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  1. #21
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    You must remember that the mordant in DT paper was evenly distributed throughout the gelatin and not just imbibed at (more or less) the surface as when you use Alum. This creates what is called "case" or surface hardness and limits or slows penetration.

    A better hardener than Alum (Aluminum Sulfate) is Zircotan. It is basically Zirconium Sulfate and has a very good mordanting property as well. Better, I think, than Alum.

    Whatever the case may be, DT in the final EK form is gone forever and all anyone can do is approach it.

    Many Kodak papers were pigmented on purpose to give pleasing tones. I am not the expert here, but it seems to me that a pleasing cream tone may have been used.

    PE

  2. #22

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    Ctein--I am grateful for the help in posting reliable information on the internet. Have you posted any of the prices of the remaining DT prints yet?
    I saw some of your ink jet prints and I thought they were wonderful. Right now I am concentrating on DT while they are still on the market. I recall that you had about 300 prints in your portfolio and I saw about a third of them. I will try to get up north sometime and see the rest of them, although there are still some in the set which I saw I would like to buy. Frankly I'd buy the whole collection if I could but I got five of the numbers wrong on my lottery ticket so I will have to wait.
    Has anyone established the light stability on the yellow dye? I keep hearing contradictory things.
    We should get one of the galleries in L.A. to do a DT exhibition. I will lend my collection if anyone is interested.

  3. #23

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    Thanks, Ron ... I'll make a note of that. It will be nice to have a couple more mordants options on hand to experiment with, since the nature
    of gelatins on available fixed-out papers is not a constant, and choice of mordant seems to be related. I'm not particularly worried. I've got
    other options for commercial color printing per se; and given the modest quantities of DT prints I expect to be able to make after retirement, don't mind doing it the old fashioned way. Meanwhile, if a commercial transfer paper does become available... one less headache. But
    improvising is some of the fun of the process, I suppose...

  4. #24
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    Drew, Kodak and others patented thousands of mordants for this type of use. You will find many references to guanidinium salts and polymers in these patents. There are also mordants containing Nickel to help adjust the hue just as the mordant in DT is chosen to do something similar.

    PE

  5. #25

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    Dear Drew,

    I am not prescribing, I am describing. My descriptions were accurate enough for MY process. Obviously, you change the materials, anything can happen.

    pax / Ctein

  6. #26

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    Dear John,

    I updated all the prices as soon as I shut down the darkroom (Sept. 15), but there are still some "bargains" to be had. Namely, because I haven't gone through my inventory to match what's online to what I actually have.

    My intention is that when I get down to the last two prints of something, the price for that next-to-last print is going to jump another 60% and the very last print will be 2.5-3X more expensive than the current prices. Maybe even higher. I'll also be deleting listings for anything I'm entirely out of stock on.

    But all that requires checking each and every photo to see what I have and changing the web pages accordingly. Which i ain't done yet. So, everything's at the lowest "new" price for the mo'.

    I'm going to get started on that next week, I expect. (fingers cross)

    pax / Ctein

  7. #27

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    Dear Frotog,

    Equally satisfying, but different. It's a bit like trying to compare watercolors and oil paintings; they ain't gonna look the same. But overall, in at least half the cases, I find the the inkjet prints as aesthetically satisfying as the dye transfer (being the artist, I'm the final and sole judge of that).

    In maybe 30-35% of the cases, the dye transfer print is clearly superior. Those tend to be photographs that depend on really rich and well-separated tones in the deep shadows, where the superior D-Max of dye transfer wins out.

    The other 15-20%? The inkjet print is clearly superior. Those tend to be photos that depend on highlight rendition for their power (note that many hues very close to primaries also qualify as "highlights" in the technical sense, as at least one color channel is extremely light).

    In any case, I much more ENJOY digital printing. After forty years of it, I was totally bored with dye transfer.

    As for the Eggleston business, unless he promised that he'd make no more prints IN ANY FORM of those photographs, this isn't even a close call ethically. Making new prints of massively different size AND in a different medium has never, ever been considered an infringement on an edition. Absent a total "no new print" agreement (which might exist-- I don't know), the previous buyers have no grounds for complaint, other than their terminal greed.

    pax / Ctein
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    -- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
    -- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
    ==========================================

  8. #28

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    Hmmm, Ctein.... those are just about the percentages which I would have guessed when you were kind enough to show me a number of comparison prints. But that Eggleston thing seems to be a little more complicated, since it's not him personally reissuing prints, but a hired-gun "publisher" who might have in fact made a misleading impression. Contracts are one thing, reputation another. When I tell someone they're going to get a "one of a kind" print, for example, the whole subject of whether or not it is suitable to be "reissued" in a slightly different medium or size is first discussed up front, and the print appropriately priced per agreement. About the only exception would be if they can reasonably demonstrate that their original purchase got destroyed in a fire or flood etc, and it would still be hypothetically possible to reprint it, assuming the original chrome or neg is still usable, or the appropriate media still in existence, which is often not the case.

  9. #29

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    Dear Drew,

    There was some lengthy writing about the Eggleston matter on The Online Photographer. You can probably Google for it.

    What we really don't know is the terms of the initial issuance. New York (where the suit has been filed) has some serious laws on the books about limited editions; they were the first state to pass them. What they do is make it clear that a pronouncement of a limited edition is indeed a binding contract. If you tell someone that some photograph will be issued as an edition of 15 16x20 dye transfer prints, say, you sure as hell better not produce more than 15 prints. It is fraud.

    But announcing such an issue places no other restrictions on the use of the photograph. You are enjoined from producing prints that are substantially similar (a gray area that, of course, some folks have abused) but substantially different prints are entirely fine, whether they are produced in a different limited edition or in unlimited numbers. Changing the medium of reproduction **and** producing the prints in a substantially different size, which is what occurred in this case (not a “slightly different” medium or size) is entirely acceptable and a well-established standard practice. You, the artist, are not obliged to do so, of course, but you are entirely free to do so.

    It should be noted that the plaintiff in this case is a well-established collector, a definite 1%-er. He entirely knows what the customs and rules of the game are. He cannot plausibly claim he was in any way misled.

    The real matter under question, which we don't know the answer to, is what the original terms of issuance were: was it stated that the photograph would be issued as an edition of so many dye transfer prints of such and such a size or that it would be ONLY issued as an edition, etc., etc. if the former, it's the standard limited-edition I described in the earlier paragraphs; if the latter, then producing superlarge inkjet prints of the same photographs is a clear violation of contract.

    It does not matter who is doing the reissuing of the photograph or who is doing the printing. The original limited-edition contract is binding on the photograph's rights, not its owner, and is conveyed with those rights. If there's a usage restriction on the photograph, it's enforced on third-party licensees, heirs, etc.

    By the way, the common interpretation of limited-edition law is that the artist DOESN'T get to print a replacement one if someone's original purchase got destroyed. They only get to make so many prints. If some of them get destroyed with time, then that's the way of the world. Of course, many artists ignore that and will happily do a favor for a favorite client. If I did limited editions, I probably would and I would just caution them not to tell anybody. It would be considerate of me… But it wouldn't be legal!

    Not so incidentally, the aforementioned 1%-er is going to have a very difficult time proving any material loss. There's a pretty large body of market data to support the conclusion that what Eggleston did didn't diminish the value of the original vintage dye transfer print one bit. If anything, it may have enhanced it. The dynamics of the art market are very odd.

    In any case, I shall be very interested in seeing how this plays out in court. Throw some seriously high-powered attorneys at a case like this, and there is no assurance that new precedents won't be set. Which, I suspect, is what the 1%-er is hoping for.

    pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
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    -- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
    -- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com
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  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
    I personally thought Eggleston's work lost all its charm and "authenticity" once it went inkjet or even big. It was very off-the-cuff and needed something small and intimate. Assembly processes in general are never particularly sharp compared to conventional options, though I guess it's all relative, and a DT print might look sharp compared to a gum print, for example. The power of dye transfer is really in the richness and transparency of the dyes, and not ultimate detail, which never existed to much extent in Eggleston's work anyway. I find the transparency lacking in inkjet, which are obviously opaque inks composed of both dyes (lakes) and pigments. But to each his own. Dye transfer varied wildly in quality, depending on the practitioner. A lot of the clock-in/clock-out commercial examples were pretty disappointing. Eggleston himself is not a printmaker, so it's hard to know what his personal expectations were.
    Suggesting that Eggleston is not critical of his own work, regardless of who prints it, is an absurd contention. Equally daft is your suggestion that the print-makers hired to print the work are "clock-in/clock-out" commercial hacks. Furthermore, the ink jets in the retrospective were not the reprints that were the subject of the lawsuit some time ago (which Eggleston won - the judge dismissed the case thank goodness and besides, I don't see what that subject has to do with the relative quality of ink jet vs. dye transfer) but rather more recent work and some work that had never been printed before. I guess you missed the show.

    No, my point was simply that the ink jets themselves were tremendously satisfying as color prints and held their own besides the jewel-like quality of the vintage dye transfers on display. Seeing the show, it's obvious why Mr. Eggleston, who has access to the world's finest printers, chose the medium of ink-jet to realize his vision when he could have just as easily made c-prints or new dye transfers; the ink jet medium is capable of rendering the purity of color and tone and richness of saturation that are instantly recognizable hallmarks of Eggleston's body of work.

    I'm not at all surprised to find out that Ctein, also known for his high print standards, finds the medium of inkjet as satisfying as he does. Other world renown print-makers, most notably Richard Benson with his multiple pass technique, are finding the medium both technically challenging and aesthetically pleasing as well.

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