Quote Originally Posted by Ctein View Post
Dear Frotog,

I don't think we need to make this contentious. Drew did NOT insinuate that Eggelston had low standards nor that all labs produce mediocre prints. He only observed, correctly, that the latter can be true and he did not know what Eggleston's standards were for these prints.
"Eggleston himself is not a printmaker, so it's hard to know what his personal expectations were." -DREW WILEY

Let's take the converse of this just for argument's sake; namely that Eggleston is a printmaker. Would Drew have any clue as to what his personal expectations were in the printing of his work? I doubt it. Would it matter? Absolutely not. Why would it? Does the fact that an Eggleston is rendered in DT vs. inkjet change the value of the object at all? Clearly, based on the Christie's sale, it does not. An Eggleston is an Eggleston is an Eggleston, regardless of how it's rendered. Only a lesser photographer would need to glom onto the process in order to enhance the perceived value of the artwork. Contrary to Drew's claim, there was no "publisher" involved in the inkjet reprints that were sold at Christies (but Drew should know this because based on his strong opinion regarding the reprints he must have been in attendance at the auction house). Rest assured that Eggleston proofs and edits and reproofs all of his pictures with a mastery that few can touch and a sensibility that is entirely his own.

Drew's implication is that a photographer who doesn't print his/her own work couldn't possibly have an eye for print quality. As someone who printed commercially for years I can say with certainty that this is not at all true. In fact I've witnessed many a scenario where an expert printmaker has shown themselves to be utterly lacking in the aesthetic sensibilities necessary to render an image as successfully as he/she might have done so under the direction of the artist. In the end, whether a print is made digitally or traditionally has no bearing on the emotional impact of the image. And nowadays, with the demise of worthy analogue materials, digital clearly has the upper hand when it comes to effective color printing.