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But is it "Art"?

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  #11  
Old 05-06-2002, 10:30 PM
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Jakaleena Jakaleena is offline
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Most galleries now accept certain types of digital prints as legitimate art. Giclee would be the most popular of these.
I'd have to agree that Giclee prints (if done well) are beautiful, but they are NOT your everyday, average, run of the mill, home-use digital prints either.
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  #12  
Old 05-06-2002, 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by Jakaleena


I'd have to agree that Giclee prints (if done well) are beautiful, but they are NOT your everyday, average, run of the mill, home-use digital prints either.
Well, I would agree with that, but the technology to create some of these high-end prints is finding it's way into desktop inkjet printers. Just read the press release for the upsoming Epson 2200!
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  #13  
Old 05-06-2002, 11:18 PM
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Just read the press release for the upsoming Epson 2200!
It does look impressive, that's for sure. Maybe it will be the one that brings my thinking forward. I'll wait to pass judgement until (and if) I see how one interprets my work...

I just thought of something that might make my thought process on digital prints a little clearer.

To me, it's like the difference between a photograph and something like a Polaroid Transfer. Many people find Polaroid transfers beautiful, many don't. I've done them myself. If it's not done well it can be downright ugly. And, there are really not a lot of people who can do a Polaroid transfer well. I'd include myself in the "not done well" category.

But, the whole point (to me anyway), is that no matter how well someone does a Polaroid transfer, IMHO it will NEVER be a photograph. It will always be an interpretation of one... That's sort of how I feel about digital prints (at least for my usage anyway).
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Old 05-06-2002, 11:21 PM
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Thats for sure! However, properly profiled top end ink jets, which are designed for photoprinting can and do produce remarkable quality prints which are up to very high quality standards, but, the key is proper equipment, experienced operator and good data to send to the printer. This industry and Professsion is still in its infancy...when Kodak first introduced color prints their life expectancy before fading to practically unrecognizable was a mere 4-6 years and usually less....as the technology advances ( much like albumin prints with all their problems gave way to developed out gelatin prints with much longer lifespans, improved tone etc.) the "photo" run off on typing paper using a $79.99 printer and the prints of today run off on high end ink jet dedicated machines, will evolve into processes and equipment which will not only match the traditional photo but in some ways exceed it. That is not to say that traditional processes are obsolete, far from it. Digital is simply a natural evolution in the Photographic field which complements rather than competes with emulsion technology. The key to getting good digital photos is operator experience and understanding of the way in which the CCD works and adopting the necessary changes in technique. Digital or photomechanical prints, if produced on the proper paper with pigment based inks have a longevity comparable with traditional photos. Testing has shown this. As to being defensive, statements such as " digital is crap" are unwarranted and unprofessional and are a sure way to get a flame war started, something I will not permit. An honest difference of opinion is good and always proves educational as each person explains their side using facts. If you dont like digital, listing the reasons why with examples and staying away from the cruder and less enlightening terms will probably prove more instructive and be more in keeping with the tone and demeanor of this wonderful site. Those type of comments belong on another board. Tom
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Old 05-06-2002, 11:34 PM
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Excellent resurrection job. This has always been one of my favorite threads (of course, they're all my darlings).

A recent article in PC Photo (not one of my favorite mags, but it has its moments) encouraged we all drop the use of "digital photo" from usage, but did admit we still need "digital print".

That was basically why I started this thread originally. Even if we're ever able to get digital output to last 400 years under constant viewing conditions, will anyone accept it as Art (remember the capital "A").

I've done a lot of reading and thinking since my original post, and I'd have to say that at this point (May, 2002) if I was trying to make my way as a fine artist, I'd go the output-to-negative-then-silver-print route.

Some digital prints are marvelous, and obviously I have no qualms about supplying them to my clients. But they do lack the cachet of traditional processes. Even silver prints are kind of the neglected step-children of the fine-art world.

Would you pay $20,000 for a giclee Ansel Adams print? $2000? $200?

Again, my own theory is the rarety factor. Coming from tradtional photography, I'm familiar with the techniques they use to drive value (limited signed editions, destroyed negatives, etc.). All to guarantee that thousands can't be cranked out by the same machine that made the one hanging on the wall of the gallery.
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  #16  
Old 05-06-2002, 11:36 PM
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statements such as " digital is crap" are unwarranted
Actually, I believe what I said was that my friend's prints "look like crap."
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  #17  
Old 05-06-2002, 11:52 PM
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Would you pay $20,000 for a giclee Ansel Adams print? $2000? $200?
You know it's funny. As I was reading this thread and beginning to consider resurrecting it, Ansel Adams was actually the one in my thoughts... I could not imagine an Ansel Adams digital print as anything less than sacreligious.

I don't know if any of you have ever heard of Ray Atkins or not, but he was the Photographer Laureate for Oregon for many years. He made some wonderful images of that state. I used to live in Oregon, and one of the clients at the lab I worked at there was Ray Atkins' son. He used to bring in negatives of Ray's work for us to print for his gallery. I thought of those prints too, and how wonderful and rich they were. Ray was gone, but whenever we printed those prints he came back to life. Seeing them as digital images just wouldn't be the same at all.
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  #18  
Old 05-06-2002, 11:54 PM
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I stand corrected, however, what was wrong with the D1 prints you saw? That particular cameras chip has an exaggerated blue response due to a design feature, and improper white balance, which those cameras are very sensitive to, will produce a truly awful photo. Properly balanced and with filters as needed, they do a very good job..but not as good as some of the Kodak ones or the new Olympus. Noise and color fringing are being lessened by the improvement in chip manufacture and the internal hardware/software of these units. Mostly though, the problems are in the printing area...but as paper design and ink technology and printer technology continue to advance, the differences between the traditional print quality and digital quality will fade away. Traditional photography too faced severe challenges, much the same as what digital faces today, but public demand drove it on to evolve to where it is today, and the same holds true for digital. Neither are going to fade away, both are unique in what they can do and what they cant...thats where the complementary nature of them comes in..what one cant do do the other can and with scanners/film transfer both can produce true Art work...heck, any photo, regardless of its process origin is a work of art...a piece of frozen time and history....Tom
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  #19  
Old 05-06-2002, 11:55 PM
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Then again, we have Nash Editions, dedicated to this very topic. (yes, THAT Nash, sans Crosby and Stills).
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  #20  
Old 05-07-2002, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Doug Nelson

Again, my own theory is the rarety factor. Coming from tradtional photography, I'm familiar with the techniques they use to drive value (limited signed editions, destroyed negatives, etc.). All to guarantee that thousands can't be cranked out by the same machine that made the one hanging on the wall of the gallery.
Part of me wants to throw the entire idea of "limited editions" out, even though, as an artist, I understand why galleries use that to market prints. Think about this, if you produced an interesting image that was popular, would you rather sell only a few at inflated prices, or would you make thousands in order to keep the price down and reach as many people as possible?

Digital printing is akin to CD's in a lot of ways. Every copy from 1 to 10000 is exactly the same. Maybe things like Giclee prints, will open up new markets for artists and photographers.

The only historical equivalent I can think of is during the 15th century, after the invention of the printing press. The ability to produce multiple images allowed artists like Albrecht Durer to reach a much broader audience. Art became something to be enjoyed by everyone, not just a select few who could afford it.
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