Something to think about.

You may have noticed that I have a bit of a soft spot for many an American landscape photographer, especially the ones with the big cameras who through sweat and toll (those cameras are heavy) have produced some of my favorite images taken in the last twenty years or so. The work of Misrach, Meyerowitz, Sternfeld and Shore have influenced me greatly over the years and always given me something to aim for in my own work. The thing is, I always seem to be quite shocked when I learn that these guys are now switching over to the new technologies of today and seems strange to me when they have lived with a certain work method for so long.

Although I am not against technology and the way it may shape the photography world. I do fear the speed in which it does so leaving no time for reflection, editing, and things like the longevity of the image process. The days of photographers 'sitting on,' and thinking about an edit over time seem to have vanished in the twinkling of an eye. Negatives have been laid to rest, perhaps the edition is finished or more likely they have become digital files kept on a hard drive. There is now a huge unanswered question as to how long an actual print may last with the introduction of new pigment inks and massive inkjet printers capable of producing a mural sized prints in a matter of minutes. Silver has been replaced with The Pixel, chemicals replaced with computer chips. The Image no longer has the preciousness of an object as framed ink jets fade away on grannies dresser.

To me it will always be like the pencil being replaced by the ball point pen. They both do the same job, but are entirely different. The pencil may smudge and can be rubbed out, but the ink in a pen will vanish long before the graphite in the pencil...

I think it is worth mentioning that in a world of turmoil and financial crisis things in the art world will never be the same. From my latest show (only one week left) all the people that have bought work have done so for two reasons. One, because they like it. And two, because they want something that could be used as an investment and sold on in the years to come. If I produced work that only had a short shelf life, it would be dishonest and a con. I only hope that others like me will think the same way.

Thats all I have to say.

1 comment:

mark page said...

From a personel point of view, and shooting both film and digi all though more digi these days, I always worried far more about the health of my negs. I can remember horror stories about atmospheric pollution, fire etc and being a paronoid kind of a guy (The weed had to stop)I never knew where to keep them and could never afford to have them duplicated.
With my DNG negs I can make loads of copies and keep them at different sites. I use Adobe DNG because I think these will be the stayers.
As for prints, If I was to sell to a collector, I would go with a digital C-Type, because I agree at the moment Silver is safer.