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Thread: report from Chicago

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

    report from Chicago

    For whatever it is worth.....

    Most of my interaction with other photographers is in this forum or at the VC conference. I spend most of my year buried under work in Albuquerque with little contact with other photographers except my assistant Jim Hunter and Steve Simmons, then every summer I go to Chicago to teach a summer class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where I have allot of opportunity to interact with photo professors (at SAIC, Columbia and other schools), museum and gallery people and friends at Calumet etc. It is clear from a casual survey of friends and colleages that the big debate that is waged in this forum over the validity of archival ink prints (or as Jorge likes to say-inkjet posters) is a complete non-issue in the art photo community here. I suspect that this is true in other major metropolitan centers also. All the major galleries are selling them and the museums are actively collecting them.

    Enjoyable as it was (insert laughter here), I think this argument is dead.

    at age 70:
    "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
    Old School Wayne
    Join Date
    Dec 1999

    report from Chicago

    Thanks for reviving it though, I was starting to miss it already.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    report from Chicago


    Are you able to make black and white inkjet prints which rival your wet chemistry prints? If so, how long and difficult was the learning process?

    I'm thinking it may be time for me to invest in a higher end Epson and a good scanner, but I want for somebody else to have made most of the mistakes before I commit. I certainly don't want to do it if the technology isn't there to make prints good enough to fool all the people all the time.

  4. #4

    report from Chicago

    One important determinant-how many photo or art schools don't even have wet darkrooms? Would be an interesting survey.

  5. #5

    report from Chicago

    I have been making inkjet prints scanned from my LF negatives for the past year after having made darkroom prints on fibre paper for the past 17 years or so, I love the look of the digital prints, especially on the fine art papers. My darkroom has been scaled back to the laundry room.

    Gary Nylander,

    West Kelowna, B.C., Canada

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    report from Chicago

    I don't think the archival issues are the main problem, at least not for me. If I had any color photos worth printing, I would probably have prints digitally produced (maybe inkjet). For B&W, my main objections are just the look of the stuff--the few I've seen I didn't like much, though some images without bright highlights worked better. The highlights are just too poor to make it good enough for prime time, IMHO, though heaven knows people are actually selling them in galleries for lots of money. Maybe the next generation of papers and printers will get over that highlight hump.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2000

    report from Chicago

    Oh brother, give it a rest. Another post at an attempt for inkjetters to justify their process and it's archival properties. You're absolutely right Kirk laughter is in order. But as a Pt./Pd. printer I'm laughing at you not with you. This argument has been beat to death in this forum and until I see some hard data from more than one credible conservator stating your "giclee" will be around 500 years from now ( or just 150 yr from now) I'll continue to laugh. But I would encourage everyone to jump on the inkjet bandwagon. This just distinguishes those of us that are working in other processes and elevates our mediums to a higher level.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    No. Virginia

    report from Chicago

    I have to concur with Robert on this. Jorge too, even if he stayed out of this one. A Platinum print is a handmade work of personal art. An inkjet, (Giclee) is a computer made photo-copy.
    If ink spurting turns you on, go for it. No need to be embarrassed. Do your own thing. There is no need to feel intimidated by a superior process.

    Of course there is also no need to name your ink-spurts after other printing methods either. After all, no one is trying to hide anything are they?

  9. #9

    report from Chicago

    LOL...Ah Kirk, I guess you could not wait to gloat huh?....well a couple of observations. I dont know that all those schools and Calumet are the right people to ask what galleries and museums are collecting. What are they going to say? We have shut down our DR in favors of digital, but digital sucks?.....

    Second, if you go to a sports store, and this store only offers Nike shoes....what brand of shoes are you going to buy there? :-)

    Thanks for the report anyhow, I am glad pretty soon any Tom, Dick and Harry with a computer and a printer will be making ink jet posters.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    report from Chicago

    FWIW, I have only seen a few inkjet prints that I would ever consider purchasing. (Those were exclusive to some of Jon Cone's early inkjet work several years ago. They also were very small, maybe 5x7 and not the 30x40 prints his studio full of IRIS and wide format Epson printers was capable of producing. The images would have suffered severly from that treatment.)

    I've seen thousands of inkjet prints since and many were nicely printed and probably more "perfect" than any silver or Pt/Pd, etc., counterpart the respective photographers could hope to produce. Yet, the inkjet prints simply have a different look no matter how well they are printed and it is a look I don't care for. I'm truly surprised how many former darkroom workers have embraced inkjets, made the switch and feel their inkjet prints are somehow better. It also seems I am less attracted to their imagery and more attracted to the work of traditionalists. Regardless of the opinion of the workers who advocate and embrace inkjet printing and the gallery acceptance, I don't think you'll ever find me acquiring/collecting an inkjet rendition of a photograph. Some people may be selling them, but I wonder how many images they might be selling in a more traditional medium. Really apples and oranges and quantity and (not vs) quality impacting this I suppose.

    OTOH I was extremely disappointed with the last print I purchased. I saw it on the web and assumed it was a monochrome silverprint. In correspondence with the photographer he let me know he would not be printing the image himself due to becoming sensitized to darkroom chemistry. Rather, he would have a professional lab print the photo for him. While this was not ideal in my eyes, it was OK since I really liked the image. However, when I received the print I was severely disappointed as it turned out to be a C-print rather than a conventional B&W silverprint. I should have thought to ask beforehand but didn't since the computer screen image looked so good. I didn't bother to return the print for a refund since it was fairly inexpensive and an international transaction. I will be sure not to repeat this mistake and I can assure you that I will not purchase any more c-prints or inkjet prints, and for similar reasons related to longevity and in particular, facture.

    My point here is that the medium was not optimized for the image and I think that is a common-strike that- an overwhelming occurence which is on the increase with the general acceptance of inkjet printing. IMO, the image looked better on the screen in the case of the c-print I purchased and the same holds for almost every other inkjet print I've ever seen. IMO, the image potential, if not being entirely lost, is certainly being underutilized by the attempt of inkjet printers to mimic photographic prints with their efforts. (Cone's prints were different and truly matched the medium with the image.)

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