Thursday, January 05, 2006

Silverthorne on Printing

My friend Alexandra over at Solarize This brings up an interesting question on the value of a photograph if it hasn't been printed by the photographer themselves. The case she mentions is of a $12,000 Ansel Adams print, versus a $175 Alan Ross print of an Adams image. I actually think this is a really interesting topic, especially given two things:

1. Ross was Adams' student, and somewhat of a noteworthy artist in his own right, so certainly that plays a role in value and connoisseurship (art history roots coming back to haunt me)
2. With advancements in digital photography, what does this mean for the future of collecting photography?

I responded, and I'd really like to hear what others have to say.


Anonymous Tracy Lee said...

The only way I have ever been able to afford a photo by a "Master" is to purchase one printed by someone else. (Like Weston in particular.)

Is there a difference? Maybe - depends on how well the printer keeps to the original and the intent of the photographer. But if I want to own one then the $250 print will be hanging in my home while the $5K version printed by E Weston himself will remain in California for sale.

Of course the flip side of this is that there are many photographers that don't print their own photos and never did - does it really matter? If they like and approve of the final piece.... so what? It is one thing to question the prints made after a photographer is dead and can not approve but what about photographers that are alive and don't print their work - I think if you like the final piece then it doesn't matter who made it.

11:44 PM  
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4:51 PM  

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