I have worked on Carbons enough to say they are as good as my other medias I work with. In fact I have decided not to go down the Carbon Transfer wormhole as it does not fit into my game plan.





Yes I made them, I've made crappy platinum too, and some good ones. Your question suggests you doubt this assertion? My experience is that given excellent work, each of these process can excel on their own merits. But still, few have seen great inkjets, and few think there is a process there requiring as big a commitment as the other processes. So it's still, after 15 years, an uphill battle against uninformed dogmas. You still see assertions that the computer made it, that all you do is hit "print" out of Lightroom (an application incapable of getting where I need to go for my best prints), etc etc.. Here I am again saying this stuff, off topic of the thread. What bugs me the most amongst photographers is that artists are supposed to have creative minds and open the the real experience of a work, without preconceptions. Photographers in particular should be able to SEE and let in what is in front of them. I remember long ago at a Friends of Photography workshop a famous and accomplished photographer ranted at length to me about how much they disliked platinum prints, and there unacceptable shortcomings. I didn't take much note of what else he had to offer, he can't see. Also, the community surrounding the artists, gallery owners, curators, educators (!), etc etc, are way behind and perpetuating these uninformed dogmas.

Anyone interested in any of this stuff about B&W (off the value topic) might find our site interesting, unfortunately it's way out of date, we're all so busy-
http://theagnosticprint.org/
Lot's of ponder about craft and art, a very talented group I was fortunate enough to meet and get to know.
I don't know what more to add about value, I was just advised I'd sell more if I raised my prices.

Tyler Boley
10-Sep-2014, 10:18
yes exactly. I could also be said a printmaker has a certain affinity for a given process and not another, they learn to gravitate toward the sweet spots of each, therefore one print "better" than another regardless of process. I know that's true of me.. It also may be image dependent.

bob carnie
10-Sep-2014, 10:56
Yes , I love photogravure four colour , and I actually think I would be pretty good at it... At some point I will purchase a Conrad etching press... I can make my own separations and plates so I feel that it would be a process that I would love try my hand at.

I have been surprised lately with the pt pd's we have been making here from all source capture... Every thing seems to work ,, which totally was unexpected... I am doing a show of tri colour over pt pd for next year Contact photofestival. Images are from eye phone capture..

yes exactly. I could also be said a printmaker has a certain affinity for a given process and not another, they learn to gravitate toward the sweet spots of each, therefore one print "better" than another regardless of process. I know that's true of me.. It also may be image dependent.