Thank you all for your input. I am probably in line with Maris when it comes to the large format platinum process with 5x7 and 8x10 negatives. I really want to try to master a purely analogue approach with these negative sizes.
However, as I have gathered hundreds of small format negatives I will probably also create digital negatives and print a selection at 5x7.
If I eventually get to a point where my prints are good enough to sell I think I would feel obliged to make the distinction to prospective buyers.
That doesn't mean I'm right of course or that any differing opinions are wrong.
I agree with the previous remark about nobody is thinking as hard as you do. Also, to me, that kind of (over-detailed) disclosure would be kind of inappropriate in a context where your images are good / strong enough to be sold...
I understand that perspective, but after seeing hundreds of PT/PD prints done from both, not only can I not differentiate, but I find from the artist perspective it doesn't matter. They want to make a print to match their minds eye. Why the focus on one way or the other when the exact element is achieved either way? There is skill and craft to both, the digital approach does not cheapen it.
Just came down from the cliff-side where I was viewing the Venus transit, met a photographer who talked of the moment he pulled out a laptop and showed Ctein a digital shot he'd taken. Ctein started to say "you know digital will never...." and then Ctein shut up when the shot came on screen.
Then I told the story of my recent mind-shift towards focusing on the artist as a person, instead of judging what medium the artist choses to present. Recently participated in a print exchange and got several wet prints and two which for understandable circumstances couldn't be wet prints.
So I changed my philosophy. The person who creates has the choice of what standards they want to uphold. If a direction they take differs from what I would do, I am willing to hear the story.
Of course I prefer the Silver Gelatin print because I am a printer. And I would appreciate a Palladium print contact printed from an original camera negative over a Palladium print from an enlarged dupe neg - even if that neg was duped by analog processes. Likewise, I would prefer a Palladium print made from an analog enlarged dupe neg versus a digitally outputted digital file. But that's me and how I feel. It's how Maris feels and you say it's how you feel.
Klanmeister, I get that it might be impossible to tell them apart. I don't know if I've ever seen a Platinum print, and probably only saw a few Palladium, though I would want to know if I was looking at a print that used the rarer element. I'd like to be told whether the neg was Pictorico, imagesetter or other film output from digital file.
So if you are comfortable with PT/PD from anything, maybe it is because of the people who are doing the work, you appreciate who they are and it just happens to be what they are doing.
I previously used the NA2 method and called my prints "platinum/palladium" even though there was likely very little to none of pt in the prints (I would regret that if I had sold any;-( Since I've switched to Dichro method and only use Palladium, I label them "Palladium prints" with additional details when asked. I'm sure at some point there will be inks that can contain pt and/or pd; and, like with carbon prints, somebody will label their digital output as pt/pd prints. Does a prospective buyer have all the information needed to make an intelligent decision to invest/collect if you just label your prints as pt/pd but use hybrid methods?
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
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Gosh there is so much over-thinking of this process going on here. For a conservator's purposes, yes it is important to record which metals were used in the making of the print, but the viewing (and buying) public either cannot or does not care to tell the difference between the two 99% of the time. While on a sentimental level I agree that there is something to the look of a platinum/palladium print contact printed from an in-camera original negative that is not there with a digitally enlarged negative, and a trained eye can perceive a difference between the two, I really don't think it is worth getting titties in a twist over. Some things will never have been recorded in-camera, like 20x24 inch platinum prints of live action scenes. But if it aesthetically displeases you, you don't buy it, same as you would dogs playing poker on velvet. I don't think you need to label in a sales situation with the same level of detail that an FDA food product label requires - that's something you explain to the customer when they engage you in a discussion about the image, and you can provide as documentation after the purchase is completed. Far too many photographers get hung up on over-explaining the technical details of their work to audiences instead of communicating the why of the image. People buy on the why, not the how. As long as you're honest about how you create your images, I don't see what the big deal is about the how. We're really getting into the level of asking a painter which brand of oil paint he or she uses and which brand of brushes. If I'm buying an oil painting, I do care that it is in fact an oil and not acrylic. And sure it would be cool and impressive to know that the artist grinds her own pigments, but that's not what is going to sell me on the painting.
I have seen many obvious digital-capture prints where the rebate was photoshopped on to the final print.
Usually with large-format borders, the edge notches are strange or are for a real film that makes no sense for the image.
Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera
And please let me add that you won't leave a good impression on the potential "art" buyer if you insist on labeling the prints with a such strong "craftsmanship" bias... (Hence my previous comment "inappropriate" depending on the context.)
That goes to the whole honesty thing. Don't pretend to be something you're not - getting caught will be far more embarassing.
Originally Posted by TimFox
Many interesting and valid points of view here. I'm most in line with the opinion that you can not over-think this issue. Actually, I've been thinking of little else for the last month or so. The image is important, yes. Maybe even of the highest importance. But, the process is also important.
I'm in perhaps a unique position in the photographic world right now (and how weird is it to say that!) No one else (who I'm aware of) is making a silver gelatin print from soup-to-nuts. The wet plate-to-alt process print folks are the only others in the neighborhood. In my case "uniqueness" equals consumer ignorance and this does not equal bliss. It has been nearly impossible to educate/convince/some other verb? people that my final prints and the negatives that produced them started from bottles of raw chemicals.
Most people don't care, nor should they be required to. If someone likes an image and the way it is printed, that's a stand-alone nice thing.
But, some do care. What I'm ending up deciding to do is to write a VERY detailed description of the work flow of a particular print, in addition to a VERY limited description of 'why' I bothered to make it. This is on the back of the print, but also available upon request -- as in: "For detailed information about this print, including how and why it was made, please ask at the desk." (or some such.)
It's hard for me to believe that the interested consumer should be denied information. Education is always good, but right now, during a state of transition and incredible diversity of photographic processes and approaches, it is also smart.