A Tale of Two Prints

Digital Photography Sucks

Draw Your Own Conclusions

Enlarger Alignment Laser Module

Fine Art Photography

Knowing What You Want

Miss America and Ansel Adams

Painting versus Photography

Popularity is Overrated

Rare and There

The Art of Printing or Not

The Banality of Ink Jet Prints

Useless Idiot


Painting versus Photography – December 18, 2007

I’m not sure what to think of this post, and the whole one shot, one negative, one print mentality. I certainly admire the thought to some degree. I guess because in a way, it’s daring, and Jorge definitely puts his money where his mouth by selling one-of-a-kind prints on eBay, along with a part of the original negative after it has been destroyed. While you might be able to convince me that there is some validity in making only one print from of a negative, I'm not sure I'd ever have the intestinal fortitude to otherwise destroy the negative from which that one print was made. To me the negative is precious. It's like a moment of time captured on a piece of gelatin. In my mind, destroying that negative is a little like destroying that unique instant in time. And I'm not sure I would be able to intentionally do so, and I’m not quite sure why you would want to anyway.

But the idea of only one print from a negative raises a lot of questions in my mind. What about books? What about the web? Can that one print be displayed in another form, as long as there is only one physical print? Unlike painters and some other types of artists, a lot of photographers use books as a viable means of showing their work. Could these single images be included in a book as well? Or does that somehow diminish the value of the physical print and defeat the entire purpose?

But that aside, Jorge seems to have some kind of fetish with trying to equate painting with photography. Why? I’m not sure I understand and actually think the whole premise is ridiculous. Sculptors don’t worry about want painters do. Poets don’t worry about sculptors, and I know painters could care less about photography. So why do some photographers feel the need to mimic the traditions established by painters? In case he hadn’t noticed, a photograph isn’t a painting. It’s an entirely different animal, and as far as I’m concerned, it should be treated as such. Treating a photograph differently than a painting doesn’t diminish the artistic or actual value of a photograph, it enhances it. Instead, trying to pretend that a photograph is like a painting diminishes the value of the photograph by assuming the art of painting is inherently superior. Painting isn’t superior, it’s just different. What’s wrong with acknowledging that?