The phrase "printed under the direction of the photographer" is both honest, and informative.
There are printers who are true artists in their own right, even if their own images aren't as high quality as the prints they do for others.
If a print is truly a custom print, i.e. the printing decisions made are directed and evaluated by the photographer, then the credit for the print should go to the photographer (although acknowledgment of the collaborator would also be appropriate).
My $0.02 worth.
(Can you tell that I have worked as a printer- although not in respect of fine art prints?)
What if you work in a colour lab and print your own photographs?
What a great group!
I guess in the end, it's up to me, since no one will be "looking over my shoulder," or is "keeping notes."
I just have this conviction that I shouldn't call anything mine, that wasn't done 100% by me. I would even make my own film and chemistry, if I could get the same results! I never knock others for how they do their art, or livelihood, I guess I just set too high a standard for myself....go figure...a redneck from Alabama.
I think one thing we need to be aware of in this field of photography, and one thing I see that keeps some people from actually selling successfully, it the act of micro-managing ourselves so much that the worry put in our minds does not allow us to be successful in the marketing portion of the business, there are several steps in becoming a successful photographer, start focusing to strongly and micro-managing that aspect of the business then other areas start to suffer.
I have to agree with Blansky, a good majority of the public don't care if a print is done by the "Artist" but they look for the quality product they wish to collect or display, I have run into quite a few collectors, that are happy to purchase a print done from a Ansel negative, and not worried at all that it was not printed by Ansel, myself personally have most of my color work printed at the local lab that I used to work with, as I have the ability to input through out the entire process and they know exactly what I want out of my prints...often times I have them process my negatives also, which based on your question, would mean they are not mine, but in fact they are.
The best answer to your question, resides with you, it is what ever you feel is right..
I own 3 of those Adams "special editions," made by Alan Ross from AA's negatives. I've seen AA's original's, but could never afford one!
You make a good point, which I think is also mine.
If Alan's prints are like the commercial labs prints, and AA's prints were by his own hand, then the free market has determined that AA's with his signature
are more valuable than Alan's; even though most people can't tell the difference. Guess I'll have to noodle some more on it...and hope Ilfochrome doesn't fold!
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