"Silver Gelatin Prints"

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by newcan1, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    I'm going to sell some small black and white photographs at a local market. They are going to be printed either on Forte VC RC paper or Oriental Professional VC RC paper. Or whatever else similar I may have on hand (I have some Arista stuff too).

    I would like to differentiate my product from that of various digital photographers who also sell there. Is it appropriate to describe my prints as "silver gelatin prints"? I would think so but it does seem quite a mystical and exotic description, reminiscent of an era prior to VC RC papers. Nonetheless, they are silver based, and I'm pretty sure the emulsions are still gelatin based. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    Describe the as Silver Gelatin RC Prints ... nothing wrong with that. If you change to fibre prints then call them Silver Gelatin Fibre Prints...
     
  3. dehk

    dehk Member

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    Just put "This is not stupid ink jet".
     
  4. Kevin Kehler

    Kevin Kehler Member

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    There is a wildlife artist who advertises "No computer manipulation" and "chemical prints" on each of his sites - he gets them printed at Costco on the R4 machine.

    As much as I like Derek's suggestion, I would put "traditional darkroom prints".
     
  5. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I agree with Kevin. Most people have zero knowledge of rc vs fb paper, and even less what silver gelatin refers to (they may even think it's shiny Jello). They may, at least, recognize 'traditional darkroom' as distinct from inkjet.
     
  6. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I agree with kevin and jovo.

    Most people won't know what "silver gelatin" means. "Darkroom Print" will make more sense. I typically call my stuff "printed in traditional darkroom using finest material available."

    At the end of the day though, most people couldn't care less how your print was printed. FB, RC, inklet, or something else. They just don't know and don't care. "Pretty Picture" is what sells - especially in a mass market like that.

    Few times, I stressed over archival processing and toning for permanence, used white gloves to prevent finger oil during handling, etc..... only to find out the recipient put it in a cheap frame with cardboard matting full of acid.

    If you want to explain your print for your own reason, go ahead but it won't make a darn difference to people who will be buying them. Good luck though. It will be a fun experience.
     
  7. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    You are probably right, although for years I have sold printed stationery and you'd think it wouldn't sell in this day of e-mails. There is a small but solid base of customer who does appreciate the old ways. I think "darkroom hand-printed silver gelatin prints" might be the way to go -- and we will see what happens. I can probably bash these things out in the darkroom faster than your average inkjet.
     
  8. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I wouldn't mention that...:blink:

    I'd suggest printing up a brief bio and technique sheet, which you can drop in the bag with the matted print.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    How about

    "Silver Gelatin Prints - Traditionally printed by hand in my private darkroom"
     
  10. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Just say, made with a real camera and not a cell phone. That should rattle their brains enough.
    But RC prints are at the low end of the food chain as far as darkroom processes are concerned. So
    don't expect to impress anyone who is actually in the know.
     
  11. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    I've thought about this too and like "traditional darkroom prints on traditional photographic materials" or something like that.

    Silver gelatin sounds almost as pretentious to me as our digital nemesis(es? si?)brethren word "giclee" for ink-jet.
     
  12. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Come on Drew - I was just thinking last night, while washing and laying out fiber prints to dry, that I'll have to flatten this weekend, "self, tell me again why I bother with this? Modern RC papers are so good, this really isn't worth it. I think I just do it because a bunch of other traditionalists insist on it." :wink:

    Anyone "in the know" will be impressed enough, or at least potentially so, that they're darkroom prints. The tiny percentage who know the difference in fiber and RC, and the even tinier percentage who will care, aren't much of a concern, especially in your sales venue.
     
  13. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    "Giclee" does sound very sophisticated. I wonder what "silver gelatin print" would be translated into French? "L'argent-gelatin"? If "giclee" can be used to describe an inkjet, surely silver gelatin could be translated into an exotic language to make it sound very cool.
     
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  15. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    How about:

    "Traditionally and optically printed on a finest quality photographic paper coated with silver gelatin and processed in a darkroom with a bunch of trays full of chemicals for those who care, know the difference, and willing to pay for the privilege of owning the finest but not quite the finest because these are RC rather than FB in which case you really can't afford it"?

    At the end, no one will care, and as long as they sell, probably you shouldn't either... (yeah, but we do... grrr....) It is becoming painfully aware to me, those things WE care so dearly, no one else does... and we probably do all these just to satisfy our own purpose.

    grrrr.... (as I stress over the color of mat material....)
    grrrr.....
     
  16. newcan1

    newcan1 Subscriber

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    Won't work. The first mention of trays full of chemicals and I will receive the comment, "yeah, and I guess you pour them down the sink." I have already received such a comment when I revealed to a "liberal" friend that I was doing darkroom work. She was clueless about the sorts of things that really do go down a sink. But I got a condescending remark about water supply pollution.

    So I would suppress reference to chemicals. Maybe "images photographed on film, hand imaged, developed, and printed by a human being without the intervention of robots, on optically sensitive paper whose blacks and greys consist of precious metal."

    I give up. I'll just make sure my pics are 50 cents less than the competition.
     
  17. Vaughn

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    Silver gelatin print -- simple and to the point. Does not sound pretentious to me. At least not as much as rattling off how and where one made the print, or invoking 'traditional' methods and/or materials.
     
  18. BainDarret

    BainDarret Subscriber

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    Check the note here about the French slang usage of the term giclée:
    http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/g/giclee.htm
    I tend to avoid it when describing inkjet prints.:wink:
     
  19. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I vote for Silver gelatin print. That's what I use. I sometimes invites conversation from those that don't know what it means. Don't know if it sells photos, but it does cause interest.
     
  20. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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  21. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    How about this:

    "Silicon free photographs"

    Once your customer asks you what you mean by "silicon free", you get to explain how you printed your work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2012
  22. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Subscriber

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  23. DWThomas

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    I usually say "Gelatin Silver Print" or "Toned Gelatin Silver Print" when I enter work in shows. (I put gelatin first as I suspect there's more of that than there is silver.) Those long lines about "traditional ... blah blah blah" would be fine in an artist's statement, but in most of the shows I enter the entry form line for medium is about an inch long!

    Occasionally I am asked by visitors to the shows what that means, in which case I explain "I use a darkroom."
     
  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    "No pixels were harmed, folded, nor manipulated in the making of this print."

    And I will have to remember (and use if and when approbiate) Dave's, "I use a darkroom."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2012
  25. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Y'all may he right that the alternatives are too long. It's one way to distinguish them anyway and those who care will know what it means.

    No so sure "chemicals" is a no-no. Depends on your audience. I consider myself liberal and environmentally aware and my wife more so on both. She just asked if it was ok and I explained what was, what wasn't and why and that was that. But as I have commented on pilot boards where others keep running into folks that think an airplane plummets vertically if the engine fails, while I have NEVER met anyone who thought that, I don't seem to talk to as many dim bulbs as mist people do.
     
  26. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    "My print contains precious metals" so it's worth more....