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Thursday, 06 February 2014

Comments

Oh yeah, time to buy a little piece of history! Can't wait!

I am super exited. do we need to register for the e store to buy it? I would pre-register so that everything is ready on the day. I missed the last print sale and hope to grab the last dye prints and I think these are even more interesting having the work print and the matrix.

OTOH, the b&w separation negs may be the only "archival' copies of the work. Pixels in a file on some obsolete digital media have an uncertain future, after all. As does the "Cloud.' The name may be more appropriate than we can imagine.

Dear Mike,

No, you don't need to do anything special in advance of the sale. I'm handling all the purchase transactions myself, just as on my previous sales. You'll be able to pay by either personal check or PayPal. There will be two PayPal buttons in the column, one for California customers (because I have to collect sales tax on those orders) and one for everyone else. It'll be that simple!


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
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-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
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Dear David,

That's an interesting question about archivility.

Dye transfer prints themselves are remarkably permanent. Stored in the dark, under normal room temperature and humidity conditions, they have a museum-standard lifetime of over 300 years. We feel reasonably confident about that because prints have been monitored for well over half a century (there aren't many processes out there where the same materials have been in use for such a long time). That lets us compare the real-world deterioration rates with the ones predicted by accelerated testing.

And, after 300 years, it's not like the image disappears, poof! It just means there's been a 10% dye loss in one or more of the colors. So, you could still do a very accurate digital restoration on a scan of that photograph with good assurances that you were getting a result that was extremely close to what the print was one of was made.

Assuming extrapolating that far ahead means anything, one could likely do a complete restoration on prints that were 500-1000 years old. With current technology.

The matrices ought to be at least as durable, even more so than a conventional black and white negative, because they are actually a relief image in gelatin on a Mylar substrate. Things that can physically damage film gelatin, like water, insects, and mold and mildew, can, of course damage matrices (and prints, let's not forget), but issues of fading and chemical change don't come up.

But, here's the hitch. The **optical** densities you see in those matrices don't perfectly conform to the dye densities in the final print. It's monotonic, to be sure, but the dye density you get depends on the precise physical characteristics of the gelatin in the matrix (which certainly varies slightly from emulsion run to emulsion run, if not from set to set). I can get an approximate idea of whether matrices are correctly exposed just by looking at them, but it's only a rough guess. I don't know until I print them. Then there's the matter of exactly how I choose to print those matrices––all those printing notes you see at the bottom of the print in the illustration. So, scanning the matrices would give you a guide to what the colors should be in the composite image, but it wouldn't by any means be the final word; you'd still have to do a lot of interpretation.

I have done this. I can tell you it's not impossible. But it does raise a question ––is a more permanent medium that absolutely requires human interpretation for accurate reconstruction more “archival” than a less permanent one that can be reconstructed nearly automatically.


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
======================================

I already have one from the original announcement. It is seriously cool, and I am keen to buy another one. Roll on Wednesday.

I have one of Ctein's first firn dye prints and to explain what it is and why it is important would be easier if I had a set of matrices to display. I'm definetly in if I can afford it:)

Sounds like a great idea! Will you be able to ship overseas (UK)?

Dear Richard,

Oh, better than that! As in my previous sale, not only will I be taking foreign orders, but everyone will pay the same price. International buyers will not pay more for shipping and handling than domestic ones.

The only folks who will be paying more will be Californians, because that's where I'm located and I need to collect state sales tax. But the base price for matrix sets plus shipping and handling, before taxes, will be the same for everybody, everywhere.


pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
======================================

Ctein,

Reading the comments, I had a small epiphany, how much gelatin, or as I refer to it, hide glue, HG, has been an essential element of imaging, probably predating recorded history. Also, that even with science, etc., it has always been a "seat of the pants" material, each batch requiring calibrating.

I use HG extensively, wood glue, binder for gesso for gilding, medium for boles in water gilding, and long ago, wet photography. Don't eat much jello.

Bron

I do hope I can afford one of these.

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