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Thread: 6 years......with inkjet

  1. #1
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico

    6 years......with inkjet

    Given a couple of related threads recently on inkjet, I thought I would share this experience. Six years ago I started fooling around with digital ink jet prints. A friend of mine was an early practitioner showing around the country and I felt his prints showed real promise.

    In the ensuing years I have put a ton of time into this process as the process itself has matured. I also continued doing silver prints. Knowing what a fine B&W print looks like helped drive my quest. This year I put about 5 months into making 5 16x20 Piezography prints for the Contemplative Landscape show in Santa Fe. this was the highest profile show I have been in for along time and will be up for 14 months in the premier exhibition space in Santa fe. 4 of the 5 print well on gelatin silver and one won't and needed a digital solution-so that one print drove the production of the entire suite. I have shown digital prints side by side with GS over these years at less important shows.

    I worked on them so long that I delivered them 6 weeks past the hard deadline. I wanted them to be perfect, which of course they never were-though I reached a point where I was about 95% satisfied with the results and that my final issues with the prints were limited largely by the mat inkset. At one point I completely started over and had Lenny Eiger drum scan all the film.

    Now I am an old hand at this-this is my 80th exhibit and generally I think if I am happy thats all that matters. In this case though I had more anxiety than I have had for years about an exhibit. I had been submerged in these prints for so long that I was worried that I couldn't judge them objectively......

    With some trepidation I delivered them to the curator-anxious because i was worried that all my excuses about needing more time (because the prints weren't perfect yet) would seem like hollow excuses if she didn't think the prints weren't stunning. Well she thought the prints were stunning and thanked me profusely in writing for my dedication to her vision for this show. That was one sort of emotional hurdle to cross. Today was another.

    One of my photo heros over the last 40 years is Ed Ranney, an institution in New Mexico photography (who amongst other successes was featured in Szarkowski's Mirrors and Windows). Today I had to give a joint talk with Ed at the exhibit to some students. Ed is more of a fellow traveler than a friend and he is a hardcore 5x7 film/gelatin-silver guy. Ed is also a no bullshit kind of guy and says exactly what he thinks. I was very curious what he thought of the prints. Well he loved them and quizzed me in depth about the process. It was a nice affirmation of my own thoughts on the prints.

    So......why am i sharing this? Because today....finally (without any question way back in the recesses of my ego) the viability of injet as a quality b&w print medium is totally settled for me. I like to think that I am beyond the need of affirmation of colleagues, but in truth I think I'm not. To some extent that thinking is just a bit of defensiveness.

    at age 68
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    What was the biggest obstacle or problem you feel you had to overcome to get to this level of your ink jet process?

    What is size print and negative?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Southland, New Zealand

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    Good on you.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Pacifica, CA

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    When you are working in the realm of beautiful data or beautiful negative, it should not matter how the output occurs, the result should matter most.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    So you like inkjet prints, right?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Western Australia

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    There is no workable darkroom in our house even film processing is awkward (but that is not going!!!!) sold the 5x4 enlarger , and now i have no choice but to make it work, And the prints i am producing from my current set up are amongst the best i have ever done!!Goodbye Durst 1000 . Cheers gary

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Nashville, TN

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk Gittings View Post

    So......why am i sharing this? Because today....finally (without any question way back in the recesses of my ego) the viability of injet as a quality b&w print medium is totally settled for me. I like to think that I am beyond the need of affirmation of colleagues, but in truth I think I'm not. To some extent that thinking is just a bit of defensiveness.
    Like so many other tools, this now works for you. For me, ink will always take a back seat to silver and other alt processes. I have not put in the time that you have in trying to bring forth an inkjet replacement.
    Congratulations on your show. It sounds like the greatest reward was the personal achievement. If you can make a living at it, that's good. It's so much better with personal satisfaction.
    Only 20 more shows to go and you hit another milestone!

  8. #8
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    "Why can't we all just get along?" President Dale, Mars Attacks

  9. #9
    Robert Hall's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Lehi, Utah (near Salt Lake City)

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    Congratulations on the show and on finding a new tool you can rely on for making fine prints.

    I have on occasion brought prints to a show in mixed silver/ink formats and been greeted with questions of which was which from people I have considered "in the know". It pleased me to no end.

    I like the idea of having multiple tools in the toolbox to render my vision on to paper. I think they are both viable as mediums. I have my prejudices, they are mine, and I am comfortable with that. Will I reach a point where I choose one over the other? Don't know. I will cross (burn) that bridge when I come to it.


  10. #10

    Re: 6 years......with inkjet

    Congratulations Kirk. I am in the midst of a similar process (on a different scale, for sure) and am having glimmers of similar results.

    I am curious; have you tried K6/K7 glossy inks? If so, why did you choose matte for the show? In my trials and tribulations, one if the issues I had with matte is that the tonal range did not have the depth of Silver - this greatly affected some images though not others.

    K6/K7 Glossy turned out to be the ticket for me. It has its own issues, but they were worth it for the result.

    Love to hear your thoughts on this.


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