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  1. #21

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Live Free or Die
    Multi Format
    Mike's comment pretty much summarizes the argument Brooks Jensen made on this topic one or two issues ago in Lens Work, the PDF is available here; http://www.brooksjensenarts.com/What...%20Edition.pdf.
    The notion of a limited edition is borrowed from lithographic print making where the number of copies is limited by the process. This is not true of photography, and hence is meaningless, unless you perhaps destroy the negative after making the last print of your "series".
    His recommendation is to number and date each print, and make prints for sale according to demand. Collectors will have a way to know where a given print fits in the hierarchy, and will have the means to assign relative value to a given print.

    Last time I checked, you can still by prints of Pepper 30 from Kim Westin. I don't think those prints have affected the value of the ones printed by Edward or Cole one cent.

  2. #22
    markbarendt's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Beaverton, OR, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by david b View Post
    so how many prints do you sell?
    Not a lot so far, still early days for me in this part of the business.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Leake View Post
    I tend to the opinion that unless an edition is going to sell out within a reasonable time, then to call something a limited edition is simply marketing flim-flam. As such it is disingenuous.
    I agree, but so what.

    Let me ask these questions;

    Are we selling a commodity (the paper) or are we selling art (an intangible)?

    Are we selling our time at $40/hour plus costs or our artistic vision?

    If we are selling art and or our artistic vision, to one degree or another, we all have find a way to hype our work to sell it.

    Selling anything for more than the commodity price takes shameless promotion of some, even many, intangibles.

    The specific intangible does not matter. Limited editions, name recognition, the wine I buy for the gallery owner to get her/him to spout flowery words about my work.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSeb View Post
    I agree completely. As an artifice to gin up a false sense of "uniqueness" or "preciousness" in an inherently populist and reproducible medium, it smacks of photography's nineteenth-century battles against painting over its status as an art form.
    Yes photography is an inherently populist and limiting editions is an artifice imposed artificially but it is not false if the negative is destroyed.

    jnanian has identified the problem specifically.

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    one or twenty or fifty or hundreds or thousands of prints from the same negative is the greatest gift and the greatest flaw of photography.
    So how do we each address this problem and make a buck.

    Do you want to sell thousands or 5 or 1.

    It is simply a question of how we want to market our work, there is no "right" answer.

    Personally, if I wanted to mass produce I'd be using a print button, not an enlarger.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSeb View Post
    But in the real world where art meets commerce, for those of you who have sold through galleries and/or had work purchased by "collectors", has this issue arisen? Do the galleries or buyers ask about it or "insist" on it?
    Actually that's where I found out about it.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

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