The IPO

Initial Print Offering

The negative is comparable to the composer's score and the print to its performance.

Each performance differs in subtle ways. Ansel Adams

C1117 at Shiprock, New Mexico C1117 at Shiprock, New Mexico
Kent, Connecticut

Mr. Adams made this comparison a long time ago, and while this might be true for a handmade print, where each performance is unrepeatable in its exact detail, it's less than accurate for modern printing techniques. Once you have digitised your image, edited, corrected and repaired it, sharpened it and proofed it until you're happy with it, it shouldn't matter how many times you hit the print button; the subtle differences should disappear, unless there's a breakdown in your workflow...

There are obvious advantages to both systems of printing, and to many, the differences can be very subtle, almost too subtle to notice. Many photographers prefer not to discuss how an image is printed, preferring instead to concentrate on the image rather than the object, like they're performing a magic trick. However, you can't help feeling that those who are the greatest proponents of mechanically reproduced digital images are doing so for their own ends- because, no matter how much they might say that an ink on paper print is just as valuable, and just as much an art form as a photographic print, you can't help wondering if it's the businessman side of the artist talking. And yes, I'm quite sure you can get an Ansel Adams inkjet now if you want one...

The world is full of billions of images, and the value of a print depends not so much on how it was produced, but rather on the picture itself and the name of the artist, at one end of the scale, or the cost per square foot to hang something over the couch, at the other. As long as you're happy with it, and the value you see in it, I suppose it really doesn't matter. Digital printing offers other advantages too- there is the potential for a huge amount of detail and nuance in these large images, and you just can't examine that detail at the level of a contact print. Not without pressing your nose up against the print, and examining it with a loupe, that is...

Personally, I've always felt that the print is part of a causal chain, and represents the art in photography. That each picture you see in a gallery is the end of a chain that represents the printer and the photographer, the negative, and the time and the place it was exposed, and that they all exist in an unbroken line. Large prints can be powerful at a distance, or up close, but the smaller prints demand that you get quite intimate with them, and you might end up very close indeed... Now this might be a very naïve way to look at things, but it's how I see it when I look at pictures by Atget or Abbot or Arbus, or Sugimoto or Stieglitz or Steichen, or Winogrand, Penn, or Ritts, or whoever I'm lucky enough to get to see, from time to time...

This camera, the C1117, has been built specifically for making images by contact printing, but as with any image, they can be scanned and printed at multiple sizes. Really quite large sizes are possible, given the size of the originals. The size of the camera means that it really isn't suited to many types of photography- sports, wildlife, photojournalism spring to mind- but what it can do, it does exceptionally well.

I haven't made many images with the camera yet, but if this ends up being one of my 'one or two good pictures in a year' (another Ansel Adams quote) then I'm really not going to be disappointed at all.

Back to Image Page

The only good reason to consider buying a print is if you really like the picture, and the small picture on this page can never really do any justice to the print. However, there is maybe one other reason- by choosing to buy a print you will be helping to support the continued development of the carbon camera project- in particular, the second, ultra lightweight prototype. It sure would speed thing up, but might also indicate that the project might be, in some small way, a worthwhile endeavor. Thank you.

  • Contact Print
    First Edition of 10
  • £300 | €360 | $500

  • image - c. 7"x16"
  • Fiber based paper, titled, numbered and signed on verso
  • archival toning
  • matted, signed and numbered on mat
  • Securely packaged and protected
  • Same Size Print
    FROM
  • £120 | €150 | $200

  • image - c. 7"x16"
  • Fine Art Paper, signed on verso
  • Finest Archival Pigment Inks
  • print only
  • Sent in rigid tube
  • Large Print
    FROM
  • £180 | €220 | $300

  • image - c. 11"x24"
  • Fine Art Paper, signed on verso
  • Finest Archival Pigment Inks
  • print only
  • Sent in rigid tube
  • Larger Print
    FROM
  • £250 | €300 | $400

  • image - c. 17"x36"
  • Fine Art Paper, signed on verso
  • Finest Archival Pigment Inks
  • print only
  • Sent in rigid tube

delivery

For the sake of simplicity the cost of delivery, insurance, and packaging is included in the price of the print, worldwide. If the print is to be posted within Ireland, you'll even qualify for a small discount, reflecting the reduced price of postage.

Actual cost of postage, insurance and packaging is €40 for matted prints, €20 for prints in tubes.

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buy one...

I don't have an online shopping cart, you'll have to send me a message. Acceptable forms of payment are- cheque, bank transfer, and paypal. Massive overpayment is fine, but I regret to have to inform you that I will be unable to give any change. A full refund will be made (less actual postage and packaging costs) if you are at all unsatisfied with the print, and you return it in its original unmarked condition within 60 days. Other pictures on this site may also be purchased, but will have to be checked for appropriate sizes and printing methods. Thank you.

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