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Friday, 23 June 2017


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My unease with the digital sldeshow is the issue of contemplating an image. How do you choose the timing? If you see one image in passing and want to really look at it, you need a remote that can pause or reverse to allow lengthy viewing. But a paper print won't allow zooming in on details!
Two more recent events-
I was talking to a friend last week that we have gone on photo expeditions with who admitted he had not made a print in more than 5 years. I admitted that I had not either.
But as we are packing to move from the farm to the city, I found myself distracted by framed prints I have displayed for years, some over 40 years, that I like so much I will continue displaying forever.

Traditional pianos will persist
Traditional telephones will persist
Traditional typewriters will persist
Does it matter?

Your grand-daughter seems happy enough with her portrait, but I'm reminded of an occasion some years ago when one of our neighbour's young daughters came into our house. Upon seeing a photograph of herself on the wall she became visibly perplexed, pointed to the photo, and said "there Fleur". After pausing for thought she then pointed to herself and said "here Fleur", and burst into tears!

Until that moment I'd been sceptical about Jaques Lacan's theory of a 'mirror stage', which suggests that there's something fundamental about how reflective images help us learn to think of our selves as objects. Perhaps your daughter-in-law had this in mind too?

What an absolutely superb photograph. It's a very subtle and clever compositional design, but the contrast between the expressions on the child's face in the portrait and as photographed is priceless.

Yes Mark, the print will remain an anchor of photography. Most of the best work will always be eventually printed in one form or another as it's shared and called-out. Family memento archives? Most will be lost and forgotten.

But your image of your granddaughter in front of her life-size portait is very charming. It looks great on my iPhone! 😉

While many electronic screen images are beautiful in many ways we don't see surface texture from the paper as the artist intended. (at least some plan for this) Carbon with a three dimensional surface loses it when displayed on an electronic screen.
Both have their place in our world and I enjoy both but it is difficult for me to get subtle surface interpretation from a screen.

If I'm displaying my own images on a digital panel, then you are seeing them "as the artist intended." Within the constraints of my chosen medium (but the same is true for papers, right? always has been for me anyway).

The issues get more complicated of course when we talk about buying rights to display images by other artists, which has come up both with Mike's distributed gallery idea and I believe others. In Mike's gallery case at least, he addressed this by using the same monitors throughout, profiled, so that the artist could be reasonably confident that what he previewed looked a lot like what the end viewer saw; that puts the artist in very nearly the same position I would be displaying my own images on my own TV.

[Exactly so, David, and it is an important part of the idea. --Mike]

Traditional wood frames, eh? I've been framing by preference in metal-section since the 1970s. One reason for that is that wood isn't very good for paper products, generally.

As long as one doesn't use wooden backer boards in direct contact with the artwork and/or conservation rag board, wood frames are fine for conservation purposes based on my experience although others would beg to differ. The inner frame edge can also be sealed. In my case, I isolate the artwork from the frame with a vapor barrier that in turn creates a more stable microclimate, so with proper attention to details, wood frames do not necessarily violate the rules of good conservation framing practice.


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