I agree - I prefer the handmade as well. But an art show is that - a show of art. No one is submitting factory produced art from Ikea or Michael's.
Originally Posted by BetterSense
Just because a work is made digitally doesn't mean that there is no craft involved. I guess this is the wrong site to argue that point on, though.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
To someone who cares about what photography is about: images (!), an image is an image, a photograph a photograph.
It's not just the dumb masses who don't give a hoot.
But apparently some people are more enamoured by (with?) their tools, how they work, how they smell, etc. and they don't care nearly as much (if at all - sometimes you really can't tell) about images.
I truly care about imagery and am not at all tied to processes, the tools and how they feel and smell. lol...
Many people constantly are worried about the disappearance of materials which have enabled them to make images for 20-30-40 years.
Taking a stand instead of merely talking about this problem may serve to show companies producing light sensitive materials
that there is a market for their products.
Suckered into another anti-digital rant. I would like to see a forum created that is appropriate for these postings and then I can ignore. Subject line is "Taking a stand... " Here I was thinking it was on stand development.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
I think you have it 100% correct. I really don't like to tooth my own horn but I will give my personal experience, as an example: I don't make a living through photography exclusively but I have marketed my photography to the same people I sell wine to (my main business for 20+ years). Well, this year I have sold 40 prints. I don't give them away so that was a nice little income boost. Not one single person questioned or inquired about my printing processes. They loved the images, they paid, and they are happy. I don't know if that means anything but in my own little world it does.
BTW...I still like my '53 Tele better than my White Falcon
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What I got from Per's original post was that it was primarily about quality. I think if he wants to show only in conjunction with other analog prints, that's fine. I really don't think there's anything wrong with distinguishing the handmade print and emphasizing it. The perception of quality, exclusivity, "specialness", even just "tradition", can be very important to a buyer. People will pay a lot for quality handmade jewelry, leatherwork, collector knives, etc. partly because it is handmade. I'm not saying it's all about monetary value. I'm saying it's more about it being valued, appreciated.
Many famous images have been produced in the form of high quality reproductions made with the highest quality press techniques. The prints from these sell for only a fraction of a photographic print, making them accessible to many, but not competing with an actual photographic print for serious buyers. They're cheap and plentiful, and no matter how good, they still don't equal the photographic print's quality. I got the feeling that what Per has been seeing is something equivalent to that with the people displaying inkjet prints.
Reading his post, I didn't think that he was being snobbish or intolerant, but that his decision was based on observation. The point can be made that his quality will stand out next to the others, but the point can also be made that the lack of quality within the exhibit brings down everything in it.
I will say that I've seen some bad B+W analog prints and some nice B+W inkjet prints, but IMO, when B+W inkjet prints are bad, they're truly awful.
Last edited by lxdude; 10-13-2010 at 12:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
I personally think it completely depends on the venue and demographic you intend to market to. In Per's case (being somewhat familiar with Per) I think it may make some sense. I don't see it so much as taking a stand in some kind of anti D ethical sense, but more as a stand as an artist. Per's work is outstanding, and I think his mastery of the analog process and the collect-ability of his work enables him to take such a position and be largely devoid of self aggrandizement. I think the majority of us are in a different boat. Personally, when I have exhibited in venues that are primarily digital I have welcomed the comparison, however there is no question in my experience that the average patrons of such venues are more reluctant to spend real money. Few prints were sold at any price. Pedestrian exhibits tend to attract pedestrian people, at least in regards to buying photography. (I'm not saying they aren't perhaps fine people in other ways, they just seem to not believe in spending money on art.)
I think the idea here concerns the physical artifact of the print as the product of the artists work and the end result of the process, and the manner in which the artists perceives their own work and the control they wish to exert over the exhibition of it. This can be hard to grasp until you have sold a few physical prints, but what I realized after a while is that each print was transcendent from the image, it was a thing and that thing was inherently imbued with specific qualities by the kind of thing it was, and very definitely walked hand in hand with the image form the experience of being present as real physical artifact, much like a sculpture or painting. I don't find an artist to be self aggrandizing when they claim to have made a watercolor or an oil as opposed to a "painting". Why should it be different for photographers? This personal perception is for me where a photographic print departs from an image. That the images are compelling and attractive to many people is in Per's case a given, so I feel the assertion about the image being a good one by any means isn't particularly pertinent to Per's position. Per's prints are damn fine both technically and aesthetically, easily among the best I have ever seen, so if you like his kind of vision that part is way way in the bag.
That said, I have exhibited alongside some pretty lacking analog prints, and although I can't say what the difference is from one point of view, from another I do see the need for traditional prints to re-establish an identity as a process. I don't think the idea of resisting the current trend to homogenize image making by any means into one broad category needs be perceived as elitist. Prior to the Borg enlargements were enlargements, contact prints were contact prints, platinum was platinum, etc. and nobody got their panties in a bunch at all. These days if you wish to simply acknowledge your process you are almost instantly accused of being hung up on it. I vehemently disagree with that and feel folks that have mastered a process to the point where it is a unique statement to a specific medium are very right to tout their mastery of that medium. I think that most who say process is irrelevant haven't bothered to truly master one.
The winner of the Indy 500 doesn't just win some car race, that persons wins a particular race with a particular kind of car on a particular kind of course. Is the driver wrong to reveal he drove an Indy car? Should they now need to race in the Daytona 500 with the Indy car? Stock cars and Indy cars are both highly specialized things at the pinnacle of their individual discipline but only an ignoramus would assert they were the same thing. Per is to my mind just choosing not to drive an Indy car in a stock car race.
My initial reaction to this thread was to shut it down or send it to the soap box as a simple anti-digital rant, but I have restrained myself so far as the discussion has been for the most part cordial and not particularly adversarial. How, where, and other details of the prints we exhibit is a valid topic as long as it doesn't degenerate into simpleness, so I hope folks will keep this in mind when posting, and hopefully folks will continue to walk the fine line. If it does degenerate, I'll send it down.
Last edited by JBrunner; 10-13-2010 at 01:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
From buyer's stand point, I shy away from buying inket printed art. Many of them (if not most) doesn't have the depth of color or clarity that I look for in photographs. If there was a choice, I would prefer to buy (and pay for) silver gelatin prints. However, if we are talking about ones printed digitally but using more sophisticated process, such as the ones used by major labs, I don't have problems buying digitally created prints. I look for quality and aesthetics in the final product, not the method used to produce it.
From photographer's stand point (and I do not do this professionally), I am a photographer first and film/traditional_process user second. I choose my media based on my needs and goals. Which, for me, ends up being digital for color and analog for B&W. I do it this way because of the control I have and the result simply pleases me more than if it were the other way around.
I understand the OP's frustration though.... spend so much time perfecting the craft and someone walks in with stacks of prints.... but turning away potential sale or those who appreciate his art, I'm not sure if I agree.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
In my neck of the woods dollar stores don't sell stuff for a dollar!? I wouldn't have my works so misrepresented.
Originally Posted by jnanian
Nice post, Mr Brunner.
For my own work I do not separate image and process/print. No more than a painter would separate his image from how he puts in onto canvas, or the sculpturer would separate the form of his/her work from the materials used in creating the form.
The Seeing becomes part of the whole process -- not an isolated occurance that I now must find a way to present to the public.
But some people are all about the image -- that's cool.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.