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  1. #1
    davetravis's Avatar
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    Commercial vs. Home-made Prints...

    Assuming that both come from the same slide/negative,
    and that the "average" patron would not see a difference,
    would anyone price the commercial version of a Fuji Archive, or Ilfochrome, any less than the home-made?
    If so, why?

  2. #2

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    I don't really care for term 'home made'...

    However, I believe that an artist made print has inherent value that surpasses that of commercial labs print.

    Corey

  3. #3

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    g'day Dave,
    seems to me there are lots of variables, and i'm not sure what you want to know

    is it a hand made/worked on neg?

    is it a 'copy' of the neg?

    is it a brilliantly captured image that doesn't need any manipulation in printing?

    what can your market bare (bear?)?

    checked your website, not finished yet?

    is that 06/01/06 or 01/06/06?

  4. #4
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davetravis
    Assuming that both come from the same slide/negative,
    and that the "average" patron would not see a difference,
    would anyone price the commercial version of a Fuji Archive, or Ilfochrome, any less than the home-made?
    If so, why?
    All other things being equal I would price them the same. Haowever a hand made print may cost you more than a commercial print.

    If you are a dead photographer and your work is collectible, then most likely a vintage print made by the hand of the artist would fetch a higher price.

    My 2 cents,

    Don Bryant

  5. #5
    davetravis's Avatar
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    Hi Ray,
    My home-made Ilfochromes are similar in quality to those of Christopher Burkett, and Michael Fatali.
    Made directly from the slides.
    I'm a little worried about how much longer the paper/chems will be produced, and may eventually have to incorporate some commercial repros.
    I just don't know if it would be ethical to charge the customer the same price.

  6. #6
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Another description of a "home-made" print would be a "Custom Lab" print - even more. Depending on the photographer making the print, there will be a far greater amount of care incorporated in its making. A "commercial" print - that can vary from "K-mart specials" to "Museum Quality" - will necessarily have less of the photographers "imprint".
    I can select contrast, crop, dodge/burn, choose color balance ... a great deal of other characteristics in *MY* darkroom, and the BEST offshore lab, at "Museum Quality" cannot be expected to make the same choices.

    Do I consider the "photographer-made" prints to be more "valuable"? Yes, infinitely so. They come much closer to *what the photographer wants them to be* than any commercially made print could.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #7
    blansky's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where the "ethics" comes in.

    Lots of famous and not so famous photographers have people employed by them, and also labs that they use, print their work for them.

    If the work is up to the standard of the photographer, then it can be argued that it is his work. If it's not, then perhaps there is an ethical issue. But in that case he should send it back and redone until it meets his standards.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  8. #8
    davetravis's Avatar
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    Blanksy,
    See, I totally disagree about the "direct supervison" print being "made" by the photographer. When David Muench sells "his" prints, they aren't his at all. The ethical question for me is since I won't be personally making the commercial print, I shouldn't call it "mine", and maybe should charge a lower cost?
    Understand?

  9. #9
    blansky's Avatar
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    Dave, we had a thread about this a while back and I also argued that I "preferred" that the photographer should make his own prints. It had more value to me personally than one made by labs and assistants.

    But I think the "ethical" part of the debate is ambigious. Do most people who buy photographs think that they are "handmade" by the photographer? I don't know.

    I know, that coming from a portrait background that almost no commercial portrait studio does their own printing and hasn't for years. I'm pretty sure the public realizes that.

    So for you to feel you are "cheating" your customers by not actually doing the printing, is in the end, your call. It could or should definately be argued that if you oversee the product, then it is still "yours".

    I do see your point, although as I stated, I'm not sure the public knows or cares one way or the other.

    If it bothers you, then perhaps you should include a disclaimer of some sort on the back. As for charging less, I would never do that.

    In real life, I think we find that most artistic endeavors are collaborative. Did Spielberg do every little thing in his movies. Does a building designed by the flavor of the month architect and "signed" by him, have only his hand on it. Does glass artwork by glassblower/artist like Dale Chihuly have only his participation in the project.

    The answer to all these is no.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by davetravis
    Blanksy,
    See, I totally disagree about the "direct supervison" print being "made" by the photographer. When David Muench sells "his" prints, they aren't his at all. The ethical question for me is since I won't be personally making the commercial print, I shouldn't call it "mine", and maybe should charge a lower cost?
    Understand?
    I agree with Dave, that you should not say that you make a print, when you did not make the print....

    However, I believe it is perfectly ethical to sell your photographs when printed by a lab, there is no expectation that photographers make each and every print they sell, especially color prints.

    I will add, that I believe it is possible to get your prints looking just as you like them too... and it might be possible, with the right lab, to realize results you never thought were possible.

    Just my naive thoughts.

    Corey

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