Thursday, December 1, 2011

THE AGNOSTIC PRINT - a resource for photographers wanting the best out of their digital files

I came across THE AGNOSTIC PRINT a SITE which outlines the fundamentals of getting the best out of digital photography, from file to print. Remembering what Beaubourg curator Quentin Bajac  once told me, that the museum no longer regards digitally produced photographs to be "objects", I was particularly interested in a piece on "defining archival standards in photography."

Bill Kennedy writer of the article states, There is a great deal of confusion among photographers and artists, and those who sell and collect art, over exactly what the term “archival” means. Labeling a photographic print archival implies that it has met or exceeded a standard.
What is the standard? Is there one standard for all photographic images: color, black/white, inkjet, and alternative process? Is there a different standard for other, non-photographic prints?
The short answer is no. The Image Permanence Institute, a department of RIT’s College of Imaging Arts & Sciences, offers this definition:
“Archival- a term often used to imply that a material will be stable over time. The term has neither a recognized standard definition nor a quantifiable method for verification.” 

The long answer is that photographers (photographers are arguably more guilty of misusing archival than any other group) use the term to mean that a print has been made to the highest standards of craftsmanship. Realistically it simply means that the photographer has taken great care to make an object that will last as long as possible.

All this is essential reading for any photographer making and selling digital prints.
And I suspect even more essential for collectors who put down serious money to acquire works that a museum of the stature of The Pompidou Centre regards as non objects.

You can read the full article HERE plus other equally informative material, the State of Inkjet, the Future of Scanning, What Happened to Photography and more.

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