Magnum's Square Print sales - Easy way to collect and invest or money grab?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by hoffy, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    If a museum had a choice of a Robert Capa print made from the negative on silver gelatin paper, or a machine-made C-print from a scan, which would it prefer? Magnum is offering the later as "museum quality".
     
  2. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I think this is perfectly ok, gives someone a chance to own and enjoy a print by one of their favourite Magnum Photographer.
    side not I just made a print silver gelatin 24 x36 for one of the Magnum photographers , I can assure you it was not sold for $100..

    Collect what you love and can afford its all good IMO.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    hoffy

    hoffy Subscriber

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    Well, this thread turned out interesting.

    I ended up not buying anything, simply because, yes, I am a tight wad.

    I also have some views on C-prints vs Giclee vs Darkroom. For the price, I would never expect a darkroom print - never.

    But, and this is my controversial comment of the day, if I had a choice between them being a C-print or a Giclee, depending on the hardware used, I'd probably choose a Giclee. The technology has come a long way since those first horrid inkjets and I have tended to find that when fine art is printed in this way, the papers and paper choices are far superior.

    One more thing:
    Well, that's it. I might as well pack it all in now - I think this one comment deserves a thread of its own....
     
  4. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Books are much better value and investment.
     
  5. Richard Man

    Richard Man Member

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    That's not the scenario I am talking about. I am talking about Mitch Dobrowner ONLY offering his latest stuff on inkjet print and museums (if they fancy his stuff) would gladly take them.

    If your complaint is that Magnum is misusing the phrase "museum quality", while you have a point in the Capa scenario, most new Magnum photos are now from digital cameras only and no museum is going to say, "Oh sorry, David Alan Harvey, we can't take your prints because it's inkjet, can you do a silver print instead?"

    While I am a nobody in photo world, I do know some "name photographers" and what I said is based on what they told me as their their experience, plus what I hear from gallerists and museum curators, and people like Mary Virginia Swanson, in places like portfolio reviews at PhotoLucida, Santa Fe Review etc.
     
  6. blockend

    blockend Member

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    That's correct. If an artist or photographer is known for producing work by digital reproduction and inkjet, those printing methods will not affect the value of the work either way. If the creator is well known and esteemed the value will be high, if they're unknown the price will be low regardless of the medium. However if someone is known for their work in the fine silver print or any other traditional process, an image produced by other means will inevitably affect value, because the vision and the technique are linked. This is especially true if the photographer made the image.

    So it's important the buyer knows what he's getting physically and with regard to provenance and print number, before he ascribes value to the artefact. £100 seems reasonable, but I wouldn't expect a seller to realise that sum for many years because there's no shortage of supply. However certain iconic images will always attract buyers owing to the subject (say, James Dean), while others will be limited to photography aficionados.
     
  7. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    I prefer prints larger than 6x6. And I don't like it square.
     
  8. plummerl

    plummerl Subscriber

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    Then I would suggest that for the next sale, you actually look at the images. Most are not square images, but the paper is.
     
  9. michr

    michr Member

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    I was initially intrigued and went to look at the images. I came to the conclusion that even for $100, it just wasn't worth it. Not that I would ever do this, the images are most likely online in high enough quality that such a small print could be made by anyone. Magnum has to offer more than that. I don't see how anyone could come to the conclusion that there's any kind of collector value or importance to these editions. Most likely it's just outsourced to a printing company who prints a bunch on a huge sheet of roll paper, and cuts the images out.

    This sort of thing is in an uncanny valley. It's just too expensive for me personally, for how big it is, for the available content. For the price I could have a very nice photography book. For the price, a very nice used lens. For the same money, I'd rather support local artists and hang their work on my wall. $100 is a lot of money for something so trivial. It's got this aspirational "me-too"-ism about it. It's not big enough to be worthy. And at the other end, it's too cheap, too bottom-rung to ever be worth anything. It's on the level of a postcard.
     
  10. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    I'm not this stupid. I just don't like square. Prints, frames, books etc.
     
  11. nimajneb

    nimajneb Member

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    Out of curiosity, do you know to interpret the notes on the draft print on the right side of the link? And do you know if that's all done optically in a darkroom or digitally? Looking at the notes makes me think my simple enlarging, rarely dodging or burning, isn't impressive or good, lol.
     
  12. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    Those are the notes of the person who printed them optically (link from an earlier post in the thread):

    https://petapixel.com/2013/09/12/marked-photographs-show-iconic-prints-edited-darkroom/
     
  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    No, I have very little idea, only from reading. If you read down a couple of posts, you will see that I had it completely opposite, the the one I thought was the final was actually the straight print and the one I thought was straight was the final. I am not someone you want to trust for darkroom technique knowledge.
     
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  15. nimajneb

    nimajneb Member

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    I think figured out it after seeing that article and looking closer. I think it's what filter is used on that part of the photo and the exposure time for that filter. so 2/5 is 2 seconds of 5 filter.

    Thinking about it is inspiring me to make more complicated and better prints.
     
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