Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
No it isnít Thomas and I can understand how a hand crafted print particularly by the photographer is what a lot of people wish to see, particularly fellow darkroom workers. I suppose by value, I am talking about being precious about the print, and a lot depends on the type of picture we are looking at. A print can be crafted and produced in an infinite different ways, but only from the existing negative.
I'm not looking for an argument, but I don't agree with the 'latent image' being the purest representation of the artist's intent. It doesn't come alive until it's printed, so what's the point of worshipping the negative? It's an intermediary as a step to the destination of becoming something that is visible and comprehensible by the viewer. I mean, why do you feel it important enough to show prints here, in shows, and on your web site? Shouldn't you just let people look at your negatives? Or better yet, why not let them look with infrared light on an undeveloped piece of film with a latent image on it?

Artists make choices when they print, and it's the culmination of all their decisions in framing the exposure, exposing the film, choice of processing, interpreting the negative, cropping and framing the print, and finally toning and choice of presentation. All those decisions matter to me, and one thing that is immensely important to me is scale. Imagine a Gursky print that's several feet across, represented by an 800x600 pixel jpeg on a web site, or an 8x6" reproduction in a book. While I don't like Gursky's work in general, I can appreciate the impact of scale, which is another intention the photographer has when they make their exposures.

So, to me, and this is my opinion, I think the final print holds tremendous value for the viewing experience. It is an entirely different experience from looking in a book, on a computer screen or projection. Someone mentioned surface texture of a print; you mentioned photogravure - the relief of the print, which I think is an important aspect of making them in the first place, and it doesn't show in a book or on a computer screen.

There are many reasons for me to enjoy the print as the ultimate form of expression.