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Thursday, 27 November 2008


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In case it hasn't been mentioned Lenswork is selling folios again. If you're into that kind of thing.

"So how good are they really? I haven't seen one. Sounds promising, though."

Unfortunatly, the RGB images have some tone added. Converting them to grayscale will reveal how stunning they can be.

".....RGB images have some tone added"

I haven't seen the ink-jets in person but Adams did use selenium toning on the originals. Converting to grayscale will not mimic the originals, still need the color of selenium to match the silver prints.

There are also the ink-based, half-tone reproduction series. A few months ago I purchased an 11x14 of "Winter Sunrise" from a photo gallery in Carmel. It cost $30 and it was 16x20 double matted. I would like to see how these compare to the new inkjet versions.


This prompts me to pass on one of my father's favorite stories. A few years after the end of the second World War, my parents, who had both been Sergeants and had met in London, moved from New York to California. They took their time on the trip across the country and one of their stops was Yosemite.

There was a small gallery there selling etchings of valley scenes and my dad got to talking with the artist, who said that he was going to close up shop soon because a photographer was going to move in.

My dad, reasoning that etchings, being a 'real' artistic medium, would hold their value better than photos, bought a number of the etchings and they hung in his den as long as I lived in my parent's house.

Of course, we all know who the photographer was...


I once bought a Fuji Pictrography repro of a Julia Margaret Cameron print from the National Portrait Gallery in London. It seemed like a nice thing--about $15 for something around 10x12"--better than a reproduction from a book, but obviously not a real print, and you could ask for anything in the collection in a choice of three sizes in the gift shop. I would say that inkjet repros of Ansel Adams's prints should serve the same function, and I would be willing to pay about the same price for one as I did for the Cameron Pictrography print.

Elsewhere on the 'net, Kerik Kouklis posted in a discussion of the new prints:

"Re: New Ansel Adams prints
I've been teaching for the AA Workshops since 2000. I was shown some of these new edition inkjet prints when I was there a few weeks ago. They are being made from scans of original prints made by Ansel. The idea is to offer prints in much larger and varied sizes while keeping the cost affordable. I was able to look at several of these close up in my hands and they are quite nice. It is also my understanding the Alan makes the special edition silver prints from original negatives."

original discussion here:

That's nothing...at least your Dad got something, and something he liked, from the sound of things. My art teacher in high school told a story about attending the first show by a young artist with a famous father. They were both watercolorists and my teacher really liked the work and decided to buy one. The paintings cost $25 which was affordable but still a substantial sum for him at the time. He went away and came back the next day with the money in hand, but thought and thought about it and in the end found he could not part with all the cash, thinking that the painting was just an indulgence.

The unknown young artist's name? One Andrew Wyeth....

Mike J.

Unfortunately they don't say what the actual technology the prints are made with is; and they do say things indicating it's very probably nothing I'm familiar with:

"The imaging technology we are using is not generally available. It is currently in use by only three entities in the US: ourselves, the Getty Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution."

(from http://www.anseladams.com/content/care_collecting/ar_technicalinfo.html )

They're working to reproduce original prints in their collection, rather than to make top-quality digital prints from the original negatives, which goes some way to explain some of their choices.

Anybody else remember what Ansel's prints used to sell for in the 1960s at Best's Studio in Yosemite? He had a special series that he printed in large numbers (process described in "The Print") that he made himself (before he had assistants print them for him), 8x10s mounted, signed, numbered for $6 (that number again is: SIX dollars) each. Ah the good ol' days!

Regarding RGB values in BW prints, one of the biggest hurdles we had to overcome was being able to get some color into the Archival Replicas. Straight gray scale prints were not nearly as accurate to the original. We've been able to get very accurate color representation in both the image capture and output.

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