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  1. #1

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    "Silver Gelatin Prints"

    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. #2
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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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. #3
    dehk's Avatar
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    Just put "This is not stupid ink jet".

  4. #4
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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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".
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Kehler View Post
    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".

    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.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  6. #6

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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.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7

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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. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by newcan1 View Post
    I can probably bash these things out in the darkroom faster than your average inkjet.
    I wouldn't mention that...

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

  9. #9

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    How about

    "Silver Gelatin Prints - Traditionally printed by hand in my private darkroom"
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  10. #10

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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.

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