Definition of a "fine print"

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by FrankB, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    This may have already been hammered into the ground in other threads, but...

    What would be your definition of a "fine print" as opposed to a "work print" (which may, of course, be produced from the self-same negative)?

    Regards,

    Frank
     
  2. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    The "fine print" is the one I am presently working on. The "working print" is the previous attempt.

    Truly, dr bob.
     
  3. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    The "Fine" print is the one where I've selected out of the series, after I've decided to stop. It is NOT always the last one ... I think that there is something of "overworking" involved.
    Come to think of it... It is usually the second or third print, out of as many as twenty prints of the same image.

    Note that I've said, "Fine". I am firmly convinced that there is no such thing as a "perfect" print, nor will there ever be.

    We just have to realize that we MUST stop somewhere.
     
  4. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I would consider a "fine" print to be what at the time you consider to be the best print you can produce from a negative. That is not to say at a later date you would not have a new interpretation of the negative.

    A fine print I think also means one that is archival, and at least mounted in a way that presents your work the best possible way. I don't think it has to be over matted and framed, but I don't believe that a final print sitting in a box is a fine print.
     
  5. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I've got to confess that I can't quite understand this as a definition.

    "Archival" ... well, OK. But ... just how "archival"? Twenty years, thirty... three months?.

    I certainly think there is more to a "fine" print than the technical aspect. We can do all the technical things "right", Dmax, Dmin, all the sundry others, but would that make a poorly composed pile of dog crap into a "fine" print?

    ..."Best possible presentation,", "but not necessarily matted and framed... " I'm trying to visualize this ... can you give an example?

    Now "sitting in a box" ... what does the location or surroundings have to do with the merit of the print itself? A print sent to a photography editor could very well arrive in a "presentation box" ... quite possibly "not the best presentation possible" ... but appropriate.... but still, I don't see any effect to the print itself.
     
  6. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I don't use that word "fine" to determine the difference between the work print and the "final" print. We use the term finished. A finished print has been toned and spotted. It may or may not be mounted with a window, but usually is placed on a backbroad or in an archival sleeve.

    Does this mean that this is the final version. Depends on changing vision, view point, etc.

    Would need to do some research on were the term "fine art" comes from, but I suppose it has been used for a long time to put a name to work that is not "commerical" ie. ads, etc.
     
  7. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I understand what you are saying Ed. I guess everyone will have a definition of what they consider a final incarnation of a print. And of course the context for which it is to be used as per your example of the photo editor. If I were to share a group of prints in an informal setting and they were loose in a box unmounted, the best prints I can produce, I would consider those still work prints. For my own work, I don't consider a print a fine print, (gallery quality or ready to be purchased) untill it is spotted and mounted and overmatted if it is going up on a wall somewhere.

    And I agree that it is very easy, especially when starting out in the darkroom to fuss over a print, making every possible adjustment and try every combination of developers, papers toners etc. Like a lot of things, it seems my first few prints are the best and after that I just waste paper with other ideas.

    As far as archival standards, I don't produce any work for someone else that is not processed to accepted long term archival standards. That would encompass proper fixing and washing techniques, archival treatment in selenium, sulphide or gold and mounting on an archival mounting board. under proper storage and display, such a print should last at least 100 years.
     
  8. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    Just as a point of interest, isn't fine and final and finished all the same meaning. Are they not derivitives from the same word. In Italian isn't fine, the word fine (with the accent on the "e" - pronounced feen eh) meaning final.

    MIchael McBlane
     
  9. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    a fine print is one that you are willing to put your name to, with all that implies.
     
  10. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    I'm with that one. For me it is about getting my vision to match up with what is on the paper.
     
  11. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Funny, I was just thinking of this today. I read a quote by Alvarez Bravo that said "photograph what is there, not what you think {is there}"

    Given that Bravo was photographing before Adams and the f64 movement I am not surprised about this statement, which IMO is more in keeping with the Weston school. Let not "visualize" the image before we press the shutter, but instead examine what is there and "see" it.
     
  12. FrankB

    FrankB Member

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    Hmmm.... Thanks for all of these.

    I think I go with Tom's definition personally. To me, your own standards are the ones that count. People will look at your work and assess your ability based on this. If you're happy for them to base this assessment on crap then they can draw their own conclusions! Only you can decide whether your standards are high enough; others can give input but the final decision rests with you (damnit!).

    Tom's definition is also loose enough to cover both the technical and aesthetic parts of a "fine print", neither of which is sufficient in itself.

    To continue this, I'd be really interested in hearing Ann's and Jdef's definition of a "fine print" as opposed to a "finished print".
     
  13. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    Ditto Ann's definition.
     
  14. Domenico Foschi

    Domenico Foschi Member

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    Somebody mentioned the Italian word incorrectly stating that fine means final .
    Yes, that is true , but fine ( fee-ne ) also has the same meaning of the english word fine .
    Fine arts in Italian is Belle Arti , belle , means beautiful ,= fine .
    The expression fine print to me means the finest print you can make at the moment , if you call it final then you preclude every possibilityu of adding any improvement or new elements to the image itself .