Is the value of a wet print recognized in the digital world?

Discussion in 'Wet Process Machine & Traditional Prints' started by Ektagraphic, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Ektagraphic

    Ektagraphic Member

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    Hello-
    Are there any primarily/completely digital photographers around that pay much attention to the benefits/qualities of traditional wet prints (RA-4 or Black and White) when it comes to printing their digital images? Do people care about the fact that their inkjet prints are made with ink?
     
  2. indigo

    indigo Member

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    I guess not! I have found that ink jet is the worst type of photo print in my opinion compared to wet print, optically exposed or digitally exposed with laser or light pipe, dye sub print etc.. but I think most people like the look of the ink jet print. I think the primary reason is that ink jet offers the highest saturation level.
     
  3. desertfotog

    desertfotog Member

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    I don't know exactly what the digital world is -- a lot of folks have a toe in both hemispheres -- but if you spend any time around photo and art gallery types you will learn that a good old fashioned dip-and-dunk fiber photo print is considered by many as the "right way" of doing things. I am preparing gallery-sized prints on canvas for a gallery showing and they are are ink jet. I could get a lot more money for traditional fiber prints and I may just fire up a b&w darkroom and make them the old fashioned way. I never ship off anything good in the way of negatives so having my prints done elsewhere is out of the question. A wet darkroom would be a great big hassle for me but I am prepared to put one in if I have to.
     
  4. jimcollum

    jimcollum Member

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    I have work represented in the Susan Spiritus Gallery... sell both inkjet and platinum. (i'd consider me the 'k-mart' corner of the gallery... she represents more 'biggies'.. Tice, Loranc , Watanabe,)... while this work commands good prices (no where near the Jeff Wall, Crewdson stratosphere)...most of the contemporary work coming in and selling.. for just as much as the vintage.. is inkjet.

    While the 'craft' of the print does play a factor in a sale.... it's definitely not near the top of the list.
     
  5. jimcollum

    jimcollum Member

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    .. and for my work.. although I love the alchemy of the analog process.. that part is separate from the decision of what i'm going to put out as a portfolio image. It's how the craft works towards the final emotional impact of the image.

    I do sell the Platinum work for more.. but that's more due to edition size of the series.
     
  6. desertfotog

    desertfotog Member

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    I hope Collum is right about ink jet prints selling well because I've invested a couple of grand in big prints for an upcoming gallery show. I also bought a nice film enlarger and first class lenses for 35mm and 120 -- just in case.
     
  7. jimcollum

    jimcollum Member

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    i think a lot depends on the market. i suspect that the difference between inkjet and silver is more of a deal for art fairs and such... you see the 'this is a real silver print made by hand' marketing going on there.. and that's where it might matter. If someone comes into, say, the Catherine Edelman gallery , then the type of print would be mentioned as a matter of description.. but rarely would have an impact on the sale of the image.

    you're not buying an image there because it's a silver print, you're buying it because it's by Michael Kenna
     
  8. lenny

    lenny Member

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    I've been a printer for a long time. I've done seemingly millions of darkroom prints, all kinds of alt process and had a business in the late 70's/early 80's in NYC that printed in platinum for other photographers (including Avedon). I've been doing inkjet since about 2002 sometime. The truth is that a print looks great when someone takes the time to make it so - in any technology. You can't tell me that any camera is inherently incapable of making a great image. You can't say that about printers, or printers vs darkroom vs alt process, etc., either. Its not the device, its the person behind it. It's a matter of mastering the control of something to the point it becomes expressive.

    I just had a friend over, another photographer, and I showed him one of my latest prints. I showed it to him right next to a platinum print of the same image. There is no discernible difference, if anything the inkjet was better. I keep hearing about people talking about how there is some virtue in darkroom vs something else. There isn't. It's like saying social documentary photography is better than landscape. They are different. I like them both. I happen to like to shoot landscape but it doesn't mean I don't appreciate the other (altho' there are genres I could do without entirely). If you like darkroom prints, by all means make them. If you like inkjet prints, or alt process, by all means make those. And make them better and better until they are exquisite.


    Lenny
     
  9. iansand

    iansand Member

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    I completely agree

    Ian
     
  10. OzJohn

    OzJohn Member

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    As well as saturation, it's also an expanded colour gamut and the great range of papers and other substrates that that makes inkjet attractive. Despite what some traditional colour printers will try to tell you, there is no way that chromogenic paper can rival the gamut of an eight or ten colour inkjet. I see the proof of this regularly because I have much of my professional work printed on RA4 Endura right up to 20x40 but I have certain styles of enlargements, sometimes from the same images, printed inkjet. Flesh tones and neutrals are very good in both processes but the difference in bright reds, greens and yellows as well as subtle blues, pinks and violets is astounding - inkjet can distinguish shades that print as one on Endura. I have very little experience with black & white printed on inkjet but what I have seen looks good but quite different to silver-based paper. OzJohn
     
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