UPDATE, Sept. 2, 2011: Sale has ended.
Conclusion first: Our sales run for five days only, in this case starting now and ending on Friday at noon. Here's the direct link to the sale page [Link removed—sale ended 12 noon CST Friday, September 2, 2011]. Also as usual, the prices for these 17x22" Ultrachrome prints are low, barely more than you'd pay for a fine poster. The first print is only $140. (That's 1/2 the normal price Ctein charges.) The second print is $125, the third $110, and the fourth only $95. That goes for multiples of the same print, different prints, or any combination of the two.
More about our mad method later.
By popular demand: Like many of our sales, this one was essentially suggested by readers. Ctein, whose regular weekly column appears here on TOP on Wednesdays, wrote about one of the most difficult photographs he had ever made,"Apollo-Soyuz in Floodlights, Cape Canaveral, 1975" (above), in a column called No One Cares How Hard You Worked. Many readers asked for the opportunity to buy a print of this image. Good call, too: the print is stunning, with an impact only suggested by the on-screen JPEG.
More pictures: Ctein's previous sales have been among our most popular, but this one is the first one in which he hasn't offered prints made with the esoteric dye transfer method in which he is expert. Accordingly, I asked him if he could provide some additional pictures from his dye transfer portfolio crafted as inkjets. Of the three we chose, he picked one and I picked two.
Turns out the "translation" from dyes to inkjets led to some very interesting technical and aesthetic issues, which Ctein and I will be discussing a bit more here on TOP in the days before the sale ends.
Big 17 x 22" prints: The other opportunity that seemed obvious was to make these prints bigger (the dyes we had offered previously were on the small side, as large dye transfers are expensive to make). These prints are all on 17x22-inch paper with a minimum one-inch white border. They are Epson 3880 Ultrachrome prints on Ilford Galerie Gold Fibre Silk paper. Ctein, of course, is making all the prints, and they're signed and titled on the front in ink and signed and dated on the back in graphite.
To order: If you'd like to order one or more of these prints, first, go to the sale page [Link removed—sale ended 12 noon CST Friday, September 2, 2011], and send Ctein an email following his instructions. Prices including any taxes or shipping charges are given on the PayPal buttons; you'll use those buttons to determine your price even if you're not paying by PayPal (we'd actually prefer payment by check, but either way is fine). Please note that a payment without an email will not work to reserve you a print; as he explains on the sale page, the email is the essential record he needs in order to reserve a print for you.
Shipping: Shipping charges and applicable taxes are included in the prices. All print will be shipped within 31 days, and are guaranteed/insured by us; if you don't like a print or if your prints are damaged in transit (or never arrive), don't worry: you're covered. We'll refund your purchase price if you don't want to keep the print, or send you a replacement print if yours was damaged or lost.
There's no number limit on this sale. All orders made before Friday at noon will be honored. The first orders will start shipping a week from tomorrow at the latest.
The anti-art-gallery: TOP print sales are democratic, meant to provide high-quality original work for prices that are far less than you could get them for otherwise. The way we do this is simply to collect the orders and the money in advance and then fulfill the orders afterward. This allows the photographer to "mass produce" the production of the prints knowing that each one is already sold. So even though the price is much less to you than you'd pay for a single print purchased individually through a conventional gallery, the photographer still makes a nice profit on the proceedings (TOP takes 20% for hosting the sale; the rest, the other 80%, goes to the photographer. Compare this to the 50-50 or, worse, 40-60 split commonplace with bricks-and-mortar galleries).
For real: But what that means (which you also might know from our previous sales) is that when we say we're closing the sale, we really have to. On Friday at noon, we'll have a final number, and Ctein will order materials and begin work on fulfilment. As you know if you've ever made and shipped large number of prints yourself, that work is arduous and immersive, and needs to be planned. So if you're coming here for the first time from an astronomy, space enthusiast, or science fiction site or forum, please don't assume that we'll make an exception for you if you miss the Friday deadline—we can't, and don't.
At least there's no number limit for this sale, as I mentioned earlier. All orders received by Friday will be fulfilled.
Art collectors without limousines: One of the most rewarding things about our sales is how many people say that our prints are the first original artwork they've ever bought. Art collectors aren't just people who keep their limousines idling in the street outside a Christie's evening auction, where the bid increments are more than most blue-collar workers will earn over the course of a lifetime. No, our sales ain't haughty, snooty, or exclusive/exclusionary. But we like that about 'em.
"Crepuscular Rays" is one of my four or five personal favorites from Ctein's dye transfer portfolio. I first used it to illustrate a column way back in my Luminous-Landscape days, and it almost became a cover of Photo Techniques magazine once upon a time. We'll have more to say about its odyssey to digital inkjet form on, I think, Thursday.
Questions? If you have any questions about any of this, please ask in the comments, and one of us will answer.
One last time, here's the link to the Print Offer page [Link removed—sale ended 12 noon CST Friday, September 2, 2011]. Please do us a favor and tell your friends about the sale! And, as ever, thanks to one and all.
ADDENDUM: A few people have reported problems sending email directly to Ctein at firstname.lastname@example.org, via the mail link on the order page. If your order email bounces or is reported as nondeliverable, please resend it using this email address: email@example.com
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.