View Full Version : Joseph Holmes website revisited

Paul Schilliger
8-Mar-2004, 13:27
Many of us liked Joe's website in the past. It has now been updated to include new images as well as some valuable information on the digital process and some of his cursus. Not just one of the best photographers I know, Joe is a also a self-described omnologist and anything that will make the print better, he will study and develop in his own practical way. He has been involved in software development for years and he also teaches from his experience in workshops on the digital lab techniques. He is a gold mine!

Joseph Holmes (http://www.josephholmes.com)

Steve Hamley
8-Mar-2004, 18:59

Thank you for the post - great site. I can see the influence in your work. It just goes to show you what the "right light" can do.


Paul Schilliger
9-Mar-2004, 00:27
I didn't mean to bring the attention on me, but I must agree, knowing Joe's work a couple of years back has been very beneficial to me. Before, I thought I was being a perfectionist. Now, I feel normal again! Not even talking of the time spent waiting for the right light, but just think of: he spends on average twenty hours on each of his scans before he thinks it is ready for print! And no scan or print technique is good enough as is, he has to make his own. His motto is not to present a fake reality, but it is to bypass the limitations of film and equipment, to undo the flaws induced by imperfect materials and present the best possible image as he sees it in his mind. The result is images with a distinctive feel, vibrant colors and a richness of tones that we hardly see in someone else's work. And I am just talking of web images here, not having had a chance to see his prints yet!

QT Luong
9-Mar-2004, 10:33
I first saw his work in "Canyons of the Colorado", and was very impressed by the color, which I thought was the finest I had seen, at the same time rich and subtile. The sad thing is that the book was apparently not selling well, since it was discounted by more than 50%. Needless to say, I bought several copies, to give away as presents to friends.

Michael Kadillak
9-Mar-2004, 12:41
Even thought I am a 95% B&W shooter, I was intrigued by this post,.looked at the images and read the dialog about Mr. Holmes. They are nice images indeed. The thought of taking a seminar from him and spending 5 days in front of a computer monitor is not me, but I am sure that he could pass on his considerable knowledge base in this venue.

The last time I was in Sante Fe and most recently at a gallery here in Denver I saw some work done by Christopher Burkett (what color!) and also went to his web site and saw that he is completely non-digital (preview article in Fortune also got my attention slamming digital maniupation) and if he can get the upwards of $7,000 for a "natural" print it begs the question of where the niches are in this area and what is the market embracing from an esthetic or artistic perspective? Secondly, in the back of my mind the $50 question becomes where does the juxtoposition of the natural light and color and the capabilities of the computer to either compliment or create what was not "literally" there meld with the objectives of the artist to sell his work and continue his passion? Once again, I am not in any way passing judgement good or bad on digital or what ever someone wants to pursue for expressing themselves. I am only attempting to understand a bit of the trends of photography as a wide subject that I am not as knowledgable about as others are on this forum.


Paul Schilliger
9-Mar-2004, 13:28
I usually try not entering into that kind of discussion, (perhaps because I have my doubts too) and it is certainly legitimate to want to stand back from digital imaging and stay with purely photographic processes as a quest for "authenticity". As a matter of fact, the first exhibition of digital prints that I made some six years ago had some prints that I should have trashed without hesitating instead of presenting them and conveying a feeling that something was not right. But let's face it: People like Christopher Burkett will soon be considered as dinausors (even if he is not much older than me), and original prints will be like hand colored prints: a thing of the past, as beautiful and crafty as they are. That's also the reason they are selling so high these days. Digital printing has sure to go through it's youth illnesses, but it will eventually become so much more beautiful and more archival than the conventional enlargement of the past that it is hard to go against it. And remember, every new process is by definition a threat to the older ones. But I must say, digital imaging is so demanding and it is sometimes refreshing to plunge one's sight into a washy, unsharp, thorn print of the past! Art is all but perfection.

Michael Kadillak
9-Mar-2004, 14:02
Good points Paul. But "washy, unsharp thorn prints of the past".......Hmmm.

Christophers prints literally took my breath away they were so sharp and virbant in color. The gallery owner in Sante Fe saw the puzzled look on my face when I rightfully questioned him about the prints being conventional ciba work and he brought up Christophers web site on the Mac computer on the adjacent desk. Absolutely the best color work from any medium I have personally ever seen. Now wheither Christopher is selling these prints because the buyers are wanting to acquire a remnant of the past or for the fact that their is a component of realism in them or some other reason is something that only a gallery owner may know in dealing with the purchasing entity. I do not have a clue and will admit it up front, but would just like to understand what is going on in the marketplace for my own personal interest.

The basic question leaving personal preferences aside remains. Since high end digital printing has been around for a good while now, are digital prints selling in the galleries and what has been the trend on this in the marketplace? Is this a growth market and by how much? What percentage of the fine art photography marketplace is digital in nature?

I do not see digital as a threat by any means. If anything, I see it as a promotion for expression that (hopefully) allows more to enjoy the visual stimulation that the general term photography represents. Kinda like riding in a car versus riding a horse. The car is obviously the more technological expedient alternative, but then again a horse can efficiently take you to some very special hard to get to places. Just my $0.02.

Paul Schilliger
9-Mar-2004, 15:32
«Good points Paul. But "washy, unsharp thorn prints of the past".......Hmmm.»

Ooops! Michael, don't make me say what I didn't say! I know that expressing myself in another tongue is sometimes hazardous, but that was in no way a reference to Burkett or any of the current printers. As a matter of facts, I mentioned not so long ago how impressed I had been when I saw one of his very large Aspen print at the Ilford facilities here. His work is truely awesome and I have been an admirer and will always be. I just wanted to point out that digital prints can be so perfect that it sometimes makes us see old flawed prints from the past (and I really mean "from the past") as more natural and human, like a real person compares to a fashion model. And my considerations are not directed to anyone but just general considerations, just my rambling.

By the way, brush and paint have been the horse for many centuries. We are more into a petrol versus electricity engine kind of comparison, I reckon.

I have no idea how digi-prints sell in comparison to silver prints and if the public makes a difference, but many galleries sell only digi-prints these days. My concern was how inkjet prints would be perceived compared to silver digital prints. I was personally biased until I saw the quality obtained on recent equipment and reassured by the results of the archival testing.

Michael Kadillak
9-Mar-2004, 15:49
Understand completely Paul and thanks for your very expert opinion on this subject. I am sure that sometime soon View Camera in a researched article or other highly qualified person(s) with direct expertise in the gallery business will contribute their experience as to the sales trends of photographic prints and the breakout of conventional versus digital materials. Have a great one!

Paul Schilliger
9-Mar-2004, 16:46
Thanks Michael! Between you and me, I feel completely nuts, not an expert.

QT Luong
9-Mar-2004, 23:02
I've been keeping an eye on what other color landscape photographers do, and I would say that the only well known folks who still print on ilfochrome are Burkett and Fatali. Pretty much everyone else seems to be using digital, with an equal split between lightjets and ultrachromes.