Although not exactly the same thing, I can say I was often disappointed when first seeing original silver gelatin and platinum prints. That includes Adams, Weston and many others. There is something about these duotone/tritone laser-scanned reproductions in fine books that gives the images a "heightened" luminosity, a jewel-like, sharp, silvery quality. It is difficult to explain accurately. When I first started getting really serious about printing I was always frustrated that no matter what I did or which materials I used I could not get my prints to look quite like what I saw in the books. I had not seen very many originals. My father (my first photography teacher) repeatedly told me I'd be disappointed when I finally saw real prints by the big names. He was mostly right. With books as a reference point, I had a distorted idea of what prints looked like.
I realize this has to do with distorted viewer reference points and expectations as opposed to artists compromising quality, so it may not be worth much.
Last edited by Michael R 1974; 04-19-2013 at 06:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.