Friday, March 16, 2007


I shot this image going up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, ME. That's the Cranberry Islands in the distance. This is from a digital capture that was not all that interesting in color. As it happened, I was looking for something else and ran across this file. The image dates from October, 2003. I have begun to explore more and more printing monotone images from either scans or digital originals. Yesterday I spotted eight 16x20 silver prints for a coming exhibition at Emmanuel College in Boston, and was reminded, strongly I might add, how little fun it is to spot prints. Eyes as old as mine really hurt, not to mention my back, after bending over and getting rid of little white dots on the beautiful silky surface of these silver prints. What took me several hours would have been 10 minutes had they been digital prints. While I don't think that the digital papers have caught up with the printers, yet, it is only a matter of time. There are a few new papers out there that have brought it a lot closer. (UPS is supposed to deliver a package of the new Harmon paper today.) Printer and paper manufactures have pretty much gotten the color under control, and are realizing there is a big market out there for materials that will print B&W with close to the same look as traditional silver prints. Besides, I wonder if the next five yeas will bring as much discontinuance in silver based technology as the last five years. I happen to believe silver will disappear at an accelerated rate. If you are not printing digitally five years from now you may not printing at all. OK, that's probably a radical statement, but somewhat true. Many photographers are selling their vintage silver prints at much higher prices, and by vintage, I mean stuff they printed ten or so years ago. Probably collectors are driving that market. Wouldn't surprise me that some people are going back and printing 3-5 prints of every image to stockpile betting on a market when silver prints are the exception rather than the norm. I just served as juror for a big competition in the northwestern corner of the country, and of the 150 portfolios I viewed literally half of the B&W works were listed as digital prints, and fully 90% of the color was digital. I do believe this train be'a pickin' up speed.

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