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  1. #1
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Lith printing and rock music

    I was listening to some music, and as I looked at the cover of Noir Désir's Tostaky album, I realized "hey, lith print!" Last time I was in a magazine store and the rock music magazines had B&W covers, I noticed also "hey, lith style!" etc etc.

    So what made lith printing so congenial to rock music shots? Anton Corbijn has probably a major role in its popularization because of his photos of U2, but I was wondering if there were other forces at play.

    For instance, punk zines are often made on a photocopier and thus have very high contrast images; album covers usually follow the same style. The photocopier look would be to me the first high-contrast style of rock photos, and I see lith print as a more sophisticated version of this aesthetics.

    At some point I find that almost all B&W picture of fashion/rock (they're more or less the same things when they're big) are lith-ish to a certain extent. What do you think? Anybody has a history of album cover art around to verify the evolution of the styles?
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    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  2. #2
    Krockmitaine's Avatar
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    Oh boy!
    What a topic. First off, Anton "made" U2 like he "made" the looks of so many other bands, Depeche Mode come to my mind but there is also others (Echo and the Bunnymen comes to mind but I'm not sure).

    For album art cover, the most profound influence was Vaughan Oliver, who made art covers for the 4AD label which included such acts as Clan of Xymox, Xmal Deutchland, Colorbox, Cocteau Twins but oddly enough, no Dead Can Dance.
    But he played with photocopiers.
    Besides Corbinj, I don't think that there is any other photographers who made such a lasting impressions. He was the right guy at the right place at the right moment.

    Will look into the archives concerning Corbinj, I have an article somewhere

    Marc
    Last edited by Krockmitaine; 01-27-2007 at 07:59 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: adding infos

  3. #3
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I got into Lith printing because of Anton Corbijn book Star Trax.

    We should give special credit to Mike Spry for the printing . Without his excellent prints the book would not be so influential.

    What is cool about lith is the grittyness of the mid and low tones and softness of highlights that this process can produce.
    I find lith printing a wonderful way to explore negatives without the confines of a traditional approach, It has forced me to look at the print in the developer and watch the process emerge in the dev, which I thinks makes me a better printer.
    In one hour the printer can produce many different Looks of an Image that I think is important to the photographer and the subjects she/he are working with.

  4. #4
    kunihiko's Avatar
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    I like this both music and the cover.
    http://www.amazon.com/Vanessa-Paradis/dp/B000001E09/
    kunihiko kario

  5. #5
    Krockmitaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kunihiko View Post
    I like this both music and the cover.
    http://www.amazon.com/Vanessa-Paradis/dp/B000001E09/
    Corbijn angain !

    Marc

  6. #6
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Duh! I made a little Google and found out that Corbijn was also responsible for the cover of Noir Désir's Tostaky. Blast it, Anton, you're everywhere!

    So I guess if there's an explanation, it's just called Anton...
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  7. #7
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Carnie View Post

    What is cool about lith is the grittyness of the mid and low tones and softness of highlights that this process can produce.
    Bob, I like how you describe it because it fits exactly with the post-punk aesthetics of sensitivity+distorsion.

    From what I read, Corbijn made his name with Joy Division first, then Depeche Mode, U2, and all the rest of the plant afterwards.

    Joy Division and everyone else that followed in their trace seem to cultivate a lot that two-textures aspect. The Cure, for example, is both noisy and romantic. Goth rock, another fallout from Joy Division also has that quality of mixing delicacy with grittiness. Even U2, to a certain extent, has that delicate/gritty mixture.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  8. #8
    Krockmitaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
    Duh! I made a little Google and found out that Corbijn was also responsible for the cover of Noir Désir's Tostaky. Blast it, Anton, you're everywhere!

    So I guess if there's an explanation, it's just called Anton...
    Yup.
    Told you.
    That guy is everywhere.

    Marc



 

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