Sunday, September 9, 2007
The primal print
"Sideyard madonna," Tim Connor, All rights reserved
Today I picked up my prints for "Topos: Brooklyn," the show I'll be in (opening next Thursday, September 13th from 6-8pm). I'm thrilled with the quality (kudos to my printer, Ray Henders). To tell you the truth I'm thrilled just to be looking at prints again. I haven't made very many since I switched to digital. Nowadays, thumbnails on a browser are my contact sheet, my Flickr page is where I make my work prints & do my editing.
What's the final? Well, I've made a few prints on my home Epson for sale or for gifts, but most of my stuff ends for me with a corrected file. It's seen by others mainly on a computer screen, sometimes printed on a newspaper or magazine page or projected onto a big screen when I'm teaching. Very few prints.
I remember filling up Agfa print boxes with literally thousands of black and white prints when I was starting. I had a part-time job running the photo lab in the journalism building at the University of Minnesota, which meant I had a key. I was in there at all hours printing my negs, sometimes making dozens of prints of a single image with intricate regimens of dodging and burning. Finally, I might get one I thought was perfect, but later I was unable to tell which one it was.
I'm not nostalgic for that. I don't think I'd like it now. But I do like looking at beautiful prints. The image above, "Sideyard madonna," for instance, is something entirely different in a pristine, color-corrected print at 20 X 24. It's an entirely different aesthetic species.