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Thread: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

  1. #1

    Question Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living artist? Who did you purchase from? What did you think of their printed work when you received it? How much did you spend?

    By the way, long ago, I received a comment to stop being uncultured and call "darkroom prints" silver gelatin prints instead. I asked a few people if they'd ever held a silver gelatin print. They all looked at me like I had five heads. I would have had the same reaction before Googling the term.

  2. #2

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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    On LFPF, this audience knows exactly what is meant by "silver gelatin", so it depends where you're speaking and to whom. That said, I'm not going to state how many cranial appendages some of us may or may not have. ;-)

  3. #3
    Jeffery Dale Welker
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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    My preference is to try and acquire the majority of silver gelatin prints from living artists. For example, I have a silver gelatin print from - in no particular order:

    Mark Klett

    Scott Baxter

    Jay Dusard

    Brad Armstrong

    John Kitts

    John Sexton

    Austin Granger

    Richard Laugharn

    Dick Arentz

    William Fuller

    These have come when money and opportunity presented itself - a rare occurrence at my house. I don't recall the purchase price on an particular print other than to say I've never spent more than $500 on a single print. A couple involved trades. I am in the process of converting a seldom used small living room into my personal gallery. My humble collection of silver gelatin prints will have an honored place there.
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    Whoever called you uncultured is an idiot.

    I have B&W silver prints by George Tice, Mark Citret and John Sexton. They're great but I bought them when they were far less expensive, especially the Tice prints. I'd like to part with most or all of it along with some other artworks, since I honestly prefer sitting with a good art/photo book than having to worry about expensive original prints. I never bought them as investments, but since some of them have gone up so much I'd rather have the money. Recently I asked the museum if they would be interested in the stuff I have and they wanted it all. I haven't discussed it further with them yet but I might even donate it for the tax credit. Others think I should keep them as investments but it makes me nervous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Certain Exposures View Post
    Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living artist? Who did you purchase from? What did you think of their printed work when you received it? How much did you spend?

    By the way, long ago, I received a comment to stop being uncultured and call "darkroom prints" silver gelatin prints instead. I asked a few people if they'd ever held a silver gelatin print. They all looked at me like I had five heads. I would have had the same reaction before Googling the term.

  5. #5
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    An octopus distributes much of its sentient activity to its arms. My own collector preference is for antique photos, especially but not exclusively amateur ones - cyanotypes, albumen prints, distinctly flawed and bronzed early silver gelatin prints, plus quite a few Daguerrotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes in the overall family collection. In one way or another, all of them could be classified as "darkroom prints", at least in the coating stage. So could dozens of other methods developed over the course of photographic history.
    Nobody pushed a button on a desktop device.

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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    I bought an 11x14" print of climbers on a ridge in the Alps ( Doldenhorn ) from Bradford Washburn in 2001, when he was represented by Panopticon in Boston.
    The print is the best print I have in the house ( better than a Brett Weston one ) , it was printed from a 9" x 7" aerial camera negative.
    I think Bradford was about 90 when he did this work - I wish I will be still around at that age, let alone using my darkroom.

    I think I paid about 300 plus postage at that time. I'm not sure if it has appreciated at all, given inflation, but it's a beautiful subject and a reference example of a print, for me.

  7. #7

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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    It is always a pleasure to support a working photographer!

    John Sexton (28 prints both direct and through brokers)

    Brett Weston (3 portfolios)

    Jay Dusard (way underrated)

    Oliver Gagliani (2 portfolios and prints)

    Carl Chiarenza (check him out)

    A large collection of lesser known local and national artists as well. There's nothing better than walking around the house and seeing masterful images on the walls.

  8. #8
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    No, but I have exchanged silver gelatin prints and have been given them. I value the few prints I make, therefore I value the prints I receive in exchange to be of equal value.

    Every profession has its terminology which make communication easier between its members. Those outside the profession pick up the jargon if they are interested in communicating with those in the profession. With the recent increase in interest and practice of alt processes, including hybrid workflows, the terms "darkroom print" and "silver print" become too vague to be useful on their own -- unless one's audience are only silver gelatin print makers in darkrooms. Silver is used in several processes besides silver gelatin...as is gelatin. Most, but not all require a darkroom, and some only require the more recent term, a dimroom.

    It is the speaker's responsibility to know one's audience, and then speak in terms they will understand. If the speaker wishes to use the term silver gelatin print, then they should be prepared to define the term. I do not hesitate to say "the same kind of photograph Ansel Adams use to make in his darkroom)" if that is how best to describe it to someone who never had to consider the definition of the label, "photograph". I also will describe my LF cameras as the type where I throw a dark cloth over my head behind the camera. Then if there is the interest, then I can slide into more advanced terminology.

    And oh what fun describing my Jell-O prints to those who never even made a silver gelatin print! Or do not know what a 'negative' actually is. But they might have made Jell-O along the way somewhere, and so I tell them my Jell-O Print (monochromatic single-transfer carbon print) on the wall is made of grocery store bought gelatin, sugar, and lampblack ('"like the soot from a candle"), they get a sense of what it is.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #9
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    The term silver gelatin is quite specific. Darkroom prints could be platinum or other. I have a couple of silver gelatin prints from photographers who are no longer alive, but were when I acquired them. A lot of my collection has come from trading services for original art.

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    Re: Have you ever purchased a silver gelatin print from a living photographer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark J View Post
    I bought an 11x14" print of climbers on a ridge in the Alps ( Doldenhorn ) from Bradford Washburn in 2001, when he was represented by Panopticon in Boston.
    The print is the best print I have in the house ( better than a Brett Weston one ) , it was printed from a 9" x 7" aerial camera negative.
    I think Bradford was about 90 when he did this work - I wish I will be still around at that age, let alone using my darkroom.

    I think I paid about 300 plus postage at that time. I'm not sure if it has appreciated at all, given inflation, but it's a beautiful subject and a reference example of a print, for me.
    After the Storm on the Doldenhorn is my favourite Washburn photograph. When I worked for CMH Heliskiing we had a framed 16"x20" of that photograph in the dining room of the Bugaboo Lodge. It might be my favourite mountain photograph with people in it. I had the pleasure of having dinner with Bradford & his wife Barbara in 2000 when his book Mountain Photography won the grand prize at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. I regret not buying a print at that time. I consider Vittorio Sella & Bradford Washburn to stand at the very pinnacle of mountain photography. (BTW if i am not mistaken, Brad's Fairchild K8 aerial camera used 7" roll film, so the negative size would have been 5"x7")
    I bought a beautiful small contact print from Ray Bidegain. I also traded Jay Dusard a lens for a print of his Martin Black, Stampede Ranch, Nevada 1982. I agree with bmikiten, that Jay Dusard is a vastly underrated photgrapher.

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